Friday, November 28, 2014

I Regret I Have No Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup Gall Bladders to Sell

That is a screencap from our Eyes on Texas webpage about the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup you are looking at here.

During the years since the Sweetwater Rattlesnake webpage was added to Eyes on Texas that webpage has probably generated more questions and comments, via email, than any other subject, or webpage.

For the most part the strangest comments or questions come from Europe, most from the UK and Germany.

Today an interestingly odd question came from Texas...

Dear Eyes on Texas

On your website “A Chinese woman offered the Sweetwater Jaycees (they run the Rattlesnake Roundup as well as the skinning and frying) one dollar per snake gall bladder.” I live in Texas and I wonder if I can buy 600 snake gall bladders for 600 dollars. 

Thank you.

I had no memory of mentioning on the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup webpage that a Chinese woman was seeking snake gall bladders. When I looked at the webpage I eventually found the mention of snake gall bladders.

The entire blurb about seeking snake gall bladders...

The snakes are executed away from public eyes. But they are skinned in full view. A Chinese woman offered the Sweetwater Jaycees (they run the Rattlesnake Roundup as well as the skinning and frying) one dollar per snake gall bladder. To be used in some medicinal concoction believed by some to be as useful as Viagra.

Why does the Texan, Mr. G., seek 600 rattlesnake gall bladders, one can not help but wonder? Does he figure if one snake gall bladder is good to fix that which Viagra fixes that 600 snake gall bladders would be like Super Viagra on Steroids?

I used to reply to these type inquires, informing the inquirer that my only connection to the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup and snake gall bladders, skins or rattles was that I made a webpage documenting my one and only visit to Sweetwater.

The past couple years I don't bother letting inquirers know that I am not a supplier of rattlesnake related products. I figure they should be able to figure that out on their own.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Granbury Texas

What you are looking at on the left is the Hood County Courthouse in Granbury, Texas.

Granbury may be our favorite Texas small town, of the small Texas towns which we have had the pleasure to visit, with more visits to Granbury than any other small Texas town.

Granbury puts on excellent festivals, centered on its historic Courthouse Square which surrounds the Courthouse.

Festivals like General Granbury's Birthday.

The 4th of July Parade in Granbury is well worth enduring the July heat.

Lake Granbury sort of surrounds Granbury, adding to its scenic setting. Lake Granbury is an impoundment of the Brazos River, with four parks on the lake. You can swim, fish, float a boat, water ski, canoe and kayak on Lake Granbury. That is, when the lake is full of water. The current North Texas drought has most North Texas lakes, including Lake Granbury, running low on water.

There have been many a time a stop has been made at a Granbury restaurant on the way to or from nearby attractions, like the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center or Dinosaur Valley State Park, that is, unless the hunger pangs are too strong upon leaving Fossil Rim or Dinosaur Valley, resulting in a restaurant stop in Glen Rose, yet one more small Texas town with a county courthouse square, with Glen Rose being the county seat of Somervell County.

Of the many restaurants located around Granbury's Courthouse Square, our favorite is Babe's Chicken Dinner House. Babe's is always good, whether at the original Babe's in Roanoke, or any of the other Babe's which has opened this century.

Go to our Eyes on Texas website to the webpage about Granbury for more information about the history of Granbury, such as how the town got its name, restaurants, places to stay and other attractions, such as the Granbury Riverboat which you can float for brunch, lunch or dinner, with live entertainment, including a Murder Mystery Cruise.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Is Jesse James Wanted Dead or Alive in Granbury Texas?

Two of our most visited Eyes on Texas webpages have to do with murder victims.

The most visited of those two murderous webpages is about one of the most notorious murder victims of all time. Lee Harvey Oswald.

The 51st Anniversary of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald and the man Oswald assassinated, President John F. Kennedy, occurs in just a couple days.

The second most visited of our two murderous webpages is titled The Truth About Jesse James.

For the most part the truth referenced has to do with whether or not Jesse James survived the assassination attempt by Bob Ford, then somehow eventually made it to Granbury, Texas, where he lived out his life, dying in 1951, alleged to be buried in a Granbury cemetery.

The Jesse James in a Granbury grave allegations reached the point where an exhumation occurred, with the post-mortem examination quickly determining a wrong body had been dug up. If I remember right further exhumations were not allowed.

And so the rumor persists, that Jesse James survived Bob Ford's bullets to find his final resting place in a pleasant small town in Texas called Granbury.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Doing the Bunny Hop to Fort Worth's Ozzie Rabbit Lodge with Elsie Hotpepper

Over 50 years ago President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Texas, in Dallas to be precise, at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, to be even more precise.

I was among the thousands who thronged to Dealey Plaza for the 40th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination. This was an event the likes of which I had never attended before.

All those years ago had you told me that in the 21st century I would be living within walking distance of the Gravesite of Lee Harvey Oswald my limited imagination would not have been able to conjure up a scenario where that could possibly happen.

And yet it did.

A few years ago, also near the location of Lee Harvey Oswald's grave in the Rose Hill Memorial Cemetery, in the Handley neighborhood of Fort Worth, a bar opened called The Ozzie Rabbit Lodge.

Ozzie Rabbit was Lee Harvey Oswald's nickname when he was in the Marines prior to defecting to the Soviet Union to find a wife, among other things.

Over the years I have blogged multiple times about The Ozzie Rabbit Lodge. Below is a list of those bloggings for your reading pleasure...

The Ozzie Rabbit Lodge

Saloon Hopping With Elsie Hotpepper To The Ozzie Rabbit Lodge With Her 12-Gauge Shotgun

Meth Whores Can Live In Peace At Fort Worth's Ozzie Rabbit Lodge

Looking At Ads While Drinking Heavily & Stripping

I think I will see if Elsie Hotpepper is available to do some saloon hopping tonight. It has been a while since we last visited The Ozzie Rabbit Lodge....

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Oklahoma's Turner Falls Park in Winter

Turner Falls Park in Oklahoma is a popular year round destination.

Summer at Turner Falls Park one can find oneself a bit overheated hiking the trails, exploring the caves or climbing the stairs to the castle.

In winter it is not the norm to find oneself overheating whilst hiking the trails, exploring the caves or climbing the stairs to the castle.

In winter one might find Honey Creek in flood mode, such as I found it a few years back. That would be my steering wheel aimed at crossing Honey Creek which had flooded over the road.

As you can see below Honey Creek running more than its usual amount of water turns Turner Falls into a much more vigorous waterfall than the trickle seen when I made my first summer visit to Turner Falls Park.

You can go to the webpage I made after a summer visit to Turner Falls to see the falls in summer trickle mode, along with a lot of people, including myself, in the pool of water beneath the falls.

Above we are above Turner Falls, trying to be careful not to slip into a rapidly raging Honey Creek. This would appear to be a bit foolish to be at this location, but in the moment it did not look to be as dangerous as it looks in hindsight.

I do not know if Turner Falls Park goes into any sort of special Holiday mode, with special lighting or special events. I would suspect it does. But, even without special lighting or special  events, Turner Falls Park would be a good destination choice for a Holiday Season roadtrip.

For more pictures of Turner Falls Park in Winter go to my our Turner Falls Park in Winter webpage.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Great Raft of the Red River

What is known as the Great Raft was a giant log jam spanning, at its biggest, more than 160 miles, resulting in a clogging of the Red and Atchafalaya Rivers.

It is believed the Great Raft log jam began sometime around 1200 A.D., give or take a century. The Great Raft was part of the belief system of the members of the Caddo Confederacy who thought the Great Raft protected them from enemy tribes and also by making their land agriculturally productive due to the logjam caused flooding.

By the 1880s the Great Raft logjam blocked the free water flow all the way from Campti, Louisiana to the area now known as Shreveport. The Great Raft blocked settlement west of the area of Shreveport due to blocking the mouth of Twelvemile Bayou. The Great Raft raised the river levels, formed bayous and what became known as the Great Raft Lakes, including Caddo Lake, which remains a lake in the modern era.

The Great Red River Raft acted as a dam, elevating the level of the Red River, Caddo Lake and the Big Cypress Bayou, thus permitting commercial riverboats to float to Jefferson, Texas from the Mississippi River, connecting Jefferson to towns like New Orleans and St. Louis and making Jefferson one of the busiest port towns in America.

Jefferson being a port town would come to an end with the end of the Great Raft. A riverboat captain named Henry Miller Shreve began removing the Great Raft in the 1830s, By 1835 Shreve had cleared the Great Raft up to the mouth of Twelvemile Bayou.  By 1838 Shreve had managed to removed enough of the Great Raft to allow un-impeded navigation on the Red River.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Texas Renaissance Festival

The annual Texas Renaissance Festival is underway in Todd Mission, Texas. Todd Mission is located about 50 miles northwest of Houston. The Texas Renaissance Festival began in 1974 at the location of an abandoned strip mining site.

Texas Renaissance Festival makes the claim that it is America's biggest Renaissance Festival. In 2012 the recorded attendance was 606,694.

The Texas Renaissance Festival covers 55 acres and includes a camping area for festival goers.

The 2014 Texas Renaissance Festival began October 11, ending 8 weekends later on November 30.

Each of the Texas Renaissance Festival's weekends is themed, starting with Oktoberfest, then 1001 Dreams, All Hallows Eve, Pirate Adventure, Roman Bacchanal, Barbarian Invasion, Highland Fling and Celtic Christmas.

At the Texas Renaissance Festival you will find around 500 costumed performers performing on 17 stages. The Texas Renaissance Festival has some 340 shops with artisans, food and crafts.

If the weather cooperates the Queen's Royal Finale fireworks show starts when the sun goes down.

For all the information about the Texas Renaissance Festival that you could possibly need visit the Texas Renaissance Festival's website.

2014 Wurstfest in New Braunfels

Friday, November 7, the 2014 ten day New Braunfels Wurstfest opens, closing on November 16.

New Braunfels was founded by Germans, which is why the town has a festival to celebrate its German heritage, mixed in with Texas style fun.

Wurstfest is known for its salute to sausage. Along with beer, food, carnival rides, music, dancing  and more all done with Bavarian flair.

Wurstfest takes place near the headwaters of the crystal clear Comal River. If you've ever found your way to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels you will be able to find Wurstfest.

Daily Hours for Wurstfest...


For more information check out the Wurstfest website.