Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Marines: An Unexpected Vacation Find!

 My forever friend from childhood and I met in Hearne, TX to spend a few days. Nancy lives in Irving, and I'm in Weston Lakes. Hearne is about halfway for each of us.

When we arrived at the Holiday Inn Express, we discovered the hotel was filled with Marines who were in Texas from Okinawa, Japan. They had arrived in our little central Texas town for training.

I called hubby and told him not to worry about us. We were safe. The Marines had landed.

Here Nancy and I are at breakfast. She loved the cinnamon rolls and I scarfed down the biscuits with gravy. The Marine waiting in line behind me didn't soak his biscuit with the creamy stuff like I did, and I suggested he had a bit more to his plate. Since he serves in Japan, I thought he might not know about Texas biscuits and gravy. It turns out he was a native Texan. Maybe he watches his cholesterol more than I do.   

 The dining room at breakfast was filled with Marines, but I didn't take their picture. I found out later that it would have been okay for me to do so, but that was  a day or two later.  

Nancy and I were in awe of these men who serve our country. We wanted to adopt them and be a grandmother to them.

I'll tell you more about them later. Stay tuned.

After breakfast, we toured Camp Hearne. It is a WWII historic site and exhibit. Over 4800 German prisoners were held in this POW camp. At the time, the population of Hearne, TX was less than 3500.

Our military chose Hearne, Tx out of kindness for these German prisoners of war. Central Texas would remind them of their home country. The prisoners from Hitler's Army were taken captive while serving in foreign lands and brought here to America, but Hearne was not the only POW camp.

They were treated well here in America. At Hearne, they had a double portion of rations and a normal workload. The site has remnants of prisoner-built amenities. There are over  thirteen hiking trails. Nancy and I didn't explore any of them. It was too hot! I think the temp registered 105 F that day, but on a cooler day, it would have been fun.

This POW camp had a stadium-seating theater with an orchestra pit. The prisoners dressed up in homemade costumes and performed plays from memory.  After their exposure to America, several brought their families here after the war and became citizens. 

After Camp Hearne, Nancy and I toured the historic, Hearne Depot. We found out that Hearne is known as the Crossroads of Texas.

Bob Batson, Curator

Bob Batson, Curator, could write a history book with his knowledge. 

Two railways crossed Hearne in 1869. The Houston & Texas Central (it is now the Southern Pacific) and the International (now the Missouri Pacific).

The Depot museuem contains a wonder of interesting exhibits. It has two waiting rooms for travelers back in the day. They are a mirror of each other and are identical. One was for the black travelers, and one was for white.

By the way, the Depot has a display dedicated to Aunt Jemima. 

Rosie Lee Moore, wife of Travis Hall, was "Aunt Jemima" for the Quaker Oats Company for 25 years.  She's a native of Hearne.

I've driven through Hearne many times as I traveled to the DFW area and never knew Hearne had these  historic sites. 

Hubby wants dinner, so come back for more stories about the wonderful Marines. I'll add them with pictures later.

After that hot day of exploring, Nancy and I retreated to the hotel. I had forewarned her that I turn the temp down to 65 F in the room. She brought extra blankets. 

I can't wait to tell you about the Marines!

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