A handwritten note on the back of this photograph tells the story:

“Table custom made for Laity Lodge – one of ten. Mrs. Mary Holdsworth Butt inspects a pecan dining room table made by Travis Burt in the H-E-B Wood Shop in Corpus Christi © 1960.”

These tables have resided in the dining room, playing host to countless meals and conversations, since the Lodge opened in 1961. Each one features a small imprint underneath that names the artisans (apparently there were more hands involved than just Travis Burt’s).

At least a few times in our history, efforts have been made to change the tables. Howard Butt, Jr., for example, was once convinced that circular tables would be a better solution. He liked the fact that round tables lacked a head, effectively leveling (or heightening) the position of every seat. Despite his convictions, the tables remained.

As our current renovation project forces us to make decisions about replacing and repurposing furnishings and fixtures around the Lodge, the dining room tables once again found themselves under heavy scrutiny. We even tried to figure out how to make round tables work. And once again, these original pecan tables carried the day (though we can’t say the same for the chairs). It seems that Mrs. Butt, Sr., was right all along.