May 21,1982/Montrose Voice 17
Wide open and vast: That's west Texas
By Bob Damron
An old saying goes, "The sun is riz, the sun
is set, and we ain't out of Texas yet."
This iB especially true of west Texas,
which stretches from the panhandle in the
north, to the storied Rio Grande in the
south. To hear Texans tell it, this is one of
America's last frontiers and "bigger than
Besides Amarillo, El Paso, Lubbock and
Odessa, many tourists visit Big Bend and
Guadalupe Mountains National Parks.
El Paso is the largest and most interesting city in west Texas. It used to be one of
the "rip-roaringest" towns in the Old West
... and had it's share of Cowboys,
gamblers, gunfighters, prostitutes,
Catholic padres, Spanish conquistadors
and marauding Apaches. The first Euro-
poeans arrived in 1581, and for several
centuries it remainded under Spanish or
Today, the "Sun City" has a population
of 450,000, of which more than half are
Mexican-Americans. Just across the river
is Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's fourth largest
city with a population of 800,000.
The "O.P." at 219 S. Ochoa is the super
gay disco with a multiracial, unisex,
younger crowd. Diamond Lil's is a fun
Salsa disco at 308 S. Florence. The San
Antonio Mining Co. at Ochoa and San
Antonio is the best cruise bar with harmonious 50/50 split of macho Mex-Tex
honchos. Le Milord features a Spanish
language drag show, while Pigalle and
others offer Chicano drags and hustlers.
U.S. citizens can go to Juarez without a
visa, but I strongly suggest if you want to
chance the gay bars and baths there, take
along a well-built, knowledgable,
I stay at the Holiday Inn-Downtown,
but since Ardovino'sclosed, haven'tfound
Highway. The Lbbso Saloon is supposed
to open soon at 2425 W. Murphy. I stayed
at the Holiday Inn, and did enjoy a nice
steak at The Bam Door. This plain(s) town
has a population of 90,000 (obviously
loyal) residents. Except for neighboring
Midland, Odessa is really right in the middle of nowhere.
The windy plains and wide-open spaces
of west Texas may stir the cowboy or cowgirl in you. Personally, after a week or two
with me, they bring out the urgent need to
split to Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, San
Antonio ... or any other big cosmopolitan
city. At least there, when "The Eyes of
Texas are upon you," they know what they
want, and so do you.
El Paso skyline (left) and "The Frontier Family" statue in Lubbock.
a decent restaurant. Gillespie's is a disaster, and Bella Napoli, Billy Crew's, Cabal-
lero or Hein's aren't much better.
You may want to view the Aerial Tramway, Fort Bliss, Old Spanish missions,
Sunland Park Race Track, UTEP, or the
Bull Ring in Juarez. A major annual event
is the Sun Festival and Sun Bowl game in
Amarillo is a typical prairie town with a
population of 150,000. It looks better at
night when all you see is their one 25-story
skyscraper, brilliantly illuminated like a
great white phallus. Maggie's at 1005 N.
Fillmore is the most popular gay disco,
while Take Five at 323 W. 10th is a fun bar
with cruisy days. I like the Hilton Inn, and
for good dining try the Country Bam or
If you get the late night munchies, hit
the Union 76 Truck Stop Restaurant at
1-40 and Eastern ... which can be cruiaier
than Elwood Park.
South of Amarillo is Palo Duro Canyon
State Park, where the outdoor musical
Texas is performed each summer. Nearby
is Cal Farley's Boy's Ranch, "a home for
boys of unfortunate circumstances."
Sometimes I think I have known them all!
Flat, squeaky-clean Lubbock, 175,000
population, is the home of Texas Tech.
You'd think with 23,000 students, the bars
would be hot ... but they're not. The Hilltop Club at 810 N. University is popular
with women, and the owner plans a new
men's cruise bar called the Texas Man
Stop at 508 Amarillo Road. The other current disco is run by a non-gay foreigner,
who knows less about operating a West
Texas disco than I would a West German
whore house. I stayed at the Hilton, which
resembles a central American Hyatt. If
you stick to steaks. The Depot ia adequate,
but you're better off with hambergers or
chili at Gardski'a.
If the word plains, as in Great Plains,
stems from plain, as in ordinary, Odessa
muat have been the model! The one mini-
oasis in this drab, dusty, wasteland is the
Capri, a good gay disco at 8401 Andrews
A Few Clothe
a Few Antique^
Lots of Accessories
OTHER STUFF, TOOI
1802 Park St