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Morning in Palo Pinto County! I’m taking a little time off from “The Business” this week to get to Howard Days, so I’ll try to post a few nuggets as I go along. We left Monday morning and drove through California, Arizona, and New Mexico. On Tuesday, we drove through West Texas and made a pit stop at Cisco (the swimming pool at the town’s dam is seen above).
In a letter postmarked September 5, 1928, Robert E. Howard told Harold Preece the following:
At the dam at Cisco, the largest of its kind in the world, we stopped awhile and watched the bathers and I mentally compared them with those I have seen at Corpus Christi and other like places. Skinny, stooped, or burdened with great folds of tallow which is much worse. But at Cisco — God, what a race of glorious young pagans is growing up in this country. Even the young boys and girls were splendidly built; the girls with fine flowing lines of young womanhood, the boys deep chested and finely muscled. I saw not one man, woman or child who was underdeveloped or much over-developed. Certainly West Texas is the cradle of a coming race of giants.
So, not having been to the dam before, we took the ten-minute tour from the freeway, through Cisco proper, and had a look.
After that, we headed further east to Mineral Wells. After grabbing a room for the night we went north to visit the several small—tiny is a better descriptor—towns where Doctor Howard practiced just before and early in his marriage. One of those towns, Christian, doesn’t even exist anymore. The only way to find it is by using old maps. Of course, a remnant of the place remains in the street name, “Old Christian Road.”
Another place, this one barely hanging on, is Oran. Several homes and an active Baptist Church are about all that’s left of this little community, but I did see at least one remnant of the old times.
More travelling today and tomorrow. I’ll try to post a few more updates on this year’s Howard Days experience. I’m off to the courthouse!