February 10, 2021
As Valentine’s Day is approaching, I thought I’d share a romantic story about one of Texas’s greatest artists, Tom Lea. This is a love story, expressed in one painting, titled “Sarah in the Summertime.” I’ll tell you the story of that painting and how it came to be. Tom Lea was a true renaissance artist in the sense that he was both a gifted painter and writer. He was a muralist and a novelist. His murals are, to this day, in public buildings in Washington, D.C., El Paso, his home town and Odessa. President George W. Bush had one of his…Listen
January 27, 2021
For me, Lyndon Johnson did more for Texas in his lifetime than any other politician, except for Sam Houston. And Houston’s greatest gift was given to Texas in the form of a resounding victory at San Jacinto, before he began his political years as president. Two of Johnson’s most enduring gifts to Texas are NASA, and the electricity for rural Texas, especially for the inaccessible hinterlands of the Hill Country. LBJ said, in 1959, that “nothing had ever given him as much satisfaction as” bringing electricity to the rural people of his region. By the end of his life he…Listen
January 13, 2021
I go for walks in the country often this time of year here in the Rio Grande Valley. This is our Goldilocks season. Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right. We have a perfectly warming sun in the crisp, cool air of winter mornings. I like to walk along a dirt road that has freshly plowed farmland on one side and a deep motte of mesquite and huisache trees on the other. A committee of vultures watches me from atop the tallest of these trees, far away from civilization. That’s the official name for a group of vultures. A…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.”