Fun on the Fourth

Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy

The Audie Murphy and the Cotton Industry, totally entwined in history.

Antiques and memorabilia at the Audie Murphy/Cotton Museum create lasting memories for visitors. It’s worth the drive, an hour east of Dallas on Highway 30. “What,” you say, “is Audie Murphy doing in a Cotton Museum?” Hunt County, Texas is famous for two things: Audie Murphy and cotton.

Audie: the Hero

Audie lived his life in the fast lane. Born in 1925 in Kingston, near Greenville, he entered the Army ten days after his eighteenth birthday. One of twelve children, he marched off to war with love in his heart for his family and his country.

He served in Sicily, Italy, and France, facing the Germans and stunning his superiors with his expertise and bravery. He returned to Hunt County before his twentieth birthday with thirty-three military awards, including the Medal of Honor. News services picked up the story to honor him.

Audie: the Actor

Audie’s face became well-known throughout the U.S. A handsome guy, articulate and feisty in interviews, actor James Cagney invited him to visit Hollywood. When Audie published his autobiography, the movie industry chose his story for film. He talked his way into the starring role. Much to everyone’s delight, he became as famous for his acting ability as his military acumen. Unfortunately, like many actors and sports stars, he died young and poor. His investments failed and he gambled too much. He died on a foggy, misty night in an airplane accident near Roanoke, Virginia in 1971 at age 46.

A selected list Audie Murphy movies in the gift shop:

To Hell & Back

Cimarron Kid

Cast a Long Shadow

Apache Rifles

Drums Across the River

Cotton and Antique Displays


Hairdresser Agony

The Audie Murphy/Cotton Museum equals fun. Take the grandkids. Let Grandma share her experience with a permanent hair wave using the funny machine that looks like it could electrocute anyone coming near it: she will laugh until her stomach aches, watching the grandkids’ faces.

The cotton displays provide insight into the process of picking and baling the cotton. An enormous wooden cotton gin exhibits the intricacies of the ordeal of making cotton. You will find more insight about Hunt County as the museum supports the entire area.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and closed most holidays, but it will be open on Tuesday, the Fourth of July. A young family can spend an hour or two rambling through the museum, trying to explain how someone used to pick cotton to make a shirt. Senior citizens may saunter slower to reminisce longer than the youngsters.

The scenery refreshes urban cowboys, vets, and families. Horses lean over the fence and an old cabin and restored old home rest in the pristine setting.

Beige horse

Check the website for more detailed directions and tickets. I guarantee you will love the place, especially if you are an antique with young ones in the party.

At the Thanksgiving Table

Fall dining table

Thanksgiving Table

As we join family and friends at the table for our Thanksgiving feast, we tune out the latest news of an absent uncle. We try not to sit next to the relatives we don’t particularly like, but tolerate. We laugh, joke and ponder how goodness and misfortune permeate our lives. Someone in the group needs another job or new business ideas. A friend’s cancer returned. The teenager chatters about her enlightened views on the value of vegan menus. The new baby in the crowd sleeps peacefully. The two year old wants hotdogs.

We are thankful we live in the safe surrounding us. We watch football and fall asleep before the 4th quarter. We awake surprised the game is over and elelated the Packers won. But we realize a haze hovers over the warmth in the room.

Although the recent Paris massacre causes a cloud in our lives, we deem our country unconquerable and hope for wise leadership from our government. We take sides. Our outrage causes us to wonder why the murders in Damascus, Beirut and Tel Aviv rarely appear on our favorite news channels. Greg Abbott, our Texas governor wants to prevent any Syrians from settling in our state.

We forget why our ancestors left Europe. They arrived in Massachusetts, Virginia and Florida from Ireland, Poland, France and other continents, mostly as a result of religious persecution.

We must look to our heritage. Did a great-great grandfather serve in the Revolutionary War? Do we plan to arm ourselves or find solutions to end the killings? Can we avoid another season of internment camps in Europe and the US? Read stories of World War II and Vietnam or the Middle East for fast instruction on why we must prevent this from happening again.

As we come to the table on Thanksgiving let’s eat, pray and watch favorite team. Can’t hurt to say a few prayers. We want a united team. We are grateful for our freedom and grasp no easy answers exist. Whether our heritage is Louisiana Vietnamese or Louisiana French, whether our ancestors are German, Mexican or other ethnicity, we need a team at the table.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Go, Bucks!