Cass County, Linden, TX

Cass County Annex, Linden, Texas. Acrylic monoprint by Stephanie Khattak.

In November, we took a day trip through East Texas to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We had hoped to go to New York, but life had other plans for us (and everyone else in the world!) I, of course, am very familiar with East Texas, even this northern route that we took, as I was a reporter in Marshall briefly in the early aughts. Caddo Lake, Jefferson and city government were my beats, so I spent a lot of time on these roads. But after I moved back to Dallas, I never went back there, so a lot of it was still new to me. And, of course, much has changed over the past twenty years.

On our trip, we began in Mount Pleasant and ended in Marshall, just as the sun was setting over its beautiful courthouse. In between, at the proverbial “magic hour,” we found ourselves in Linden, Cass County. The great thing about the “magic hour” is that it makes everything look, well, magic. Courthouses are stately and busy downtown squares are vibrant largely on their own. But when a certain kind of evening light shines, it can even make a simple civic building into a thing of beauty.