The motel that I'd picked to stay at in Houston advertised free breakfast. Their idea of a free breakfast consisted of coffee and prepackaged pastries.
Since I don't drink coffee, I had to settle for the breakfast of all cross country scooter people!
In getting directions to my son's house last night, he'd told me to turn left on Beltway 8. I said, hey, the Beltway is a toll road and I don't want to ride that. No, just ride the frontage road till you get to my street.
In leaving Houston, I thought I'd just ride the frontage road of the Beltway till I got to Hwy 59, then turn north.
Having lived in Houston way back in the Dark Ages of the 1970's, I still recognized a lot of the street names. Before I got to the Beltway, I recognized the name, Aldine Bender. I knew that Aldine Bender would take me across north Houston to Hwy 59. I figured that riding a local "back" road would be better than riding the Beltway frontage road. Time passes much too quickly. Instead of the quiet, quaint two lane back road that I remember, I rode a 7 lane road/highway across north Houston. Same name but not what I remember.
When I got to what I remember as Highway 59, I turned north towards the piney woods of east Texas. I wasn't till later, when a sign said that I-69 ended and the highway moved me over to what a mile previous had been the frontage road, that I realized that I had actually been on I-69. I had been seeing signs for the "future I-69 corridor" ever since leaving McAllen, Texas. Somebody told me that the future I-69 will someday run from McAllen, Texas to, I think, Chicago.
Before leaving Houston, I had e-mailed a cousin-in-law who lives in Lufkin as I thought that my ride today would take me up to Lufkin and right past her house. I'd hate for her to find out later that I ridden right past her house and hadn't even stopped in to, at least, say hi. As I approached Livingston, Texas, I found out that I'd made a mistake. I was turning right onto Hwy 190 in Livingston, not Lufkin. Hey, if you've seen one L word, you've pretty much seen them all!
Oops, what do I do now? Just out side of Livingston, I pulled over to check my e-mail on the smartphone that I'm way to dumb to have. I figured that if she'd responded to my e-mail, I'd turn around and head to Lufkin. Thankfully, no response. I later found out that she only checks her e-mail once a week. Whew, made it!
Back there, Livingston, Texas.
Up there, my future.......and Ferriday, Louisiana!
But in Woodville, Texas, I discovered the........
Being the history geek that I am, how could I pass up the chance to walk through a bit of east Texas history.
The place was started by a guy whose name I've forgotten. He started by moving in several old building and building others from their original blueprints. He also started collecting the antiques that he used to make the building authentic. In one of the buildings, the Tolar Kitchen, a nice lady gave me a personal tour. She also told me that the church that you can see at the end of the street is original. It was disassembled, moved and reconstructed. When they put it back together, they had to make it 4' narrower and 4' shorter so it would fit the sight.
All along the street are blacksmith shops, merchantile stores, dentist and doctors offices but my favorite was the barber shop.
My mother was a barber for 40 years so I had to take a picture of this place. Note the spittoon. Since mom's barber shop was always in our house, we never had a spittoon. In the back room, there was a copper bathtub. Remember all those old westerns where the sign on the front of the barber shop advertised for haircuts and baths? Well, this was the place.
In another building I saw some pictures on the wall....
Doctor Pope. If you've got really good eyes, you can read in the next picture that Doctor Pope was the only doctor in a little east Texas town when Howard Hughes's mother, very much pregnant at the time, rode into town. It was Doctor Pope, so the paper claims, who really delivered the future billionaire. The next day, the Hughes's rode into Houston and history has recorded that Howard Hughes was born in Houston. You be the judge as to the real "rest of the story".
I've heard it said that you're never too learn. In my case, I've always wondered about that but, at the Heritage Village Museum, I actually learned something that I did not know.
We've all heard the term "Basket Case". I never knew where that term came from. Apparently, in the Civil War, the guys who cleaned up the battlefields after the battles would use wicker baskets to carry the wounded, who couldn't get themselves to an aid station, off the battlefield. If they picked you up, you were referred to as a "basket case".
If you died as they carried you to the aid station/hospital, they'd dump you out and go back for somebody who was still alive. In some Civil War battles, the dead and wounded numbered in the 10's of thousands. This job would take days, if not weeks, to do. It's impossible to imagine what a battlefield would smell like after a week.
Here's a basket case.....
After the barbershop, my next favorite building was the school house. After writing on the blackboard, the teacher made me sit in the corner for an hour wearing the dunce cap that you see on the desk.
One last picture from the Heritage Museum.......
The Heritage Museum is a great place to visit, even if you're not a history buff like me. I highly recommend it.....but buy your postcards somewhere else, they're very high priced here!
One last picture in this ride report. Does anybody watch American Idol? I don't, so I didn't know who Kree is, or was. There were shirts for sale at the museum with her picture on them. Then, as I rode out of Woodville, Texas, I saw this sign. I later found out that she's a local girl. I think, as of a few days ago, she was still on the show. For the sake of all the good folks of Woodville, Texas, I hope she does well. Since I'll never know otherwise, maybe somebody who actually watches the show can let me know how she's doing.....or did.
Leaving Woodville.....never to be heard from again. Gosh, I hope that's not right.
Up ahead.....Ferriday, Louisiana......hometown of Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley and the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart......in the continuing saga of America.....by Helix!