I have concluded that Amarillo needs to declare “orange” as the city’s official color.
Yes, “Amarillo” means “yellow” in Spanish. And oh brother, the grasslands surrounding the city are quite, um, yellow at the moment, given our absolute absence of any moisture for the past four months.
But orange is the predominant color one sees when driving damn near anywhere in this city of 200,000 residents. Orange seems to highlight every street there is. Orange cones. Orange barrels. Orange “Road Work” signs. Orange “detour” signs.
I also will concede that the abundance of orange is trying my patience as a fairly conscientious motorist.
Traffic is snarled on thoroughfares that are busy even when there’s no construction occurring. Coulter Street? Soncy? Grand? Pfftt! Forget about it! Don’t even think you can anywhere in a hurry if you have any thoughts of driving along those busy streets. They’re torn up.
Those are the city jobs.
How about the Texas Department of Transportation, which has crews working feverishly along Interstates 40 and 27 and Loop 335? I’ll say this about the TxDOT jobs: At least the traffic is moving smoothly along I-40, which my wife and I travel most frequently during the course of our day.
Today we noticed something that reminded me of a quip my late uncle once threw at me when he and my late aunt were traveling through Beaumont, where my family and I used to live.
TxDOT was rebuilding Interstate 10 in the late 1980s. Tom and Verna Kanelis came through town one year. They returned two years later — and the work was still under way! Tom called when they arrived, and then asked with good-natured derision: “What are they using out there to dig that highway? Spoons?”
Today, my wife and I watched five TxDOT employees at the Soncy-Interstate 40 overpass, digging and slinging dirt with shovels.
They might as well have spoons. My beloved Uncle Tom would have laughed out loud.