Tag Archives: #Roadtrip

Edisto Get Away Part 1

18 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

October 4th, my husband and I began a shortish road trip. I had made the decision to leave my laptop at home and it was odd, but refreshing to not travel with my computer. My fellow bloggers had submitted their post in advance so the only posts missing were mine! I was ok with that.

Our first stop was outside Raleigh, NC to visit with family. Most of the extended family had chosen the same week to vacation so, I missed seeing a lot of them, but enjoyed the ones there. We had plenty of good old southern food to eat. I am pretty certain that eastern North Carolina has the best cooks in the country.

 

 

Our next stop was Edisto Island, South Carolina. I know technically it is an island but I’ve seen  longer bridges on the St. John’s River in Florida.

 

 

The wooded drive along back roads to Edisto was pleasant and I enjoyed catching glimpses of unique stained glass windows in even the smallest of churches. I could imagine horse-drawn wagons hauling their crops along a rutted road.

Our plan was to meet our friend Pam and daughter, Rebekah at the resort. They drove up from Florida. Our timing was perfect and they Pam was already in the check in process when we arrived. We were relieved to discover that our home away from home for the next three days had a working elevator. We were on the third floor and not looking forward to hauling our “stuff” up the stairs. I say stuff because we can’t see, to travel with just luggage. There’s a snack bag, bags to hold things I forgot to put in the luggage… you get the idea.

Restaurant choices on the island are limited and we were tired so we opted for rotisserie chicken from the deli and salad. Easy clean up meal then coffee and conversation on the porch until bedtime.

The next morning after a quick breakfast we headed to our first place on our to do list, Wadmalaw Island and the Charleston Tea Plantation. It wasn’t far tp Wadmalaw Island, as the crow flies, but since we couldn’t fly over the marshes, it took a little over an hour. From their website:

 

This is the home of Charleston Tea Plantation teas – nine very special flavors of tea, including our original American Classic Tea.  This is the only brand of tea in the world that is made exclusively with 100% tea grown in America.  The Plantation sits right off Maybank Highway. Driving down Maybank is like taking a step back in time. Wadmalaw has not and cannot be commercially developed, therefore much of the land remains untouched.

 

 

On the porch of the gift shop Waddy the Frog sits with his cup of tea, available for any single ladies who haven’t met their quota of kissing frogs before they find a prince.

 

 

We purchased tickets for a trolley tour of the plantation and it was informative and fun with a guide who knew his history and how to add humor to his spiel.  The tea plants looked like ordinary shrubs and I would never have identified them as tea plants if I saw  them in a garden. The leaves are not harvested by hand as this is a small operation and would require many hands to pick it. Instead, they have a specially built harvester that is set to pick a defined depth.  They kind of look like someone used a gas hedge trimmer on them.

 

The most surprising fact I learned is that the whole process, once the leaves arrive at the processing center, is automated. The production staff has only 4 members. The gift shop has more staff!

After the tour, we shopped in the gift shop and took pictures. I loved the large oak tree by the entrance. It reminded me of Orlando, Florida in the 60’s before Disney World.

 

The weather was threatening rain but we decided to continue to historic Charleston. Hurricane Michael was stirring up the weather and we were not sure the next day would bring good weather. I will write about that next time. Meanwhile, here is a picture that we found interesting. This homeowner isn’t taking any chances on the surrounding marshes flooding.

 

 

 

I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

Memory Lane Road Trip~Part 15

10 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 15 – Tuesday 5/1/2018

I headed south on I-40 this morning to visit the Flying Tigers Heritage Park located just outside Alexandria, LA.  This is a park situated just outside the entrance to, what was until 1992, the England Air Force Base.  Now known as England Airpark & Community, it is a thriving residential neighborhood and the air base has been transformed to serve as the Alexandria International Airport.  I was only interested in getting photos of their static displayed airplanes, and then I was on my way.

I continued south on I-40, and then took a short side trip down U.S.-167/SR-13 to visit the Cajun Music Hall of Fame located in Eunice, LA.  All along U.S.-167 and SR-13 I kept seeing these large, flooded fields with some kind of a device evenly spaced over the entire field.  I had no idea what I was seeing until I arrived at the museum, and asked the curator.  

She said they were crawfish traps, and showed me one she had there in the museum.  I asked her what they used for bait, and she said, “Any kind of meat scraps will do, but most farmers use processed crawfish bait which is made up of concentrated fish parts.” When I mentioned how shallow the water looked, she informed me that they plant rice in those fields, and then after the rice crop is harvested, they flood the fields, seed the crawfish, and put out their crawfish traps.  Check YouTube for “Crawfish Trap Videos” to see how they do it.

I learn some of the most interesting things on these trips!  The museum is located in a small building and displays some Cajun Music memorabilia, but is filled mostly with early 1800s Louisiana artifacts from the surrounding area. 

Next door was the equally small Eunice Depot Museum, which was closed, so I headed east on U.S.-190 to pick up I-40 and head south again towards Layfette, LA.  Friends had told me that if I was ever in the Layfette area, I needed to stop at “Prejeans Cajun Restaurant” located on I-40 just north of Layfette for a meal.  Well, it was lunch time wasn’t it?  So of course I stopped in to give them a try.  

Everything on the menu looked great, but I settled on a bowl of Seafood Gumbo to start.  Then it was their “Blackened Shrimp Skillet Creole” with red beans and rice.  Yummm! It was all pretty spicy, to my taste, and I needed two glasses of ice tea to keep my mouth cooled down!

After that delicious meal, I was ready to head south on I-40 again to visit the Acadian Village located a few miles southwest of Lafayette.  This is a 1800s living Cajun village, with relocated and restored authentic buildings, including houses, a church, a meeting house, and a blacksmith shop. The village is set around a small bayou and the dwellings are easily accessible from a paved walkway.

A few miles east of the Acadian Village I visited the Vermillionville Historic Village located on 23 acres adjacent to the Bayou Vermillion.  This living history museum and folk-life park is another frontier village type attraction, with some of their buildings dating from the late 1700s.  The seven relocated buildings have been restored, filled with period furnishings, and hosted by tour guides dressed in period costumes who will answer all your questions.

Now it was time to head for the motel and get settled in, so I could relax and enjoy my leftover Blackened Shrimp with red beans and rice from Prejeans.  Yummm again!  Of course I didn’t have the ice tea to cool down my mouth this time, so I had to be satisfied with a can of Mountain Dew from the motel’s drink machine.

                                           —–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.

Bill

Memory Lane Road Trip~Part 14

3 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 14 – Monday 4/30/2018 

My original plan was to head north this morning to visit a couple of smaller museums, and then turn around and head south to meet another of my cousins in Many, LA for lunch. However, I was getting off to a late start, and there was a good chance the museums wouldn’t be open, and I didn’t want to be late for our meeting.  So after breakfast I packed up and headed south on US-171 to visit the Fort Jesup Historic Site located about six miles northeast of Many.

The site was closed, but Wikipedia tells me the fort was built in1822 to protect the U.S. border with New Spain, and to return order to the Neutral Strip (1806-1821).  The fort was active until after the Mexican war, in 1846, when it was closed.  The only building that remains of the fort now, is the Enlisted Barracks 4, which was restored and is currently being maintained by a private organization in Many.

Now I continued about six miles southwest on SR-6, from Fort Jesup into Many.  My cousin Jimmy had said he couldn’t meet my other cousin Alfice and me for lunch.  I thought maybe I’d drive over and see where his office was anyway.  It was only 10 o’clock, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for the next two hours.

Just as I was pulling into town my cousin James Alfice called me to let me know he had to come to town early to run some errands.  What a serendipity!  We met at the local Burger King and as he got out of his car he said, “You must be Billy.”  I shook his hand and said, “And you must be Alfice.”  I got in his car and we started what turned out to be the very best four hour family history tour I have ever had.  Alfice is four years older than me, and has lived a very active life there in the Many area.  He and his family grew up and lived there, as has my family.  At one time he was the police Chief of Many for several years, and later he was Sherriff of Sabine County, Louisiana for a number of years.

He knew everything there was to know about our family background, as well as, everything there was to know about what had gone on in Many and Sabine county over the years. He drove me around every part of Many, pointing out which of my relatives had lived in, or still lived in this or that house.  He would point out which criminal had lived in some house, or the very spot in the woods where he and his deputies had turned the dogs loose on another criminal. Then he took me to the Mount Zion Baptist Church.  According to Alfice, his grandfather and my grandfather were both instrumental in starting that church sometime around the late 1800s or early 1900s.  That is the church my family attended those times we visited my relatives when I was a youngster.  Most of my relatives who live in the Many area still attend there.

Next to the church is the Mount Zion Cemetery, where many of Alfice and my relatives are buried.  This is a beautiful cemetery that dates back to the early 1800s, and has been kept up by the church families over the years. I found the grave of my grandfather (T.J. Lites) and grandmother (Mattie Lites) who started populating the area in and around Many with their 13 children.

We stopped for lunch at Alfice’s favorite restaurant, Fisherman’s Galley, located on the banks of Toledo Bend Lake.  I had a plate of their Grilled Catfish with Sweet Potatoe Fries.  The food was really great, and lots of it.  While I was eating, I had this picture in my mind of two little black kids, sitting on a pier, fishing in the lake for catfish for the restaurant.  As soon as they hooked one, they would run it up to the restaurant cook, and the next thing you know, there it was on my plate, fresh out of the lake.  The catfish was that good!

Alfice continued the tour for a while after lunch, but then he told me he had to get his car back for his wife.  We exchanged contact information and said our goodbyes, with promises to stay in touch. Then I went looking for my cousin Jimmy’s asphalt business, so I could take a photo of their sign. Jimmy had told me he was starting a new job in another town that day, and I assumed his whole crew would be on that job with him.   As luck would have it, the gate was open, so I drove in to see who might be there.  I was surprised when the mechanic told me that two of my cousins, Danny and Tracy, were in the office.  They came out and we had a great impromptu visit.

After I said my goodbyes to cousins Danny and Tracy, I drove back into Many to check out The Robert Gentry Museum, there on San Antonio Avenue.  I had seen this museum as I first drove into Many, and hoped I had time now to visit before they closed.  But I found out the museum had closed and all that was left in the building was a pawn shop.

Now it was time for Greta to take me to tonight’s motel in Natchitoches, LA which was about 30 miles east of Many.  After I checked in, I warmed up my delicious leftover catfish, for another delightful supper.  As usual, there was nothing worth watching on the TV, so I recorded my notes for the day and then it was early to bed for me.

—–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.

Bill

Memory Lane Road~Trip Part 13

26 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 13 – Sunday 4/29/2018 

Today I headed west on I-20 to visit the Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, MS.  This national park covers 1,728 acres, and is designed to preserve the site of the Battle of Vicksburg, which took place during the Civil War in the summer of 1863.  The park displays an impressive number of historic monuments (1,325), strategically placed along the nearly 16 miles of tour road that rings the park.  Also there are a total of 144 period canons positioned in simulated high-ground battery locations that gives a person an idea of just how large the battlefield was.

I had originally thought the USS Cairo Museum was in a separate location, so I had to ask for directions to the Museum.  It turned out to be located on the park’s Tour Road, toward the northern edge of the park, adjacent to the Yazoo River.  This museum houses the restored remains of the USS Cairo that was built in 1861. One of the first ironclads to be built at the beginning of the Civil War, she served with the Army’s Western Gunboat Flotilla on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers until 1862 when she was transferred to the Navy later that year.

On December 12, 1862, while clearing mines from the Yazoo River, she struck a mine and sank.  Not located until 1956, the gunboat was damaged in 1964 while crews were trying to raise her.  After many years of hard work and many delays, the restored USS Cairo and its museum were finally opened to the public in 1980.

While in Vicksburg, I also visited The Old Depot Museum located just a couple of miles south of the USS Cairo Museum.  This museum is housed in the old 1872 Vicksburg Railroad Depot, and consists of scale models of the Olde Town of Vicksburg, a scaled model scene of the Battle of Vicksburg, operating model train layouts, as well as model ships, boats and vessels dating from the time of the Vikings to the present.

Next I headed west on I-20, across the Mississippi River, to visit the Chennault Aviation Museum located in Monroe, LA.  This small museum basically tells the story of Claire L. Chennault’s military career, from his initial involvement in aviation during WWI, to his part in the creation of the American Volunteer Group (AVG), known as the “Flying Tigers” in China prior to WW2 and beyond.

I continued west on I-20 to Ruston, where I turned north onto US-167 for a short side trip to visit the Bernice Depot Museum located in Bernice, LA.  This very small museum is housed in the 1895 Arkansas Southern Railroad depot, and was one of the significant loading points for the surrounding lumber industry during the late 1800s.  The museum displays memorabilia related to the railroad and local lumber industry that gave birth to this small town of Bernice.

Greta kept me with a question in my mind as to her navigating abilities for the better part of the next hour.  She took me thru roughly 50 miles of Louisiana back roads to get us back to I-20.  Then it was another 30 miles west so I could visit the Barksdale Global Power Museum (8thAir Force Museum).  This museum is located just outside the gate to the Barksdale Air Force Base, on the east side of Shreveport, LA.  The museum consists of a building that tells the history of the 8thAir Force by means of memorabilia, artifacts, and exhibits and some 20+ beautifully restored outdoor static displayed aircraft.

Barksdale Global Power Museum

Now it was just a few miles west to visit the Shreveport Water Works Museum located on the southwest side of Shreveport adjacent to the Red River.  The museum is housed in the old 1887 McNeill Pump Station building, and displays much of the original steam equipment, pumps, filters, and other machinery used to supply water to the city of Shreveport during the late 1800s.

Right next door to the Water Works Museum was the Shreveport Railroad Museum.  This small museum is housed in one of the original 1887 Water Works buildings, and displays memorabilia and artifacts related to the civic and economical influence of the Kansas City Southern Railway on the Shreveport area, dating from the 1860s.  The museum also has several pieces of rolling stock in various stages of restoration at an off-site location, including steam locomotive #1140.

Just a few blocks away I tried to visit the Strand Theater there in downtown Shreveport, but it was closed.  Wikipedia tells me that the theater was built in 1925, and opened as a Vaudeville venue until the mid-1940s, when it became a movie theater.  This 1,536 seat theater remained a movie theater until it was closed in 1977.  It was renovated and reopened in 1984 as the “Official State Theater of Louisiana” where it serves as a performing arts venue featuring mostly off-Broadway traveling shows.

Another few blocks away, toward the Red River, I visited the Spring Street Historical Museum there in Shreveport.  This small museum is housed in what was originally the Tally’s Bank building. Built in the 1860s, the building is one of the few remaining examples of New Orleans style cast-iron gallery grillwork in Shreveport.  This museum displays historic artifacts and memorabilia related to the history in and around the early days of Shreveport, as well as displays of traveling costumes of the time period.

I wondered why my stomach was growling, and decided it was time to head for the motel and get something to eat.  Greta took me to the motel with no trouble, and after getting checked in, I was able to relax, warm up, and enjoy leftover Zydeco Wrap from the Froghead Grill.

—–To Be Continued—–

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.

Bill

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

Memory Lane Road Trip~ Part 12

19 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 12 – Saturday 4/28/2018

This morning I headed southwest on US-61 to visit the Delta Blues Museum located in Clarksdale, MS. This museum is housed in what was originally the Clarksdale Passenger Depot, which was built in 1926.  The Passenger depot was used by the Central Illinois Railroad, and others, until 1965 when passenger service at the depot was discontinued.  After years of abandonment, the depot was restored, and the museum moved in.  The museum displays many artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of Blues Music in the Mid-South.

One of the artists that legend credits with helping birth the blues, in this area, is McKinley Morganfield, better known in the blues music world as “Muddy Waters.”  The museum honors “The King of Chicago Blues” with a wax figure of the artist strumming his guitar in the rebuilt portion of his slave shack.  The shack is where he spent most of his first 30 years.  It was moved to the museum, from its original location, on the Stovall Plantation, near Clarksdale in 1996.

Now I continued south on US-289/US-82 to visit the Greenville Air Force Base Museum located at the Mid-Delta Regional Airport in Greenville, MS.  This small museum turned out to be housed on the mezzanine of the airport terminal building.  The museum displays memorabilia related to the history of the Greenville Army Airfield operations (1940-1946), and the U.S. Airforce Training Center (1950-1966).

3

Next I headed southeast on US-61/US-149 to visit the Canton Railroad Museum located in Canton, MS.  This museum is located in the restored 1852 Canton Railroad Depot building, and displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the railroad’s influence, from the mid-1800s to the late 1970s, in and around the Canton area.

4

Now I headed south on I-55 to visit the City of Jackson Fire Museum located in Jackson, MS.  This museum is housed in a portion of the active Fire House #10.  The museum was closed by the time I got there, but Wikipedia tells me the museum displays artifacts and memorabilia about the Jackson Fire Department Safety programs.  There are also several beautifully restored pieces of firefighting equipment/engines dating from 1904 displayed within the museum.

5

As I was driving thru downtown Jackson, I stopped to take a photo of the Old Mississippi State Capital Building (1839-1903). Wikipedia states that this building has been renovated several times since 1903, the last being in 1961, after which it was designated the Mississippi State Historical Museum.   The museum was closed by the time I got there, and that was OK with me.  I expected it would have taken hours to see three floors full of memorabilia, artifacts, and exhibits related to the full history of Mississippi.

6

On the way to the motel, I happened upon the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, and stopped by to get a photo.  Wikipedia tells me that the museum was opened in 2017, and displays artifacts and memorabilia covering the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. (especially Mississippi) from 1945 to 1970.  This museum was also closed, so I turned my attention to where I was going to stay tonight. By now it was time for Greta to take me to the motel (which actually ended up being in Clinton, MS located just west of Jackson) so I could get checked in and find some place to eat.

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After I got checked in at the motel, I asked the desk clerk for his recommendation about a good place to eat and he said, “The Froghead Grill just down the street is pretty good.”  I put my things in the room and walked about 1½ blocks to see what they had to offer.  As you might expect, the Froghead Grill had a very unique menu.  I selected their “Zydeco Wrap” which was Alligator sausage and Crawfish with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Scooter Sauce.  Boy was that different and delicious!  With a full tummy, I headed back to the motel for a good night’s sleep.

8

—–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.

Bill

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

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.

 

Bill

 

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

Memory Lane Trip~Part 7 (Continued)

15 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

Day 7 – Monday 4/23/2018

 

As you might have guessed by now, this was turning out to be a really busy day.  Next on my list, there in Dallas, was a visit to the Frontier of Flight Museum a few miles north of downtown Dallas, located at the Dallas Love Field Airport.  This is the best aviation museum I have visited on this trip so far.  This is a large museum with two large display areas and 30+ beautifully restored airplanes.

 

 

One of the museum’s most unique displays is their complete Boeing 737 airliner. The nose section of the airplane is inside the building and the passenger section is outside the building.  Visitors can access the airplane from inside the building and examine the entire complete interior at their leisure.

 

 

One of my favorite TV series of late, is “Fast N’ Loud” which follows the exploits of hot rod hunter, Richard Rawlings, and his Gas Monkey Garage crew, located there in northwest Dallas.  I’m constantly amazed by the crew’s talents, as they transform “barn finds” or a “basket case” car into some of the most beautiful and unusual road machines ever. Since I was in Dallas, I decided to stop in at the Gas Monkey Garage and see what was happening.

 

 

Surprise!!  The episodes of the TV series I have seen are mostly confined to the garage area, as seen in the photo above, with Richard’s office cubical in the back of the garage.  So imagine my surprise to find that Richard has expanded his Gas Monkey complex to include Corporate Offices, and the “Merch” store, which is an apparel store feathering “Trending Threads” and Gas Monkey souvenirs.

 

 

As luck would have it, the Discovery film crew was working on another episode, and access to the garage area was restricted.  I was disappointed not to be able to meet any of the “Monkeys” to tell them how much I enjoy the series and the wonderful work they do.

 

 

One of Richard’s ventures, since the series started, was the opening of the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill, located just a few miles north of the Garage, on I-35E.  I stopped by to check out this beautiful restaurant, but things were very quiet, as the dinner crowd had not started showing up, so I headed west on I-30 to meet my cousins in Arlington, TX.

 

 

I had made arrangements to meet three of my first cousins in Arlington for dinner and some reminiscing. These cousins were from my father’s side of the family, and I hadn’t seen any of them in almost 20 years.  Our family had made several visits to see them, in central Louisiana, when I was 6 or 8 years old.  Milton is my age, so we ran around with each other during those visits.  Gerry and Delois were Milton’s older sisters, and as you can imagine, we had lots to talk about.  Well, as luck would have it, we had a communications breakdown, and we missed each other at the restaurant.  After driving around a while trying to connect with them, I finally gave up and stopped to enjoy some really delicious St. Louis Ribs with baked beans and cold slaw at Jambo’s BBQ Shack there in Arlington.

 

 

With the help of my cousin, Gerry, I had made reservations, before I started this trip, for a room at the Texas Masonic Retirement Center, where Gerry and her husband George live. This was a great arrangement for the two nights I planned to stay in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, as it included three meals each day if I so elected.  And, I would be right there in the same building with two of my cousins.  Later, when we finally did find each other, there at the center, we had a wonderful time going over some of our family history. Gerry’s sister, Delois, also lives in the Masonic Retirement Center, and she joined us in Gerry’s apartment for the festivities.

—–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.

 

Bill

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