Friday, March 17, 2017

Rounding on Retta

Eons ago, when I was very young, my parents needed something for me to do during the
Retta Baptist Church with original bell
summer. In many southern towns the main activity to keep out-of-school children busy was Bible School. And that was how I was introduced that that far off and exotic place called Retta, a whopping two miles from home. I think I went to three or four of these entertaining and instructional week-long events, but what I remember most from my sojourn to Retta was that we were outside most of the time to do crafts and sing songs since none of the buildings of the Retta Baptist Church was air conditioned.

Retta, Texas is still a tiny, rural community located on Farm Road 2738 sandwiched in among the booming metropolises of Rendon on the north, Mansfield to the east, Lillian on
Maxwell Store
the south side, and Burleson to the west. In the 1940s Retta was a stop on the International and Great Northern line, and the station probably lasted until most of this track between Waco and Fort Worth was abandoned in the late 1960s. During those same years, the Maxwell family, who are still well known in the area, owned a small grocery store. This little establishment carried basic groceries and hardware that the local folks could buy here rather than having to drive to one of the larger communities. That’s about the extent of Retta’s history that I could find. While the Maxwell store closed long ago, the Baptist Church is still the focal point of the community. But just up the hill is a new, large Mansfield elementary school indicating that the population is, indeed, increasing.

Barn and wonderful clouds
©2017 NearNormal Design and Production Studio - All rights including copyright of photographs and designs, as well as intellectual rights are reserved.