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Wednesday May 13 — No Raining on Murphy’s Parade

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Audi Murphy looks taller in person . . .

Today we began our trek northwestward. We got going later than planned, as usual, so I passed up my opportunity to be manscaped at the local barber, Milford’s, that Jason recommended. We really needed to get going so we could beat the rain that was heading our direction from Dallas. So, I remain longhaired.

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Our first objective was Whitehouse, Texas, to locate a big hat. Along the way we passed two towns Jason mentioned during our history lesson: Sacul and Reklaw. These two adjacent towns faced the same problem when they applied for a post office. Both original names were taken. So, the town brain trusts decided to spell the names backwards. Thus, Lucas became Sacul and Walker became Reklaw.

When we finally reached Whitehouse it didn’t take long to locate the hat. It’s a big white hat that sits atop a coffee shop. It just might be the largest cowboy hat in Texas! Of course, I had to buy a drink.

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From Whitehouse we drove to Tyler, then turned northeastward to find a most unusual rest stop along Interstate 20. It doesn’t show up on the map well, but it is approximately five miles east of Kilgore, Texas. I really thought the Oil Derrick picnic spots would be larger and more dramatic. Instead, they were in need of some refurbishing. Still, they were certainly unique.

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Our next stop was Sulphur Springs to see one of the oddest roadside attractions you’ll find. However, before we got there we spotted this broken down jeep. It seemed as if his front driver’s wheel had fallen off. He had some help from a nearby gas station, so we figured he was in good hands and drove onward.

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When we arrived at Sulphur Springs we were pleasantly surprised to see a very nice downtown area. Our objective here was to go to the bathroom. Specifically, to use some see-through bathrooms that sit in the square. The bathrooms have a reflective film on the outside that can be seen through on the inside. There were two bathrooms at different locations on the square. Ann and I both thought these were awesome, but then we are kind of strange.

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Sulphur Springs town square. This area was beautifully kept.

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Behind that reflective glass is the toilet facilities. While you go to the bathroom you can watch people play chess at this location.

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This is the view from the inside. Ann pretends she can see me, but she can’t ….. At least I don’t think she could. And, to answer the question, yes I did use the toilet. The room one of the cleanest toilets we’ve seen on the trip!

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To the left is a chess board that is next to the other bathroom. On the other side of the water fountain star you can see Ann and then to the right of her the other bathroom.

We didn’t know what we were going to do as we left Sulphur Springs. A quick search yielded an Audie Murphy statue that was on our way to Dallas. That seemed as good a thing to see as any. I’m sure many of you know that Audie Murphy was the most decorated World War II combat soldier. After the war he moved to Hollywood (at James Cagney suggestion) and starred in almost 40 movies.

The Audie Murphy statue is located in Greenville, Texas. The statue sits on the same property as the American Cotton Museum. Since we were already there, we decided to go see the museum. It wasn’t clear to us until we got inside, but it turned out the museum covers three topics. The first was a short history of cotton in Texas, the second topic was Audie Murphy, and the third was Texas’ involvement in wars from the Civil War through Vietnam. It’s a small museum, so for it to cover so many topics was a big task. We felt it did the best with Audie Murphy’s story. There was also some neat cotton dioramas and information.

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We didn’t notice the sign until we were on our way out of the museum. We were surprised to see Audie Murphy information inside the American Cotton Museum.

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The entrance to the American Cotton/Audie Murphy Museum

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The museum begins with some Audie Murphy memorabilia owned by his family, then transitions into cotton history, then back to Audie, then into a peak at Texas’ involvement in various wars.

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One of Audie Murphy’s movies that used a jeep in the publicity shots.

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Some of the cotton exhibits.

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The photo shows the most cotton bales ever produced in one day. I want to say it was around 2700, but I can’t remember for sure. It is a record that still stands.

As we left the museum, the first raindrops of the day began to fall. We knew more rain was coming, so we jumped in the jeep and headed for Dallas. It didn’t take long before the rain was falling hard.

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We headed for the hotel, which turned out to be in a seedier part of town (It’s a nice Holiday Inn, but it does explain why the prices were so good). So, all valuables are inside our hotel room this evening.

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

 

3 Comments on “Wednesday May 13 — No Raining on Murphy’s Parade

  1. Mom

    Gee, no comments about the restroom facilities? None about Audie Murphy? He was my hero when young. Good looking chap and what a brave young man. Probably saw most of his movies even though he wasnt the best actor, but that didnt matter at the time.

  2. Steve E.

    Agreed, Mom! Audie Murphy was one example of thousands of heroes. He was lucky enough to survive so many close calls, and was the most recognized for it. He was one of America’s biggest heroes in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It’s good to see that we still recognize him as a hero. He was a Texas country boy who knew how to shoot and to stay low when he wasn’t shooting. America lost a true hero in 1971 when he died in a private plane wreck.

  3. Dan the M38 Man

    When I was a kid I loved watching Audie Murphy on TV. It was only when I was older and started to read about him that I realized just what a rough life he had. Sadly from what I read about Audie Murphy he had suffered from PTSD long before anyone ever understood what PTSD was. Definitely a place I would love to someday visit. He is a true American Hero. You must of had chills walking through the door.

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