Always thank a Serviceman/woman for their service! H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum of Texas – Huntsville, Texas

Remember our trip to the Texas Prison Museum? Well, H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum is smack dab, next door to it! The address is 463 State Highway 75 N., Huntsville TX 77320.  So happy to see our Veteran’s are honored like this – as I feel they always should be thanked for their service!!! My first husband was a Vietnam Vet, barely spoke about his time there, but one time only – when he did…well, I can’t “unhear” it and I know he can’t ever “un-live it”. Words fail to give my gratitude to our service men and women!!! Thank you for serving and protecting us always-past and present!!

I encourage you to go to the link above and read more about it on their site as their words are much better than mine would be, but I do wish to share this part that I copied from their site:

“HEARTS Museum is a one of a kind Museum.  We are not a typical military museum, in fact, we don’t consider ourselves a military museum at all.  We are a museum about people.  Particularly the veterans who have served to protect our nation, preserve our freedom, and to secure the freedom of people around the world.”

Flags flown at H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum in Huntsville, TX
Flags flown at H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum in Huntsville, TX
Bunker example at H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum in Huntsville, TX
Bunker example at H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum in Huntsville, TX
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I’d like to drive this for fun but not for war!

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God bless our Armed Forces
God bless our Armed Forces

A heartfelt thank you of enormous gratitude to all of you that have served or are currently serving! May God bless you all and your families and keep you safe!

Thanks for stopping by!

Elizabeth and Max the co-author

Is Everything BIGGER in Texas?

To illustrate the ginormous size of this statue look now at the people for perspective…

Sam Houston Proudly Welcomes You to Huntsville, Texas ... Howdy!
Sam Houston Proudly Welcomes You to Huntsville, Texas … Howdy! (sculpture by David Adickes), who also did The Virtuoso in downtown Houston and grew up in Huntsville.

Although Sam Houston was born in Virginia in 1793, he arrived here in 1832. He joined the movement of the US settlers vs. the Mexican government. He then became a Commander of the local army.   Sam Houston was also at Washington on the Brazos when independence was declared on March 2, 1836. Then on April 12th at San Jacinto, his men secured Texas independence by destroying the Mexican army and capturing its  Mexican president Santa Anna. He also was a slave owner, I guess that was the atmosphere then – still, after reading that I cringe!! He was also the first elected President of Republic of Texas in 1836.  Actually, today is his birthday but in 1793. So there’s a quick bit of Texas history. Bummer finding out about the slave part though 🙁 but I read he was opposed to the expansion of slavery in the new territories – still not sure about that – what’s ok for him but not others? Odd! He was married three times (once more than me ha ha) and had 8 kids (wow….6 more than me!) Wonder if he changed any of their diapers??? He was also known to drink heavily and was a little too fond of the ladies. He died in Huntsville July 26, 1863.  So there ya have it, the good, bad and ugly but Texas history none the less.

Sam Houston Monument at Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville, Texas
Sam Houston Monument at Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville, Texas
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Kinda funny – too bad they didn’t have spell check available 🙂
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Just thought this was pretty
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Makes me wonder what happened that he died so young

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PS It’s my personal belief that Texas also has the biggest, gross cockroaches…those nasty tree roaches! But I love my state anyway 🙂

Happy Trails!

Elizabeth and her co-writer pup Max 🙂

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Ok, so maybe not EVERYTHING is BIGGER in Texas but I’m DEFINATELY cuter than that statue!!!

 

Doing Time in Huntsville Prison, Bonnie and Clyde, Prison Rodeo and Art and “Old Sparky” The Electric Chair

What better to do on a cloudy, drizzly day that visit the Texas Prison Museum! I could really go on a rant here about how frustrating it was for me to see all the incredibly gifted and outstanding artists that have been in and out of Huntsville instead of utilizing their talents in the art world but, it “is what it is” – truthfully, I’m just jealous that I wasn’t born with any artistic wonder but NOT jealous that I’m not incarcerated for sure! 🙂 Anyway, enough of me blabbing…

Wooden Motorcyle by Mark Cahill, inmate at Huntsville State Prison
Wooden motorcycle by Mark Cahill, inmate at Huntsville State Prison (sorry about the quality of pix but it was hard to try to get a clean shot)

This wooden motorcycle was started around the turn of the century by inmate Mark Cahill in the Ferguson Unit Craft Shop but then he got his privileges taken away and the motorcycle was donated – unfinished. However, in 2014 Mr. Cahill took up residence again in Huntsville, was asked to complete the project and there ya have it!

Let’s move right along to this next art – again, sorry about the poor images but it was hard to get decent shots for me as I didn’t want to be rude to other patrons 🙂 (and I’m not “there” yet as a photographer 🙂 ) . But isn’t this crazy – urrr – please use your artistic talents on the outside 🙂 !!!! (sorry, I’ll shut up about that now :))

How many animals and faces in one carving? Texas Prison Art
How many animals and faces in one carving?
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Texas Prison Art
Texas Prison Art
Texas Prison Art
Bonnie and Clyde's Pistol at The Texas Prison Museum
Bonnie and Clyde’s Pistol
Clyde Champion Barrow's Letter to Henry Ford 04/10/1934
Clyde Champion Barrow’s Letter to Henry Ford 04/10/1934

Allow me to provide some background about the Texas Prison Rodeo. In 1931 Texas Prison System’s General Manager, Lee Simmons decided to start a Prison Rodeo for the general recreation for the prisoners and entertainment for prison staff and their families. In a few short years, the events grew into a paid event with loads of public attendees, (our family personally attending too). Initially, it was only for experienced ranch hand type of prisoners.  In the 1940’s it became open for any man with enough guts and no prison issues within the past year to become eligible to participate in the tryouts.  They even had a “hard money” event where 40 inmates in red shirts would face a  wild bull and try to grab to sack of money from it’s horns!!! The money would be between $50 and $1500 – can you imagine this taking place today?!! I can remember THAT part of the rodeo to this day along with how terrified I was to watch!  We saw Freddy Fender perform that day in the mid ’70s so I was probably 10-12 years old. October of 1986 was the last rodeo and The Judds were the entertainment, that was the end of “The Wildest Show Behind Bars”.

 

Yes, we used to have Texas Prison Rodeo's! My parents took me to one even!!! Huntsville Prison Rodeo
Yes, we used to have Texas Prison Rodeo’s! My parents took me to one even!!! I can’t believe it now as an adult

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The Wildest Rodeo In Texas - Texas Prison Rodeo
The Wildest Rodeo In Texas – Texas Prison Rodeo – Only in Texas!!!
Prisononopoly (pretty funny and clever!) - Texas Prison Museum
Prisononopoly (pretty funny and clever!) – Texas Prison Museum
Prisononopoly (pretty funny and clever!) - Texas Prison Museum
Prisononopoly (pretty funny and clever!) – Texas Prison Museum (the property cards are the units in the prison)
Creative Contraban from Huntsville State Prison
Creative contraband from Huntsville State Prison

All of this was made with soap by an inmate on the "sly"

All of this was made with soap by an inmate on the “sly”

The old ball and chain
The old ball and chain

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Roses made of toliet tissue by a female prisoner and the boat is made of match sticks! Huntsville State Prison
Roses made of toilet tissue by a female prisoner and the boat is made of match sticks!
Saw Blade Artwork from Texas Prisoners
Saw Blade Artwork from Texas Prisoners
Saw Blade Art by Texas Prisoners
Saw Blade Art by Texas Prisoners
Saw Art Up Close
Saw Art Up Close
Old Sparky The Electric Chair. From 1924-1964 there were 361 men were electrocuted in the Huntsville "Walls" Unit. In 1977 Texas switched to Lethal Injection.
Old Sparky The Electric Chair. From 1924-1964 there were 361 men were electrocuted in the Huntsville “Walls” Unit. In 1977 Texas switched to Lethal Injection.

Ok, that wraps up our tour of the Texas Prison Museum. But wait…

Just out of curiosity, (and please be respectful of other’s beliefs)…are you FOR or AGAINST the Death Penalty?