Tag Archives: McKinney TX

By golly, there is honesty among motor vehicle ‘techs’

I feel compelled to share this bit of good news that fell on me this morning. It involves my three-quarter-ton pickup and a service technician who fixed it.

My story began Wednesday morning. I was driving home from a meeting in McKinney. The rain was pouring. I was traveling north along the frontage road next to U.S. Highway 75 when I drove the truck through some standing water, which splashed over the hood the truck.

I continued on. About a minute later, the “check engine” light lit up on my dashboard control panel.

Hmm. What’s that about? The light stayed on as I made my way home to Princeton.

We awoke this morning. My wife and I drove the truck to the gym where we work out daily. The light was still on. “I’m going to take the truck in this morning to have it looked at,” I told her.

So I did. I drove to the Dodge-Jeep dealership in McKinney where I get the truck serviced. The service advisor met me in the service drive. I told him what I had. He summoned the service tech from the garage. The tech said he would reset a sensor he suspected had gotten wet.

He took the truck to the back. He reset the sensor. He returned the truck about five minutes later.

“You’re good to go,” he said. The sensor got cranky and lit up when it got soaked by the rain water.

“Is there a charge for this?” I asked. “Nope,” he said. “Just let me know if it acts up again.”

Life is good.

First impression: This is one happening city!

McKINNEY, Texas — First impressions can be deceiving, but I’m going to go with the initial impression that smacked me in the face about the Collin County seat.

McKinney is a happening place to visit when you’re looking for something to do.

My wife and I had a dinner date this evening with two friends. We met at a high-end restaurant on the square in McKinney. Both of us were stunned at what we saw when we drove into the square and hunted for a place to park.

The city is alive, man! 

Now, to be sure none of this should surprise longtime residents of McKinney (population, approximately 187,000) or of any of the communities that thrive nearby. We just were a bit astounded at how much activity we noticed all along the square.

The county courthouse moved out of the downtown district some years ago, we were told; it reminds me a bit of what has transpired in Canyon, Texas, the Randall County seat; my wife and I lived in Randall County for more than two decades and watched the county relocate almost all of its government offices from the city’s downtown square to other locations. Still, the square in Canyon has experienced a significant revival as the county, with help from historic preservation grant funds, dolled up the exterior of its historic courthouse building. The interior? It’s still vacant … but that’s another story for another time.

Collin County’s government offices have moved from downtown, but it apparently hasn’t stopped the square from becoming the place to see and be seen on a steamy Saturday night.

I will need to explore in a bit more detail how the city managed to maintain this lively look. Thus, I will do so.

For now, I want this blog post to stand as a testament to a grand first impression the city has made on two new Collin County residents.

Happy Trails, Part 142: Moving into transition

One of the more exciting aspects about the next — and hopefully final — stop on our retirement journey has been the changing nature of the community we’re going to call home.

Princeton, Texas, sits east of McKinney — the Collin County seat. The next town to the east along U.S. 380 is Farmersville; the one after that is Greenville, hometown of the late Audie Murphy, the Medal of Honor recipient and the Army’s most decorated soldier of World War II.

Princeton is still a rural community. It is home to around 10,000 residents. When you drive east from McKinney you see lots of orange barrels, cones and “Road Work Ahead” signs. They’re tearing up the highway, expanding it, improving access and exits.

The residential neighborhood we’re entering also is under construction. Indeed, our street is cluttered with construction vehicles.

I am getting the strong sense that McKinney is inching its way east toward Princeton. The rural community will become an urban one in due course.

It has all the requisite urban accoutrements: a postal ZIP code, plenty of commercial outlets, heavy traffic (at times), traffic signals, sewer service. You know, all those things associated with urban life.

I find it strangely exciting to witnessing this change from the front end. We had a similar ringside seat to all that change in Amarillo. We moved into our newly built house in late 1996. Our home was one block from civilization as we knew it in Amarillo. Beyond the busy street to our west were literally miles of pasture land. You could hear coyotes yipping and yapping in the early morning hours when you went out to fetch the newspaper.

It all changed rapidly. They built the Greenways residential complex west of Coulter Street. It went up in a major hurry. The range land gave way to manicured lawns. Urbana arrived in far west Amarillo.

We’re going to witness it yet again in our new home.

I plan to welcome the change . . . as long as it arrives in an orderly fashion.