Finding Commonwealth in Claude America
July 7, 2017

Communities across America have many similarities and differences but the 12 Commonwealth key assets are a way of identifying these. I come from the town of Claude, Texas located in the Texas Panhandle. Armstrong County is a place that I personally feel embodies a lot of Commonwealth aspects. For example, our Courthouse and the shops surrounding it located on the town square is where I feel a sense of place its identifiable architecture makes it stand out and a beacon of town respect for its citizens. Claude iconic look was even enough for movie director in Hollywood to use it as a backdrop in the Paul Newman movie “Hud.” Armstrong County has a rich history as the home to Charles Goodnight the infamous cattlemen who saved the American Bison. Our Armstrong County Museum and Gem Theater show local artists and musicians making our small town a pocket for arts and culture. The water cycle, soil cycle, and foodshed can be found in our strong agricultural economy and in the fields of playas, you can see on any given day. The row of all three churched on one street shows any out of towner that Claude America is a town with spirituality. Our education system has its own problems like any small town but despite its up and downs, I credit it with making me into who I am. Strong programs like 4-H and FFA helped former students like myself be equipped with skills as we ventured out into the world. Claude is picturesque but it is not perfect leisure and recreation like most places is not found most nights kids drive around every street jamming out to their favorite tunes as the primary form of entertainment or take the short 30-minute drive to Amarillo to see the latest movie. Other entertainment in the cooler months locals go out into deer blinds to get in touch with nature but to also hunt to fill their freezers for the next year. Hiking on local land or driving to the lookout on the other side of the Palo Duro Canyon to watch a sunrise allows Claude citizens to look at the beautiful land they call their home. Off in the distance, you can see power lines and wind turbine outlines of a renewable energy soon to come. Yes Claude America as locals refer to it, is my home, my community, and the essence of the 12 Commonwealth key assets.

 

Working for the Armstrong County Museum and Goodnight Historical Center.

 

Recreation and exploring nature while shooting Trap with my Dad on the canyon rim.