Friday, February 5, 2010

Smelling the roses, and cattle, Earth Texas

See the Planet, Visit Earth, Texas Hill country, fredericksberg, more!

I left the boat yesterday heading for the big D.  The city of Denver, Colorado, is home town for me and business required my return.  Trust me, I have better things to do, but tell that to my clients, and my creditors!

So I hopped into "Little Red", my Toyota MR-2 Spyder, and headed down the road.  Corpus Christi was an easy make.  After that it was up hill going all the way!  Well, of course, Denver is a long ways uphill from sea level, like 5,250 feet above the grade.  But more than that, this trip home has been a struggle.
"When I get tired I get lost"
I started getting really tired around San Antonio, Texas.  When I get tired I get lost, and this was no exception.  This time was not so bad.  When I found out where I was at least I was lost in the right direction!  I am not sure how I am going to single hand it to Mexico.  Maybe I am not!

After San Antonio came the Texas Hill Country, which is always a pleasure.  Not this time though.  I couldn't see anything while passing through all of the beautiful country as it was late.  I hardly recognized Fredericksberg, Texas, through the glow around the street lights as it has grown like a water bloated mushroom since I last visited it 5 years ago. 

"Don't believe the sign on Motel 6"
 So I wandered on and on...and on into the cold winter night.  I started hitting fog about 100 miles outside of San Angelo.  At first it was the thin variety.  Then it turned to pea soup.  I have lots of experience in winter driving so the fog didn't bother me much.  It was the fools with their high beams that got to me.  By the time I hit San Angelo I was whipped!  Don't believe the sign on Motel 6 which says "$39.95 single"!  I got busted for $55 bucks in second rate city.  Heck, it was 3:00 a.m. and time to hit the sack!

Today, I decided to smell the roses a little bit.  By early afternoon it was clear the shortcut I had taken was a huge mistake.  I was not going to make my 7:30 p.m. denver meeting.  I might as well smell the roses.  So I peeled off and headed onto the first country road that looked interesting, and kinda well traveled.  Guess where I ended up?

You read the title!  Yep, I ended up on Earth.  Er, maybe that is in Earth.  The city, that is.  So where is Earth and how did it get it's name?

Earth is a Texas, Panhandle city just barely in the panhandle.  It sounds like a place some hippie's invented, but the town has been around for a lot longer than that. Here is one account  

According to Texas Escapes, "Rancher William E. Halsell did not make the heavens above, or the fishes in the sea, but he created Earth in 1924. He had been in the area since 1901, when he bought up a huge chunk of the old XIT ranch for $2 an acre. In August 1924 he had a town site platted and began selling lots.

The Halsell Land Co. built a hotel, a cotton gin and the first house. Within a couple of years Earth could boast of a café, a service station, a store or two and more residences. And that’s about all the solid ground there is when it comes to the history of Earth."

So how did Earth get it's name?  There are a variety of stories. 

One story says William and clan were trying to come up with a name when a sandstorm blew in.  One of the pioneers opened a hand full of sand and said, "Why not call it Earth!"
"William Halsell wanted to call the town Good Earth"
A second tale says the original name, "Earth" came Washington beurocrats did something they almost never do.  Instead of making things longer, they made them shorter.  William Halsell wanted to call the town Good Earth.  The bureaucrats figured that was too complicated and shortened the name to

A third story says the local postmaster was more descriptive than most bureaucrats want.  He described the sand storm that blew in when he filled out the application for a post office.  Washington wrote back saying, " "Since the earth seems to move in that country, the post office shall be named Earth." (Or words to that effect.)"

No matter how this quaint Panhandle town got it's name, let's just say Halsell is still waiting to get rich quick in real estate.  In fact, he is about 60 plus years late.  According to the 2000 census, there were only 293 families living in Earth.  That makes out to be a little more than 1,100

Come visit Earth!  You may want to pull up a chair and stay awhile!  Panhandle living is a lot of fun.  No gangs, traffic jams, rush hours and you know what happens to aunt suzy before she gets off of the line!

In addition to fine people, Earth has a veteran's wall! visit the veterans wall!  

Next time you are out smelling the roses, be sure to visit Earth!

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