Texas is what would be called a vortex in Sedona, AZ. When I first
passed along US287 through Goodnight
in 2006 I had not yet recognized this area as a geological power point.
But later studying the possible sources of force surrounding Goodnight
it is probable this vortex draws its power from the Canadian
River to the north, Palo
Duro Canyon to the south and Llano Estacado to the southwest.
You might think that is too large an area to determine that Goodnight
could be the center but remember Charles
Goodnight himself made this choice. Born in Illinois in 1836,
Charles lived in Goodnight,
Texas from 1887 until he died in 1929. His life included years
of successful cattle drives, the changes caused by barbed wire and
the switch of the region from open range to farming and ranching.
Who but Charles would have better judgment of this center location?
Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving worked together on cattle
drives before the railroad replaced that enterprise. A Lone Star Steel
salesman Bill Loving shared his Oliver Loving family stories with
me on several occasions. Only by taking careful steps did the land
serve these men rather than take their lives.
In 1876 Goodnight partnered with John Adair founding the JA ranch
in Palo Duro
Canyon where they kept a buffalo
herd. By 1916 Goodnight had begun to invite Indians who had been forced
to live on reservation to come and hunt his buffalo
herd just like the old days. The buffalo
animal is more like a horse than a cow. Buffaloes
can roll in the mud to get relief for infernal insects swarms whereas
a cow cannot. Buffaloes
also can run like a horse for many miles.
1961 I flew over the Canadian
River. Before then I was not aware that river existed. In fact
when I was flying over it – I couldn’t believe it. The river was at
least one mile wide but no more than an inch deep in the DEEPER places.
Since then I have became aware of horses and riders attempting to
cross the Canadian
River and never being found. I have read of horses that have developed
a special step to keep their hooves from sinking in the quicksand.
All things considered the Canadian
River is a formidable force.
Duro Canyon was a winter protection hide-away for Indians. The
canyon’s lower altitude provided enough temperature difference to
allow for survival during a harsh winter rather than death. The Canyon
is approximately 20,000 acres. In 1874 Col. MacKenzie led a group
of soldiers who captured the Indians 1400 horses which forced the
Indians to surrender. The Indians were subsequently moved to reservations
in Oklahoma. This effectively ended all Indian wars. This history
is a substantial part of the power source of this geological feature.
treeless Llano Estacado also known as the staked plain occupies most
of three counties but not limited to Lamb,
Bailey and Cochran.
Since the plain had no useable natural landmarks, a practice of driving
stakes to mark a cattle drive path was adopted. During Mirabeau Lamar’s
Presidency of Texas he sent a wagon train to cross the Llano Estacado
into New Mexico. This became a death sentence for the participants
and Lamar’s political downfall. Actually a sample of the difficulty
of climbing the Caprock escarpment with wagons can be seen east of
at Dickens in Dickens
A major town in Lamb County
home town of Waylon Jennings, writer of “Lukenbach Texas.” My friend
Dan Adkisson ran a family sheet metal business in Lubbock
and for a while Waylon Jennings was one of Dan’s uncelebrated employees.
In Bailey County
folks recognize the large towns of Muleshoe
and Morton in
Now detailed maps of these counties and others around them show graded
dirt roads forming grids of a square mile each to easily know your
location. This is known as sectioning, where a section is 640 acres.
Before all this, knowing how and when to cross this area could have
been the difference between success and failure of many cattle drives
It is the general belief that a vortex may tend to focus the history
of its past affecting the future. This is the conclusion I have come
to agree with after many trips to Sedona. Waylon Jennings was likely
influenced by this vortex as was Bill Mack from Shamrock,
County) DJ and writer of “Drinking Champagne.”
Mick Reed came under this power point while driving a recently purchased
vintage ragtop cross-country. Traveling from California to New York
on US287 highway in a darker than dark strip, his headlights illuminate
Goodnight, a Texas highway sign. Simultaneously Mick senses some person
or thing darting at his vehicle from the side. No impact was felt
and nothing was seen in the rearview mirror. He continued driving
and mulled over the event. Afterward he became aware of a melody playing
in his mind. This was truly memorable even though nothing actually
A couple of years pass before Mick wrote down the melody and his lyrics.
In 2007 he found my Goodnight sign photo in TE and sent me an email
including his song telling me he has a plan to make a future music
CD. He asks for permission to use my TE Goodnight sign photo and my
buffalo photos for the CD cover. A deal was struck including a copy
of the CD when available. Now it’s 2012 and the GOODNIGHT TEXAS CD
arrived in my mailbox – last week.
|Mick Reed Goodnight,
|I have reached
the end of my story, but Mick Reed’s story is not over. Mick is a
performer of Country & Western music in and around New York City.
He lives in nearby Connecticut and has a great day job in NYC. Some
day he hopes to make a music video in Texas. Meanwhile Mick is simply
a trustworthy man singing the words and playing the music he became
aware ofjust passing through GOODNIGHT TEXASa vortex.
Traveling Team Rudine
2 , 2012 column