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  Texas : Features : Columns : N. Ray Maxie :
The Ark-La-Tex and Bogus Springs - Page 2
Page 1

Bogus Springs

N. Ray Maxie
Bogus Springs is a vanished Rodessa oilfield community. It was an active little town during the 1920's, '30's and '40's. It must have had 20 to 30 people living there during it's heyday. I can remember that the spring the town is named after was still actively flowing in the 1950's. The community was built around the cold water spring. Recently, I sold a large part of my old family home place that came within 200 yards of the Bogus Spring. Many times while growing up, I have been to the spring for a refreshing drink of that good, cool water. Whenever they were working in the area, oilield workers from all over the Rodessa oilfield would stop at the spring each morning and fill their water jugs. My father and I were among them. He and I have used many, many gallons of that Bogus Spring water.

The spring water came from under the roots of a very large whiteoak tree. Workers kept the clean white sand dug out of the spring to keep it running freely. Someone placed a cypress wood box around the spring to contain a clean volume of water to dip from. Or, kneeling down, you could place your palms on the cypress box and lean over to sip water directly from the spring. We often did that when we had nothing to dip with. Cypress wood is used because it is rot resistant, and long lasting in a wet environment. Cedar wood has the same characteristics - but in a dry environment.



The only home that I can remember in the Bogus Spring area was the home of the Black family that owned the spring property. They were Jenny Bogus and her brother Harry. I remember them both very well. They cared for their aged, housebound mother (whom I never met) in their old house for many years until she died. Jenny was a hard working woman and kept the old place very livable. Rumor had it around those parts, that she might brew a little white lightning from time to time. Brother Harry hunted wild brush rabbits for food. Many times as we drove along the roads, I recall passing Harry as he was walking home, carrying rabbits to cook. He never used a gun. He had a couple of rabbit dogs that would run the rabbit into a hollow log, a decayed tree or a hole in the ground. However the rabbit chose to escape, Harry and the dogs would usually bag it.
Jenny and Harry Bogus have long passed from this earth, but they have left a memory forever in my mind. Their old house is long gone now, too and there isn't much left in the woods where they once lived. Everything is quiet and still over that lonely hill. Ther's only the sound of the wind whistling through the trees or the occassional hoot of an old hoot owl, nothing more.



Not very many years ago, before I sold the old home place there, I got a shovel, some cypress boards, a hammer and some nails. I got in my old pickup and drove over to the old springs. I had to locate it and make an effort to revive the old spring. I desperately wanted it to be like yesteryear. I was quickly saddened when I found the old whiteoak tree was gone and the spring was completely dry. I frantically dug the ground looking for any hint of moisture. But it was totally dry and no moisture anywhere. There was nothing at all, not even an old rotted cypress board. I had enthusiastically envisioned reviving that old spring and bringing it back to life so that I could drink its cool, clear water once again. I have to believe now, that it was not meant to be.

I threw the shovel over my shoulder and the boards under my arm, and slowly walked back to my pickup, in deep thought. Then, in time, I remembered what my father often told me as a child. "Nothing stays the same, son. Nothing ever stays the same; life goes on and each day brings a new beginning."


N. Ray Maxie
"Ramblin' Ray"

February 1, 2005 Column
piddlinacres@consolidated.net

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