To Fred and back

This is Fred’s fire truck

My FotoPage

I took the day off and drove to Fred. Actually, I drove past Fred to Dam B.

A little about Dam B b-fore I damn well start talking about Fred. Dam B is the name of a dam on the Neches River. The folks who planned on building dams planned a Dam A and a Dam B. Who knows, maybe even a Dam C, D and E. But only Dam B got built. It also is called Town Bluff Dam, because it is located in a community known as Town Bluff. During the 1960s, the name of the lake was changed to B.A. Steinhagen Lake. I would say that all adds up to an identity crisis. But it’s still a pretty lake.

Back to Fred. Fred, Texas, population 299, has a store and a park and as you can see a fire truck. Brad Whittington , who grew up in Fred, used the town as a setting for his novel: “Welcome to Fred.” I’ve never read it and I never heard of Whittington until doing some research about Fred on the Internet. I have read no one is really sure how Fred was named Fred. One would assume it was named for someone named Fred, like Fred Mertz (you remember the neighbors on “I Love Lucy,” Fred and Ethel Mertz?)It could have been named for someone who was actually called Freddie, like Freddie Fender, whose real name is Baldemar Huerta. Or perhaps it was just assigned a name by some postmaster general somewhere. “Here. You be Galveston. You be Corpus Christi. And you … you be Fred!”

To be honest, I don’t know if anyone knows for sure the origins of Fred. I read a story some time ago about an old-timer who thought he knew the secret of how Fred became Fred, but as people age they tend to either forget things or pull your leg (or ask that you pull their finger!)

It’s a mystery to me and that is just fine. It was a nice trip to the country, all in all. I got to listen to some whispering pine trees once some breeze finally appeared. You want to know what they were whispering? “Freddie’s dead. That’s what I said.” Only kidding. It also wouldn’t be a decent summer day trip to the country (don’t pay any attention to what the calendar says — it’s summer here) without some homegrown tomatoes. I stopped off in Spurger, just south of Fred, and picked me up a pound or two along with some banana peppers.

Sometimes you just need to take a day off and go take a look at what’s really important. Like tomatoes. And, of course, Fred.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *