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On the Lubbock County Historical Commission’s Facebook page is a grainy archival image that appears to have come from a bit of nineteenth-century promotional material. It depicts a group of dapper travelers gathered on the balcony of the long-gone Nicolett Hotel, which opened in 1889. Underneath the photo are the words “A street in Lubbock, Texas, where everybody lives easy, has a good time, and makes lots of money.” Nowadays, if you drive around the smallish grid of a downtown, with its acres of parking and comically wide avenues, you might deduce that everybody does in fact make lots of money, since it seems as if most of the buildings are banks. The remaining businesses appear to be split between good times (bars, smoke shops,…
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