| Thank you from
San Francisco for your website! |
just stumbled on your website. I was born and raised
in the San Francisco Bay Area (looking out at the Pacific and the Golden Gate
Strait as I write -- it's about 59 with a cold breeze -- yep, summer's coming
But my mother was born in the Texas
Panhandle town of Petersburg
in 1917 and raised in Lockney,
I have never been there -- she moved to San Francisco in 1938 and
has been dead for 10 years.
But I remember the name of every town she
ever mentioned to me: Plainview
and Littlefield (where
she taught art and penmanship for two years), Tulia,
"the Breaks," and Canyon
(where she went to college) and Palo
Duro Canyon and Floydada...
have been reading about the history of the area -- I was always the kid who was
interested in hearing her stories and thought I knew a lot about the area. I am
surprised that I never heard of Clarendon
or Quitaque...Her family,
I now realize came into Texas very early -- were
in the Commerce, Tx are north of
Ft. Worth in the 1850s... (J.H.
Lindley was her grandfather, Charlie Graves was her father, Godfreys and Ballards
from Hopkins, Co -- Cumby and Commerce
-- were her grandparents... just mention this, because it's a smaller world than
we think and you never know...)
Anyway, Google maps just amazes me --
to be able to see the streets, etc. And it was wonderful to see your photos...
I love it that you are doing this. I sat and looked at them -- the old post office,
the old buildings... and could almost feel my mother at my shoulder saying "Oh!
Why that was Old Mr. so-and-so's place...!"
Nanci Griffith, the great
singer/songwriter, recorded a live album a number of years ago... and between
songs, she's talking, and she says "My great-uncle Tootie, who was from a little
bitty town called Lockney
and lived through the Great Depression..."
Well, I almost drove off the
freeway when I heard that. I came home and played it for mom, then in her late
70s. And she said "What was the name? Tootie? Tootie Griffin.... why, that must
be ARTHUR!" And then she went on to say "remember how I told you that we weren't
poor -- because no one had any more than we had? Well, - the Griffiths were poor.
They lived wayyyyy out on the edge of town and had a whole messa kids..."
for bringing her back into the room for a moment... I do have to visit the Panhandle
some day. My mother said it was awful -- yet all her life she had an affection
for the people and the culture... she never lost that. And, reading about the
place now, I realize how enormously who she was had to do with where she was from.
Polite, hard-working big-hearted, generous, spoke the unvarnished truth -- not
a snobby bone in her body and (what always surprised me) - no prejudice, either.
Looked everyone in the eye and accorded them the respect they deserve as human
beings. When I think of West Texans -- that's how I think of them.
this was an unexpected little essay! Hope you don't mind...
it will remind you of why you have your website and
why you do the work and why it's valuable.
June 01, 2011
They Shoe Horses, Don't They?
June 2, 2011