got a phone call from our post office one day - and they really
do ring twice. We were informed that we had a package - postage-due.
They are very careful at our post office and made sure they got
the 73 cents before we saw the package. It was a book-sized Manilla
envelope with a Duncanville postmark. We didn't know anyone in Duncanville
- but what could we do at that point? The postal service person
had the money and they didn't look like they wanted to give it back.
It turns out that it was worth it.
It was a thin little book that ends rather abruptly on page 93 -
but that shouldn't come as a surprise since the title is The Eight
Corners of Texas and one should start expecting it to wind down
sometime after the seventh corner.
It should surprise no one to learn that the corners of Texas are
barely known to the people who live closest to them. By the way,
the use of the words close, closest, closeness and "pretty close"
have new meanings in the context of this adventure.
The outline of Texas is said to be the most recognized silhouette
in the world - (after the original bulged-waist Coca-Cola bottle)
and like the Coke bottle - it's hard to point to well-defined corners
of Texas. But before this review gets longer than the book itself….
Mr. McBurnett, his wife Jan, son Neal and his wife Cindy with some
additional in-laws and friends (some of them recruited locally)
visited all eight "corners" of the state over a four year period
(you do the math). It soon becomes apparent that getting there was
much more than half of the fun - more like 99%. Mr. McBurnett wisely
includes some character sketches of the people they met while on
their journeys and some anecdotal stories about local people and
their reaction to "the quest" for the eight corners.
We guarantee the book will add dimension to your mental image of
Texas - especially if you never had one to begin with. It's a very
entertaining trip - and while it's possible to visit the eight corners
yourself - you might have second thoughts after reading the book.
If you do, the McBurnetts recommend taking a golf club for each
participant - hint: they aren't to play golf.
The seldom-answered questions, closed chamber of commerce offices
and suspicious looks may be disheartening to the reader, but the
McBurnetts are optimists and seem to genuinely enjoy people. The
reader is relieved that their guide for the Sabine Pass "corner"
turns out to be from the same tribe.
The cemetery fencing around one corner's marker and the story of
one marker being borrowed for use as a tractor weight give the trips
color that can't be made up.
Actually it's a book that should've been written a long time ago
and our hats are off to the McBurnetts - for thinking of it and
for boldly going where state and local officials fear to tread.
Once again, individual ingenuity and insatiable curiosity triumphs
over bureaucratic laxity and disinterest. For further information:
More Trips | Texas
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