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Weekend Reading: Texas Curiosities

September 9, 2011

If there was ever a book with an accurate title, it is this one. Texas Curiosities (4th edition, 2011, Globe Pequot Press) by John Kelso and Sharry Buckner. And be sure of this, Texas has more than its share of curiosities. I am proud to be a (transplanted) Texan, but let’s be honest, we have some real odd-ball characters. It is part of what makes this a great place.

The authors break the state down geographically into eight sections:

  • Central Texas

  • Hill Country

  • North Texas

  • East Texas

  • West Texas

  • High Plains

  • South Texas

  • Gulf Coast

Inside each of the geographic areas the authors profile a series of interesting people, events, and attractions. Some of these I was already familiar with and many I was not. Many of the curiosities are in the big cities of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, but most are in the small towns and rural areas of this grand state. Perhaps most importantly, the authors include contact information and directions where available in case you want to experience some of these people and places that make Texas a little different from the rest of the country. Just a few of the curiosities are:

  • Spamarama (Austin)

  • Dr. Pepper Museum (Waco)

  • South Waco Shrimp

  • Big Tex (Dallas)

  • III Forks Restaurant (Dallas)

  • Texas Prison Museum (Huntsville)

  • Fire Ant Festival (Marshall)

  • Rosa’s Cantina (El Paso)

  • Prada Marfa

  • Cadillac Ranch (near Amarillo)

  • Alamo Village (Brackettville)

  • Great Texas Mosquito Festival (Clute)

  • Col. Bubbie’s Strand Surplus Center (Galveston)

  • Big Tree (near Rockport)

I really enjoyed this book on several levels. First of all, I really enjoy this kind of trivial writing. Probably a little too much. Second, I am always looking for good stories and other things for illustrations for teaching and preaching. This certainly is a likely source for this. Third, I read quite a bit. Most of it is more serious reading. Church, theology, leadership, teaching, culture, and family are just some of the topics I usually read. Occasionally, it is a good idea to do some light reading. It is kind of like taking a vacation. This was a fun vacation.

If you want some light reading, if all things Texas are interesting to you, if you like trivia and oddities, Texas Curiosities is for you.

Thoughts?

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