May 3, 2013 – Alice and Banquete, Texas
I went to Alice today to see the world’s tallest concrete water tower – at least it was in the 1960’s when it was listed in Ripley’s Believe it or Not. There is one in Trimley near Felixstowe, Suffolk which is 145’ tall and is reputed to be the tallest ”legged” concrete water tower in the UK and is bigger than the one in Alice. Nothing says how tall the one in Alice is, but I don’t think it’s any 145’.
I was also going to visit the 3d Coast Squadron Commemorative Air Force Museum which was supposed to be open Thursday-Saturday. Since this was a Friday, it should have been open. However, it was not open so I didn’t get to see it.
Alice is the dividing point between the brush country to the west and the coastal plains to the east as well as between the border region and the rest of Texas. Oil was discovered in the 1930s, and it became a hub for the petroleum business. It continues in that role today. Nearby is the famous King Ranch, and, in fact, the town is named for the daughter of the founder of the King Ranch. In 2001, Alice was named the birthplace of Tejano music by the Texas Legislature.
The next stop was Banquete where there is a statue of St. Michael Conquering Satan in front of the local Catholic Church. Michael had his foot on the Devil’s head as well as a chain on him. St. Michael’s foot on the Devil’s head is classic Catholic iconography. The chain is an added touch.
It was not yet noon, and I was close to Corpus Christi – about 20 miles. I could have gone into Corpus and ridden the Harbor Ferry, but the wind was blowing so hard – about 30-35 mph – that I didn’t think that would be any fun. There was lots and lots of dust in the air so that it was sometimes hard to see. I even saw a dust devil/whirlwind in one of the fields.
I stopped to eat at the Railroad Seafood & Steaks Restaurant in Odem. It just before noon, and there were lots of cars there so I took a chance. It is an excellent restaurant, and I will stop there again when I’m through this way.
I got home about 2 and decided to take a nap. I really didn’t do much the rest of the day. I did get the pictures from today edited and that was about it.