These are little bits and pieces from across Texas, mini-projects not quite big enough for a separate section.

Matagorda Island

Just from looking at it, you might think that Matagorda Island never saw much action except for the annual swarms of mosquitos. You’d be surprised, however; for several centuries the island kept pace very nicely with the rest of the country. Back before Columbus it was inhabited by Karankawa Indians. The ensuing years brought visits from A-list explorers and pirates like Cabeza de Vaca, La Salle, and Jean Lafitte, with the requisite shipwrecks and gold doubloons. There was a Confederate fort on the island during the Civil War, an Air Force base and bombing range during WWII and the Cold War. Although the base closed in 1975, seven years later Matagorda Island became the launch site of the first private space flight in the U.S. But hurricanes and the tides take their toll on anything man-made out there; aside from the lighthouse, miles of deteriorating runways and a few buildings left over from the airbase, there’s little left to indicate what once had been.

Location: USA / Texas / Matagorda Island

Photography: Winter 2002

Dallas Municipal Building

Built in 1914, this building housed Dallas City Hall and the city jail. City Hall moved to a new building in 1978. Sometime later the jail was relocated, then in 2003 a new police headquarters opened, so the Municipal Building has lost many of its occupants and now large sections of it are unused. Its biggest brush with history occured in 1963 following the Kennedy assassination: Lee Harvey Oswald was kept in its jail for a couple days, then shot by Jack Ruby as he emerged from the basement corridor. There’s some talk of making these parts of the building into a museum, or of moving Oswald’s entire cell to the museum at the new Police Headquarters, but for now, nothing’s happening.

Location: USA / Texas / Dallas

Photography: Spring 2003