The exterior of a building with a yellow mural reading "Deep in the heart of Texas"

The Blue Oak Band performs for patrons at The Hunt Store in Hunt. Photo by Tom McCarthy Jr.

This issue marks the fourth consecutive year we have devoted our August edition to small town Texas. Along with our annual list of Small Towns to Visit Now, we visit 15 mom and pop shops to augment your next road trip. Deputy Editor Michael Hoinski proposed the story after we ran last year’s feature on Buc-ee’s. It got him thinking about what constitutes a convenience store and some of the lesser-known but memorable independent businesses that cater to locals and travelers alike. The nine writers who contributed to the 26-page story collectively spend months every year traveling the state, and we only had to twist their arms a little to persuade them to share their favorite under-the-radar spots.

Our original list of Small Towns to Visit Now included Uvalde as one of our five selections. On the day of the school shooting, contributing photographer Tom McCarthy Jr. was planning to travel to the town that coming weekend. We made the immediate decision to remove the city from this year’s list as the people of Uvalde continue to mourn.

I can think of no words that suffice in the wake of such a horrifying tragedy. So, I asked our writer-at-large ire’ne lara silva to share a poem in honor of the town. Sometimes it takes a poet to express what the rest of us can’t. As they have been since the news broke, our hearts remain with Uvalde and its residents, to whom we dedicate this issue.

Emily Roberts Stone
Editor in Chief

From the August 2022 issue

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