When planning a summer vacation, most Texan-ites will choose to stay local. However, as a Texan myself, I feel like I’ve seen all of the normal hot spots; the Riverwalk, Reunion Tower, 6th Street, Billy Bob’s, Enchanted Rock, Houston Rodeo, and even floated the Frio river. Until now. These 5 places in Texas made me realize I haven’t seen it all; not even close.
Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum – San Antonio, TX
Now this one is a bit odd. Barney Smith is a retired man who occupies his time with decorating toilet seats. Yes, toilet seats. It all started when his father would mount small pieces on plaques. Barney realized a toilet seat resembled the same shape of a plaque. He told his father about his idea of decorating toilet seats, and he was considered a fool. Despite this fact, he never gave up. Now he has hundreds of toilet seats on showcase in his garage, which has become a kind of museum after Mr. Smith’s appearance on TV. Barney is ninety years old and he still creates works of art out of toilet seats in his spare time. Each seat has a particular story. The best part; he is so fond of his work, he won’t sell any seat. Well done, Barney.
Cascade Caverns – Boerne, TX
If you have ever seen the movie “Father Hood” starring Patrick Swayze, then you have seen the dinosaur that made his debut while being filmed at Cascade Caverns. At some point in your life, most Texans will take a cave tour. So why choose Cascade Caverns? It just seems as though they have all you could want when visiting the dense underworld. As their brochure states, it’s, “Texas’ only show cave with a 100 ft. Waterfall!” Nevertheless, the cascade offers tales of an intriguing history and how it came to be today. Think you could survive living in a cave?
13 Ton Boulder Carved Into John Wayne’s Head – Lubbock, TX
How does a boulder become a celebrity? By being shaped to look like John Wayne. Brett-Livingstone Strong, a talented immigrant from Australia invested his money in a boulder that had fallen on to a roadway in Malibu in 1979. Since it’s fruition, this boulder has traveled to many destinations and finally landed at its home now at Lubbock Christian University where everything that John Wayne stood for is recognized.
“My hope and prayer is that everyone know and love our country for what she really is and what she stands for.” – John Wayne.
Texas Prison Museum – Huntsville, TX
This may seem like kind of a dark place to visit, but the history of Bonnie and Clyde and Charles Harrelson walking these halls makes it a bit more thrilling. The floors of the museum have the same painting color as those of the real prison. Its owners tried to describe exactly the atmosphere that one would notice when reaching the confinement. Inmates that resided in the prison 250 years ago endured dated treatments; all of which are showcased in this museum. One of such devices was the electric chair, ironically named Old Sparky, used to fry criminals. The story of this chair is amazing. Old Sparky was made by prisoners to be used by other ones. Irony at its finest.
Full-size Replica Ezekiel Airship – Pittsburg, TX
We all have the year 1903 and the Wright brothers as our point of references of the first flying. Recent discoveries led us to the hypothesis that another person flew before the well-known Wright brothers. In 1902, the Rev. Burrell Cannon built Ezekiel Airship and sold it for $20,000 to a local iron foundry. It is said that the workers of the foundry had tested the airship, and they were, in fact, the first persons to have flown. Never to fly again for unknown reasons, it was later destroyed in a storm during shipping. This detailed story and full size replica can be seen at the Depot Museum in Pittsburg, Texas. The State of Texas created a historical monument at the field where the foundry worker was said to have flown. Guess the Rev. Cannon got his wings after all.