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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Leaving Lubbock and on to Alpine!

We got back from our State WHEP contest on Sunday evening but it has taken me this long to get over the drive around Texas.  I slept most of Monday and part of Tuesday.  That driving can really wear a person down!  So, I am a little late getting this blog post up.

There is so much to tell so I will divide this up into three posts (as if I had done this along the way...I did not have internet access or I might have been able to do this as it happened).

We actually got to sleep in for the first time all week!  We packed up and left the hotel thanking the staff for all their accommodations throughout the week.  We started out the trip with 18 4Hers and family members but left with 13 as the others left early. 

On the way into Lubbock, we all had to pass through Post, Texas.  Our family really wanted to stop and go the museum created to tell the history of the town because our ancestors were some of the first settlers of the town.  Unfortunately, the museum was closed that day, so we were determined to stop on the way out of Lubbock.  It really was not on our path to Alpine, but it was not a big detour.  How was I to know that I would also have this opportunity to share a little of our family history with our 4H friends!  This was a proud moment of the week.  One thing 4H encourages is good citizenship, and this includes knowing about our own history as well as history at all levels. 

Post, Texas was set up by C. W. Post in 1906.  He advertised back in Michigan about an opportunity to share in a new kind of town in which community was the center of the planning.  Four sections of 160 acres of quality land would a shared well would be at the center.  On each section a house and outbuildings would be built because the Mr. Post was adamant that each farmer would own his own house.  He promised (and fulfilled until his dying day) to be at the center of all community events.  All residents would share in the building up of the town.

This advertisement appealed to many families who read about this new endeavor.  Peter and Mary Agnes Watkins (my great-grandparents) were among these early settlers, along with their six children.  They answered the call to head west and make a new start due to a recent agricultural disaster (lost crop due to freeze in orchards).  They would make their way to Post, Texas to become one of the founding families.  They would be among the families who would raise cotton on the wide open fields.  Peter became the manager of the cotton gin and would remain in this position until his retirement.  Many other families came to this area as well and the town grew.  Mr. Post kept his promise and remained active in this thriving community until his death in 1914.  He was considered a friend and they knew that he wanted every man in his community to succeed.

Going through the museum, I could not help but feel like I was going back in time seeing my family as they were coming into Post over hundred years ago.  I spoke with the curator of the museum who asked that I come back with more details so she could add these family stories to the town historical archives.  I was able to share with my children and our friends, and left Post feeling like I had won the prize of the day!

Our trip had hardly begun as we still had a 6 hour drive ahead of us as we traveled south to Alpine.  The trip had little consequence or mishap so we arrived in Alpine around 5pm.  We were able to get our bags into the hotel just as a gully washer came pouring our of the sky!  We were able to spend the evening practicing for the contest that would take place in the morning.  We were thankfully surprised to learn the hotel had a complimentary dinner of fish tacos and salad, so we did not have to go out in the storm.  However, because of the storm we lost internet connection.  It was probably for the best because we were all worn out and fell into bed and fell asleep with little effort.

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