IXL, OK - air date September 4, 1999 (KWTV Oklahoma City 1990) Inc 2001
You're driving Highway 48 through the country, and you're bored. You're barely paying attention, then you see this. A sign with the letters IXL. What kind of cowtown is this, you ask yourself, and like scores before you, you pull over because curiosity's killing you. You find t the store not a friendly place (because it's long been shut down), and the new owner (a spider) isn't too friendly. Down the street a piece, you find 83-year-old Buck Spratt working on a truck. The question is always the same, "What do you mean-- IXL?"
We've been getting more mail from people wanting to know about I.X.L. than any other Strangely Named Town, which was kind of bunny to us because, try as we might, we couldn't find it on any road map. Some were wondering if I.X.L., the letters, didn't really stand for IXL (the Roman numerals). While others insisted it means "I - Excel", as in "I have talent." but the truth about the IXL name might be more bizarre than any of those theories.
Buck says the name goes back to when the land was sold by Indians. "This white man and this Indian man took a letter out of each one of their names, put them together, and that's what they came up with: IXL," he says.
After you get the scoop on the name, you can see that among his tools lies a sign of Buck's passion -- Baseball. In 1947, Branch Rickey invited Buck to spring training with the Brooklyn Dodgers. That was the same year Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. "I could do more different things than Jackie Robinson," says Buck. "I never seen a guy who could strike me out." But Buck had a family in IXL and a good job and he turned the Dodgers down. But Buck's a man who knows his place in history. "If the good Lord had meant for me to be a millionaire, I believe I could have been one. But I'm happy with what he gave me." And God gave Buck peace of mind. "I don't see (any) other place I like better than I do here."