Wednesday, February 13, 2008

But I Ain't Drinkin' It


I thought this little snippet on last night's local news was interesting: Crazy Water Works. For those of you who've never heard of Mineral Wells, TX and it's famous Crazy Water, it's the stuff of teenage fantasy and geriatric dreams.


Mineral Wells was once a bustling resort town with a military base and and a grand hotel built over (you guessed it!) a healing mineral well. Ft. Wolters closed in 1973. The old Crazy Water/Baker Hotel is now a towering deserted relic, but in it's heyday it hosted celebrities from Capitol Hill, Hollywood, Broadway and most deliciously, the crime underworld.


As a kid I was particularly fascinated by the rumors that the mineral wells had special powers that channeled spirits. As with most stories of this nature, there was always some kid with an old indian legend to "prove" it. The grand old Baker certainly has a colorful enough history to make these legends even more enticing.


My favorite Baker Hotel ghost story is of the lady who apprently came to town for the healing waters and dropped dead before checking in. So here is this Jane Doe and the town decides the best way to get her identified is to give everyone a chance to see her. So what do they do? They prop her up in the hotel lobby window! Yep, there she stayed with a big sign asking if anyone had seen her. In the end, she was never identified, poor dear.


Of course there are also the more gruesome stories like the the chambermaid who was stabbed to death in a most excessive fashion by a cook and the sad tale of the elevator boy who was cut in half by a malfunctioning elevator in the 1950s. Add these incidents to the damp, crumbling grand lobby visible to prying eyes from the street and you have the stuff of campfire tales for years to come.


So, I perked up my ears when I heard that someone had actually done an analysis of Crazy Water and found that it really does aid digestion, arthritis, and depression. Now how cool is that?