10 Fun Facts About Midland/Odessa, Texas To Make You Smarter Than Your Friends
Wanting to learn more about where you are living is natural. And with a lot of people coming to Midland and Odessa, thanks to the oilfield, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share some fun facts, about each of the locations, I have learned since arriving.
Everyone knows Midland, Texas was the birthplace of First Lady Laura Bush, and that President George W Bush’s family had a home here, they purchased in 1951. It is also common knowledge that Odessa, Texas is known for the movie Friday Night Lights. But here are some fun facts that you can use to better acquaint yourself with your new hometown, share with out-of-town guests, or use at your next trivia night.
#10 Spud Webb (1968) went to Midland College prior to going to North Carolina to play basketball, and then ultimately on to being picked in the 4th round of the 1985 draft. He was at Midland College for two years (1981-1983). He credited Midland College for teaching him how to be a “more complete, disciplined player” when he returned for his book signing on the campus in 2019.
#9 Waylon Jennings (1937-2002) one of the “original pioneers of the ‘outlaw movement’ of country music, was a DJ at KOYL in Odessa, TX, prior to starting his career that landed him sixteen #1 hits. His departure from Odessa was sudden and with someone else’s girlfriend. Who knows, maybe “Loving Her Was Easier” in Arizona.
#8 Roy Orbison’s (1936-1988) wife, Claudette, was from Odessa, Texas. And, yes, that is who the famous song “Claudette” was about. He went to Odessa College and was majoring in Geology, when he met Joe Melson. Together they wrote “Only the Lonely”, in their Midland home. Other songs written in that same home, “Blue Angel” and “Uptown”. Ironic, because they lived in Downtown Midland.
#7 The television series Lonestar is baes on a man living two lives. One of those lives is based in Dallas, TX. The other, Midland TX. James Wolk (Mad Men) is the main character, Bob Allen, the Texas Con. Although part of the series is about Midland, Texas, there have been no scenes shot here.
#6 The Gatlin Brothers were raised in Odessa, Texas, graduating from Odessa High. Their father was an oil driller which caused their relocation here. Their career started in the 1950s but they didn’t compose a song in honor of their roots until 2009, “Black Gold”.
#5 The Odessa meteor crater is 550 feet in diameter with the deepest points being 15 feet down. The crater is over 63,000 years old and scientist believe over 15,000 meteorites have been recovered in the surrounding areas, but nothing the size of the crater that is now a national landmark in Odessa, Texas.
#4 The Burnt Toast Diner, appearing in the television show “Heroes” is located in Midland, Texas. It was where you would see the sheriff and deputy frequent during most of the episodes. That diner is still here in Midland.
#3 Dwight Yoakam’s song “Fair to Midland” is about Midland, Texas. And as cool as that fun fact may be, the band Midland (known for hits including: “Drinking Problem and Mr. Lonely), named their band after the song. No one in the group is from Midland, Texas.
#2 Midland and Odessa Texas were both founded in the same year. Odessa was dominated by the oilfield works while Midland occupied the executives in the “skyscrapers”. That is how Midland, Texas became known as “The Tall City”.
#1 In the 1950s bones of a prehistoric woman were found in Midland County at the Scharbauer Ranch. They are considered to be the oldest remains in the Western Hemisphere, dating back between 20,000-37,000 years. The Paleo Indian female was given the name Midland Minnie, being considered the “First Mother of Midland”.