Texas T Party 2018

Yesterday was Day 1 of the Texas T Party, Wednesday October 10, 2018. We started the day with light fog, and some fresh gas at the Valero station around 6:15 AM.

We were staying at the overflow hotel because pets are not allowed at the main tour HQ hotel across the way. A little pre - tour fiddling included wiping the windshield and checking the coolant in the radiator. The sun came up around 06:30 to reveal a humid, cloudy sky.

We soon puttered over to the host hotel to line up and attend the driver’s meeting. Model T’s were all over the place, with over 90 cars registered. There was popping and snorting and puttering all around.
drivers meeting.JPG

We made our way to the town of Weimar, where locals had prepared a tasty reward for us. Gator led the way as we dove into the Kolaches and coffee.

You don’t want to get between Model T people and food. The crowd moved towards the Kolaches. Soon the Kolaches were gone, and we turned our attention to the local museums.

This little museum had a restored '23 touring and a 1929 Model A tudor.

Down the street another museum had been built in a building that formerly held the Weimar bank and a drug store. The drug store had closed in the early 1900’s. A local collector has amassed what must be the best drug store collection ever. It looks like someone just closed the shop for the day around 1915.

Around the corner was a collection of pocket firearms from the first half of the 20th century. It focused mainly on semi automatic variations from around the world. There were perhaps 100 pistols mounted in three display cases.

In the rear of the museum were displays of home made Texas leather work, furniture, and farm implements. What got my attention was a very original and seemingly operational 1930 Seagrave fire truck. It was straight 8 powered, and in fine condition.

We headed off towards Columbus, Texas, a pretty little place that has about 3000 residents. It is the county seat of Colorado County Texas. The town square also has a lighthouse - like structure built in 1883 that was once the city’s fire department water tower. Later in 1915 the city had a functioning water system and the old tower was deemed unnecessary. The town tried to blow it up with dynamite, it turns out that dynamite did not damage the building. Plan B is still in effect today. The building became the county’s Confederate War Museum, complete with displays of civil war era fire arms and an original painting / portrait of Jefferson Davis. The top gun in the photos is a rare three barrel shotgun!

From the top of the museum you walk out on a large balcony. This balcony overlooks the adjacent County Courthouse square and park. In the teens and twenties the balcony had a band playing on Saturday nights (weather permitting).

Across the street from the museum is the 1886 opera house. Many Texas T Party participants took a guided tour of the Opera House.

Outside the opera house we see a nice '23 touring next to a pretty '27 touring.

From atop the steps at the opera house one gets a great view of the Confederate Museum and the Colorado County Courthouse. That’s Sonny up there giving a speech in his bid for election as County Commissioner. He was promising a turkey in every pot and free beer on Saturday. Lots of T Party folks would have voted for that!

This '23 touring was a little rough around the edges, but the owner had the same amount of fun as the guy with the shiny restored coupe.

This is under the hood of another 1923 touring. This one was being used by Hugh Hemphill of San Antonio, TX. Pretty nice of Hugh’s friend to loan him a car for the tour.

This late 1912 touring is on the tour every year.

A couple blocks from the town square we went to the Santa Claus museum. The collection of Christmas items, particularly statuettes and dolls of St. Nick, were collected by one lady from 1914 until her death in 1990. I liked her collection of Santa Clause Coca Cola advertisements.

Gator found a great parking place at our hotel under a shade tree. Turns out a whole flock of crows liked that tree too.

On the outskirts of town we go over the steel “through truss” bridge over the Colorado River on US 90. The bridge was completed in 1932, built by the Austin Bridge Company of Dallas, TX. The state of Texas is building a new bridge right next to the old one. We hope they keep the old one in place for foot traffic and bicycles.

Bridge dimension courtesy of bridgehunter.com:

Length of largest span: 200.1 ft.
Total length: 766.1 ft.
Deck width: 22.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.9 ft.

Out on the road again in the back roads of south central Texas. The pavement is smooth macadam. Our temperature never got over 75 degrees due to cloudy weather. It was a perfect day for T touring.