I grew up in Del Rio, Texas. (and still live here!) The Brinkley story has always held a fascination for me. When my sisters were toddlers, my mother said the Brinkley's held Easter egg hunts there every year. Later, when my eldest sister was a preteen, she and John Jr.s daughter, Angela, were friends. My sister spent the night at the mansion at least once. She remembers Angela playing the massive organ on a "sort of stage", looking away and back again, and the whole organ/Angela had disappeared! The wall and stage had turned around while Angela played.
That was it for me! I was intrigued to no end! Being an avid Nancy Drew fan, mysteries were my thing. So when I was about twelve and the mansion held an open-house for tours, my mother was REQUIRED to take me! During the course of our exploration, I discovered a 5"X13" (approximately) hidden door near the floor in one of the hallways. It opened as an oven door might open. Inside was an envelope, stamped and previously opened. I didn't know whether this was a prop or a treasure, but I simply put it back and was secretly thrilled with my discovery. Next, in a sort of living space, I remember touching a corner wall where the wood trim was not matching and a two foot tall space turned around as one of those kitchen corner "lazy Susan's" might turn. Small shelves lined the space and they were empty. To me it felt as if I'd "discovered" another mystery. We traveled downstairs to a hospital like room, complete with stainless steel tables, refrigerators, and bad lighting. It was haunting to say the least.
This is what my over-active, twelve year old imagination remembers.
By Chris McCoy
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