The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 88, No. 23, Ed. 1, Wednesday, November 10, 1999 Page: 3 of 8
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Wednesday October 10 1999
The Grace Cultural Center offering different exhibits throughout the year is located in downtown Abilene along with the Paramount Theatre.
Students do not have to look far for entertainment
A tank of gas can take students a woria
away. But students don't have to go that far.
Abilene and the surrounding area offer a
variety of activities that allow students to
leave behind the stress of school. Whether
they want to tour historic museums attack
friends with paint balls or attend a movie
screening for less than $2 students need not
look far for quality entertainment.
Life does exist beyond the mall. Patrons of
the Buffalo Gap Historical Village at 133 N.
Williams St. may view exhibits that demon-
strate what life was like in the area from the
late 1800s to the 1930s. The Village offers
20 sites from times within this range.
For example the gift shop is in the court-
house that was built in 1879 when Buffalo
Gap was the Taylor County Seat and the
second story holds the jail.
Maxine Paulk gift shop cashier said the
village tour begins with a 15-minute video
giving the history of Buffalo Gap and Texas.
Other sites of interest include a log cabin
built in 1875 a rock house built in the 30's
that was converted into a doctor and den-
tist's office and an art gallery. The gallery fea-
tures artwork about the buffaloes' disappear-
ance and the story of the Tonkawa Indians
who originally inhabited the area.
Museum patrons also may tour a one-room
schoolhouse from Scurry County and an old
filling station complete with hand pumps.
The Buffalo Gap Chapel continues to gen-
erate much interest Paulk said. The building
was purchased after a Nazarene church
stopped conducting worship services in it.
Now it serves as part of the historic village
and a site for weddings and funerals
Paulk said the village attracts visitors of all
ages who want to catch a glimpse of the
"Everybody loves it because it brings
back memories for older people and
young people can see what things
Jerry Blackbear and his daughter Sadie 4
Used to.be-Hke" she said.
Shackleford County also has preserved
some of its history in the form of a
The Old Jail Art Center on South High-
way 6 in Albany allows visitors to view art-
work in the county's first jail. The jail was
completed in 1878 by Scottish masons
who carved their initials in the limestone
to ensure payment. Those initials are just
one of the museum's attractions.
The building stood vacant since jail closed
in 1929 until playwright Robert E. Nail Jr.
purchased it for $25 tn 1940. The building
served as his studio until he died in 1968.
The jail opened as a museum in 1980 and
housed three gallencs. Since then seven gal-
leries a pavilion an outdoor sculpture
courtyard and an education center have
The museum offers permanent exhibits of
various artwork' and antiques but some gal-
leries rotate temporary pieces.
A docent said the museum offers visitors a
sample of the area's history as well as mod-
ern artwork and pieces from around the
country and Europe.
"This is quite a unique place for a small
town; it would be worthwhile to drive out
and see it" she said
The museum offers another attraction for
students: free admission.
For students who would rather spend their
time reliving their childhood Spinner'Z
offers a variety of ways to unwind.
Spinner'Z located at 1873 Maple St. fea-
tures a quarter-mile banked and curbed go-
Prices vary depending on the cart but
$12 95 buys an all-you-can-ride special
Students who present their ID cards on
Tuesday nights may purchase this special for
Paint-ball wars are another option prices
drive a go-cart on the track at Spinner'Z.
fcy Michelle Charles Strry by
depcndtOtl th&.cquipment-mul number tof.
paint balls. Groups are turned Joosc on .out-
door playing fields wfiere mesquite trees
serve as shields from enemy paint
When weather allows it Spinner'Z pre-
sents wars with a different' type of ammuni-
tion: water balloons. Participants launch the
balloons at each other with sling shots
Spinner'Z is now in its third year and the
strong initial response from college students
is beginning to dwindle owner Tina Rogers
Fqr this reason she now offers a party room
where students may bring their books to
jStudy order a pizza made on site and play
games in the arcade when they need a break
"It's a great way to get relief and unwind
from the stress of studying and be able to
yell and scream" she said.
Spinner'Z offers another attraction that
Rogers said can relieve stress.
"We have an orbitron If they want to
scramble their brains" she said.
Many college students' opt to spend their
weekends at the movies. Westwood Twin
Theatre at 3440 N First St. once offered
second-run movies for $1 per ticket Prices
went up this year in response to rising prices
in first-run theaters.
Patrons may now view movies that start
before 6 p.m for $1 50; later screenings cost
Richard Sanders the theater's assistant
manager said prices in the concession stand
are equally as low.
"We consider ourselves a budget theater"
Sanders said although the movies shown
at Westwood have been previously screened
at first-run theaters like Century Theaters
many people continue to visit because of
the family atmosphere
"When you come here you're going to get
treated differently" he said "We've got the
This sign marks the entrance to the
Amy WiIftti flnotcs by imanda Reiter
A monument stands in the courtyard
of the Old Jail Art Center. The muse-
um was once the county's first jail.
time to talk to and joke around with our
customers. We have some customers who
come In here so often that we don't even
have to ask what they want from the con-
cession stand we remember "
Whether it is by viewing movies of today
for yesterdayls prices making the most of
todays activities or visiting a time In history
Abilene and the surrounding area offer stu-
dents opportunities to step away from lifefc
Old Jail Art Center in Albany.
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The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 88, No. 23, Ed. 1, Wednesday, November 10, 1999, newspaper, November 10, 1999; Abilene, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101626/m1/3/: accessed February 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.