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Municipal Government

Here are some trash receptacles. And the Mobeetie City Hall. There’s a sign taped to the door at City Hall, giving a short list of contact numbers. You can reach the Bill Umsted, the city manager, or Bobbie Walker, the mayor. But if you need to reach offices of the City of Mobeetie, you’ll get an answering machine. That’s what the sign says.

Mobeetie, Texas
photographed 12.27.2019

Church + Bell (with windows)

I’ve only been to Mobeetie a couple of times. The time before this was about thirty years ago when I went with my parents for some kind of an important church event (An anniversary of some sort? I can’t remember any more.) and this trip last month. Both visits were on cold days, with low clouds and mist and drizzle. I am having a hard time even imagining this town with sunshine and leaves on trees – it’s lodged in my mind as a gray place, and a summer trip there may not even make that image evaporate.

Mobeetie, Texas
photographed 12.27.2019

Boyhood Church

Most of the churches were built like this, with a sort of half-basement and a sanctuary up a set of stairs. According to the historical marker in front of the church, the Methodists “built the basement” in 1930 and began holding services there. In 1947, the sanctuary was added above it.

Today, according to that same marker, “the church continues to serve as an area spiritual center.” The United Methodist Church’s handy find-a-church tool indicates that the church has 36 members and a pastor named Claude Early. But then again, none of the buttons on the site to learn about worship, ministry, staff, or additional information return any information at all. This leads me to the conclusion that is either a currently-active church or it is not. But I’ll just go ahead and accept that is a spiritual center.

Mobeetie, Texas
photographed 12.27.2019

The Bleak Playground

I think my dad’s family moved to Mobeetie in the early 1930s; the bank my grandfather had in Branson, Colorado, didn’t survive the Depression so they came to Texas to make a new start. My dad lived there until he and eleven other students made up the graduating class of 1940. He was 16 when he graduated, and he headed off to what was then known as Texas Technological College. (He went from a town of 400 people to a college with an enrollment of just under 3,800. No wonder he flunked out.*)

I don’t really think this playground equipment was there when he was, but I did get a bit of a weird vibe from it. Of course, that might also have been from the cold wind that day…

Old Mobeetie, Texas
photographed 12.27.2019

*Not to worry, though. He retuned to college and made straight As in his chosen field of civil engineering. The most frequently told story of my whole life was How I Was Too Young When I Went To College.

Picnic Grounds

There are only about 100 people who live in Mobeetie, which makes this kind of weird:

  1. One of our neighbors told me that our dads grew up together in Mobeetie, and that his dad remembers my dad. (Sadly, by the time I heard this story, my dad had passed away.)
  2. My across-the-hall work neighbor’s mother grew up in Mobeetie.
  3. My friend Dianne says her husband’s family used to have family reunions at the very picnic grounds where I found this old sink.

That’s a lot of connections for such a tiny place, isn’t it?

Old Mobeetie, Texas
photographed 12.27.2019

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