Thursday, April 30, 2015

A to Z - Eye on Texas: Z

Eye on Texas finishes the A to Z challenge with four choices - Zapata, Zavilia, Zephyr, and Zorn.

 Let's go with Zorn - named for a shopkeeper, Joseph Zorn, in the 1850s. It's an unincorporated community that once had up to 150 people and two gristmills.
 Now there are around twenty people. The town is north of Sequin, so there is civilization nearby.
Photos courtesy of Bing images - Stephen Michaels Feb. 2008

A to Z - Eye on Texas (photo is the eye in Dallas across from the Joule Hotel)
We've had an eyeful of Texas and have covered this large state.  Thanks for joining me on the journey.

And a final word from our Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey - she's offered a proper contrast to Texas and America -
"Try to not let those Yankees drive you mad."

Take care y'all (that's as Texan as I get- I am a damn Yankee)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A to Z - Eye on Texas: Y

 Eye on Texas - Y - had four choices - Yancey, Yantis, Yoakum, or Yorktown Texas. With a population of 5,000, Yoakum TX is our featured city guest. The town has no connection to country singer Dwight Yoakum -   that was my initial assumption.
 Yoakum is south of Austin, east of San Antonio, and southwest of Houston.  The cattle industry, leather factories, tomato growing, and shipping has kept the town thriving since 1889. Visit the Yoakum Heritage Museum to learn more.
 The first weekend of June you can find everyone at the annual Tom Tom Festival honoring the tomato growing excitement in the region.  It was started in 1928. I wonder if there's a rotten tomato throwing contest?
Thanks to Wikipedia for old-timey pictures and information.

Oh the Dowager from Downton Abbey - what would she make of the Tom Tom Festival ?
"Principles are like prayers. Noble of course. But awkward at a party."

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A to Z Challenge - Eye on Texas: X

 Eye on Texas - X.  Well I did not come up with any places in Texas beginning with the letter X. Have no fear - at this point in the A to Z challenge - anything is possible. Let's explore TEX-MEX food.  Two Xes - c'mon this is beyond awesome
 chicken enchiladas - oh my.  When Ray and I first met and he made me his own batch of chicken enchiladas, I swooned and vowed to marry this man who could cook. I am a lucky woman.
 Tacos - yummy
 Fajitas...........oh the sizzle
Nachos - throw on some chicken fajita meat and you've got a great meal.

Don't count calories. Just have Ray blend his Patron Margarita. Slurp a smooth tequila beverage and engage your taste buds in a spicy salsa orgy.

So - have I covered the letter X ?   with queso?

Monday, April 27, 2015

A to Z - Eye on Texas: W

 Eye on Texas W visits Waxahachie, the county seat of Ellis County.  My favorite story of this town is when I worked with a fellow who's wife was from the UK. She had a delightful accent. Somewhere in a gathering, someone asked her where she was from. With a total straight face, she said with her clear as a bell proper English accent, "Waxahachie".  Trust me, this was priceless.
 The county courthouse is a wonder to be hold. This is how Texas courthouses should look and they are the center of the town square. Waxahachie is filled with gingerbread gems and was founded in 1850.
 Quaint shops mix with industry. This is a city of twenty thousand plus people.

In the mid-1980s Waxahachie became popular with the movie industry. (all from Wikipedia)
The majority of Tender Mercies, a 1983 film about a country western singer, was filmed in Waxahachie. Director Bruce Beresford deliberately avoided the city's picturesque elements and Victorian architecture, and instead filmed more rural locations that more closely resembled the West Texas area. The Texas town portrayed in Tender Mercies is never specifically identified.[25] Mercies starred Robert Duvall, who won the 1983 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the film.
The 1983 film Places in the Heart starring Sally Field was also filmed in Waxahachie. Unlike Mercies, it was filmed deliberately in the town square and utilized the Victorian and plantation homes still intact in the area. Field won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1984 for her role in the film.
The 1985 film The Trip to Bountiful starring Geraldine Page was also filmed in Waxahachie. Page won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1985 for her role in Bountiful.
And every spring, you can step back in time to enjoy the Scarborough Renaissance Fair

And Lady Violet from Downton - "It always happens when you give these little people power, it goes to their head like strong drink".

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A to Z - Eye on Texas: V

 Eye on Texas - V visits Valentine Texas.  It was founded in 1882 on February 14th by a railroad construction crew. It's one of several towns named Valentine whereby the US Post service cancels cards on that date.
The old TV show Cahill, US Marshall was set in Valentine.
 Cactus abounds amidst the 187 residents. I bet there are a few scorpions and tarantulas in this desert environment.
 Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia - the best friend for blogging A to Z.
Happy Valentine's Day!

From Downton Abbey's Countess - "There can be too much truth in any relationship"

Friday, April 24, 2015

A to Z - Eye on Texas: U

 Eye on Texas seeks Utopia....Texas - it's a census designated town with approximately 200 people. It was originally called Waresville. Then the citizens found that the name Montana was taken, so they chose Utopia. Tucked in the Hill Country west of San Antonio,  it basks in the Sabinal river and scenic views.

 Enjoy Lost Maples nature area. Cypress and Pecan trees abound. Bed and Breakfasts offer a romantic getaway.
"Seven Days in Utopia" was filmed here and you can play a round of golf at the Utopia Golf Course.

Utopia is Texas Hill Country Paradise

And let's hear from the Countess - "My dear, we country dwellers must beware of being provincial. Try and let your time in London rub off on you a little more. "

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A to Z - Eye on Texas: T

Eye on Texas T heads up into the Texas Panhandle to visit Turkey Texas
 As the home of Bob Wills (1905-1975), you better like Western Swing music if you live here. In 1950 he had two top 10 hits - "Ida Red Likes the Boogie" and "Faded Love". Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, with Bob on the fiddle, toured regular and gained popularity in the 1940s and 50s. He was inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1968.
 Approximately four hundred people enjoy the semi-arid climate of Turkey Texas.
 From Wikipedia, an ESPN 2007 broadcast said there were only three towns named Turkey in the USA.
In November 2011, animal rights group PETA petitioned the town to rename itself to "Tofurkey".

Really?  NO.  Gobble, Gobble

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A to Z - Eye on Texas: S

 Eye on Texas visits three S Texas spots - Spur, San Saba, and Salado.
 First Spur, Texas - I chose the town just cuz..........I mean c'mon Spur. How western can we get?
The screenwriter for Urban Cowboy, Aaron Latham, was from Spur. And that movie spawned the whole western craze - mechanical bull riding, beer drinking, and Bud and Sissy forever line dancing. Admit it, you secretly liked this movie. I know I did  - Hard Hat Days and Honky Tonk Nights. I even bought cowboy boots because of this movie. Hee Haw!
In 2009, Spur dedicated a giant spur sculpture by John Grusendorf  in honor of its centennial.

 Let's cruise down I35 to Salado, Texas - an artsy town for a bed & breakfast weekend and outlet and cutesy shopping.
The Stagecoach Inn is the oldest continuously running hotel in Texas. It's on the National Historic Register.

 Finally, let's visit San Saba, Texas because I am the movie critic for The Little Paper of San Saba.
Yes, I have a hook-up for said title - Ray's aunt lives in San Saba. I am not paid, but I send her movie reviews, book reviews, travel articles, etc and she's very happy for the "filler". I am a poor writer, but I am published!
 A few from her patio. It's a rough rugged country. I wear my snow boots as snake boots.........yikes

In the spring, there's a limited window for the cacti to bloom, but it's fantastic.

S is for snakes and sales and spurs - the variety in Texas is Staggering

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A to Z - Eye on Texas: R

Eye on Texas salutes the letter R and let's pretend it's just Rayville for my husband. But no - Raymondville is considered the Gateway to the Rio Grande Valley with a population of 10,000.
 Agriculture is huge in this subtropical climate.
 There is always a chance for a hurricane to blow through
 Raymondville was organized in the early 1900s, so the buildings are not too old
It's a quaint community only fifty miles from Padre Island - white beaches and the warm Gulf of Mexico. It's proximity to Mexico allows for a decent trade economy.  My guess is it's darn important to Hablas Espanol in Raymondville and own some swimsuits for your weekends at the beach. No snow shovels required.  I have no doubt my blog friends from the Northeast might be perking up their ears and eyes on this town.

Oh dear - the Countess from Downton Abbey has a comment - "What is a weekend?"

Monday, April 20, 2015

A to Z - Eye on Texas: Q

 Eye on Texas Q - heads to the Texas/Oklahoma border to visit Quanah, TX. It is a city formed in 1884 as a stop on a railway and named for the last Comanche chief - Quanah Parker.

Based on Wikipedia, Quanah looks like it has a small town feel. Copper Breaks State Park is south of the city. There's also a small railroad museum.

Let's have a quote from the Downton Abbey -
Cora: "I might send her over to visit my aunt. She could get to know New York"
Countess: "Oh, I don't think things are quite that desperate."

Send her to Quanah, Texas - that could shake things up.    

Happy Q Day