The picture above left is the Iwo Jima monument in DC and we saw it when we were there last April. The sculpture above right looks a lot like it, correct? Well the one on the right is here in Harlingen, Texas just a mile or so from our RV park. Why do they look so much alike? The one here in Texas is actually the mold from which the one in DC was made. The mold was setting around in the sculptor’s warehouse when he decided he really should do something with it. After a few places competed over it, it was shipped here to Texas? Why here? Well it is located on the grounds of the Marine Military Academy, a college preparatory boarding school. They can and do conduct parades at the statue just like are done back in DC. Further, the climate here is particularly conducive to the preservation of the mold as it is actually made out of plaster with just protective coatings of paint.
We found something else here in Harlingen that we just had to take a picture of. The major route from the north into the valley is Highway 77. The main highway passes around Harlingen, but there is a business route of 77 that passes through the city. Presumably as a play on the title of the old TV series “77 Sunset Strip”, Business 77 through the town is labeled 77 Sunshine Strip. We liked it!
We went on one last outing with our friend John and went out for dinner at a steak and BBQ restaurant he had recommended. It was Lent so I had salmon and John was dieting so he had chicken. It was therefore up to Gary to devour the local delicacy of a giant Texas steak. This one was a 24 ounce top sirloin. He claimed that he didn’t eat it all but there were only three small bites left when he stopped, so in reality he really did finish the whole thing. How could one spend considerable time in Texas without somewhere ordering up a Texas-sized steak?