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Monday, June 30, 2014

Family Weddings....


As we wrap up June (can you believe it's almost over?)
here's to two more wedding anniversaries during the month of June:

My Mother and Father
(60 years this year)

I love this picture...

and
My Son and Daughter-in-law.
(celebrating 5 years this year)

I love this picture too!

If this is your wedding month, congrats to you as well!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

June...2014

June is our anniversary month...
and this year marks our 30th year together.

These flowers were to celebrate the occasion.










A lot of water has gone under the bridge...both high tides and low tides.
But that's what it's all about, right?
Happy Anniversary, Honey!


Isn't it amazing how fast time really goes by?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Terror on Highway 59

This is a post in a series. To start at the beginning, click here.

On our way to visit Lake Livingston in Texas, we pass through several small towns.
One of them is Coldspring, Texas - the county seat of San Jacinto County.
It's a quiet little town, with quaint buildings, a little shopping district, and of course,
a courthouse.

Now, I have a friend who's father lives there 
and I've actually visited once myself.
 So this little town wasn't completely unknown to me but to my husband, it was a new site.
As we drove around a bit, we saw a sign that pointed to the 
historic "Old Town" and historic jail.
Sold...we love visiting historic sites.
We toured the jail and saw life as it was then...
the docent of the jail was quite interesting.
She had her facts down and enjoyed showing us the memorabilia from days long ago.
There were docket books, clothing, pictures...and one special cabinet 
which held photographs of previous members 
of the San Jacinto County Sheriff's Department.
She casually motioned to an adjoining cabinet which housed a stack of cookbooks
but more importantly the grouping of books detailing the arrest of notorious
Texas sheriff: 
J.C. "Humpy" Parker.
What? A sheriff arrested by the FBI?
In this little town?
Really?
So as we were leaving, I purchased a copy of his story and read, and read, 
and read.


I'm not sure what intrigued me most:
the fact I live right off of this highway
or
the fact that a small Texas town (so close to me) has such an interesting past.

As I read, I was both shocked and amazed that this happened in the late 70's!

from the dust-jacket...

"The story that put a crooked Texas sheriff in jail.
An assistant United States attorney called it "highway robbery." An american civil Liberties Union lawyer called it "a monstrosity of justice." A young sheriff's deputy said it was "scary what we did."

They were referring to an extraordinary arrest trap set up by the San Jacinto County sheriff's department along US Highway 59, just seventy miles north of Houston. Young motorists traveling along the four-lane highway were systematically terrorized over a five-year period by deputies who stopped cars without cause and conducted brutal searches for marijuana. In 1980, for example, this tiny, five-deputy sheriff's department chalked up as many drug arrest as Houston's seven-hundred-deputy department.

The sheriff and his deputies flagrantly ignored the law, and the victims of their arrest trap often were subjected to humiliating strip searches on the side of the road. Some were tortured in a sadistic, medieval fashion, with handcuffs, water, and towels."

The book is a well written and a quick read...filled with actual accounts of witnesses, victims, and legalities.

Mr. Sellers, the author, was a reporter who received numerous awards for investigation and news reporting.

If you're curious about small town corruptness, this is a must read!

And...
as far as I know...
Coldspring is back to being a quiet, good-old-boy type of small town.
Drop by if you're ever in the area...
and you too can see where history was indeed made.
Just be sure to drive the speed limits!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The "Good" Old Days...The Jail


Now let me say that I am the scaredist scaredy-cat you ever met.
I don't like to be scared and I won't scare others.
It's just not my thing.
No scary movies or stories...
Nope...not for me.
So don't worry, this post really isn't scary.
It's just that being in an old jail is kinda creepy.
But it was daylight
and there was a docent
and my husband
and a few other people.

Ok...here we go...
Let me begin by saying that the building itself was pretty.
Bricks are always attractive, aren't they?


Now the bars on the window were a giveaway that this historic site was indeed a jail.
It was built in 1886 - opened in 1887.


The ground floor was the booking area and living quarters for the sheriff.



improvised kitchen

The second floor were the cells.


It was interesting seeing the actual places where criminals were held.
We could enter the cells, but the docent asked us not to close the doors, just in case the old hinges would get stuck.
No problem.

This next photo is an interesting shot...
see the taped off section?


Yep...trap door.
Above this section was a metal circle to hold the rope for a hanging.

And even though there was documentation on the actual rope...


...it wasn't actually used. 
In fact, no hangings were ever held at this site.

But going up the stairs, the trap door was clearly evident.


We had to watch our step on the way down... the steps were narrow and steep
(and well worn.)


Whew...we made it...that's it!
The "Good" old days "Old Jail".




Up next...the "Terror on Highway 59."
(right around the corner from this site- yikes!!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The "Good" Old Days - Buildings

This post is part of a series. Original post here.

As promised...
this post is all about the buildings brought in to the historic "Old Town"
 to reconstruct the original town-site.

There was a Corn Crib.
From my research these were used to store corn, which was a staple for the economy.
The logs were left without chinking (filling between the logs) so that the corn would stay dry.




The Two Room School House


The Post Office


The Railroad Station


Seeing these old structures was a trip back in time.
Thoughts of events were going through my head
as in:
Wouldn't this be a neat place to sell your wares?
or
Wouldn't this be a neat place to have a gathering?

But...strangely all the buildings were locked, in fact padlocked.
We peered inside the old crusty window panes and could see pieces of the past
but one could tell there had been no activity.
No visitors,
no parties.

We had one last building to see,
an old general store.
There was a woman selling her wares.


Inside the structure was filled with her treasures...all of course, for sale.


The picture above is from the original Magnolia store that couldn't be salvaged.
It served as the model for this reconstruction.

Now my thoughts went back to this little dealer.
How did she make ends meet?
The old real estate adage of "location, location, location"
didn't fit this place at all.

strange.

She was nice though and knowledgeable about the area.
She asked if we had driven down to the end of the road...
had we seen:
the old bank vault?


or the old oak tree?


Yep...a historical site. See here.

YIKES!!!

Back to my thought of a gathering of friends?
No thanks!

Now if you're still reading and still curious, the jail tour is next.
It's not scary, just a little creepy.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The "Good" Old Days...

This past weekend, we happened upon a hidden "Old Town"
approximately 30 or so miles from our home.
This site was the original square, 
but after a fire burned most of the buildings, 
the "businesses" were relocated several blocks away.
What's left at this site?

the jail



That's it. 
But the historical society wanted to reconstruct the area,
so buildings were brought in from surrounding towns.

a post office
a general store
a corn crib
a railroad station
and 
a school

Being in education for many years, this two room school house caught my attention.


One side was for grades 1-4
the other side for grades 5-7.

And these rules were posted on their historic website:

 RULES FOR TEACHERS 1872
*  Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.
*  Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day's session.
*  Make your pens carefully.  You may whittle nibs to the individual tastes of the pupil.
*  Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
*  After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
*  Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
*  Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
*  Any teacher who smokes, used liquor in any forms, frequents pool or public halls or gets shaved in a barbershop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.
*  The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

really?

RULES FOR STUDENTS
Good students in early schools were expected to earn more than high marks.  There were many rules to follow and duties to perform.  The schoolmaster really was the 'master' of his pupils.  Children were told to obey the master of the school even if obedience meant having to stand still while being strapped.  Here are a some rules for students.
*  Respect your schoolmaster.  Obey him and accept his punishments.
*  Do not call your classmates names of fight with them.  Love and help each other.
*  Never make noises or disturb your neighbors as they work.
*  Be silent during classes.  Do not talk unless it is absolutely necessary.
*  Do not leave your seat without permission.
*  No more than one student at a time may go to the washroom.
*  At the end of the class, wash your hands and face.  Wash your feet if they are bare.
*  Bring firewood into the classroom for the stove whenever the teacher tells you to.
*  Go quietly in and out of the classroom.
*  If the master calls your name after class, straighten the benches and tables.  Sweep the room, dust and leaving everything tidy. 

hm...
times have sure changed!

Now, if I have spurred your curiosity for this little "Old Town", check back with me.
I took many interesting pictures of the different structures. 
And... there's more...
mystery
scandal
corruptness
and yes,
even
terror.
Stay tuned, the plot will thicken!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A little bit of this and that...

If you are still here reading,
welcome.
If you are still here reading,
you must be a bit eclectic...
like me.
You see, I can't seem to stay on one topic for too long -
I get bored.
So this blog has stayed true to itself.
It's
"a little bit of this and that."

Today it's all about hydrangeas.
I love them.
But...
I haven't had much luck with them in the past.
Until this season...
I've finally let God be in control.
duh...


I did nothing but plant it and water.

tada


amazing.

Photography...

I hope no one thinks that this post is going to be a tutorial on how to improve your photography skills, 
because....
it's not.

You see, I've been blogging for approx 4ish years
purely as a way to document a few things.
If anyone happens to follow along,
that's great...they are most certainly welcome.
However, 
this blog is not a money making machine,
nor a competitive type endevour,
simply me and my life.
So as I look over the hundreds of posts
the photography has indeed improved.
a little.
Through the billions of posts I've read over the years,
I have learned quite a bit from the "professional" bloggers.
And, in the name of 
"self improvement"
and 
because I'm so very v.i.s.u.a.l...
I wanted to "focus" (ha) on my
skills.

Here we go,
...always in progress...


Purple Cone Flowers

We have new little visitors.



They are flitting and flying about.


I don't really know how they are getting their food, 
the cones on these flowers are quite stiff and brittle.


However, they must be getting something they need
or these guys wouldn't be playing, "King of the Purple Cone flower!"


What special things are you seeing out and about?
Let me know, I'd love to hear about your world!

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