Happy Father’s Day. I hope everyone has a good one. This post, by the way, has very little to do with McKinney. I went to visit my step-father in Maypearl on Friday and so made a quick jaunt into Waxahachie’s downtown again.
Last time I went to Waxahachie, I mentioned that Venus, just to its north, seemed to be showing signs of the recovery. Well, I think that they had at least gotten a new donut sign (I don’t know if the donut shop itself was new). This time, I actually stopped and took pictures in Venus. Venus is a little over an hour to the southwest of McKinney, about twenty to thirty minutes from downtown Dallas.
I’ve always liked this old gas station. In my senior year in college, my schedule was so bad I took any work I could find. One job was as a farm hand for my future step-father who was farming hay at the time. We went here one day for some kind of supplies for the farm. It has those beautiful old tin ceilings. I think, actually, that the entire facade is tin but I hadn’t noticed that at the time. It looks like it has recently been painted.
I’m sure the people who saw me taking pictures in Venus wondered at me. I didn’t see the ghost sign when I took this picture. I see it now above the current sign. It used to say “BANK” on this building.
They have an old community garden from the 70’s in their downtown. It’s pretty much dried up in the summer heat. The gazebo, however, is very nice. I wish the watertower had come out more clearly in this shot.
Venus has a line of old brick buildings on one side of the grassy lawn where the gazebo is. I wish they had a placard up explaining their history. The transom windows could just be captivating if the buildings were restored.
How do the missing embellishments on the buildings not just drive someone crazy enough to replace them? There’s a hint of a ghost sign on the front of this building. I wonder what it was. This would have been a gorgeous building when it was new. How did it come to be out here, so far away from, well, really anything?
When I got to my step-dad’s place in Maypearl, there was someone checking out his farm for a possible movie. It is beautiful country out there. I took this shot of one of the fields back in 2009. He’s also no stranger to working with the film industry. Waxahachie has definitely had its share of movies shot out there and, though he’s slowed down in the past couple of years, he’s always managed to be right in the thick of things.
My step-dad’s a bit of an eccentric. When I first reported for work there, having not met him yet, I almost left the farm immediately upon arriving. At 8 a.m., he had already been working for hours and so wasn’t around. The place reminded me of one of those cheesy and gory horror movies. There are doll heads in the yard. The fence by his house is lined with cow skulls and old work boots. Dozens of boots of all different sizes. Luckily, he turned up and turned out to be a really neat guy. While he had started the boot theme, he’d had some help from his church family who enjoyed the boot fence as some type of novelty art. There was some weird theory for the doll heads but its just one of those things I’ve accepted and overlooked. I think they’re supposed to scare potential robbers. Works on farm hands, so there might be something to it.
For this Father’s Day, I took him a couple of jars of preserves from Loco Cowpoke and a great ceramic pot from The Antique Company Mall.
Mom and I popped into downtown Waxahachie, about 15 minutes away, for lunch, shopping, and sight seeing. She took me to see Singleton Plaza which is downtown next to the old City Jail.
She said that someone is wanting to get water running through the creek bed so that it will look like a real river. I assume that they aren’t meaning tap water. More water would look fantastic.
I tend to like downtown alleys. You find the neatest stuff. Look what I found. We peeked in the windows but it doesn’t look like it’s been used in awhile.
Something else not getting much use, thankfully, is this old calaboose.
According to the placard, the calaboose was a “local lock-up” specially constructed to be more secure than you might suppose. There were at least two others, they think. They’ve studied old city minutes and old fire maps and it sounds like this calaboose could have been used between 1888 and 1898, at which time it showed up in historical documents as damaged by fire.
As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to downtown Waxahachie and I promise my next post will be all about downtown McKinney.
In the meantime, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!
Until next time,