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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Downtown Report: The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum

I can't count the number of times I have driven down Houston Street and passed the Buckhorn Saloon and thought of going in but never did. So today, my wife saw a billboard for the place and being the free spirits that we are, I typed the address into the Garmin and off we went.

Just a quick note about parking downtown. I think it sucks that people want you to pay between $7 and $10 to park downtown. So, it being Sunday, I drove around the block and parked on the street in front of a parking meter. No cost and when we returned an hour later, no vandalism!

About the Buckhorn Saloon. I have to say it was pretty cool what with all the stuffed dead animals all over the place. But at the bottom of the little brochure for the place, it says "41,000 sq.ft. of Excitement!" Really?

Oh sure, there are some stuffed oddities in the place. A two headed calf, some no kidding shrunken heads and a huge 400 pound greeter with a 10 gallon hat and a six-shooter on his hip, eager to get us to the ticket booth for entry. If I sound like I was less than "excited" by the place, please allow me to put things into perspective. It cost us $25.00 to get in to see the excitement. I know it costs money to pay people and keep all the horns dusted and such, but seriously, $12.00 per person?

Oh, if we had paid an extra $4 or $5 each, we could have also had admission to the Texas Ranger Museum. I've been to the one in Waco, is there more stuff?

Okay, having complained about parking and the price, I will tell you that there are lots of things to see. They have a section for stuffed fish with lots of impressive catches. Another section is dedicated to birds, and another to all creatures Asian. Several deer, lions, bobcats, moose, bears of all sorts, huge snakes and other well mounted critters. There are displays of older things like old guns and whiskey bottles and posters showing advertisements for the Topperwein's, some fancy shooters back in the day.
They have a stuffed Teddy Roosevelt who seems rather short to me, but then again, in some older movies, Tom Cruise appears to be 6 feet tall, so maybe I just assumed the leader of the Rough Riders was taller.

They did have this incredible wood carving made by some guy in the far east. It is so incredibly intricate you have to wonder how it was done without cutting the wood into sections. It is truly amazing. Maybe that was worth $12.00.Along with all the interesting (still hesitant to use the term excitement) artifacts
on display, they had a stuffed wallaby, complete with pouch waiting for a stuffed kid to jump into. That was a site.
In the end, we made a second trip through the little gift shop and I have to admit, they did have a lot of cool souvenirs - especially if you are a fan of beer or Texas. Lots of cool cookbooks and books about Texas and such. As we were starting to leave, we noticed that the rotund cowboy who greeted us when we arrived had now been replaced by a much thinner Wild Bill look alike. I had visions of seeing him let loose with a stream of obscenities like they did in the old days in Deadwood but instead, he was just a nice guy who was all to happy to pose with my wife.
Wanna take your kids to see some stuffed animals for free? Head up to Cabelas in Buda. Want to send your kids in to see the stuffed animals while you and your wife sit in the handsome bar and get liquored up? The Buckhorn Saloon is your place.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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