Tag: events

"So, here we are, trying to relive something that happened 30 years ago."

The facetious cry came from behind one of the 10 classic cars that make up the roadside art piece known as Cadillac Ranch. On Sunday, a local art group had been charged with covering the upright vehicles in a fresh, white coat in preparation for festivities the next day.

An unending stream of sarcastic remarks followed, mostly in reference to the quality of the paint. It wasn't sticking to the vehicles very well, though thanks to the harsh Panhandle winds, it had no problem covering the ground and splattering anyone standing in the vicinity.

The painters were an eccentric — some might call crazy — bunch known as the Dynamite Museum, the art collective that carries out much of the creation and maintenance for the public art pieces dreamed up by Stanley Marsh 3, the man responsible for Cadillac Ranch. This time, they were prepping the automotive attraction for its 30th anniversary, after which they would be camping overnight to protect it from acquiring any new graffiti before the next day. ... Continued

In 1928, when an older version of the Eastland County Courthouse was being demolished to make way for a larger model, locals gathered to witness the opening of the old building's cornerstone. When the marble time capsule was put in place back in 1897, County Clerk Ernest Wood had dropped inside it a helpless horny toad and the audience was anxious to see what had come of the little guy. After 31 years locked away in the dark, the lonesome toad surprised the crowd by being less than dead.

February 18, 2003 marked 75 years since the legend of Old Rip was born, and despite a dangerous ice storm that was sweeping through the area, revelers gathered in the warm enclosure of the county courthouse yesterday to commemorate the occasion. ... Continued

On this date, exactly 75 years ago, a tiny Texas legend was born. After his 31-year entombment in an Eastland courthouse cornerstone, Old Rip the horned lizard was discovered alive and kicking.

Although today, Feb. 18, is actually the anniversary, the Eastland commemoration will be held on Monday the 24th. Event organizer Bette "The Toad Lady" Armstrong has arranged for Bill Wood, grandson of Ernest Wood, to be in attendance. Ernest Wood was the county clerk who originally placed Old Rip in the cornerstone in 1928.

In an effort to pass on the town's history to posterity, Bette has arranged for local schoolchildren to play a major part in the celebration. Everyone, however, is encouraged to attend and to take the Old Rip Oath, in which participants vow to pass on the horny toad's legend.

So, call in sick to work on Monday and help to celebrate Old Rip's semisesquicentennial (half of one-and-a-half of a century) or sesquisemicentennial (one-and-a-half of half a century), however you want to abuse your Latin.

Big Tex is over the hill!

That's right, the 52-foot-tall host to millions of thrill seekers every fall hit the big five-oh with the opening of the 2002 State Fair of Texas.

Big Tex is the World's Largest Cowboy and the official emcee for the annual fair. He joined the yearly exhibition in 1952 after losing his job as the World's Largest Santa Claus and hasn't missed a fair since.

He was given the gift of speech his second year and his slow, booming voice is now almost as recognizable as his signature stance and enormous western wardrobe.

So far, seven men have provided the voice for the big man. Taking on the role in 2002, Dallas native Bill Bragg was lucky enough to jump on board in time to commemorate Tex's 50th birthday, and his first day on the job included the honor of participating in a special celebration.

On opening day, September 27, officials paid tribute to Big Tex with an appropriately mammoth birthday party. Hundreds of fairgoers gathered at the birthday boy's size-70 feet as State Fair President Errol McCoy kicked off the ceremony. Clearing his throat, he got the attention of the guest of honor, to which the big man replied, "Ol' Big Tex is ready!" ... Continued