April 7, 2021
Of the thousands of mourners who posted their goodbyes and gratitudes to Texas writer Larry McMurtry across last month, there was one stand-out theme. It was to thank McMurtry for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Lonesome Dove.” Most considered it his premiere gift to them personally, a gift that had immeasurably enriched their lives, as culturally vital as Homer’s Iliad was to the Greeks. To many, “Lonesome Dove” is a book of proverbs, with advice such as: “The best way to handle death is to ride on away from it.” Or “Yesterday’s gone on down the river and you can’t get…Listen
March 24, 2021
By W. F. Strong Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of neighborhood cultures in Texas: high security and low security. My wife is high security and I’m low security, by tradition. She was raised in Mexico, in a compound surrounded by the classic 12 foot walls with shards of glass embedded on top. I was raised in rural Texas, in a house, with an acre of yard and no walls or fences. We locked our doors at night, if we remembered. These childhood influences carry over. My wife loves these new, inexpensive security cameras. She has six that cover the…Listen
March 10, 2021
By W. F. Strong Could there be a better name for the world’s faster runner than Usain Bolt? It’s a dead solid perfect aptronym, which is the formal word for a name that appropriately fits one’s occupation, sometimes humorously. A neurological scholar in England was knighted and became, I kid you not, Lord Brain. The president of Barclays Bank used to be Rich Ricci. What else could he have done but become a banker? The same may be said for George Francis Train, a major player in building the eastern portion of the transcontinental railroad across the United States. Barbara…Listen
“Stories from Texas” are written and recorded by W.F. Strong for the Texas Standard radio program. They are edited for broadcast by Texas Standard producers.
W.F. Strong is a professor of culture and communication at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He is a Fulbright scholar and author of the book “Stories From Texas: Some Of Them Are True.”