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Past Adventures

Houston Curiosities - 2005

The sights include : The Beer Can House, Otto's BBQ, the National Funeral Museum, the Human Body Parts Museum, the Orange Show, The Outpost Tavern, Howard Hughes Grave Site, The Terms of Endearment House, the 1940 Hobby Airport Terminal Museum, Rocket Row, the Beltway 8 Toll Booth, Mattress Mack, Marvin Zindler5 and Forbidden Gardens.

Forward :  (As always, click on the picture for for a larger image and click on the links for photos surprises.)

          The last two semesters allowed me to re-familiarize myself with the Brazosport areas. (See : Hello Brazosport Part I and Hello Brazosport Part II).  Most of what I reported on was historic in nature.  Much has change and yet some still stays the same. 

          There really is not much weird or strange here.  So off to Google and John Kelso's book "Texas Curiosities" to find the really unique and crazy stuff to check out.  Most of what I found was in the Houston area and of coarse that is to be expected in a big city.  So, off and on while in the Houston area on business or pleasure, I always made the attempt to seek out the offbeat for whatever it may be.  This is no real big adventure or road trip.  Just my observations in the Bayou City.

Click on the picture for a larger image.....

 The Beer Can House :

The Location :

     222 Malone Street, Houston, TX (Just off of Memorial Drive.)

 

The Story :

     From 1968 to 1988, John Milkovisch (Now deceased), covered up his house in beer cans.  From the labels seen, he drank really cheap beer.  The house is now owned by Houston's Orange Show foundation and is to be turned into a museum.

Otto's BBQ : 

The Location :

     5502 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX. (Around the corner from the Beer Can house.)

 

The Story :

     From the looks of it, it just looks like an ordinary BBQ and Burger place, however, this is the spot former George H. Bush Sr. (Who lives less than 5 miles away), gets his BBQ from.  Heck, he even buys for the Secret Service there and has a BBQ platter named after him consisting of pork ribs, beef, sausage potato salad and beans.  Check out his son's digs for eating out in Crawford, TX.

 

Kipperman's Pawn Shop and Wedding Chapel :

The Location :

     6120 Belfort, Houston, TX.

The Story :

     It is here, that the Rev. Ted Kipperman will not only take your pawn ticket back for cash, but for a few bucks more, marry you and your sweetie together in harmony bliss. (Update, I have heard that the Rev. is out of business but, I have not checked it out.)

 The National Funeral Museum :

The Location :

     415 Barren Springs, Houston, TX.  Located in the far north Houston area just west of I-45.

The Story :

     Although this might sound like a very morbid place to visit on a lazy afternoon, it is quite classy and well done.  I applaud them for good taste and the manner in which the exhibits are displayed.  I also applaud them for their Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Funerals of the past US Presidents exhibit.  I highly recommend this place and check out their website.

The Human Body Parts Museum :

The Location :

     On the corner of E. Cullen and Ross Sterling.  The Medical Center area.

 The Story :

     No real story, just a creepy museum full of real human body parts.  Located in the basement of the DeBakey Bldg.  Not for the squeamish at heart.

1940 Hobby Airport Museum

The Location :

     Hobby Airport, 8325 Travelair Rd., Houston TX.

The Story :

     Hobby renovated this old terminal to what it once was in its hey day of the 1940's.  Also, check out their web site for further information.

Rocket Row

The Location :

     Johnson Space Center off of NASA Rd. 1.

The Story :

     The last remains of the Apollo Space Mission, the Saturn V rocket and a few others.

Beltway 8 Tool Booth

The Location :

     On the Beltway 8 south of I-10.

The Story :

     This is the site for the Charlie Sheen movie, The Chase, which depicted the Mexican border.

Mattress Mack

The Location :

     6006 I-45 North, Well its the location of his store.

The Story :

     Everyone has known him as Mattress Mack who since the early 1970's will save you money!  On new furniture that is.  Check out their web site.

Marvin Zindler

The Location :

     At some nasty restaurant ready to shut it down!

The Story :

     I remember growing up with hearing the immortal words of everyone's favorite consumer advocate in the Houston area, Marvin Zindler, Eyewitness News!  Check out the local ABC news web site.

Forbidden Gardens

The Location :

     23500 Franz Rd., Katy, TX.

The Story :

     In the 3rd century B.C., the first Emperor of China, Emperor Qin, had himself buried with life-size terra-cotta figures of his servants and his army to serve him in the after-life.  So, some local fellow in Katy, TX reproduced his tomb.  Check out their website for more information.

The Orange Show :

The Location :

     2402 Munger St., Houston, TX 77023

The Story :

     Starting back in the mid-1950's, Jeff McKissack , a mailman (Now Deceased), began collecting junk from his route and built a huge monument out of it.  Jeff's favorite food was oranges and thus he named his hunk of junk after it.  Thus began the  Houston Orange Show Foundation.  Check out their website for more information and pay them a visit!

The Outpost Tavern :

The Location :

     Off of NASA Road 1 on Egret Bay Blvd.  In Webster, TX.

The Story :

     A noted astronaut hangout, this neighborhood bar has been the setting for movies including Armageddon, Apollo 13 and Space Cowboys.  Check out their new website and have a burger and a beer with astronauts.

Howard Hughes' Grave :

The Location :

     Glenwood Cemetery (2525 Washington Ave.), Houston, TX.

The Story :

     Born Dec. 24., 1905 and died April 5, 1976.  He is buried with family members.  Interesting that I came across it the same time the Aviator movie came out.

The Terms of Endearment House :

The Location :

     River Oaks area of Houston, TX.

The Story :

     Aurora Greenway's house in Terms of Endearment. A different house was used in the sequel, Evening Star. 

Giant Metal Sculptures :

The Location :

     On the corner of Hwy 288 and Belfort.

The Story :

     I really don't know of any story unless they are used to promote the products of the Houston Pipe and Supply Company.  Sculpture, Marc Rankin is responsible for at least some of these monstrosities.  Check out his website.

 

The Sri Meenakshi Temple :

The Location :

     County Rd. 101 in Pearland, TX.  Pearland is just south of Houston off of Hwy 288.

The Story :

     No story really.  We are a land of religious freedom.  Them Indians have to worship somewhere.  I guess they got ran out of Houston and had to settle in Pearland.  Its just strange to see such foreign architecture out in the middle of what was once Texas pasture land.  Check out their website for further directions. 

             Although these sites were a great diversion from my studies, its time to hit the books again.  I'll add more as I find them. 

       So, until next time, take care and I'll  See you... on the road, or in the workshop, (which is really just my garage) !!!!

                                                     Francis                        

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 Copyright 1999 by [The Texas Road Runners - Francis Kiefel]. All rights reserved.