Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Town Called I.X.L.

There is no easy way for us to get to Tulsa.  One must ride the curves, behind the slow cars and through the school zones and small towns with their speed traps and along the ups and the downs of the two-lanes that lead, just past Bristow, to the turnpike.  From there it’s a straight shot, but much less interesting.

It’s not a bad thing, driving this way.  How else would one see a town called I.X.L., population 59, at last count?  Heading north into I.X.L. the sign says: I.X.L.  Returning south it says: IXL.  To the south of I.X.L.  is a pecan grove with acres of tall and wide trees.  Underneath the trees the grass is smooth and green as a lawn.  Cows drowse in the cool and peaceful shadows.  The North Canadian River crosses your path on the way to I.X.L.  It’s a shallow but wide river, with sand bars dividing it nearly in two.  This year it’s especially low, but the white egrets and herons still come to fish.

Sign courtesy of
If there were an easy way to go, you’d miss seeing towns called Newby, Gypsy, Castle, Iron Post and Welty.  You'd miss the countless small churches along the way: the Welty Full Gospel, the Gypsy Holiness Church, the African Methodist Episcopal, the Welcome Bell Chapel and the Goodwill Baptist – some so far off the road that all you see is a faded and peeling sign pointing down a dry and dusty road.  

It would be a shame not to add to one’s knowledge the various offerings from these towns: Clark’s Maintenance, Hoss’ Tire Shop (with the colorfully-painted stone wall), Rob’s Magneto Service, and the Speed-a-Way right on the corner.  You never know when you might find yourself in need of their services.  “Tiger” is running for Head Chief this year and would appreciate your vote.  In Bristow you can buy yourself a brand new Ford, load up on barbed wire, eat a pizza, visit the archery store or simply stop in at the gas station for “hot subs, cold beer, cheap cig.”  If your old VW Beetle or Rabbit needs a part, look no further than the VW graveyard with its long lines of rusty, windowless bugs; your dune buggy needs can also be met.  And the Paden Mud Bog would be glad to get your business, if one could figure out exactly what the Paden Mud Bog was selling.


  1. That conjures up such pictures of the Wild Wild West as described in old movies and paperback cowboy yarns! Loved reading it - and frankly the litle places are usually much more interesting than the bigger towns and even larger cities - anywhere in the world. Thanks for the memories!

  2. you know I can't resist a mystery like that - I found this little bit of supplemental info to curb my curiosity -

    "Buck says the name goes back to when the land was sold by Indians. "This white man and this Indian man took a letter out of each one of their names, put them together, and that's what they came up with: I.X.L.," he says."

  3. how interesting. While the interstates may be nice, I think we lost something special with them too. I like driving the older side roads, especially on our bike. My husband and I keep talking about taking a trip on the old Route 66....someday, lol


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