Tourin Texas Monthly Newsletter
Tourin Texas Letters to the Editor

Have a favorite day trip you'd like to let folks know about?
Did we miss one of the best places on our trip?
Just want to say howdy?  Please write.


2004  /  2003  / 2002 (Below)

 December 10, 2002   Please add my email address to your list. I would enjoy your trips. My niece, L'Jean King sent me the one about Goliad and Victoria. I lived in Goliad many years ago. I have a son and family who live in an area near the Collette bridge. Looking forward to your future trips. -- Thanks! Helen

December 9, 2002  Thank you! And thank Joann Clark. You have a great newsletter. Please add me to you list of subscribers. -- Charles

December 7, 2002  Please send one of your newsletters to a friend, Charles, who might be interested in subscribing. I really enjoyed your William Carlos Williams art photo and of course the general patter and tone of all the work. -- --Thanks, Joann Clark

December 7, 2002  You bet I want your free newsletter.  I received your website from a friend in Fairborn, Ohio! --Annette [Annette lives in the Hill Country.]

December 7, 2002  Dear Ira,   I love your travels. My uncle from Bakersfield Ca. just happen to send me the one that shows Cuero. I have lived in Cuero over a year and never enjoyed the beauty until I readed your web site. I go to the impact machine across from Tillmans and never realized the beauty. Thank you for opening up my eyes. Also being raised on the coast, if you ever make it to Port Aransas don't miss eating at The Crazy Cajun where they dump your seafood on the table and you get to eat it all with your hands. Its the best. Anyway thanks again  and I will look forward to your next set of travels. -- Maxine

December 6, 2002  Ira....   I know what you mean about the bizarre "Extra Yellow Strip" on the highway. I drive by one everyday on the way to work here in SA... had my head buzz'n as to WHY?  Did the Highway Department have too much yellow paint on hand and just decided to get creative or WHAT?  Then, by my own misfortune I found out what it's all about. {Not that knowing the facts now makes it any more sensible]  YES YES.... I had the misfortune of getting a speeding ticket from one of those "fast draw" law enforcement gentlemen as I was cruising into Johnson City.... who knew the speed changed from 70mph to 50mph in a distance of about 100 feet. But anyway... to get on with this story.  I took one of those, "get out of jail cards" that lets you take "defensive driving course".... via the internet.... which is GREAT. Anyway.... in the course it described this NEW Texas "road line" which they call "The yellow double double line".  According to the course it means NO PASSING EVER.... you CAN NOT CROSS it for any reason. "It is to be considered like a concrete median in the road."... is how the course described it....... So I guess instead of the Highway crew becoming creative with too much paint as I had thought.... it's just too cheep to actually build a real concrete median.      Just thought you'd like the facts as the Texas Highway Dept has not been too good about informing the driving public about this new "shorthand".
       Thanks for all your efforts on your newsletter... really enjoy them!   --  Diane

December 6, 2002  Hi Ira,  I enjoy your newsletters.  Makes me wish I could get my hubby out "on the road" more often.  If you & Ms. Intrepid haven't already taken your trip to the "real" Coast, you might want to include Palacios, the Shrimping Capitol of Texas, in your itinerary.  There's a great restaurant there near the waterfront, The Outrigger, housed in the old Price Lumber Company building (circa 1906) at 515 Commerce St.  They specialize in seafood and also have (or at least they did as of last year) a lunch buffet on Wed.-Thurs.-Fri. which is a very good deal ($4.95).  We try to detour through Palacios on our way from Houston to the Valley so we can eat lunch there.  Note:  It's closed on Mondays & Tuesdays.
       There's also an interesting old hotel nearby, The Luther, located at 408 S. Bay Blvd.  It's a two-story, rambling white frame building and is quite impressive.  It was built around 1903 and is still open for business.  It's reasonably priced, about $65/night.  We've never stayed there ourselves, but we heard from folks who have that it's pretty nice.
       The last time we were in Palacios, they were busily restoring the large Pavilion (used for parties, dances, receptions, etc.) on the waterfront.  The original one was built in 1904, but due to hurricanes they had to rebuild it several times.  Might make an interesting photo op for you, as it looks very picturesque.
       Be sure to wander on further down the coast to the Rockport/Fulton area.  That's also a very pretty coastal town, with its windswept oaks.  Our favorite place to eat there is The Diner at 205 Hwy. 35N.  They specialize in blue plate lunches, and I think it's open 7 days a week.  Don't go there if you're allergic to smoke, though, because even the non-smoking section is kind of smokey.  It's a very down-home type of place.  We like to stay at Laguna Reef motel on the water near downtown.  They have motel rooms for about $65 and one-bedroom suites with a kitchen and balcony for about $110.
       Rockport is an important birding area, and this is the time of year you can take a boat trip out to see the whooping cranes which have migrated in.  They also hold the annual Hummer/Bird Festival there in September.   I went for the first time this year, and it was wonderful!   --   Happy trails,  Judy    

December 6, 2002  Dear Ira:  Man you tire me out just reading about all your trips. I only got through Cuero before I had to stop and tell you how much fun it is to go back to places I have been. Almost like being with you. Evidently some Yankee or other naysayer left that cup in the archway. There was probably a trash can two feet away. Can’t wait for the real coast. Watch out for those Portuguese Man O’War Jellyfish. Bad news buddy. If you do any wading, I suggest you learn the "stingray shuffle." -- Good job, Froggy 

[Man O'War Jellyfish? Stingrays?  See, that's what bothers me... At least all us mammals with enough sense to stay on terra ferma are able to see rattlesnakes and such. Stingray shuffle? The only shuffles I know are the card and shuffleboard kind.]

December 6, 2002  Thanks!  I must say I’ve enjoyed your writing and pix.  I’m a hill country boy, too, hailing from Comfort.  I shook my head reading about y’alls experience in Comfort’s Ingenhuett store - it must have been Jimmy Krauter my old high school buddy’s dad whose family has run the store for at least the last 40 years or so.  
       He was always a nice guy, but I think the older you get the more attitude you get - and I presume they have sorta gotten fed up with the way downtown Comfort has become such a touristy trappy kind of place ... I know I miss the old way it used to be when growing up there in the 60s and 70s - nice and quiet, local business only; but, I must admit as a boy I always did keep a wary eye out for the old grumpy codgers (but of course they were probably eyeing me what with the longish hair of the time (there were just a few of us cool dudes back then, we spent a LOT of time cruisin’ the backroads ;). 
       I was Vice President of the Comfort High School Student Council in 1973-4 and drafted+circulated a petition to relax the boy’s hair length restrictions - we won, but it helped put the only local barber out of business, poor guy).  Keep up the good Tourin’, as well as being fun to peruse it’s giving us lots of cruisin’ ideas!  --Take Care  ...  Mark


1_RICHLAND SPRINGS.jpg (29055 bytes)December 6, 2002  Ira, Hope you like the picture of the restored Richland Springs Bank Building. Come see it some time soon. --Regards, B.J. & Renee'

[Thanks. And well done!   For folks new to Tourin' Texas the letter was inspired by my visit to Richland Spring a few years back and published in the July 2002 issue. (HERE) B.J. & Renee' wrote an earlier letter and were subscribers to my previous enterprise, Enchanted Rock Magazine ]


November 18, 2002 We took a ride southwest of Kerrville to see if the leaves were turning.  We enjoyed the view between Ingram and Mountain Home at the pull over on Rt. 27 overlooking the Boys Camp at Tecaboca. I know the leaves must be really nice at Lost Maples by now....couldn't get Todd to go that far!! I was inspired by Ira's "Tourin Texas" trip to the Ingram area. We just made a loop around and back to Kerrville...of course it's always beautiful around the Guadalupe River. --Nancy

November 9, 2002  Ira, Your latest installment (E. Texas) was interesting to me personally as someone who spent their childhood on the edge of the big thicket in a "suburb" of greater Cut-n-Shoot, TX on East Highway 105. The claustrophobia you mentioned really put my memory into high gear, as did the photos of Davy Crocket National Forest.
       I’ve lived in Kansas since 7th grade (1978) and appreciate your monthly newsletter as an opportunity to vicariously explore the back roads of Texas with you and get back to my roots.
       About the only way you could improve your newsletter would be smell-o-vision.  Maybe you could talk it over with Bill Gates.    --Sincerely, Hugh D. Lester    [Who needs Bill Gates?  You can get the desired effect by picking up an order of que from  Cooper's BBQ on-line. You'll have an authentic Texas aroma and, to torture a phrase, you can have your smell-o-vision and eat it too.]

November 5, 2002  Hi Ira,  It was fun to find out that you guys just got back from almost the same trip Rick & I and a few other friends take every October to East TX and Caddo lake. We call it Caddoween! Rick gets your newsletter at work, but we have e-mail now at home, so Dad sent the Oct. newsletter while we were out in Uncertain. It would be great to see you sometime at "Talk-O-Canyon". We'll be down there over T-day. Have fun on your next adventure! --Best Regards, Teel & Rick

November 5, 2002  Hi there! Just found your web site on Richland Springs, Texas and would like to invite you back on November 30, 2002 for our Yule Fest. It won't look like a ghost town then..People have a way of coming out of the woodwork occasionally. Also, if you had turned right on hwy 190, you would have found that there is a school, consisting of an elementary and high school. Check out the 6 man football status, you may get a surprise. Anyway, I'm glad someone actually took pictures of this town and cared enough to put it on a web site. Thanks....Ginger.

November 5, 2002  Really enjoyed the article about Telegraph, Ivy Falls, Red Creek....   there will always be a beer in the ice box, if yall are ever crusin' Marble Falls.... take care.  --RR

November 3, 2002  Hi Ira: Really enjoyed your Caddo Lake trip and photos-they're great!.....What a road adventure that was for you both and Nigel! I had planned to go to that area on our last trip in August...we ended up in Shreveport/Bossier City...there you can get a road up 20 miles to Caddo Lake area and cross over to Texas. I had two other spots picked out in that area- one the historic Caddo Lake drawbridge in Mooringsport, LA. (you can walk across it now-it's closed to vehicle traffic) and Caddo-Pine Island -Oil and Gas Museum in Oil City, LA....both spots are near the Texas border.
After seeing your pictures- I'll be sure to plan another trip that way!   --Nancy

October 31, 2002   Ira, Loved this issue! Didn't know there were such pretty places in Texas, me being from the hell hole of Texas... El Paso. Almost makes me want to move to this part of Texas. There is a Lake of the Pines in Calif north of Sacramento. --Brenda and Rusty  [Brenda, my sister-in-law, was raised in El Paso.  When Ms. Intrepid and I drove through there in Dec. 2001 it seemed to take all night to put the place behind us. --Ira]

October 29, 2002  Thank you for the great article about the north hill country trip.  Even though we aren't hunting long lost relatives it sounds like something we would enjoy.  Again, thank you. --L. Jones

October 29, 2002  I just listened to "Ollie Gravis signs on" and it made me laugh so hard I almost fell down - those comments about the publishing business... and the picture of the hunting cabin was an especially nice supplemental to the audio. I really love your website. --Cathy Ulibarri [Publisher/Editor for the Austin-based publication, The Homesteader. -ira]

October 28, 2002  Gosh.  You guys make us homesick. Your latest excursion was not far from our place at Lake Palestine (11 or 15 miles west of Tyler).  You did miss a right turn at Nacogdoches... Hwy. 21. The 24 or 27 miles between Nacogdoches and Alto, Texas, can take you half a day to drive if you stop at all the historical markers... longer if you stop at the Mission Tejas State Park and Caddoan Indian Mounds.
       Speaking of Nacogdoches...  Mike DeRossett (a friend of mine) told me this in the early 1990's... he read it or heard it somewhere...and changed the names around to suit his story.  Thought you might find it amusing.
           "In the early nineteen eighties, he and Ken Cole (another friend) were traveling in east Texas.  As they neared Nacogdoches, Texas, they began to argue over the correct pronunciation of the town's name.  They argued back and forth until they finally stopped in Nacogdoches for lunch.  As they stood at the counter, Ken ask the blonde employee taking their order, "Before we order, could you please settle an argument for us?  Would you please pronounce where we are... verrrry slowly?"   The blonde girl leaned over the counter and said..... "Burrrrrr......gerrrrrr.......kinggggggg."    -- Gary Brown  
[I met Gary when he was a contributior to Enchanted Rock Magazine.   A prolific author, Gary is the author of several books including: Singing a Lonesome Song: Texas Prison Tales; Volunteers in the Texas Revolution: The New Orleans Greys; and Hesitant Martyr in the Texas Revolution: James Walker Fannin. --ira]

October 28, 2002  Dear Ira: Glad you are back in the saddle again. Will be in your part of the country next Friday on the Franklin Ranch. Do you know where the Clik Road crosses Big Sandy? Will be in a deer camp about a hundred yards from the crossing. If you are out that way, stop by for a cool one.   --Froggy

October 28, 2002  howdy back, i am in the middle of reading your oct 2002 article about traveling to east tx and i find you more than amusing. i plan to forward URL to others who are just as clever - ok i know 2 i ought to be sleeping, but this time change has me confused.  -- Karen Fraser

October 27, 2002  Damn you're good. Felt like I was in the car with ya.  Teel, her hubby and friends always party the week-end before Halloween in Uncertain - at Splatter Dock's (a B&B). When we went to Jefferson for Rob's last Big Foot Conference a year ago, Rick and Teel took us out to Uncertain to see the place on the lake where they stay. I like the Arizona deserts best, but man is Caddo Lake a close second.  -- Bill & Brenda

bridge.jpg (21083 bytes)October 23, 2002  There’s an old expression often seen on the front of Harley-Davidson t-shirts. "If you have to ask, you won’t understand."
       Such was the case when I decided to take a late September ride on my Harley tour bike through the counties on the perimeter of Texas. People asked "why?" and I responded with something about my love of Texas. They they’d ask "why on a motorcycle?" and I’d point to the t-shirt. Inevitably they’d get around to asking "why solo?" This was easy. My wife was too smart and my friends all had jobs.
       I departed under the threat of Topical Storm Isodore and returned eleven days and 3,800 miles later under the threat of Hurricane Lili. Fortunately, neither attacked Texas, and I had great weather.
beerdrinking.jpg (69453 bytes)       For purposes of the trip, I considered Texas to be in five sections, Gulf Coast, Valley, West Texas, Panhandle, North Texas, and East Texas, each with its own culture, landscape, and weather, but each uniquely Texas. My favorite was West Texas, where the sense of history seems strongest. In Langtry, the Jersey Lilly is preserved pretty much as Judge Roy Bean left it when he practiced his law west of the Pecos. Lajitas was once stomping grounds for Pancho Villa and General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing. Today the mayor of Lajitas is a third generation beer drinking goat named Clay Henry III. Clay Henry’s preference is Lone Star Beer (Longnecks, of course.) No place but Texas.
       This was a great trip. I appreciate your interest and the opportunity to share it with you. Keep up the good work.  --Jim McKibben, Woodlands, Texas
[Now that's a road trip! Jim is currently working on an article about his adventure for Enchanted Rock Archives.]

October 6, 2002  I was just reading your adventure around the San Saba County area from July,  Great Reading! You know,   I've lived outside Cherokee 8 years now and I didn't even know there was a laundry there!!!  Thanks Again Ira!  Sky

October 5, 2002   Morning, Ira. Love your work.  Last night my wife and I went out to dinner and took the last 2 issues with us to plan a trip next week to the Hill Country. Were going to check out the chapel outside of Bandera. Staying at the Flying L. Yes, I have a 4 x 4 and were taking it! I know everyone must write you with suggestions, etc but the next time your in Bandera (your last trip was kind of quick!) you should really stop at the O.S.T. right down town. Great Mexican buffet on Friday and a tender chicken fried steak so big, it'll scare you! Thanks and please keep up the great work, we love it!
          -- Sincerely, Jeff and Robben Cunningham, The Woodlands, Texas (Hill Country wannabes)

[Thanks for the suggestion. That is exactly why we need letters. I know we miss stuff all the time and it's knowledgeable readers like yourself who help others find the great spots we miss. --Ira]

October 1, 2002  Glad to see you back up and run'n again! I was starting to get cabin fever without having your newsletter to carry me away to wonderous places [OK... so maybe that's a bit much]. But did enjoy this issue... except... you seemed to have slipped up on saying "nobody's doing the Mud Festival thang".... how bout San Antonio - every year when they drain the river. They have kings, queens, and lots of throwing mud at city politicans and TV celebs... lots of fun! -- Diane

September 30, 2002  Of all the "bad" places you all have eaten in you travels you probably missed one of the best places to eat in Texas and that is the "Lost Maple Restaurant" [in Utopia] !!!!   The Chicken fried steak and the home made pies are some of the best we have ever eaten in Texas. They are worth a road trip from Austin to have a wonderful luncheon with on a pretty afternoon!!!! 
       In search of the best Cheese enchiladas in the State??? Try Charlie's Café on the west side of Pflugerville. Better yet contact us, we would love to meet you both, and we will introduce you to Charlie's, they have been there for 40 years. Homemade chili and great home made pies, salad dressings, and hand breaded chicken fried steak (you can see the kitchen from the dining room/bar). The cook started there when he was 12 and is now part owner. Just a thought to get you all some great food. -- Don & Nancy McCale in Austin

September 28/29, 2002  But does Bandera have a large bronze statue of Antonio in the middle of the town square? No? Then I ain't goin' !  -- Joanie-O

[To Joanie-O from Ira: Stayed up all night pondering... Uncle!  Who is Antonio?]

Ira !!!!!!!!!!!!! You don’t know who Antonio Banderas is?????????? That georgeous, heartthrob, hunk of a man who came to America from Spain, became a movie star, and married Melody Griffith. He makes my palms sweat just looking at him. He is the finest example of what the definition is of a sexy male.....oh if only Michelangelo where alive today... He could sculpt a statue of my Antonio that would rival David! Ms. Intrepid should really get you out more. Love, Joanie-O

September 29, 2002  Enjoyed the newsletter very much, as we made the trip to Lost Maples last year. By the way, I see you have [my name as Carol].   I don’t know who Carol is.. But, as long as the email part of the address is right, I get the newsletter anyway. I really enjoy them..... — Have a nice day, Tommy

September 29, 2002  Dear Ira, Great site and you’re writing is very entertaining. Having been born in Houston and a "hill country wanna be", I look forward to reading many more of your issues!
       One of my wife’s and my favorite past times is to drive through the Hill Country and look at potential places to buy. Next year we hope to have enough of our bills paid off (kids college, etc) that we can put down some money on a future home-to-be piece of land.
       The map you spoke of would be a great tool on some of our backroad quests. Any idea short of driving to Camp Verde where I might find one?   Thanks for your effort and please keep up the great work! 
--Sincerely, Jeff Cunningham

[I have just become an associate.  You can order the book from the Contents page or by clicking HERE.   Thanks for  inspiring me to do the obvious.]

September 29, 2002  How nice it is to no longer be lost in cyberspace.  I didn’t think about notifying you when we went to DSL and last March.  Anyway it nice to not be lost on the road and I really enjoy your publication.  I could not receive the map in the latest issue. Must be a problem with your server or something in between.  Anyhow I’m glad I mentioned to a Texas friend this month that I was no longer receiving your letters and she said she would forward the link to me again.  Thanks again for re-adding me to your mailing list.  I’m glad Nigel the Land Rover is recovering even if your pocketbook is now ill ;-}   -- Robert H. Boian

September 23, 2002  Ira, Hi! I went out to lunch with my Aunt Doris and Uncle Hardy (Stonestreet) yesterday when they were in town from Salt Lake City. They just went on and on about how much they love to get your newsletter every month and how it helps them to "stay in touch with Texas". My Mom (Joydene Ternus) had sent them the link after I sent it to her. The whole family's addicted!  We all just love your beaufiful pictures. They even joked that when you had car trouble a while back, I should have lent you my car so that "the newsletter could go on!"  They don't want anything standing in between them and their "Tourin' Texas" newsletter! :) You've got some fans for life. Thanks for all your hard work. Hope all is well with you! -- Sincerely, Jenn

September 18, 2002  I discovered your website a few minutes ago and subscribed immediately.  Fantastic photography and very entertaining articles. I leave on an unusual tour Sunday. I will ride the seventy perimeter counties of Texas on a Harley-Davidson. Total miles will be somewhere around 3,000. I plan to take plenty of pictures and have several "interviews" scheduled to gather folklore, interesting stories, etc. I am quite excited about the adventure. When I get back I'll email you and let you know how it went.   --Jim McKibben, Woodlands, Texas

September 1, 2002  Hello Yourself Ira! Sorry to hear about Nigel's problems but you seem to have things well in hand. Looking forward to next month. If you run across that sorry excuse for a rancher called Ted Franklin, tell him Froggy said, "Get a job!" His place can be found by following the Click Road out of Llano to Big Sandy creek. That trail might make an interesting little tale. See you when you are off your feet again. Froggy

rollsA.jpg (24274 bytes)

August 18, 2002 
Thanks Ira & Ms. Intrepid: What a great issue! Chuckled all the way through....and the pictures were great...I especially loved the ones at the headwaters! Just like that old Rolls Royce we found in a field along Hwy. 71 around Bastrop.... if you take some of the "blue roads" and really open your eyes.... there is always something amazing to see and experience. The hard part is waiting for your next issue ! Nancy


August 17, 2002  Ira, Dam, this month's issue is so good! I have printed it to mail and share with Ron and Melissa who are internet challenged! This article is so entertaining and funny! I read it at work (against company policy) and laughed so loud I had to close my door. Your definition of "distances" is comical. Your observation of Ms. Intrepid and Brenda Harrison connecting in conversation was on target. Pictures encourage me to visit and experience the sites personally. But first, we need to know where to eat! Anyway, this issue was my favorite. Thanks! Ginner

August 13, 2002  Whew, wow, this August issue, I gotta say -- to date -- this is one of Ira’s very finest issues , everything about it... his flip-photos, story line, commentary and old Texas humor.... Another outstanding piece of work! If ya love ole Texas as I do, simply click on Ira Kennedy’s site. Its his free monthly Tourin’ Texas letter. No strings attached folks... n’ Darn if each issue ain’t just a smidgin’ better than the one before !
Kindest personal regards; Pa Bill Miller

August 13, 2002  Nice one! Ben

August 13, 2002  Comfort is one of the nicest and most interesting places in the Hill Country! Please don’t let your run-in with the one old grouch in town keep you from coming back and enjoying all the small wonders this town offers. We know you said you weren’t judging the town on that small part of its population, but I read between the lines and felt you left with a bad taste in your mouth. We love Comfort and don’t even live there!
Sincerely, Janet and Vernie Harris of Fredericksburg

August 12, 2002  Ira, Very entertaining as always. -- Phil

August 12, 2002  Ira & Ms. Intrepid:   Sure enjoy your jaunts and wish we lived in your neck of the woods.  My grandson loves the wallpaper you offer, we traveled in the Fredericksburg area a lot when he was small.  Perhaps I enjoy your writing so much because I churn out a weekly column for the Cleburne Times Review called OUT & ABOUT that is just that, whatever I get OUT & ABOUT and do.  Last week we did the Hank Thompson show at the Texas Music Theater in Waxahachie.  I love restorations and Waxahachie is it around here. We would love to travel your area more but work schedules prohibit.  So we enjoy your travels. 
Thanks, Jackie Wayman Seward

August 12, 2002  Dear Ira. Would have finished reading all about your trip but when I got to the part about and RC Cola and a Moon Pie, I had to stop, run to the store to see if I could find them. Sure enough, good old Kroger had both. Now I can eat, drink and finish the story. Thanks for the letter. You are rare in that you do send to subscribers. Good articles. Froggy

July 6, 2002  Hi Ira,  Perhaps you would like to return to Richland Springs some time soon and see what has become of your "GHOST TOWN."  Tomorrow would be an excellent time as there will be a lot of fun and games going on. There have been a lot of changes made in the down town area-especially the old bank building.  We loved the pictures of R.S. in the Lemom Squeezer article. Come back on a drive anytime.  San Saba county has had lots of rain also, our gauges read over 8" total. Nice.
       We are former subscribers to "Enchanted Rock Magazine"  and only recently found you and Ms. Intrepid again from a link on Louann Halls McCulloch Co. Web site.  We loved and have missed receiving the magazine and look forward to the Texas Tours letters.

B.J. & Renee

July 5, 2002  Hi Ira, Thanks for continuing on "rain or shine." Enjoy!
Helen  :-)

July 4, 2002   Dad, I liked the most recent story about your move in "TX". Funny to hear that Kevin is over six feet tall, kinda rare for a Kennedy. Karen and I and a friend were sitting around the other night. We were visiting Meg, an intern at the Examiner who was here last year, and whom I enjoyed working with a great deal. Meg has very rich friends, who have a 5 floor mansion that Meg is renting from them for $300/month to stay in for the summer internship. The funny part was that with all of the couches around us, and all of the other rooms we could have spent the evening in, the large screen TV, we spent the night sitting in the kitchen talking. I sat there and remembered what someone said one time when I was visiting Mawgaw,"Kennedys always end up sittin' in the kitchen", it was funny, well kinda of, and made me think of you all in Texas and how much I miss everyone there. No real point to this email, I guess, the tourin' texas just made me remember that I am a Kennedy no matter where I am.
[Dave is my oldest  son.  You can see his photography at  /   Ira.]

July 4, 2002   Ira,  Just wanted to let you know how much my wife and I enjoy your newsletter each month. Also being as that AOL and I are about to part company, I need to get you to change my email address. I don't want to miss any of your newsletters. Keep up the good work.
--Cliff & Diana Mayes

letter5.jpg (26158 bytes)June 10, 2002   Hi Ira: Really enjoyed your June Tourin Texas! What a lot of fun you two have! Glad you finally found where you're long lost kin is resting! We just love to run across these old stone or wood building from the past.  Really loved "Old Cora Courthouse"!- too bad they have to have all those bars around it. I noticed on your trip map there was a place called "Lanham" just off the way- that's the name of the place I'm originally from in Maryland...of course - I don't like that place at all...don't care if I ever go back to Maryland...terrible place now- too too busy and built up and crime...You could never find little places like here. I really feel "home" here in Texas...for the first time in my life!

letter4.jpg (20723 bytes)Thought of you two often on our trip- always coming across those off-roads that you and Nigel would find alluring!  These two shots were in Capitol Reef National Park in the southern area of Utah (north of Glen Canyon area). A lot of these parks in Utah are really set up for off road excursions...a lot of jeep and all-terrain vehicle rentals too!

Anyway- Thanks for the wonderful travel story each month! Can't wait for the next one! Enjoyed your panorama video of the Dublin Dr. Pepper Company....We're not fond of the drink- but it looks like a nice little place to visit! We love factory & manufacturing tours too!
Tell Ms. Intrepid "Hello"!

June 5, 2002   Ira: Great job on finding the gravesite. Did the same thing 15 years ago in a rural cemetery in South Taylor County. Love the Dr. Pepper Museum, too.

June 5, 2002  Hi brother; Just been looking around and came to your site to visit Texas. "Enjoy everything". Hay! Need more information on Sarah Jane Kelly and Grandma Rosa.
Love ya brother.

June 5, 2002    I just recently signed up for your newsletter and I must say I am genuinely thrilled when the new one comes out. I can't even remember how I stumbled across it, but I sure am glad I did! My girlfriend Shari and I are "Roamers of the Back Roads" and will almost always take the road less traveled. Your adventures inspire me and the pictures in your newsletter kick up the old wanderlust. I've been tied to the city for the past year or so and the Durango I bought a year ago barely has any road dust on it!
       Time for a road trip! Keep 'em coming!

June 5, 2002    fyi, check hwy 287 from vernon to wichita fall, there are camels, a plenty, there on the rt hand side of the road, and i forget just where, maybe just before iowa park..we have had them so long we do not consider it unusual..and they seem to be right at home.
      love your site
      i live at 1620 turner st in vernon, and my husband made lots of large animals out of carparts and metal scrap..rr spikes, and such, they are a pretty site, most times, i do need to freshen paint and get them weeds to go..texas weeds thrive on weed killer, some suggested disel and i am gonna try it..
       i wanted to donate these to our museum and they cannot take them, if you know of a museum that would like them i would  donate them to them just to have his name on the display...
       they might make you a good story too, you can call me at 940-552-5877...the wichita falls newspaper and our local paper and a tv station have done stories on them while he was alive, he died before his time and i wish they were where folks could see them and give him the credit..he could build anything i could paint in his head...
       thanks for your site..fran

May 23, 2002 just finished reading the newsletter. enjoyed it as usual. makes me want to travel a bit and talk with a twang. jm

May 6, 2002 Ira:   Always enjoy the beautiful photos and interesting editorial of your trips. I love the human interest stories in small town Texas and you capture the flavor and humor very well.

May 3, 2002   Hi Ira,  I am new to your monthly letter so don't know if you know this or not. But Gladys of Gladys' Cookie Shop in Flatonia is trying to sell her business. She said she is getting too old to continue.  Have you ever tried one of her fruitcakes? She makes great Czech fruitcakes !  Along with other pastry goodies.  She's the one who has been on Country Reporter and many other feature shows. Anyway, thought it might be of interest to you and your monthly letter.    [Editor's note: Flatonia is located on Interstate 10 (see map). Is Gladys conveying the fruitcake recipe as part of the sale?]

May 3, 2002 These newsletters ARE GREATNESS!!! I love to drive Texas backroads and your writing and photos are very inspiring. Thanks Ira, et al. I'd love to hang out with you sometime at Talk-O-Canyon!
Rick & Teel, Dallas

April 26, 2002   I've really enjoyed your newsletter.  I moved to the center of  Texas 3 years ago and enjoy taking in all the road trips.  I enjoy your sense of humor, it reminds me of my mother's side of the family.  Her grandparents were Kennedys from the McLean area. Could we be distant cousins?   Thanks for all you do, I have really come to love the Hill Country of Texas!
Cari Miller

April 7, 2002 Hi Ira & Holly: Really enjoyed the April trek on the back roads. This area is truly a wonderful place to explore. I enjoyed your changing pictures too- nice way to display them. Unfortunately I must not be "young at heart"- I haven't been successful with your 3-D pictures yet- but I'll continue to try! We're getting ready to visit my son and family around Salt Lake City in I'm planning the roads we'll take...trying to fit in as many new areas and adventures as I can. And looking forward to getting more practice taking shots along the way.
       Your stories make me more anxious to get going---Nancy

April 6, 2002  You guys are so cool !

April 3, 2002  Still laughing about Ira and his coffee on your last newsletter excursion. IRA must still be a young man. If I drank that much coffee, while driving, I would have to make a pit stop about every 100 yards or so.......Really enjoy the newsletter. Sometime you are going to have to tell me how you got the name ms Intrepid......
Have a nice day,
Tommy & Kathy

April 2, 2002  Tell Ira , I really enjoyed his article, pictures were great ! I can't wait for Ben to see it . He missed a wonderful time and day ! If ever you want to continue we can ........ Ha
Talk with you later !
Deinse the Guide

April 2, 2002  Thanks Ira for the update on things in the Hill Country. Clever overlay of the pictures.  Pretty country.
Thanks again
Dale & Karol

March 23, 2002  Hi Ira: Been so busy this month - but I just finished your March issue and had to tell you how much I'm enjoying your traveling trips.  There is so much to see and learn - right under our very noses!...and in our own country.  I especially liked the painted church in Praha....and the beautiful Pieta there. As a young girl I went to the World's Fair in New York when they had the real Pieta there from the Vatican. I'm not Catholic but anyone had to appreciate the beauty of that sculpture. I just ran across my program from the exhibit....but wish my mother in law had not lost my marble replica that my Aunt had given me years ago.  But your memories can never be taken away..and your story brought back that visit!
       Can't wait for the next adventure!  Don't think the bluebonnets are going to be as nice as last year -- only a few short ones blooming so far. Say Hi to Ms Intrepid for me- Hope you're having another driving adventure this weekend. Nancy, Llano

March 20, 2002   Saddle Up Ms. Intrepid,   I can't think of a person who I would rather tour Texas with than you [and that includes Stan]. Sign me up, let's roll!!!! 
New York

March 6, 2002   Ira, Do you remember me?  It is Brian Mulligan from Bartlett.  I see that you have a pic from Bartlett.  I would like to see what you say about Bartlett.  I'm tired of the cold weather, how about you?  [Follow-up after subscribing]     That was great Ira...  Hope the town does turn around someday.   We are working on it.
Brian Mulligan

March 5, 2002   Ira,Just a short note to tell you that we just suscribed to your newsletter and find it to be very entertaining and informative.........Texas has so many places that most people don't know about, much less ever see. So, to all of your subscibers we say, " don't just read about Texas....go see it !!! ".
Thank you kindly,
Michael Wayne & Susan

February 1, 2002  Ms Intrepid.  I loved the ending of his Feb. Tourin Texas- where he said the next trip you’d be behind the wheel and he’d be in the back seat! I get hell when we’re on a trip too for map reading- but maps just aren’t like the road really are- guess the guys have to take it out on someone! Happy- Friday- Time for you to rest! and have "LOTS of DRINKS" for adults! (I loved that part too- where he was looking for a beer!) I've really enjoyed your newsletters- and chuckle! Wish there were more per month.

January 30, 2002   Ms Intrepid. Love that newsletter. Especially where Ira comments on you and your
maps. Love it.....Makes me want to get in the car and visit Bartlett..
Have a nice day,
Tommy & Kathy

January 30, 2002    Hey dude,  nice article on Bartlett & Salado.  I am really enjoying this newsletter.  Helps me explore possible places to take a weekend trip!
    Kevin,  San Marcos

January 30, 2002     Hi Ira- I enjoyed your newsletter today. I did some exploring myself last weekend and ended up taking my dog to the Natural Bridge Caverns Wildlife Refuge.
       I hadn't been out that way in 20 years or so and never to the ranch. It was ok. Most of the animals were free to roam the land, although they had a few caged up. But the interaction between my giant brown lab and the "exotic" animals was worth it all. A dog doesn't know what to think when confronted by ostriches and zebras and buffalo. He almost wagged his tail clean off. So..if you happen to have a dog, I would recommend the trip!
    Gruene, Texas

January 11, 2002   Hi Ira and Ms. Intrepid:  Loved the first issue of  Travelin Texas that we have received as we are really Big Bend and West Texas fans.  Our son ran Far Flung Adventures rafting company in Terlingua for years.  It has since been sold.   Where are you going next?  [ It's a secret.]  Your pictures are great.  [ Thanks ]  How come we didn't know about your news letter before?  [ It takes time to get the word out. Please use the links on this site to recommend us to a friend. ]
    Janet and Vernie
    Fredericksburg, TX 7

January 3, 2002. Ira, Your newsletter and photos are beautiful. And your wallpaper photographs are fantastic! That one of the deer at Sandy Creek looks like an oil painting. I'll be using that for my wallpaper for awhile....I like the clouds too.
       Gruene, Texas

January 2, 2002.    Hi Ira:  Still lovin' your story!  Sounds like some of the side trips we take!  I'm still choking on $65@ night in Van Horn!!!  That Air Force thing - balloon - we've seen these exact balloons when we lived in the Florida Keys for 8 yrs.- They send it up often.  It was in a very remote area too...and was a radar device to help spot or track the illegal boats & planes running in from the Islands--loaded with drugs from the Islands or illegal aliens from Cuba!
        And in the Keys you can pay up to $100 or more a night for all those luxuries and get sand fleas to boot in your bed!!!   Even campground sites are from $65 to $100 per night. Prices are sure out of whack!  That's why we have the motorhome...we stay for free most of the time in the truck stops and Wal-Mart shopping centers. You two need a small mini-motorhome. One of our finds was the Texas border/New Mexico Visitor Center-- they told us they welcome people to stay the night there (free)! It's gorgeous....we haven't stayed there yet but it looks protected?! 
        Some city and county places have free campsites or parks.....some even with water and electric (Dumas,Tx. is one "nice" free place). Anyway- Thanks for the laughs (so far as I've read- can't wait to continue)...just wanted to guess what the Air Force balloon might be!
       Keep up the good stories!
       Happy New Year!!!  Nancy, Llano
       P.S. say Hi to Ms.Intrepid for me!!

January 2, 2002.    Before any more times passes I want to let you nd Ms Intrepid know what a pleasure it has been to get this "Monthly Newsletter".  I have enjoyed it, and share your insights and enthusiasm about certain places in, "The State of Texas ".  I welcome the Monthly Newsletter. Your communication, on the places is so clear and your suggestions always insightful !  I appreciate ther leads you provide throughout your articles and look so forward to the next one!  
    Ben and Denise
    Blount Mt Ranch

January 2, 2002.  Just a note to say, I really, really enjoyed the newsletter. Having been to Marathon and the Big Bend, it brought back memories. There is more to West Texas, than is seen at first sight......
    Have a nice day,
    Tommy & Kathy

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