Sunday, December 24, 2006

Cross Plains: A Year After the Fire

December 27, 2006 Tells a Tale of Survival

Driving up Main Street through the business district, the Christmas lights twinkle and shine and the store window sport holiday scenes and greetings. Some say the Higginbotham's store windows are the prettiest they've ever been. It's hard to tell that one year ago two days after Christmas half of Cross Plains was charred blackened ruins, the aftermath of a devistating wildfire that took two lives and destroyed 116 homes and the United Methodist Church. It's hard to tell - until you reach the high school and look across main street to lot after lot of vacant land, land that for decades was filled with homes and families.

Now dotted with new homes, construction, and FEMA trailers, Cross Plains has made an amazing comeback in a short period of time. This, despite the predictions of one Dallas paper that too much was gone of Cross Plains for the town to rebuild and bounce back. Some folks left, some moved a few miles out to the country, many have rebuilt or are rebuilding.

Gone, too, from Cross Plains are the old delipatated buildings - gas stations and business of times past left to disrepair and ruin. When cleaning up the aftermath of the fire, Callahan County's men in orange were dispatched to tear down and remove the town's building eyesores, as well.

Cross Plains has risen from the ashes. And while December 27, 2005, will be remembered as Cross Plains' darkest hour, December 27, 2006 tells a tell of survival, as residents gather for a Victory Celebration and Hamburger Supper.

Read what today's Abilene-Reporter News says about Cross Plains one year later