Saturday, May 05, 2007

missed it by that much

I saw a number of interesting items and places while traveling along the road back to Albuquerque upon the conclusion of the recent Midland excursion. One of the themes that repeatedly crossed my mind was how much the landscape and the small towns I passed through reminded me of the beginning of one of my favorite films- Midnight Cowboy.

Once I got home, watching the film again became a priority. When I observed the signage in the opening that indicated Joe Buck (Jon Voight’s character) was living Big Spring, Texas before heading off for the greener pastures of New York City, I recalled the portion of a discussion with the owner of Cloud 9 Sports Cards in Odessa just three days ago when he mentioned Big Spring in passing. A quick Google search revealed that Big Spring is located just about 40 miles northeast of Midland. Nertz! I’m kind of bummed that I failed to realize that I was so close.

I could very easily have been trying to find the location of the Sahara Drive-In (renamed “Big Tex Drive-In” for the opening scene of the film) in Big Spring instead of snapping photos of the modern Big Sky Drive-In located between Midland and Odessa. Triple darn that I failed to have a slice of pie in the diner where Joe Buck once worked as a dishwasher before walking out carrying only his dream and cowhide suitcase.

Rest assured, next time I find myself in Midland for baseball, I will definitely make the side trip over to Big Spring and take several dozen photos of the “downtown” area and anything that is left of the drive-in theater.

One blogworthy site I did see for the first time was a fun Buddy Holly statue in the heart of Lubbock’s Walk of Fame. I was also very impressed with Lubbock’s brick-paved streets that have survived for close to 90 years.

Also just a few miles off the route one encounters the reported gravesite of outlaw Billy the Kid. This location is as interesting as it is controversial.

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