Tag Archives: American Museums

Memory Lane Road Trip Part 8

22 Aug

A Slice of Life
Bill Lites


Day 8 – Tuesday 4/24/2018


After a great breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, a biscuit and gravy, with Gerry and her husband, George, and Delois, there at the retirement center, I headed over to Grand Prairie, TX to visit my other cousin, Milton, and his wife Nannette.  This turned out to be a great time, reminiscing about our childhood experiences, when our family visited their family at our grandmother’s house in central Louisiana near Many, Louisiana.



Milton had to get ready for a class he teaches there at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, so I headed for Fort Worth to visit the Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame.  This is an impressive building, filled with memorabilia and old photographs related to the history of some 200+ women of the American West who have been known by, and are honored for, their pioneering fortitude and extraordinary courage.



As I was leaving the Fort Worth area, I stopped to take a photo of the entrance to the Fort Worth Stock Yards.  This brought back fond memories of a Lites family reunion trip DiVoran and I made to this area in 2000.  One of the most fun things we did on that trip was a visit to the Fort Worth Stock Yards, strolling thru all the shops, the stock yards, and watching (up close and personal) the longhorn cattle drive down East Exchange Avenue.



On the corner of North Main Street, where I parked to take the above photo, was the famous Cattlemen’s Steak House.  I would have popped in for lunch, but they weren’t open yet.  The sidewalks in the Stock Yards area feature the “Texas Trail of Fame” stars.  The stars honor many of the individuals who have, over the years, made a significant contribution to the Western way of life.



Next I headed northwest on US-287 to check out the Texas Aircraft Restorations and Fox Aviation, both allegedly  located in Rhome, TX just to see what they might be working on.  The Internet address I was using turned out to be a private home.  Even though the very nice man was a pilot, and was in the middle of building a hanger for his airplane, he said he didn’t know anything about either of the outfits I was looking for.  He did, however, refer me to the Hicks Airfield, which was not far from there, located just west of Haslet, TX.  When I got there, no one at the airport or the airport cafe knew anything about either one of these organizations.  Oh well, I’ll just have to chalk these two up to “No Shows.”



Wanting to get back to Arlington in time for a 5:00 supper with my cousins, I headed back southeast on SR-114/SR-121, thru Roanoke and Southlake, to try and miss some of the afternoon traffic on the Interstates around Fort Worth.  Supper at the Retirement Center was delicious, and the four of us had a wonderful time reminiscing, that carried on after supper, in George and Gerry’s apartment for hours.  I finally said, “Goodnight” to them and retired to my guest room for a good night’s sleep.




—–To Be Continued—–




Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.




One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

My 2016 Mid-West Trip~Part 10

7 Sep

A Slice of LIfe

Bill Lites

Day 10 (Monday)


What a beautiful day to take a drive through the Kentucky and Tennessee Hill Country. My first stop today was to visit the Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear Museum located in Elizabethtown, KY. This really was a “cars of MY yesteryear” museum. It was filled with beautifully restored 1900s to 1960s cars, many of which brought back the memories of my teenage years. They had a Hudson Hornet that DiVoran told me she drove when she was a teenager. They also had a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria, similar to the one that my high school best friend’s sister had. She would drive us around town when we asked her to, so we could feel like we were high class teenagers.



The next stop on my list for today was the Historic Rail Park & Train Museum in Bowling Green, KY. This was a good sized museum located in the original Bowling Green train station. They had memorabilia and model trains inside and some nicely restored Pullman train cars outside.



As I was leaving Bowling Green, heading back to I-65, I came across Art’s Corvette/Art’s Auto Mart, just around the corner from the National Corvette Museum, located on the outskirts of town. It looked like they could have had as many as 100 different Corvettes and other cars displayed in those two facilities. However not being a Corvette fan, and not needing to buy a car, I elected not to pay the entrance fee and go through the museum. Besides, these two museums were not on my list and I needed to make tracks for Nashville.



I stopped at the Tennessee Welcome Station for a short break and to pick up a Tennessee road map. They were playing country music on their speaker system for their visitors. After I used the restroom, I picked up a map and headed for my car. I saw a lady on the sidewalk, who looked like she was waiting for someone, and she was moving to the music. By the time I got to my car she had started heading toward her car, but she really wasn’t walking, she was line-dancing down the sidewalk to the music from the welcome station. It was the coolest thing. She had no idea anyone was watching and I don’t think she really cared. I wished I had thought in time to take a video, but I didn’t.


My first stop in Nashville was to visit the Lane Motor Museum, located on the east side of town, just after I crossed over the Cumberland River. This museum was unbelievable! One man, Jeff Lane, has collected approximately 450 different kinds of motor vehicles and motorcycles from all over the world under one roof. What was so amazing for me was that almost all of the vehicles in this collection run, and many are shown at various car shows. A sign in front of the museum reads “Unique Cars from A to Z.” I had no idea that so many different types of vehicles have been manufactured throughout the world in days gone by.



I tried to visit the Music Valley Wax Museum there in Nashville but discovered that it had been closed, due to a flood in the area in 2010. However, within walking distance of the wax museum building, I was able to walk through The Nashville Music Palace (The home of traditional country music) and The Willie Nelson & Friends Museum. Both were filled with memorabilia of various country music stars from over the years.


My plan was to visit the Grand Ole Opry, but I was told the only way that was going to happen was if I bought a tour ticket, that included the Opry House and a stage performance. I probably would only see an empty Ryman Auditorium stage and I didn’t have the time to wait around for an evening show. So, I opted to do the whole Grand Ole Opry tour another time.


Last on the list for today was to visit Nashville’s Centennial Part and take in the full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The Original replica was built in 1897 as the center piece for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition.   Later, during the 1913 & 1914 Spring Pageants, it was referred to as the “Athens of the South.” The structure was left standing for the next 20 some years, until weather and deterioration required its removal. It was permanently rebuilt, on the same foundation, between 1920 and 1931.


The Nashville Parthenon now operates as an art museum, with a 41-foot high reproduction of Athena Parthenos (Greek goddess Athena) as its focus. It’s beyond me why anyone would want to keep something like that in their city. I guess it makes for a good tourist attraction. It got my attention didn’t it!


When checking into the motel, I asked the desk clerk about a good place to eat, and he referred me to Jack’s BBQ Restaurant a couple miles down the road. Jack’s was a small place, but the aroma in and around the place made my mouth water and my stomach growl. I had some of the tenderest and most delicious St. Louis Ribs I have ever had. They came with collard greens, corn-on-the-cob, and cold slaw. I enjoyed a slice of their homemade cornbread and Grape jam for desert. Luckily, there was enough of everything, left over, for me to enjoy it all again tomorrow night.



—–To Be Continued—–

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