I have always been the type of person who craves to know the “story” behind a piece of artwork. I remember as a child, when my parents took me to art galleries, being so frustrated when I saw such uncreative titles to famous paintings such as “bowl of fruit”. Those titles told me nothing about the subject. Artists Frederick Remington and Charles M. Russel were the only exceptions to this. Their paintings had creative titles such as “Meat’s not Meat ’til it’s in the Pan (Russell)” and “What an Unbranded Cow Has Cost (Remington)”. Those titles TOLD me something. But, I do realize that sometimes, there is no story behind the picture because the painting is really just about a “bowl of fruit”. Thus, when I went to write this blog about this jigsaw puzzle entitled “Farm to Market Road” and saw the cardinals and flowers, my first thought was “this is just another bowl of fruit” picture. But then I saw this little sign that said “Farm to Market Road” and decided to investigate.
What I found has been rather interesting (thanks to Wikipedia). Turns out, in Texas (as well as in Missouri, Iowa and Louisiana) “Farm to Market Roads” are what they call their secondary state roads, specifically those paved roads that connect agricultural areas to market towns. In my home state, we use the uncreative designation of “Quadrant Road” but I think Texas’ naming system is more creative and definitely has a greater sense of history. In the 1930s, the first Farm to Market road was created in Rusk County. By the 1940s, the concept had really taken off because it helped to connect isolated areas in western and central Texas. Currently, Farm to Market Roads (and Ranch to Market Roads) account for over half of the roads in Texas. Although, as urban areas have grown out into the countryside over the years, some of these Farm to Market roads are now considered purely Urban Roads but the old names remain.
While you and your loved ones assemble this bird jigsaw puzzle, it would be a great time to discuss other interesting titles for pictures or unexpected paths that roads can take us in life.