Tex Oddson Sr., the man who built White Rock Stables from a dumping ground more than 50 years ago, died of cancer last month a few days before his 85th birthday.
Tex Sr. saw generations of families grow up at his stables, which is a boarding house for horses at Goforth and Lanshire, and he taught many children about his favorite animal – the horse.
Jane Albritton, a 49-year-old neighborhood resident, was taught to ride a horse by Tex Sr. when she was six years old.
“You can tell White Rock Stables horses because they all look fat and happy,” Albritton says. “You can tell Tex Oddson trained riders because they are courteous.”
“Tex is for me the model of a horseman. He was quiet, but he was firm. He wanted both the horse to have a good time and the rider to have a good time.”
Albritton met Tex Sr. before he purchased the 14 acres (one city block) on which White Rock Stables now sits. That was 1948, and the property was covered with garbage, with no trace of the grass on which the horses now graze upon.
Tex Sr. built the white barn, which today houses more than 50 horses, and brought peacocks, rabbits and other animals to live on the land.
“For me, going to the stables is a retreat,” Albritton says. “It’s a place to get away and think. It’s an oasis in an urban setting.”
Like Albritton, Hank Beckman learned to ride at the hands of Tex Sr. Now 55 years old, he first met Tex Sr. when he was 28.
“I brought my little daughter, who was six months old, and Tex trained us on our first horse,” Beckman says. “He’s been like a dad to me and my children. He taught all my children not only to train their horses, but a little bit about life.”
Tex Jr. now runs White Rock Stables and has done so for several years. Tex Sr. used to sit where he could watch his son, wearing his straw hat and sunglasses, and tell stories to visitors.
“Tex Sr. was a dear, lovable friend,” Beckman says. “He did a lot for all the people who came out to the stables. He was a man who gave back what he took out of life.”
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