Thursday, May 14, 2009

All Too Seldom

Memorial to actor Dan Blocker, aka "Hoss" Cartwright
O'Donnell, Texas

"Thanks to film, Hoss Cartwright will live. But all too seldom does a world get to keep a Dan Blocker. Dedicated on July 4, 1973"
Driving back from Tahoka on Monday, I had enough daylight remaining to take some photos. Fifteen miles from Tahoka, I turned off the highway to check out little O'Donnell, population 1011.

It was about 6pm, and the evening was warming some after cool showers earlier that day. A kid's baseball game was going on in a small field and, while meandering through the small town streets, taking photos, I could hear the cheers.

The town, although not especially affluent, was well-tended. There was a historical museum that was of course closed that time of day but begged my returning some time to visit it. There were four -- count them, four -- little parks with various amenities like benches and fountains. In one of them was this memorial to Dan Blocker, who played beloved Hoss Cartwright in the 60s and 70s television show, Bonanza, whose character was "lovable, but slow-witted" and always wore a 10 gallon hat.

I loved how each residence was unique, unlike so much of America's neighborhoods with matched houses. Each home and yard had its own style, and more than a few souls were outside tending to their well-loved, sometimes funky, refuge. That uniqueness combined with purposeful tending, gave me the feeling the residents were very accepting of one another.

Every person I made eye contact with waved at me, and not with that wary look one usually receives when invading a small town with camera in hand.

These little things I saw in just an hour's time -- the parks, the baseball game, the yards, and the waves -- seemed to be the activities of a town sincerely friendly and uncommonly content. All too seldom, indeed.


nelda said...

Reminds me of Ozona - I love small town living, even being 90 miles away from the nearest Walmart!

The Gossamer Woman said...

I lived in a small town, population about 600. It was fine as long as you behaved according to the standards. The Avon lady was the local spy and everybody was very Christian.

Bobbie said...

I loved Dan Blocker, heck everyone did.