Small town West Texas

8,245 Views | 56 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by HtownAg92
jrwoodchuck
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First off, let me say I never attended TAMU. However, I like to check in here every so often to see any news or what's going on in West Texas. I was born and reared in Hamlin and really enjoyed reading FossilAg's thread.

I'm on vacation right now (the first one in many years) and went to Hamlin's homecoming this past weekend. It was the second time I had been there in 47 years. It was a shock to see how the town has declined, although not completely unexpected.

I guess I'm interested to hear how your hometown has fared over the years, especially the small towns. And, as we all know, Friday night football in small town Texas still is king.

BTW, Hamlin won their game 32-6 over Hawley.
UTExan
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My hometown of Ranger has similarly declined. We will probably do a road trip from Salt Lake back to Ranger in the next year, but just using Google maps and seeing what used to be a thriving downtown is extremely depressing. And Ranger, unlike the old days, loses its games.
“... the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day.
Anne Lamott
FishrCoAg
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AG
20 miles west of your hometown and we are experiencing the same. Even the football interest is just not what it used to be.

ETA:when did you graduate in Hamlin?
jrwoodchuck
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I graduated in '71. Hamlin was a bit over 3k then, now a little over 2k. I am thinking of moving back there after I retire next year. My wife passed away in June and there is no reason not to go. Life in the big city really sucks so I'm ready to get back to something a bit more sedate and laid back.
FishrCoAg
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AG
Yellowhammer from '73 here. I'm sure we have a lot of mutual acquaintances
rbcs_2
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AG
Last time I was in Alpine (4-5 years ago) it looked about the same. Coming from Houston though the whole place just seemed smaller. Not the town specifically. But just places I was very familiar with seemed like they'd shrunk. Plus Furr's no longer exists which was where I got my first job. Made me miss living out there.
TheSheik
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AG
jrwoodchuck & FishrCoAg

I know that I've partied with one or both of you at keg party on skinout moutain back in the day - Anson '77


LoudestWHOOP!
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AG
I came from a small town in SE Texas some of you may have heard of called Katy. The city limit sign read "Pop. 1,760" when we moved there in 1971. Since then it got bigger, a LOT bigger. Some say it has between 500k and 1M folks that use Katy as a mailing address. I recognize almost nothing but Cardiff's Rice drier, which I believe has a new name. It was always a sight for sore eyes after driving home after Aggie Games as a kid. My family was one of the original 10 families to settle there in the early 1900s.
We used to live in the "sticks" and now everyone does, so its not the "sticks" anymore. We used to sneak onto Cinco Ranch, when it actually was a "ranch" and fish the canals (oxbow lakes) for some of the best black bass from a "pond" you will find. (and believe me we looked) I found mammal fossils embedded in the creek bed wall and sent them to the Katy Outdoor learning center. We used to fish wherever we could get away with it, swim in Rice wells until someone used to run us off.
I can probably name of a half dozen occasions where I should have died while I was growing up. Snakes, Drowning, Lightning strike, Cerebral hemorrhages come to mind off the top of my head. But damn we had a lot of fun.
I played football for the coaching legend in Mike Johnston and Gary Joseph was an Assistant Coach, but we won 2 games in years when I was varsity. We are not mentioned much in the football lore of the Katy Tigers. I love the little town I grew in, but it is gone. I would not trade my growing up there for anything but you cannot live my childhood in Katy anymore.

BTW, I have lived in Midland now for over 25 years.
Hewey Calloway
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AG
rbcs_2 said:

Last time I was in Alpine (4-5 years ago) it looked about the same. Coming from Houston though the whole place just seemed smaller. Not the town specifically. But just places I was very familiar with seemed like they'd shrunk. Plus Furr's no longer exists which was where I got my first job. Made me miss living out there.
I took my wife out to Big Bend back in February. I planned a day to spend in Alpine showing her around all the places I spent time growing up. We finished in an hour. It does seem smaller now going back. But it really doesn't seem like anything has changed since left 10 years ago. I do miss it though. If there was any way to make any money out there I'd move back in a heartbeat. I'm not meant for the city life.
jrwoodchuck
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TheSheik said:

jrwoodchuck & FishrCoAg

I know that I've partied with one or both of you at keg party on skinout moutain back in the day - Anson '77




Entirely possible even though that was a bit after I graduated. I was probably working at USG in Sweetwater along about then. My tag line after "back in the day" stories is "...and beer was involved."

The only time I was in Alpine was in the '70's. Hamlin played a regional football game there. That was when Ham Jones was playing. Two things I remember---we lost, and it was damn cold.
jrwoodchuck
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FishrCoAg said:

Yellowhammer from '73 here. I'm sure we have a lot of mutual acquaintances

Did you know Jeff McClure?
FishrCoAg
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AG
yes. Lost contact after he left Roby and his parents passed.
jrwoodchuck
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Jeff and Jenna were good friends of my best friend and me. Drank a "few" beers together. And survived it, lol. Ahh, good times.
FishrCoAg
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AG
Definitely curious now.
jrwoodchuck
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My best friend was Earl "Uzzy" Webb. Ring any bells?
FishrCoAg
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AG
It doesn't. Where from?
jrwoodchuck
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Hamlin.
3rd Generation Ag
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Graduated from Borden County in 67. Have only been back to Gail a few times. I consider people able to live there blessed. Now in huge metroplex to be close to my kids, who have zero interest in small town life. I think many would retire back to those small towns except for the fact of family.
FAT SEXY
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I find myself jealous of the nostalgia some of you have of growing up in West Texas towns back in the day.

I'm not sure why.
jrwoodchuck
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I think small town Texas back in the day is what a lot of people yearn for today. It sounds corny, but it was a kinder, gentler time. We made our own fun. We didn't hurt anybody. Even though every Tom, Dick, and Harry had a gun, it wasn't the first move in a fight. If you got busted for drinking it was usually a phone call to the folks where you got the "counseling" you needed. This isn't all there was to it. Other people will have different memories. I'm pretty sure I'll be moving back to Hamlin when I retire. A perfect example of coming full circle.
Buford T. Justice
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AG
May I direct you all to Kountze, Texas. (SE Texas)
Two stop lights and a Dairy Queen.
Ain't a damned thing changed since 1970.
jrwoodchuck
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Buford T. Justice said:

May I direct you all to Kountze, Texas. (SE Texas)
Two stop lights and a Dairy Queen.
Ain't a damned thing changed since 1970.

Lol, that's Hamlin when I left. Two stop lights and a Dairy Queen. Now you have us beat because there is one stop light and a Dairy Queen.
FishrCoAg
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AG
jrwoodchuck said:

Buford T. Justice said:

May I direct you all to Kountze, Texas. (SE Texas)
Two stop lights and a Dairy Queen.
Ain't a damned thing changed since 1970.

Lol, that's Hamlin when I left. Two stop lights and a Dairy Queen. Now you have us beat because there is one stop light and a Dairy Queen.
There are a couple of other pretty good country cafe's and a burrito place in Hamlin!
jrwoodchuck
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Yeah, the North Forty is pretty good. Didn't get to try the burrito place, but heard it's good also. The rest of the time I was there was old friends barbacueing and cooking. I'm planning on going back in December.
FishrCoAg
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jrwoodchuck said:

Yeah, the North Forty is pretty good. Didn't get to try the burrito place, but heard it's good also. The rest of the time I was there was old friends barbacueing and cooking. I'm planning on going back in December.
Give me a shout at the vet clinic in Rotan if you have some spare time while your out here.
jrwoodchuck
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I'll do that. Maybe grab something to eat. I look forward to it.
Texmid
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TheSheik said:

jrwoodchuck & FishrCoAg

I know that I've partied with one or both of you at keg party on skinout moutain back in the day - Anson '77



Well, I'm sure my path has crossed with yours at some point. Tex Middlebrook here. Anson Tiger class of 1987.
coleasterling
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AG
Never know if we count more as West Texas or the Panhandle, but grew up in Post, graduated in 2005, a little young to comment on historical data. I haven't been to a football game in years, so can't comment on that either, though I'm sure it is still king. They have significantly upgraded the sports facilities and built a new high school and elementary school in the past several years after the old elementary school burned in 2014. Lots of people commuting to Lubbock for work. As I've heard of many small towns, meth has exploded. STEM education is as poor as it ever was. Some small business doing poorly, some doing really well with increased traffic to Lubbock the past several years. When they decide to bypass Post on 84, the city will hurt significantly.

jrwoodchuck
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I used to stop in Post on my way to Lubbock. I'd start in Hamlin with a six pack and a fifth of strawberry margarita. Stop in Post at some steakhouse (can't remember the name) and get another six pack. I'd head back to Hamlin late that night pretty messed up. Looong, dark drive, lol.
BCO07
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AG
Trinity, TX. Population of 2700 is about the same. Meth had really done a number on the town, same as most of east Texas.
Tumble Weed
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3rd Generation Ag said:

Graduated from Borden County in 67. Have only been back to Gail a few times. I consider people able to live there blessed. Now in huge metroplex to be close to my kids, who have zero interest in small town life. I think many would retire back to those small towns except for the fact of family.
Good to see someone from Borden County.

I spent a lot of time south and east of Knott, on the Gail Highway. Still go back a few times a year with relatives in Big Spring and Midland.

Seems like there used to be a place in Vealmoor in the 80's, a little white shack that you could get burgers at, but I can't find it on google maps. I just remember that it was somewhere in that area.

coleasterling
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AG
Tumble Weed said:

3rd Generation Ag said:

Graduated from Borden County in 67. Have only been back to Gail a few times. I consider people able to live there blessed. Now in huge metroplex to be close to my kids, who have zero interest in small town life. I think many would retire back to those small towns except for the fact of family.
Good to see someone from Borden County.

I spent a lot of time south and east of Knott, on the Gail Highway. Still go back a few times a year with relatives in Big Spring and Midland.

Seems like there used to be a place in Vealmoor in the 80's, a little white shack that you could get burgers at, but I can't find it on google maps. I just remember that it was somewhere in that area.



I forgot to reply about this one. Spent a lot of time at Borden County over the years at basketball tournaments. Dad was our head girl's BB coach for several years and an assistant before that, so we were there every year. There was also a group of Post kids and friends of mine that ended up at Borden County when their parents didn't want them in the Post ISD. I kept up with that group until college, but it has been years since I've contacted any of them. Good times back then!
peachbasket
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I grew up in Hawley when it had a class B school and Anson, Stamford, and Hamlin were 2A. Now, I understand Hawley has largest school in Jones Co. Abilene refugees?? Sad to see decline of these towns.
c-jags
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I'm from Wall which is doing well. It's actually huge compared to when I was there. The town was a school, VFD, post office, gin and about 6 houses.

Now it has 3 or 4 businesses, 2 restaurants and I don't know how many houses. 30-40 I guess.

99% of the school drove over 5 miles to get there so I can only imagine it growing and being the best alternative to SAISD.

Wife is from Stamford and it's suffered as Hawley and other areas mentioned. Not that it's necessarily an indicator, but my in-law's Baptist church folded, they started going to first baptist and in a year, they absorbed another baptist church.

Humorously, landing the super Walmart was one of the best things to happen to that town. I think that keeps a lot afloat.
FishrCoAg
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c-jags said:

I'm from Wall which is doing well. It's actually huge compared to when I was there. The town was a school, VFD, post office, gin and about 6 houses.

Now it has 3 or 4 businesses, 2 restaurants and I don't know how many houses. 30-40 I guess.

99% of the school drove over 5 miles to get there so I can only imagine it growing and being the best alternative to SAISD.

Wife is from Stamford and it's suffered as Hawley and other areas mentioned. Not that it's necessarily an indicator, but my in-law's Baptist church folded, they started going to first baptist and in a year, they absorbed another baptist church.

Humorously, landing the super Walmart was one of the best things to happen to that town. I think that keeps a lot afloat.


How many small businesses did it put out, though?
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