Y’all Come Back

Every high school has a homecoming. But in the West Texas town of Spur, the beloved yearly ritual is more accurately described as an invasion.

A FEW YEARS BACK, Beverly and Bill Watson, both of whom graduated from high school in the tiny West Texas town of Spur in the mid-fifties, found themselves faced with an agonizing dilemma. Bill’s elderly mother, a lifelong Spur resident, had sold her home without telling anyone and moved into an assisted-living facility. At the time, the couple was living in Lubbock. “Honey,” Beverly said to Bill. “We’ve got a problem. We don’t have a place to stay anymore for homecoming.”

The loss of free lodging shouldn’t have been much of a hardship. Lubbock is just seventy miles away—not exactly a major trek. Instead of sleeping at Bill’s mother’s house, all they would need to do for future homecomings was get up in the morning, drive for an hour to Spur, be there for the day, drive home that night, and then do it again the next day. What kind of problem was that?

Oh, no, you don’t understand,” Beverly told me. “We weren’t going to take the chance of missing any of the festivities due to us being in our car.”

So Beverly and Bill, who owned a business that built highway signs and barricades, plunked down $65,000 for a house in Spur, and then they spent another $65,000 fixing it up and furnishing it. All for a house they intended to stay in for just one weekend a year.

 “Best investment we could have ever made,” said Beverly.

Every Texas high school, of course, has a homecoming. It typically consists of a ceremony during halftime of a Friday night football game in which one of the school’s most popular girls is crowned homecoming queen. And then there is homecoming in Spur, population 1,088. Held the last weekend of October, it begins on a Thursday night

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