On our way out of Lubbock yesterday, we passed the Buddy Holley Museum and the American Wind Power Center and Museum. I wasn’t able to stop at the Buddy Holley Museum, but I stopped at the windmill place long enough to get some pictures of those displayed outside. The Center has its own working wind turbine that supplies most of the power used in the buildings. Inside there are over 100 windmills of all types that represent the history of wind mills and outside there are dozens of working wind mills. The Center is in Lubbock because of Billie Wolfe, a Texas home economics teacher who liked old windmills, and thought they deserved a museum because prairie settlers couldn't have survived without them. "The First Lady of the Windmill" died in 1997, months before the museum opened, and years before windmills revived as one of America's desperate post-oil hopes -- as wind turbines. “Post-oil” is being postponed for quite a few years based on the development of various shales throughout the country.
About 60 miles northeast of Lubbock is a small town called Floydada. As I drove through town I noticed big fiberglass pumpkins at several businesses. It turns out Floydada, the county seat of Floyd County, bills itself as the “Pumpkin Capital of the World”. The county produces millions of pumpkins every year that are sold throughout the country. Every October since 1987, they stage “Punkin Days”. Costume contests for all ages, pie baking, pumpkin carving and coloring, pumpkin decoration, pumpkin pie relays, Cow Patty Bingo, seed spitting contest, Trunk or Treating, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin rolling, pumpkin guessing and pumpkin weighing are just a few of the activities offered. Sounds like it would be a fun place to visit in October.
Further along US 62 is Matador, another county seat. There were a couple roadside attractions that caused me to stop for pictures, but I got more than I anticipated. There is a 21 ft. long arrow sticking in the ground that is a first marker of the Quanah Parker Trail. It’s named after a Comanche chief that the son of a Comanche and a Scots/Irish women who had been captured by the Comanche’s. He was the last chief of the tribe before they surrendered from the Indian Wars and went to a reservation in the Indian Territories, present day Oklahoma. As I was taking picture of the arrow a woman drove here pick-up truck over to me and said she was glad to see me taking pictures of the arrow. She was proud that Matador got the first of some 30 that have been placed. She introduced herself as Cindy Campbell and told me that the town jail was open for a self-guided tour. She was part of a group that was working to preserve and restore it. She said I could go in as soon as she got back from the hardware store with some wasp spray. There was a nest by the door. So after she knocked down the wasps we went inside to watch a DVD they made about the history of the town and the jail. According to the video, the jail may be haunted. They had people from the Texas Spirit Seekers come in with their ghost hunting equipment and they detected a women ghost. I didn’t see any, but I guess you have to be there at night. The jail is 2 stories with the cells on the second floor. The first floor is where the Sheriff or deputy Sheriff lived with their family. It’s got four rooms. There were 4 people in the last family that lived there. The mom was the cook for the prisoners and the kids would carry the trays of food upstairs to the prisoners. The jail had several cells with 4 bunks per cell and it even had a gallows trap door. There never were any hangings in the jail. It was built in 1891 and closed in 1940’s. Hats off to Ms. Campbell and the others on the committee to restore the jail.
The other attraction in Matador was Bob’s Oil Well. It was named after Luther Bedford "Bob" Robertson who came to Matador in the 1920’s. He worked as a service station attendant before he opened his own Conoco gasoline business. He built a decorative wooden oil derrick which he eventually patented his design. In 1939, he replaced the wooden derrick with one of steel that was eight-four feet in height and lighted. He advertised his business in unusual ways, with a cage of live rattlesnakes for the amusement of tourists, a small zoo of lions, monkeys, coyotes, and a white buffalo. He paid long-distance truckers to place advertising signs at strategic points across the United States. The signs listed the mileage to Bob's Oil Well in Matador. Robertson died in 1947, two weeks before a high wind toppled the steel derrick that had been his trademark. His widow restored it in 1949. The business finally failed and several attempts by other to revive it were also unsuccessful. It’s being preserved as a Texas landmark.
We finished the day in Lawton, OK at Buffalo Bob’s RV Park. It’s a fairly new park with level concrete sites and even a pasture area in the center for horses. Winnie had horse trailer/RV’s on either side. The laundry was free so I took advantage of it.