Hooker catches eye of Travel Channel PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 March 2013 11:23

A camera crew shoots footage for the Travel Channel on Gladyas Street in downtown Hooker, Okla., last week. The network is planning a series on communities with unique and interesting names, and this crew also visited Beaver, Okla., during their time in the Panhandle. L&T photo/Robert Pierce

 

Cable show visits cities with unique names

By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
America’s map is dotted with numerous interesting places, many of which have funny or unusual names.
Now, the Travel Channel is looking at some of those communities in a series of shows, and two of those towns are but a stone’s throw from Liberal.
The network was in Hooker, Okla., and Beaver, Okla., last weekend to get to know some of the people and places in the two communities.
The Travel Channel’s Chad Gajadhar, part of the crew, said footage from Hooker and Beaver will show the rest of the country what the Oklahoma Panhandle towns are all about.
“We shot it at random with some cowboys,” he said. “We shot it with some people from the high school, some kids from the school. We shot it with Brenda who runs the Chamber of Commerce.”
Gajadhar said the focus of the Travel Channel expedition is to go to towns with funny or interesting names, and he said Hooker and Beaver certainly fit the bill.
“A little bit of the focus is asking people what they think about it,” he said. “Do you like it? Do you not like it? Does it matter? People are always interested in it. What are the questions you get when you go out of town and people find out you’re from a town like Hooker?”
The crew had previously visited Intercourse, Pa., which Gajadhar said is a little smaller than Hooker.
“With Intercourse, there’s all sorts of towns that are right next to it,” he said, however. “Intercourse is this big, but right next door, there’s a town that’s that big. All those towns together are maybe the size of Hooker.”
Gajadhar said he really enjoyed his time in Hooker.
“The people have been so nice,” he said. “Everyone’s been real personable.”
The project to find towns with unique and funny names was the brainchild of fellow crew member Jessica Feavle, according to Gajadhar.
“Jessica researched it like crazy,” he said. “We had a long list of towns with names that are interesting. We’ve researched the individual towns to see what’s there, what’s interesting, and Hooker had some stuff that was interesting.”
Of the towns the Travel Channel has planned for the series, though, Hooker was not the favorite of Gajadhar.
“I don’t think it’s the funniest,” he said. “My favorite is Humptulips, Wash.”
The crew asked people in the Hooker community about the impressions those outside of the area had of the town.
“One of the questions I’ve asked people is ‘To you, what is the best thing about Hooker,’” Gajadhar said. “Invariably, everyone has said the people. I think that’s right. The people here have been so nice, fun and just willing to participate and just have fun with it.”
The people of Hooker likewise joined the crew in having fun with the town’s name.
“Everybody has had a good sense of humor and has understood what we’re doing and has not gotten offended,” Gajadhar said. “They realize it’s just light hearted fun.”
The crew finished its time in the Texas County community with a stop at the Hooker Soda Fountain and Grill, formerly Grey’s Rexall Drug, on Gladyas Street and a visit with a former Miss Hooker Sweetheart before heading to Beaver.
The stop in the Panhandle towns was just the start of what Gajadhar hopes will be many on the journey across America.
“We haven’t been to a ton of towns,” he said. “This is kind of the beginning of what we’re doing. We’ve been to Intercourse, and we’ve been to a few towns in Pennsylvania and here.”
As for when the show about the Panhandle communities will air, Gajadhar said that is up to the network itself.
“I don’t have an answer,” he said. “The show will be finished in April, and then, it’ll be up to the network to decide when it airs.”

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press.

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