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An introduction to Lubbock

Legendary cattle operations and open expanses of the High Plains naturally inspire wide screen Westerns starring John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. But almost every family who has stayed a spell in West Texas has pictures of their own.

Open skies and glorious sunsets are frequent enough – and stunning enough – that almost every family has their own “look at that sunset” photos.

Welcome to Lubbock, the “Hub of the South Plains.” Y'all come and set a spell.

It’s not easy to know where to begin to introduce folks to Lubbock. If you’re into the “Old West” you might start with a visit to the National Ranching Heritage Center on the Texas Tech Campus. Or during the summer months you might enjoy a drive up the road to Palo Duro Canyon to take in "Texas," an outdoor pageant about settling the region. In the fall, there’s the National Cowboy Symposium and the Panhandle-South Plains Fair right here in town.

If music is your thing, you might already know that Lubbock is the home of Rock and Roll pioneer Buddy Holly, and there is an arts center here with his name on it as well as a street named after him. Other big name musicians from the region include Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison, Mac Davis, Natalie Maines and Larry Gatlin. Just to the west of town at South Plains College each July there's an internationally famous Camp Bluegrass for musicians of that genre. There's also the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, clubs in the Depot District and a galaxy of performances and productions at Texas Tech University.

We haven't even begun to talk about agriculture and the 3.6 million acres of cotton grown in the area together with cattle and other crops and livestock. Nor have we mentioned the thriving business climate or the Reese Technology Center or any number of things we might have mentioned.

You ought to know that Lubbock is a regional medical center with a large university Health Sciences Center and University Medical Center as well as the extensive Covenant Health System and several other specialty hospitals and clinics.

Schools. People in West Texas care about their schools. They go to school games, open houses, plays and other school events. Schools tend to be right near the centers of many peoples lives out here on the Plains.

NEAR the center. Somebody has said there are more churches per capita in Lubbock than any other city over 100,000 people in the United States. People go to church on Sundays. And Wednesdays generally are youth nights at church.

There's about as many restaurants as there are churches in town. Cuisine ranges from Tex-Mex to Thai and burgers to barbecue.

By now you ought to get the picture. There's enough happening in Lubbock that there is something for just about every taste and disposition. One last thing you ought to know about Lubbock, though. The Red Raiders. That's the mascot of Texas Tech University, a member of the Big Twelve Conference of the NCAA. There may be 200,000 people in town, but Texas Tech and the Red Raiders help to make Lubbock feel like a small town in many ways.

So what is Lubbock all about? It's about farming and high technology. It's about music of many kinds. It's about church and school and kids. Most of all Lubbock is about neighbors. Like you and me.