Sunday after church we traveled to West Texas and the Panhandle. Our first stop was in Lubbock to visit our very dear friends Kathy and Al Buchanan and son Charlie, his wife Kayla, and their beautiful granddaughter, Mackenzie. Unfortunately we were having so much fun I forgot to take photos...grrrrrrrrrrrr. Oh, well, needless to say we had a great time and were sorry to leave, but leave we must.
For those of you who don't live near Texas, I took some photos of West Texas and the Panhandle. The mesas, the clouds and sky, and land are all spectacular. Here are a few shots.
This is one of many, many energy generating wind farms.
On the last leg of our trip we traveled to Wheeler, Texas, where my daddy was born and found the house my grandfather, John Ficke, had built for his bride, Harriett Elizabeth McBee. Here they raised 8 children, one boy and seven girls. After looking where we thought it might be, and talking to my cousin Ron who had been there many years ago, we decided to go to the courthouse and look at the deeds and records. There we discovered that Granddad had owned upwards of 3 sections of land in Wheeler County and that the house is located on Lot 9, Block A3 6 miles east of the courthouse. We drove out and found the house. The photos below show the house. It is now being lived in by the family of Bill and Melinda Stiles, and the physical address is 7930 County Road 21, Wheeler, Texas. I have wanted to see the house for many years, and the first time we looked, we were on the wrong side of Wheeler. I am thankful we were there now, because the Stiles family is planning on demolishing the house and building a new, more modern home. This house was on a section of land, and Granddad owned about 3 sections to the southeast of Shamrock. His brother, John Henry, owned land close to the homestead, and his brother Henry had, by this time, moved to Canadian, Texas, where is owned land both in town and in the county.
As a side note, I had thought the last time we were in Wheeler that the town had about gone down to nothing...well, no more. The town is being gentrified. A three story hotel is being built, there a fiddle make named Jerry Lister. The drug store is a B&B, and there are oil and gas wells as far as the eye can see!
Wheeler County map, Lot 9, Block A3.
The highlight of our trip was visiting with Daddy's favorite cousin, George H. Ficke. I had never met George until about 12 years before when he found me on the internet. He celebrated his 90th birthday day last January, but we were not able to attend. We was a joy to once again see him and meet more members of his family.
His is George Ficke and his youngest child, Margo.
This is George's sister Helen sitting to the left of Raf, and his brother Charles' widow, Alice, holding the puppy. Alice and Charles used to visit my family in Stephenville when we lived there in the 40's and 50's. Daddy and Charles were always looking for a way to make money, and one of their investments, and one of these schemes was raising parakeets.
Here are George and I.
I intend to email as many Ficke cousins as I can in the hopes that we can get together a family reunion early in 2008...perhaps the weekend of Jan. 19-21, as it is a holiday weekend. If you are reading this and are interested, please contact me email@example.com !