“Blood may be thicker than water, but oil is thicker than both.”
― Larry Hagman
“Nations are possessed with an insane ambition to perpetuate the memory of themselves by the amount of hammered stone they leave.”
― Henry David Thoreau
At the statue’s base is an iron crypt. Made of ore mined in Cherokee County, Texas, it once contained the front pages of three-hundred Texas newspapers for October 8, 1938, the date of the dedication. At the ceremonies, attended by some three-hundred descendants of the founders, the statue was unveiled by the Fair’s 1912 president, Mr. J. J. Eckford. Senator Tom Connally was the guest speaker. The key to the crypt was handed over to the Texas Press Association for safe-keeping until the crypt’s scheduled re-opening, fifty years from the date it was sealed. Unfortunately, when officials took a “sneak peek” inside the crypt, just before the 1988 State Fair, it was discovered that the vault had not been well-sealed and had leaked. When the bundle of deteriorating newspapers was touched, they crumbled into dust. As a result, ceremonies for the opening of the crypt were cancelled.
Texas Star, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas
was the werewolf
in his evil forest.
We took him
to the carnival
and he started
when he saw
the Ferris wheel.
green and red tears
his furry cheeks.
like a boat
out on the dark
― Richard Brautigan
I enjoyed the warm weather Sunday by taking in a long bike ride from White Rock Lake down the Santa Fe Trail through East Dallas and on through the mirrored canyons of Main Street Downtown.
This time, I stopped by and snapped some photographs of an odd piece of Art Deco solid artistry outside the Swine Building – the Texas Woofus.
From the plaque:
According to sculptor Lawrence Tenney Stevens, the Texas Woofus is a composite figure with Texas long-horns, a sheep’s head, a stallion’s neck with mane, a hog’s body, the dulap of a sheep, turkey tail feathers, wings, and a highly decorated strip of a blanket.
The original was created in 1936 for the Texas Centennial. Its fate remains a mystery.
So, the story goes that the original was created – a 9 foot tall, 2,700 pound bronze – but a short time later it simply disappeared. Some people think the religious fundamentalists stole it because it resembled a pagan god – or that is was removed for repair and misplaced. At any rate, for 60 years it was forgotten, until Craig Holcomb, executive director of the Friends of Fair Park saw some old shots of the odd sculpture and thought it was very cool.
A fund raising dinner, The Woofus Dinner, was created and wealthy Dallasites attended, woofing hello and singing a specially-written ditty, “The Woofus Song,” ponied up about fifty grand, enough to rebuild the Woofus.
In 2002 the thing made its re-appearance.
For something with this hallowed a history, it’s sure hidden away in an obscure nook. I had stumbled across it during the Fair one year while on a quest for a bathroom and always wanted to get back for a more leisurely look.
So here, without further ado, I give you, the Texas Woofus.