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Central Texas Town To Be Auctioned

March 2, 2010

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The upcoming auction means a logistical nightmare for Robb Burley, the auctioneer. But the sale of a town will be an historic moment.

About 50 miles Southwest of Waco, nestled among giant oaks, mesquite, and cedar sits a little rural community called the Grove. Hardly lost unto the world, the Grove has had fame in songs and mainstream movies. Over the years the locals came to know the town for its friendly folk and late night jamborees. The Grove is a special place to local musician Chuck Allen.

In 1972, Moody Anderson, then a retired National Guard Officer, was on his way to Austin when he passed through the fading Texas town.

Four days later Moody bought the Dube General store, dentist's office, bank, post office and blacksmith shop. Moody later purchased the Cocklebur Saloon and moved it from Round Rock, Texas to the Grove. At 81, Moody has spent nearly half his life collecting antiques, and for the last 37 years he's housed his collection in the general-store-turned-museum.

Movies like Lonesome Dove, Secondhand Lions, The Redheaded Stranger and more recently the Cohen Brother's film True Grit have called upon the treasure of the Grove's historic backdrop and Moody's Americana artifacts. It takes several buildings to house a Moody's collection, there's likely something for everyone. Moody is known to have the rare objects people are looking for.

On April 23, Moody Anderson, the little town and these objects will enter a new era, but they aren't finished with the movie business yet. Polka Works, a non-profit that honors cultural traditions, will give The Grove a new life in its documentary film Sold! on Texas auctioneering. Loretta Cooper works on the project.

There's something magical about the Grove. It's known for its southern hospitality and kind-hearted people. As the sun sets, music and laughter carry from the Grove over Texas pasture into the cool night sky; it's the Grove's last homecoming celebration, a tribute to Moody's dedication.

For KWBU news, I'm Jacqueline Deavenport.

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