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Legends of Lubbock
by Norris L. Fanning
The dawn of civilization as we know it occurred twelve millennia ago
right here in the canyon that cuts through the Llano Estacado. It was here
that the nomadic prehistoric hunters of the Clovis era settled in the first
village around the canyon springs and became the world's first identifiable,
unique culture. The fossil record tells the unmistakable story of a people
who developed a community which cooperated for the common good, invented
tools and engaged in commerce and manufacturing. We know a lot about how
they lived; they hunted the wooly mammoth with weapons of stone.
After a few thousand years of time, the Folsom culture followed, then
the Archaic Indians, followed by the Woodland and Neo periods and then
came the Plains Indians - Kiowas, Cheyenne, Arapahos, and the fearsome
Comanches. We only have fragments of the legends of the later Indian tribes.
The Spanish conquistadors brought the mustang and Longhorn cattle, making
possible the legends of the cowboys. Throw in the Iron Horse, the buffalo
hunters, and the cavalry, and we lay claim to all the legends of the frontier.
Oh, yes, Lubbock is a legendary place.
Some of the "Legends of Lubbock" tax our sense of credibility.
Reality, on the other hand, is downright unbelievable. Who in their right
mind would believe the incredible fertility of our soil, or imagine the
wealth produced by irrigation and our other natural resources? And in less
than a hundred years, Lubbock, Texas has produced true legends: in education,
politics, medicine, music, technology, agriculture, warfare, and the list
What we have here are some of the tall tales about the Legends of Lubbock,
as printed in the Chamber of Commerce Newsletter. I hope you enjoy them.
- I ..
...The Best Place on Earth to Live
- II .....The
Fountain of Youth
- III .
- IV .F.First
- V. .....High
- VII ...World's Best
- VIII. .Dusters
- IX .....King Cotton
- X ......Gold
- Unpublished Legends
Lubbock Legend No. I
This Legend is absolutely true. People have lived well
here for 12000 years, longer than anywhere else on the face of the earth.
People had been living in the canyon that runs through town for 7000 years
before the first Egyptian started laying brick for the pyramids. And 8000
years before Stonehenge. The Flintstones lived here as well as the characters
from B.C. and Ally Oop.
They had a wooly mammoth butcher shop on North University
that sold giant bison steak and camel loin. Archaeologists are still digging
up bones and stuff where they threw them out the back door to feed the
saber tooth tigers they kept for pets. They have a permanent exhibit out
at the dig named for Bob
Nash, legendary radio commentator on KFYO who used to wake us
up every morning with delightful history lessons about the Llano Estacado.
If Olympus was made for the gods, Lubbock, Texas was
made for us mortals. That canyon with the worlds longest fossil record
is to this day a beautiful place. There is the Escondido (hidden) Canyon
on the north side and Ransom Canyon on the south side of town. Take Lakeshore
Drive off Martin Luther King Boulevard for the scenic tour.
- “There is no better place to live on this side
of the pearly gates. “
Lubbock Legend No. II
Folks in Lubbock have an air about them that is usually
associated with youth, vim, vigor and vitality. “Young at heart” is the
rule here, regardless of years. We do have more than our share of bona
fide youngsters, what with Texas Tech, LCU, South Plains, Wayland, and
on and on. We also have a lot of spry retirees. There are a half dozen
golf courses and all kinds of other athletic activities so they can burn
off their excess energy. That is sometimes credited to an incredible legend:
“Ponce de Leon discovered the fountain of youth
You can credit the miracle of irrigated farming to the
Ogallala, and its medicinal qualities for hardening the teeth are well
known. However, the Food and Drug Administration has not certified it for
the purpose of extending life expectancy, but we hope they will soon. Some
insurance companies still do not give a discount on their premium for drinking
it like they do when you quit smoking.
Still, most of the obits in the morning paper are for
kinfolk from off, not Lubbock residents. The number of funerals for locals
seems to be disproportionately small, relative to the population.
A more plausible explanation would be the quality of
our health care. Lubbock is to health care what Branson, Missouri is to
country music. People from all over come here because, frankly, it’s the
best health care in the world. Just count the out-of-state license plates
in the hospital parking garages on the other side of the sky bridges. They
say the largest single hospital between Dallas and Los Angeles is located
here, and there are at least a half dozen others. We do have lots of doctors.
Even the Wall Street Journal enviously credits Lubbock as being the “leading
edge of medical technology”.
- Ponce de Leon discovered Florida, of course, but
not finding the object of his obsession there, continued the search until
he reached the staked plains. There he found what he was searching for:
the Ogallala aquifer which is Latin for “fountain of youth”. He lived a
long and fruitful life, and was eventually killed in a gunfight with Billy
the Kid. De Leon is still a common surname and several of our prominent
citizens trace their genealogy back to him.”
Lubbock Legend No. III
Legendary Lubbock “has more sky” according to Carlton
Godbold, of culture center fame. Of course it does! Our horizons are not
polluted by the earth’s imperfections. Nothing nibbles away at the hem
of our sky. It is full and vibrant, not shriveled at the edges. Our sunsets
go all the way to the ground. Bud Adderton, legendary Lubbock City Councilman
used to say "When God made the earth, he took special care with Lubbock,
to get it real smooth." Some pretty bizarre myths are told about the
geometric perfection of our topography. Here is one example:
Nobody has ever fallen off the edge of the earth plowing
our long cotton rows. Arch Lamb lost a team of mules and a ridin' cultivator
once, but that’s all. I know that it looks like you can see the edge of
the earth from some high places, but the edge of the caprock is not the
same thing as the edge of the earth. This has been verified with the Flat
That’s not to say we don’t have long straight cotton
rows. The government used to have a one-row cotton allotment, but Lubbock
farmers flooded the market and they had to change the allotment measurement
to acres instead of rows.
As a practical matter, none of the cotton rows are over
a mile long now. They used to be longer, but they had to chop 'em up into
640 acre cotton patches with section roads so they could get to the oil
- “You can plow a furrow straight as an arrow to
the edge of the earth. “
Lubbock Legend No. IV
Legendary Lubbock boasts of some of the strangest phenomenon
that ever happened. Some of it may be mythical, but a lot of it is true.
With the insatiable thirst for accuracy instilled in me by the truly legendary
engineering professor; “Cactus Jack” Powers, I have searched for the truth
about one of our more fantastic legends.
- “Lubbock was the location of the first
- .An advance party
landed in Lubbock and had supper with the mayor. They discussed global
warming and endangered species. They exchanged gifts and compared photographs
of their grandchildren. The mayor gave them all new green cards. Shortly
after takeoff, they developed engine trouble and crashed near Roswell,
This legend is most frustrating to authenticate. The
phenomenon of the Lubbock
Lights was one of the earliest UFO sightings to be reported and documented.
And it is a fact that Teflon and Velcro were introduced after the alleged
A monumental cover-up is suspected by true believers.
Everyone with first hand knowledge of the incident has mysteriously disappeared.
We probably won’t know all the answers until the government releases the
- .One of the aliens
survived and was questioned at length. He passed the breath-o-lizer test
and was released. The wreckage and bodies were carried to Hanger 19 where
autopsies were performed and the materials from their craft were tested.”
Lubbock Legend No. V
Lubbock is legendary for the research and development
that goes on around here. It is no wonder the following legend got started:
After study, it turns out this is just another case of
West Texas ingenuity outrunning technology. What it was, was the first
mobile telephone. Doc Overton, the legendary Lubbock physician of early
days, carried an old hand crank phone in his Model T Ford when he made
house calls to remote rural areas. When he wanted to make a call, he stopped
the car, drove a ground rod down, threw a bare wire over the party line
beside the road and rang up central. Mert, the operator, kept his messages
and read them back to him. And that’s how voice mail got started.
On the other hand, organized R&D efforts are plentiful
in Lubbock. The academic basis here is awesome. Check it out @ http://www.coe.ttu.edu/research.htm.
A few of our efforts include: 1.) International Center for Arid and Semiarid
Land Studies, 2.) Monumental scale solar collectors, 3.) Laser finger print
identification, 4.) Alternative fuel vehicles, 5.) Neural networks, 6.)
Integrated facultative pond water reuse, 7.) Software for construction,
and on and on. Practical stuff people can use. We don’t waste our time
on fool’s errands chasing cold fusion, anti-gravity or perpetual motion.
And you would not believe what they are working on at TTU Health Science
Appropriately, our industrial strength research, development,
and manufacturing is strongly associated with producing and processing
food and fiber. But we have a lot of independent inventors here, too. Heck,
I know a half dozen who hold patents, (Johnny Berry, Terry Small, Lonnie
Gary, ...) who developed, manufactured, and marketed innovative products
here in Lubbock. Wendell Coffee, our legendary patent attorney, even did
a few patent searches for me. The spirit of the entrepreneur is alive and
well in my home town.
- “The cellular telephone and voice mail was
invented in Lubbock, Texas”
Lubbock Legend No. VI
I was born in East Texas, where the piney woods meets
the plains, where buffalo is a fish, and where you’all is the plural of
you. And lordy, did we have bugs: Man eatin’ skeeters, scorpions, centipedes,
millipedes, and gigapedes. We had aerodynamically impossible bumble bees
with the velocity and punch of a .45 slug. We had house flies, horse flies,
blow flies and blue tail flies. They could sting and bite with both ends.
So, I dreamed of a place they told about in legend:
That used to be true. There are still no chiggers at
all, which is a great blessing to folks with short finger nails. We sure
don’t have the insect plagues that bedevil folks in some places, like fire
ants, killer bees, locusts, etc.
The ubiquitous cockroach does live here, though they
are seldom seen in daylight. They are sorta like politicians, it ain’t
how much they eat; its what they mess up that’s the problem. The first
ones showed up 12,000 years ago when some of the folsum and clovis era
housewives were a little careless with their housekeeping. They are easily
killed by hemming them up in a corner and stomping them to death with sharp
toed cowboy boots.
When all our millionaires started importing hand split
hickory logs to burn in their lava rock fireplaces and barbecue their fillet
mignon steaks, a few ticks and termites snuck in with the cordwood. Boy,
was that ever dumb! Anybody with any sense at all knows that mesquite makes
better barbecue than hickory any day of the week.
We never had boll weevils either, ‘til our winters got
so mild they started coming here for the climate. We frosted their bolls
last winter though, and hope they don't come back.
- “There are no bugs in Lubbock. “
Lubbock Legend No. VII
Learning is hard, because knowledge has to replace ignorance,
and ignorance usually does not want to go. One variety of ignorance manifests
itself in making wise cracks about Lubbock weather. Even a falsehood, told
often enough, can become a legend:
None of this is true, of course . Our last twister here
in town was a quarter of a century ago. It made a mess, and blew down the
light poles at Jones Stadium. Dr. Jim MacDonald, a professor at Texas Tech,
has made a career out of studying the dang thing, it was such a rarity.
And while we are on the subject of natural disasters
that have plagued mankind since time immemorial, I would just like to point
out that in Lubbock, we have NEVER had a forest fire, a volcano eruption,
a mud slide, a hurricane, a killer flood, or an earthquake.
Lubbock has the best weather in the world and the numbers
to prove it: Comfortable mean temperature, low humidity, high wet bulb
depression, high daily range, maximum hours of sunshine, predominant southwesterly
breezes, cool nights, mild winters, and on and on.
Our ball games don’t get rained out, our cars don’t rust
out , nobody carries an umbrella, and antiperspirant deodorants really
- “Lubbock is the where tornado alley begins, all twisters
are hatched around here. Pecos Bill used to rope and ride them up and down
Texas Avenue. On a cloudy day you can see a dozen or so from the Great
Plains Building. Dust devils are cyclone larvae that morph into tornadoes.”
Lubbock Legend No. VII
We do get a memorable duster here every few years. Such
an event can be very impressive, particularly to a tenderfoot, who might
remember the occasion with this description:
Well, now, I have seen a duster or two in my day and
these tales are stretchin' it a mite. When they happens, the old timers
just say our atmosphere has substance. I used to run out and take a picture
of them. I have a half dozen or so good photos accumulated over the last
But what do you expect when the topsoil is so deep, the
prairie dogs bark with a Chinese accent. So, maybe a little of it gets
stirred up once in a while. How did you think West Texans got the reputation
for having true grit.
- “Sometimes a wall of sand a mile high and going
a mile a minute blacks out the sun. Sand can pile up knee deep from blowing
through a keyhole. You can get a radar echo off the leading edge.”
Lubbock Legend No. IX
I rode on mama’s cotton sack and played with the caterpillars
and cow ants ‘cause I was born a share cropper. We never got to participate
in the sharin’ part, though. Boll weevils got the cotton, and the bankers
got the money. Around the coal oil lantern, they told about a legendary
place sorta like heaven, but you didn’t have to die to go to: Lubbock,
In this case, truth is stranger than fiction, and reality
is a lot bigger than the legend. A good stripper measures his rate of harvest
in BPH, bales per hour. They plow 8 rows at a time with air conditioned
tractors and defoliate a section at a time with airplanes. White gold!
Money don’t grow on trees, it grows on stalks.
The jumbo pencil they used to give kids at the gin and
the chance to stick your head in the suction pipe are fragments of nostalgia
from days long ago. They look at you funny when you talk about bang tail
mules, cotton sacks, and scale peas. The scale of high plains agri-business
eclipses all legends and tales I heard in my youth.
- “You can grow 2 bales of cotton per acre, and pull
a 1000 pounds a day.”
Lubbock Legend No. X
You have heard of black gold, which we pump out of the
ground here, and white gold which grows in our cotton fields, but did you
know that before either of these, there was a persistent legend about the
This legend dates back before Columbus. It has taken
many forms: El Dorado, Seven cities of Cibola, and Quivira among others.
We do not know how it got started. A lot of it may have been made up by
Indians wanting to get rid of some unwelcome Spanish guests by telling
them about the gold that was just over the next hill.
Coronado believed this legend and tromped all over the
Llano Estacado looking for Las Casas de Amarillo. Turned out to be the
illusion of Yellow House Canyon. Llano Estacado (or the palisade plains)
was just the white caprock reflecting the morning sun.
As far as I know, there are no gold houses in Lubbock.
I heard a contractor say that an architect from Houston once gold plated
a job in Lubbock, but none of the local boys ever do. Our construction
uses all the conventional building materials, including wood stone, concrete,
and steel. There is very little gold plated ornamentation, but brass is
quite popular for door knobs and such.
- “Houses in Lubbock were covered with pure gold. “
The Unpublished Legends
Lubbock Legend No. XI
Lubbock rightly takes pride in being a good place to
raise a family. Folks around here are good neighbors, law-abiding, church
going folks. There are some legends we just don’t need, and it simply is
not true that:
“Marijuana grows wild in the alleys in Lubbock.”
In the early days of ranching in West Texas, cows sometimes
accidentally grazed on loco weed and went sorta crazy. I guess somebody
assumed there was a connection. A few times the fedarales have busted fellers
around here with bad habits and green thumbs. The law in these parts takes
a mighty dim view of possessing or peddling illegal substances of all types.
This completely false legend might have got started when they recorded
the song "Big Rock Candy Mountains" at Don Caldwell's studio.
The chorus used to go:
O the buzzin’ of the bees in the cigarette trees
The soda water fountain
Where the longhorn cattle feed
on the lowly LOCO weed...
They changed it of course, but they did not take out
the reference to tobacco, probably because of the lobbyists. We have never
cultivated that noxious weed locally. Everybody that still smokes around
here rolls their own from Bull Durham, and can do so in the saddle, at
a full gallop, with one hand, while riding through a whirlwind.
Lubbock Legend No. XII
Legends of the Old West don’t ever seem to die. And a
lot of my friends really can remember the old days. In the grand scheme
of things, on the cosmic time scale, yesteryear was just the bat of an
eye. Cowboys, trail drives, gunfights, rodeos, the wild west, and a lot
of it is still with us. Maybe that’s why the legend persists:
“Everybody wears a 6-shooter in Lubbock. Duels are
fought on main street. When you come to town, they ask you if you have
a gun: if you don't, they give you one. No store carries ammunition smaller
than .44 calbre. Pickup trucks are required by law to have factory installed
headache racks for at least one gun per seat.”
Well, no, not everybody carries a 6-shooter these days.
That’s ridiculous. I've seen any number of fellers not totin' a gun this
week. Least ways not where you could see it. But with our new concealed
handgun law in Texas, you never can be sure who is and who ain’t. Hardly
anybody wears their shootin’iron low and tied down these days. And nobody
notches their grip any more; that’s considered bad taste. It is socially
acceptable to use the “Guns Up” salute when provoked by a “Hook-em” or
However, to be on the safe side, there are a few precautions
you ought to take, especially around somebody you do not know personally.
Always take the corner seat facing the door. Avoid abrupt, provocative
movements such as slappin’ your thigh. Never, ever say “This town ain’t
big enough for both of us” to a stranger wearing a black hat.
Lubbock Legend No. XIII
Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t have anything against
trees. I’ve planted more than a few myself. I think they are real appropriate
where the ground is not flat enough to plow with an 8 row tractor. It does
seem curious, fertile as our soil is, that we do not have more native trees.
There is, however, a legend that explains this:
“There are no old trees in Lubbock because Paul Bunyan
started lumberjacking here. This country used to be a giant redwood forest.
They say he cut 'em all down. Babe dragged 'em to the Gulf of Mexico, and
the ditch became the Brazos River.”
The only evidence we have on that is the fact that all
the trees in Lubbock now have been planted by somebody within recorded
history. I know folks who claim to remember when there were no trees in
Lubbock County at all. That does raise the question: who cut them down,
and when? The oldest tree in Lubbock was a Mulberry tree in Winchester
Square. It died in 1995 from old age. The Chamber of Commerce cut it down
and made souvenir fountain pens out of the wood, and you can buy one from
Lubbock Legend No. XIV
Sometimes tales are told about you and you are the last
to know. There is a legend we never heard of until some tourists from Germany
came to research the subject at the Southwest Collection. Seems
to be big in Europe.
“The Legend of Old Shatterhand."
This legend is about a mythical character who was supposed
to have lived in these parts when it was frontier country. Entire books
have been written about him. In some cultures the stories rival
the legends of the Lone Ranger and Johnny Mack Brown. Extensive
research has revealed the stories are pure fiction. I understand
the characters were drawn from a composite of ordinary people who lived
around here, but any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely
The author seems to have been a German by the name of
Karl May who kicked the
bucket about 1912. Interesting fellow, this May. You can read his
biography and the translations if some of his novels for yourself using
I did find a few pictures of Old Shatterhand and
an Indian named Winnetau. The art is not in the same class
with the watercolors of Lubbock's Legendary artist Michael
Atkinson, but then, they are pretty old.
Lubbock Legend No. XV
Some legends have the ring of truth; others don’t. Some
require more faith than others. Some could only be loved by an engineer:
“Isaac Newton invented the Theory of Momentum in Lubbock”
Everybody knows about gravity and the apple. Less well
known is the story behind his other theories. They say he figgered out
the theory of momentum while observing a tumbleweed bouncing across the
flat prairie. He said to himself "That sucker ain't going to stop
or change direction 'til it hits a bob wire fence." And that’s how
we got F = M*A, the equation on which all engineering principles are based.
There is insufficient data to authenticate this legend. F=M*A has been
scientifically verified as a reliable equation. Isaac Newton, an English
physicist, is given the credit for it. The missing link is the travel records.
Lubbock Legend No. XVI
Wildlife is certainly abundant on the South Plains. Actually,
buffalo hunters were the first white settlers here. Located on a major
flyway, migrant ducks and geese enjoy the hospitality of the lakes in our
city parks every winter. Our city mascot is a lovable little varmit: the
prairie dog. We have lots of unusual critters like kangaroo rats, which
are neither kangaroos nor rats. I was not surprised to hear the following
legend about our wildlife:
“Flocks of laughing geese darken the sky in the fall of the year.
They are Sand Hill Cranes, actually, not geese. But there
are 10,000 of them that winter here and roost on dry Mound Lake, just south
of Lubbock. They all wake up at dawn and make a awesome racket just like
a political convention of United We Stand, with their raucous call of pe
r r r ott, per r r r r ott.
I used to fly over there and race them in a Piper Cub.
They could fly about as high and as fast as I could. And they were about
the same size. They met their match though when the Air Force started flying
T-38's out of Reese AFB. We all had to get out of their way. Not many bird
hunters have ever killed a Sand Hill Crane with a shotgun. I am proud to
say I have bagged 2 in my life. Cooked and ate 'em too. Tastes like a chicken;
yeah ... Foghorn Leghorn.
Lubbock Legend No. XVII
My kids grew up watching Admiral Foghorn, Legendary Lubbock
TV personality. We have terrific TV personalities, so why would anyone
even question the following legend:
“Lubbock was the birthplace of the muppets Legend
has it the Lubbock muppets were kidnapped by a gang of slavers. They were
smuggled out of the country in a vehicle disguised as a Goodwill truck
. They were cloned and sold off to a bunch of foreign promoters who abused
them. They later escaped and joined the show which made them famous.”
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, July 27, 1996: Front page
obituary for Dirk West, legendary cartoonist for the Southwest Conference.
He gave the Houston Cougar a trash can home, the SMU Mustang a blind bridle,
and the A&M Aggie his “duh,”. You could count the losses by the holes
in Raider Red’s hat. We elected him mayor in 1978. From 1954 to 1957 he
starred as Uncle Dirk on a popular kid’s show. In a 1980 interview he said
“My puppets looked exactly like the Muppets before the Muppets were even
in existence.” I believe it If you doubt it, you better smile when you
say that, pard’ner.
Lubbock Legend No. XVIII
“There are more beef cattle around Lubbock than anywhere.“
Well now, that’s probably true. They come here for the
feed. They congregate in places called feed lots. Sorghum here is called
grain sorghum, because it only grows a foot or so off the ground before
it heads out and turns to solid grain. Steers think it is delicious. Some
places people eat it like corn, I'm told. The fodder grown around Lubbock
is so sweet, the cattle eat it mixed with cotton hulls, cotton bolls, and
gin trash and don't know the difference. Actually get fat on it.
Lubbock Legend No. XIX
Lubbock is "...where the buffalo roamed,
and the deer and antelope played".
You know, when you fly into Lubbock International late
in the evening, and see the gorgeous sunsets reflected off of the water
in hundreds of little round lakes? Well, those are called "playa"
lakes. Buffaloes stomped out "buffalo wallers" all over this
country and playaed in them. From the number and size of them, there must
have been millions of buffalo.
Lubbock Legend No. XX
A fellow from off the other day told me a story about
some friends of his that got married and came to Lubbock on their honeymoon.
Then he busted out laughing. I didn’t think that was funny; Phyllis and
I did the same thing 40 years ago. Liked it so well we stayed. I guess
some folks get their jollies off the straight line “How bad was it?” They
may try, but they just can’t get one legend to stick:
“Lubbock is the dullest place on the face of the earth.
They roll up the sidewalks at sundown. They sell tickets to lawn mowing
events. They turn off the traffic lights at dark because the probability
of both cars being at the same intersection at the same time is practically
Wildly exaggerated by visiting stand-up comedians who
perform in our jumpin' Depot District. It seems to get a laugh out of the
tourists. Reality is that you have no trouble at all finding excitement
before or after dark in Lubbock. They publish a whole supplement in the
Avalanche Journal every Friday just listing the hot spots. From the world's
best oprys and live music, to sports, theater and concerts, ... Let me
tell you, Blue Prairie and Andy Wilkinson had to perform in the parks last
summer because they couldn’t book an inside gig, all the stages were spoke
And sports, well, I don’t have to tell you about the
Red Raiders, the Lady Raiders, the Crickets, the Plainsmen, and all the
rest of the championship quality sports we get to see in Lubbock. Let me
just say that I am sure glad my grandson, Tyler, plays little league ball
at Maxey Park which is near the hospitals, because I nearly have a heart
attack every game. I don't know what we would do with any more excitement
Lubbock Legend No. XXI
Lubbock is where “All you can eat...” restaurants got started.
It’s true. Underwoods Bar-B-Que advertised: “Got a buck
to eat on... “. Seconds on all the trimmin’s was free, delicious, and filling.
Many’s the day I pigged out there.
Lubbock Legend No. XXII
“Lubbock is the Original Land of Wine and Roses.”
This is a half truth. Tyler, Texas is the rose capital
of the world. Lubbock is just working on the wine part. Our wineries produce
award winners from hearty chardonney, to blush wines with a delicate bouquet.
Once in a while they run off a batch carrying a tad too much oak and have
to wholesale it to bottlers of jug wine. I think they ship it in stainless
steel tankers so the quality does not suffer.
Lubbock Legend No. XXIII
The world’s really great cooks are all from Lubbock,
Texas. They are qualified in official Chili cook-offs. There are more restaurants
and cafes per capita here than anywhere and they are building more every
day. Somebody speculated that the entire population of Lubbock county can
be seated in restaurants at the same time. The following legend is typical:
“The recipe for Texas Creame Pie was invented in Lubbock.”
I know for certain that is true. Miss Alice Lehew, who
used to live behind our house, was the cook at the Plainsman Hotel. One
day she cooked up a bunch of pies with meringue topping and set them in
the window to cool. A rare duster blew in and covered the pies with sand.
She did not want to waste food, so she scraped off the meringue and grated
dark chocolate on top of the filling. They put it in the menu as Sand Pie.
The manager thought that was too much like Mud Pie and changed it to “Texas
Creame Pie”. It was a big hit, and made the hotel famous.
Lubbock Legend No. XXIV
“The worlds largest circular air supported structure is located
in Lubbock, Texas”
Gotta be true. That's what it says on the Internet: Look
it up. Athletic Training Facility, Texas Tech University:
It was demolished in 2018 to build a bigger rigid structure. I have some
teriffic stories about Ralph Spencer, Dewey Swartner, Bob Bray, Coach John
Connolly, and others. It was truly a unique design defeated by
administrators at cross purposes.
Lubbock Legend No. XXV
“Breedlove Dehydration Plant working to eliminate hunger.....”
Breedlove is now listed in The Guinness Book of World
Records as the largest dehydration plant in the world processing food to
be given to hungry people. Over 3,000,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables
(including potatoes, carrots, celery, apples, sweet potatoes, turnips,
and cherries) have been dehydrated since the opening of this processing
plant in October, 1994. http://agweb.tamu.edu/lubbock/breedlov.htm
This is really the legend of Carolyn Lanier, the lady
you can’t say “no” to; one of George Bush’s 1000 points of light. When
the project for the building lagged behind schedule, she rounded up a hundred
inmates from the local hoosegow and whipped them into a construction crew.
Got the job done: no excuses, no fear.
Lubbock Legend No. XXVI
“Nobody has rotten teeth in Lubbock. “
That is pretty much true. Some kids don't even get cavities.
We have fluoride in our drinking water, courtesy of mother nature. Eat
your heart out, Colgate Palmolive. I remember the first dentist I ever
met in Lubbock; actually it was ole Doc Hatchett from Slaton. His kid had
to work in the office cause he couldn't afford to hire good help. Brought
his lunch in a syrup bucket: couldn't afford brown paper bags. When he
was lucky enough to get one, he folded it up and carried it home in his
hip pocket for the next day. Everybody thought it was his wallet, and started
the rumor that all dentists are rich.
Lt. Col. George A. Davis,
Legend No. XVII
Medal of Honor Citation: Maj. Davis distinguished himself by conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty. While leading a flight of 4 F_86 Saberjets on a combat aerial
patrol mission near the Manchurian border, Maj. Davis' element leader ran
out of oxygen and was forced to retire from the flight with his wingman
accompanying him. Maj. Davis and the remaining F_86's continued the mission
and sighted a formation of approximately 12 enemy MIG_15 aircraft speeding
southward toward an area where friendly fighter_bombers were conducting
low level operations against the Communist lines of communications. With
selfless disregard for the numerical superiority of the enemy, Maj. Davis
positioned his 2 aircraft, then dove at the MIG formation. While speeding
through the formation from the rear he singled out a MIG_15 and destroyed
it with a concentrated burst of fire. Although he was now under continuous
fire from the enemy fighters to his rear, Maj. Davis sustained his attack.
He fired at another MIG_15 which, bursting into smoke and flames, went
into a vertical dive. Rather than maintain his superior speed and evade
the enemy fire being concentrated on him, he elected to reduce his speed
and sought out still a third MIG_15. During this latest attack his aircraft
sustained a direct hit, went out of control, then crashed into a mountain
30 miles south of the Yalu River. Maj. Davis' bold attack completely disrupted
the enemy formation, permitting the friendly fighter_bombers to successfully
complete their interdiction mission. Maj. Davis, by his indomitable fighting
spirit, heroic aggressiveness, and superb courage in engaging the enemy
against formidable odds exemplified valor at its highest.
Here is a Letter to the Editor written by a fellow engineer,
Vance Scoggin. Vance and I worked together in the late 50's and he
told a few stories about some of the bizarre incidents he had investigated
for the Air Force in Korea. I am sure he would not mind if
I tack it on to the bottom of my list of Legends of Lubbock.
- Memories of Pilot
- Editor, Lubbock Avalanche Journal:
- Re: The A-J headline story, "Shot-down
U.S. pilot remembered" (A-J
5/25/98), on Lt.
Col. George A. Davis, Jr. reminded me of looking at his awards and
decorations file during my 1953 tour of duty in Korea. It was two inches
thick, as befitting the nation's leading fighter pilot. The
fact that he was from Lubbock intrigued me. As a 21-year old at the time,
I cannot tell you the admiration and awe in which I held a Medal of Honor
winner who shot down 21 enemy airplanes-four in one day.
- He was 5'10" with exceptional eyesight
and coordination, and had just finished gunnery school where he got 97.
He was a true national hero with a spread in Collier magazine
and an interview with Edward R. Murrow. What I remember specifically
from his file was an interview he had where an AP reporter asked him how
he could shoot down four planes in one day, when some pilots spent a whole
year and did not shoot down any. His answer amounted to: "You have
got to be the stupidest reporter in the world. I am not just any pilot,
I am the best pilot in the world." He went in on Feb.
10, 1952, and to this day remains the only missing pilot of the Korean
War I know.
- I understand his wife never remarried,
while raising three children. As the article stated, families of national
heroes pay for our national freedom. They deserve a statue.
- Vance Scoggin, PE
- Lubbock, Texas
Lubbock Legend No. XVIII
Regardless of your taste in music, you will find a lot
of it in and around the Hub City. The Lubbock Symphony, the Goin’ Band
from Raiderland, 4th on Broadway and other Concerts, Prairie Winds chapter
of the Sweet Adelines, the Singing Plainsmen, Don Caldwell Presents Music
of the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, Recitals in Hemmle Hall, an Opry nearby every
Saturday night, red hot talent for every persuasion in our nitespots, and
on and on. We really do have our very own true music legend:
“Rock and Roll started here.”
Buddy Holly started it all with the Crickets.
There is a heroic statue of him. The Buddy Holly Music Festival is held in his
honor every year. One of our major streets is named for him.
He was laid to rest in the City of Lubbock Cemetery in 1959,
at the age of 21. He took music to the next level.
By the way, Southern Gospel started here too, with the
Chuckwagon Gang singing on KFYO. Rose, Anna, Dad and Jim Carter were noontime
regulars before the music got its name, and the same quartet sang together
for over 50 years.
And, oh yes, according to Blue Prairie, the yodel started
here too, with that cowboy on a buckin' bronc and a Spanish saddle horn,
but that is another story.