Monday, January 3, 2011

Tales of Old-Time Texas

You've seen it on bumper stickers, t-shirts, and mugs; "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could." Well, I'll always be a Yankee, city kid, and Chi-town raised, but I still appreciate the sentiment. I didn't expect to love Texas the way that I have come to, but the people, the places, the folklore, and the music make up one grand story, and I'm a fan of story. And, because everything's bigger in Texas, this story is bigger than most.

So, when my friend "No One Says Texas Like" Christopher J. Hoyt recommended Frank Dobie's Tales of Old-Time Texas as his pick for definitive Texas tales, I proceeded to procure it and am pleased that I did. Dobie is a master-storyteller and the tales he tells are part history, part mystery, part riddle, part rhyme, and part reason. They are never so purely factual as to be dry nor so purely fantastic as to be silly. They are the kids of stories we reserve the tag tale for, and those are some of my favorite kinds.

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