Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth was one of the primary stops on the Chisolm Trail in the
late 1800's and was a veritable melange of cowboys, cattlemen, gamblers,
saloons, gambling parlors, shooting galleries and dance halls. We
enjoyed the Kimball Art Museum with its tiny but impressive collection
of masterpieces. We also breezed through the Museum of Modern Art--20th
Century art, not my favorites. Did a quick tour of the famous, Billy
Bob’s, the World’s Largest Honky Tonk. Billy Bob’s is constructed
on the site where the livestock were penned after arriving in Fort Worth.
It has an in-house bull ring, a video arcade, seating capacity of 6000+,
and 40 bar stations in its nightclub whose record for most beer sold in
one night is 16,000 bottles. A long list of movies and TV shows have
been filmed on location here.
Sundance Square is the downtown district which was once a hideout
for the likes of the “Hole-in-the-Wall Gang," Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
Kid, and home to Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday for a while. Fire
Station #1 had an historical display of 150 years of Fort Worth History,
a concise and informative display which we enjoyed. The impressive
Performance Hall was having rehearsals and tours and pricing tickets
for an upcoming performance (what, we didn't learn) at $500.00 per seat.
The Tarrant County Courthouse was another stop
on our downtown excursion.
The small Sid Richardson collection of Western Art featured paintings
by Remington and Russell (the only two western artists of which I was hitherto
aware) and a few others. Some of Remington’s bronzes were on loan
from the Amon Carter Museum which is closed for remodeling. We both
enjoyed the works in this friendly and compact gallery in downtown Fort
Next we headed for the historic Fort Worth
Stock Yards. It is like a trip to the Old West with modern conveniences.
The entire district is teeming with activity. The shops and saloons
are to be expected. There is a cattle drive down Exchange Avenue
(the main drag) twice daily. Stagecoaches and carriage rides are
available but must fight for position among all the trucks. There
was a rodeo that night, so as we ambled around town, we came upon a corral
where the cowboys were practicing roping calves.
It was a mini-rodeo and all free. The announcer told the cowboys
which ones were up, gave them their time then moved on to the next.
We saw as many teams perform as we have seen at the national rodeo.
Of course, it was just one event, but what a kick.
The White Elephant Saloon looked
familiar, and a sign in the window said that it becomes CD’s for the TV
show, Walker, Texas Ranger. Next we ventured to the Stock
Yards Hotel. When we entered this finely restored building, a
group of people was milling around the front door. Luggage and packages
were everywhere. A young woman on a cell phone was frantically giving
instructions for someone to pick up three white corsages. The young
woman was attired in a shirt, jeans, a casual jacket and a fingertip length