From Buzz Bissinger arriving in Odessa—with a notepad—to Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen writing songs in College Station

March 2011By Comments

126 | Buzz Bissinger arrives in Odessa—with notepad

4700 Golder Avenue, Odessa | July 15, 1988

In the summer of 1988, a Philadelphia Inquirer Writer named H. G. “Buzz” Bissinger moved from the Pennsylvania suburbs to live full-time in Odessa and report on the upcoming football season. The book that resulted, Friday Night Lights, was an instant sports classic that launched a movie and a television show. During the ’88 season, when Bissinger wasn’t on the sidelines, you could find him with his family at Dos Amigos on Sundays. “It’s the ultimate Texas bar,” he says. “The lights are low, the music is on, and there’s real bull riding in the back. As a Yankee Jew, I got a little nervous when I first went in, but everyone was great.” Bissinger would find Odessa much the same today, including the fact that Gary Gaines, the coach of the Panthers at the time, has returned. “I went back with my son Zach twenty years after the book came out,” Bissinger says. “And the first thing Zach said was ‘Let’s go to Dos Amigos.’ ” —BDS

127 | T.S. Hogan builds Petroleum Building

214 West Texas Avenue, Midland | July 4, 1929

The builder was T. S. Hogan, a Montana attorney who had come to West Texas to search for oil in the newly discovered fields of the Permian Basin. Hogan correctly guessed that Midland, which just a few years earlier was nothing more than a railroad depot, would soon become the region’s leading city. His twelve-story office tower, complete with ornate Gothic spires soaring into the sky, became known as the Petroleum Building, as dozens of oilmen moved in to make their fortunes. Today the great Midland tycoons work in modern skyscrapers that dwarf the Petroleum Building, which is leased mostly to small, independent oilmen still searching for their first gushers. But every now and then, you can hear a “yeehaw” coming out of one of those ancient offices. —S. HOLLANDSWORTH

128 | Buddy Holly opens for Elvis

1012 Avenue A, Lubbock | February 13, 1955

The ads that circulated around town proclaimed “The Be-Bop Western Star of the Louisiana Hayride Returns to Lubbock.” Elvis, just twenty years old and eleven months away from superstardom, would be paid $75 for a four o’clock performance at the Fair Park Coliseum, which had opened just the year before. But the rest of the bill was not to be overlooked, including a senior at Lubbock High School named Buddy Holly, who performed with his friend Bob Montgomery. They had played at parties and church events and on local radio, but this show was different. With the crowds and the venue and the stage, it had the feel of the big time. Indeed, Holly would open for Elvis twice more that year at the coliseum, which still hosts events. These performances would lead to a meeting with Eddie Crandall, the manager of Marty Robbins, who would introduce Holly to the execs at Decca Records. —BDS

129 | Flying Queens begin their historic winning streak

1900 West Seventh, Plainview | November 7, 1953

Today the sports world celebrates the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team, which set a major conference record earlier this year by winning its ninetieth consecutive game. But even the Huskies didn’t come close to the accomplishments of the Wayland Lassies, the women’s hoops squad from Wayland Baptist College, a tiny school in the heart of the Panhandle. Wayland’s streak began with a 51—31 win over the Dowell’s Dolls, a team from Amarillo, and continued, incredibly, for the next five years—131 consecutive games in all, including four national Amateur Athletic Union championships. During their remarkable run, the Lassies barnstormed around the country in a private airplane funded by a local alum, which earned them the nickname “the Flying Queens.” Before games, the girls carefully did their hair and makeup in the locker room, and then they hit the hardwood, performing dazzling pregame dribbling and passing drills that they learned from the Harlem Globe-trotters. The streak finally ended in 1958, at the hands of Nashville Business College, but it could very well be the most durable record in all of sport. The original gymnasium where it began has been turned into the Nunn School of Business, but at almost every Wayland home game, you can still find one of the two coaches from that era. —S. HOLLANDSWORTH

130 | First suspects rounded up in fraudulent drug sting

136 East Broadway Avenue, Tulia | July 23, 1999

They started bringing them to the old red-brick Swisher County Jail on the courthouse square at first light, making sure the local TV news had a chance to film the defendants in their bedclothes, with their uncombed hair. By the time it was over, the Panhandle Regional Narcotics Trafficking Task Force had arrested 47 people on the scantest of evidence—including 10 percent of Tulia’s black population—for dealing cocaine. The case ignited a scandal that would keep this small farming town in the national news for years. The fall from grace for Tom Coleman, the itinerant narc who made the cases, was breathtaking: from Officer of the Year in 1999 to convicted perjurer in 2005. Governor Perry pardoned almost all of Coleman’s victims, but the damage to the statewide drug task force program—and the hundreds of narcs it employed—could not be repaired. By 2006, it was dead. —NB

131 | Hunters kill Bison the old-fashioned way

Texas Highway 207, outside Silverton | c. 7500 BC

Aboriginal hunters armed with state-of-the-art weapons (chipped-stone spears) lie in wait for dinner (and lunch and clothing and shelter) as a herd of giant bison grazes near the mouth of a canyon that is now submerged beneath Lake Mackenzie. The hunters patiently wait for the right moment and then, with a prehistoric racket, they move in for the kill. Scientists are still unclear how they disabled the massive beasts, but man triumphs over nature. As they butcher and skin the carcasses, some hunters discard broken spear points, worn out from use. They carry off the meat and the hides, leaving the bones and weapons for a much later generation of Texans to discover at the Rex Rodgers archaeological site. —HWB

132 | Charles Goodnight starts ranching

Palo Duro Canyon | 1876

Cattleman Charles Goodnight arrived in the Palo Duro Canyon by way of the Comanche Trail in 1876. “Grass and water were found there in abundance and the cattle ran at their own sweet will,” he later wrote. That’s where he established the Panhandle’s first ranch with the help of Irishman John Adair, who provided the capital—and his initials—for what they called the JA Ranch. Their venture became one of the largest cattle enterprises in the world. What began with 12,000 acres grew to comprise no less than 1.3 million acres that sprawled across six counties. A small portion of the JA ranch is still in private hands, but the upper division—where the purebred JJ herd, made up of Goodnight’s best cattle, was once raised—is now Palo Duro Canyon State Park. —PC

133 | Coronado gets lost

Somewhere on the Llano Estacado | October 1541

After Cabeza de Vaca’s reports of vast riches in the north of New Spain set Mexico City buzzing, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado was dispatched into the unmapped territory with an army of one thousand men. Coronado spent months seeking Quivira, a city or region that the indigenous people he met swore was filled with such riches as to make all the hardships of his journey worthwhile. In time he learned that the locals were simply trying to get him and his army to keep moving farther down the road and that the hunt for gold might well be a wild goose chase (he wrote of “plains so vast that I did not find their limit anywhere I went”). His wanderings took him through what is now New Mexico, back and forth across the Panhandle, passing near Palo Duro Canyon, and up into Kansas, where, exhausted and angry, he decided to call a small village of Wichita Indians “Quivira” and be done with it. The “discovery” helped justify his expensive expedition, but it led later historians on their own wild chases across the High Plains in search of a city that never existed. —HWB

134 | Stanley Marsh 3 buries Cadillacs

Interstate 40 frontage road west of Amarillo, between Exits 60 and 62 | May 28, 1974

The most peculiar piece of public art in Texas was created in 1974 when the Ant Farm, an art collective, teamed up with Amarillo artist and prankster Stanley Marsh 3 to halfway bury ten Cadillacs nose-first at a particular angle, corresponding to that of Egypt’s Great Pyramid, in a wheat field on Marsh’s property. What does it mean? Well, some visitors have speculated that it’s intended to address the rise and fall of the automobile or the tail fin (the Cadillacs are all from 1949 to 1963), but co-creator Doug Michels had something else in mind. “To me, it was a dolphin idea,” he told texas monthly in 1994. “Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, and I were standing in a wheat field off Route 66 in the rain. And you know how the wheat waves and ripples in the wind? Well, suddenly we imagined a dolphin tail fin sticking up out of the wheat.” Marsh relocated the cars in 1997, because the town’s growth was encroaching on the site. To reach the original location, where Michels, Lord, and Marquez gazed out over a field and imagined a dolphin fin that became a Cadillac, head two miles east of the current location, which is between Exits 60 and 62 on the frontage road of Interstate 40. —KV

135 | Headquarters for the XIT is built

517 Railroad Avenue, Channing | 1899

It wasn’t a spectacular place, just a one-story building with a wraparound front porch that was constructed on the main street of a dusty Panhandle town. And though its appearance didn’t hint at its importance, the house served as the headquarters for all the financial transactions for what was then the world’s largest fenced ranch. The land that made up the XIT Ranch was sold to finance the construction of a new capitol building in Austin, and it covered three million acres that stretched roughly thirty miles wide in parts of ten counties in the Panhandle. In that era, as many as 150,000 cattle were run through the ranch every year. The XIT auctioned off the last of its cattle in 1912, and the last parcel of land was sold in 1963. But the headquarters remains in its original location to this day. —S. HOLLANDSWORTH

136 | Battle of Adobe Walls leads to ruin for Comanche

East of Texas Highway 207, near Stinnett; Adobe Walls | June 27, 1874

The American Indians of the Southern Plains have been stalking buffalo for centuries, but now, for the first time, they have competition from white hunters, who are killing the animals in greater numbers than the Indians—these days mostly Comanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne—ever have. With their high-powered rifles, they’re slaughtering the herd at such a rate that soon there won’t be any buffalo left. Something must be done. So in June 1874, Comanche chief Quanah Parker leads a coalition of Indians against a group of hunters gathered at the trading post near present-day Stinnett. The attackers have the advantage of surprise, but the defenders are better armed, and after five days Parker and the Indians abandon the effort. The true significance of the Battle of Adobe Walls comes soon after, when the U.S. government exploits the incident to justify a general campaign to remove the Indians. The resulting Red River War lasts until June 1875, when the Comanche are finally pushed onto reservations. Today the location of the battle is on private property, but a two-acre site has been set aside for the public to visit. —HWB

137 | The Plains Village Indians arrive

Five miles west of Texas Highway 136, along Cas Johnson Road; Fritch | 1150

Pity the poor Plains Village Indians, who arrived in the Panhandle nearly nine hundred years ago. They had no permanent dwellings, more predators than they could count, and no brisket or sausage to eat for dinner. But outside present-day Fritch, these early Texans found something that would make life a little easier: flint. The agatized dolomite was so abundant that it practically burst from the ground. Soon the Indians were making strong arrowheads and spear points to aid them in hunting. The area east of Lake Meredith is marked today by the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, where a park ranger can show you the remains of one of the most important sites of its kind in North America. There, at the end of the day, you can gaze across the windswept landscape and wonder the same thing those long-ago Texans did: So, what’s for dinner? —BDS

138 | Bob Wills rides forty miles on horseback to hear Bessie Smith

Almost one mile east of FM 657 on the first ranch road south of the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River; between Lakeview and turkey | c. 1925

Bob Wills was a much bigger fan of jazz than he was of country music. In fact, he was such a fan of Bessie Smith’s that, as a teenager, he rode his horse Barney about forty miles from his family farm near Lakeview to Childress to hear her sing. “There was no doubt about it,” he told biographer Charles Townsend. “She was the greatest thing I ever heard.” The abandoned farmhouse where Wills set out from stands about a mile east of FM 657 in between two offshoots of the Red River. (Fans might recognize the significance of the location, mentioned in “Stay a Little Longer”: “Big creek’s up, little creek’s level / plow my corn with a double shovel.”) While Wills likely would have traveled on dirt roads, his trek is still traceable along the back highways. From the Bob Wills home, go south on FM 657; then east on County Road P, which will turn into FM 2639; follow Texas Highway 86 northeast to Estelline; at Estelline, head south on U.S. 287 to Childress. Smith would have made an impression on all her audiences, but for the young jazz-thirsty fiddler, that trip must have felt like a rendezvous with musical destiny. —KV

139 | Wyatt Earp meets Doc Holliday

Fifteen miles north of Albany on U.S. 283 | 1877

Wyatt earp was on the trail of an outlaw named Dave Rudabaugh in 1877 when he first rode into the Flat, a notorious frontier hellhole situated on a stretch of bottomland along the Clear Fork of the Brazos. The Flat was a spillover town for Fort Griffin, which perched on a nearby bluff. It was full of sportive business and shady characters, and it ranked with Tombstone and Dodge City as a buzzing hive of lawless enterprise. Rudabaugh had fled by the time Earp arrived, but it was in the Flat that the marshal first encountered the man whose name would be forever linked with his—a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery named John “Doc” Holliday. Holliday was there with his girlfriend, Big Nose Kate. The year before, Pat Garrett, who would go on to kill Billy the Kid, passed through as part of a buffalo-hunting team. For a while, the Flat was the headquarters of Carlotta J. Tompkins, aka Lottie Deno, who plied her gambling and hostessing skills so memorably that she became the inspiration for Miss Kitty on the TV show Gunsmoke. The Flat was once the most vibrant crossroads of the Texas plains, the gathering place of outlaws, cavalry troopers, hide-hunters, and trail drivers, but by the time Earp and Holliday faced down the Clanton gang at the O.K. Corral in 1881, the place was already on the decline. Today it is once more an empty bottomland, with only a few buildings and signs to mark where all the excitement had been. —S. HARRIGAN

140 | Gregorio Cortez is buried

Along U.S. 180, 4.7 miles west of Anson | 1916

The hero of Américo Paredes’s With His Pistol in His Hand, Gregorio Cortez, became a legend for standing up to the capriciousness of Anglo lawmen. During a shoot-out in 1901 in Karnes County with officers who mistakenly believed that he had stolen a horse, Cortez’s brother was gunned down, and in self-defense Cortez (right) returned fire and killed a sheriff. He subsequently fled, starting one of the most celebrated manhunts in Texas history. On foot and on horseback, he evaded a posse for ten days. When he was finally captured, he was acquitted of one murder, later convicted of another, and eventually pardoned altogether. After fighting in the Mexican Revolution, he died in Anson at the age of forty. Though the official records indicate that he is buried without a marker south of town at Prairieview Cemetery, along FM 707, Veronica Hernandez, of the Adams-Graham Funeral Home, believes the story isn’t so clear. “There’s a cemetery west of town called Anderson Chapel that looks like a little patch of shinnery,” she says. “There are fifty-seven graves there, and one has a marker for Gregorio Cortez.” No one knows if the plot is accurate, but to investigate, travel 4.7 miles west of the intersection of U.S. 180 and U.S. 277 and search for a gate on the north side of the highway. That may well be the final resting place of one of the most famous men from the early part of the twentieth century. —BDS

141 | T&P Depot is built

1101 North First, Abilene | 1910

The Texas & Pacific Depot’s last 39 passengers pulled out from the red-brick station—the fourth such building located at 1101 North First—in March 1967, more than 85 years after the T&P Railway first gave rise to Abilene. In 1881, thanks to a few fervent landowners, the once vacant, nameless prairie region in northern Taylor County was chosen over the already prosperous county seat of Buffalo Gap as the site of the newest cattle shipping center for T&P Railway’s westward expansion. Abilene was born, and though the first depot was nothing more than an empty train car, two years later a large two-story eatery and hotel occupied the site. The current depot, with its tiled roof and pointed turret, was built in 1910, and while its last train left the station decades ago, today it is a visitors center for Abilene and a continuing symbol of pride for its residents. —KH

142 | Willie Nelson sneaks two beers

Interstate 35 South service road and County Line Road, West | 1942

As good a place as any to locate the headwaters of the Whiskey River is an empty lot near the intersection of the Interstate 35 service road and County Line Road, seven miles south of Abbott, Willie Nelson’s hometown. There used to be a little beer joint called Albert’s Place on this spot (it burned down a few years ago), and one night in 1942 nine-year-old Willie and his dad, Ira, went there to perform with the band. Willie also snuck a couple of beers, enough to get him drunk for the first time. The light-headed feeling was a life-changing experience. “I was going straight to hell, no doubt about it,” he later told biographer Joe Nick Patoski. “I had already f—ed up more ways than God was going to put up with, and I wasn’t even ten years old yet, so I had in mind, the sky’s the limit from here on. I mean, I can’t go to hell twice. ” —KV

143 | Two locomotives collide—on purpose

Former site of Crush, McLennan County | September 15, 1896

It was the publicity stunt of all publicity stunts. Throughout the summer of 1896 the state was littered with bulletins and circulars advertising a curious event dubbed the Monster Crash. The brainchild of one William George Crush, a ticket agent for the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad, the Monster Crash was a planned collision of two locomotives in a field fifteen miles north of Waco. The event was free, but a chance to witness it required the purchase of a round-trip ticket on a Katy train. The forty thousand or so people who made the trip found a town constructed out of thin air by five hundred workers. There was a grandstand, a bandstand, three speaker’s stands, a stand for reporters, two telegraph offices, a depot with a 2,100-foot platform, a restaurant housed in a circus tent, and a midway with medicine shows and game booths. A newspaper reported that such a sizable crowd had not been seen in Texas since Tennessee Day at the State Fair a few years prior. At 5:10 p.m., Crush galloped forward on a giant white steed and threw down a matching white hat at the ultimate crash spot, signaling the great iron horses. With a terrible racket they began charging down four miles of recently laid track, faster and faster, until they were speeding toward each other at 45 miles per hour. The stupendous, ear-splitting crash set off an explosion of iron, steel, and wood that killed three people and seriously injured six more. Crush was fired immediately (though inexplicably rehired the next day), and the town named for him was abandoned as fast as it had been populated. All that remains is a historical marker on the I-35 north service road (half a mile west of the actual site) and a Scott Joplin tune, “Great Crush Collision.” —DC

144 | David Koresh aspires to be a rock star

926 South Lacy Drive, Waco | 1992

The world knows David Koresh as the disturbed, charismatic leader of the Branch Davidians who led his flock into a tragic standoff with agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms at a compound ten miles east of Waco. But in the year before his fiery death, he was known to some in Waco as a long-haired aspiring musician who worked at a bar on Lacy Drive called Cue Sticks. Koresh played with his band, Messiah, but he also booked acts, one of which was a punk-rock group called Cornpone. “In 1992 my friend had a noise band that opened for my group,” says Jarred Brown, Cornpone’s drummer. “Koresh came out and was really irritated that they were playing in his club. I remember him saying, ‘That’s not music. Get off the stage.’ Then he jumped in this big old truck and sped off.” Brown recalls Koresh as a typical good ol’ boy who loved classic rock. Cue Sticks is no more, but another bar called the Spur took its place, and business appears to be booming. On a recent weekday evening, a sweet bartender answered the phone and said, “Oh, honey, we’re packed right now. Can we talk about this another time?” —BDS

145 | First Dr Pepper is served

Corner of Fourth and Austin, Waco | December 1, 1885

In the 1880’s, the most popular gathering spot in downtown Waco was Wade Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store. Businessmen and farmers alike stopped in to buy sundries, post messages for friends, and try whatever new carbonated concoction Charles C. Alderton was serving at the soda fountain. The young pharmacist had noticed how his customers would swoon over the mixture of fruity aromas hanging in the air. Determined to make a drink that was just as tantalizing, Alderton struck upon the perfect fizzy formula: a complex fusion of not 2, not 3, but 23 flavors that predated the first Coca-Cola by five months. After a few more tweaks, the buzz-worthy beverage was officially christened Dr. Pepper’s Phos-Ferrates, likely after the Virginia doctor who gave Morrison, the drugstore’s owner, his first job. Early advertisements claimed that the refreshing tonic “brightens the mind and clears the brain.” The Old Corner Drug Store is long gone (there’s a parking lot where it once stood), but at the Dr Pepper Museum, just a couple of blocks away, you can sip an ice-cold glass of Alderton’s original formula served straight from the fountain. —JB

146 | Mob lynches Jesse Washington

501 Washington Avenue, Waco | May 15, 1916

A 17-year-old black farmhand named Jesse Washington had been in custody for a week after confessing to the rape and murder of a 53-year-old white woman named Lucy Fryer when he was brought to the McLennan County Courthouse. In room 305, which is now used by the Fifty-fourth District Court, a jury of twelve white men decided in four minutes that Washington was guilty. What happened next would shock the nation. The locals that had packed the courtroom became a mob. They pulled Washington down the courthouse’s back stairs, stripped him, put a chain around his neck, and dragged him to the town hall square. Up to fifteen thousand onlookers strained to watch as vigilantes built a fire under a small tree next to the city hall and hung Washington by his neck, occasionally lowering him down into the flames. Two hours later, his fingers, teeth, and other body parts were taken as souvenirs, and the remainder of his charred corpse was put in a bag and dragged around town. The reaction to the incident—later called the “Waco horror”—was a defining moment in U.S. history, helping to galvanize support for a federal antilynching bill. —KV

147 | Comanche raid Fort Parker

866 Park Road 35, Limestone County | May 19, 1836

One would think that the terrifying Comanche raids of the 1830’s would have put Anglo settlers in Texas in a state of constant vigilance. But at ten o’clock in the morning, when a group of Comanche rode up to Fort Parker, the gate was wide-open and the few men who weren’t working in the fields were unarmed. In the following half an hour, the Indians killed five men, wounded two women, and captured a handful of women and children. Among these, famously, was the blue-eyed nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker, who later married Chief Peta Nocona. The son of this unlikely pair was the last great Comanche chief, Quanah Parker, whose career might never have taken place had the Parkers simply locked their door. While the current Old Fort Parker site is a reconstruction, Cynthia Ann’s cabin (first on the right upon entering the front gate) is still in roughly the same spot. —KV

148 | Nidal Hasan kills thirteen people at Fort Hood

Building 18000 on Battalion Avenue, Fort Hood | November 5, 2009

Until fairly recently, the only visible memorial to the worst mass shooting on a U.S. military base was the collection of wreaths and crosses on a fence surrounding a shuttered tan brick building that used to be the Soldier and Family Readiness Center. At 1:34 p.m. on November 5, 2009, Army psychiatrist major Nidal Hasan entered the building, where soldiers received medical treatment prior to and immediately after deployment. Hasan sat down briefly at one of the tables, bowed his head, and then stood up and began firing a semiautomatic pistol into the crowd. By the time he was subdued, about ten minutes later, thirteen people lay dead, and thirty more had been wounded. All the victims were memorialized this past fall when a six-foot-tall granite monument was installed at 761st Tank Battalion Avenue with the names of the fallen as well as the words “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal / Love leaves a memory no one can steal.” —KV

149 | German soldiers arrive at POW camp

North of the municipal airport on FM 485, Hearne | June 1943

The first wave of German immigration hit Texas in the 1830’s and 1840’s, when Teutonic farmers captivated by the promise of bountiful, fertile land in a new frontier settled in South Texas and the Hill Country. The second wave came under less happy circumstances, a century later, when captured Nazi soldiers were deposited in prisoner-of-war camps all over Texas. The reasons for the soldiers’ arrival were twofold. The existing German population in the state provided interpreters, and the Texas climate approximated that of North Africa, where the first sizable captures of German soldiers occurred (international treaties decree that prisoners must be held in climates like those from which they have been taken). Hungry for jobs, many small Texas towns competed to house the prisoners. In Hearne, a site north of the current airport was chosen for a POW camp that would eventually hold five thousand prisoners. After the war the soldiers were repatriated to Germany, and the buildings were relocated or demolished. Some of the remaining structures were turned into schoolhouses, a fact not lost on future generations of Hearne’s boys and girls. —HWB

150 | Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen write songs on a porch

302 Church, College Station | 1976

Courtesy of Robert Earl Keen

Contrary to legend, Lyle Lovett was not Robert Earl Keen’s roommate at Texas A&M. Rather, Keen shared a little wood-frame house at the corner of Church and Boyett, about a block from the back door to the Dixie Chicken, with his childhood best friend, Bryan Duckworth. But Lovett did live around the corner, and whenever he rode his bike by the house at 302 Church, Keen and Duckworth, budding guitar and fiddle players, respectively, would be on the front porch, drinking beer and pretending they could keep up with old Doc Watson records. Eventually Lovett started bringing his guitar by, as would nearly every folk and bluegrass picker on campus. “I remember sitting there one day, in maybe 1976,” says Keen, an English major who’d written poetry since he was a kid, “and thinking, ‘How does this porch make me feel?’ So I wrote three verses. It was a bull; it was a plate of enchiladas. Big metaphorical ideas. I played it for Lyle, and maybe two weeks later he came back and said, ‘I added to it.’ Then he played his part, and I wrote that down.” Thirty-five years later, Keen and Lovett are world-famous singer-songwriters, and that song—Keen calls it “The Front Porch Song”; Lovett calls it “This Old Porch”—is still a fixture on both artists’ set lists. The house, alas, has been torn down. —JS

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