"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Room to breathe--Sunday in Sayre

The Spirit of the West in Sayre
The minute I get out of the city limits going west, my tension eases, even though I'm on I-40.
Halfway to Amarillo, I always stop for a walk around at Sayre, Oklahoma, right before I get into Texas. But last Sunday, at a more leisurely place, I got off I-40 for a few minutes and drove up into downtown Sayre. My traveling tension evaporated.
There's room to breathe out here in Western Oklahoma. The skies are big, the horizons long, the people friendly. 
I know a few friends from this area, including Brad and Dayva Spitzer, owners of the award-winning  weekly newspaper Sayre Record and Beckham County Democrat, and former UCO student Cody Vignal and family.  I didn't stop to visit anyone, but thought about how peaceful the town is on a quiet Sunday afternoon.
I'd traveled through here on old US 66 on my way to my freshman year in college long ago. Then I saw the old Rock Island depot, thinking about how my Dad went through here in a box car on a freight train longer than that--headed for Mexico to celebrate his high school graduation. Coming back, he tried to jump another freight in Tucumcari and lost his right leg. But he would have seen this depot.
Today, it's the aptly named Short Grass Country museum.
City hall--a monument to civic pride
The streets are wide, like the land, and the Beckham County Courthouse is distinctive as the people--Westerners as the Spirit of the West buffalo suggests on the Courthouse lawn. 
It was also featured in the movie "Grapes of Wrath," but the town is healthier and greener than that now.
 And who can miss the elegant architecture of a former bank that is now city hall? It's a monument to civic pride. Check the equally classy chamber of commerce web site for more information.
This home brightens up a normally dry country
Some of those people make sure there's color in what is usually dry country by painting their houses bright colors. 
Room to breathe--Sunday in Sayre.

Where the streets are as wide as the land--room to breathe

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