The amazing town of Ben Wheeler, Texas
by Jerry Dixey
On Monday afternoon Labor Day 2013 the Vintage Air Road Tour visited one of the most interesting places we have ever come across. Ben Wheeler, Texas is a small town by any standards. It has a Main Street with businesses and stores of different varieties. What makes it unique is that almost all of the buildings in the town were purchased by one amazing man and his wife. Brooks Gremmels grew up in the east Texas area near Ben Wheeler. He was a gear head and a tinkerer and became a very competitive motorcycle road racer. He moved to Dallas -Fort Worth and had a very successful business career. He wanted to move back to the area of his youth and do something that would make a difference and that’s when he crossed paths with Ben Wheeler-the town.
Ben Wheeler had been a typical small Texas town in the early days. It survived with the help of the oil boom early in the century. But changing economies and some bad luck make its future look dim until Brooks and his wife Rese came along with a bright idea. They set out to transform Ben Wheeler back to it’s glory days of the mid 1930′s and invite artists and craftspeople to make make Ben Wheeler their home and creat an arts and historic community. The concept seems to be working out just fine.
Brooks and Rese and the arts and shop keepers went out of their way to welcome is on Labor Day. All the shops were open and the Road Tourians all purchased items from ice cream to crafts and some of us even took the plunge and bought a cowboy hat.
We all enjoyed Brooks’ vintage motorcycle collection and lunch was great at Moores where music fills the air most weekends.
It was a great stop in Ben Wheeler and the vision and legacy of Brooks and Rese Gremmels will live on the folks to enjoy for future generations.