The Hondo courthouse, Texans really build some impressive courthouses
I went into Hondo this morning and fueled up the truck at a Walmart gas station, and diesel fuel was only $2.04 and that's the cheapest diesel fuel I have seen in a long long time. In fact it's the cheapest diesel fuel I've seen since I've been in Texas. Maybe this city or this county don't put as many taxes on fuel, whatever the reason I love it.
I bought a few things at Walmart and then drove into town to see what it looked like. And as usual there's a new part of town like the area where the Walmart is and there's an old part of town that's been there for 100 years. I always like to take a picture of the old part of a town because it's got character, and it's got kind of a homey feel to it.
The old part of town always reminds me of when I was a kid and there were no malls or shopping centers, when you said you were going to go shopping that meant you were going... downtown. And you would park on Main Street where you would get out of the car and walk down the sidewalk looking in all of the store windows, we did a lot of looking in windows when I was a kid because we didn't have enough money to buy much of anything, but the store windows were like a show unto themselves.
Back in the day they had people called window dressers, and their job was to put things in the store windows that would stop you dead in your tracks on the sidewalk and make you look, and then want to come inside and buy something. Window dressers were very skilled at showing you just enough so that you had to go into the store to see the rest.
Shopping centers and then malls killed the downtown's. They were built closer to the suburbs where people began to live, there was plenty of free easy parking and you could shop without being out in the weather. Everything about them was better than the downtown stores except... They had no character. Shopping centers are sterile and uncaring. Whereas the downtown area stores often had a person running it who knew your name and you his. Each downtown store was unique usually reflecting the character of the person who owned it. Whereas malls have no personality, stores are designed by a group of people who are paid to design stores that will get you in the door, get your money, and get you out the door, in as little time as possible.
So I like the old downtown areas, they haven't changed much, you still Park and walk down the sidewalk and look in the windows, the stores still reflect the character of their individual owner, and the owner may still know your name if you come in often enough. The big change is, there's hardly any customers anymore, they're all over at the Walmart.