Bryson Picture Book of Fort Worth Water Gardens

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

Bryson, Your Guide

Are you all set for an adventure? Today we will be going into Fort Worth to tour the Water Gardens. You will need to stick close to me so that you won’t get lost. I will be your guide. Call me Bryson.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

A Cooling Oasis in the Concrete Jungle

We are headed to the south end of downtown Fort Worth. Next to the Fort Worth Convention Center are the 4.3 acres of the Water Gardens, built in 1974. It was designed by New York architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee and was dedicated to the City of Fort Worth by the Amon G. Carter Foundation. Now stay close, Fort Worth can get messy.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

Hungry Work

Being a guide in the city is hungry work. After Gerber Bananas this Sirloin Burger Combo from Jack In The Box is my favorite meal. I was planning on showing you the zoo afterwards but there are so many people headed there that the traffic is horrible. Now eat up and we will be on our way.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

Fort Worth Water Gardens

This is a good sign, there’s not many people in the park so maybe we’ll be able to dip our feet in the cool water. The people here are my assistants, Jill and Rick. They are also my grandparents visiting from Utah. It’s as well that they are with me or they would really get lost. Grandpa says he checks his GPS but all it does is talk incoherently back to him. Annoying.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Active Pool

The first of three pools is the active pool that you see here. The water cascades 38 feet down the terraces and steps into the pool at the bottom.

As we roam about the park be sure to notice the over 500 species of plants and trees.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

Drownings

The active pool was originally built for people to be able to walk down the terraced steps and experience the water tumbling around them. It was closed to the public after four people died there on June 16, 2004. Two children and one adult tried to save a child that had gone swimming in the pool. All were drowned. The water was unusually deep due to a recirculating pump malfunction and heavy rains.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

Step into My Pool

The park was reopened in March 4, 2007 after being made safer by reducing the depth of the main pool from 9 feet to 2 feet. I’ll have my assistant Jill lead the way down the steps. It is quite safe now. There is just enough room to get past those people coming up, especially if you are my size.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Pool

This is a pretty sight as all the water flows into the pool. Did you know that part of the film Logan’s Run was filmed here in the active pool in 1976? The pool is also featured briefly at the end of the 1979 television adaptation of The Lathe of Heaven. Before my time of course.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Vents

Here is a close up of one of the vents that discharges water into the pool. I’m tempted to cool my feet but we need to move on.

By the way the coordinates at the Water Gardens are 32°44′52″ North 97°19′36″ West.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

Photographs

This is a great place to take photographs. The cascading water makes a great backdrop. I like how there is enough moving water to give a great effect but not too much spray that moisture gets in my camera. For this photograph of yours truly I had my Mom lift me up.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Quiet Pool

Here you will experience the sensations of growing bigger and smaller. I can only grow bigger. The small stairway leading to the pool will make you feel bigger than your surroundings. After entering the pool area, you will suddenly feel smaller; any objects of human scale have been removed, giving you the feeling that you have suddenly entered a giant’s house.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Trough

This trough that my feet are in is 650 feet long and releases 450 gallons of water a minute down the 22 foot high wall and into a moat at the bottom.

If you are going to put your feet in the trough I recommend that you have your mother hold you.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Aerated Pool

The pool is a visual illusion, giving you the impression that you can walk across the pool on tiles made of spraying water. I don’t recommend that you try it. The nozzles spray at the same height as the walkway, without spraying you, so that the water collapses on itself, looking ultimately like panels. The pool is 40 feet below ground with 40 nozzles spraying 871 gallons of water per minute.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Mountain

The mountain is designed to give you the sense of the real thing. Its twenty inch steps cascade into one another, creating the sensation of mountainous topography. The mountain rises twenty feet off the ground.

Now listen up, if you fall off of this mountain it will feel like the real thing.

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

High On The Mountain Top

At the top you can wave to all the world. That’s my grandma looking up at us.

You know it is interesting that the mountain is 20 feet high using 20 inch steps. The aerated pool is 40 feet below ground level and has 40 nozzles. I’m 5 months old and it’s been 5 hours since I last ate. Let’s move!

Fort Worth Water Gardens Photo

The Stage

Sit down for a few minutes on the grass. Good. I have been pleased to be your guide today around this interesting park where 19,000 gallons of water flow every minute through 10 miles of pipe and flows past seven miles of retaining walls. Now that you have your feet wet you can go exploring Texas by yourself. And remember — If it’s big, It came from Texas!

The Book

You’ve just read the blog post Bryson Picture Book of Fort Worth Water Gardens. How about the real picture book Fort Worth Water Gardens by Bryson Moss? No need to buy one, the book is exactly the same as the blog post. Lulu is my publisher. Click on my nose to get a high resolution version of me (1.5 MB).

Water Gardens Video

Some have asked for video of the Water Gardens. One would think my book would be quite sufficient. Really, the young people today are very demanding.


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Assassination on Elm Street


Window from where Kennedy was shot

Window from where Kennedy was shot

Elm Street

On Monday I asked what significant event in history is marked with an X in the road. The X is located on Elm Street in Dallas and marks the location where President Kennedy was shot. Just before 12:30 p.m., Kennedy’s limousine entered Dealey Plaza and slowly approached the Texas School Book Depository. When the Presidential limousine turned and passed the Depository and continued down Elm Street, shots were fired at Kennedy.

Morbid?

As I was looking at the X a woman and her companion came up by me. The woman took a really good look at the X. As she turned away she remarked to her companion, “This is really morbid, all these people looking at where President Kennedy was killed.” To me it was history. I was excited to be at this famous spot. I made sure I had some photographs. Years ago when I visited Gettysburg, where 50,000 men were killed in three days, I didn’t think it was morbid. Lessons can be learned from Little Round Top and Pickett’s Charge. History is a great instructor if we will listen.

Assassination

As President Kennedy waved to the crowds on his right, a shot entered his upper back, penetrated his neck, and exited his throat. He raised his clenched fists up to his neck and leaned forward and to his left, as Mrs. Kennedy put her arms around him. The final shot took place when the Presidential limousine was passing in front of the John Neely Bryan north pergola concrete structure. As the shot was heard, a fist-size hole exploded out from the right side of President Kennedy’s head, covering the interior of the car and a nearby motorcycle officer with blood and brain tissue.


Kennedy parade route

Kennedy parade route

GPS Coordinates

Within minutes of me asking the meaning of X, Jewel of Layton, Utah wrote in the comments that it is where JFK was assassinated and that the GPS coordinates are 32.77903, -96.80867. Jewel, alias Steven, my son, knew we were in the Dallas-Fort Worth area but so did everyone else.

The Window

Howard Brennan, who was sitting across the street from the Texas School Book Depository, notified police that as he watched the motorcade go by, he heard a shot come from above, and looked up to see a man with a rifle make another shot from a corner window on the sixth floor. In the photograph I took it is the second window from the top on the right. Brennan had seen the same man minutes earlier looking out the window.

The First X

The X where I stood on Monday was the second location where President Kennedy was shot. The first location is a few yards along Elm Street. Jill is standing on the spot in the road. The red building to her right is the Dallas County Annex. In Kennedy’s day it was the Texas School Book Depository where the shots were fired from.

Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald, reported missing to the Dallas police by his supervisor, Roy Truly, at the Depository, was arrested an hour and 20 minutes after the assassination for killing a Dallas police officer who had spotted Oswald walking along a sidewalk in the residential neighborhood of Oak Cliff. He was captured in a nearby movie theater. Oswald’s case never came to trial because two days later, while being escorted to an armored van for transfer from Dallas Police Headquarters to the Dallas County Jail, he was shot and killed by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.


Jill standing on the first X on Elm Street

Jill standing on the first X on Elm Street

Further Reading

Wikipedia has a lot of details in the article John F. Kennedy assassination, which is where I went for information for my post. Perhaps readers of my blog can suggest other sources that they have found interesting. The first official investigation of the assassination resulted in the Warren Commission Report. A multitude of books and articles criticizing the Warren Commission’s findings have been written. We may never know the exact details of that day.
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An X in The Road of History


X marks the location of a significant event in history.

X marks the location of…?

I have for you this evening a small puzzle. In the photograph I took today you see some feet and a large X in the road. The feet are mine and the X marks a significant event in history. The puzzle is to tell me what the event was.

I can tell you that the X is not the site of buried treasure. It is not part of a giant noughts and crosses game. And it isn’t where my cat was run over.

All will be revealed later this week in a post where I will include the best responses.

Update

17 Mar 2009 Here is The Answer.
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Kaysville to Keller

Today Jill, Paul, and myself left Kaysville, Utah at 5:25am for Keller, Texas. We went with a longer route (1,379 miles) that is supposedly faster (19 hours 55 mins). Except for a few miles, the whole route is entirely freeway — that would explain the faster. If you’ve never traveled from Utah to Texas then this post will probably be of no interest to you. However, if you have gone this way before let me know what route you prefer and why. Perhaps I can amend my return plans with your suggestions.

We entertained ourselves (when we weren’t driving) with a cell phone, a Blackberry, two laptops, GPS navigation, two MP3 players, a CD audio book, and several movies. We can’t tell you what the countryside looked like. :) After traveling 950 miles in 13 1/2 hours we stopped over in Salina, Kansas. Time to get out the laptop and blog!

Update

17 Mar 2009 The next day (14th) we left at 6:30am and took 5 1/2 hours to drive the remaining 429 miles to Keller.
21 Mar 2009 We left Keller yesterday morning utilizing an alternative route back to Kaysville suggested by Derek. This time I had my GPS collect data as we drove straight through. At 1,236 miles, this route was 143 miles shorter. Our moving average was 67.8 mph with a moving time of 18.16 hours. This compares with a moving time plus all stoppages (minus overnight stop) of 19 hours for the longer route. If stoppages were added in for the shorter route, the longer route would actually be faster, though not by much.
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India Gate

India Gate.
India Gate. Photo: Shashwat Nagpal

War Memorials

In England where I was raised, war memorials were prominent in almost every town. These monuments were often located in quiet places where one could relax and reflect on life (or death). I was often struck by the large numbers of soldiers killed in their prime. I am always grateful that I have never had to go to war, although I have served in the military.

Visitors from India

The number of visitors to my blog from India is second only to the United States. I decided to write a post about India to see if any of my visitors could add any first hand experiences to what I have written. Searching for a photograph of India, I consistently came across India Gate. Therefore that is my choice for today. What is your favorite destination in India?

India Gate

The India Gate is one of the largest war memorials in India. Located at Rajpath, in the heart of New Delhi, India Gate commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who lost their lives during World War I and the Afghan Wars. The memorial is over 137 feet high and was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, a leading 20th century British architect. The foundation stone was laid by HRH the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and the monument was dedicated ten years later by Viceroy Lord Irwin.

The Arch

The arch stands on a base of red Bharatpur stone and rises in stages to a huge cornice, beneath which are inscribed Imperial suns. Above on both sides is inscribed INDIA, along with the date, MCMXIV (1914) on the left and MCMXIX (1919) on the right. The shallow domed bowl at the top was intended to be filled with burning oil on anniversaries.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Following India’s independence, India Gate became the site of the Indian Army’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, known as the Amar Jawan Jyoti, or the flame of the immortal warrior. This flame has been burning in a shrine under the arch of India Gate since 1971. The shrine itself is a black marble cenotaph (a tomb in honor of a person whose remains are elsewhere) with a rifle placed on its barrel, crested by a soldier’s helmet. Each face of the cenotaph has inscribed in gold the words “Amar Jawan” meaning Immortal Warrior. This cenotaph is itself placed on an edifice which has on its four corners four torches that are perpetually kept alive. It was unveiled on January 26, 1972 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in the wake of the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War.
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Bountiful Cheap Gas


Gasoline station in 1936, Tremont Avenue and Dock Street, Bronx.

Gas at 11 2/10 cents in 1936

I filled up my gas tank today with regular for $1.29 a gallon at an Exxon station in Bountiful, Utah. It looks like I filled up for 10 cents a gallon less than what the the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report lists as the average gas price for my area. I last filled the tank at the beginning of December. I used less gas this month because what little Christmas shopping I did was done over the Internet and I have been temporarily car-pooling the ten miles to work. Using use-or-lose vacation hours also cut down on my travel. Then President Bush kicked in another day off on the 26th with the signing of an executive order. If you are spending and traveling as little as I am, it’s going to be a long recession.

Out of curiosity, what did you pay for gas at your last fill up? Let me know in the comments how much you paid and where.
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Days Inn Makes My Day

Today I read about Logitech replacing an out of warranty remote for free. This Logitech remote was purchased from an Amazon reseller and the buyer had no warranty of any kind. When it broke Logitech was contacted and they replaced it for free.
Days Inn.

Reservation Mix Up

This story reminded me of a recent experience I had with Days Inn. Regular readers will recall my Utah Temples Tour that required an overnight stay in Monticello. On October 5 I booked two rooms for five people at the Days Inn in Monticello for the night of October 15. The evening before our departure I printed my confirmation email and noticed the following:

Thank you. Your room reservation has been confirmed. A confirmation has also been sent to rickety@youbigdope.com. If you need to cancel, you must do so by 6:00 PM local hotel time on October 8, 2008 or your credit card will be charged for one night’s stay.

October 8! I had booked for the Wednesday prior to October 15. I checked my bank account and saw that I hadn’t been charged yet for the $147.52. I booked two rooms at the Best Western Wayside Motor Inn in Monticello. I didn’t want to risk making reservations with Days Inn again in case they figured I would be a no show once more.

Happy Ending

Arriving home from my trip I checked my bank account and found that there was still no charge. I always thought the charge was automatic if you failed to show up. I have had many pleasant stays at Days Inn and I get a discount as a federal employee. This incident has left me with an even more favorable view of Days Inn. Is this common practice to forgive the charges for a no show or was Days Inn just giving exceptional service? One thing is for sure, next time I will have my wife make the reservations.
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Utah Temples Tour: Manti and St George

Manti Temple

Manti Temple


With eleven temples visited during Day1, Day 2, and Day 3 it is time to visit the two remaining temples. Day 4 of the Utah Temples Tour began, as you may have guessed, at a rickety 4am. We left the Wayside Motor Inn in Monticello at 4:50am bound for Manti but hunting for breakfast on the way.

The Manti Temple

Manti Temple tower

Manti Temple tower

We traveled all the way to Manti before we found breakfast. We passed up the 8:30am session so as to eat and then we just managed to catch the 9:30am session. This is an awesome temple. Every room is big. The celestial room is the largest of all the Utah temples. This is a real pioneer structure with ornate ceilings and wooden bench seating. A temple worker showed us the sealing rooms. Very beautiful. Daniel and Spencer hung back and were shown the spiral staircase that goes to the top of the tower. This is a temple built on hill. Walking around the grounds meant some steep climbs to get some great photographs. If I were to choose two Utah temples to visit, other than the Salt Lake temple, it would be the Vernal and Manti temples.

The St. George Temple

Leaving Manti we drove to St. George and took some photographs in the temple grounds before attending the 4pm session. The temple is the first completed by the Church after the Nauvoo exodus and is similar in its design to the Nauvoo Temple. It is the oldest LDS temple still actively used by the members of the Church. There are three ordinance rooms and 18 sealing rooms, and a total floor area of 110,000 feet. In the 1970s the temple was closed and underwent extensive remodeling. The temple has an all white exterior and quiet grounds with some very old trees. When we left we ate at Subway before leaving St. George and arriving home at 10:45pm.

Reflections

On this tour I have enjoyed seeing the interior of eleven Utah temples and working for the dead in all of them. Eight of those temples I have never entered before. Jake and Daniel saw nine new temples. Paul seven new temples. Spencer six new temples. And of course we also visited the construction sites of two temples. But most importantly we have helped to provide saving ordinances for the dead.

A thank you to Andrew for joining us for a day and kisses to Jill for providing the snacks and participating with us at the Ogden temple. What I will remember most is the time spent traveling and being in the temples with three of my sons.

St. George Temple

St. George Temple


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Utah Temples Tour: Vernal, Monticello

Vernal Temple

Vernal Temple

After a successful Day 1 and Day 2, Day 3 of the Utah Temples Tour began at the usual 4am. Some of us are a little rickety at this hour but we had roads to drive and temples to see.

Daniel outside the Vernal Temple

Daniel outside the Vernal Temple

The Vernal Temple

We left Kaysville at 5:15am arriving in Vernal in time for the 8:30am session. Like the Logan temple we moved to a terrestrial room half way through the session. The celestial room was beautiful. It was quite large, bigger than Ogden. It had a high ceiling and a large painting of Jesus Christ — what one would expect in a celestial room. There was a comfortable feeling about the temple. Beautiful brown woods communicated warmth and added to the “You’re at home” effect. Originally, the building served as the Uintah Stake Tabernacle for eastern Utah. The building was built with donated labor and was dedicated on August 24, 1907 by LDS Church President Joseph F. Smith. Smith reportedly said he would not be surprised if a temple was built there some day.

The Monticello Temple

In Vernal we ate at Subway before leaving for Monticello. We arrived in time to take all our photographs and then attended the 5pm session. As with Vernal, half way through the session we relocated to a terrestrial room. The celestial room was smaller than the one at Vernal but still very beautiful and peaceful. A temple worker showed us one of the sealing rooms. It was about the same size as the Bountiful sealing rooms that I have attended for weddings. She said there was another sealing room and just one endowment room if you don’t count the terrestrial room. The temple has few buildings around it and a local told us that a herd of deer will sometimes come through on the land across the street from the temple. This was a very friendly temple with the temple workers shaking our hands, asking where we were from, and insisting that we come back again.

Tomorrow will bring Day 4 of the tour and the remaining temples: St. George and Manti.

Monticello Temple

Monticello Temple


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