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Tuesday May 12 — A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Jason Monday and I next to his M-677.

Our goal for Tuesday was to stay dry. It wasn’t easy to achieve, because it rained hard at times!

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As planned, we began the day with Tacos at Titas Taco House in Humble. Once again, they were awesome. This time I got to watch them make the corn tortillas. Their dough station sat just behind their serving station. They were pretty much rolling and cooking them as they served them. You can’t get any fresher than that!

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Front doors of the Texas Prison Museum.

With breakfast finished, we headed for the Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville. Apparently, Huntsville is the prison city and for more than a half century hosted the prison rodeo. It was a big hit for the city economically and people from all over came to watch. Even some stars arrived to participate. One of the more odd events was the Monday Grab. A bag of cash was strapped to the neck of a bull. The prisoner who could grab the money and hand it to an official won the money. We saw some video and it was a wild event! The rodeo ended in 1986.

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Inside the museum.

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Ann seemed to enjoy seeing me inside a cell.

The museum has some interesting items. The items tend to be organized by type, such as contraband weapons taken from prisoners or prisoner-made objects (games, toys, electrical outlets). There was a section on executions and another on Bonney and Clyde (that couple made a pretty big impression on Texas as we’ve seen their names mentioned at a variety of locations). Overall, the museum seemed more a collection of collections than a cohesive narrative on history of the prison system.

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Texas Prison Rodeo Memorabilia

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Prisonopoly. There are two copies of this game in existence. One is in the case at the museum and the other was allowed to be kept by the prisoner who made it.

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Chess made of soap pieces, a box made of match sticks, and a ship made of various items. There were some very clever, artistic items produced by prisoners over the years.

After we left the museum we spotted this very sad M-38A1 at a nearby Texas Veteran’s Museum amongst other military vehicles. It was raining, so we didn’t get any closer to it, but as you can see it’s a pretty poor example of a military jeep.

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By this time I was hungry, so we drove back to a place I saw in Huntsville called Mr. Hamburger. As I was going inside I took a moment to snap this photo:

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After ordering I’d planned to go back outside and snap a photo of the front of the store. My order was completed very quickly, but by the time I stepped back outside it was pouring! So, this is all you get:

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For the next hour it rained hard. I kept thinking about Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” and humming it as I drove down the highway with water splashing and crashing every which way. At one point I pulled off to let the rain subside. I mean, we weren’t in a hurry, so no reason to hydroplane our way to Nacogdoches.

When we finally started driving again we passed by the town of Trinity. As we drove through we spotted these three men hanging outside a feed store. I guess they were waiting for the rain to stop? The photo op just seemed right, so I did a u-turn and rolled down Ann’s window while she snapped a couple photos. Watching us yahoos from Washington State was probably the strangest thing those three saw all day.

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Back on the road, we decided to make a stop in Lufkin to visit the East Texas Forest Museum. If there’s one thing to know about East Texas, there’s a lot of pine trees, or as they called it, the East Texas Pineywoods.

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Nice entry point into the museum.

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Large room of equipment. All equipment and all photos were nicely captioned. It was very helpful and made the experience interesting.

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The museum claimed to have a “1953 Texas Forest Service Jeep with Fire Plow”, but in fact they seem to have an International Harvester truck.

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Another neat exhibit. You can see behind the “Timber Town” a Fairmont rail vehicle. Since Fairmont worked with jeeps it wouldn’t surprise me if the cab was designed by Kelly Cabs.

We found the museum informative, from the turpentine exhibit to the paper mill explanations. The museum is free, but they won’t mind a donation.

Last on our list was to drop by Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, and visit with Jason Monday. We arrived early, so we spent some time checking out downtown. Though the original courthouse is gone, the brick main square gives the area a great rustic feeling.

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Always nice to be welcomed.

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Ann and I both loved the old Coca Cola sign.

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Had it not been raining, we would have gotten a better photo. Still, this capture the flavor of the square with its brick.

After some time downtown, we drove over to Jason’s company, Monday Sign Shop. We found him and his wife hard at work, which didn’t surprise me. They seem to have no shortage of business. Still, he took time to show us some of his FC collection. Jason was very happy to report that he’s now got the space to store all his FCs inside. That’s a luxury most folks don’t have.

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After showing us around, he took us inside to demonstrate how he makes signs. The technology, capable of routing aluminum, making statutes, and more was fascinating. His printing capabilities, from printing car wraps to making custom printed t-shirts and much more was also impressive. It was really a treat to see how the signs we see every day are made or refurbished like Chevron, Chilis, McDonalds, and, in Texas, Whattaburger.

When the tour finished the four of us went out to dinner. Jason had hoped to take us to dinner in his tour jeep, but his accelerator cable broke again (like it did during our 2014 FC Round up adventure), so no tour jeep trip on Tuesday. Thats okay, because we still had a great time talking with the Mondays.

On Wednesday we head toward Dallas via Sulphur Springs, where we get to test out some see-through bathrooms.

 (Want to see more of the 2015 Texas Trip? View the posts from the beginning)

 

 

5 Comments on “Tuesday May 12 — A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

  1. Brett

    Goodtimes, thanks for sharing your adventures. That pic of the old men is classic, at the same time cracks me up.
    And a great Dylan tune.

  2. peter56

    Hi Dave great reporting as always. Just one question, how many FCs does Jason have?

  3. Joe in Mesa

    Glad to see you haven’t been blown away by the tornadoes that hit Texas! Jason’s collection looks amazing. Like Peter asked, “how many FCs” are there? Any restored yet? Runners?

  4. mmdeilers Post author

    Brett: Agreed. That’s why we HAD to get their photo.

    Peter: More than I have fingers, so I lost count … lol. I never asked how many. There was one he saw under a carport when he was a kid and he always wanted it. When he was older and finally got a chance to buy it, it turned out the seller owed Jason money. So, he got the FC and $100. Worked out for Jason. As the story always goes, it needed some parts, so he bought a parts FC … the Willys sickness had him in its clutches. For a long time Jason thought he was the only person in Texas with an FC. He has learned there are at least two others. There aren’t many FCs in Texas!

  5. Mom

    Seeing the men sitting outside the feed store reminded me of my grandparents 1922 “General MDSE” store south of Coeur’d Alene Id. The exception is the farmers would come inside on a hot day, or not so hot, after working the fields, have a beer and chat and chat and chat. We have one of those chairs, which held many a set of tired dirty buns. I’m sure my grand parents had better things to do, but they stayed and chatted with them until they finally left.

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