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Welcome To Case's Column

Let me say a big welcome to all of you for joining me here. I'm going to call these blog meetings Case's Column. I wanted to use "Corner", but that was already taken. Since 2008, it's been a real privilege to come on here and share some of my life with you, and it's a big world where we live.

In these blogs, I'll just speak whatever is on my mind, but we will be playing within the rules here. I may pick a particular topic, point out an event, or shoot the breeze. I'm a little bit of an essayist at times, so I'll just speak what's on my mind, and I might tell a story or two. Or, I might spew out an opinion or three. There will be some serious moments, some tender, some poignant, but there will also be those moments that you'll just bust out laughing. But, hopefully, everything will be in good fun here. And, of course, there's a place below for your comments and thoughts as we go along here. So feel free to join me for the ride -- I sure as heck hope I'm doing this right and not making any mistakes.

Thanks for taking your time in reading Case's Column. Hopefully, you'll enjoy being entertained by it as much as I've enjoyed putting these writings together. And thanks for the time you spend in City-Data.com, where it's great to be alive!



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Recent Trip Went Well, But Not Without A Little Adventure

Posted 02-28-2022 at 06:36 PM by case44

Not long ago, I touched on the fact that I had a little road trip taken last week. I've gone over some of the details (of the weather variety) in a previous post, so I'll get down to the other things.

I left Dallas (which looked like Scotland Yard with all that fog) Monday to head for Texarkana. Yep, the place on the state line. My hotel was on the Arkansas side, but then, Interstate 30 is loaded up with hotels. Nearly all of Texarkana's hotels happen to be located in that entire corridor. At any rate, the real highlight there (as that town, admittedly, isn't much of a tourist town) is a picture-worthy collection of downtown images. There were murals giving tribute to Scott Joplin, and an old theatre recently purchased by the late billionaire H. Ross Perot, who just happens to have grown up in Texarkana. The big things were the state line reference at the main post office which straddles both sides. In addition, the flag display on the plaza next to it (in Texas, no less ) had an American flag on top, and four flags below it. Each of those flags represented a state: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Portions of those states surrounding the borders make up what is known as the Ark-La-Tex region. Be sure to check out The Dixie Diner, Ironwood Grill, and Naaman's Championship BBQ. All winners and all get five stars from your writer!

Also, some adventure before I left Texarkana. The hotel cluster along I-30 includes an abandoned hotel previously run by Howard Johnson a number of years ago, but had not had a new leasee in some time. It was tucked behind a Wyndham Garden hotel, but it is visible if you go north on State Line Avenue. Well, on Tuesday afternoon, after I'd completed my sight-seeing tour, a huge header of smoke was present in the afternoon sky. My goodness, it was humongous! As I drove by the area, it turned out to be that same abandoned 3-story hotel that caught fire. Numerous fire trucks were summoned to the scene. In relation to my hotel, the burning structure was only about three-quarters of a mile away. Lots of smoke abounded when I arrived back at my hotel. I've seen the before of that structure, having looked at it when making my visit the night before to Naaman's, where I met a very nice waitress who was worried about her grandmother. I still got good service at the barbecue place and some incredible food, but the girl was preoccupied. Anyway, I got to the see the abandoned hotel and wondered that night if anybody would one day buy that property and use it again. Well, of course, after the fire, those questions were definitely answered. The building was a total loss, as, from what I've seen online, the third floor was fully involved and ended up collapsing, so that obviously impacted the remaining structure. Fire crews did help in some post-fire demolition. I did not bother to drive by there to see the after. I do, however, feel bad for workers at that Waffle House that was right next to that hotel and what they must have experienced during the fire right behind it. Yikes!

Then on Wednesday, I headed down U.S. Highway 59 (which will one day become I-369 north of Tenaha, Texas, and I-69 from Tenaha through Nacogdoches and on to Houston and South Texas) to Jefferson. Had plenty of early time to look around the town's business district, which was preparing for a Mardi Gras festival over the weekend. I got to stop inside the Port Jefferson Outpost. I was hoping for a bite of lunch, but unfortunately, they had a staff shortage, and lunch was not available due to a staffing shortage (And you know who caused that to happen. I won't go there this time...). So, your writer just got him a cup of Blue Bell chocolate chip ice cream (My favorite!!). Not exactly a total loss. Stop by there even if you just want to browse. If you love ice cream and fudge, then Jefferson, Texas, is the spot for you.

After I took off, a brief lunch did take place at a Dairy Queen in Marshall before making my way to Nacogdoches. The latter is Texas' oldest town. Its history stems from its place along the historic El Camino Real trail. It's also the home of Stephen F. Austin State University, and a mighty fine campus it is. Dolli's Diner is where your favorite blogger had a couple of fine breakfast meals, with some smiling waitresses to boot. It's in the historic downtown square.

You really do run into a lot of friendly people in Northeast and East Texas. Honestly. Great places to chow down and some pretty nice hoteliers. Among the museums they have is a replica of an old 18th-century Spanish stone-made house where colonists resided in that day. And who could resist being surrounded by tall East Texas pines?? Despite the weather conditions and just barely missing a bout with freezing rain, it was great to be alive in SupercalifragilsticexpialiNacogdoches.

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

I'll also recommend another barbecue place, Brendyn's. It's one of the newer outposts in Nac. They serve Central Texas-style pit 'cue and some spicy sides. Simple menu, but worth my while. And nestled in what looks like a 1930s-era warehouse, factory-type building is another restaurant, Clear Springs Restaurant. That place ranks among the best places in all of East Texas (including their Tyler location) for really good eats. And next door to that? An historic train station, as Nacogdoches was a noted train stop through the years. You're probably wondering about my hotel stay in Nac? I won't say which hotel it was, but it needs new hallway carpet, and the toilet in my room couldn't flush half the time. Yes, weak. In addition, on my third day there, I briefly trudged on over to the town of Center, Texas, and took a peek at their town square. The Shelby County seat has five separate buildings in the middle of that square, anchored by the old courthouse, and the remaining structures are historic, but I'm not sure specifically what they are today.

Saturday, it was time to come back home. Six days on the road proved to be great fun, and with wild weather patterns that didn't get out of control, just getting away was the therapy Ol' Case really needed.
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  1. Old Comment
    Stayed in Texarkana close to ten years ago on a long road trip east. The town might not have the greatest reputation, but the hotel (I think it was close to the convention center?) was nice, and I got good take-out food from a restaurant there. The hotel was on the Arkansas side, while the restaurant was in Texas.
    Posted 03-03-2022 at 10:44 PM by shoe01 shoe01 is offline

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