Saturday, November 01, 2014

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Time Warner Cable News' Russell Wilde is Wilde About Texas. Join Russell each Thursday as he travels throughout the state visiting the people and places that make Texas unique. Do you have an idea for our next Wilde About Texas? Send it to us by clicking here.

Phil Collins’ Alamo Donation to Re-Shape Texas Landmark

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Phil Collins and Doyle Cowart have lived drastically different lives.

One is one of the most successful recording artists of the 1980s and a member of the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame--the other is slightly more blue-collar. Still, the two share something that borders on an obsession with Texas history, specifically the Alamo.

“It’s a fascination, an intrigue, something that just kind of gets in your blood,” Cowart said. “I still get chill bumps when I go inside the Alamo."

Collins has spent decades and untold amounts of money chasing Alamo history.

“I was a boy and was watching the TV, ‘King of the Wild Frontier’ came on and from that moment on I was hooked on this story,” Collins said. “I decided that I’d spend my money on that rather than Ferraris.”

The Grammy-winning artist is donating his collection to the state of Texas for eventual display at the Alamo. Collins says he can't wait for history buffs like Doyle to get to see the collection.

“They’ll get a thrill, the same thrill that I get on my own when it was on display in my little basement in Switzerland,” Collins said.

In the coming years, visits to the shrine of Texas liberty are going to change.

“We want to expand, not only the physical footprint and the footprint on the ground, we want to expand the story," Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said. "We want to tell all of it.”

Part of that expansion will include a museum that will display the Phil Collins collection-- items like musket ball pouch worn by Davy Crockett and knives owned by James Bowie.

“There are things in there that will make your mouth drop,” Collins said. “The idea of it coming back home, not going to a museum--it’s coming back home.”

Doyle Cowart drove halfway across Texas to be present for Collins’ announcement, and will be back when all the items are on display.

“Ten years, 20 years from now I want to be able to look back and say, ‘I was there, I seen it, I seen the guns, I seen the leather pouch, I seen it,’” Cowart said.

The plans to build a museum to house the Phil Collins Collection will take years to complete. The Texas General Land Office, the agency that oversees the Alamo, has already begun fundraising for the project.

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