Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chetopa, Kansas

Yes, I took another road trip today. The small town of Chetopa, Kansas is just over the OK/KS border. It's touted to be the Catfish and Pecan Capital.... but they don't say the capital of what. The world? Doubtful. Kansas? Possibly. However, besides the large sign as one enters the town, I saw no sign of either catfish or pecans. I saw two restaurants, one a diner and one Mexican, both closed. I can get all the pecans I want around here, but I was getting my tastebuds ready for a catfish sandwich. That didn't happen. Chetopa has seen better days, I think, but there were a few interesting buildings. The most interesting is this old mill. The ghost signs on the front, now barely readable, indicate it was Henson's Mill, but I also saw the words "Diner" and "Corn Chops" as well. Corn chops? A local delicacy, perhaps? The mill was closed too, but the building was quite lovely.
On the way home from Chetopa, I went through Welch, OK again. I wanted to find two houses I'd been told about by both Betty and Marly. I never found the house Betty told me about in which Johnny Cash was a visitor and wrote some of his songs there. I did, however, find the big horse farm that used to belong to Roy Clark. (Yes, that's all one house!) I don't think Roy Clark still lives there now, since he now has a house just down the street from my ex-husband.

All the roads around that area are lined with huge and quite beautiful cattle ranches. And in the midst of it all, I found SHEEP! There are very few sheep in Oklahoma, and I miss them. I think I told you that we had a small flock of sheep on the farm we lived on shortly after we were married. Well, seeing a little field of sheep today made me jam on the brakes and snap this picture.

My travels were slowed down a bit for a little while when I got behind a house being transported down the road. It reminded me of a similar incident when I was just a little girl (probably under 8 years old), traveling with my parents in Florida, when we lost almost a full day by getting behind a house of similar size being towed on a truck. Although today's house eventually moved to the side and let several cars pass, in the Florida incident there was nowhere for it to pull over, so we were stuck for hours. It became a family joke for years thereafter.

I stopped briefly in Afton on my way home. Marly was busy working on the Citroen 2CV, and Luis was there mopping floors. Marly told me he had two visitors yesterday when he was working there. Very good!

6 comments:

Beth said...

Corn chops? Hm, I think we need to create a recipe!

LOL at getting stuck behind the traveling house! Oh, that would be maddening. It can be bad around here on the highways because of the mobile home manufacturing in the area. You get behind one of the wider ones, and it can be a while before you can get around them.

Bummer about the absence of catfish. That does sound mighty tasty.

Hugs, Beth

Trevor Hilton said...

Near Welch (I think) was a man who made his fortune in strip mining. Johnny Cash had a song called "One Piece at a Time", about a man who worked in a Cadillac plant and snuck out "one piece at a time" until he had all of the parts necessary to build one. That man built a car like the one descibed in the song and gave it to Cash.

Johnny Cash repayed the favor. When Welch wanted to build a new community center, Cash put on a benefit concert. He paid for the center in one night.

Laurel said...

Trevor -- Yes, I have heard that, too. I'm sure it's that house that I saw yesterday in which that song was written. I hadn't heard about Cash's contribution to the community center, though. If I'd known that, I would have looked for the center yesterday. The town is just a crossroads, so it can't be that hard to find.

Jennifer Lane said...

The man from Welch that built the car was Bill Patch. Hopefully that helps a little bit.

Anonymous said...

It was indeed Bill Patch. One of the finest men to grace our world. Deeply missed.

janine dunn said...

Dear Anonyous,
What you posted about Bill Patch was so kind and so true. Indeed he is deeply missed. He was my husband and my hero.