It was very, very, very steaming hot. Nothing like my long pants ever walked through in Philadelphia. But dealing with the heat and humidity was easy, compared to finding a life in a completely different city. That new city was Wharton, Texas.
There were people who helped me find my way. O’Farrell Pauly, the Wharton Journal-Spectator publisher who gave me a job fresh out of university. And I am eternally grateful to my guardian angel Nancy Woodson, and my workmate Seawillow Allen. And there’s Eve Bartlett, from Glen Flora, Texas.
When she comes to mind, I picture her behind her desk, her hands moving in precision as she gave nuggets of information like a train, one car at a time. She made sure your car was connected. At the time, back in 1982, she was the heart and soul of the Wharton County Historical Museum.
The original Wharton County Historical Museum, at least I suspected at the time, was located in the southern side of the second oldest Wharton County Jail, located on the 200-block of South Fulton Street. (Actually, it’s now either the second, third, or fourth oldest jail — I get confused.)
Anyway. I would hang out with Eve. And I would learn a lot. I would write things.
I can tell you one important lesson gleaned from Eve Barlett of Glen Flora, Texas: Once you think you know it, there is more to it.
What a great thing to know.
The Wharton County Historic Museum and the 20th Century Technology Museum will have its grand reopening from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on Thursday, June 17. You are invited!
Here is a photo of Eve Bartlett, courtesy of the Wharton County Historical Museum. It hangs on the museum wall.