April 1, 2019 | By
Texas Highways EXTRA Newsletter April 2019 | Web Version
March 29, 2019 | By Susan L. Ebert
As a child, one of the first things I did upon arriving at my Mamaw Grace and Papaw Dorsey’s rambling fieldstone farmhouse in Kentucky was to open the cellar door off the main dining room. Slowly, I crept down the wooden stairs, allowing my eyes to adjust to the dim light. A single shaft of sunlight from the cellar window illuminated the far stone wall—or what would have been the wall had it not been obscured from floor to rafters by glistening glass-encased riches in every color of the rainbow.
March 29, 2019 | By Susan L. Ebert
All year-round Texas produces fruits and vegetable ripe for baking, cooking, and canning. Tomato season is just around the corner, and after picking up a few bushels at a farmers’ market or stand, you’ll want to have this salsa recipe handy. Roasting the peppers and tomatoes first adds some toothsome char and also makes them easier to peel. Hatch chiles mingled with jalapeños to bring some smoky depth to the heat; just make sure to either wear gloves while working with hot peppers or plan to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Canning the results ensures that your salsa is delicious and fresh-tasting for the next year.
March 29, 2019 | By Clayton Maxwell
Big Bend wanderers, celebrities drifting down from Marfa, and other end-of-the-liners have officially discovered the border town of Presidio. They’re late by about eight centuries, though: People have lived for so long at the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Rio Conchos that the valley surrounding Presidio is thought to be the oldest continually cultivated farmland in Texas, if not the United States.
“It’s funny,” says John Ferguson, the mayor of this dusty town 60 miles south of Marfa. “Presidio is the oldest town anywhere in the entire Big Bend area, but so little of our history is truly known, even to those of us who live right here on top of it.”
March 28, 2019 | By
In 1886, 50 years after the Battle of San Jacinto, Austin painter William Henry Huddle set out to interpret a critical scene from the conflict with his painting, The Surrender of Santa Anna. Huddle’s oil-on-canvas work, which has hung in the South Foyer of the Texas Capitol since 1891, depicts the morning after the April 21, 1836, clash as Texian fighters presented Mexican Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna, dressed in the white pants of a private, to Texas Gen. Sam Houston, who is reclined with a battle wound to his leg. The decisive victory secured the rebels’ independence from Mexico, a turning point Texas honors annually on April 21, known as San Jacinto Day. Huddle’s painting includes more than 30 historical figures, among them scout Erastus “Deaf” Smith (seated on a log), Secretary of War Thomas Jefferson Rusk (to the rear left of Houston), and Col. Mirabeau B. Lamar (left of Rusk).
March 28, 2019 | By
The wide-open spaces and generally flat landscape make the plains of Texas a prime location for wind energy production. With nothing to block the view for miles, the environment also makes for some spectacular storm viewing. The two combine in this electric image of a storm passing over a wind farm near Sweetwater.
March 28, 2019 | By Jason Boyett
Your first time in Canyon, you’ll be forgiven for wondering where this Panhandle community of about 15,000 gets its name. Heading into town, you pass beehives from a local honey farm, the sprawling campus of West Texas A&M University, and tidy brick houses. What you won’t see is anything resembling a canyon.
March 28, 2019 | By Jennifer Babisak
Past the sign for a wastewater treatment plant on the southern edge of Mineola, one of the largest municipal parks in the nation awaits. The Mineola Nature Preserve sprawls 2,911 acres across garden trails, forests, wetlands, grassy fields, and river. More than 193 species of birds roam here, as well as delicate butterflies, roly polies, thundering buffalo, and Longhorn cattle.
March 28, 2019 | By Gene Fowler
For some time now, prognosticators have been predicting the total demise of records—you know, the old-fashioned discs that play musical sound—as well as the brick-and-mortar establishments that sell them. And yes, it’s true that CD sales are down, and more than a few record stores have shut their doors. But there’s good news for those of us who can’t imagine life without flipping through bins, admiring the physical objects for their creative covers, and listening to the tunes imprinted in their grooves.
March 28, 2019 | By Wes Ferguson
Despite the newness in the name, time seems to stand still at New Tracks, which is how David and Shyrle prefer it. “I often wish I had grown up in the 1800s,” says 85-year-old David, who remembers riding into the small town of Kyle as a child and finding dirt streets and hitching racks for horses in front of the general stores.
March 27, 2019 | By Erica Quiroz
Jan Norris remembers when customers sat on fig and olive barrels when they dined at Antone’s Import Co. in Houston more than half a century ago. Norris moved from Vivian, Louisiana, in 1957 and ordered his first Antone’s po’boy at the location on Taft Street a few years later.
March 27, 2019 | By Paul McDonnold
It was the O.J. Simpson trial of its day. Reporters descended on the northeast Texas town of Jefferson to chronicle the tragic tale of Diamond Bessie with black ink and purple prose. Nobody recognized the dashing young couple Annie Moore and Abe Rothschild when they checked into a local hotel in January 1877. But when Moore’s body was found in the woods two weeks later, a bullet in her head, the mystery of Moore, aka Diamond Bessie, catapulted Jefferson into the national spotlight.
March 26, 2019 | By Brantley Hargrove
March 26, 2019 | By Kimya Kavehkar
Julie Murphy was on the law school track when a little book named Twilight came out during her senior year at Texas Wesleyan University. The young adult vampire novel reignited a love of reading in Murphy that she hadn’t felt in years. It also gave her the writing bug. “It was the first book that made me feel like maybe writing isn’t so far out of reach,” Murphy says, sitting at the kitchen table of her home just east of Fort Worth. “Maybe if this woman can write this admittedly ridiculous book about a sparkling vampire, maybe I can write one book that one person will read at least once.”
March 26, 2019 | By Turk Pipkin
There’s nothing like the feeling of stepping onto Willie Nelson’s tour bus. Whether you do it once or a hundred times, it’s a thrill to be invited onto Willie’s rolling roadshow. Stories will be told. New songs may be played. Jokes that may or may not be suitable for print will be exchanged. And laughter will definitely ensue.
It’s Saturday night in the Fort Worth Stockyards. A sold- out crowd is already finding their seats just a few steps from Willie’s bus, which is parked behind the world’s largest honky tonk, Billy Bob’s Texas. I’ve come to see an old friend and to hear what might be my 100th Willie concert. Or maybe my 300th—I lost count long ago.
March 21, 2019 | By Clayton Maxwell
Landscape painter Gabriel Salazar has long been inspired by the lush fields of citrus and palms surrounding Donna. As a boy, with the help of his father’s American employer, Salazar immigrated to this Rio Grande Valley town from a small community near Monterrey,
March 19, 2019 | By Chet Garner
When cruising I-35, far too many folks fly right past this historic Central Texas town. But with a scenic lake, iconic courthouse, and charm to spare, it won’t be long before this little burg follows in the footsteps of Waco and becomes a go-to destination. Here are my top picks to get you exploring.
March 19, 2019 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor
This month, we’re partnering with New Mexico Magazine to share the story of this dual-state treasure with our neighbors to the west.
For our joint feature story, Managing Editor Wes Ferguson made his second trip to explore the Guadalupe Ridge Trail. As the fall 2017 artist-in-residence at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, he had spent nearly four weeks hiking and writing while immersed in the highest and wildest country Texas offers. “This assignment brought me back to the Guadalupes for the first time in nearly a year,” Ferguson says, “and it felt like a reunion with an old friend I don’t see nearly as often as I wish.”
March 18, 2019 | By Wes Ferguson
Pieced together from several existing trails, the GRT begins near the depths of New Mexico, not far from the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and ends on the top of Texas—Guadalupe Peak, which at 8,751 feet is the highest summit in the Lone Star State.
The trail connects Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains national parks via the Lincoln National Forest, most famously the site of Sitting Bull Falls, which tumbles from a spring-fed creek over a mossy, 150-foot-high canyon wall. An oasis flowing year round, it fills clear pools where visitors come to relax, wade, and cool down in an otherwise desolate stretch of desert. If you’ve been hiking for nearly a week on the Guadalupe Ridge Trail, you’ve certainly earned a dip and drink from the falls.