Panhandle TexcentricityWestward Ho, Days 50 & 51: Amarillo, TX to Oklahoma City, OK
Our searches for letterboxes in the Amarillo area on Sunday led us on the trail of some Texas eccentrics. Since big and bold seem to be the Texas manner in all things, it comes as no surprise that the state produces an abundance of folks who march to the beat of their own drummers.
The first 'Texcentric' whose handiwork we encountered was one Charles Marsh 3—yes, that's Marsh 3 because the oil fortune heir found Charles Marsh III to be a bit too pretentious. Since the family fortune doles out all the income he needs, Charles has devoted his time and creativity to projects that he thought would enhance his native Texas panhandle.
|Creating a black canvas for her message kept it from getting lost.|
|Dueling Floating Mesas?|
“I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command."
Two giant trunkless legs, 24 and 34 feet tall, stand on a platform. Like Cadillac Ranch, the legs have stimulated the inner graffiti artist in visitors, this time in the form of spray-painted socks, whose style apparently changes from time to time and has included white tube socks with a red stripe near the top.
|Ozymandias in the Panhandle|
|Even the plaque has been decorated with spray paint.|
|Part of Marsh's 'Dynamite Museum'|
|VW Slug Bug Ranch|
Continuing east, we arrived at the 'Leaning Water Tower of Texas' in the tiny town of Groom. Originally a functional water tower, the structure was scheduled for demolition when a local entrepreneur decided to purchase it and station it near Route 66 (and later I-40) as an iconic sign for his truck stop, which has subsequently closed. But the tower still attracts plenty of picture takers, like us, and hosts a nearby letterbox as well.
|Feet on the left are actually above the ground, a creative gravitational challenge.|
So much Texcentricity, so little time. Had we been able to devote more time to the exploration, we are quite confident that we could have chanced upon many more Texas eccentrics in the panhandle. But our plans took us into Oklahoma City, where we'll spend a couple of nights, waiting out the snow event that the Weather Channel has forecast. Thankfully, no Greek or Roman name has been attached to this possibility yet. Time will tell.