Texas Standard » Stories from Texas

Texas Standard » Stories from Texas

Stories from Texas are written for and recorded for the Texas Standard radio program. They’re written by W.F Strong and edited for broadcast by Texas Standard producers.

Episodes

October 26, 2022 4 min

A 500-year-old Mexican legend is still freshly scaring kids — especially in the border regions. The story about a crying woman called La Llorona no doubt arrived in what is now Texas with the earliest Mexican settlers. Ever since, this ghostly figure has haunted our rivers, lakes and streams. There are dozens of versions of her story. Commentator WF Strong shares a favorite. This story was originally published in 2018.

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Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong explores Texas for us — often through history and lore. But he also picks up new stories from Texas. And, occasionally, he recommends one.

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September 28, 2022 3 min

The number of American bison has increased in recent years from a historic low of just a few hundred to half a million. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong says the Lone Star State – and one of its most famous ranchers – made a very significant contribution to those efforts. This story originally aired in 2015.

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September 14, 2022 4 min

A lot of people love bacon. Maybe no one more-so than comedian Jim Gaffigan. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong says Gaffigan’s bacon commitment might make him a good candidate for a honor this weekend in a Texas city you’ve likely never heard of.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s seven decade-long reign makes it challenging to whittle down to just a few big moments. She witnessed some of the world’s most pivotal events. But from a Texas perspective, there are two days in 1991 that stick out. Commentator W.F. Strong tells us about when the Queen toured the Lone Star State.

This commentary was first produced in 2020.

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August 24, 2022 4 min

With school back in session across most parts of the lone star state, Texas Standard commentator WF Strong is among those starting off the morning with drop offs at school. But while he was dripping off his daughter the other day — waiting in a line of cars stretching for blocks — he noticed no kids were walking to school or riding bikes. It got him thinking about his own first day of 2nd grade.

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July 27, 2022 6 min

There’s been a lot of concern focused on Lake Mead in Nevada. It’s the largest reservoir in the United States and is the water source for more than 25 million people. But it’s fallen to just 25% capacity and is dropping rather rapidly. In Texas, Falcon Lake is at just 12% capacity. Commentator W.F. Strong says it’s beating Lake Mead in a race to the bottom.

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June 1, 2022 6 min

Usually WF Strong brings Texas Standard listeners quirky facts about the state or bits of overlooked history. Today, he said there was just one thing on his heart: the stories of the lives lost in the Uvalde shooting. WF and his wife Lupita scoured obituaries, social media, fundraising efforts, and news reports to — as he put it — “make sure these beautiful children are much more than a number, or a name on a tombstone.”

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Texas has had perhaps more than its share of unusual names of cities and towns. Cut and Shoot – Dime Box – Bug Tussle. But perhaps the strangest was Toadsuck, Texas. You won’t find it on a map today because it eventually became Collinsville in western Grayson County. But for a relatively brief and shining historical period, Toadsuck was a real Texas town. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong has the story of how it got that strange...

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March 23, 2022 2 min

One in 7 working Texans has an agriculture-related job. That’s a lot of people who depend at least in part on unpredictable markets and mother nature to make a living. So it’s no surprise some of those folks might look towards the future with a bit of uncertainty. At least that’s the sentiment behind the latest contribution from Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong.

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March 9, 2022 5 min

Early Texas towns took hold alongside protected bays – think Galveston and Corpus Christi. Others developed along the banks of fine rivers, such as San Antonio, Goliad and El Paso. But later it was the steel tributaries called railroads that were planting the seeds that raised towns alongside them. Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong says railroads, more than any other technology, ushered Texas into the industrial age and commer...

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February 23, 2022 4 min

By this time, you’ve no doubt seen or heard of the game Wordle. The daily puzzle game with the yellow and green boxes has become part of the morning routine for millions of people around the world. To coin a word too long for the puzzle — it’s become a wordemic.

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January 26, 2022 4 min

When most people think of Lyndon Johnson they don’t envision a man with a great sense of humor. He was in power in turbulent times.

When I see his face in my mind I see a man who was troubled, an unsmiling man with furrows in his brow accentuating unrelenting worries. Yet even in those dark moments his humor would surface unexpectedly and lighten his mood. He once said “When the burdens of the presidency seem unusually heavy, I alw...

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Likely you haven’t had a test of Texas’ official symbols since about 5th grade. You probably still know the major ones – but do you remember the state small mammal?

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These days, if you’re out working on a ranch and you need some backup, you just pick up your cell phone. If you’re in a remote area of Texas with bad service — you might also have a walkie talkie handy. But not so long ago, the options were a little less sophisticated. Still, you might be surprised that there were phones around. Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong has the story.

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December 15, 2021 4 min

It’s unlikely Texas will see a major freeze this winter like we did last year. At least that’s what forecasters are saying right now.

The extreme cold of last February reminded Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong about a bit of folklore he once heard about a Texas winter.

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December 1, 2021 6 min

Most Texans probably know the Brackenridge name. But, depending on where you’re from, you might have a different landmark (and namesake) in mind. In Austin, there was the area’s first public hospital. In Edna, there’s a more than one thousand acre Brackenridge Recreation Complex. But as Commentator WF Strong notes, the Brackenridge who lent his name to a park in San Antonio, George Washington Brackenridge, may have given more to Te...

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November 17, 2021 3 min

On Google Maps you can get navigator voices in English with either an American, British, Indian, or Canadian accent. Commentator W.F. Strong thinks they should offer a Texas navigator accent – one that also offers Texas expressions and colloquialisms.

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October 20, 2021 4 min

This is the time of year that Peregrine falcons make their incredible journey from Greenland to Argentina and Chile, a distance of over eight thousand miles. One of the most popular migration stopovers for Peregrines is Padre Island. There, they rest and eat for a few days. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong says it’s like a Buc-ee’s for birds – and then some.

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American history sometimes snuggles up close with what might be better termed American mythology. Take that story about a young George Washington chopping down a cherry tree.

But other bits of history based quite a bit more in fact are less well known — though just as extraordinary.

Texas Standard commentator WF Strong offers up one such story.

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