I found this meme on Amanda’s blog The Living Room. She asks us, for her Thursday Thirteen (yes, I’m a day late and a dollar short, as usual) to “name thirteen places in our hometown that you would take the rest of us to if we visited, and why.” I live in Houston, but my hometown, where I grew up, is in West Texas. San Angelo, Texas, The Wool Capital of the World. Many people think that there is nothing in San Angelo worth visiting or seeing. I’m about to prove them wrong.
1. Central High School. This is the high school I graduated from. It is also one of the first high schools in Texas to be built in a campus style, multiple buildings spread out over an acre or so of land, back in the 1950′s. It even has trees.
2. Fort Concho.
“Established in 1867, along the banks of the Concho River, Fort Concho was built to protect frontier settlements, patrol and map the vast West Texas region, and quell hostile threats in the area.
In June 1889, the last soldiers marched away from Fort Concho and the fort was deactivated. After 22 years Fort Concho’s role in settling the Texas frontier was over.
Today, Fort Concho National Historic Landmark encompasses most of the former Army post and includes twenty-three original and restored structures. Fort Concho is a historic preservation project and museum which is owned and operated by the City of San Angelo, Texas.”
3. Zentner’s Daughter Steak House or Zentner’s or DunBar Cafe or . . . Why is it that there are so many restaurants in San Angelo where you can buy an excellent chicken fried steak with cream gravy and so few elsewhere? Those frozen things that are mostly crust with some kind of ground up meat inside are NOT real chicken fried steak.
4. Cactus Hotel. This 14 story hotel was Conrad Hilton’s fourth Texas hotel built in 1929, and it was disentegrating as I was growing up. However, it’s been restored and is used as a cultural center and has a children’s art museum on the first floor.
5. Concho Riverwalk. We go here to prove that San Angelo does have water and beauty.
6. Santa Fe Crossing. A railroad museum, shops, and a senior citizens center.
7. Sunken Garden. In West Texas, you have to cultivate flowers and water them—frequently. Another beauty spot.
8. M.L. Leddy Boot and Saddlery. I don’t know what the in crowd carried at our high school, but when I was in junior high everybody who was anybody had a leather notebook with their name hand tooled on the front. And the notebooks came from Leddy’s. I want to see if they still have them. You might enjoy the handmade boots and saddles.
9. Lake Nasworthy. Again, we are showing you that water is available in West Texas. Plus, there’s a park where we used to drive really fast over this dirt road, and if you did it just right your car would fly over the low places in the road. No, we were not any more hard up for entertainment than teenagers in any other place!
10. Tom Green County Library. I used to work there, and I like libraries.
11. Hudman Drug Store. It has a real old-fashioned soda fountain, like you see in the movies.
12. San Angelo Fat Stock Show and Rodeo. The San Angelo version is not all glitzy with big name singing stars like the Houston one. But if you want to see a rodeo and a lot of animals, San Angelo is the place to go around the beginning of March.
13. Harris Avenue Baptist Church. The last time I visited, my home church was still a Southern Baptist church with hymnals and sermons and a choir and a piano and an organ. Even if you don’t care for that sort of worship, everyone should participate in at least one 1960′s style Southern Baptist worship service soon because they’re an endangered species. Oh, and as far as I can tell, Harris Avenue Baptist Church doesn’t have a website. No surprise there.