Day 12: Central TX & on to San Antonio

We’re rolling now!  Blue skies and a settled stomach.  When I looked at the maps & lists in the morning, I finally got sensible and started yanking out stuff that would have to wait until the next time.  Always so hard to do since you have to worry what will really be there “next time” and what will be destroyed.  Instead of heading west, I headed north.  Lots of small towns and then early evening arriving in San Antonio.  If I have an ounce of strength left tonight, I’ll go see if I can find some lit neon.  I have a list of about a dozen signs that should be on and waiting — but I’m pretty much a wreck even before writing this post.  I must think about taking a night off soon.  The only planned “date” (night off to socialize) isn’t til OKC and that’s a long way off.

I found a nice big lake in Cuero for the dogs.  Otherwise, running in empty fields in this heat wore them down pretty quickly.  The upper 80s have returned.  I tested the AC and that really was a nice luxury.  It knocks the dogs out like a tranquilizer within seconds.  I have turned the engine on and restarted again maybe six times — not a problem once.  So, I’m not going to stress about it — just be careful I don’t turn it off in some remote or scary place.

Tons of photos to share — hard to narrow them down.  From Tuleta — if you like your gas stations on the crusty side:

From Kenedy — no roof or building behind this one:

Another from Kenedy.  I believe this was a gas station / restaurant combo.  If these walls could speak!

In Runge.  Even the backs of Humble Oil gas stations were beautiful:

a column-top detail:

This drug store in Yorktown has been around since 1928.  Surely, there would have been a neon navy & orange neon sign where the plastic one is now:

This sign is also from Yorktown (motel no longer open):

From Edwards Furniture in Gonzales – still in business:

From a great, restored Mobilgas station in Gonzales.  This pump appears to be vintage but was probably brought from somewhere else for display.  What intrigued me was the plastic lettering.  The metal pump is cut-out in such a way so that this embossed plastic piece fits behind it.  A light bulb behind it (still there!) would have lit the letters at night:

The Rock-a-Bye Motel in Luling.  I don’t know if this place is being worked on — or if they’re just trying to keep people out.  This was one of those courtyard affairs with garages for each unit.  Looks like various additions over the years but most likely the units shown here are from the 1920s:

Also from Luling — the cutest dressed-up oil drilling pump EVER.  Oil driller?  I grew up with these things all over in Ventura and I can’t remember the name!  No time for Google to save my ass tonight.  Anyway, the wings open in the down position and close in the up position:

A couple of heartbreaking transformations.  This one from Lockhart.   So simple and pure back in 2006 when it was still the Glossserman Chevrolet dealership:
At least they saved some of the letters — but that NAPA sign is disgustingly overwhelming:

And one of my favorite San Antonio buildings rather botched up by a church now.  Why, oh, why did they have to throw their letters in there?  Back in 2006 when it was still the NCOA Building:

A couple signs from Seguin:

And while in Seguin to reshoot the World’s Largest Mobile Pecan — I had to make a little purchase at their store.  I was reluctant about the praline thing but these are out of this world good!  I was only going to have two just in case my stomach was not up to it.  But I could not stop myself and think I had eight or so in rapid succession.  Imagine a chocolate covered pecan with really, really good milk chocolate that you cannot hold for more than two seconds or it starts to melt.  Then imagine that pecan covered with the thinnest of praline candy coating so you don’t notice anything but extra crunch.  That’s this!  Posted on the Mobile Pecan — sorry no scale.  But I thought you’d like the ingredient list.  Each piece is about an inch and a half long.

Let’s end this post with a couple ratty but wonderful signs from San Antonio.  Either one of them might get ripped down tomorrow.   This one’s motel is already leveled.  The coin on the other side of this one has Liberty’s head:

This one probably much prettier in its day with neon I’d think and lots of blinking lights.  Please direct the sun my way tomorrow since the forecast is for clouds (frown):


Tomorrow, I’ll try to bang through the entire stack of San Antonio stuff & start heading north by evening.  I know Austin & Waco are in the next batch after some diversions.  Wish me luck out there in the dark tonight!  Since’s it’s already 11pm, I don’t know what might be still lit on a Wednesday night.

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