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This category contains 35 posts

The Eastland Historic Hotel, Eastland, Texas

In 1918, Eastland County, Texas was in an oil boom. From 1910 to 1920, the population of the county more than doubled, and what had been a farming area became the tenth most populated county in Texas for a time. The growth meant new businesses, including the three-story building one block from the courthouse that … Continue reading

The Lynching of Santa Claus

The Santa Claus Bank Robbery happened in Cisco, Texas on December 23, 1927 and resulted in the last public mob lynching in the state. The details are well-known in Cisco and Eastland, and the story is notorious in Texas, as it was one of the last true examples of the wild west. Readers can find … Continue reading

Hiking to the Top of Texas: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

After writing The Summer of My Discontent, I decided it was time for more adventure. First on my list was to hike to the top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas (8751 feet), in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The first question was whether I’d go alone or find a hiking buddy. My eleven-year-old … Continue reading

Texas, South Texas, and the Good Stuff from Across the Border

Texas could be four different states. Two at least. I-35 runs north to south and by most standards divides East Texas from West, two worlds that have little in common. Not only are they different regions within the state, but by any reasonable person different regions within the United States. East Texas, from Dallas to … Continue reading

Rattlesnakes I’ve Known

During my time in South Texas, Central Texas, West Texas, and the Panhandle of Texas, I’ve been around a rattlesnake or two. Like J. Frank Dobie said in his book, Rattlesnakes, they all have different personalities. Some are friendly, and some are bastards. Once on a ranch in South Texas, I heard a loud buzz … Continue reading

Hiking at Colorado Bend State Park

My wife and I took a weekend trip to Colorado Bend State Park in the Texas hill country last weekend. Our plan was to get a full day of hiking in, rain or shine. The temperature was in the low 50’s when we arrived; very cool for May. It was also drizzling, and the forecast … Continue reading

Matador, Texas

My young wife cried when we moved to Motley County, Texas in 2004. It was a seventy-mile drive through canyons, ranch land, and farmland from our home in Clarendon to our new home in Matador. Even in Texas, people ask, “Where’s Matador?” I like to answer with, “North of Spur, east of Floydada, south of … Continue reading

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