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Written by Texas Highways

In downtown Dallas' historic West End district, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza chronicles the life and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. (Photo by Will van Overbeek)

I was sitting at the lunch counter of Coots’ Drugstore, at the corner of Marsh Lane and Walnut Hill Road in Dallas. We had been let out of school that Friday so that we could follow President John F. Kennedy as he and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy landed at Love Field and then rode in a motorcade through downtown. But the excitement turned to anguish and confusion as news came over the radio that the president had been shot and killed.

In the November issue, writer Melissa Gaskill takes readers to Lost Maples State Natural Area, a state park in Vanderpool that is famous for its beautiful fall foliage. Senior Editor Loir Moffatt visits here with park interpreter Richard Treece and park superintendent Shawn Greene about fall color, how to avoid the crowds (visit during the week if possible), and the capricious weather-whims of Mother Nature.

Illustration by Michael Witte

In the November issue of Texas Highways, Babs Rodriguez remembers awkward childhood visits to Grandmother. Here’s the full story.


In the November issue of Texas Highways, writer Helen Bryant takes readers to the Famous! Kings Inn in Riviera, whose recipe for tartar-sauce remains a closely guarded secret. We can’t claim to have the official recipe, but these—adapted from versions we found online—comes pretty close. The first one makes enough for Coxey’s army; adapt and adjust as you (and your hungry crowd) wish.

  • 1 quart mayonnaise
  • 1 quart Miracle Whip
  • 10 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled
  • saltine crackers (3 tubes or 3/4 box)
  • 5 stalks celery
  • jalapeño pepper, seeded (to taste)
  • 2 1/2 ounces Worcestershire sauce
  • salt (to taste)
  • 2 small bell peppers, seeded
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar pimientos
  • 1 (2 ounce) can anchovy fillets
  • 1 large onion
  • fresh garlic (to taste)

Finely chop celery, jalapeños, bell peppers, anchovies, garlic, and onion. Add salt and Worcestershire sauce. Mash the hard-boiled eggs together with the crackers, then mix all ingredients together with the mayonnaise and Miracle Whip.


Here’s a recipe that has been adapted for home use. Note that this one doesn’t contain anchovies.

  • 1.5 cups salad dressing (Miracle Whip)
  • .5 cup mayonnaise
  • Jalapeño peppers to taste
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 10 saltine crackers, crushed
  • 2 ounces bell pepper, shredded
  • 2 stalks celery, shredded
  • 2 ounces garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine ingredients and serve!

Martha Whitten, owner of Alamo Pecan & Coffee Company, shows off a basket of creamy pralines. (Photo by Will van Overbeek)

As a child, I looked forward to my mother’s homemade pecan pralines every Christmas. The sugary, nut-studded treats practically defined the holiday.

The grounds of the Texas State Cemetery are open from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. 365 days a year. (Photos by Will Van Overbeek)

When Austin traffic slows to a crawl on Interstate 35, as it often does, travelers can safely catch glimpses of the Capitol and other historic landmarks. But if you really want to slow down and commune with the state’s dramatic past, take a detour off the highway onto East Seventh Street and drive six blocks east to the Texas State Cemetery. There, resting peacefully on 18 acres of landscaped hills, lie the earthly remains of thousands of the movers and shakers of the Lone Star State.

Medical artifacts from the late 1800s are on display in the Historic Site’s restored Post Surgeon’s Office. (Photo by E. Dan Klepper)

Imagine you’re a young soldier in the late 1800s, assigned to Fort Davis, a military post located in far West Texas. With a life expectancy of only 48 years (33 if you’re African American), you’ve got little spare time to ponder the inevitable. Besides, you’re too busy tending to the basics of military life—practicing drills, hauling water, taking care of the cavalry horses and other livestock, cutting wood for heat, escorting citizens across the Big Bend country, or fending off attacks by unfriendly Comanches. With little time left for anything else (except maybe an occasional binge at the local tavern), you’re definitely not sweating the small stuff. But however arduous and uncertain your life may be, it’s the small stuff that constitutes your greatest danger in the form of invisible germs, present everywhere in your unsanitary surroundings.

Ten Bits Ranch is in the Chihuahuan Desert, not far from Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. (Photo © Beatriz Terrazas)

As you approach Ten Bits Ranch Bed and Breakfast on a dusty road that bumps and swerves through slanted hills and cliffs, the beaten path tapers away and it becomes apparent that you’re venturing into the remote badlands of the Chihuahuan Desert. Most signs of human development have already receded from the roadside as Texas 118 zips down from the relative metropolis of Alpine, leading to the Ten Bits turnoff.

(Photo by Michael Amador)

 It will be dusk or already dark as you enter through the gates at Screams Halloween Theme Park in Waxahachie, flames shooting skyward from the parapet of the haunted castle, fog rolling down the hill. You’ll walk past a cemetery, where mysterious dark figures lumber in the shadows. Immersed in Halloween for the evening—not just the 15 minutes or so that a standard haunted house might offer—you’re in for a frightful night. Lurking within are dozens of costumed actors, trained in the art of surprising their targets. After all, gory prosthetic wounds and menacing chainsaw props can only go so far: Getting scared is all about being startled.

(Photo by Will Van Overbeek)

The first day of autumn officially falls in September each year, but to me, the final days of October really herald the changing season. With the sun’s rays striking the earth at a shallower angle, the light softens and dapples the landscape with a honeyed glow. And for some reason, I think of new beginnings, friends and family members who have passed on, and the mysterious quickening of time.

Native to southern Africa and well-adapted to arid regions in the United States and Mexico, gemsbok make excellent photo subjects. They’re most active at dawn and dusk. (Photo by Vincent McDonald)

From her vantage point hundreds of feet above a grassy plain bisected by a meandering stream, Beth Yoes of Beaumont aimed her digital camera at the sweeping vista, clicked the shutter, and captured the breathtaking scene.

(Photo © Hogaboom Raod, Inc.)

While most associate Texas with the Wild West rather than the Deep South, there are towns in the Lone Star State that exude Southern charm and hospitality. To capture the genteel spirit of the South, I headed to Jefferson in the far reaches of Northeast Texas.

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