Sunday, November 02, 2008


Turkey Creek Road, Brown County, Texas May 1984

No getting around it, Texas is not like any other place. It's where the lore of the place mingles with the truth. Just looking at the names of towns sets the tone of another time. I have written several times about cemeteries and their names, and I have a large collection of cemetery gate images where strange and ironic names are bannered for all to see. The people who settled through the broad plains of Texas must have found some sort of comic relief in naming settlements and towns and the cemeteries. Turkey Creek Road is just a caliche back road off a side road off a "farm-to-market" road off the highway. (No, that highway is not off the Interstate -- the nearest Interstate highway being probably 100-miles away.) Brown County is the center of a area sort of triangulated between San Antonion, Waco and Abilene, with Brownwood as the county seat and just happens to be the biggest town around. Nothing unusual about a town named Brown. However, the names of the settlements and small towns just out from Brownwood tell a different story: Bangs, Echo, Early, Indian Creek, Blanket, Comanche, Cross Cut, Rising Star, to name a few. They reflect more the hopes and dreams, the hardships and failures of a time and place when living wasn't easy and the country was unforgiving. And folks like Melvin Stovall appreciated "your vote and influence."

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