Monday, July 23, 2012

Not Much to Do: Lubbock, TX

Lubbock, much like near neighbor Amarillo, doesn't offer much in the way of entertainment or sights.  In the panhandle of Texas, it is flat and, in my opinion, uninspiring.  Finding something interesting to do other than eat in the time I have (evenings during the work-week) will be harder here than it has been in some of my other recent cities.

What you are "supposed" to do in Lubbock is go see the statue of Buddy Holly and the West Texas Walk of Fame which has such notables as Waylon Jennings and Mac Davis on it.

This is not an option as they have been sent off for cleaning.

On my first night in town, I meet up with a soon to be ex-customer (not her choice).  I have been at my company 15 years and counting and this customer has been too.  I am losing a customer but not a friend.  

She takes me to a Japanese grill, the kind where they perform and cook at the same time.  I ask her for suggestions and go over some of the scarce options I have.  When I mention Prairie Dog Town, she offers to take me there after dinner.

It might help serve as an example of the difficulty I may have in Lubbock that this is considered "world famous and a favorite tourist attraction".

These black-tailed prairie dogs don't seem interested in the bread that visitors have thrown over the short wall.  Two teenagers arrive while we are here and start throwing watermelon chunks.  This arouses more interest.

Prairie Dog Town was established by Mr. & Mrs. Kennedy N. Clapp in the early 1930's.   When the original location at MacKenzie Park was converted to a state park in 1935,  it was moved to the current location.  The original was the first protected Prairie Dog colony of its kind.

A memorial to Mr. Clapp, the mayor of Prairie Dog town in perpetuity.

This is a bigger area than I expected and you have no trouble seeing the prairie dogs running around.  This is interesting for about 15 minutes.

The next day, my efforts center around Texas Tech University.

  The university was established in 1925 to an enrollment of 914.  Today it has an enrollment of more than 30,000.  The college was originally named Texas Technical College.  The name was changed to Texas Tech University in 1969.

When I was in the 9th grade, my friend Kim and I came here for volleyball camp.  We went home convinced that we would eventually attend Tech.  Neither of us did.

This statue is of Will Rogers and his horse Soapsuds.  This statue is completely wrapped in red crepe paper before football games.  The inscription on the statue, a gift to the college by Amon G. Carter, reads "Lovable Old Will Rogers, on his favorite horse Soapsuds, riding into the western sunset".  Only he isn't.  The university website says they turned him 23 degrees so his butt wouldn't face downtown.  Instead it faces Texas A&M University.

Going through this corridor to see that statue is like running the gauntlet.  There are a large number of pigeons roosting above and if you note the white spots on the ground below, you better move quick.

This statue is of former Texas governor (1968-1972) and Tech alum Preston Smith.  Other famous alumni include astronaut Rick Husband, singer John Denver, and sometime student John Hinckley Jr (would-be assassin of President Reagan).  But not Amon G. Carter or Will Rogers.

When I mention to my customer that one of my coworkers who went to Tech recommended the restaurant Spanky's, they helped me mark it off the list with a trip there during lunch.

Spanky's is right across from the college and, according to my companions, is a campus favorite.  During football games we would be lucky to even find a place to park.  On a Tuesday afternoon during the summer, this isn't a problem.

Spanky's opened in 1982.  Their menu consists mainly of burgers, salads and sandwiches.

Including (of course) the He-Man Woman Hater (last one on the Oldstyle Burger section).  I don't know what comes on it but it must be a lot since it costs almost double their other burgers.  I had a chicken sandwich.  It was okay but just okay.

The walls all over the restaurant have been written on.  I didn't think until later that I should have added something like I did at the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo.  I even had 2 sharpies in my purse.

The ladies I was with said Spanky's wasn't as good as they remembered.  They also admitted it had been quite a while since they had been here.  Other than the name of the restaurant and the one burger, the place is conspicuously absent any other Our Gang memorabilia or references.  Ultimately it was fine, but I wouldn't make an effort to come here again.

Tomorrow is the only night I have specific plans for.  I am taking a class on beginning stained glass.  Why would I take an art class away from home?  In this case because the price is right ($25) and I don't have to bring any supplies.  But mostly, because I can.

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