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Have said before that I had geese, ducks, chickens, and guineas for some years. And loved them, although having them caused a few problems along the way, even though living in a rural area. More specifically, what I have wanted to do is fix up the front yard for some time, including flowers. The geese would come along and eat virtually any flower I attempted to grow, so I pretty much quit worrying about it while I had them. Also having a grassy lawn was an impossibility, and I don't miss it anyway. But now, oh, how glorious. I have pots in the front by the sidewalk with flowers, vegetables, even a banana plant; hanging plants with ferns and wandering jew; flowers, including lantana and petunias in a front section. Also spent a deal of time repainting the front porch walls, trim and floor, and paring down the stuff that was on it. I repainted chairs and moved most of everything that a paper wasp could seize upon to build a nest. The best part of what is growing, though, are the crepe myrtles, in bloom and providing a shady pleasant atmosphere to the front yard. For example, and I am quite proud of this, I had an automatic cat food feeder on the front porch for a long time. Basically, it is an automatic feeder set into a large plastic container with a brick on the top so that raccoons and other predators can't get in. It was on a timer so that a selected amount of food came out twice a day, time picked when the predators would not be still out. Looked basically like this, except that I put the feeder on a table on the porch, to help cut down ant activity. Raccoons love cat food and I'm sure tried their best to get in, but this just works. But it was time to get it off the front porch., so it has been moved to a part of the porch out of sight that is covered. Also pulled out a broken down trellis from the yard that I had put up some years back for wisteria. Folks, wisteria is beautiful but way invasive. Behind the lattice was what I thought was a Texas sage plant but actually was a huge butterfly bush Before-had a Grey Gardens-feel to it:) After- (today) -Also adds some interest and depth to that part of the yard and the butterfly bush, although it's not blooming much anymore, has a prominent place for the eye. Also have put in, or rather, hub worked hard to build, a raised garden that is deer proof by dint of having chicken wire all the way around. Neighbor has had a beautiful one of these for some years. Put up some shade cloth over the top because the sun, this being July, is brutal. Used old deck boards and filled it up with dirt from elsewhere on the property, so the cost of all this was minimal. I've seen one like it, which I modeled this on, for sale for about $1400 bucks. Would like to make two more, and have one earmarked specifically for a winter garden.
Oakdale Park was originally owned, as a private park, by Whimp and Pete May. I was asked by Karen Richardson to come record an interview Mary Saltarelli was doing with them in 2011. This is the video. The City of Glen Rose, in 2009, bought Oakdale Park from them. As seen in the link above, the City, in 2019 had a town hall meeting to discuss potential sale of Oakdale Park. The election in Nov 2019 had Glen Rose city voters allowing the sale of Oakdale Park and it is again in private hands.
When I first came to Somervell County back over 20 years ago, I walked the property I was fixing to buy with a neighbor from across the street. He told me he had walked over all the lots then currently for sale, and had decided on his across the road, largely because it was downhill and had some impressive large oaks. For the property I wanted, it was and is on a hill, lots of fossils and rocks, and some woods. I liked it because it had so many different landscaping features. I figured I could fix the caliche by adding dirt, branches and other materials to build up the ground, but also loved the woods along the road that gave privacy. What I didn''t realize with all the cedar wood was that this was also a privacy feature for the moonshiners that used to be in this entire area. Neighbor told me that when he had first walked this property, he saw the remains of a still in the woods. I was a volunteer at the local Somervell County History Museum, downtown, for awhile, and got a chance to see more relics and information about what had happened with the moonshiners. Apparently at one point, Glen Rose was known as the Moonshiners Capital of Texas. When, in 1919/1920, Prohibition came about, making alcohol in the woods became a regular activity, albeit illegal. From Yesterday''s America Texas Governor Pat Neff enlisted Special Prohibition Agents to bust up and arrest moonshiners. Here''s a video I did in 2010 with Terry Gosdin telling the story from a perch on his truck while selling farm goods at the downtown Glen Rose farmers market. But notice, according to the article, that "Dick Watson, the bootlegger turned Special Prohibition Agent, was the star witness in several trials, but was assassinated before he could provide testimony in all. In such a moonshine-friendly community, Watson’s friend the imposing Texas Ranger Red Burton couldn’t convince the grand jury to indict his suspects." One of the local Somervell citizens who knew about this was Kenneth Hopson. I interviewed and recorded him back in 2010; he has since passed away. There is an old, gorgeous fossil rock gas station at the edge of town on Hwy 144 at 67. Even it has a history connected with moonshine. Roadtrippers Here are some pics I took from a modern time Glen Rose Moonshine Festival in October 2010 '