Sunday, January 29, 2012

Panhandle People

I've had the good fortune for many years to travel all over this country.  I typically have not travelled to the resort areas, but, to the rural areas.  Sometimes I pass through cities known for their attractions, but I don't generally get to see those attractions -- just pass through the airport.

One thing that I've found wherever I travel is that the Texas Panhandle is known for friendly people.  I have heard countless stories of people visiting the area or being stranded in a snow storm or just passing through and having encounters with people from the Panhandle that were both remarkable and memorable.  I'm sure that I've speculated on this before in a post, but I'm too lazy to look back and try to find it.

I think the reason for the friendly people is that they have to depend on each other.  If you think about it, it makes sense.  It hasn't been all that long ago that this country was frontier.  It was the domain of the Comanche Indian until 1876.  The first big ranches were established in the 1880's.  The farmers really didn't start rolling into the area until well into the 1900's.  It was a tough and bleak existence until the first irrigation wells were drilled in the 1950's.  Sometimes it was a long way between neighbors yet, they had to depend on each other.

I suspect the majority of people living in these windswept plains today are descendants of those hardy, pioneering types who settled this country.  We don't see a large number of immigrants from places with trees and water -- the landscape just doesn't seem to appeal to them.  It takes a special type to enjoy the beauty of this country of far horizons.  It takes someone who appreciates the wide-open spaces.  It takes someone with a streak of independence and a knowledge that neighbors are important.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that Panhandle People are generally known for friendliness and the willingness to offer a helping hand to someone in need.  That must be a diminishing quality in this fair land, otherwise it wouldn't be so remarkable.

Tomorrow I will post on the letter "Q."  I fear it may be one to give me some trouble.  After all, there aren't all that many words that start with "Q."  Helpful suggestions would be appreciated.  Please feel free to make them in the comments.


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