Last Monday as I returned from a trip to El Paso, I took Highway 90 as an alternative to IH10. I stopped several places along to way to see things I had not seen in years, or not at all. Among the things I noticed that bothered me are the condition of Judge Roy Bean's Jersey Lilly and Alamo Village outside Bracketville.
Back in the mid seventies my wife and I visited West Texas, including Juge Roy Bean's Jersey Lilly bar. It was still in fair condition, and seemed well cared for. This trip I found that a new fence has been erected around the entire area and a "visitors center" built in front of the famed site making viewing it from the road impossible and entry forbidden if it is closed and you haven't paid the fee. Sadly the building itself has seen no efforts at repair or conservation. In the famous photograph, the Lilly is painted white. It has been allowed to weather, and the effects are noticable. It is not, in my opinion, wrong to keep historic properties in the condition they were in within their time. Keeping the building and its sign well painted would help it survive the harsh West Texas conditions much better than without paint, as is reflected in the building's current sad shape.
As I passede through Bracketville I decided to visit Alamo Village, site of the famous movie The Alamo starring John Wayne. Unfortunately, the woman who so lovingly cared for the site and kept it open to the public has passed beyond the veil, and her heirs feel it is not important enought to them to keep the site open. I fear if they do not change their minds it will not be long before this famous movie set - said to be the largest outdoor set in the world - will fall to ruin and be lost.
Sad conditions for those of us interested in historical preservation.