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Thank you from San Francisco

Thank you from San Francisco for your website!

I 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 in!)

But my mother was born in the Texas Panhandle town of Petersburg in 1917 and raised in Lockney, TX

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...

I 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..."

Thanks 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.

Well, this was an unexpected little essay! Hope you don't mind...

Hopefully it will remind you of why you have your website and why you do the work and why it's valuable.

Blessings,
Susan Fry, June 01, 2011

They Shoe Horses, Don't They? June 2, 2011
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