By WENDY VAN DEN BOOGERD
Special to the PRESS
Paragraphs has scheduled a book signing with author W.F. Strong for his second appearance at Paragraphs on Padre Boulevard bookstore, on October 12, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 5505 Padre Boulevard.
In 2010, Strong began sharing his “Stories from Texas” vignettes on public radio stations, most recently on the Texas Standard news show’s 30 stations. For this book celebrating his home state, Strong has collected 75 of his broadcasts. You’ll hear his inimitably Texan voice in your mind’s ear as he weaves stories on subjects ranging from how to ‘’talk Texan’’ to Texas bards and troubadours; from tall Texas tales to Lone Star icons like Charles Goodnight, Tom Landry and Blue Bell ice cream; from legends and unsung heroes of the past to some heartfelt memories of his own.
Strong agrees with John Steinbeck that, ‘’Texas is a state of mind . . . a mystique closely approximating a religion,’’ and with his stories embracing the Texas state of mind.
W. F. Strong, PhD, is a Fulbright scholar and Professor of Communication at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley. He grew up in Texas and holds degrees in communication and literature from Abilene Christian University and the University of North Texas, as well as a doctorate in Communication and Rhetoric from the University of Arizona. His storytelling influences range from Mark Twain, on whom he wrote his doctoral dissertation, to former public-radio host Garrison Keillor.
Strong has pursued a lifelong fascination with Texas literature, history and culture, having immersed himself in the classic books of the great Texas novelists and historians, from Walter Prescott Webb’s “Indians of Texas,” to Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove,” series to Philipp Meyer’s “The Son.”
He grew up working on farms and ranches in South Texas, and has a long connection with the Texas soil, as did his ancestors, who farmed and ranched in North Texas for more than a century. Two of his distant relatives signed the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico. This familial history has nurtured his love for the vibrancy of Texas culture, both historical and modern.
All these influences came together in the development of a series of brief, often humorous, sometimes dramatic radio vignettes called “Stories From Texas.” Intended to teach and amuse and inspire, he seeks to celebrate the Texas character in all its toughness; to showcase poignant passages from the vast literature this land has produced; and to provide a narrative for Texas pride, entrepreneurial success and Texas mythology. Celebrating Texas’ charismatic culture and revealing the diverse forces that forged it, Stories from Texas airs biweekly on Texas Standard Radio, a daily news program produced in Austin that is carried on 30 NPR stations across Texas.
This event is free and open to the public.