I grew up in Midland/Odessa. Not just Midland and not just Odessa. My mom lived in Midland growing up and my Dad lived in Odessa. I went to OHS and MHS. I bled Red and White AND Purple and Gold.

I remember in Odessa always having something to do be it arcades, go karts, mini golf, etc. Some of my best Odessa memories are from around the time I was 11 years old when I was old enough to ride my bike with my friends just about anywhere in the city so long as my parents knew where I was going and what time I would be back.


There was nothing better than a long bike ride with three or four friends with a pocket full of quarters headed to the $1.50 theatre or the arcade. It was a very liberating feeling as a kid knowing I was big enough to finally be alone and really be myself with my friends. I think because of car accidents involving children on bikes and fear of predators now a days, a lot of parents rob their kids of this feeling.


Because of smart phones, the internet, and more constant coverage of these events it seems like they’re more frequent but I think it really only seems that way due to technology and social media. Fear sells and that goes for Facebook, CNN, or Fox News. It seems like kids are staying in a lot more and not going out on adventures. We’d all like to blame the times and the fact that kids just want to play video games but I think if we are honest with ourselves it also has a little to do with us the parents. The fact is, deep down I think a lot of us like knowing our kids aren’t out getting into trouble or in danger. If they’re in front of the TV safe at home, we worry a lot less and they’re a lot easier to deal with, but we don’t think about that great liberating feeling we got to experience as kids that they’ll never have because of our own fears.


One thing I’ve noticed also is a change in local business. There’s almost nowhere in Odessa for kids to go. There are no arcades, no mini golf, nothing. A city of this size should have several things to do for kids but there’s really not very much at all in comparison to the size of the city. Sure we have the YMCA and sorts but what if a kid just wants to gather up some friends and blow some of their hard earned allowance on an afternoon with the guys (or gals)? I personally would like to see a lot more of this

Children running through hallway

than this.

Friends playing video game

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