After leaving the Tractor Show near Sulphur, Oklahoma on Saturday, we took our time heading back home. That's often my favorite part of our weekend road trips.... just exploring and seeing what we can find that catches our eyes.
One of our destinations on the way back was a restaurant in Gainesville, Texas. We used to frequent Gainesville pretty regularly, back several years ago. It was one of our favorite Antique Hunting areas. Around the old downtown area, they had no less than 6 Antique malls/shops within walking distance of each other!
Ebay has taken its toll these days, however. There was ONE solitary Antique mall on the square today. That's the main reason we stopped driving up to Gainesville.... there's not much there to make it worth the trip for us any more.
After looking around the single Antique spot, we wanted to try a new place to eat called the Main Street Grill. Really cool looking place, really nice wait staff, really bad food. If you are familiar at all with Chicken Fried Steak, you'll understand my dismay at how you can take a piece of meat and mechanically tenderize it (ie. beat it to death with a spiked hammer) and STILL end up with a piece of gristly meat that you can't chew. What the hell?....
Ah, well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The next stop on the way home was the small town of Whitesboro. The Mrs. has a passion for scrapbooking as a hobby, since the arrival of the Grandbaby, and Whitesboro has a Scrapbooking store in the old downtown area that is apparently the bee's knees. While she entertained herself there, I went to check out an old friend:
This is an abandoned church that we found a couple of years ago when passing through Whitesboro. When we initially found the church, a portion of the front plywood had blown in and you could see part of the remaining stained glass inside with the sun shining through it. Really hard to get a decent picture of it from outside, though, and on this trip the front plywood was all closed up again.
I'm DYING to get a chance to poke around inside this old girl. I noticed this time there was a sign for a Real Estate company out front, so I think I'll make a call and see if I can get someone to let me in for long enough to snap a couple of pics. That's one spooking looking old church, and I bet the inside is really interesting looking.
I've commented before about being attracted to old wrecks like this. My Wife and I had a conversation when we were in Gainesville about that very thing. After the let down at the Main Street Grill, we drove a block or two off the square to look at a house that I check on whenever we are in the area.
It's my dream house, so to speak.
There she is.... in all her beautiful, worn out glory. The above pic is from several years ago, but she looks the same now. Part of the front porch railing is falling completely off now, though, as she speeds up her sad decay.
This is the only shot I took of her this trip, looking up at the boarded up tower that is rotting away:
There are people who live in the house. I've never seen them outside, but there are signs of definite habitation. Cars in the driveway, stained curtains in the windows, stuff in the yard.... but nobody ever does anything to save the old girl from a slide into complete decay.
I've always thought that if I ever won the lottery, one of the first things I would do is buy this old house and kick the residents out ASAP. I told the Mrs. on this trip that I would be torn, though, as to whether to fix her up like new - or just do what was necessary to stop future damage and preserve her as is....
For the Mrs., there is no debate. She would dive headfirst into making her bright and shiny just like she was when new back 100+ years ago. I'll admit, that would be a wondrously beautiful thing to see. She's a Grand Old Gal, and it would warm my heart to see her as the Belle she was intended to be.
Part of me, though, would miss her worn and weathered face.