How I got to Midland – early memories

Click below to listen to “Susie Darlin” by Robin Luke

By: Suzi Northcutt Griffith (MHS’63)

 My dad was transferred by Magnolia Petroleum from Kermit to Midland in 1946.Our first home was rented on the south side of town from a couple who became close friends of my parents for life. Bea and Leonard Clark. They had come to Midland during the war from San Antonio because Leonard helped develop the Norden Bombsight which was used on planes at Midland Field during the war.  He could fix or create anything, and for many years he was the only piano tuner in the Permian Basin. He’d go all the way into New Mexico to tune pianos. Eventually they moved to a house on Illinois St. I don’t know when the High School was built, but I do remember playing in the vacant land on the east of their house where years later The Midland Youth Center would be built. Don’t remember much from this time because I was so young, but I did have a tricycle and rode it on the sidewalk. Mother told me they bought Ozarka water for me because the fluoride in the wells would stain the teeth of young children. About three years later we moved into the house my dad built with the help of friends.  This was on land that he bought from a local rancher, Conrad Holzgraf, who was selling lots for development. Conrad’s house fronted on a dirt road that became Golf Course Road and a dirt road that became “A” Street.  The southwest corner of that intersection and beyond in both directions became the golf course for the original Midland Country Club. I can remember quite the commotion from a loudspeaker during tournaments (Wildscatter, I suppose). The Holzgrafs had a windmill and there was another windmill further west by Golf Course Road. If you traveled south toward town on “A” street, you would come to the cemetery. Looking north, there was nothing but grass and mesquite and not much of either between my house and Midland Draw.