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Thursday April 30 — Texas Justice, Pacific War, & a Comfy Bed

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Our welcome to Uncorked’s Bed and Breakfast

We didn’t have much driving to do today, but we still managed to use up the time we had.

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Thursday morning we met with Texas Justice, or more accurately the Justice of the Peace in Llano County (the name is pronounced ‘lah-no’). Normally, we get hauled into court, but this time we went of our own volition to meet with Brian Alexander. Brian’s been interested in jeeps since he was a kid working at his uncle’s camp, a long stone’s throw from downtown Llano. He remembered the camp owning an early column shift CJ-2A, but then they switched over to floor-shift models.

Eventually Brian moved to Odessa, where he enjoyed a career in law enforcement, before moving back to Llano and winning election and re-elections as Justice of the Peace. Along the way Brian, always a military buff, got involved in reenactments and WWII history. For years Brian was interested in owning a jeep, but the stars didn’t align until a 1951 CJ-3A fell into his lap. It needed some work, so he’s been rebuilding it. The project is nearly done. When finished, he plans on selling it and getting what he’d really like, an MB or GPW (well, and a M-38, and a M-38a1 — why just have one, right?). Brian seems to have a good knack for details, so I suspect that once he buys an MB or GPW, he’ll end up restoring it, because not having the correct steering wheel or some other detail will gnaw on him until he does have it right (Brian, that’s my prediction 🙂 ).

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We had a real nice time talking with Brian about jeeps and about his interests beyond four-wheel-drive, so we thank him for his time. Also, Ann and I need to apologize to the people of Llano County for bringing the wheels of justice to a halt at least for a couple hours Thursday morning.

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Downtown square in Llano

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Another shot of the square.

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The deer sign represents the fact that Llano County is the deer hunting capital of Texas,

After spending a little time exploring the city of Llano and it’s town square, we drove out to see Enchanted Rock State Park. The Texas Hill Country is a beautiful series of rolling hills and meandering roads. This time of year (or maybe they were grown just for us??) perennial rainbows of violet, red, orange and yellow flowers (I know that isn’t the full spectrum of ROYGBIV, but I’m a writer, not a physicist, dammit), filled the road sides making the drive exceptionally beautiful.

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Perhaps that what makes enchanted rock so alluring is that it boldly and abruptly interrupts the terrain. Though not the size of Ayers Rock, the Enchanted Rock’s dome is reminiscent of Ayers shape and its disconnected existence among the surrounding landscape. It was a pretty neat place. I wished we could have spent some time climbing it, but since we can’t hike, we didn’t want to pay $14 to stay for ten minutes. So, we stopped, shot, and drove.

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Enchanted Rock(s) behind us.

Our next stop was Fredericksburg. The town has a long German history with german road names dotting the area. Based on our tour of downtown, the area is a popular tourist destination, a role the city has embraced. One of the biggest draws in town is the National Museum of the Pacific War. It is actually a there museum complex and tickets are good for 48 hours, so you can explore each location with leisure. I would say the center piece of the museum is the George Bush Gallery. That’s where the bulk of the Pacific War story is told.

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This outdoor sculpture was creative with the ‘waves’ and the ship parts.

Our overall impression of the museum was positive. However, I think the museum’s narrative falls into the trap that makes the telling of the Pacific War so difficult. After the some rich history on the evolving situation in Asia prior to the war and the subsequent Pearl Harbor attack, the narrative shifted to the individual battles for islands. It wasn’t until halfway through the museum that the core of the Allied strategy was introduced (plan Orange), a strategy that had been developed decades earlier. I feel that explaining that strategy early on would better contextualize the island battles, and especially help people understand the decisions on how the allies chose to attack and not attack certain islands. The best book that I’ve read (and I’m sure there are others) is Pacific War Strategy. It really helped me understand the hows and whys of the Pacific War.

One positive thing about the museum was a special exhibit on the jeep. However, it wasn’t an accurate jeep:

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The jeep exhibit.

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You can see right away there are no combat rims. No specific year nor manufacturer was listed for the jeep.

But, apart from that issue, and the fact that the only jeep on exhibit wasn’t correct, the museum is still worth a tour. It’s got some great audio-visual examples of how battles unfolded.

We ended the evening at a beautiful old building housing a Bed & Breakfast on the southern outskirts of Fredericksburg. The large room is really cute and the five gallon mobil reading lights make the room for us. We have a nice big king bed that’s a step above the beds we usually encounter in motel rooms. So, Ann and I have to thank James for making our stay here possible.

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The outside of Uncorked’s bed and breakfast. It’s a great old building.

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Our very cozy and quiet bedroom.

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The funky bathroom is cool, too.

Tomorrow we will tour some wineries. We also have one more museum building to see. Other than that, we really have to start planning the next leg of our Texas adventure.

 

6 Comments on “Thursday April 30 — Texas Justice, Pacific War, & a Comfy Bed

  1. Idaho Todd

    Your friend Brian seems like a nice guy. Justice of the peace, huh? Good to have friends in high places, you know, in case Ann causes some trouble…I like the town square, too. So now I know you’re a writer…damnit. $14 bucks to hike? I love this country. The Pacific war museum sounds cool, bummer about the jeep. The oil can lights are great and I like that tin sink in your room. Where the heck did you eat…

  2. Worn "Rusty" Hubbs

    Argueability the best bar-B-que you will ever have is in Fredricksburg Tx. just outside of town, everyone knows where it is, Happy Trails, Worn “Rusty” Hubbs

  3. Minnesota Chris

    I’ve never stayed at a bed and breakfast before. Your travels make me want to explore those a little more. And, I’ve been craving bbq now.

  4. Brian

    Hey Dave, just wanted to say again, I really enjoyed the visit with you and Ann. Glad the trip has been going good and hope the rest of it goes as well. By the way, I do have a 42 GPW.

  5. Mom

    The court house in Llano looked just like something in an old 1940’s Hollywood musical. Loved the architecture. The B & B was certainly unique. The owners must have had a lot of fun putting that together.

  6. Hollis Wooldridge

    Great story! My mom’s family was one of the founding families of Fredericksburg, Texas in the 1850’s – it’s a great old town and has really grown during the last 30 years as a tourist destination.

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