Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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The two RV Gypsies
learned about "Old Rip" in Eastland, TX
September 11, 2022

Old Rip on the roof

history book clipartOl' Rip (died January 19, 1929) was a Texas horned lizard⁠—commonly referred to as a "horned toad" or "horny toad"⁠—famous during the Jazz Age which supposedly survived a 31-year hibernation as an entombed animal. The reptile's name was a reference to American writer Washington Irving's fictional character Rip Van Winkle.

Following its alleged exhumation from a cornerstone in Eastland, Texas on February 18, 1928, the lizard became a national celebrity and appeared in 1920s motion pictures. The same year, a Texas political delegation led by Senator Earle Mayfield presented the docile lizard to President Calvin Coolidge at the White House for his inspection.

As a consequence of the creature's fame, horned toads were sold by the thousands as souvenirs at public events including the 1928 Democratic National Convention. The ensuing mass capture and export of the horned toads resulted in the genus abrupt decline in West Central Texas and prompted an intervention by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Decades later, the saga of Ol' Rip inspired Looney Tunes scribe Michael Maltese to write a 1955 animated theatrical short entitled One Froggy Evening. In the cartoon, a construction worker demolishing an old building finds an 1897 time capsule inside a cornerstone.The capsule contains a living toad which is able to sing Tin Pan Alley songs such as "Hello! Ma Baby" and "I'm Just Wild About Harry".

Above quote from

Old Rip
Old Rip Park plaque
about Joe Barrington
Old Rip
Old Rip
Karen Duquette and Old Rip Karen Duquette and Old Rip

Below: The Center Square behind Old Rip

water fountain statue and plaque
two children on a bench
The Townsend Bell
The Townsend Bell sign

Below: Eastland Civic Center Park - There were lots of historical plaques in here, but they were faded and not able to be photographed., except for the Old Rip one shown below.

Eastland Civic Center Park  plaque about Old Rip
Eastland Civic Center Park
the shape of Texas
Texas star and flowers
Texas star and flower
Texas star and flower
flower bush
flower bush and flags
look below

please continue on to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies Continue on to Grimes Memorial Garden