Johnny Deep’s Shoeprint “Shrine” | Manor, Texas

In January 1993,  a young Johnny Depp left his footprint, Hollywood-style, on the cement sidewalk in front of the grocery store where he worked in the film, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”

The exact spot of his shoe print is on the sidewalk in the east side of Manor Grocery, on the south side of W. Parsons St. (Old Hwy 20) just east of its intersection with S. Lexington St.

It was the store where Johnny Depp as Gilbert Grape was working in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” in 1993.

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Ms. Pearl the Giant Squirrel | Cedar Creek, Texas

Ms. Pearl the Giant Squirrel

Ms. Pearl the Squirrel resides at Berdoll Pecan Candy & Gift Co.  She is 10 ft. tall, stands on on a 4 ft. tall stump and was custom-made by Blue Genie Art in Austin, TX.

This place has pie in a vending machine for your 24/7 pie needs!

                  There’s a deck covering the tree stump now so you can get up close and personal with the squirrel.  I tried to get the pecan nut off Ms. Pearl’s paws, unfortunately I was not strong enough! Ms. Pearl even has her own email address, to which fans can submit their pictures taken with her (mspearl@berdoll.com)!

 

Berdoll Pecan Candy & Gift Co. has been a family-owned business since 1986. All of their pecans and pecan-laden goodies come straight from the orchard and kitchens right behind their retail store in Cedar Creek.

Ms. Pearl lives at 2626 Highway 71 in Cedar Creek, Texas.  She loves the visitors come by and have a picture with her.

 

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80-Foot-Tall Tin Soldier | Waco, Texas

An old incinerator standing alone on property along Highway 84 near Highway 6 for years looked like a solitary, rusting tin soldier. Artist Mickey Pitcher was hired to paint the old incinerator, the tin soldier has come to life.

The owner of Smith Furniture Manufacturing Company wanted to be able to tell people seeking out the location to look for the soldier.  Well, yes, it works.  I can spot the soldier about 3 miles away.

It was easy to spot the 80-foot-tall Tin Soldier over there from Highway 6.  You can see the picture I enclosed to show you all.  It’s clear as crystal.

This solider stands at Smith Furniture Manufacturing Company parking lot.  The sign says “No Trespassing”.  You know I’m a risk taker so I went close up anyway.

The view from the US Highway 84.

 

I-35 exit 330B. Drive west 2.5 miles on Hwy 6. Take exit right toward US Hwy 84. Bear right at first right and then quickly turn right into abandoned parking lot just past Furniture Row sign. It can be viewed from parking lot at Smith Furniture Manufacturing Company.

The address is at 6000 Franklin Ave. Waco, Texas

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Fly Thru Beer Barn | Longview, Texas

When I saw the Fly Thru Beer Barn, I had to stop and take a few pictures, riding in my car without getting out.  There is an airplane stuck in the roof, complete with its pilot (is it possibly Amelia Earhart?) perched on the roof peak.  It’s far out as I see.

I googled about this deco attraction to see how it was created.  I stumbled into the article about the tragic road accident.

http://www.recoverynowtv.com/alcohol-news/item/drive-up-liquor-stores-responsible-for-alcohol-related-vehicle-deaths.html

From what I took the pictures, it looked open to business.  I will return one day to check if it’s closed for good.

Find the crash on the roof at Gateway Shell and Fly Thru Beer Barn at 1420 W Marshall Ave. in Longview, Texas.

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World’s Richest Acre | Kilgore, Texas

I browsed on Roadside Attractions app on my iPhone and that intrigued me since there was no pictures provided or not a lot of information on World’s Richest Acre in Kilgore so I decided on the spur of the moment to drive there to check off my bucket list.  I left Whitehouse to get there. When I saw the derricks, I was in awe of them.

Kilgore’s fortunes changed dramatically on October 3, 1930, when wildcatter, Columbus M. “Dad” Joiner struck oil near the neighboring town of Henderson. This well, known as the Daisy Bradford #3, marked the discovery of the vast East Texas Oil Field.  Seemingly overnight Kilgore was transformed from a small farming town on the decline into a bustling boomtown. The Daisy Bradford #3 was subsequently followed by the Lou Della Crim No. 1 and many others. By 1936, the population had increased to more than 12,000, and Kilgore’s skyline was crowded with oil derricks.

More than 1,000 wooden oil derricks — perhaps the most visible evidence of the East Texas oil boom — lined the town’s streets.

picture credit: Exquisitely Bored in Nacogdoches

On part of one downtown block, about 1.2 acres, once stood the greatest concentration of oil wells in the world, producing more than 2.5 million barrels of oil. All but one were dismantled in the early 1960s. The original derrick and 36 new ones, a restored pumpjack, a granite monument to the pioneer oil families of East Texas, and brick walkways make the park a monument to the oil boom of 1930s. A historical marker gives details. One well was drilled through the terrazzo floor of the Kilgore National Bank that once stood on site. The main derrick and several other derricks are capped with lighted stars during the Christmas season, sparking the city’s nickname “City of Stars.”

More than two decades ago, one lone derrick stood on the World’s Richest Acre, the original derrick to its site, preserved and maintained by the Kilgore Improvement and Beautification Association. Now 12 more derricks stand on the one-half city block known as the World’s Richest Acre, adjacent to the railroad depot, including one with a workable pumping unit donated by the Marvin A. Smith family. During the boom, 24 derricks once stood side by side in that area.

What was once a focal point of the oil industry has once again become a focal point of downtown.

You can find the derricks at 100 N. Main and 100 N Commerce St. in Kilgore, Texas

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Cowboy Hat-Shaped Coffee Shop | Whitehouse, Texas

 

The first stop from leaving Chandler, it was a beautiful morning. It had been raining the day before, driving all the way from Austin to Chandler.  That sucked.  I decided to head out to Whitehouse to this coffee shop. I wanted some coffee.  I didn’t realize that it was closed with a for sale sign in front. It was definitely out of business.  I wish the business ran open so I could snap some selfies how funky the place was.

The sign hanging on the wall of this tourist attraction used to say: “KickerZ serving you Air Roasted Coffee, gourmet goodies and Home of the Texas Freeze under the hat six days a week.”

You would spot the 10-gallon cowboy hat atop of the shop on the road of Hwy 110 and CR 2125/Moser Lane in Whitehouse, Texas.  The next stop is in Kilgore, Texas.  Follow the next blog, World’s Richest Acre.  

 

 

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The Creature of the Night | Austin, Texas


“Night Wing” is the rotating, purple metal sculpture of a bat in flight by Dale Whistler at the corner of South Congress & Barton Springs Road honors Austin’s most famous part-time residents. Every evening around sundown from mid-March through October, 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats soar off into the night, in columns that look like wisps of smoke. 

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