To provide communications, programs, services and activities of interest to TI retirees and former TIers around the world.

Fair Park Tram Tour, November 15, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 9:00am to 1:30pm
Slideshow type: 

On a cool, cloudy day 25 TIAA members/guests journeyed by bus to Fair Park and hopped on a covered tram.  Craig Holcomb, President of the Friends of Fair Park,  entertained and educated us as we traversed these 277 acres the easy way.  We left from Magnolia Lounge which was built in 1935 in the shape of an ocean liner (well, yes, that's obvious after he tells us!)  He said approximately 2.2 million folks attended the State Fair this year (about half of the estimated 5.4 million annual visits) and spent $54.5 million on food, rides, etc. He explained that most world fair buildings ate made to last five years but these were built using a new technology -- concrete blocks -- which is why it is still standing after 80 years.  He talked about the statue on top of the Tower building which was taken down a few years ago for renovation, and said it looked more like the Maltese Falcon than a golden eagle after being struck by lighting so many times. Some of the murals on the buildings had been painted over and he described how that was accidentally discovered plus the detailed work that was involved in getting them ready to show off again.  We visited the touching Vietnam Memorial and found that the fountain in front of the Music Hall was once again a fountain (it's turned off during the fair).  We saw the new Briscoe Carpenter Lifestock Center which was the site of the livestock auction that raised over $1.4 million for student scholarships this year. He introduced us to Woofus, a composite animal fountain (yes, water can spurt out it's nose), which is part longhorn steer, goat, horse, snake, turkey and pig.  History says this chimera was created in one weekend in the early '30s by an artist with a case of beer! We ended up at Matt's Rancho Martinez for lots of good conversation and great Tex-Mex food before getting back to TI about 1:30 pm