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.