Wax on, Waxahachie!

After a fun filled evening with old friends, it was time to put my foggy head back into the driving game. Let’s hear it for the rainy morning rush hours in Dallas. Let me go on record – I am no fan of the Texas interstate system – it’s f’d up. Seriously. A big mess of asphalt spaghetti in the cities, and crazy on/off ramps everywhere else. Be aware, be very aware.

I was quite relieved to finally get some green (ok, gray) space and open vistas, so I decided to hop off the interstate and visit the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie, Texas. Waxahachie is the “Gingerbread City” due to the large number of front porches with Victorian intricacies.

Bruce and Julie Webb’s gallery sits in a huge old storefront that has allowed them to indulge their passion for sculpture, painting and whatever else happens to catch their eye. From folk art with a Texan flair to Bruce’s love of banners and signs that comes from the Oddfellows, Masons and other social organizations. Their gallery’s front window is also a site in itself, the final resting place for the matchstick and toothpick creations of Dallas’s Venzil Zastoupil. He built an amazing array of towers, bridges, spaceships and planes using the simplest of parts, and rather than send it to a museum after his death, the family chose the Webbs to keep it visible.

And Waxahachie is also home to the grand Ellis County courthouse with a colorful history of unrequited love. Stonemason Harry Herley came to W to replace the wooden facade with some of his handiwork. Harry fell in love with the daughter of the owner at the boardinghouse he was staying, and lovingly carved her image over one of the entrances. His love was spurned. As he continued his work on the building, the bitter stonemason then carved her subsequent likeness as a demon.