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:

Why Is There A Telephone Pole Sprouting Through The Roof Of A Building In Alpine?

By Sally Beauvais If you’ve spent any time waiting for the train to arrive at the Amtrak station in Alpine, you may have noticed it, too: a telephone pole, sticking clear through the pitched roof of a warehouse on the … Continue reading

Does Looking At Distant Galaxies Give Astronomers A More Chill Perspective On Life?

By Sally Beauvais Deana Haggag — who visited Marfa from Chicago with a group of friends late last year — has almost always lived in big cities. And the night sky in West Texas left a big impression on her. … Continue reading

Why Do Texans Put Saguaro Cacti On Everything When They Don’t Grow Here?

By Sally Beauvais You may know the iconic species of cactus by its towering physical stature — its crooked arms, many ribs, and spiny flesh. Or, you may be more intimately familiar with its cartoonish likeness, appearing on countless postcards, … Continue reading

What’s The Deal With All The “In Tow” Junk Cars On The Interstate In Texas?

If you do much highway driving in Texas, it’s a familiar sight: old, rusted trucks packed to the gills with toys, motor oil, textiles, and building materials traveling down the interstate. Sometimes, they’re hauling an additional truck — “IN TOW” … Continue reading

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