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Classic, Romantic, and Modern by Jacques Barzun

By Jacques Barzun

Drawing from the works of influential figures in paintings and literature, the writer lines the improvement of romanticism from classicism and the emergence of the trendy ego.

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In a gracious recognition to those who first walked the halls, members of the Class of ’24 were invited back to the campus by their soon-to-be fellow Eagle grads for an afternoon get-together and a chance to once again walk the maple floors of their past. Today, legions of current and former Abilenians who drive past David Castle’s impressive design, in person or simply in their minds, can see—and feel—so much more. Whenever I drive down Grape Street I seldom fail to glance up at the roof just over the school’s front door.

Under Ely’s leadership, a new road system began to emerge throughout Texas, with wider pavements and expanded right-of-ways. Ely is also credited with promoting the roadside park system and a plan to beautify Texas roads by planting trees. During this era Ely was also appointed by President Calvin Coolidge to serve on the Inter-American Highway Commission. In conjunction with a citywide celebration of Judge Ely’s ninety-sixth birthday, a dedication ceremony—during a forty mile per hour dust storm—was held for Judge Ely Boulevard on April 4, 1974.

At South First and Chestnut an auctioneer’s platform was assembled from railroad ties (the same location which, for decades, hosted a New Year tradition of gunfire to mark the stroke of January 1) and a large plat of the town site was tacked up for bidders to see which lots were sold. Special trains brought potential buyers from back east including a fair number of speculators who hoped their gamble on infant Abilene would pay a handsome return as the town grew. At ten o’clock the auctioneer began the bidding and Abilene was born.

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