3/31/15 Tuesday in Whitney, TX (Lake Whitney-TT)
Waco was an unknown for me until the Branch Davidian vs FBI/ATF siege, so I was wondering if there was anything to see from that. At the Visitor Information center (next door to the Texas Rangers Museum) I found out that it’s property that’s now owed privately. She said the gate is open and you could see a small memorial. It didn’t sound worth driving out to. The interesting thing is that they even included that event in the Sunday episode of “Madame Secretary”. Amazing how things connect. We also learned that the “Oklahoma Bombing” may have been inspired by this incident in Waco. We’re going there (Murry Building in OK) next. By the way, I thought Waco was a very small village. Ha!! Not now. Quite the busy metropolis. The freeway even expanded to 6 lanes near there. Baylor University and several beautiful mansions are there as well. We may come back to see them.
Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum
Some highlights for you. The name Rangers came from an Englishman’s term for one who rides a horse while guarding property. Created in 1823 (when Texas belonged to Mexico) they rode the border, protecting “Texian” colonies from Indian attacks. During this time the Rangers learned from the Indians and the Vaqueros (Mexicans), improving their horse riding, tracking, shooting skills. As time went by the Mexicans began imposing unfair justice/laws, so the settlers rebelled (The Alamo, where 20 Rangers were killed). After that the Rangers helped Texas become its own country, using the Colt Repeating Revolver (1837), to great advantage over the Indians. Soon the US annexed Texas as a state, asking the Rangers to protect the border again. Until this time the cattle ranchers let their cattle roam anywhere, until the farmers came and built fences to protect their crops. As fence cutting became popular, lawmakers recognized it as a crime, making it against the law in 1884. The Rangers were called to bring law and order to Texas, catching the perpetrators. They also worked as surveyors as they patrolled the lands. In time those jobs separated, as the Rangers concentrated on the law while the surveyors concentrated on real estate disputes.
When the Civil War broke out so many of the young men were drafted that only the old men and teenagers were left to become Rangers. Thus their abilities were not so great and their renown lessened. Similarly, during the second World War they only had “hoods” to enroll as Rangers. These guys were not the best at keeping the law, so the Rangers’ fame was not good. These days the Rangers work at forensics (like CSI) and even include surveying skills in their efforts to catch wily criminals.
Bonnie and Clyde were shot by the Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers with early forensics
Some fun stories (click on image to enlarge):
Boots: The first are Justin boots (the same name as our son, Justin. Also John’s favorite brand). The next is a colored pencil drawing of boots by a young man with muscular dystrophy.
I didn’t realize that the “Lone Ranger” was actually a Texas Ranger, nor did I know his story, given here.
Excellent museum and only $6/senior (60+), just $7/adult.
By now it was lunchtime so we went up I-35 a bit to HEB. Wonderful $5 lunch (¼ roasted chicken, roasted onions, roasted jalapeno, 2 sides of beans) for me and 2 pizza pieces (1/6 size) $2, for John. Excellent food and So nicely priced! Then I got my haircut just across the way at Great Clips as John did our grocery shopping at HEB.
It took an hour to get back to Lake Whitney and I was really tired from not sleeping well last night so I took a good nap while John watched TV. What a wonderful day!