Small town, Big Heart
June 29, 2014

Most people would look at Borger, Texas and write it off as just another typical small town, but it is so much more than that to me. Borger is where I grew up, where I met people who changed my life forever, and where I will always call home no matter how far away I really end up getting. I was extremely excited to complete this assignment and though I thought I knew all Borger had to offer I was presently surprised at what all I learned.

 

"Ace" the founder of Borger
“Ace” the founder of Borger

The history of Borger is truly fascinating and is actually one of the most well-known outlaw towns in Texas. Borger was established by and named after A. P. (Ace) Borger. In March 1926, after the discovery of oil in the vicinity, Borger and his partner, John R. Miller, purchased a 240-acre town site near the Canadian River in the southern part of the county. Within ninety days of its founding, sensational advertising and the lure of “black gold” brought over 45,000 men and women to the new boomtown. In October, the charter incorporating the city of Borger was adopted, and Miller was elected mayor.  Borger grew extremely fast due to the oil and resources in the area.

The Phillips Refinery at night, looks like another town.
The Phillips Refinery at night, looks like another town.

It is no surprise that Borger is a thriving industrial town, with a least five plants I can think of, off the top of my head. These plants manufacture substances such as natural gas, oil, carbon black, fertilizer, just to name a few. Borger is the home to the world’s largest inland petrochemical complex. ConocoPhillips Petroleum Co. is involved in the processing of crude oil and natural gas liquids. In addition, Chevron-Phillips Chemical Co. processes various specialty chemicals. Sid Richardson Carbon Co. produces rubber grade carbon black and Orion Carbons, Inc., which produces a variety of carbon blacks at its facility. These substances are sent all over the world and are very valuable resources. Borger and the surrounding area are quickly becoming home for many wind farms, and I can’t think of any better place to harvest wind than in the Texas panhandle (we have plenty of it).

 

The Aluminum Dome in Borger that holds many community events and annual craft shows.
The Aluminum Dome in Borger that holds many community events and annual craft shows.

Growing up in Borger I can honestly say that I know what sense of place means. The people of Borger are truly some of the kindest and most helpful people I have ever been blessed to know. There is a veteran’s memorial in Borger that list all the names of people from Borger and the surrounding towns who have lost their lives fighting for our country, and it is truly a beautiful place to see. Borger host several community events such as Summer Celebration, Beach Bash, and many cookouts. All of these events really bring everyone together and help make the community closer. In May of 2014 Fritch Texas, a town about 9 miles from Borger suffered a terrible loss because of large wild fires. Many homes were lost and several families lost everything. Borger and Fritch came together and hosted benefits and events to help raise money for the families. It was a tragedy but it was very wonderful to see how strong and caring our community is and I am very proud to say that Borger is my sense of place.

 

Johnson Park Youth Center! A busy place in the summer heat.
Johnson Park Youth Center! A busy place in the summer heat.

Some people think that growing up in a small town would be boring and would have little to no activities to participate in, but Borger has a lot to offer. Huber Park is not only a gorgeous park with a huge walking and jogging path but also a water park, a bird exhibit and many play grounds. Johnson Park Youth Center has a huge community pool that is open all summer, and is a great place for children and adults of all ages to relax and cool off. Johnson Park also has a skate park that is constantly full of teenagers working on their moves! The Morley theater in Borger has three movie screens and is a great small town movie theatre at a very reasonable price. Wildcatter’s bowling alley is full of teenager and adults who form teams and bowl for fun on the weekends. These places are just a few of the leisure and recreation activities that Borger has to offer.

The food shed of Borger is very important as well. Borger is thriving agriculturally and is therefore able to offer people fresh produce at the local farmers market on Main Street that means two Saturdays out of the month. Borger also has a rainbow room which offers food and household products to families in need. The Hutchinson County food bank is also a very helpful and well known resource in Borger. The food bank takes lots of donations and does a very good job at providing for families in need not just during holiday times but all year around. Borger is full of vey giving and helpful people, which helps places like these be able to function properly.

The Johnson Park Youth Center
The Johnson Park Youth Center

Health is extremely important to me since I am entering the healthcare field, and I was very excited to see what my hometown had to offer. Golden Plains Community Hospital offers services such as emergency department, diagnostic imaging, operating services, labor and delivery, acute care, rehabilitation, pharmacy, and home health care just to name a few. There is also access to several outpatient clinics in Borger, giving citizens options as to whom they chose as their primary care provider.  Borger also has several dentist, orthodontist, and optometrist making it easy to receive quality hometown care. Health is not just doctors’ offices; health is maintaining fitness and exercise as well. The Borger Community Activity Center, located on the Frank Phillips College Campus, provides exercise equipment, full size swimming pool and various classes for members. Anytime Fitness and Main Street Gym have recently been added to the fitness options.

 

Alibates Flint Quaries National Park
Alibates Flint Quarries National Park

The mineral and soil cycle was a tough one for me to learn about. I discovered that the Alibates Flint Park near Lake Meredith plays a very important role in not just the history of Borger but also the soil and mineral cycle. Flint is a very interesting and beautiful mineral that changes over the years due to weathering and erosion. I also learned about some local small gardening clubs in Borger, and looked into many of the local greenhouses in Borger. Thomas Greenhouse on Main Street is a family owned and operated business that specializes in plants and soil products. The Thomas family is very helpful by teaching customers alternative ways of growing and caring for plants through means that are also helpful to the earth.

Spirituality is very important in the south and Borger is no exception. Borger offers a wide variety of different denomination churches and many non-denominational churches. The options are endless and there is a church or place of worship that fits everyone’s different preferences. Many of the churches offer programs for children and youth.

 

Frank Philips College, a great place to start
Frank Philips College, a great place to start

I see firsthand the importance of Borger’s education due to my mother being the Math Department Head at Borger Middle School. Dedicated to improving the academic performance of all students is Borger ISD, with Paul Belton Early Childhood, Crockett and Gateway Elementary, Borger Intermediate, Borger Middle, and Borger High School. Many extracurricular activities are offered to and enjoyed by students. Frank Phillips College provides a two year community based higher education program committed to providing its students with quality learning in an exciting atmosphere, while also helping to open the door to possibly furthering education at a University. I attended Frank Phillips College while still in high school in order to receive dual credit, and I really loved the more individualized learning due to the smaller student teacher ratio.

I really enjoyed this assignment. Being from Borger I assumed I knew all the resources that my hometown had to offer but I was presently surprised at what all I learned. Sometimes in the busyness of everyday life we take for granted all we have around us, but by taking time to research and learn more about my hometown I can say how truly thankful I am to be from a small town with such a big heart.