Lost In Upshur County
By Nikki Pelezo
The powers that be here in Upshur County divided the county into four distinct areas and in the Northeast quadrant the roads are named after flowers, in the Northwest quadrant the roads are named after animals, the Southeast they are named after birds and the Southwest they are named after trees. It makes for some pretty swell road names. Which would you rather live on, Newt or Jackrabbit?
This gives us simple folk a pretty good idea where you are in relation to the name of your road, but finding the road is subjective to say the least. If you are an 18 year old girl out driving around and see the sign Rosemary and your name is Rosemary, guess what you want more than life itself? You want that road sign. Your idiot boyfriend rams his 1976 GMC into the Rosemary sign and it flings itself into the back of the truck from the impact. Stealing? Not so, just a slight road mishap. Ok, so you get the picture. Upshur County suffers a slight shortage of their road signs.
Also, it is a world of fun for a teen to go out at night and turn the signs at 180 degree turns making roads not what they were named. This is what happened to me trying to find Mule Deer and Llama. As with most Texas counties we have a world of old oil top or dirt roads, miles of them. Our part of the world, at one time, was dotted with little farms; the soil was great for growing sweet potatoes. The farmers are long gone, but the roads still meander out and about.
On a bright and sunny day I left the comfort of Texas State Highway 271 in search of a garage sale located on the corner of Mule Deer and Llama. With red dirt billowing out from behind my car I attempted to find the garage sale. I found Mule Deer, but not Llama. I stopped and turned around at Wolverine and headed back. I turned right on Kangaroo and pussy footed over to Lizard, but the mailboxes insisted I was on Great Dane. I backtracked and found Otter, Oxen and Turtle Circle but no Llama.
I noticed a mobile home on Toad with a man and women and their two kids out on their front porch which was made out of landscape timbers. The front porch was precariously listing to the East, but they didn’t seem to notice that they were three inches from total havoc. I stopped and asked for directions to Mule Deer and Llama and I swear they sent me on a wild goose chase, literally because I found Wild Goose. By the time I gave up on my adventure trying to find the garage sale this little family had added six kids and a grandmother, all sitting on that rickety front porch . They were in hysterics and a lot of knee slapping was going on, because I passed this mobile home twenty times before giving up. I would have stopped in and asked directions, on how I could find Highway 271, but I was fearful they would send me to Tyler.
I spotted a UPS van and followed him out of Deliverance and back home.