The Austin Chronicle

Day Trips: Top 10s (+1)

By Gerald E. McLeod, January 2, 2015, Columns

1) SpaceX announced it will build a rocket launch site at Boca Chica Village at the southern tip of Texas. Maybe someday we'll fly to moon from outside of Brownsville.

2) Sea Rim State Park reopened five miles of Texas beach and coastal wetlands after being closed for nearly a decade, thanks in part to settlement funds from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.

3) Powderhorn Ranch, 17,351 acres of unspoiled coastal prairie in Calhoun County, was purchased for a future state park and wildlife management area by private and public entities.

4) Schroeder Hall, outside of Goliad and the second-oldest dance hall in Texas, was purchased by the owner of Bikini's Sports Bar and Grill, giving new meaning to honky-tonk angels.

5) Slovacek's, a well-known sausage and barbecue maker from Snook, added a new set of restrooms on the southbound side of I-35 in West. Let the kolache wars begin.

6) There will never be another like: Larry Monroe, longtime disc jockey who played the soundtrack to many day trips, Jan. 17, age 71.

7) Steven Fromholz, singer, songwriter, poet laureate, and Rio Grande river guide, Jan. 19, age 68.

8) John Ahrns, original guardian and manager of Westcave Preserve, Jan. 20, age 66.

9) Stanley Marsh 3, prankster and artist who buried 10 Cadillacs nose down in a cotton field outside of Amarillo, June 17, age 76.

10) Billy Porterfield, writer, journalist, and interpreter of Texas life, June 29, age 81.

11) Art Blondin, beloved pitmaster and supporter of live music, who moved his famed rib joint from South Lamar to Florence, Aug. 30, age 60.

1,223rd in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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