(In conjunction with the release of “Run … You Can’t Hide”)
Ben Wheeler, Texas is no more than a spot in the road. As the old saying goes, if you blink while passing through, you’ll miss it. There’s no yellow light to caution the non-locals there is a crossroad and to slow down and watch for pedestrians crossing—actually jaywalking. Oh, I failed to mention Ben Wheeler is the Official Wild Hog Capitol of Texas. They have a festival each year in honor of Wild Hogs–costumes, parade, and more.
The quiet little town has an interesting history. In the early years, the city leaders built their hopes on the railroad coming to their community, which never happened. However, through ups and downs over the years, Ben Wheeler has managed to do what other little towns were incapable of doing—stay alive.
As of the time of this blog post, Ben Wheeler could boast of two restaurants—Moore’s Store and The Forge—both mentioned in “Run … You Can’t Hide,” and a handful of unique artisan shops—some that have been there for some time and others that are new or no longer in operation. For example, when I visited the middle of June this year (2015), the interesting ice cream parlor—Scoops & Scooters—with old unique motorbikes inside the parlor, was no longer in operation.
The stores are only open from Wednesday through Sunday at various times—when they receive most of their traffic. (It’s a good idea to Google Ben Wheeler for hours of operation while planning your visit.)
In “Run … You Can’t Hide,” I mention The Hat Doctor. The hat shop is owned and ran by Rex Fleming, a 20-plus years military man, and is one of the few remaining custom hat makers left in America. He can make, reshape, and sell you one of him great hats all while telling you about his hat business and his love for haberdashery … western style, if you care to know. His one-man operation takes you back in time and is something to see. And his dog, a beautiful border collie named Dog, is friendly too. J If you’re in the market for a real western style hat Doc Fleming can fix you right up in no time at all.
To be continued in my next post: Ben Wheeler, Texas ~ Part III. I’ll tell you about my experience in The Forge eatery, and my husband’s excitement gone awry.
If you haven’t already, please sign up and become a member of my Readers’ Club, where you will receive updates of releases, tidbits of what I write about, and a chance to enter a periodic giveaway of great prizes – sign up today.
Until next time, pick up a book and read. It’ll keep your mind healthy.
Y’all come back … ya hear!