A "Tale of Two Cities", Midland and Odessa

A "Tale of Two Cities", Midland and Odessa

"Raise hell in Odessa, raise a family in Midland," is a saying many have heard over the years. Local Big 2 News investigates if it still holds true today?
MIDLAND/ODESSA, TX, (Local Big 2 News Special Report) - Many of us have heard the saying at one point or another, you raise hell in Odessa but raise a family in Midland.

A look through the history books of Midland and Odessa shows both strange and controversial events, such as a jack rabbit rope wrangle receiving national attention in 1932 in Odessa, and you can find the childhood home of President George W Bush in Midland. For many residents, the most notable change through the years was population boom altering the landscape forever.

"Midland was a good ol' West Texas town, it was really quiet. Back in the 70's and 80's when I was growing up, alot of tumbleweeds were blowing in the streets," explains Midland Mayor Jerry Morales.
Mayor Morales is quick to point out the benefits of progress, but admits it's not the same close knit community he came to love as a kid.

"I would say that I really miss that part of it, Hogan Park used to be the park to go to, because there used to be a small zoo," says Mayor Morales.

He wishes kids today would get the same opportunity.

"We didn't have the cell phones or video games at that point, so you really saw the kids out in the street playing the baseball, stickball, soccer, kickball," adds Morales.

Pat McDaniel, Director of the Haley Library, says it's important to keep memories in perspective with progress.

"One man's history can be tainted by reminiscences that have more or less a romanticized view of things, as they were," says Pat Mcdaniel, Director of the Haley Library and History Center.

But if you do want to take a trip back in time, there's at least one place you can go.

The Midland history museum has all sorts of artifacts from throughout Midland's history. One of the only things you can actually touch here is this photo album filled with Midland's history from the 19th and 20th centuries.

"With this current boom that we're seeing, it's the desire of alot of us who have lived here a long time, that our culture remain intact," says McDaniel.

McDaniel says you can trace Odessa's perceived toughness back to blue collar workers settling Odessa, while while collar folks populated Midland.

"They were closer to the oil fields, Midland county didn't have that much oil production in the early years, it was the office headquarters the staffing headquarters."

Today, Odessa officials plan for the next 20 years, with the city's first comprehensive master plan since the 80's.

"We're currently going through this master planning process, and hopefully we can get some great input from our citizens because after all this is their community," says Odessa Deputy Town Manager Michael Marrero.

As for the saying raise hell in Odessa, raise a family in Midland, Marrero thinks it's false.

"I'm not really sure where that came from, I think both communities are very similar," says Marrero.

Mayor Morales pretty much agrees, except for one area.

"Both communities are sister cities who've always worked together, growing up, the only competition that I knew was football," says Morales with a chuckle.

As for one aspect Mayor Morales hopes to see improved?

"Midland and Odessa should really work together on being a strong medical community," he says.

We've come a long way since the days of rabbit rope wrangling, and with the boom showing no signs of slowing down, city boundaries could expand, bringing the two cities even closer together than ever before.


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