Archive for the ‘Carl’s Corner’ Category

Willie’s Place, Carl’s Corner, Texas

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

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I’m so glad we have pictures from the walls of Willie’s Place.   There will never be another place like that.  That  theater was the place to see Willie.  Tiny tables pressed up to his stage, tiered floor every seat had such good view.  Willie Nelson & Family played frequently, and other Texas musicians played regularly.  Willie’s Place on XM Radio had a broadcasting studio from there, the place sold bio-fuel, they had a great gift shop, and lots of stuff for the truckers.   It’s still a truckstop; ownership transferred a few years ago to a chain, I think.

One thing I miss most from Carl’s Corner was the Willie Nelson & Family and Friends displays that Janis Tillerson put together.  She put hours and hours and thousands of dollars of her own money on those displays.  Pictures of Willie with movie stars, and with his fans and his family, magazines, unique Farm Aid souveniers.    I’m glad we got some pictures!

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And these are only a few of the walls!

Carl’s Corner Truckstop, by Rand Snyderman

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

by Rand Snyderman

In 2009, I was determined to develop a reality TV show with Truck Driving as the premise. I’m actually continuing that journey, but for now suffice it to say I was on the trail towards success.

As I drove around the continental United States, I was graciously invited to attend the opening of Willie’s Place, located in Carl’s Corner,Texas, 75 miles south of Dallas.

I had the honor of being greeted the day I arrived by Carl Cornelius himself. One of the most gracious and down home men I had ever had the pleasure of meeting. I could spend hours speaking about Carl, but for now, I’ll simply say that I will remember that meeting as one of my major lifetime milestones.

The weekend was special because Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel were going to end their North American tour that evening. I was truly excited, not only to be able to see Willie, but also since Ray Benson the founder of Asleep at the Wheel had grown up here in the Philadelphia area. Montgomery Township to be exact, just north of the city.

Given the opportunity, I could probably to this day, recount every single moment of that weekend. The people I met, the music I heard, the food I tasted, and the sense of belonging in a rare and special community.

Here are a few of the shots I took that weekend.

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Willie Nelson, “Drinking Champagne”, with Bill Mack

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Carl’s Corner, Texas

Stay all night, stay a little longer

Saturday, October 15th, 2011


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Willie Nelson, Carl’s Corner, Texas

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

photos:  Carol Sidoran

Stephen Girsh, at Willie’s Place Theater, Carl’s Corner, Texas

Monday, June 6th, 2011


“Brings a special meaning to the song, ‘Precious Memories.'” — Stephen Girsh

Saturday, March 5th, 2011


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Willie Nelson, Carl’s Corner, Texas

Monday, January 31st, 2011


Cherie from Texas took this photo.

Willie Nelson, Carl’s Corner, Texas (7/3/2005)

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Friend and photographer Greg Mudd from Boulder took this picture.

Goodbye to Willie’s Place Theater and Carl’s Corner, TX Truck Stop (Thanks for the great music and memories)

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011


Rumors have been circulating for months and news reports now confirm that Willie’s Place Theater is closing and the Carl’s Corner truck stop is changing hands.  The popular theater and Willie Nelson themed truck stop has been in operation for three years (in its current reincarnation) and was a favorite for truckers and tourists and Willie Nelson fans. 

— Linda

Willie Nelson, Carl’s Corner, TX (photo by Janis Tillerson)

But the real joy about the place was Willie’s Place theater, and getting to see Willie Nelson and Family perform there. 

 It was the greatest place;  it had great sound, it was cozy.  There wasn’t a bad seat in the house.  You could stand at the bar and Willie could still make eye contact with you, although I never personally stood that far from the stage.   It was a low stage, and Willie generously spent time after every show talking with fans, signing autographs, hugging people, posing for photos.

Here’s Janis from Texas, hard at work hanging pictures at Carl’s Corner, Texas.  Janis personally framed thousands of pictures of Willie Nelson and Family and Friends and Fans, and hung them on the walls at Willie’s Place Theater. Thanks to Rick from OK for taking this photo.  I think he was supposed to be holding the ladder, but I’m glad he got this picture!  She didn’t fall, don’t worry.


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 The place was a destination; when Willie did a show there we would all get there as early as we could so we could hang out with friends, eat at the Blue Skies Cafe, wander around and enjoy all the pictures on the wall, and display cases full of memorabilia.  

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Janis Tillerson spent the past three years the place has been in existence gathering pictures from fans, framing them, and hanging them on the wall.  She filled display cases with collections like the Tee-Shirt from the First Farm aid, albums, a miniature Trigger guitar.    



Willie Nelson fans at Carl’s Corner, Texas, gather before the show.

Now all the photos of Willie pictured with fans and family and movie stars are for sale, with price stickers attached.  (Janis said the picture of Willie and I was marked at $10.00.)   Everything in the gift shop is for sale, too.

Willie’s Place, on Sirius/XM Radio, broadcast from it’s studio in the Willie Nelson theater, and if they were on the air you could watch Dallas do his show.  

Dallas Wayne and Willie Nelson
Sirius/XM Studio, Carl’s Corner, Texas

A few times, fans got to watch Willie being interviewed by Dallas Wayne or Bill Mack.   I don’t know where the Willie’s Place studio will land.  Bill Mack always broadcasts from his satellite ranch outside Fort Worth, and lately Dallas Wayne  has been working out of his home studio outside Austin. 

There were three grand openings of Willie’s Place Theater at Carl’s Corner, that I know of.  There might have been more.  One year, there was a stage set up in the parking lot, and Lukas Nelson and 40 Points (his band before Promise of the Real) performed for the fans outside.  Willie surprised everyone by joining Lukas and the band for a few songs, before going inside to do his set with his Family band.   There was a pre fourth of July concert at Carl’s that year, too.    One of the grand openings featured a First Annual Barbeque Cook-off, but it was never repeated, but I never heard why.

The internet is full of stories on blogs about people who visited Willie’s Place at Carl’s Corner, Texas and  what an amazing place it was:  the chicken fried steaks, all the pictures and souvenires of Willie Nelson.   There are pictures of the frogs, and the signs, and someone posing with one of the owners Carl Cornelius.  It was a fun place.   So while I feel sad, I’m grateful I got to see Willie Nelson & Family there as many times as I did, and hang out with good friends.  On way from Dallas Airport, stop by the bakery in West for some rolls, and then if you had time make the drive to Abbott, Texas, to take more pictures of Willie Nelson’s home town.    I will miss all that, but I have to smile when I think of all the good times we had there, the great music we heard, and how much fun the three grand openings were.

 New owners will take control on February 1st, next week.   


Thanks to Jan, from Texas (RailRoadLady) for sharing this pic.


The news articles report that Willie Nelson biodiesel plant, located beside the truck stock, is not effected by the foreclosure actions, and will remain in his control, with other partners. 

 So I’ve been mourning the loss of the theater, but now I just have to smile about the good times we had there and all the great music we heard.   It was one of those moments in time, great memories for those of us lucky to have been there.  So, goodbye; we’re gonna miss you.

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Monique from The Hague, visited Texas with husband Mark, and took  this pic.

I ran fast, well, as fast as I can run which isn’t too fast, when I saw Willie’s Bus pull into Carl’s Corner one year.  I wanted this picture of the bus pulling into the bus  bay.  The bay was turned into an air-conditioned pool hall for a short time, but I think Carl’s management decision got overrulled the next time the  bus came back to the truck stop and needed a private place to park.    It wasn’t a pool hall for long.


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Here’s Carl’s Corner in 1984

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Property, business opportunies offered at Carl’s Corners.

  • home sites
  • 5-acre tracks for mobile homes (complete financing available)
  • commercial, industrial sites
  • farm land
  • Former Wacoan, famous artist Bob Wade is entertaining idea of building a minature golf course
  • Developers, investors of Carl’s Corners will entertain motel and amusement facility developers offers

American Country
April 1984

Carl’s Corner Set to Open on 960 acre site;  developers providing complete financing

Development proceeds at a rapid pace at the Carl’s Corners project just north of Hillsboro.

Carl’s Corners promises to be a gigantic show place consisting of a mammoth truck stop with a huge multipurpose center with many auxiliary businesses.

Located along I-35E FM2959, Carl’s Corner is being developed by Carl Cornelius of Hillsboro and several other Dallas investors — one of whom is Monk White.

American Country will be bringing details about Carl’s Corners and its personnel in the months to come.  No date for initial opening of the first phase of this development has been announced.

The Restaurant, dining building at Carl’s Corner are complete, according to Carl Cornelius, (pictured in the top photo, with Darrril Wright and LeVan Gordon).  Cornelius went on to say that carpenter and carpenter helpers are needed for other projects.  And, Cornelius siad applications are now being taken for the operation of restaurant, multipurpose center, and truck stop.

Carl’s Corners truck stop (in bottom photo), located at one of the most visible sites in Texas, promises to become a number one stop along I-35E — referred to Mainstreet, Texas.  This truck stop will reputedly rival the internationally famous truck stop in Cheyenne, Wyoming because of the many facilities offered.


Hall of Fame, Willie’s Place, Carl’s Corner, Texas

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

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That little Trigger in the corner is about 9″ tall, so cute!

If you’ve been to the Willie’s Place truck stop at Carl’s Corner, Texas, I know you have enjoyed all the Willie Nelson art work, pictures, albums and collections on the wall.   We have Janis Tillerson to thank gathering up pictures from fans, framing them, and hanging them on the wall.   It’s been an on-going project, because she had to replace a lot of pictures that were removed last spring, owing to some re-organization going on at the truck stop.  So she has been filling in the blank walls with more pictures, and working with staff to fill up the display cases.  These are some pictures she took recently,  along with a few I took last time I was down there.

If you are near Carl’s Corner, Texas, stop by just to see the collections. Thanks, Janis.

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And these are only a few of the walls!

Carl’s Corner, Texas — Christmas 2010

Sunday, December 26th, 2010


Thanks to Janis Tillerson for sending along these pictures she took at Carl’s Corner this Christmas.


Sirius/XM Radio will re-broadcast Willie Nelson & Family Live at Carl’s Corner concert on New Years’

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Willie Nelson, Carl’s Corner, TX (photo by Janis Tillerson)

SIRIUS XM Willie’s Place (Sirius 64, XM 13)

Ring in the New Year with this encore performance of Willie Nelson & Family recorded live last month at his Willie’s Place bio-diesel truckstop in Carl’s Corner, Texas. This very special show features Willie’s son Lukas on guitar and a guest appearance by David Allan Coe, and will be rebroadcast immediately after its conclusion for a coast-to-coast celebration.

SIRIUS XM Willie’s Place (Sirius 64, XM 13)

On-Air Time:  Friday, December 31  11 pm ET

Rebroadcast: Saturday, January 1 12:30 am ET


To sign up and enjoy the concert from Carl’s Corner:

Micah Nelson & the Reflectacles, with special, special guest Mickey Raphael, in Texas, last July

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Willie Nelson Fans, at Carl’s Corner, Texas

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Thanks to Jodi for sharing pictures she took at Carl’s Corner, Texas, last month.  These fans were in town to see Willie Nelson & Family in concert.

Ann, Cherie, SueAnn and Kelly, all from Texas

Mary Ann and Clem Brown


Ruth, from Scooterville


Janis and Jan

And here’s one I took of Jodi last November