Last weekend, I got the opportunity to attend and cover the Mineral Wells High School Class of 2020 walk the field and stage at their graduation ceremony Saturday at Ram Stadium.
As with all of the senior classes this year, it was a historic moment, and I couldn’t help but think that these students were probably seeing each other for the first time in many months with schools shutting down.
After the ceremony, I took the opportunity to drive around Mineral Wells and get myself a little more acquainted with the area. It had been awhile since I had spent time in the area, and the last trip was a brief affair that included covering a football game.
Thanks to Mayor Tammy Underwood, City Manager Randy Criswell and Chamber President Raymond Greenwood, I had a couple of stops on my list to see during my tour.
While driving, the first thing I noticed was the construction going on at various points. While this might be a turn-off to some, to me, it represents growth and improvement for the city, not only aesthetically but also functionally.
But the street and sidewalk work is just one part of it. My first stop was perhaps the most popular project of the bunch, and rightfully so — the Baker Hotel, a historic landmark since 1929.
The restoration process has been going on for awhile now and I’m excited to be able to follow its progress a little more closely now.
As I continued driving, passing beneath the “Crazy” sign, I noticed quite a few people walking through the downtown area with cameras around their necks.
I would later found out — while waiting in line inside a charming coffee shop that served jalapeno lemonade and rented out movies — that some folks from Fort Worth had come down for a photo walk. Taking in all of the buildings, their structures, the murals painted on walls, I can absolutely see why.
One of the newer places I was encouraged to go to was The Market at 76067. I’ll be honest — I went in there with a work mindset, but an hour later, found myself browsing a clothing rack on the second floor for stuff in my size.
Not only is the facility beautiful with its hardwood floors and natural light — it has a wide array of items, with little tables and stations set up all over offering anything from T-shirts to Christmas ornaments to homemade “Stress Away” spray. The second floor, with many different rooms, also displays a similar variety, including one dedicated to the men with clothing, beard and facial products and even antique reel holders from England.
I managed to make it out of the market without going bankrupt, and continued my drive through the heart of the city, coming eventually to City Park. From skateboarding to picnics to swimming, baseball and basketball, that park seems to have enough amenities to fulfill any activity you’re looking to participate in.
A few other buildings and businesses (bookshops!) caught my eye, but operating hours and time constraint on my part forced me to head back.
Just the few hours I spent in the area last weekend have me excited — not only do I get to satisfy my own curiosity in exploring a new area, but we also get to provide a service in news coverage to residents.
It’ll take a little bit of time and adjustments, but Mineral Wells, I can already tell it’s going to be a pleasure serving you.
Sally Sexton is the managing editor of the Weatherford Democrat. You can reach her at email@example.com.