Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Post Man

 Post Cereals has been one of the giants in the breakfast game for quite awhile now.  From Grape Nuts to Fruity Pebbles, everybody has a favorite.  But cereal dynasties aren't born, they're made.  And this one was made by a guy named C.W. Post.  If you look into his life you'll find out that he wasn't always such a great guy but but that milk of negativity wasn't enough make his legacy soggy enough to deny him a statue...and I just happened to visit it recently.

 And there he sits, perched high upon his throne, welcoming visitors to the Garza County Courthouse in Post, TX.  Yes, he has a town named after him.  And, yes, he named it after himself after he founded it.  Of course, it was originally called "Post City" and it was meant to be a paradise based on his utopian vision which involved prohibiting alcohol and recreational fornication.  But currently, it's not that different from any other small Texas town.

Right behind the statue is a Texas Historical marker.  It reads:

     "Internationally known creator of Post Cereals, advertising genius, inventor and innovator, founder of Post City in 1906. Through the purchase of the Curry Comb Ranch and adjacent land approximating 225,000 acres he began his dream of building self-contained model community of towns and farms. Mr. Post financed, supervised and built town without profit to himself. Settlers were offered ownership of business or farm sites far below cost. Mr. Post planned community of debt-free private ownership in every field of endeavor, and sought to make his vision true to its purpose."

I'm sure this isn't the only monument to a cereal magnate but my travels have yet to take me to Battle Creek, MI to investigate further.  If you want to visit Post's town (and his statue) you can find it in the in the vicinity of the middle of nowhere in the southern end of the Texas panhandle.  Don't forget the milk!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Monday, July 26, 2021

Risky River


 Jobe to the Future  - -  Pee-Wee Visits the Alamo

The streets of San Antonio are no stranger to the presence of Hollywood camera crews.  From Pee-Wee's Big Adventure to Miss Congeniality, the historic city has been a backdrop for several cinematic soirees.  One classic 80s film that took advantage of the city's scenery was 1984's Cloak & Dagger.  Not only does it take place in San Antonio but it stars Texas natives Henry Thomas and Dabney Coleman.

But it's not just iconic scenery like the Alamo and the business district that serves as the setting for the spy thriller, there's an elaborate chase scene between Henry Thomas, the movie's young star, and the goons of the film on the famous San Antonio Riverwalk.  Movies like these are a great time capsule that preserve the way certain places or attractions looked like in the past...

 ...not that it really changed that much...at least, not the architecture.  But there's always one thing that changes over time: price.  There's a quick shot in the movie were you can see posted prices.  They go by so fast in the shot that I can't imagine they were put there by the filmmakers so I assume these were the legit mid-80s prices:

 $1.25 for adults and 50 cents for kids.  Not too shabby, right?  By comparison here are some ticket stubs from my grandparents' trip out there about 2-3 years later:

 50 cents inflation isn't too bad but these days tickets will cost you about (as of this writing $13.30 for an adult and $7.50 for kids.  Still not too bad for a tourist town.  Plus, you most likely won't be chased by assassins like young Henry Thomas was.  

Keep in mind, that's not the approved way of exiting the boat.  But it's a great way to end a low-speed chase through a world famous tourist attraction.  The next time you you feel like checking out retro San Antonio, just pop Cloak & Dagger into the ol' movie playing machine (or however people watch movies these days) and take in the sights in all their 1980s glory.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Crunch Time

 They say everything is bigger in Texas but do "they" mean cereal too?  "Bigger" can be relative, especially in the cereal aisle where birds, rabbits, cavemen and leprechauns all compete for your attention and a place in your shopping cart.  In order to stand out from the crowd you need to do something big.

 And then along comes our old friend Cap'n Crunch with something we didn't even know we wanted: "Cap'n Crunch's Texas Sized Crunch Berries."  It's been way too long since we've had a Texas themed cereal and I was surprised at what a welcome site this was.  The "Limited Edition" breakfast treat boasts Crunch Berries that are three times bigger and has the Cap'n decked out in his Texas dude duds.

Depending on your familiarity with Crunch Berries, these may or may not seem "Texas Sized" to you.  I have to admit I was a little unimpressed at first glance.  I guess it's been awhile since I've had a bowl of the Cap'n's delight since they didn't seem all that big to me.  I assume that regular crunch berries are three times smaller but I honestly didn't want to expend the extra effort or cash to buy a regular box for comparison.  That would be a lot of cereal to get rid of.

So in order to give you a better idea of their size, I've included some State Fair of Texas tickets for perspective.  You can also see here how much bigger the berries are than the regular Cap'n Crunch pieces (do they have a name?).  This also got me in the mood for the inevitable "Deep Fried Cap'n Crunch" which must be coming to the State Fair at some point, if it hasn't already (like the Deep Fried Froot Loops I tried awhile back).

While you chew on that, let's head to the back of the box.  Sure, the "Texas sized" Crunch Berries might have been a disappointment but the Cap'n makes up for it with some Texas themed activities for your morning meal entertainment.  Apparently the "Tex-A-Tron XL" is the machine that makes the bigger Crunch Berries?  Regardless, it's up to you to unscramble the names of famous Texas locations in order to fix it.

If Crunch Berries aren't big enough for you then there are plenty of things in Texas that are.  Before you drink the milk, take some time to find your favorite Texas "big things" in the Cap'n's word search.  Not a bad way to start the morning.

Are we the only state in the country to have their own cereal?  Probably not.  I assume there's some kind of "California Something Or Other Granola" out there somewhere but I'll take the Cap'n over that any day of the week.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Buddy Love


When it comes to favorite sons of Lubbock, TX, the list begins with rock star Buddy Holly.  Before his rock & roll dreams came true, he grew up in the panhandle town and there are plenty of tributes to the musician along the streets of his hometown, including a historical marker:

The marker reads:

     "Charles Hardin "Buddy" Holley was born in Lubbock on September 7, 1936, to Ella Pauline (Drake) and Lawrence Odell "L.O." Holley. The youngest of four children, Buddy grew up in a musical household, with his mother and siblings singing and playing instruments. Buddy showed musical aptitude, taking violin, piano and steel guitar lessons. He took up the acoustic guitar after his brother, Travis, bought a $15 Harmony model.
     Buddy, with other young Lubbock "pickers," formed several country groups. In 1955, he saw Elvis Presley in concert and was very impressed by Presley's rhythm and performance style. Buddy and his friends were opening for big country acts at the Fair Park Coliseum when Eddie Crandall, an agent and manager, saw a performance and helped Buddy broker a Decca recording contract. Buddy's last name was misspelled on the contract: "Holley" became "Holly." Buddy's relationship with Decca was short-lived as his early recording sessions failed to produce a hit.
     In 1957, Buddy and his new band, The Crickets, began working with producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico. On February 15, 1957, they recorded "That'll Be The Day," the first of several hits on the Brunswick label. Their success led the band to tour widely in the United States and Canada.
     In 1958, Buddy Holly and The Crickets toured England. The group had a profound influence on Rock and Roll in England - from their sound to Buddy's distinct look. On February 3, 1959, during a three-week tour of the Midwestern United States, Buddy's chartered plane crashed after takeoff due to bad weather. There were no survivors. Buddy Holly was 22 years old.

 The marker stands in front of the Buddy Holly Center, a museum that chronicles Holly's career as well as other cultural topics of the area.  And outside stands a pair of black glasses, a part of Holly's look throughout his short career.  Visitors are encouraged to take pictures with rock star's spectacles.

Across the street is a statue honoring the rock & roll sensation.  He's playing his guitar surrounded by the West Texas Hall of Fame honoring other influential artists of the area.  His fellow Texas musicians are forever serenaded by Charles Hardin Holley, a.k.a. Buddy Holly, as he welcomes visitors to his humble hometown. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Top 5 Things for Sale at the Best Maid Pickle Emporium


80s Corpus Christie  - -  Sam Houston Gift Shop

 Sandwiched firmly in the Great Hall of famous Texas foodstuffs, you'll find jars and jars of Best Maid Pickled products.  With their trademark "Little Girl Sticking Her Tongue Out" (that's her name, right?) emblazoned on each jar, they've made their way into backyard cookouts, concession stands and bbq pits across the Lone Star State and beyond.

Now Best Maid buffs can get their pickle fix in Fort Worth at the Best Maid Pickle Emporium.  It's part museum, part store and the perfect way to add some crunch to the sandwich of life.  I visited recently and, as I do, thought I'd pick the top five things for sale there.

 5. Pickle Mints

Depending on your pants, you probably can't carry a jar of pickles in your pocket.  But that doesn't stop some pickle enthusiasts from keeping pickle flavor close to the vest.  If you want that fresh, pickley breath smell all day long, your solution is here.

4.  Pickle Dog Chew Toys

 In my experience, pickles are low on most dogs' list of favorite things but chewing stuff tends to rank high.  Sure, your best friend might not be aware of the significance of his or her new toy but it squeaks and it's shaped like Texas so we call that a "win/win."

3. Pickle Air Freshener

New car smell?  Nah, man, pickle smell!  Freshen up your road trip with the crisp scent of dill and enjoy the ride.  I'm sure there are several advantages to having your car smell like pickles, I just can't think of any right now.  But if and when the need arises, you can be ready.

2.  Pickle Flask

Keep this one close to your heart.  When you need a pickle-based cocktail, you never want it to be too far.  These come with a recipe for "Pickle Back" which is essentially a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle brine.  I don't drink either one of those so I couldn't tell you if the combination is any good.  But if it's printed on a flask, it's gotta be pretty nice, right?

1.  Best Maid Pickle Tie

 So here we have what the well dressed pickle enthusiast is wearing.  If I ever have another job interview, I plan to wear this.  There are power ties and there are power ties and this is the ultimate power move.  Show them what you're about with this Best Maid logo-covered accent.  

So there you have it.  If you can't find something for the pickle lover on your holiday shopping list, then I don't know what to tell you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

On the Road Again


Hat Man Returns  - -   Cape Fair   

 Cowboy (Back) Up  - -  Golden Anniversary

You've probably noticed that things are different this year.  Due to the pandemic, most large events have been canceled and the State Fair of Texas was not immune.  Luckily, hungry Texans need not go without their deep fried Fall fair food altogether.  This year the Fair offers a drive-thru version that includes several of your favorites and a visit with Big Tex himself.

 ...and Little Tex, as you can see above.  There are a couple of packages available and several "add-ons" for those with specific tastes (especially if you're hankering for a turkey leg).  I got the one with the maximum amount of corn dogs.  

Starting at Gate 11, the route takes visitors through Fair Park and has plenty of fun signs with trivia and Texas facts to amuse as you wait in line.  Although, the day I went, there wasn't much of a wait at all.  First up is the drink station where the options range from soda to bottled water.  Next up are the Jack's French Fries and Fletcher's Corn Dog stops.  I got so excited that I ate my corn dog without taking a picture.  Thankfully, I got it together for Big Tex.

In the middle of the drive, Big Tex awaits his photo op with visitors.  There were several photo stations set up to get people in and out with their professional pic (they text it to you immediately).  Of course, visitors are also allowed to take pictures on their own phones.  Assuming that this is the only year BT wears a mask then this is a once in a lifetime photo opportunity.  After a quick drive thru midway game it was time for  dessert!

Deep Fried Oreo's were easily my favorite but other stops include more traditional fair fare like cotton candy and kettle corn.  There were plenty of options for those that wanted to indulge in sweets...or if you'd like, maybe mix them all together in one bag and gorge yourself.  It's your car after all.

So, yeah, it sucks that there's no State Fair this year but thankfully Fair fans like me don't have to leave Autumn empty handed...or with an empty stomach..