Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mystery House

Mystery House
Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
Most of my family is from Temple, TX yet I was raised in Bastrop, TX. As a result, most of our holidays and a lot of weekends were spent on the road between Bastrop and Temple. As a result, I got to know that road like the back of my hand -- how many minutes between Elgin and Taylor, between Bartlett and Holland, Academy and Temple. I remember the spot I got stuck for about an hour one day when they closed the highway to film a scene from "Secondhand Lions" in Coupland. For a while I could name every little community on that road and give the exact population number and tell you how their Dairy Queen was.

Okay so that leads me to this photo I'm sharing today. From the age of about kindergarten and up I can remember admiring this house. It didn't always look this creepy. It's off the main road just a bit in Holland, but you can see it clearly from Highway 95. As a child I imagined that life would be just about perfect to live in this house. It had plenty of space, I imagined it had plenty of little hiding places like the old houses always do and I was sure it had a ghost or two. I know someone who tried to buy it about 30 years ago by leaving an offer on the door. Nobody ever called her about it. I suppose the owners were content to let it fall to ruin rather than sell it to someone who may have saved it. I don't recall ever seeing anyone living there.

I once pulled over to take a closer look about 15 years ago when I was by myself. At that time there was an old chain-link fence around it and I was puzzled at the presence of an old rotary phone stuck in the fence and intertwined around some of the links. How did it get there? Was it thrown? That fence is gone, as is the phone. There's not much left of this house but an unstable shell. I suspect that soon it will be gone too, either by bulldozer or nature -- reclaiming to the earth the shattered remains of what was once the home to a family or several. I'm happy I was finally able to capture it before it was too late.

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