ago, a program, "The Eyes of Texas", aired weekly on Houston's
KPRC-TV, first hosted by Ray Miller and later by Ron Stone. Each episode highlighted
a place or attraction from some location within the State.
we now live, a program, "Sunflower Journeys", airs on the PBS station. To me,
however, it does not have the depth, the par excellence, of the "Eyes of Texas"
I wish that I could have been a member of the team that engaged
in the discovery and research of off-the-beaten-path, often remote, productions.
Threads of geography and history, social and cultural events, obscure facts and
folklore, and trivia peaked the facination and interest to "seek for one's self"
a unique piece of the Texas jigsaw puzzle for its worthiness to be visited and
Texas Landscapes and Cultures
still consider myself a “Native Texan”, having been born in Houston,
even though at age 35 and as a result of a career change, we relocated first to
Colorado, transferred to Alberta, moved to West Virginia, then Utah, and now Kansas.
Through travels related to business, professional association, and personal vacations,
we have had the privilege of either lived in, worked, or visited all 50 States.
In that regard,
I become somewhat amused with persons with whom we have been neighbors, friends,
and co-workers when discussing their experiences in visiting our Texas “homeland”.
More often than not, one has traveled to a single location and concludes that
the particular area represents the whole of Texas. The discussion gives us the
opportunity to expound upon the diversity of geography, botany, climate, history,
wildlife, and cultures of this unique
of my great-grandfathers settled nearby Allen’s Landing along the Buffalo Bayou,
now known universally as Houston, within
the lowlands of the Gulf Coast
region, rich with the history, architecture, and innovation of development over
particular favorite region is the East
Texas Piney Woods, especially during the spring blooming of redbuds and dogwoods.
The rolling countryside, with its profusion of farms, lakes,
and small towns, is a by-way retreat.
Next on my list is the hills
and chain-of-lakes region
in the center of the State. Visiting Marble
Braunfels, San Antonio, Austin,
and surrounding points expands ones exposure to variations in geologic, social
activity, and floral beauty. Co-mingled fields of Bluebonnets, Indian Paint Brushes,
and other wild flowers is a photographer’s
Did you know that an underground fissure connects the Longhorn
Caverns near Georgetown
with the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico?
The Davis Mountains provide a
rugged landscape; the desert expanses of West
Texas triggers one’s imagination of Judge
Roy Bean’s legends; the Palo
Duro Canyon landmark is worthy of seeing; and the list is seemingly endless
of places to visit.
of peoples of differing national origins were originally isolated communities.
As populations grew over the years, cultures became integral. Yet, influences
remain prevalent with festivals and cuisines.
Languages, dialects, and
colloquialisms – even drawls and slang – are an interesting and colorful description
of the State’s heritages and its inhabitants.
Where else can one find such
a varied, yet distinct, place to visit; or, reside?
A “short story” on
the virtues of Texas? An oxy-moron! With so many things to share, where does one
stop? From the beaches and coastal marshes, to the forests and farmlands, and
lakes and hills, to the desert and mountains,
there is so much to explore and enjoy. It is really too sad, though, that the
Roadside Parks that existed along
the secondary highways are rare to find, where a traveler can take a break, eat
a packed lunch, and just relax…
Shoe Horses, Don't They? April
17 , 2012 Guest column
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