Tales from the Road – TURKEY, TEXAS


Turkey, TX pop. 436 is on the same mostly forgotten back road through the Texas panhandle as Goodlett and Childress. This string of Texas towns and many others are sadly being abandoned to the desert.


Turkey is notable though, because it’s struggling to be great again. As the birthplace of early country music star Bob Wills, it grasps onto the idea that with its annual Bob Wills music festival, it will grow into a tourist destination. Someone (probably the federal government under Obama) funded a repaving of the streets with brick and sidewalk bumpouts. Its new/vintage, iron curly-cue light posts are evenly spaced, but are more right in Disney World. Of course, welcome flags hang from every one—and murals adorn several walls.



I tried to tell them the competition is fierce; that hundreds of similar towns across the U.S. have the same hopes (see Healdsburg, California).

This couple had travelled; nine years in Hawaii (but they missed Turkey), managed a 6,000 tree peach orchard in California, and trucked to every corner the country in a 40 ft. motorhome.

He was a Vietnam Vet, working on stuff fifty years ago that he couldn’t reveal, even today… for security reasons. It was a pleasant break, but I didn’t find anything for me in the shop—mostly porcelain figurines, glassware, candy dishes, a few country 8-track tapes, and twisted barbed-wire sculptures.

They told me they trusted that things would turn around with Donald Trump. Maybe Ivanka will open a store—lots of availability. Would definitely get a deal.


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