Past Interviews

Friday, Nov 17, 2017:
Hospice Midland’s Jacquie Burklow Discusses the End of Life

In this episode of West Texas Talk, we discuss a taboo topic: death and what matters at the end of life. Jacquie Burklow of Hospice Midland talks about options for end of life care, the importance of grief and some of the incredible moments she’s witnessed over 20 years of working in hospice.

Thursday, Nov 16, 2017:
Historian John Klingemann on the Mexican Revolution

John Klingemann is a Professor in the History Department at Angelo State university. Dr. Klingemann grew up in the Bend Bend, and became interested in the learning about the Mexican Revolution because of familial ties to its history.

In this episode, Klingemann discusses some of the reasons behind the revolution, and its ultimate impact on Mexico.

Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017:
Geologist Peter Hennings on Texas Earthquakes

Over the last decade, there’s been a sharp increase in earthquakes across Texas. On tonight’s episode of West Texas Talk, we speak with geologist Peter Hennings about why this is happening. Dr. Hennings is a Principal Investigator and Geology Lead at the Center for Integrated Seismicity Research. He helps run the TexNet Seismic Monitoring Project, a statewide earthquake monitoring system. TexNet has added 22 new permanent seismic monitors to the state’s 18 already existing stations, and is in the process of deploying 40 additional portable seismic monitors in key areas where earthquakes have been detected. This research is a collaboration between UT-Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology, Institute for Geophysics, and Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, as well as SMU’s North Texas Seismicity Study Group, and the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University. Nearly a dozen petroleum companies are also partnering to conduct research and share data.

For information about seismic monitors and earthquakes near you, check out the TexNet Earthquake Catalog, an interactive map of seismic activity across the state.

Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017:
Professor Rebecca Babcock On Writing Centers and Disabilities

On this edition of West Texas Talk, a conversation with Rebecca Babcock

Babcock is a William and Ordelle Watts Professor of English, Director of Undergraduate Research, Chair of The Department of Literature and Languages at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

In the interview, Babcock speaks about the different types of writing centers available as well as her latest book, Writing Centers and Disabilities. 

Friday, Nov 10, 2017:
Kathleen Shafer – Author of “Marfa: The Transformation of a West Texas Town”

On tonight’s episode of West Texas Talk, a conversation with artist, writer and geographer Kathleen Shafer, who wrote the book, “Marfa: The Transformation of a West Texas Town.” Shafer talks about how the town has changed since artist Donald Judd arrived in the 70s, and what the Marfa brand stands for today. Shafer wrote about the town as an outsider, but she recently transitioned from being a sometime-visitor to a full-time resident.

Thursday, Nov 9, 2017:
Veterans Tell Their Stories

In honor of veterans day, we partnered with the Midland Centennial Library to collect stories from veterans in West Texas. You’ll hear personal stories from Roxie Neal, Jim Besse, Sarah Cotton, Scott Jimenez, and Eduardo Aguilar. 

Thanks to Kimberly Reddin for helping collect these stories.

This episode was produced by Bayla Metzger, Carlos Morales, Diana Nguyen, andJackson Wisdorf.

Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017:
Health Care in Rural Areas & Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment

On this episode of West Texas Talk, a discussion about rural healthcare and how to shop for health insurance during this year’s open enrollment period, which runs November 1st until December 15th. For the episode, we talked to Amy Elizondo, who works as program services vice president for the National Rural Health Association.

To learn more about how to find health insurance during open enrollment, call 1-800-318-2596 or go to

Other resources are available at the Texas Rural Health Association website and Kaiser Health News.


Tuesday, Nov 7, 2017:
Voices of Blackwell Series

The “Voices of Blackwell” series was produced in partnership with the Blackwell School Alliance. The segregated institution was open from the late nineteenth century and closed in 1965 with the integration of schools in town. Although Hispanics were not legally segregated, Marfa practiced de-facto segregation. Anglo children attended Marfa Elementary, and Hispanic children went to the Blackwell School. 

The series explores the social mores of this era through the eyes of those who lived through it.

  • Mario Rivera attended the Blackwell School in the fifties and went on to become Presidio County’s Treasurer for 32 years.
  • Lionel Salgado attended the Blackwell school from 1941 to 1951. He went on to serve on the school board and worked for Presidio County for over a decade.
  • Maggie Marquez attended Blackwell in the fifties. She recounts her experience of “Burying Mr. Spanish.”
  • Dawn Shannon was born and raised in Marfa in the fifties. She attended Marfa Elementary, but her mother, Mildred Shannon, taught at Blackwell.
  • The last story comes from Jessi Silva. She attended the school in the first grade, before moving to California. Silva returned to Marfa in the sixth grade, and reflects on the discrimination she experienced growing up.

Friday, Nov 3, 2017:
The Uncommon Psychedelic Cumbia Sound of Thee Commons

From East LA to West Texas, tonight’s episode of West Texas Talk features a lively, music-filled conversation with psychedelic cumbia band Thee Commons. David and Rene Pacheco and Jose Rojas talk about the wide range of sounds and music that influenced their style and most recent album, Paleta Sonora.


Thursday, Nov 2, 2017:
Laura Langham – Executive Director of Grand Companions

On this edition of West Texas Talk, a conversation with Laura Langham. Executive Director of Grand Companions, about homeless pets in west Texas.

Grand Companions was established in 1989 in response the growing need for an acceptable means of dealing with stray animals. Since its inception, they have grown to an organization with 18 staff members serving the Texas Trans-Pecos region and Permian Basin.