Written by Texas Highways
I am not sure when I first fell in love with rambling through historic cemeteries. I know it was one of my mother’s favorite diversions on any road trip or vacation. Sighting even the tiniest plot, she’d insist Dad pull over—sometimes more quickly than he’d have liked. Following mom’s lead, we’d pile out to discover whatever glimpse into the past the tottering headstones allowed.
Find air-conditioned inspiration this August in the Fort Worth Cultural District, home of six world-class museums. Among the highlights, the Kimbell Art Museum presents Botticelli to Braque: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland, on display through September 20, 2015. The exhibition spans 400 years of art history with 55 masterwork paintings from Scotland’s best museums. It’s a breathtaking journey across a variety of artists, periods, and styles, from the Renaissance to the modern age.
In Wichita Falls, the Texas Ranch Roundup pits real-life ranches against one another in contests that test the day-to-day skills of working on a cattle operation. Ten ranches from across the state compete in the showdown, which is in its 35th year and takes place August 14-15, 2015 at the Multi-Purpose Event Center. The rodeo events include ranch bronc riding, calf doctoring, team branding, and wild cow milking. There’s also a chuck-wagon cooking contest, horsemanship competitions, and a trade show featuring bits, spurs, and Western collectibles.
Often referred to as “the dean of (early) Texas artists,” Frank Reaugh (1860-1945) devoted his career to painting and drawing the southwestern frontier’s landscapes, wild Longhorns, and trail drives. The Harry Ransom Center at UT-Austin explores the work and influence of Reaugh with more than 100 pieces—mostly pastel drawings and watercolor paintings—in the exhibition Frank Reaugh: Landscapes of Texas and the American West. Based in Oak Cliff, Reaugh made regular trips west, and in the process developed artistic tools such as a folding lap easel and compact carrying case for pastels. August 4-November 29, 2015.
Celebrate the magic and nostalgia of cinema at El Paso’s Plaza Classic Film Festival, which screens an array of films in the beautifully restored 1930 Plaza Theatre. Taking place August 5-16, 2015, the festival will showcase 90 feature films, about 60 percent of them from before 1970, including hits like Gone With the Wind and Midnight Cowboy. Put on by the El Paso Community Foundation, the festival will also screen short films by local moviemakers in the Foundation Room, as well as screenings of contemporary documentaries, children’s films, and foreign films. There will be outdoor movies downtown and a screening of The Natural at Southwest University Park, home of the El Paso Chihuahuas.
I am enchanted by night sounds. I am aware of ambient noise always, but in my day-to-day life the buzz and hum of air vents and traffic is seldom remarkable enough to draw my attention.
"Welcome to Lindale,” announces the vinyl billboard with a picture of a platinum blonde holding a guitar. “Hometown of Miranda Lambert.”
If your kids are like mine, they’re fascinated by trains. Perhaps it’s the powerful sound of the horn at crossings, the rumble of locomotives chugging alongside the highway, or the magic of an unusual sight found mostly in cartoons, movies, and storybooks.
The infectious opening song of TEXAS—a bouncy Broadway-style tune sprinkled with Texas swagger—sticks in your head long after the outdoor musical ends.
In Uvalde, the Briscoe-Garner Museum will hold an open house on July Fourth featuring its new permanent exhibit, Dolph Briscoe: Texan. Set in the former home of John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner, the museum chronicles the lives and careers of two of Texas’ most influential politicians, both from Uvalde. Briscoe was governor from 1973 to 1979; Garner was speaker of the U.S. House from 1931-1933 and vice president in the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. The museum reopened in late 2013 after a renovation, and in April opened the second floor, which houses the Briscoe exhibit and artifacts such as campaign memorabilia and his U.S. Army uniform.