Work brought me to Texas in April 2002, but morbid curiosity brought me to Waco. I found a story by Dan Tobias about the Branch Davidian compound and its remains. Following his directions, I found my way to the site and later emailed Dan with the changes I found since he last visited.
My email to him is included in the body of this story, but I recommend you read Dan’s story about the Branch Davidians first.
I was in Texas in late April, and spent some time very near Waco. Like you, I found it hard not to go look. When I went looking for directions, I found your web site. Yours is unique in that you don’t sound like a freak, but you may know that. Feel free to add my news to your story, if you’d like, but please don’t reveal my email address.
I somehow forgot my camera that day, so I don’t have any pictures, but I can update you on some of the changes since your stories.
A new worship hall has been built. It’s fairly large and sits next the old swimming pool. The swimming pool looks more definitely like a pool now, but it’s still half-filled with dirt. When I arrived there, the compound looked empty, but I found a child, perhaps eight years old, fishing in the pool. He didn’t react to my presence in any way, and there seemed to be nobody else around. It was rather spooky for a moment. Then I asked him if he caught many fish, to which he said he hooked “minnows…and other small stuff.”
The trees planted as a memorial for the dead (just visible in one of your pictures — dav2.gif ), have grown much larger, and oddly, they may start to suffocate each other soon. It’s sort of a really ironic, slow-motion performance art installation.
A motorcycle stands to the side of those trees. It appears to have been there a while. Could it have been Koresh’s?
The burned-out bus remains, but the tub has been removed.
A note about the directions: it’s much simpler to take I-35 North to the Loop 340 exit (FM2491 is about a two miles East of that exit), than to take the Lake Brazos/Martin Luther King exit. I don’t know why the tourist center’s brochure would make it difficult and lead visitors around like that. Hmmm….