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Books | Texas History

Stories From Texas:
Some of Them Are True

By W. F. Strong

(Fort Worth: Berkeley Place Books, 2018)
Pages 144. Illustrated. Paperback. $11.99.
ISBN: 978-1-892588-66-1

Review by Dr. Kirk Bane

January 30, 2019
Professor W. F. Strong teaches communication at the University of Texas Brownsville. Perhaps he is best known, though, as the creator and voice of public-radio's Stories From Texas, vignettes broadcast since 2000, that "celebrate the Texas character in all its toughness…showcase poignant passages from the vast literature this land has produced…and provide a narrative for Texas pride, entrepreneurial success and Texas mythology."

This enjoyable little book includes seventy-five of the program's most engaging commentaries. Dr. Strong divides his volume into thirteen sections: Defining a Texan; My 10 Favorite Quotes About Texas; The Texas Dialect and Tex-Centric Tendencies; Size Matters: Big Stuff; The Vast Land: Tales of Texas Past; Larger-Than-Life Texans; Scribblers, Bards and Troubadours; Iconic Texas; Changing Times; Dos Mundos; Happy-Hour Homilies; Holidays and Observances; and Texas Family Memories. He discusses such diverse and intriguing topics as Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca; Texas grammar; the Colt six-shooter; weather in the Lone Star State; Whataburger; rancher Charles Goodnight; oilman Glen McCarthy's Shamrock Hotel; novelist Larry McMurtry; Southwest Airlines; Austin's Moonlight Towers; Comanche captive Cynthia Ann Parker; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Dallas Cowboys legend Coach Tom Landry; rattlesnakes; and Dairy Queen (deeply associated with Texas, but actually founded in Joliet, Illinois, in 1940).

Speaking like a native son, noted bibliophile and Abilene Reporter-News writer Glenn Dromgoole asserts, "Ever' Texan oughta read this book." I heartily agree; Texana enthusiasts will undoubtedly appreciate Strong's entertaining and informative collection of Lone Star tales.


Dr. Kirk Bane,
Book Review Editor,
Central Texas Studies

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