Mud, Mayhem, and the Making of Millionaires

Dirty Dealings On Display at the East Texas Oil Museum In Kilgore By Ria Nicholas Please read to the end of this post for a map and directions, museum schedule, a hotel recommendation, tips on nearby attractions – and to browse some really unique and relevant coffee mugs I’ve curated. Most folks outside of TexasContinue reading “Mud, Mayhem, and the Making of Millionaires”

Were Smoky Mountain Grist Mills a Tech Thing?

Making the Most of the Daily Grind by Ria Nicholas In the late 1800s, scattered Appalachian [apple-AT-ch’n] farm communities consisted of independent, resourceful, God-fearing people, scrappy enough to wrest a living from the hardscrabble soil under their feet. If the Church acted as the spiritual head of the community, and the family epitomized its heart,Continue reading “Were Smoky Mountain Grist Mills a Tech Thing?”

Houston’s Puttin’ On the Ritz!

The Majestic Metro Theater Is the Bee’s Knees! By Ria Nicholas Please read (or scroll) to the end of this post to browse some Roaring Twenties theme party ideas I’ve curated. Just a few days ago I went with Jim Zura to help video a musical performance (without audience) at Houston’s Majestic Metro Theater atContinue reading “Houston’s Puttin’ On the Ritz!”

10 Galveston Time Capsule Adventures

The Little Island That Could by Ria Nicholas Scroll down for destinations and videos. Galveston, Texas is a microcosm of some of the greatest social upheavals in U.S. history.  In a sense, the narrative of an entire nation is distilled in the sands of this diminutive 200-square-mile barrier island. Tattooed Natives, shipwrecked explorers, determined slaves,Continue reading “10 Galveston Time Capsule Adventures”

Battle of Vicksburg, MS: Civil War Victory Wasn’t Ironclad

The Sinking of the USS Cairo by Ria Nicholas Were they awestruck as they boarded her? Or skeptical perhaps, those Union soldiers? Did they brim over with excess pride, like the kid riding a brand new motor scooter on Christmas day, when everyone else just has a bike? Impossible to tell now. But all thoseContinue reading “Battle of Vicksburg, MS: Civil War Victory Wasn’t Ironclad”

Asheville, NC: A Little Castle for Three

Luxury and Excess at the Biltmore By Ria Nicholas The road trip from Knoxville, Tennessee to Asheville, North Carolina snakes its way down I-40 through the verdant Smoky Mountains.  We made the trip in winter, when gossamer shrouds of mist, prompted by the crisp December air, billow up from among the dips and hollows andContinue reading “Asheville, NC: A Little Castle for Three”

Silverton, CO: A Place Where the West Still Runs Wild

The historic western mining town of Silverton, Colorado lies frozen in time in a high valley of the River of Lost Souls. With only one paved road – a spur of the Million Dollar Highway – and a permanent population hovering at just 600, Silverton’s economy still relies heavily on the regular arrival of an old narrow gauge steam train from Durango.