We’re making our way south through the Texas Panhandle and Plains region but today we’re going to veer south-west, nipping across the state line for a brief visit to New Mexico. Just 5 miles from the Texas border, and about 105 miles from Levelland, is the city of Hobbs, home to some 38,000 people.
The city is named after James Hobbs, who established a homestead here in 1907. A tiny agricultural village grew up around the homestead and all was quiet until 1928 when oil was discovered in the area.
An oil refinery was built and there was a large influx of population. Three separate communities emerged, with New Hobbs and All Hobbs springing up alongside the original village of Hobbs. The three communities merged in 1937 to form the City of Hobbs.
Today the area is a major centre for the sport of gliding and the headquarters of the Soaring Society of America can be found In Hobbs.
Hobbs is the hometown of singer Ryan Bingham, who we met back in Brooklyn on Day 342 and will be meeting again a bit farther down the road. He was born in the city in 1981.
Our song today, from Texan artist Mark David Manders, references both Hobbs and the state of New Mexico and recounts a perhaps ill-advised trip out west.
“It was nine o’clock in the morning when we crossed that state line
I said, ‘Hello’ to New Mexico, left Texas far behind
I’m headin’ out west where that wild wind blows
I traded in my troubles for the freedom of the road
I left a girl in Lubbock, Lord, I didn’t even pack
I’m headed for that promised land, I’m never coming back
I picked up a passenger just this side of Hobbs
Said he was going down to Carlsbad to find himself a job.”