This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Northeast Texas

Yesterday we visited the 13,000 square foot Texas Music Hall of Fame in Carthage.  The museum began in 1993 as the Tex Ritter Museum and grew to include other Texas-born country music legends.  As of 2012 there are 43 members of the Hall of Fame.  Some of the names I'm sure you will recognize include Gene Autry, Dale Evans, Kris Kristoferson, the Gatlin Brothers, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills, Ray Price, Tanya Tucker, Mac Davis, Jimmy Dean, Roger Miller, Buck Owens, and George Jones.

The current facility was built in 2002 for $2.5 million.  Then, in August 2004, the museum expanded to add a significant Jim Reeves (remember "Hello, Walls") display which features the radio equipment from Jim's radio station KGRI in Henderson, TX.  Jim Reeves was a native of Carthage and is buried a few miles outside of town.

I'm sure everyone has heard of Tex Ritter, movie cowboy and western music star.  Tex began his acting career in 1932 but he didn't get his big boost in western music until 1952 when he sang the theme for the Gary Cooper Oscar winning movie, "High Noon" in 1952.  The movie was made in 1951 but received some rather poor reviews at a test showing.  It was decided that the movie needed a theme song to match the tense storyline.  They chose the song "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling" and selected Tex Ritter to sing it.  The rest is history.

Tex Ritter is also the father of the late John Ritter, star of the television show, "Three's Company".  How many of you knew that?

Today we drove 45 miles to the Monte Verdi plantation.  Quoting from the Monte Verdi Plantation website (

"Monte Verdi is an architectural showplace built in the Greek Revival style and was completed in 1856.  The mansion was built by Julien Sidney Devereux and was situated on his 10,721 acre plantation.  After Julien's death in 1856, it was Sarah Devereux that kept the plantation producing through the Civil War years even while being heavily taxed to support the Confederate Troops.

The plantation remained in the family until sometime around the turn of the century.  The home passed through several owners and the land was sold off piece by piece.  By 1958, the home was in great disrepair.  Mr. & Mrs. E.F. Lowry bought the property and immediately began their three year restoration.  They returned the home to its grand stature overlooking the East Texas hills.

The plantation is now owned by Joe & Cecilia Koch.  They have spent much time and travel to furnish the home with the appropriate period pieces of furniture.  Their home is now open to the public on occasion throughout the year, and always available for tours by appointment."

Tomorrow we hit the road for Georgia and my 50th high school class reunion this weekend.

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