I came to Dallas in 1969. From then, until Covid-19, hubby and I traveled a lot. We traveled to countries near and far, throughout the U.S. and much of Texas. We have not seen all of Texas, it is big, you know, but we have seen a lot; large, medium and small cities and towns and parts that are still rural and undeveloped, although for how much longer I can’t say.
Recently, looking at photos taken during those travelin’ days, I was reminded of the impact that those places had on me. How extraordinary the most ordinary things can seem if looked at in a different way.
With that in mind, I invite you to join me as I mosey down the highways and (mostly) byways of Texas, a big state with similarities throughout and great differences east to west and north to south. The stops along the way are in no particular order but they are real places and can be found on any Texas map.
Along many country roads there are buildings, still standing, which make a statement, sometimes hard to miss, sometimes easy to dismiss. They arouse my sense of curiosity and make me want to stop and ponder – who, when, why?
You have to slow down (literally) when small towns are along your route or your destination. Main Street, where businesses once thrived still have “Antique” stores containing all those reminders of bygone days.
The local café was always a place to stop, stretch and grab a bite. Some had quite a reputation.
As I walked the streets of these small cities and towns I found myself hoping that the attempts at gentrifying and repurposing the neglected or vacant buildings would be successful. The parts of town that are not front and center often have “character” which is a way of saying they were once important and in some cases still are although they could use a good dose of TLC. Then there’s the question, “If you build it, will they come?”
Texans are generally gregarious and like to gather at auctions, on front porches and county fairs. Small towns are famous for all of those.
We went to Marfa, in West Texas, many years ago. Marfa gained notoriety when the Chinati Foundation was established; Donald Judd’s sculptures are displayed inside and outside on the many acres around the building. It became a mecca for tourists and gave a decided “bump” to the town where Judd lived.
There are more places on my Texas Rambles list, too many for one blog. When travel once again becomes a reality (I hope), remind yourself that the ordinary can become the extraordinary if you stop and look, really look.
As one of my favorite country singers says, “I can’t wait to get on the road again.”