Perryton, Texas

I’ve just returned from a rig trip in Perryton, Texas. What? You’ve never been there before? Well…it’s a quaint little town that technology forgot about two hours northeast of Amarillo. It’s one of my new favorite places in the Lone Star State.

So there I am driving my tiny rent car from the Amarillo airport. Just when I’m convinced the thing runs on batteries (due to the fact that it can barely go 60 miles per hour) I pass my first 18-wheeler hauling a rather large load. My little blue Chevy Alero, I’m not exaggerating, SKIDS SIDEWAYS from the combination of wind and 18-wheeler force. Scared me to DEATH. This happened several times on my journey.

Note to self: rent sturdier vehicle when working in or near Amarillo.

Anyway, I’m driving/skidding along FM-687 when Garth Brooks belts “Shameless” from my Alero speakers.

Seriously? I haven’t heard this song since my freshman year of high school when Chance Sampson convinced me in Ms. Penney’s biology class that Garth Brooks was actually singing the word shavin’. (Before you judge or laugh hysterically, I challenge you to dig out your old cassette tape of “Ropin The Wind” and take a listen for yourself.)

I’m singing to the top of my lungs and remembering how cool we thought Garth Brooks was back in the day. He could do no wrong.

Cut to thirty minutes later, still in the car, and I’m graced with Garth’s vocal styling again. This time, “The Dance.” My memory is thrust back to high school. Picture it: my senior year. It was the Bobcat Belle Spring Show and we were performing our last time as seniors to this song. I was so sad…but excited that I would one day be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader.

Another 15 minutes goes by and they play him AGAIN! Does Garth Brooks own this station? I mean really…since the Chris Gains debacle, I’m quite sure that program managers probably allow Mr. Brooks no more than two or three rotations. And that’s once in a blue moon.

And that’s why we love Perryton.

I finally make it to my “hotel” and check-in (old school with a swipe credit card machine) and ask the lady at the front desk where she suggests I eat dinner.

Sadly, the owners of the Dixie Dog were out of town due to a funeral and the Pizza Hut was being renovated. I would have to settle for McDonald’s. And was it a fancy McDonald’s! This town doesn’t have red lights or a grocery store, but they have a Mickey D’s with THREE WINDOWS! One to order, one to pay and one to pick up. Talk about ME feeling like a hick from Hallsville, Texas. I didn’t know what to do with all those windows.

I grab my Big Mac, dodge a couple of tumbleweeds with the Alero and head back to my “hotel.” It is then that I pass the Perryton Theater. Not one but TWO SCREENS! Showing none other than National Treasure 2.

You know I had to experience THAT!

A few hours later, I’m parking in front of the coolest theater ever. I go inside and wait at the ticket counter. High school part-time worker Judy was popping (and burning) popcorn in the concession area. She noticed me and hurried over to her other post at the ticket booth.

Lincee: “One for National Treasure please.”
Judy: “That’s seven dollars.”

Lincee hands Judy seven dollars cash.
Judy puts a tiny check mark in her spiral bound notebook beside the letters NT.

Judy makes awkward eye contact with Lincee.

Lincee: “Do I get a ticket?”
Judy: “Oh no. We don’t do that here.”

Another awkward pause.

Lincee: “Which theater is the show playing?”
Judy: (Laughing) “The one that says TREASURE above the door!”

Silly me. I look to see ALVIN scratched on a piece of construction paper above double doors on my left and make a quick right. There are about 50 chairs…the bouncy kind I love. And get this…they were nice enough to screw in cup holders on each of the chairs.

The Perryton Theater is so now. I think I might build a summer home there one day.

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