The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 August 2003

Way the hell out there

There's a very nice piece by Tom Lindley in The Sunday Oklahoman today about life in the Panhandle, a place that to most of us is "no man's land, a thin slice of hardship and desolation sandwiched between prairie and blue sky somewhere north of Amarillo."

That very hardship, though, may be an advantage to residents of the narrow three-county strip: whatever problem you throw at them, it's probably not so different from one they've already seen and already solved. Right now, the area is enjoying an influx of Latino immigration, some of it legal, as meat processing, a Hispanic stronghold for generations, continues to flourish in an otherwise-struggling economy. These people want to work, and in the Panhandle, that's a good thing; as Mayor Jess Nelson of Guymon says, "People here are hardworking people or they don't stay."

As the phrase goes, Read The Whole Thing.

Posted at 10:19 AM to Soonerland

That's funny. On those weird occasions when I have inadvertently fantasized about living in Oklahoma, it's almost always been in the panhandle.

Maybe I used to be a horse thief in a previous life.

Posted by: McGehee at 12:56 PM on 10 August 2003

I was once caught in a severe thunderstorm in the panhandle. It was the most primeval, awe-inspiring thing I've ever seen. Pitch black (because there were no houses around), lightening every two or three seconds, thunder crashing so loud you couldn't hear anything else. You couldn't tell where the sky ended and the earth began.
Words can't do it justice, but it's on my Top 5 Coolest Things I've Ever Witnessed.

Posted by: Cam at 10:45 PM on 10 August 2003