Saturday, March 12, 2011

Luckenbach & Fredericksburg, Texas

Wed, March 9th - Fri, March 12th

Our first afternoon in Fredericksburg we took a short drive to check out the infamous Luckenbach of "Waylon and Willie and the boys". A friend of Willie's, Hondo Crouch, bought the whole town in 1971. Not that it's much of a town.

In the front part of the old post office is a gift shop. In the back in a kind of lean-to addition is a bar with all sorts of funky memorabilia. Out back under the oak tree some good old boys were playing. There is usually live music most days.

Also out back are the bathrooms with tin roof, more memorabilia, graffiti and fabric draw curtains on the stalls. It was established as a trading post in 1849 and enjoys continued notoriety for it's free spirit and unique events.

Inside another old run-down building is this very nice dance hall, where they have dances most weekends. Willie is going to play for the 4th of July celebration this year. You can rent the dance hall or the whole town if you want. They will line up caterers and bands for your event if you wish. They can even get Willie for you, if you can afford him.

We spent Thursday afternoon and all day Friday at the National Museum of the Pacific War. It is the only institution in the continental U.S. dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific War campaigns. Admiral Chester Nimitz, head of the Pacific theater in WWII, was born in Fredericksburg and grew up here helping out in his grandfather's hotel. Part of the museum is in the old hotel besides this whole new complex, memorial gardens and wall, Japanese garden, book store and two quonset buildings and outdoor area set up to look like a pacific island with base and battlefield where they do re-enactments of battles.

Above is a picture of the memorial to all the presidents from Roosevelt thru H.W. Bush who were involved in WWII in some way, either as president or serving in the military at the time. H.W. was the youngest fighter pilot in the war at the time, 18, and the only one on his plane to survive when they were shot down.

The above plane is one of the Japanese planes that bombed Pearl Harbor. This is a Japanese garden that is next to the memorial gardens and wall.

This is trully an excellent museum, but after a day and a half seeing it all, I was starting to get museum burnout. Fredericksburg is a German community named after Prince Frederick of Prussia. They have Oktoberfest celebrations and lots of German restaurants. We tried one and enjoyed it very much and picked up some of their local beer before we left town. There is also a pioneer museum with a dozen old buildings covering a couple of blocks and several other points of interest, but we will have to save it for next time.

Over and out,


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