Monthly Archives: June 2010

Happy Birthday, USA !

Posting on Three States Plus One will be sporadic, at best, for the next week. I will be out of town with my family visiting my wife’s clan for the 4th of July Weekend. I’ll take my laptop with me, but time online will be limited because of the many holiday activities going on in Eastport. I wish you all a happy and safe Independence Day. Thanks for such a successful launch to the blog. I am humbled and grateful. God bless you and may God continue to bless America.

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Texas Tidbits : City of Anna

I am doing this post today in honor of 28 year old Son, Toby. You may be asking yourself, “what does Young Toby have to do with Anna, Texas?” I answer because he lives there. Here’s the scoop : Today Toby the Younger passed his test to get his Class A CDL. He’s gonna be a trucker, like his Grandpa. I figured that if a town like Anna was home to such an enterprising young (not mention handsome, funny, suave and debonaire like his Dad) man, then a post about said town was warranted, nay, demanded. To put it simply, I found a way to spotlight an achievement of no small magnitude to tell my Son that I love him. OK? And damned if I didn’t do it. 🙂
Back to Anna…the area (northeast of McKinney in Collin County) that is now Anna was settled as early as the 1840’s, but it wasn’t until 1867 that storekeeper John L. Greer built the first house and established the first business there.The Houston and Texas Central railroad arrived in 1873, but it was ten years later when “Anna” actually became a town. With a population of under 600 in the 1920’s, according to the website for the City of Anna, there are today over 8000 residents. At this point, I’ll turn the history of Anna over Anna-born-and-bred-Town Historian Chester A. Howell.
Toby, I am very proud of you, Son. Give ’em Hell (in a good way) on the highways of Texas. Your Grandpa is counting on it.

Colorado Chronicles : Central City

I just happen to know a little about Central City, Colorado. I have lived there on several occasions and I have family ( Hi Mom and Mark!) living there right now. Plus !, my dear friend Doreen Bob and her husband, Josh, live there as well. The photo above is of “downtown” Central City, which is made up of a few small casinos, assorted shops and Annie Oakley’s Grocery and Liquor Store. As you look at the photo, I lived less than a half mile to right of the shot. Central City has a very interesting history. President Teddy Roosevelt visited CC more than once and stayed at the historic Teller House and attended performances at the Opera House just next door. The house my Mom lives in now was once owned by Daniel Boone’s grandson. Early on, mining played a pivotal in the development in Central City and neighboring Black Hawk. Reclaimed and closed-down mines still dot the country side in the area. Today, mining of a different kind is the staple of the local economy…casinos. Needless to say, I contributed mightily to the Central City and Black Hawk gaming coffers. However, one day comes to mind when I woke up very early and a 7AM went down to Red Dolly’s Casino in Black Hawk with $20 dollars in my pocket. By the end of the day I had over $4000 in my pocket. It was fun. Central City is close enough to I-70 to make a trip to Metro Denver for any other wants (read : shopping,etc.) you may have. There are also many opportunities for outdoor activities within driving distance – fishin’, hiking, skiing, sight seeing and the Coors Brewery in Golden. Central City, a good place to call home.

Maine Minutiae: Maine Declares War on England !

In 1839, there was an on-going border dispute between Maine and the Canadian Province of New Brunswick. Things got so heated that Governor John Fairfield declared war on England ! (NOTE: Canada was till a part of the British Empire at this time) Thankfully, no blood was actually shed as the conflict was resolved before an actual war broke out.  From the Miller Center of Public Affairs : The situation grew more serious in 1838, when both the British and the Americans began surveying roads through the Maine lands. Additionally, lumberjacks from both countries traversed the Maine backcountry at will, angering both sides. William Harvey, the governor of New Brunswick, arrested a Maine census taker who was surveying the settlements along the Madawaska River. Finally, in January 1839, Governor Fairfield of Maine mobilized a militia and sent it to the Aroostook River Valley to expel timber cutters from New Brunswick. In response, Governor Harvey claimed that the Maine men were in New Brunswick territory and that he had the right to expel them by force.” There’s more to the story. Long version. Short version. It’s an interesting story and I recommend at least a cursory perusal of it.

Texas Tidbits : July Festivals

As Texans, we seldom need a reason to celebrate something – “Hey, Jim Bob just ate a chili cheeseburger ! Let’s have a party ! ” The month of July offers Texans myriad reasons to socialize. From the Great Mosquito Festival  July 29 – 31 in Clute to the What A Melon Festival July 9 & 10 in Center. Here’s a partial list of  Independence Day activities in the DFW Metroplex. If you’d like to take a road trip to an event you’ve never before been to, this list may hold something of interest to you. http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=thre01f-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1589070097&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
If I’m not mistaken, my friend Ana lives in Granbury where they’ve got their annual 4th of July shindig. Houston, San Antonio, Colorado City and Luckenbach are all having big to-do’s this week. Find out more about them.
I could write a post a mile long and still not even scratch the surface of all the things going on this Independence Day Weekend and throughout the month of July in the Lone Star State. I hope that some of the information I provided here today will be useful to you. If not, make up a reason to celebrate ! After all, we are Texans and we don’t need a helluva lot of incentive to throw a party. Have a safe and fun 4th of July Weekend, y’all !

Colorado Chronicles : Dude Ranches

As I was using my Google-Fu to get stuff for this post, I came across the website for Colorado Dude Ranch Association. Click the link and they will inform you way better than I can about the feeling of freedom and the appreciation of the beauty of  Mother Nature one gets when visiting a Dude Ranch. http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=thre01f-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1889120111&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
I can think few places I’d rather be than 9 or 10 thousand feet up in the Rockies, on horseback looking for a secluded, hidden even, trout pond. After a  hard day’s fishin’, frying up the catch then sitting around a campfire telling stories until it was sack time.
Colorado boasts an impressive resume of Dude (or Guest, if you prefer) Ranches. From Grandby to Loveland to Yampa, a Colorado Rocky Mountain High is to be had at many locations throughout the state. Y’all come, podnuh. Or something like that.

The Official State Vacation Guide for Colorado is FREE  here.

Maine Minutiae: Lumberjacks

Lumberjacks have been a part of Maine history since the 1600’s, when English explorers began harvesting the trees on Monhegan Island. The first sawmill in Maine was a water-powered job built in Berwick in 1634. Four hundred years later, the loggers of today, formerly known as lumberjacks ( I like “lumberjacks” better), continue this tradition, with some loggers even getting their own TV Shows. The most famous of these TV Lumberjacks are the American Loggers, the seven Pelletier brothers and four of their sons. The show is filmed in Northeastern Maine. I wonder what the men of the 1600’s would think about such a thing? I am sure that as you flipped through channels on your cable or satellite system, you’ve happened upon some of the logging games programs on one of the ESPN channels. Timber Tina’s Great Lumberjack Show http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=thre01f-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1602601062&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
has been featured on ESPN, The Discovery Channel and ABC Sports plus several other networks.
The most famous lumberjack of all is Paul Bunyan. The statue of Bunyan on the right is in Bangor, one of the many cities to claim the mythological Ax Man as a Native Son.
The next time you sit on a park bench, see a baseball bat or use a toothpick (remember 90% of them come from Maine), you can thank the men from the 1600’s, the Pelletier brothers and Paul Bunyan for it.

VisitMaine.com is the place to order your FREE Maine Travel Guide.