Tuesday, August 21, 2018


7/31 to 8/2

Hey there Campers,

We traveled on to San Antonio to the Hard Rock Café. Unfortunately, no Midwest café will have the special spin pin. It was still good to see the city.

On to family friends in Harper which is outside Fredericksburg, TX. It was good to be with Mary Jane & Myron Tait. On our first day there Mary Jane gave us a tour of the city of Harper. The next day we got a chance to tour the Presidential LBJ Ranch & State Park. Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 36th president of the USA. He began his presidency after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Almost anyone who was alive in the 60’s remembers where they were and what you were doing when you heard he was killed. I was in a 9th grade history class. My teacher Mr. Stoer got a message that an announcement would be made. When it came over the loud speaker he started to cry along with us. Yep that was a day to remember.

There is a house at the state park that belong to the Johnson's neighbors. It represent what the area in homes in the 1900 looked like. There are docents that provide great information on the area.

Some quick facts:

Ø  He was known all over the world as just LBJ.
Ø  He was born in 1908 near Johnson City, TX.
Ø  He was the first of 5 kids.
Ø  His family was in ranching and politics.
Ø  His dad drove cattle on the Chisholm Trail.
Ø  He graduated from high school when he was 15 years old.
Ø  He got a BS degree and a teaching certificate.
Ø  In order pay for his education, he taught school for disadvantaged Mexican-American students in South Texas.
Ø  Looking at the effect of poverty and discrimination of his students made a deep impression that sparked a lifelong desire to find solutions for these issues.
Ø  Married Claudia Taylor (childhood nicknamed: Lady Bird) in 1934.
Ø  Elected to House of Representatives in 1937.
Ø  First member of Congress to serve active duty in WWII.
Ø  Elected U.S. Senator in 1948.
Ø  In 1953 he became the youngest person to serve as minority leader.
Ø  His ability to work with the President Eisenhower made him powerful leader.
Ø  Had a severe heart attack in 1953.
Ø  He declared War on Poverty.
Ø  He wanted new reforms call the “Great Society.”
Ø  Help to create Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Ø  He was a big proponate of clean environment.
Ø  Attacked discrimination by signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Right Act of 1965.
Ø  He nominated Thurgood Marshall as the first African American to serve on Supreme Court in 1967.
Ø  Some think his presidency was a failure due to the Vietnam War.
Ø  He chose not to run a second term.

We went to visit his actual ranch house but were turned away due to structural issues on the second floor. We were able to tour the grounds. He called his ranch the Texas White House. He had his cabinet members come and have meeting under the big tree. He spent 490 days on his ranch during his presidency.

The Johnson's are still very much revered in Texas.

We traveled back to Frederickburg to tour the quaint town. We had lunch in the Creamery shop. My sister Nita would love the bathroom. It has every kind of out door bathroom pictures. We also went to see the bats that come out at night. We had a great talk about the bats, but we only got to see 5 come out.


Well, campers until next time.

Lo & Bren

Friday, August 17, 2018



Hey there Campers,

We rolled into Houston, TX to go to the Buffalo Soldiers’ Museum. After reading an article about the museum, I thought it was important to see the solider side from the black soldiers’ point of view.


Blacks were always a part of the war. The quote of “Never wanted, Always needed” is an important fact. There have been black soldiers in every war the US has every participated.

The reason black soldiers were called “Buffalo Soldiers” is because Native Americans saw blacks are dark and have curly hair like the buffalo.

Some quick facts:

Ø  Buffalo soldiers were African American soldiers who mainly served on the Western frontier following the American Civil War.
Ø  In 1866, six all-black cavalry and infantry regiments were created after Congress passed the Army Organization Act.
Ø  Their main tasks were to help control the Native Americans of the Plains, capture cattle rustlers and thieves and protect settlers, stagecoaches, wagon trains and railroad crews along the Western front.
Ø  Fought wildfires and poachers in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks and supported the parks’ infrastructure.
Ø  Even facing blatant racism and enduring brutal weather conditions, buffalo soldiers earned a reputation for serving courageously.
Ø  Buffalo soldiers had the lowest military desertion and court-martial rates of their time.
Ø  The buffalo soldiers included two regiments of all-black cavalry, the 9th and 10th cavalries.
Ø  The nation’s oldest living buffalo soldier, Mark Matthews, died at age 111 in Washington D.C.
Ø                        Uniforms made blacks feel they are somebody.


The museum is from the Buffalo Solider to current soldiers serving in the military.

We got an email that said we could order our Tesla car. So we sat down and looked over our options. We were ready to click ok. Our son Art told us to go test drive one before we click the yes button. We left the museum and traveled to the Tesla dealer. Wow. We are going to have to reevaluate that yes button. Are they kidding us? The Model 3 is a stripped down Tonka car. I am supposed to pay close to $70,000 for this. Slow your roll Brandy’s.

Well, campers until next time.

Lo & Bren

Thursday, August 16, 2018



Hey there Campers,

After spending 2 restful days we are on the road again. We went to the Whitney Plantation in Wallace, Louisiana. This plantation museum is totally dedicated to slavery. I found about this plantation from watching Katie Couric “America Inside Out.”

We started our tour by going into the museum. It is a wealth of knowledge from research and digging from the plantation.

Here are some quick facts:

Ø  Goree Island is in Senegal.  Thousands of captured Africans passed this way on to America. It has the “Door of No Return.”
Ø  Plantation owners were always afraid of a Negro Revolt.
Ø  Sugar cane is called White Gold.
Ø  Where the plantation is located was called the German Coast since most of the whites were of German decent.
Ø  Norbert Rillieux a free person of color, born in New Orleans 1806, revolutionized Louisiana sugar industry. He never got any credit for it and discriminated against.
Ø  Civil War didn’t change things for most African Americans. They had no place to go and most stayed on plantations too become sharecroppers. This was as bad as slavery.
Ø  The Whitney Plantation was owned by the Haydel family.
Ø  By 1850, slave workers were more valuable than the land in the South.
Ø  The Civil Code of Louisiana related only to how slaves had no rights.
Ø  Religion incorporated elements of West African culture.
Ø  Under the Black Code all slaves were baptized Catholic.
Ø  The word Mumbo Jumbo comes from the word Maama Jombo which was the deity of fertility and the protector of mothers and children. The name was misheard by whites and eventually became known as Mumbo Jumbo a name for gibberish and witchcraft.
Ø  Under Louisiana law slaves were moveable property.

When we purchased our tickets we were given a tag with a picture of a child on it. We started the tour with our tour guide Susan. Now you know it is hot when the first thing we were given was an umbrella.

We went to the church that was built in 1871. Inside the church were statues of children. We needed to find our child that was on our tag. The sculptors were very life like only with ash skin.





Outside of the church is a memorial list of every slave that had been on the plantation with their occupation. The idea of this memorial was based on the Vietnam Memorial. Every tour rings the bell to commemorate the slaves.


The sculpture with the sticks is called the Long Boat. The long boat would row up the river to gather the slaves. The slaves were taken aboard and chained and brought to the mouth of the river where they were placed in a large slave pen until they were loaded on a ship and taken to slave markets. The slaves were considered cargo. The long boats would be unloaded while the slave ship was anchored off the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean.

We next ventured to the Fields of Angels. It is dedicated to all the children who died on the plantation. You were told to find your birth date and see which child was yours.


We went next to the slave cabins. On our way there we saw John Cummings, the man who owns this plantation. He was very cordial. It was his idea to come up with the museum. He felt the world really needed to know who the slaves were and how they really lived.

The slave cabins were little better than shacks. The furniture inside was very sparse. The bedding was rags.

In front of the cabin were the sugar cane bowls. From October 1, to January 1, sugar cane had to be cut and made intp syrup then unto granulated sugar. It was produced 24/7. To produce sugar cane for this plantation, slaves built leaves and drained the swamps. All of the cane was used. If too much water in the sugar cane it will bend and no sugar could be produced. They had a term call the Jamaica Train. It was from big kettle to Grande Flambé to syrup to factory. It took 50 to 70 people to run the train. This was a hard and dangerous job. Women and children mainly did the work while men were in the sugar cane and cotton field. Many people were maimed, burned and died producing this product. The bowls were extremely hot. The survival life of the people who worked at the plantation was 10 years. Sugar cane made millions of dollars for the plantation owners. When the sugar cane season was done slaves were rented out to other plantations. 

New Orleans was built on the backs on the backs of slavery. The way tourism in New Orleans is currently is what slavery was in the 19th century.

We saw slave pens that were worse than any jail.

 We continued on to Robins blacksmiths building. Robin was the blacksmith who made anything the plantation needed.

The kitchen was near the big house. It is the oldest detached kitchen in Louisiana. The cooks only cooked for the masters.

We continued on to the “big house”. It was your typical plantation home with many windows to allow the draft to cool the house.



Outside the house was a sculptor of a hand and a chain. It was to show what slavery had done.

In the back garden there was a disc that showed how the slaves were cramped in the slave boats.

Another statue is the one that says to me “how long oh God.”

As we turn in the garden, there are heads on pikes representing the 1811 German Coast Uprising. The slaves that were caught were shot or hanged. Their heads were hung on pikes to let other slaves know the same would happen to them.

On our way out the sign says it all. In order to grow we much acknowledge this.

Well, campers until next time.

Lo & Bren