About half a mile east of my office on Shady Grove Road, you will cross Hardrock Road, the former main street of Shady Grove Township, Texas. Sitting close to the railroad line between Dallas and Ft. Worth, this little community thrived for its initial 20 years. But when the township was absorbed by Irving and Grand Prairie 30 years ago, Hardrock Road was destined to suffer dearly the abandonment of both a future and "county maintenance". The road runs only about a mile in length, from the entrance to a bankrupted wildlife park on the south, to Rock Island Road, parallel to the old Rock Island Railroad tracks, to the north. There are a number of houses left in the dilapidated neighborhoods. Most are suffering the ravages of to many uncaring renters, however, some still appear neat and cared for, despite their age. Several defunct horse stables and exercise corrals line the road, in addition to a couple of "joints", a small grocery store, a welder's shop, and a number of scrap yards. Located midpoint on Hardrock Road is a cemetery and close by, a vacant lot, where the original Shady Grove Baptist Church stood from 1937 until December, 1974, when disgruntled church members allegedly put a torch to the building and burned it down. (And you thought YOUR church board had heated meetings!...) One doesn't mosey down Hardrock Road anymore. You scoot along because now the only reason to drive through there is to go from somewhere you've been to someplace you haven't.. And anyway, only the locals consider the route a shortcut to wherever.. But once upon a time, Hardrock Road was the center of town.
- Composer: David R. Holsinger