The Bronc-busting, Cow-punching, Death-defying Legend of Boots O’Neal

Boots O’Neal is up before dawn nearly every day, to do what he loves: to jump on the back of a horse and work as a cowboy at the Four Sixes Ranch. What makes Boots stand out from the average wrangler? He’s 89 years old.

That he’s been able to do it for so long makes him, to borrow a classic Boots-ism, “luckier than a two-peckered goat.”

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: May 11, 2022
Length: 24 minutes (6,139 words)

Me and My Truck: A Love Story

In this essay, Christian Wallace manages to deftly tell his life story through the memories he shares with his beloved 2005 GMC Sierra.

My friends back home were impressed, maybe even a little jealous. It was the first truck many of us had ever sat in that had heated seats. When we’d make excursions to Midland or Odessa, my truck was now the vehicle of choice. During baseball season, I was proud to park it just beyond the outfield fence, where we’d sit in the bed and watch the games. I wanted all of Andrews to see it.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Mar 14, 2022
Length: 25 minutes (6,357 words)

It’s Hard Out Here—Way, Way, Way Out Here—for a Medic

“Dustin and his wife, Mandy Hoffpauir, a registered nurse, made a plan. Dustin recalled his time working in the Gulf: the challenges of providing medical care on offshore oil rigs mirrored those in the Permian Basin. He figured he could replicate the model he’d learned out there.”

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Dec 6, 2021
Length: 27 minutes (6,816 words)

Top Dog: An Oral History of “Wishbone”

“No one had ever done this before. No one had ever put a dog in the middle of the Civil War. How do you actually make that happen?”

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Sep 16, 2020
Length: 32 minutes (8,100 words)

The Permian Basin Is Booming With Oil. But at What Cost to West Texans?

Sure, a few busy barbers earned $180,000 in one year, and a local Dominos sold more pizzas in its first week than any other grand opening in the chain’s history, but that doesn’t do regular folks much good when roads have become dangerous, crime increased, schools can’t retain teachers, and people who earn over $20 an hour can’t afford to rent an apartment.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: May 29, 2019
Length: 23 minutes (5,895 words)

The Jackie Robinson of Rodeo

Christian Wallace profiles Myrtis Dightman, the first black cowboy to qualify for the Professional Rodeo Association National Finals.

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Jun 22, 2018
Length: 35 minutes (8,866 words)