Gainesville TX, The Great Hanging, Frank Buck Zoo

4/9/15 Thursday in Thackerville,OK (Red River Ranch-ROD)

Terrible, scary wind last night. I’m sure it was more than the 15 mph predicted. We were supposed to get rain (70% chance) around 2am and 3am, but it was this major gusty wind from 2-4. I never even heard the train. This is when I miss my nice firm foundation home. We survived. Even our mat and tire covers were still here. I must say, I’m not all that enthralled with Oklahoma so far. It’s been pretty windy constantly.

I worked on the laundry and the blog, then researched Oklahoma City parking, transportation and attractions. Then more research of Thackerville attractions and Lucky Star Casino (our next stop) info. I even got a short nap in after all that. John got help figuring out his Silverleaf, getting it to work before lunch.

After lunch we got together with Jinhiee and Richard. We agreed that the Eisenhower birthplace was too far (1 hour drive). No great interest in the Love County Pioneer Museum 10 miles north of here, nor the Lake Murray State Park 20 miles north. So we went south to Gainsville, to see “The Great Hanging.” In short what happened is that when the southern states seceded, Texas was the seventh. BUT many in North Texas didn’t have slaves and really didn’t want to secede. Then the Confederate Army was conscripting all the young men into their army. Many rebelled by going underground, forming a “Peace Party” that opposed the draft. 150 men were arrested because the townspeople feared they were inspiring a Union rebellion. Many gathered into the town square, calling to hang these men. They rang the church bell and called a “Citizen’s Court.” They convicted 7 who were promptly hanged. Two others were shot when they tried to escape. The jury was undecided about the rest, concluding that 2/3 majority vote was necessary to convict. With that, all the rest were acquitted. The jury decided to release them a week later, but the mob insisted they be hanged. So they jury “let” them hang 14 of the men. After the jury went to their homes, a couple more men were ambushed and shot. Fear was so great that when the court reconvened, the rest of the men were hanged – on an elm. Here we were under a pecan tree and found really good pecans!! Yum!

hanging 1 hanging 2

What to do next? As John was searching for a UPS store to return his old Silverleaf, we came upon some neat metal sculpture horses.

horses 1 horses 2 horses 3

Then we spotted a UPS truck and pulled over, when the driver came of the building, John handed him the package, which was scanned and put in the truck to be sent back to Oregon.

John started to just drive down a highway outside of town and I saw a sign for “Frank Buck Zoo” in what looked like a park area. Well they had a fun little train near the Zoo that Richard wanted to ride. Then we all enjoyed the little zoo ($5.50/senior). Good deal for the price, we all felt.

train 1 train 2

Frank Buck Zoo

zoo 1 zoo 1a zoo 2 zoo 3

Bush Cows

Bush Cows

Leopard Tortoise

Leopard Tortoise

African Crested Porcupine

African Crested Porcupine



zoo 9 zoo 10

Saki Monkey

Saki Monkey

Patagonian Cavy

Patagonian Cavy

This was a nice zoo, with many animals I hadn’t seen yet – a great bargain. I feel sorry for the animals, as hot as we were. It was HHH weather: high heat and humidity so we were all happy to head home at this point. Such a busy pre travel day. Oh, and Richard and Jinhiee decided to also come to the Lucky Star Casino tomorrow. More fun times ahead!


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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