Music Among the Manuscripts

If asked to name the most "spirited" cities in Texas, San Antonio, Galveston and a few others would probably top most lists. But among the rocket scientists, oil workers and its towering office buildings, Houston has accumulated a fair number of haunted hangouts over the years. After all, the Bayou City has been around since 1836.

Right in the heart of downtown is a bit of ghostly gossip that has lived on for more than 70-years. The Julie Ideson Building at the old Houston Public Library opened in 1928, and with its opening a custodian named Mr. Cramer and his shepherd dog Pete were there.

Mr. Cramer was loner who lived in a basement apartment beneath the library. After working all day he found companionship in Pete and his ever-present violin. Seldom was the night when Mr. Cramer didn’t stroll through the building playing beautiful melodies on his instrument, eventually making his way to the ornate rotunda where he would perform one man concerts late into the night. It was said that his lilting version of the "Blue Danube Waltz" could bring a man to tears.

Sometime in the late 1930s Mr. Cramer died in his small basement apartment. But even so, folks said that his music could still be heard throughout the building for years after his passing. Skeptics believed that it was only the wind blowing through the drafty old library, but those who heard the "Blue Danube Waltz" on windless nights were convinced that Mr. Cramer and Pete were still on the job minding the manuscripts at the Houston Public Library.

mike

  Michael Baxter is the Texas Travelin’ Man

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