A Landing a Day

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Odessa, Texas

Posted by graywacke on February 1, 2010

First timer?  In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan -  The last time I landed in the same state two landings in a row was back in August, (in TX).  If you had to guess which state would go double once again, the odds are that it would once again be . . . TX; 130/162; 5/10; 2; 152.0.  I haven’t been below 152 since September.  Am I jinxing myself?  We’ll see . . .

Anyway, here’s my landing map, showing that I landed between two streets – North Flamingo and North Eagle Nest:


Obviously, I landed in an urban area.  Here’s an expanded view, showing that I landed in the west side of Odessa:


Here’s my broadest view:


Here’s my GE shot, showing that the area of my landing is not quite as urban as it appears from my landing map:


Using GE Street View, I was able to get this shot from along North Flamingo, looking right at the field where I landed!


Moving up the street a little, here’s the built-up portion of what is likely the same property:


Check out my watersheds!   My watershed entry is really “drawn” out:   I landed in the watershed of Monahans Draw (that runs along the southern edge of Odessa); Monahans Draw discharges to Midland Draw; Midland Draw discharges to Johnson Draw; Johnson Draw discharges to Mustang Draw, and Mustang Draw (finally) discharges to the Colorado R (TX version; 23rd hit).

I thought I should check out Mustang Draw.  From Wiki:

Mustang Draw is a geographical feature in south-central Texas.  It rises at the confluence of Monument Draw and Seminole Draw, and runs for 100 miles, containing a portion of 10 Texas counties.

Wow.  You may remember the fuss I made about the Roeliff Jansen Kill a couple of posts ago.  I figured the name “Kill” gave me the flexibility to call the Roeliff Jansen Kill a “river” in ALAD parlance.  But the Roeliff Jansen Kill was a lousy 40 miles long!!  Here, I’m faced with a “draw” a full 100 miles long!!  I’ve never called a “draw” a “river,” so I won’t start now.  Here’s my logic.  Part of what makes a river a river is the amount of water it carries.  You can bet your bottom dollar that the average yearly flow in the Roeliff Jansen Kill is way higher than in the Mustang Draw.  Enough said . . .

From OdessaHistory.com, comes this colorful story of an early 20th-century event:


Odessans gathered to view the Pliska Aeroplane at a July 4, 1912, celebration .  John W. Pliska, who built the plane, was a blacksmith in Midland, Texas.  He and his assistant Gray Coggin hauled the plane to Odessa in a wagon.

Glenn Justice; Author of “Odessa, An Illustrated History” added the following information:

In preparation for the exhibition, Odessans cleared mesquite from along the road leading to Andrews.  Pliska taxied down this makeshift runway several times, but the roughness of the road surface and the low humidity made it impossible to fly more than a few feet off the ground in short hops.  Seems the weather was quite warm this fourth of July and the plane had difficulty getting off the ground.  Hot weather and light air go together, you know.  Well, the local folks that had paid hard cash to see their first airplane fly were very unhappy about all this and were very vocal about it.  When Pliska ended the attempt, several cowboys who had paid admission to see the exhibition demanded their money back and a rather ugly crowd scene developed.  What did Pliska do?

The story goes; he loaded the plane back in the wagon that night and return home, dismantled the craft and stored it in the rafters of his shop.  Pliska’s airplane remained in the shop until workers demolished the building in 1962, at which time the Pliska family donated it to the City of Midland.  The old biplane is presently on exhibit at the Midland International Airport.

The airplane flew quite well under good conditions; but this was one of those days, when the hot light air wouldn’t sustain a flight. The plane never reached any major altitude, but did quite well for itself in its time. Courtesy, Permian Historical Society Archival Collection.

This same plane is on display at Midland, Odessa, International Airport today.  Here is the frontal view showing the position where the pilot is seated  infront of the engine. Note specifications repeated in text block below.  Don’t miss this historical item when visiting the Midland, Odessa area.

Also from OdessaHistory.com, is this painting of Odessa in 1910:

As for the name, Odessa:

May 1884…

A group of Zanesville, Ohio investors were brought to the area by the T&P Railroad to attend a sale of lots by the Midland Town Company.  Headed by Colonel Tileston F. Spangler, a colorful lawyer, real estate developer and promoter, the Ohioans were impressed with the potential for profitable land sales and promotion of settlement.  Resolved to establish the “future great city of West Texas,” the group headed west in a private railroad car.

“By the time Well’s Point was reached, there was not a man in the car who was not expressing his delight at the magnificent prospect that opened up,” Spangler reported.

An agreement was made with the railroad involving 24 sections of land (15, 360 acres) for $53,760 ($3.50/acre!)  The 640 acres in Survey 27 surrounding Section House 163 were selected for the townsite.

The name “Odessa” was selected for the “future great city” after Odessa, Russia, a then prosperous and widely known wheat and wheat-seed center and seaport. This name would be synonymous to “wheat country” in the sales pitch made to farmers in the north and midwest.

The “founders-promoters” of Odessa knew how to package a product and sell it.  Spangler had headed development of four new Zanesville additions.  Promotional ideas included brass bands, free carriage rides and lunches, open auctions, prizes of gold coins and 1,700 free streetcar tickets.

Imagine land for $3.50 an acre (and free streetcar tickets)!   Point of minor personal interest:  I lived in Zanesville OH (maybe in a house built by Spangler – it was old enough) from the ages of 10 – 17.

I’ll close with this sunset shot taken just a few blocks from my landing . . .


KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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