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Join the discussion: He engineered oil rigs. And then this 190-foot Texas cross.

This giant cross located off Route 66 in Groom, Texas, measures 190 feet tall. It attracts a mix of believers, locals, and tourists who happen upon it.Erin Clark / Globe Staff

GROOM, Texas — It’s visible for miles over the North Texas landscape of flat fields, ranches, and wind farms, a 19-story metal cross scraping the sky.

Located just off of Route 66, it attracts a mix of believers, locals, and international tourists who happen across it while driving America’s most iconic highway.

Many visitors are unaware that the man behind the cross, a hoarse-voiced, patrician Texan named Steve Thomas, is often sitting just a few yards away. Thomas, who recently sold the oil and gas company he had owned for 35 years, likes to sit in his office in the attraction’s rest area, and watch through his window as travelers gawk at his life’s great work.


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Annalisa Quinn can be reached at annalisa.quinn@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @annalisa_quinn.