American History


“…The more she went, the more that ranch and the old headquarters pulled at her heart and spoke to her innermost soul. The thick, stucco-covered adobe walls had seen a lot of days under the West Texas sky. They had sheltered past occupants from the blistering heat of summer, the cold winds of winter, and everything else in between. Now they protected Kate from the increasingly topsy-turvy world outside, and gave respite to her loneliness and growing uncertainty.

The discolored tin roof covering those thick walls had done the same. It not only served to shield from the sun, but also collected rain water to supply the cistern out back. The dog-run, now screened in, provided a place for rest when the house itself was too warm for comfort. It was situated to catch the slightest summer breeze, and the wide porches with morning glories spiraling up goat-proof fencing further cooled the desert drafts.”…

Those words are part of a discourse about an old adobe house that figures prominently into the plot for my just-released novel ‘Destiny’s Way.’ Folks have started asking me about that place after reading the book. Like most every other structure or terrain feature in ‘Destiny’s Way’ it does exist even today, though in a substantially different form.

This photograph was taken by my mother circa 1967, my younger brother Lyndon and I are sitting on a couple of half-broke horses my grandfather gave us. Note the hackamores and the old Texas style saddles that make up our gear.

This original headquarters, much like the ethereal presences that are part of the plot for the novel, figures large into the background of this photograph. Many of the incidents involving this place as described actually occurred.

And yes, my entire family considered the house haunted, and for good reason. But like the presence described in ‘Destiny’s Way,’ we also knew it never meant us any harm.

Ben H. English
Alpine, Texas

By ace101

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