Ric and I have been in Baltimore, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and coastal Maryland for the past week. In fact, this morning as I write I am seated on gorgeous white wicker with oversized bright cushions, overlooking the unbelievable Maryland shore. It is a place with very little to do, very few activities beyond, history, biking, and fishing and yet, the people come.
“It is so strange, one woman commented almost in awe. The hotel is so quiet as if no one is here and yet, I look around and the parking lot is full. I think everyone must be like me. It just feels so good to hear quiet for a change, doesn’t it?”
Another commented, “I could feel my stress level droop as soon as I walked in the front door. I was greeted with a personal handshake and when I entered my room, it was like ooooohhhh…and my blood pressure began dropping immediately. This is a wonderful, wonderful place with so much to see, and the people here are just so welcoming and friendly!”
Of course, I smiled because there are only two real things to do and see in this part of the world: fish and view the heritage of the area, all portrayed inside the cleanest little hamlets anyone could imagine. Little homes, big homes, mobile homes, it doesn’t matter. In eight days we have yet to see one lawn that even hints that it needs mowing and certainly not cleaning…absolutely amazing!
Of course, my mind then turned to home, to Comanche, and how we might entice these same types of people to visit us. Why would they want to do that? I believe they would do it for the same reason these people are here beside me today: they want to relax, learn the heritage of the area, turn their cell phones off and pretend they are in Mayberry for a couple of days. They obviously are intelligent people, and they obviously have a little disposable income in their pockets.
Present-day Comanche was once a part of the Texas frontier, known as the North Leon River Country or, as it was more commonly called, Indian Territory. This interests the people who sit beside me. How do I know? Because I am telling them about us as I type, and they are loving it!
“When the town of Comanche was established and became the county seat the county in 1859, it was a terribly dangerous part of the state. No roads existed through the area; there was no railroad closer than the little town of Waco, and ever present was the threat of attack by the Indians who considered the town part of their hunting grounds,” I explain, typing away and waiting to see their response.
“Really?” they ask? “So what was the draw to settle there?” another wanted to know as I smile and continue my story.
“In addition to the Indians, the Comanche area had its share of bad guys make their way into the county: Bloody Bill Anderson, Jim Horner, Quantrill, and John Wesley Hardin are just a few who left their mark on the town’s history,” I continue, watching as my new Missouri raises an eyebrow, obviously believing that her state has the market cornered on Anderson and Quantrill stories.
“It would be over thirty years before the threat of Indians, and then outlaws, were history and those beautiful rails made their way into the tiny hamlet, bringing all type of possibilities with them. Finally, the town of Comanche had a modern means of transportation as well as an easier way to ship goods both in and out of the county!
“From a dangerous, struggling little frontier town, the small town of Comanche is today considered the cross-roads of the state of Texas and she proudly welcomes visitors into her midst. Visitors traveling Highways 36, 67/377, or 16, eventually all pass through the town!
“We boast of our local color in the form of what is becoming a beautifully restored town square, historic walking tour, restaurants, antiques, a marvelous museum, great genealogical library, and an overall atmosphere of small town Texas.”
And I l closed by handing out my card an offering to take them all on a historical tour when they come to Texas.
At the moment, my new friends (who have grown in number to equal about 15 as I have talked of home) are walking out the door and getting into cars. Why? Because they are going to turn left out of the parking lot and toodle down the road until it ends. Why?
“Because we just want to see what it looks like at the end,” they laugh.
I’m telling you, these are the folks we want to see in Comanche, Texas!