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November 4, 2015

6 Reasons Texas Is Better Than Alaska

By: W.F. Strong

There’s a popular bumper sticker up there in Alaska that says, “Making Texans Mad Since 1959.” That’s loosely translated — otherwise I couldn’t say it on the radio

The allusion is, of course, to the fact that when Alaska became a state, Texas immediately got demoted to second biggest state.

No doubt Alaska is geographically more than twice the size of Texas, but we still own the bragging rights on many fronts.

Texans are still fond of pointing out that if we melted all the ice and snow up there Texas would still be bigger.

Texas reigned as the biggest state in the the union for 104 years. Alaska has a long way to go to take the title from us, about 50 years yet.

We are certainly bigger in population, forty times bigger.

You know that famous pipeline they have up there? Guess who built it? Texans did. And Okies, too. There are no exact figures but we have proof in Alaskan folklore. An Alaskan saying back when the pipeline was being built, was this: “Happiness is 10,000 Okies pickin’ up a Texan under each arm and headin’ South.” Don’t know why they would have that attitude, we were just making them rich.

Alaska is a big oil producer, sure. But Texas is still a much larger producer of oil and gas and has far greater reserves: three times as much oil as Alaska and ten times as much natural gas. Texas remains number one in oil in the U.S. and would be the sixth largest oil country in the world if she were on her own. They don’t call us Saudi Texas for nothing.

Final thing, and I think of this as a kind of slam dunk fact. Alaska would not be a state if Texas had not made it one. It’s true. Alaska’s bid for statehood had languished for years, back in the forties and fifties. And was going nowhere until Senator Lyndon Johnson and Speaker Sam Rayburn threw their weight behind Alaska’s statehood ambitions. That was the tipping point. Once those two got behind it, Alaska was fast-tracked to statehood. You might say Texas was big enough to let them be bigger.

Given all that we have done for Alaska, I think they could use a bumper sticker I’ve designed. It looks like a Texas flag and says: ” Thanks Y’all.”


May 8, 2024

An AI Experiment

There’s been a lot of talk lately about artificial intelligence — what it can do and what its limitations are. And if you’ve been keeping tabs on it at all, there’s no doubt that it seems to be getting better — and fast. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong wanted to find out for himself just […]


April 10, 2024

Counting Cattle With the Fathers

Longtime listeners may know — Texas Standard is fast approaching a milestone birthday. We’re turning 10 next March. With us almost from the beginning have been signature segments including the Typewriter Rodeo and Stories From Texas — these bi-weekly commentaries from WF Strong. He says he has a goal beyond entertainment.


March 13, 2024

The Other Hill Country

Over the next couple of months, many will set off for the Texas Hill Country to enjoy the splendor of the wildflowers celebrating spring. Many of the tourists are flatlanders, who not only love the kaleidoscope of colors but also driving the hilly roads that snake through billions of blossoms. Texas Standard Commentator WF Strong […]


February 28, 2024

The mystery of the Texas box

We’ve all heard the proverb about one man’s trash being another’s treasure. Well, for generations of a family now living in Texas, the treasure in question was an old box found discarded many years earlier. Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong has the story.


February 14, 2024

Bonnie and Clyde: Star-synced lovers

February the 14th may be one of the more divisive days on the calendar. Though Valentine’s Day is meant to celebrate love — many find it cheesy, commercial, or downright depressing. Others, lean into the holiday. In the latter camp, it seems, were a pair infamous lovers from Texas. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong has […]


January 3, 2024

New Year’s Eve on Houston Street

Champagne toasts, fireworks, making resolutions, fancy meals… those are just some of the many ways Texans chose to to ring in 2024. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong, however, decided to welcome the New Year by reflecting on the past.


December 20, 2023

The Gift of the Tidelands

Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong has a little holiday tradition. Every December he likes to count our collective blessings as Texans by highlighting a great gift to Texas. He says the tidelands were special because the giver didn’t realize how much goodness would continue to flow from them.


December 6, 2023

La Pitada

554 miles from AT&T Stadium you will find a Dallas Cowboys celebratory tradition that is unique in Texas. You might expect it in Dallas or Arlington, but to find this three decade tradition thriving in a Brownsville neighborhood, is both surprising and heart-warming. It is called La Pitada. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong has more.