Wednesday, February 6, 2019

San Marcos and Lonesome Dove

We continued south from Austin and returned to San Marcos. We were drawn to this town, too, although I'm not sure exactly why. (While we were there, Forbes Magazine named San Marcos the best city to retire in Texas, so I guess others are drawn here, too.) One thing we noticed - everywhere we wanted to go in town was only a mile or two away, regardless of where we were at the time. We found that pretty funny.

I'd never heard of San Marcos before we got into Texas and I started researching anything connected to one of Tim's favorite westerns, Lonesome Dove. He's watched the mini-
series several times (including with me, for my first time viewing it). I bought the book for him on Kindle, and he's let Kindle read the book to him twice already. (Tim has a learning disability and didn't learn to read until he was 22 - and he's still a reluctant reader. Kindle reading to him has opened up the world of books to him!)

We learned that the screenwriter of the Lonesome Dove series, Bill Witliff, had assembled, acquired, and donated a collection of Lonesome Dove artifacts and memorabilia to Texas State University in San Marcos, so that went to the top of our "must see" list in Texas.

The exhibit is only available Monday - Friday, and only by request. They unlocked a special room and let us browse at our leisure. The first draft of the first script was on display, as was the cover page for the final script of the series - signed by the cast and crew. Witliff supplied illustrations of set designs, maps, and costumes, and actual costumes and props were on display, too.

The characters are so alive to us that numerous times since we've been in Texas, Tim has made some comment about Augustus McCrae or Woodrow F. Call - about trails they took or towns they visited. He was determined to see where Gus was buried, even after I tried to explain that Gus was fictional so there would be no burial place. Thankfully, Gus's "remains" were on display in the museum, so we could finally stop grave hunting.

The Witliff Collections include other areas of interest, too, focusing primarily on southwestern writers. Well worth the visit. Employees told us that Witliff had acquired more artifacts, so the Lonesome Dove collection would more than double by mid-summer. I'm sure we'll return at some point.

San Marcos was a cute town with some quirky fun on display. The town held a mermaid contest, so there are brightly colored mermaid sculptures on display all over town. This is one of the more sedate ones.

One day, as we drove down a neighborhood street, we discovered this fun art. The first time we drove past, this conversation took place:

"Hey, what was that?"

"Looks like junk to me."

"Tim, that was art."

"Hey, don't get mad at me. I don't know what art is."

I kept driving, but we ended up on that street again, so I turned the corner and jumped out to snap photos. I laughed when I saw that we were both right - junk and art!

San Marcos has a convenient library, but it was rather noisy until we discovered the quiet room. 

They also have an active activity center that welcomes day use visitors, and we took advantage of that for showers. 

Spending time at the library, I realized that we needed to slow down. We'd been speeding along on this journey, trying to take in as much as possible as fast as possible, and we missed things we should have seen (like the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco.) Taking the time to research each area before we get there has already proven useful, and sent us to our next two fun surprises. And yes, I was able to keep them as a surprise for Tim until we got there!

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