Over the Far Horizon
The Panhandle is so flat you can watch your dog run away for three days.
Old Texas Saying
Texas is a big place.
In an 1889 New York Times editorial, the good folks at the paper of record noted, “We have often heard of the middle of nowhere, and believe it to be somewhere in Texas.” I’ve been to the middle of nowhere and can report their observation is absolutely true. If you’ve ever visited the vast plains of the Llano Estacado in the Panhandle or meandered through the high desert of the Trans-Pecos then you too have been in the middle of nowhere. Those are places where it’s easy to get discombobulated.
Every now and then it’s good to stop and get your bearings—to reorient yourself. The same is true in navigating Y’allogy. Though it has only lived on Substack for six or seven months, there are a passel of articles in the archives. So, I thought it might be helpful, for me perhaps more than you, to take a look at what’s over the horizon for the summer of 2023.
Recently, Substack created a Twitter-like feature to their ever growing innovations to help writers and readers connect. They call it Notes. It operates very much like Twitter. You can post comments, links, quotes, and photos. And like Twitter, you can “love” or “Restack” (similar to Retweeting) a Note you want to share.
I’ve been exploring the features for a few weeks now and like what I see. Engagement isn’t nearly as robust as Twitter, but the word is still getting out. Your involvement is wanted and welcomed. As a Y’allogy subscriber you already have access to Notes on the website. But you can also join the community that uses Notes on your phone by downloading the Substack app. The Notes icon is just to the right of the inbox icon. It looks like this (with the orange dot):
Mrs. Texas and I will be in Europe for three weeks in June, but not to worry, you won’t miss a single post. In fact, don’t be surprised if you receive bonus posts from the Old World—a sort of travelogue with photos. When Mark Twain visited good old England and the capitals of Europe after the Civil War, he wrote a book about his excursions: The Innocence Abroad. I’m not the writer he was, but I’m sure there’ll be posts chronically this Texan Abroad.
When we get back to the land of milk and honey—and chili and beef—I’m planning on an article comparing the similarities between the larger than life fictional character Augustus McCrae (of Lonesome Dove fame) and the larger than life factual character Winston Churchill (of British Prime Minister fame). I’m also intending to write a brief history of the Texas Legation to jolly old England when Texas was an independent republic.
Before these, however, I’ll deliver to your inboxes a write-up on the Chili Queens of San Antonio and a follow-up on Henry McArdle’s painting, “The Battle of San Jacinto”—but this one’s a different version. At some point this summer you’ll also receive an article on the cowboy characteristic of endurance and a retelling of the mysterious (but true) tale of the “Murder Steer.”
As always, each one of these pieces will be 1836% pure bred Texas.
I’m constantly looking for ways to improve Y’allogy and give each of you an enjoyable and informative experience. While the majority of the articles are free, I want to enhance the paid subscriber experience by publishing a third feature each month, tentatively called, “Texas Tales.” These will be for paid subscribers only and will consist of humorous, intriguing, and spellbinding true stories written by those who lived them. Look forward to Texas Tales sometime later this summer or early fall.
Of course, if you’d like to upgrade to a paid subscription, I’d be much obliged for you to do so. I’ll send you my baker’s dozen of favorite Texas quotations, as well as a chili recipe from the original Chili Queens.
I’m grateful for your support as subscribers and readers. If you know anyone who would enjoy Y’allogy, please tell them about the newsletter. Like Texas, Y’allogy is a big place. There’s always room for one more.
Vaya con Dios, mi amigos.