A Texas Dance Hall

Many, many years ago I visited Schroeder Hall with my college roommate, Tracy, and her family. They lived in Victoria TX. Tracy and I came from College Station for The weekend. On Saturday night we all headed for Schroeder Hall (situated between Goliad and Victoria). Very memorable night.

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Like most Texas Dance Halls it’s a family place. Grandparents to babies – everybody shows up. There is plenty of beer drinking but mostly it’s about the music, the dancing and community. Lots of two-stepping  but at some point during the night the band will play the Cotton Eyed Joe and the Schottische. Everyone is on the dance floor forming lines like the spokes of a wheel. If you don’t know the steps, the line just pulls you along for the fun. And it is fun!

Schroeder Hall is the second oldest dance hall in Texas. It opened for business in 1890. It’s a series of odd little buildings sitting in a big open field out in the middle of no place.

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Paul and I drove over to Schroeder for a little trip down memory lane. Paul asked if it looked familiar. Nope! Not familiar in the least. But in fairness, they remodeled it a few years ago. Also, it was many years ago, on a hot Texas night, and the hall was crowded with people enjoying the dance.

Goliad County

One of the interesting things we see while driving around the back roads of Texas is the many and varied county courthouses. The smallest most dilapidated little town will have an unusually fancy county courthouse. I believe that there are coffee-table books devoted to this subject.

The town of Goliad (small but not terribly dilapidated!) is the County Seat of Goliad County. This is the Goliad County Courthouse which sits smack in the middle of town.

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The courthouse isn’t fancy inside but does have some pretty touches.

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Originally built in 1894, it was damaged by a hurricane in 1942. So it has had some updates.

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The original architect was Henry E. M. Guidon and the courthouse was built in the “Second Empire Style”.

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Goliad County is named for Father Miguel Hidalgo. Goliad is an anagram minus the silent H. I have no idea why they used an anagram!

The Caretaker’s House

We’re spending a few days at Goliad State Park which is the home of Mission Espíritu Santo. I’ve gushed about this beautiful park in previous posts. The park system has just recently renovated the nearby Caretaker’s House and it is now open to the public.

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The Mission was renovated by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930s. The Caretaker’s House was renovated first as a sort of practice piece. The CCC architects made field trips to the Missions in San Antonio and others all over the Southwest. They developed a plan to renovate Espíritu Santo and then used the Caretaker’s house to perfect the techniques needed for the Mission.

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The house fell into disrepair in recent years but has now been updated. It’s just lovely! A very knowledgeable and enthusiastic Park Ranger shared lots of interesting info with us.

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A Poem for Thanksgiving

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When Giving Is All We Have 

                                               One river gives
                                              Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.

 

~ Alberto Ríos

Botanical Gardens

Viki and I spent the morning at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. We stopped to visit for a few moments in the small and charming Japanese Garden.

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Here is a close-up of the beautiful little fence that encloses the garden.

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The Overstory

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The overstory is the layer of foliage in a forest canopy or the trees that are a part of that canopy. The Overstory is also the title of a Pulitzer Prize winning book that Margaret and I just finished reading.

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Paul and I made the final stop of our recent RV trip at Stephen F. Austin State Park in San Felipe, TX. The park is packed full of big, beautiful trees. As I have spent a lot of time reading and thinking about trees lately, these really caught my eye.

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Beach Butterfly

I saw this little butterfly on the beach in Alabama. The sun was so bright I couldn’t see my phone screen, so I had no idea if she was even in the frame when I took the photo. Margaret says it’s a good picture – so I’m posting it!

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Sugar Sand Beach

We spent four days in Orange Beach Alabama, famous for the beautiful white “sugar sand”.  We had such a relaxing stay. And I think they have the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen in the continental United States.  Naturally, my photo doesn’t do it justice.

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Tight Fit

Last night we stayed in a very nice Forest Service campground right on the Ohio River near New Matamoras, Ohio.  This is the beautiful view from our window…

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Paul reserved this particular spot because of the great view. As you can see, there are lots of trees…

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The view from the other side shows just how close we are to the tree once our slide was out. We aren’t touching the tree, we had about an inch to spare.

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It was a very tight fit. Paul did a good job of shoe-horning us in!