I have traveled HWY 287 between Denver and Dallas many times with my daddy’s aunt when she was off from school during summer breaks, but mostly the rides were from our farm to church, school or grocery shopping nearby my hometown of Clarendon, Texas.
The highway itself was built with gravel taken from one of my daddy’s farms near a place called Hedley. He originally bought what was known as “the old Mann place” so he could run Galloway cattle there, but with trespassers always leaving the gates open when they came to shoot quail, he had a hard time keeping his cattle contained. Neighbors would call and say, “Your cows are out again.” Or they would call to complain that our bull had knocked down one of their chicken pens.
Years later, during a recess for one of my middle school classes, I happened to complain about the road near our house needing to be leveled after a heavy rain. One student eagerly offered a bit of advice about how to get help. He explained how there was an old abandoned farm with a huge gravel pit near his house, and even the city fathers used that place to get gravel for paving the city roads. It was free for anyone who had a truck and a loader.
Was that with or without permission? With or without payment?
Then it dawned on me why my daddy could not keep his cows in.
More tales from Texas at some other time….