Friday Fictioneers: Used to Be

The Friday Fictioneers Challenge: Write a 100-word story based on the photograph.

 

PHOTO PROMPT – © Roger Bultot

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USED TO BE

“The convention center? Well, go about six blocks, to where the old movie house used to be–the one that burned in ’87–What’d you say, Fred?”

“It’s The Oaks now. Condos.”

“Oh, that’s right. Well, just before the condos, turn right, and when you get to where the Masonic lodge used to be, there’s a–What’s that, Fred?”

“It’s the Hyatt–”

“All right, the Hyatt. Turn right again, and almost to where Milton Badey’s furniture store used to be–”

“The Omni.”

“Omni. One day they’ll knock down the diner and this’ll be where we used to be.”

 

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On my husband’s first visit to my hometown, I took him on a walking tour: There’s where Miss Blanche Harris used to live, and my great-grandmother lived there, and when my grandfather moved in from the farm he built that little house, and the house across the street was Uncle Carl’s, and that one belonged to Aunt Bettie and Uncle Maurice, and Rob and Nell’s grocery store was there, and right next door was where Dick Ward sold double-dip ice cream cones for a nickle, and next door to that was Earl and Lorene McCutcheon’s store, and that was the Masonic lodge, and across the street was Dr. Luckett’s office, and that was the cotton gin, and there are the scales where they weighed the cotton wagons, and there’s the old post office that was a bank before it was a post office, and that was the gin yard where they stored the cotton bales, and the skating rink was back there on the river before they moved it to Lockhart . . .

And when the tour ended, I realized everything I’d told him was history.

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(The the event pictured below happened before my time. And it’s Fentress Resort. That’s the skating rink in the background.)

Cottonwood School Reunion – Fentress Resort–Fentress, Texas–1930s (?)–Row 1, 2nd from left – Carl Waller; 4th from right – Jessie Waller Meadows (white collar); last on right – Ethel Waller (polka dots). Next-to-last row, from left: Maurice Waller (partially hidden); Bettie Pittman Waller; Pearl Daniels; Frank Waller; Barney Waller

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Friday Fictioneers Challenge

On Tuesdays, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts a photo prompt on her blog. The following Friday, writers post 100-word stories inspired by the photo on their blogs.

To read what other Friday Fictioneers have written, click the blue frog.

 

Doodle #5. A Quiet Moment

Doodle #5.
Doodle a quiet moment.

Doodle #5. Quiet river
Doodle #5. Quiet river

This is the San Marcos River edged by willow trees and grass and such.

Well, it is if I say it is.

Here’s a better picture.

San Marcos River above Fentress, Texas
San Marcos River above Fentress, Texas. By Kathy Waller.

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Prompt from 365 Days of Doodling by Carin Channing.

The Lowdown on the Political Road

The gravel road in the picture below (and, for a time, in the header above) runs from Texas State Highway 80 just north of the town of Fentress to where it intersects with Farm-to-Market Road 20, about five miles to the northeast.

The sign at the intersection reads Political Road. The sign denotes Caldwell County’s approval, but the name existed about a zillion years before anyone thought about marking it.

And therein lies a tale. I relate it as it was told to me, but, in deference to the etiquette of small-town life, I omit names.

The Political Road
The Political Road

Once upon a time in the 1920s (or maybe the 1930s; I didn’t listen carefully enough), the formerly insignificant thoroughfare rose to prominence during a race for County Commissioner of the local precinct. The incumbent promised that, if elected, he would pave the road.

Hence, people in the area started calling it the Political Road, and the name stuck.

When I went to Fentress a couple of months ago, I drove the length of the Political Road. I expected to see it built up with new houses.

But there’s still not much out there.

I saw some cows resting beside a dying fire. That was a welcome sight. I love cows. I don’t see them often enough. They are superior to houses.

So that’s the story of the Political Road.

Except for one more thing: The incumbent County Commissioner lost the election.

The road still isn’t paved.

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Backroads of Texas by Larry Hodge and Ed Syers is a good source of information about roads more interesting than I-35 and SH  130.

List of highways numbered 20
List of highways numbered 20 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)