Saturday, June 17, 2017

Odessa, Texas

On September 6, 2016 we drove further west to Odessa, Texas. Odessa is west Texas at it's best ~ desert, flat, dusty, sand hills, home of Permian High School football, The Globe Theater: a replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theater, prairie dogs and the oil and gas industry.
We found an RV camground half way between Odessa and Midland right off of Interstate 20. We stayed for two nights for $31.50. I didn't take any pictures except the office above because it was literally a dust pit and hot! Lord, it was hot and this heat was jut killing us! 
 Some of you may know what the first picture is, a pump jack. In my words, a pump jack is used after a well has been dug to bring the crude oil to the surface. My family moved to Odessa from Fort Payne, Alabama in 1964 and my daddy was a driller in the oil fields. He worked hard and took care of his family and how mother and I loved him.
He and mother are buried in Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery and I went to visit them. This cemetery only allowed the flat markers at the time my parents were buried here. Now they've opened up another section with headstones. I'm so ashamed to say I hadn't gotten my little mother her marker. When she passed away we lived in Galveston and we brought her to Odessa to be placed next to my daddy, we sold our house and bought another one in New York. Our little granddaughter's health issue happened, I fell and broke my knee and we just didn't get back. So that was my main mission to get her marker and we have it ordered and hopefully it will be here soon.
Well, my little Mother's stone finally came in and I was sent a snap of it. They had changed how the markers were set since my daddy passed so now they are put on a little slab of granite. They put the urn between the two headstones. I'm saddened that I'm not able to place flowers in the urn but I have a friend who helps me out.
I had a fun visit with my dear friends - The Finns. The Finns moved  to Odessa about the time we did and we all went to the same church. I grew up with the three kids and Mrs. Finn got me my first job at Odessa Medical Center. Mr. Finn passed away a few years ago and if you follow my other blog, Note Songs, you'll remember the lovely piece of oak furniture I call The Finn. Well, the top part of it was an old organ top that my grandparents had and Mr. Finn built the bottom part so mother could use it as a piece of furniture. You can see it below.
We drove to Midland which is about 20 miles from Odessa to eat at Luigi's! When George and I were dating we discovered this little Italian restaurant in downtown Midland and it became our favorite! Almost every Friday night we ate here. They make the most delicious lasagna you've ever put in your mouth! We were so hoping it would still be good. It was as good as it ever was! Just made my day!
Now back to Odessa. I'm almost afraid to tell you this, but we lived here! Oh, my goodness! We lived her for about two years in the mid 1970s. It wasn't grand then but it was nice and it had two rentals, a little studio apartment attached to the house and another one bedroom house next door. Well, you can see the shape it's in now. It's about three blocks from the hospital and as time has gone on, all of the little houses have been bought and turned into parking lots for the hospital and other medical buildings. They seemed to stop buying up the property on our old block. This house was just pitiful! Pitiful! Then...
This is the little one bedroom apartment and was connected to the main house by a nice rock fence. No one was living here, no surprise, the door was open and I got out of the car and went to peep inside! George told me not to but I don't listen sometimes.
When I pushed the door open a little wider this is what I saw! What!!?? Look in there! Walls were torn down, graffiti on the walls, old Christmas tree. None of that is surprising but look at those limbs in the kitchen! Why? I mean, this is Odessa and there aren't many trees any way so where did all of these limbs come from? It even felt witchy scary to me! We got out of there fast! We lived here, y'all!
Whew! Okay, this is the apartment building that George lived in when we met! It still is called Ocotilla West and looks good! This made us feel better after seeing our old house! After we were married we lived here about a month until we found 'our place'.
Now we made lots of memories in Odessa. This was the Scott theater. When I as a teenager I saw so many movies here, went on dates to see movies here and when George and I met we attended a gazillion movies here. I remember when you would stand in line down the block and wait in line to buy a ticket. There was a lovely balcony and sometimes a little note would appear on the screen calling for Dr. So 'n So to report to the hospital! My how times have changed.
Again, George and I had many nice dinners here at The Barn Door. Later on another church friend bought it. We didn't have the time to eat here this time.
Now this is funny. We went looking for George's old office building and things have changed so much we didn't know if his office had been the top photo or the bottom one!
I'll end my post with this ~ Terrace Hills Baptist Church. This is the church we attended the entire time we lived in Odessa from 1964 until I married in 1973.  My daddy was a deacon here, I played the piano here, I was in Girl's Missionary Auxiliary here, I was part of a wonderful youth group here, I worked in Vacation Bible School here, I taught a Sunday School class here, I put together my mother and daddy's 50th wedding anniversary here and this is where George and I met! As we pulled into the parking lot we realized it was not being used as a church any more but they were storing things inside of the building! Oh, it just made me so sad.

Well, I'm wondering...is this post the one that says 'you can't go home again'? Maybe. Things sure do change after 52 years! Yes, I'm that old. Actually I'm older than 52 years, you know what I mean. Don't you laugh! Aw, go ahead!  :)

And we'll continue on to New Mexico.

Happy trails,
Shelia ;)

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