Up to 1000 more Texas National Guard troops could soon deploy to the border. But will they be effective? We’ll take a closer look. Also, rebuilding smaller after Harvey. For some it might not be a choice. We’ll explore. Plus, thanks to the Permian Oil boom the U.S. is in a different position as tensions with Iran escalate. But does it really make a difference? We’ll take a closer look. And we’ll hear from the former Ambassador to the Dominican Republic about problems on the Island, and whether you should delay your trip. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
A mass migration from California to Texas. Is it all about the Benjamins? Or could it say something about the future of the U.S.? Two visions for the future of America, and according to the Economist Magazine, one is better suited for the future, we’ll hear why. Also, is Texas big enough for a second vet school? The Governor says yes, approving 17 million to green light a challenger to Texas A&M. We’ll hear from the new dean. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:
Summer storms can be quick and devastating. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.
A potential challenge to Rowe vs. Wade by Alabama lawmakers as a federal appeals court hears a Texas case that could sharply curb abortion access, we’ll have the latest. Also thousands of fish, crabs and other sea life wash up dead along Galveston bay. Oystering there is closed until further notice. A clampdown on seafood safety on the Texas gulf after a chemical spill, we’ll have details. And the return of the so-called education degree in Texas. Plus, has Texas removed more Confederate monuments than any other state? A politifact check and more today on the Texas Standard:
A showdown between congress and the executive branch over the Mueller report. Many calling it a constitutional crisis. But is it, really? In the fight over control of the Mueller report, it may come down to the courts to decide whether the executive branch can justifiably assert executive privilege and stop congress from getting an unredacted copy. We’ll explore what’s at stake for the separation of powers. Also, a new report spots a growing trend: the upwardly mobile mexican migrant, we’ll take a look. And the budget premium smartphone: an oxymoron? Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:
Texas has had a rare streak of rainy days lately. So what to do when it’s wet outside? That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.
You turn on the heat, then the air conditioner, then the heat again. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.
Texas is bracing for hurricane Harvey. With forecasters warning of a life threatening storm, we’ll fill you in on what you need to know. Plus, with Houston expecting major flooding, we’ll hear how unregulated development could be making matters worse. That plus the week in politics, the boy scouts considering brining in girls, and a really book by a Texas author you might want to check out. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
What looks like the first major storm of the hurricane season building up off the coast of the lone star state. We’ll have an eye on the sky. Also as professional storm watchers keep an eye on the gulf, a coastal Texas city struggles with keeping its head about water during normal downpours. In need of a hero, Galveston turns to the sand sucker. Plus, artificial caps on kids getting special education services. An investigative story sparked outrage and calls for reform, but how’s that goin? And after years as the top settlement state for refugee families, barriers often remain. How volunteers are trying to remove language as one of them. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
Heavy rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast for parts of the state over the weekend. Texans also know to keep there eyes and ears out for anything that could be more severe. That was the inspiration for this week’s poem.
Spring weather in Texas can mean damaging hail. That was the inspiration for this week’s Typewriter Rodeo on the Texas Standard.
The recent storms plaguing Texas have caused the rivers to rise in more than one county. People across the state are losing their homes to flooding rivers and torrential rains. This harsh weather is what led Typewriter Rodeo’s David Fruchter to write this week’s poem.
The great Texas meteorologist Isaac Klein reportedly said back in the ’30s that Texas is a land of eternal drought, interrupted occasionally by biblical floods.
Here is the way one writer describe one of these twenty-year droughts: “It crept up out of Mexico touching first along the brackish Pecos River, and spreading then in all directions. A cancerous blight burning a scar on the land.”
Just another dry spell, men said at first. Ranchers watched waterholes recede into brown puddles of mud that their livestock wouldn’t touch. They watched the rank weeds shrivel as the west winds relentlessly sought them out and smothered them with its hot breath. They watch the grass slowly lose its green, then curl up and fire up like dying corn stocks. Men grumbled.
But you learn to live with dry spells if you live in west Texas. There are more dry spells than wet ones. No one expected another drought like that of ’33 and the really big dries, like 1928, came once in a lifetime. Why worry they said. It would rain this fall. It always has.
But it didn’t and many a boy would become a man before the land became green again. This is how Elmer Kelton’s superb Texas novel, “The Time It Never Rained,” begins. The 1950s drought is a major character asserting itself, maliciously and unceasingly, throughout the book.
The central character is Charlie Flag, a tough old rancher from a bygone era who refuses to take government aid to survive the drought. He says, “There was a time when we looked up to Uncle Sam. He was something to be proud of and respect, but now he has turned into some kind of muddled-brained Sugar Daddy giving out goodies right and left in hopes that everybody is going to love him.”
Flag takes you to a time when charity was thought to be an unkind word. He warns against ranchers getting too comfortable with government aid by saying, “It divides us into selfish little groups, snarlin’ and snappin’ at each other like hungry dogs, grabbing for what we can get and to hell with everybody else. We beg and fight and prostitute ourselves. We take charity and we give it a sweeter name.”
He concludes that when a rancher takes government help, as well intentioned as the government is and as deserving as the rancher might be, he’s given up something he can never get back. He has given up a little bit of self-respect and little of his pride he used to have in taking care of himself, by himself.
If you asked me to list the top ten Texas novels of all time, I could do it easily. Putting them in order, though, would be a challenge beyond me. But I can say for certain that somewhere in the Top 5 would be “The Time It Never Rained.”
Spend a few evenings with Charlie Flag and you will see the incomparable Texas spirit in its purest form. You will feel like you went out with your grandfather and checked all the fences, making sure they were horse high, pig tight and bull strong.
W.F Strong is a Fulbright Scholar and professor of Culture and Communication at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. At Public Radio 88 FM in Harlingen, Texas, he’s the resident expert on Texas literature, Texas legends, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Whataburger (with cheese) and mesquite smoked brisket.
In this episode of Views & Brews, KUT’s Rebecca McInroy joins NPR’s John Burnett, former Austin Mayor Will Wynn, Dr. Eric Tang and Dr. Shirley Thompson author of “Exiles at Home: The Struggle to Become American in Creole New Orleans”, to discuss the storm, before and after, and the harsh realities of inequality the deluge washed up.