Marshall, Texas

Trip Start Mar 30, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, April 27, 2009

I've spent several restful days in Marshall; probably too restful, because there are things I intended to do but just didn't! It's all Harold's fault - blame him for the lack of activity.

So on Tuesday I run over to the Texas & Pacific Railway Museum, planning to do a quick run-through, possibly pick up t-shirts for Jake and Will. I'm in the gift shop for maybe 30 seconds and end up talking to this nice man, Harold, for about 3 hours! Nope, not kidding. From trains (obviously) to religion to helicopters and everything you can imagine. And Michelle, it's her fault, too. She's a sharp gal that works there, and she was entertaining, too. We actually closed down the museum and had to get out around the gate. What fun! But I never made it to anything else that afternoon because everything was closed.

Seriously, Harold and I had tons of fun and lots to talk about for the next few days. We ate a lovely dinner at his cousin's house (more great stories were told), and he joined me on a burger run and a visit to the local art museum. So, while I never made it to Lake Caddo or a few other places, I don't regret a thing!

Let's see, so what I did do was visit Marshall Pottery. Unfortunately, it wasn't as exciting as their site made out, but if you lived here and could cart home the giant pots, you'd love it. All the smaller kitchen items were speckled blue and oatmeal, which doesn't appeal to me, and the popcorn bowl I picked up must've weighed 10 lbs, but I did buy a drunken chicken casserole. (It's the civilized version of beer-can-up-the-chicken-butt so many people do on the grill.)

The Marshall Visual Arts Center is a factory that's been subdivided into artist studios, with a large, open area for exhibits and events. Unfortunately, with no web site, there's no way to know their hours, what's on exhibit, or which classes are offered. Being the opinionated marketing gal that I am, I stirred the pot by telling one of the artists, Kay, that she should really push the issue. After all, aren't you paying rent? I'll bet the same ol' people come to every exhibit. Don't you want tourists to visit? And what's with hanging your work willy-nilly outside your studio? How about a proper shop? There's certainly enough room for it. (Just call me Che.) Revolt!

Man, I'm getting sick of standing in line at these post offices. Usually one person behind the counter, 5+ people in line, and me just wanting a priority mail box. Why are these free boxes behind the counter anyway? Do people actually steal them? And when there are all these people in line, can't you drop the "do you need stamps, or money orders, or blah, blah" and just get on to the next customer?

You know, I haven't been to laundromats in years, but every one I've found has been very nice! They're a bit warm, what with all the dryers, but they smell yummy. And it's nice to sit and do nothing but listen to music or podcasts for an hour. (Although I have to be careful about listening to Car Talk - people keep wondering why the crazy lady is laughing all by herself.) I'm not minding this chore at all.

Homero's fed me the best tamale of the trip, along with an enchilada, rice and beans (of course). Not too spicy, it was the Mexican home-cookin' version of southern beans and cornbread. Good, basic food. They're at 111 E. Houston Street, (903) 938-2803.

Oh, but talk about your home-cookin': I found a Meat & Three! For those who don't know, this southern institution is a restaurant, often cafeteria-style, that gives you a list of meat (choose 1) and vegetables (choose 3), and you don't know what's cooking until you get there. You usually get a basket of rolls, biscuits or cornbread, and be sure to grab your pie right then, because it may be all gone by the time you're ready for it! Stottford House served up chicken-fried chicken (which means it's a flat like a chicken-fried steak, but it's chicken), mashed potatoes, purple hulled peas, green beans, bread, iced tea, and chocolate meringue pie. Home and heaven on a plate.  Heck, you know you're in the right place when it's full of lawyers and guards from the courthouse, elderly ladies in hats, good ol' boys, and farmers in overalls. Eat up at 210 E. Houston Street, (903) 935-7818.

I also had the best, and I mean BEST, burger of the trip at Fulger Grocery in Nesbitt. HUGE, juicy, tasty! The flavor was amazing. I also loved the onion rings, although Harold didn't agree. You just walk in, place your order, grab a booth, and in just a few minutes you're in hamburger heaven. They also had crawfish and many other things, but the burgers had to come first. They're about 15 minutes east of Marshall at 10079 Hwy 154, (903) 935-5967.  From now on, this is the one to beat.

Bodacious Barbeque has quite a following online, but it just wasn't my thing. The chopped beef, even with sauce, was overly smoky, as were the beans. So far, I prefer saucy pulled pork on a bun with slaw. By the way, if they're so popular, why do they only have six measly tables? I ended up eating this sloppy meal in my truck. Tacky.

Even with wandering around downtown, I didn't have any exercise to speak of. I'll really have to make up for it next week in camp.
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