Monday, May 21, 2012

Dino Sighting on Exposition Street

So I was driving down Exposition Street today (near Fair Park) and I saw one of my favorite things in the world:  an unexplained dinosaur statue.  Check it out:

It was right outside the gallery of local artist Edward Ruiz so I assume it's some kind of artsy fartsy thing.  Which is ok with me...the world needs more dinosaur statues!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Marking Time #22 - Aurora Cemetery

Wow, it's been awhile since we've done a "Marking Time" entry.  To make it for it, we've got a cool one: The Aurora Cemetery in Aurora, TX.
You're probably thinking, "So what?  Lot's of cemeteries have historical markers."  True, but this one has quite a bit going on.  Let's start with the first marker:
It reads:
"Georgia native George Lawton Bledsoe (b. 1805), a carpenter and cotton gin builder, came to Texas in 1834. A veteran of the Texas Revolution and the Battle of San Jacinto, he received a pension for his military service and patented land grants in Brazoria, Cooke, Jack, Fannin, and Wise counties. He was married to the former Ellen Bowdre (d. 1850) and had five children. Bledsoe is buried here along with his daughter Georgia and a brother-in-law, Preston E. Bowdre. Ellen Bledsoe and the couple's other four children are buried in Fannin County, probably in Bledsoe Cemetery near Dial"
Not too far from the marker is an unusual grave.
I've searched for information on "Loreta" but can't seem to find anything other than listings of her grave.  Basing my information strictly on what I learned from her tombstone: She was a bird.  She talked.  She was the "world's."
Odd bird graves notwithstanding, it's the historical marker at the cemetery entrance that gets most people's attention.
It reads:
     "The oldest known graves here, dating from as early as the 1860's, are those of the Randall and Rowlett families. Finis Dudley Beauchamp (1825-1893), a Confederate veteran from Mississippi, donated the 3-acre site to the newly formed Aurora Lodge No. 479, A.F. & A.M., in 1877. For many years, this community burial ground was known as Masonic Cemetery. Beauchamp, his wife Caroline (1829-1915), and others in their family are buried here. An epidemic which struck the village in 1891 added hundreds of graves to the plot. Called "spotted fever" by the settlers, the disease is now though to have been a form of meningitis. 
     Located in Aurora Cemetery is the gravestone of the infant Nellie Burris (1891-1893) with its often-quoted epitaph: "As I was so soon done, I don't know why I was begun." This site is also well known because of the legend that a spaceship crashed nearby in 1897 and the pilot, killed in the crash, was buried here. 
     Struck by epidemic and crop failure and bypassed by the railroad, the original town of Aurora almost disappeared, but the cemetery remains in use with over 800 graves. Veterans of the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts are interred here."
Yep, there's a legend that not only did a spaceship crash her in the 19th but also that the alien pilot is buried somewhere in the cemetery.  So of course we had to look for his tombstone.  Want to know if we found it?  You'll have to watch the video to find out: 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sandwich Tour of Dallas Part 3

Part 1  - -  Part 2

It's time once again to gently nestle a new blog entry between two slices of bread.  So let's squirt on some mustard and get started.
As I mentioned earlier, the best thing a sandwich place can offer is a drive-through window and that's what you'll find at Great Outdoors on Greenvile & Park.  Your sandwich mileage may vary but all too often my sandwich time is rushed so something simple like not having to get out of my car is a big incentive.
There's a variety of subs on the menu and I went with the Invention.  It comes with buffet ham, provolone, cream cheese & fresh mushroom.  After a bite, my first impression was how good the bread was.  Very soft and tasty.  Too many sandwich makers see bread as an afterthought, but true sandwich geniuses realize it may be the most important ingredient (yeah, that's right!).
The mushrooms and cream cheesed worked great together to create their own unique type of sauce and the ham did what ham does best:  it was ham.
Moving forward, we move backward.  Most towns, at one point or another, have a nostalgic soda fountain type restaurant.  They typically go out of business after about 15 minutes but the Highland Park Soda Fountain on Knox & Travis has been hanging in there for a while and is a very popular lunch spot.
In celebration of this, I went old school with my lunch order and got the Grilled Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich.  It comes with, you guessed it, peanut butter and jelly and is then grilled to perfect.  You may scoff at the idea of grilling this lunchtime staple but I've found that, as awesome as peanut butter is, it becomes a billion times better when you heat it up (try it yourself).  I was worried about how the heat would affect the jelly but after all these years it's still the perfect compliment to it's peanutty partner.
It's also always good to get grilled bread that maintains a soft texture without the roof-of-you-mouth-scratching phenomenon that typically comes along with the toasted bread on sandwiches.  This one is a great take on a timeless classic.
Jen's Place Bakery is an unassuming place on Alpha near the Tollway but once inside you can see how popular it is.  It was another packed lunch spot with specific lines for eating in or for taking out.  Menu items range from breakfast to lunch to fresh baked cakes and pies.
I chose the Greek Chicken Sandwich.  It comes with chicken breast, feta cheese, creamy cucumber sauce, lettuce, tomato, and onion.  Similarly to the first sandwich in this post, there was the mingling of ingredients to create a new type of sauce.  When the feta and cucumber sauce got together they gave birth to a much superior sandwich ingredient.  The chicken was very tender and the bread had a great texture.  The overall flavor was understated but satisfying.

If you're not hungry after three entries in our Sandwich Tour of Dallas then you either a) already recently finished a big meal or b) you don't like things that taste good.  Either way, go out and try some of these!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Today at Thanksgiving Square

Here's a quick ook at what was going on today at Thanksgiving Square in downtown Dallas.  Who knew this was such a happening place?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Beeping Easter Egg Hunt

The Beeping Easter Egg Hunt is a yearly event for visually impaired children and is organized by the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce: