January 15, 1982 A Journal of Free Voices TEXAS13 ERVER A Panhandle Pilgrimage A West Texan Ponders Pantex By Norman Hugh Reddington Lubbock North of Amarillo lie the great Triassic Breaks, Canyons old as time itself and muddy playa lakes. The Indians once roamed the plains to hunt the buffalo; The windmills of the pioneers still rust beside the road. I thought I’d find America among the cotton gins; I found instead the factory where The end of the world begins. It’s an engineering marvel, it’s a triumph of design: All the H-Bombs in the country on a vast assembly line. , In a New York City board-room someone’s raking in the bucks; Meanwhile in Texas they keep loading up the trucks; One a day to North Dakota and the secret storage bins That wait in silent darkness till The end of the world begins. ST. FRANCIS, Texas too small to be seen by Rand McNally consists of perhaps three farm houses, a Roman Catholic church, a railway kiosk, an abandoned co-op gin, and a tank for watering cattle. The church has a big sign on it by the door: LET US FOLLOW CHRIST BY WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FRANCIS, and near the altar is a vividly Spanish rendering of the saint, his stigmata pouring blood, his eyes serene: MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT OF THY PEACE. You can’t see forever on a clear day in St. Francis, but you can see to Final Assembly. An ominous name.
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