Thursday, January 5, 2006

Howdy, y'all

We are in Amarillo, Texas, in the middle of the panhandle (map). We spent the night in the parking lot of a mostly-defunct shopping mall here, known as "Western Plaza." Parts of the mall have been defunct a long time -- the major anchor was clearly a Montgomery Ward, and they went out of business five years ago.

We parked here because there is an Olive Garden on the perimeter, and we can hardly resist when we are on the road. (I know -- Amarillo is famous for steak houses, including the Big Texan, where we have eaten before. However, we just made ourselves a steak Tuesday night, in a moment of poor planning.)

One of the businesses that remains at this mall (or possibly is an opportunistic venture based on rock-bottom leasing on empty retail space) is a night club called Graham Central Station. It is clearly very popular, if the number of cars in the parking lot is any gauge. Last night we were awoken by commotion around 2am, which turned out to be the club emptying out. Louise counted no fewer than six police cruisers roving the lot, presumably to make sure folks got in their cars and left, rather than hanging out, a practice with which we are familiar from our years in downtown San Jose.

We spent a few minutes sweating the possibility that we were going to get a knock on the door followed by "move along." Clearly, however, we were not the droids they were looking for. That, or my Jedi powers are now complete.


  1. As a long time resident of Amarillo I can give you a little info. Western plaza was the premire mall back in the seventies. With two depatment stores and a cafeteria. The cafeteria which is in the back is about all that is left. It began to decline when the new westgate mall moved in. Graham Central Station is (I have been told ) a complex of several bars housed in the same building. I guess the idea is to keep all the crime in the same place. A friend of mine said the place was usually SRO (stabbing room only)LOL. Recently the whole mall was sold and is about to be torn down and replaced with a strip mall complex.
    I have a lot of fond memories of that mall, it always depresses me when I pass by it. It looks about as dilapidated as I feel when I get up every morning.

  2. MULESHOE! You are close enough, you should go to Joe's Boots in Muleshoe, TX. Look for a set of Chris Romero made boots, they are the BEST(TM)

  3. Sean,

    I'm glad you're posting again, it gives me renewed energy to keep on my project.

    Off the subject of TX for a moment. On the 22nd of Dec you said the following about a new air compressor you installed: "This new Porter Cable unit produces five times the CFM, and while it draws more than twice the current, it only runs for three or four minutes at a time."

    Now that you've used it for a while what do you think? Is it quiet and still fast? Which model (if more than one available) was it?

    Thanks for the great blog and the feedback.


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