Cutting through the Country

Torture your kids with a country drive? Of course if it is a tradition.

To Roger and Jane:

One thing Granddad Tom liked to do was drive through the country. MeeMaw said he was happiest while away from town and on a farm or pasture. A part of this was driving, when possible, down some farm-to-market road to places like a large city such as Fort Worth. I can remember many times when we went to eat at Joe T. Garcia’s on the north side and got there by going west to Krum from Denton, and then south on FM156 all the way to the restaurant, which is just off Main Street (which 156 becomes). That used to drive me and your Aunt Terri crazy. We thought he should use the newly constructed I-35W, which had no traffic on it. But he did not many times. When grown, I did the same thing with you when we went to Granbury. Like Terri and I, you two never liked doing that much.

We did use the highways most of the way actually. We took 820 around the west side of town, and then down 377 to Wheatland, which is called “Whiskey Flats” since it has liquor, beer, gas, strippers, and a porn store. I would make a left there and go east on FM1187 through the rolling pasture land. Next I hooked a right and went south on FM1902 until I went west on Winscott-Plover Road to Cresson (where a good chunk of the movie Pure Country was filmed). You might remember I have a Note in “Days Remembered” about that road and its magnificent pasture views. On we went on that road to the southwest—past cows and gas wells, but not many houses or people.

When we got to Cresson, I made another turn. I went to the east on Texas 171 to a County Road near the border of Hood and Johnson Counties. On the way, I loved seeing the views of the wide vistas with Comanche Peak on the horizon far away. Such things made me feel alive and happy—there was more to be seen than what was in our neighborhood back in town.

Next, we went through the farm and ranch lands there to FM4. Then, we went west on 4 for a short bit, then turned south onto what eventually turns into Fall Creek Highway, which ultimately goes to Acton and Granbury. Fall Creek is a lovely place too. I have described it elsewhere in this book as you will read. What you see changed from open pastures to the “country-suburban” landscape that you see all around Granbury. Ultimately, we got to go where we wanted to go—Granbury, Acton, or Pecan Plantation.

To this day, you don’t like going that way, even to your aunt’s, which is just off Fall Creek Highway. This route was much more involved than the one Granddad Tom took to Joe T’s that I hated as a kid. But like him and his love of drives through the country, I loved every minute of this drive with its many pastoral and far-off vistas.

What you two need to keep in the back of your minds about this tale is that one day you, too, may find your own country roads to torture your kids with. With that, another family tradition endures.

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