I was born and lived for years in the Texas panhandle a fact that I am still conflicted about. It can look like the most desolate place on earth and yet you can find exquiste beauty there also. The summers are scorching, the winters cold, the spring and fall are short and sweet and there's wind, lots and lots of wind. Old timers there are fond of saying that during the cold winters, the only thing between the Texas panhandle and North Pole was a barbed wire fence. On windy winter days it really did feel just that cold.
There had to be a time when there was no barbed wire in the Texas panhandle, but barbed wire may be the substance that defines the area and possibly the people.
McLean, Texas is just a few short miles from where I was born. The young women from our town who didn't go to college or get married would go to work. There were cafes, drive-ins, a few retail businesses or you could just go McLean and get a job at the bra factory, they paid well and were always hiring. I vaguely remember a sign on the outskirts of McLean about being "uplifting" or something. Well, the bra factory is gone now and McLean is hardly more than a wide spot in Highway 66, I-40 has by-passed it completely. But McLean does have a museum, the barbed wire museum called the Devil's Rope Museum. Devil's rope is a nickname for barbed wire. I can imagine if the devil were a cowboy and he carried a rope, it would look like barbed wire.
If you are ever driving along I-40 passing through Texas, stop in at the Devil's Rope Museum, you will find out everything that you ever wanted to know about Devil's Rope, barbed wire, how it's made, how many different varieties there are, there is even a whole section about cattle brands, war wire, ranch history and Route 66 history.