I’m actually not from Texas. :)

Ahhh, eastern New Mexico. OK, Alexainie and Jennifer Brown, that makes even more sense. Eastern New Mexico is actually much more like where I grew up in Amarillo than most of Texas. Amarillo is closer to four other state capitals than to its own, so we spent more time in New Mexico and Colorado than in Austin or Houston. You can be in Cheyenne, Wyoming, quicker than Houston when you live in Amarillo. I’ve been to Hobbs, a few times. We used to drive our Golden Gloves team bus all the way from Amarillo to Hobbs for boxing matches when I was a kid.

I know Clovis and Clayton like the back of my hand. I have friends in both towns. I could drive the road from Clayton to Raton with my eyes closed I’ve done it so many times over 25 years en route to visit my ex-wife’s family in Colorado Springs. Except if it’s snowing, you’d better get off that road (U.S. 87). Something about the way it’s situated in those rolling hills and the prevailing north winds during a storm, every time it snows it turns into a blizzard because the wind howls 70 mph through there. You’ll get snowblinded and drive off the road and freeze to death. Thankfully I never died, but I got stranded by a blizzard between Clayton and Raton more than once. Denver is the mile-high city. Clayton, two hours from Amarillo, is more than a mile in elevation. It’s the high plains out there, folks, emphasis on “high.”

We did go to Dallas all the time when I was a kid, which is the same distance, almost to the mile, as going to Denver. Colorado Springs, where my ex-wife is from, is 325 miles from Amarillo. Guess how far it is from my place in Fort Worth to my parents’ in Amarillo? Exactly 325 miles. Nancy and I honeymooned in Taos. Yeah I was that broke. We drove there from Pampa, Texas (north of Amarillo), where I worked at the newspaper, which grudgingly gave me two days off for my honeymoon in Taos. Good people up there in the Panhandle. If by good you mean hard as nails.

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