Everybody's Got To Be Somewhere LbNA # 23685
|Placed Date||Jul 9 2006|
Mentone (population 15) has become famous for its lack of people.
Mentone happens to be the county seat of Loving County, which in round numbers may reach 70 occupants. This assures it the distinction of being the most sparsely populated county in Texas. A motorist maintaining a steady 30-mph pace between city limit signs can be across these limits in about one minute. Only a few amenities of everyday life still are in place, notably the town’s only cafe, which faces a gas station across the road. Besides no newspaper, no grocery, no doctor and no school children (they do have a school, but its been closed since the 70s), they also have to haul in drinking water. They even rely on nearby Kermit or Pecos for the use of their cemeteries. People have been buried in Loving County, but their graves are only of interest to archeologists.
The story is that Mentone was named after Menton, France. Since Menton is on the French Riviera, it's doubtful that a homesick Frenchman was reminded of his hometown, but then again, that's the story. Some suggest Mentone is a town in name only. Charles Derrick, who with wife Regena operates the Boot Track Cafe, which occasionally presents little evidence of being open, may have unintentionally answered this by uttering one of his impromptu quips: "We may look like we’re closed but we’re not."
If you want to see Mentone you’d better hurry, before it does close. The great website, www.texasescapes.com, suggests several slogans that would be great for Mentone. There’s
“If ‘Less Is More’ then Even Less is Even More”
“East of the Pecos, West of France”
“We Make Archer City Look Like Mexico City”
“Its About Nothing”
"We're not in the middle of nowhere, but you can see it from here"
and my favorite:
“If everybody's got to be somewhere, why isn't anybody here?”
CLUES TO THE LETTERBOX:
This is an easy “drive-by”, but not very many people will. The stamp is hand-carved and features a beautiful panorama of downtown Mentone. The box is located in a roadside rest/picnic area (be sure to take something to eat in case the Boot Track is closed). The site is a half-mile southwest of the Loving County Courthouse on the north side of Highway 302. There you will find a granite monument dedicated to the Goodnight/Loving Trail. Look about a foot behind the northwest corner of the marker, just inside a bed of rocks. Please help us out and recover the box for the next lost person to stumble upon.