At one time, there were roughly 80 homes in the El Paso Natural Gas camp in Midkiff. Today, there's little left.
For those who grew up in the camp, the sight is hard to swallow. "It's sad," said John Kidd, who grew up in the camp. But reminiscing on the good old days makes everything a little easier. "We lived over here. It was so cool. Get up. Play. Everybody had their eye on you," said Kidd.
Although some would say living in the middle of a pasture would leave little to do, the two camp brats we spoke with prove their theory wrong. "We made our own fun out here. That's what was so neat. We had this entire strip to ride bicycles on. Then, you went down through the camp to look for things to do. Tennis courts and a park right there," said Kidd and fellow camp kid Mike Johnson.
They loved camping in the great outdoors without a care in the world. Kidd recalled, "There wasn't a horny toad or a rabbit within a 5 mile radius of a camp 'cause all of us guys took our guns and went huntin'."
From Boy Scouts to potlucks, many memories were made in the rec hall which is still standing today and on the 6-hole golf course that's barely recognizable. "Lots of golf played here over the years," said Kenneth Batla, who lived in the Midkiff camp before the homes were removed and now works for the Atlas Pipeline, who now operates the plant in Midkiff.
For Kidd, the song "My Girl" brings back memories of a lifetime. "I met my wife in this camp," he said.
For Mike Johnson, it's walking on what little is left of the race track he and his buddies built. "We all road motorcycles. We played tag on motorcycles," recalled Johnson.
And then, there's the baseball field. One of the few structures that remains standing. "(We'd) come over here and play baseball and everybody would scream and holler. Everybody would be mad at each other...got a bad call. But then we'd go to church on Sunday and everybody loved each other," said Kidd.
Although time has left it's mark on the field, the bases remain untouched, just like the memories that will remain with those who grew up in a camp. Memories that will be passed down from generation to generation.
Coming up next week, we'll speak with a few people that worked inside the actual plant...one who still does. We'll also get a mothers perspective on raising a family in a camp. That report airs next Thursday at 10PM. Until then, we would love to here your memories from camp on our facebook page -http://www.facebook.com/KMIDBig2 or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mycah-Glover-KMID/142649709139054 .