Sleepy Sudan Texas sits astride US 84 between Lubbock and the New Mexico border. Sleepy is the operative word on a somnolent March morning. You know it’s a backwater when the nearest city is called Muleshoe. Gotta love that moniker. The towering grain elevators that dominate the town are dormant. A solitary pick-up creeps along Main Street in a scene right out of Bogdonovitch’s The Last Picture Show. That film was made in 1971. In Sudan it still is.
In 1892 the owners of the 77 ranch granted Lamb County the site for a town. The town’s first postmaster P.F. Boesen named it Sudan for reasons lost in history. The dusty burg limped along with a population of six lonely souls until in 1913 the Santa Fe Railroad built a spur through Sudan on the way from Lubbock to Clovis. There soon followed a hotel, a cotton gin and grain elevators and by 1925 several hundred farmers, pickers and ranchers had settled in Sudan.
And did you know that Lubbock, a city of 250,000 an hour away and the home of Texas Tech University was dry until May of 2009? Matriculation without lubrication. Jeez.