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South Oak Liquor Mural, day 12

SOLday12Ahh, almost another week finished. Last week at this time, I was determined to finish this project. But as I saw how much there was to do, I decided to let time constraints go and focus on the details of the job at hand.

The Baker Hotel has been the symbol of commercial success in Mineral Wells. Though it has been closed since 1972, it seemed to be a barometer of success for this small town from 1929 t0 1963. Today it is vacant and in disrepair. A ghostly symbol that stands in the mist of the living down below.

Financed by TB Baker, the conception of the hotel was initiated by citizens of Mineral Wells. They did not was outsiders to make money off of their mineral water. So they organized to have a hotel built to represent the town. Being the roaring 20s, view of the future must have been bright. A small town outside the grand metropolitan areas of Fort Worth and Dallas, citizens must have been confident to concieve of the million dollar enterprise. I think this same spirit still lives of some of the citizens today. The town has been plagued with poverty and drug trafficking, but new businesses and families still come. I am one of the long line of citizens that have come to plant my roots in this place. I’m here by marriage. My husband grew up here and swore he would never return. (That’s what’s you get for swearing, honey!) We have been here for 7 years. It is only now that opportunity knocked for me to do my artwork publically. I see even more opportunities to come in this place.

So when you drive by downtown Mineral Wells and look up at the iconic empty tomb that the Baker seems to be, don’t see loss, but remember the optimism and vision that a group of citizens had to concieve the idea of the hotel. What ideas and vision do you have to offer today? Do you have the courage to make them a reality? This is the legacy of Mineral Wells, then, as well as today.



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