For you buy a number and hope that the “caller,” an auburn-feathered hen named Sissy, eats enough of that feed to, ahem, relieve herself on your square.If she does, you win the pot of money, which just might be enough to buy you and your friends a chicken dinner.At Ginny’s, there is no spinning basket of lettered and numbered balls, no elderly gentleman calling out squares.There’s just a piece of plywood, gridded with boxes numbered 1 through 54, sprinkled with feed and hand-torn bread, and enclosed with chicken wire.Better yet, our parents had decided it would be okay for us to go alone. The rush of memories and the sense of independence from that day nearly fifty years ago still come back.It was the most freedom we had ever enjoyed in our short lives. At 120 miles long, about 20 miles wide, and 800 feet deep, Palo Duro Canyon is big enough to make any Texan proud.
When you get tired of hearing about how big Texas is, go find out for yourself. There is no more desolate—or fascinating—stretch than the final hundred miles or so to the Rio Grande Valley.I still get those feelings every time I go to the state fair today. You can explore it by car, on foot, or on horseback and take in the stunning hues of purple, gray, and orange rock mixed in with the greens of mesquite and juniper trees.The canyon also provides the dramatic backdrop for the musical , which runs from June to August and tells the story of the struggles and victories of the Panhandle settlers.The view is amazing—you can gaze from the Alamo down the River Walk and peer into the hazy distance of South Texas. That would all change in November, but on that day we were simply young boys in search of adventure.
Stay for dinner in the revolving restaurant and watch the sun set and the city begin to sparkle with lights. It was the autumn of 1963 and my best friends, Charles Mc Commas and Greg Chitsey, and I were all twelve years old. We got free tickets and Friday off from school for State Fair of Texas Day.They happily cram the dimly lit hole-in-the-wall just as Dale Watson begins his set.