Day 9: May 4, 2015
Ike's Not Here

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I spent the night in Denison, Texas, and came upon these unexpected photo ops in the morning.

I was on my way to Eisenhower's Birthplace and was not surprised to find it closed only because I'd checked on it before leaving the motel. I went anyway because 1) I was there and 2) I figured that a closed house looks a lot like an open one from the outside. While that may be true, it is meaningful only if you get the right house. When I visited the website to pickup the link to include here, I noticed featured photos of a house that did not look much like this one. This is not the house that Ike was born and raised in. That house was somewhere else in the park apparently behind closed gates. This house contains the museum store and exhibits. I'm posting the pictures anyway because I like them.

I had decided to go a few miles further south on US-69 then head east on US-82. The subjects of the first two pictures were across the street from each other in the town's historic section that I passed through on the way back to US-69. The Studebaker sign looks authentic though I can't be certain. I did find some online items about a Studebaker museum being planned for Denison so maybe this is it. After photographing the big silos that sort of resembles an oversized Pez dispenser, I hit the open road.

US-82 between Denison and Paris is not particularly praiseworthy. It's a mix of two and four-lane with even the two-lane often having a 70 MPH speed limit. There was considerable traffic including plenty of big trucks so, while it was not white knuckle scary tense, it was hardly relaxing and the scenery is nothing special. I turned to the Roadside America Garmin app for relief and this is one of the items it listed. What RA calls Jesus Wears Cowboy Boots is the grave of Willet Babcock who died in 1881. Not a five-star attraction but better than cruising between two semis.

Moving from toe to head cowboy garb, Roadside America also pointed me to this hat topped Eiffel Tower. The 65 foot (plus hat) tower is pretty cool but I live about five miles from a 300+ foot version. I found the adjacent Red River Valley Veterans Memorial even more impressive. The ring of tall marble slabs at the rear is itself encircled by a ring of benches. The benches commemorate families and groups with multiple service members. The Brem family has seven generations of military involvement beginning with the War of 1812. The Vietnam War fills seven lines of one of the marble panels. The Korean War fills nine on another. World War II completely fills one of the big slabs and occupies two lines on a second. There are empty slabs next to the World War II and Vietnam panels as well as the six on the opposite cide of the circle. There is nothing shortsighted about this monument.

When I decided to pickup US-82 south of Denison rather than return north to reach US-70, it was partly because I believed I had never driven US-82. I realized this was not true when I recognized a Roadside America attraction as one I had already visited. I'd made a stop at the Ricky Nelson Death Plane Tail back in 2009. Six years ago, the artifact sat outside and was unmarked. It is now protected from the elements and a descriptive plaque stands nearby. The Williams House Museum is only open on weekends but a window allows the tail to be viewed any day of the week.

I also visited Texarkana in 2009 and then as now I included the traditional post-office-in-two-states photo. The other photos show a feature that was under construction in 2009. It's a nice photo op with a straight forward "you are here" element.

I considered but decided against taking US-67 to Little Rock but when I discovered there was a 67 Roadhouse (a sort of Roadhouse 66 plus one), I had to check it out. Pool tables, cheap beer, and friendly people. Yeah, that's a roadhouse.

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