RV Diary


Reluctantly leave Marfa at around 9am and head north to the oil towns of Odessa and Midland. The landscape stays flat but the life feels harsher in these towns. Rigging crews and oil workers driving specially fitted trucks. We stop to film one of the Yellow nodding donkey oil pump but it grinds to a halt as I get close, almost like its alive and not keen on our inspection. Its beautiful in its own way ... a perfect piece of engineering, unchanged in 80 years.

On the outskirts of town, a drive in cinema is playing 'Pride Prejudice & Zombies' alongside other recycled movies for the sequel generation.

In Midland we visit the childhood home of presidential sequel, George W Bush, and get a tour with a nice lady who does everything she can not to rise to my provocative questions. The house is a perfect museum to a perfect 50s childhood of city cowboy rules in the oil boom suburbia of Midland. Its all set up so perfect and the only sign of trouble is a photo book of American troops in Afghanistan which you can buy, alongside hundreds of GW flags and pins and books and magnets and tablecloths and broaches ... in the gift shop.

Inside the house, there's a 50s TV and faded life magazines in a pine walled sitting room.

Photos of the 'ordinary' family.

And lots of children's books about cowboys and prayers.

And in Bush Junior's bedroom, a poster of Roy Rogers Riders Rules. I was struck by No. 4: "Protect the weak and help them" and No. 5: "Be brave but never take chances". Not rules in keeping with GW's expeditions in the Middle East.

Stephen Stapleton
Midland / Odessa, Texas