The Permian Basin's Wildest Sights

Tourist Attractions of West Texas

I am today in Odessa, Texas, here to speak this afternoon at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Jeff Greenfield and I will share the stage in a series sponsored by the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute.

Odessa is famous as the home of two presidents: George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. The Bush family's Odessa home, originally on 17th Street in the town of Odessa, has been moved intact to the university campus. It has been placed alongside the campus running track, and I paused this afternoon to take some pictures: front, side, and back.

The presidential house however is nothing near as startling as another of the campus attractions: a replica of Stonehenge, carved of real stone, sited exactly astronomically correctly, and built to 70% scale of the original in England. If you squint, you can see the Home Depot behind it gleaming bright and orange in the clear Texas air.

My schedule in west Texas is tighter than I'd wish, so I'm not sure I'll have time to make it to Midland to see the later home of the Bush family, in which George W. Bush was raised.