Written by Texas Highways
When empresario Green DeWitt was given approval from the Mexican government in 1825 to establish a 400-family colony in south Texas, there was no evidence to suggest that these new residents would become revolutionaries as well as pioneers. But it’s safe to say that the Mexicans would go on to regret their support of this expansionism.
I grew up in a Texas family that does country-western music. The lilt of a fiddle breakdown, the rhythm of a shuffle drum beat, the soulful wail of a steel guitar—these sounds seeped into my pores in the 1950s and ’60s, forevermore setting a button on my internal radio dial to “classic country.”
Now that my son August is on the cusp of turning five years old, he’s stumbled upon the concept of “infinity” to express a world that is becoming larger and more awe-inspiring by the day. “Can you count to infinity?” “The redwood trees—are they infinity big?”
The once-bustling river port of Jefferson has been saluted for many things: the state’s first gas streetlights, one of the state’s first breweries and, my personal favorite, an abundance of ghosts. The satisfyingly entertaining and quirky town is no been-there-done-that destination.
Back in 1973, times were simple on Acacia Lake Drive. Our family had just moved to Brownsville from Mexico City. I was a 10-year-old fisherman who, while in Mexico, used to practice casting with my Zebco rod and reel into the empty lot next door.
Visitors to the State Fair of Texas' website immediately notice the ticker on its home page counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the 129th opening day. But it’s not just a time-keeping feature, it’s also a handy device to separate Texans into two distinct groups—those of us who are Fair People, and those who are not.
The vastness of Texas is no secret, but many don’t realize that within its “hugeness” lies more than 360 miles of coast and an astonishing 3,300 miles of tidal shoreline.
San Benito celebrates the homegrown music of South Texas on October 23-25, 2015 with the 24th Annual Conjunto Festival. Put on by the Narcisco Martinez Cultural Arts Center, the festival ($5 per night) showcases 16 bands, including headliners David Farias on Friday, Boni Mauricio and Mingo Saldivar on Saturday, and Ruben Vela Jr. on Sunday. The center’s Plaza San Benito hosts the event, which features a bustling dance floor, as well as food and drink vendors. The late Narcisco Martinez, regarded as the father of conjunto, lived most of his life near San Benito.
Dwight D. Eisenhower spent only the first 18 months of his childhood in Texas, but Ike’s birthplace of Denison is proud to claim the nation’s 34th president as its own. Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site in Denison will celebrate Ike’s 125th birthday October 10, 2015 with a 5K run, free tours of the historic home where Ike was born, a birthday cake, and World War II military demonstrations. The site will also open a new exhibit about the Eisenhower family’s life in Denison and the community’s effort to acquire the birthplace home in 1946 and preserve it.
Just in time for football season, the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin dives into the eclectic history of professional pigskin with Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The exhibition’s 200-plus artifacts include such relics as Temple native “Slingin’ Sammy” Baugh’s leather helmet from his 1949 season with the Washington Redskins (at left); a game ball honoring Sealy native Eric Dickerson’s 1984 single-season rushing record; the modified shoe made to fit 1970s-era kicker Tom Dempsey’s toeless right foot; and one of Tom Landry’s signature fedoras. September 26, 2015–January 3, 2016.
As half of the stoner-comedy duo Cheech and Chong, Cheech Marin made his name lampooning bourgeois conventions. But Marin’s success as a comedian fueled his passion as a clear-eyed collector of Chicano art. In Corpus Christi, the Art Museum of South Texas will host Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Collection of Cheech Marin September 18, 2015-January 10, 2016. The exhibit includes 70 paintings—averaging 16 inches square or smaller in size—by 29 artists. The paintings range from photorealism to abstractions, portraits, and landscapes. Check the museum’s website for special events, including a September 23, 2015 reception with Marin.