West Texas Wonders

West Texas Wonders is a new journalism initiative from Marfa Public Radio that invites you to take part in the stories we cover. It’s guided by you, our listeners, and your curiosity about our region – from the border to the Basin.

Here’s how it works:

You submit a question about West Texas that you’d like us to investigate. We’ll run regular voting rounds so you can weigh in on what you most want answered. If your question is picked, a Marfa Public Radio reporter will work with you to find the answer. Finally, we present the answers on-air and online.

You can ask us anything about West Texas, silly or serious, big or small, from that weird street name in your neighborhood to where our tax dollars go.

You can ask questions you don’t otherwise hear in the news —

Do ranch brands and gate symbols in West Texas have secret meanings behind them?

I’ve heard it’s legal to drink beer on the street in Marfa. Is it?

Or you might ask —

Oil and gas companies generate a lot of money in the Permian Basin — how much of that wealth supports the rest of the state, and how much of it returns to the community?

Will it be up to individuals and private companies to raise money to repair the Balmorhea pool?

So, ask away: What have you always wondered about West Texas, the region or its people that you’d like us to investigate?

 

Your Questions, Answered:

Front Doors, Bighorn Sheep, Buried Treasure And The Toe Nail Trail With The Rambling Boy

The Rambling Boy teams up with Marfa Public Radio’s Sally Beauvais in an attempt to answer some of the tough history questions that have been submitted to West Texas Wonders.

The Odessa Meteor Crater: A Subtle Feature Tells a Cosmic Story

Listener Josh Knight asked West Texas Wonders whether the meteor crater in Odessa was actually produced by a crash, and, if so, what ecological impact that collision might have had. Marfa Public Radio looked to Nature Notes for the answer. … Continue reading

“How Screwed Are You” If You Don’t Work In Oil In The Permian Basin? It Depends.

By Mitch Borden It doesn’t take much to see the Permian Basin’s economy is doing pretty well right now. Just look at Midland and Odessa, the two cities’ unemployment rate is around two percent, wages are high and property values … Continue reading

The Burro Lady, Rainfall and Marriage, Old Roads And Gas Stations With The Rambling Boy

Rachel Maxwell of Alpine wants to know what the highest level of education the Burro Lady achieved was. Harry Hudson of Dallas wants to know how Mrs. Kerr of Fort Stockton’s marriage proposal related to rainfall. Gretchen Coles of Marfa wonders … Continue reading

An Astrobleme, And Hotel History With The Rambling Boy

Listeners Linda Beranek, Guadalupe Espinoza, and Josh Knight are among many Marfa Public Radio listeners who have submitted questions about esoteric local history to West Texas Wonders. So we turned to resident historian Lonn Taylor, also known as The Rambling … Continue reading

How Accurate Is The Saying, “For Every Bar In Odessa There’s A Church In Midland?”

By Mitch Borden Today we’re diving into a question from our West Texas Wonders series and this one is taking us to the Permian Basin. Sarah Ross Kelliher, a librarian at the Midland Centennial Library, asked us to get to … Continue reading