Based in Williamson County, Texas, WHY ARE Y'ALL HERE? is a travelog by Spencer Darr. His posts explore Texas counties through photos, maps, music, videos, writing, and--most importantly--interviews with local residents about why we are where we are. Y'all enjoy!

Bullet Holes Through History and A Prison in Paradise

Bullet Holes Through History and A Prison in Paradise

Something is not working with how I am currently doing this blog. Particularly, I struggle with balancing immediacy, actually being there and present with where I am, then attempting to document that through photos and film while I am there, and then writing about it days or weeks after that fact. Plus, since I've decided to visit all of the counties before the end of the year, I have less time to do all of the above. And I work 40 hours a week. The trips alone take about 16 to 20 hours a weekend, and the write ups of the trip take about 1-3 hours a night during the week.

Regardless, I'm a big believer in the adage "you make time for what matters." So, what matters here? Honestly, just the experience, the traveling, the seeing and being there in each place and space I briefly inhabit and sharing that with you. So, I have decided, once I catch up, to limit the scope of the blogs. More posts, but much less written content per post. In the spirit of the etymology of "blog" (web + log) and "travelog" (travelogue + blog), this is a log of my travels. Logs are sparse in form, but rich in content: they focus on dates, locations, and brief but potentially meaningful explanations. So, here we go!

SAN SABA COUNTY

 Keep Texas Beautiful in the background...a little less confrontational then the "Don't Mess With Texas" campaign.

Keep Texas Beautiful in the background...a little less confrontational then the "Don't Mess With Texas" campaign.

 Never seen a historical marker with gunshots through it before. 

Never seen a historical marker with gunshots through it before. 

Turns out the high school record holder for most touchdowns thrown belongs to Richland Spring's (population 329) own Tyler Ethridge. When I say most, I mean nationally in ANY form of football: he threw 230 touchdown passes from 2004-2007

MCCOLLOCH COUNTY

 Odd looking architecture for a convenience store. Wonder what's around the corner to the left?

Odd looking architecture for a convenience store. Wonder what's around the corner to the left?

What happened here? Why are these business abandoned? Why do small towns struggle?

CONCHO COUNTY

 Is incarceration a blessing? And this county paradise has at least 2 Adams for every 1 Eve. More on that below.

Is incarceration a blessing? And this county paradise has at least 2 Adams for every 1 Eve. More on that below.

One of those amazing contrasts I keep seeing repeated in Texas; the Garden of Eden less than a mile from a detention center, also in Eden--a prison in paradise. Bwaha!

 A cross casts a shadow over the CCA Eden Detention Center sign. The population of Concho County is 4087; that would mean that at full capacity of 1422, this low-security prison contains 35% of the entire county's population. The county also has also has one of the highest gender ratios with 232 men for every 100 women. (Sources: http://www.cca.com/facilities/eden-detention-center, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/48095,00)

A cross casts a shadow over the CCA Eden Detention Center sign. The population of Concho County is 4087; that would mean that at full capacity of 1422, this low-security prison contains 35% of the entire county's population. The county also has also has one of the highest gender ratios with 232 men for every 100 women. (Sources: http://www.cca.com/facilities/eden-detention-center, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/48095,00)

MENARD COUNTY

 That's a purdy painting right there and what makes a better canvas than a galvanized steel door :) What could be on the other side?

That's a purdy painting right there and what makes a better canvas than a galvanized steel door :) What could be on the other side?

 Booze are on the other side of that door! First building I spotted after crossing the Menard County line was a Liquor store. Read into that what you may. My guess is that at some point, or perhaps currently, Concho is a dry county. 

Booze are on the other side of that door! First building I spotted after crossing the Menard County line was a Liquor store. Read into that what you may. My guess is that at some point, or perhaps currently, Concho is a dry county. 

Welcome to Empty Roads and a Sweet Home with a Lock on the Gate

Welcome to Empty Roads and a Sweet Home with a Lock on the Gate

Front Yard Horseys, Henry's Diner, and Texas Pussies on the March

Front Yard Horseys, Henry's Diner, and Texas Pussies on the March