About Real Texas
What is RealTexas Blog.com?
First, let me welcome you to this page. This is where you can learn more about Real Texas Blog and David Werst, an observer and active participant in All Things Texas.
You may be visiting here after following me on twitter or visiting other places I am semi-active such as Facebook or YouTube.
I encourage you to become a subscriber. There is no set time you will receive updates, just when I have something to say about Texas people, places, or events. Not much politics here, but some. On occasion. When I just can’t stand it anymore.
First things first!
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Real Texas is wherever you find it.
It really is a state of mind. There are folks interested in Real Texas worldwide. Sometimes they are where they are geographically by job, marriage, or circumstance. They are “Spiritual Texans” no matter where they live. Yes, that’s a Real Texas term….That FLDS sect you have read about is about 35 miles from my former house out in West Texas where they have a real wife and several ‘spiritual wives.’ The state of Texas has shut down the sect and run ’em out of town, but it’s just one of the things that make Texas interesting.
On occasion, I write blog posts that reveal How To Be Texan – Wherever You Are. It’s possible you know….to be Texan wherever you are. There are just a few thousand purely Texas traits and habits to let your new friends and neighbors know you are a Real Texan.
Yes, of course in Real Texas Blog you will find:
Texas stories told here…….some true!
You will also find a repository of articles, some useful, intended to be thought provoking, humorous, or entertaining. Most of the articles or musings or writings will be those of the editor, but some will be guest written if the articles stay true to the Real Texas philosophy.
I would guess it would be difficult for a writer of a big city magazine to understand and write about Real Texas if their life experience has been only that of a city dweller. That being said, I have read some really great articles by now urban individuals who have some life experience outside the city.
Those writers have generally been employed by community newspapers at some point in their life and have had their butts chewed out by somebody’s mad momma who was not at all impressed by a college degree over something that went into print in the newspaper. In fact, community newspapers all over Texas are more often than not classified as Real Texas by default. They just understand the whole Real Texas psyche, attitude, nuances, and all.
OK. Who is David Werst?
David Werst is the editor/publisher of RealTexas Blog.com and a dedicated proponent of the Real Texas way of life easily found in rural Texas. David is a 4th generation newspaper publisher who was able to sell his weekly newspaper before he dropped dead chasing West Texas football, school events, city council meetings, commissioner’s court meetings and every other event under the Texas Sun – Which burns just a little brighter here than in those lesser states and nations.
David Werst is a multiple-award winning columnist and has plaques proclaiming such honors ready to hang on the wall when he gets around to it.
David had always intended to retire in the Lake Buchanan area near Austin, but found it over-run by city people and Californians bent on changing Real Texas to something else.
David’s heart was always in rural Texas which he considers the heartland of the Great State.
His great-grandfather was a pioneer Texas newspaper publisher. His grandfather was a newspaper owner as was David’s father. David is a past president of the West Texas Press Association and grew up in the back shop of a hot metal newspaper where his dad made galleys of type on the linotype and an old widow woman mailed out the papers using a Mustang Mailer to stamp the addresses on the newspapers. The papers back then were usually printed in-house on a flatbed Babcock press.
To say “They don’t do it like that anymore is a real understatement.”
David fears daily newspapers are facing a lingering demise with community newspapers being the only viable print media to stay for the long run.
After selling his weekly newspapers, David previously lived in the community of Sherwood in very rural Irion County on the banks of Spring Creek about a half mile from where his great-grandfather first published his newspaper in 1900. It’s in the San Angelo area. He still has a printed copy of that newspaper dated December 1901.
Real Texas Blog.com was first published from David’s home office/manspace in Sherwood. Now it is in the Helotes/San Antonio area.
Helotes is clinging to its individuality as part of the San Antonio metro area. He draws on his experience and passion for Real Texas and Texans and believes they are still the finest examples of human beings on the planet.
Helotes is very near San Antonio, Bandera, and Boerne. Home is 3 acres out in the country about 15 minutes from all those fine cities. He and wife Ramona moved there because it is closer to Audie Murphy VA Medical Center in San Antonio. Ramona, a U.S. Air Force Veteran has had some serious health issues and needed to be closer to her surgeons who take excellent care of her. It was hard leaving West Texas, but as David said, “Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.”
David and Ramona live on 3 acres out in the country with their two bed-hog dogs, a spoiled rotten cat, chickens, a loud-mouthed guinea, and Bobby the bobcat who protested the move mightily, but was stuffed into a tow sack and then unceremoniously dumped into a travel cage for the 220 mile move to the south.
He pissed and moaned for weeks.
So did David. He still does some.
Five questions answered by David Werst
Question 1: Is the part of Texas you consider ‘Real Texas’ limited to rural Texas?
— “Generally, but I’ve known some real redneck city boys and girls who regularly put me to shame.”
Can you find aspects of Real Texas in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and beyond?
–Yes, you just have to look real hard, whereas in rural Texas the Real Texas attitude, speech, and lifestyle is low hanging fruit. It’s everywhere and you don’t have to look for it. Just walk down the street and it’s there. A man tips his hat when he is introduced to a female. In West Texas, you wave to passing cars and trucks. Doors are held open. Men are judged by what they can do instead of what they say they can do or their religion or ethnicity. “If you can do it, it ain’t braggin’.”
People are polite in Real Texas. A visiting out of stater once remarked to me, “You sure do know a lot of people out here.” I asked him how he knew that. He commented that “You wave to everyone you meet on the highway.” I told him that’s just the Real Texas way. There’s a good chance I do know them, but that’s just the way we are. It’s not like that as much as it used to be, but old timers still acknowledge a passing pickup truck or car with a wave or gesture of some sort.
So, Real Texas is not limited to any geographic area. It’s just more noticeable in rural areas, especially in West Texas. And if you practice the art of How To Be Texan – Wherever You Are you will be considered a genuine Real Texan.
Question 2: So, where can you find a part of Real Texas in Austin?
–What’s this fixation with Austin? Austin is a place where politicians and godless liberals live. And now, a lot of former Californians.
The answer to finding Real Texans in Austin is: Mostly in south Austin. At the Broken Spoke, and a few other places that have been around a while and not been “affected”. Yes, there is a reporter who works at the Austin American-Statesman whom I consider to be Real Texas. You can’t find Real Texas at a Rudy’s barbecue. Sorry. Or any place on 6th street that I know of, but you can listen to some dern good music and have a great time in the Live Music Capitol of Texas. And the Continental Club still has music blasting out the front door up on South Congress Avenue.
I guess there’s lots of Real Texas in Austin. I just wish they knew the difference between a “breakfast taco” and a breakfast burrito. We have subscribers to Real Texas Blog in South Austin and in South Africa. We love ’em all.
Question 3: Is RealTexas limited to Anglo white males?
–Are you kidding? Is Earl Campbell the Tyler Rose? Is Juan Levario Sr. called Mr. Baseball in West Texas without a reason? Can Joe David Werst build a fence? Is Jimmy Morris the oldest rookie?
Texas Tech All American Alicia Thompson stopped playing basketball and for a while was a female football player. Is she for real? Is Mario Martines more conservative than me? You bet! Don’t misunderstand. There’s tons of Real Texas folks who are white and male, but being Real Texas is not about people so much as it is an attitude. A philosophy. A state of mind. Real Texas is not limited to gender or ethnicity. For example: Here’s a philosophical question that can only be debated over a 5 gallon bucket full of ice cold beer: Is a Toyota Tundra a Real Texas Truck? Given enough beer, that could be a really profound discussion.
Question 4: Give some examples of places, people, and things you consider to be Real Texas.
–OK. I already included some. But how ‘bout London Dance Hall. Floore’s Country Store which is just down the road a few miles from my house. Boots & Saddles club, Wurstfest, the Luling Watermelon Thump, Santa Rita No. 1, Fort Concho, TeePee tavern, the Gage Hotel, the Settles Hotel, the Bluebonnet Hotel, Amarillo by Morning, H.E.B, The Alamo and Old Ben Milam park, cedar choppers in Junction in the old days. There’s more: Saginaw Flakes, Texas Aggies, The Menger Hotel, Cliff McMullan, Juan Levario, Sr., Coach Bob Ledbetter, Audie Murphey, Dripping Springs, Claytie Williams, Liberty Hill and coach Jerry Vance, Tumbleweed Smith, Spike Dykes, Richard Boggs, Bum Phillips, Bum McReavy, Tommy Lee Jones, Connie Levario, Mike Elkins, Kathryn Cope Kessler, and Billy Bob’s Texas. Tim and Dale Lee Sellman, Elmer Kelton, Patrick Dearen, Odessa Permian, H.F. Ritchie and Jim Bob Solsbery. Zach Edwards and his band are up and coming Real Texans. And by God Augie Meyers of the Texas Tornados is a Real Texan. Hey baby que Paso?
Some Real Texas folks don’t even live in Texas right now. They are called ex-patriots. They are currently pulling duty somewhere other than Texas in their jobs or life. They still consider themselves Real Texans wherever they are.
There’s a whole world of Real Texas people and places and we will find them together as we go along the trails, current and past….in RealTexas Blog.com
Question 5: Who made you the arbiter of all things Real Texas?
–Somebody has to do it. Somebody told me one time that opinions are like assholes…everybody’s got one. That’s a good thing. Diversity and all that.
-I have traveled all over Texas, seen all kinds of Texas people, taught Texas History for 12 years, worked in the Texas oilfields, wrecked cars, rolled pickups, gone to boys town, done day work on Texas ranches, swam in the Gulf of Mexico and the Rio Grande, written thousands of pages of newspaper reporting on all things Texas from city hall to the State Capital.
-I’ve been a politician and hated politicians, drank in lots of Texas honky tonks and been thrown out of a few, and have always respected Real Texas and Real Texans wherever they are found.
I’m qualified. Plenty of others are qualified too and I hope they will add their comments.
Tell us a little more about yourself and your typical day.
–I was born in San Angelo on a Christmas Day and grew up in Big Lake. There is usually not a lake at Big Lake. It’s generally dry. I’ve both walked across the dry lake bed there and water ski’d on it.
Big Lake is home to Santa Rita No. 1. Actually it is Texon, about 15 miles or so west of Big Lake, but there are not any folks left living in Texon anymore. Santa Rita No. 1 was the discovery well of the fabulous Permian Basin. The first one. Big Lake has seen its share of booms and busts, and is now smack dab in the middle of the Cline Shale play which is estimated to be 10 times bigger than the Eagle Ford Shale play in south Texas. Folks….that is BIG.
Back in the day, well service operators were conveniently ignorant of any child labor laws and if you were big enough, you could wrench rods all day long when pulling a well. Many of us worked our way through college on well service rigs, roustabout gangs, and drilling rigs throughout the west Texas oilfields. We worked right alongside grown men, Bible thumpers of all types, winos, alcoholics, ex-cons, cons on the run, and rough men of all sorts. It was glorious to be a young man back then a la Sonny from The Last Picture Show. Yes, it was hell on us if we lost very many football games.
-Graduated from Texas State University, U.S. Army (airborne), Newspaper editor and publisher for 27 years.
-Educator, former private pilot, played all high school sports (which I get better at the older I get) Worked in the oilfields, owned some very small interests in oil wells during the first boom. Smoked, chewed, drank, and ran with a few wild women.
-Currently have almost zero vices due to my former lifestyle which resulted in quadruple bypass surgery. (Don’t worry, the docs say I’m in excellent health now and I walk a couple of miles a day…either that or get dragged by my dog, Bowie.)
Fairly laid back, somewhat reserved at first, father of Joe David Werst, and married to Ramona since 1-1-2000.
Life is good in Real Texas.
A typical day starts in the morning when I get up.
For several decades I got up at 5:32 a.m. and got after it. Don’t have to anymore so I don’t. If you had told me I might sleep/stay in bed reading until 9:00 in the morning, I would think you were crazy as a bedbug. Only lazy people do that….the flies will get you.
But that’s what happens and I really enjoy it. I do a short workout/walk in the Texas Hill Country now that we have moved here in June of 2013. My yard is full of live oaks now instead of Mesquite and pecan trees. The road I walk on is less travelled. My dog has to stop frequently and pee on all sorts of new things for him. Me too.
It’s not the paradise I intended to live in until my last breath, but it works just fine.
Yes, I do have boots and wear ’em sometimes. Drive a GMC pickup truck. We have chickens, ducks, guineas, peacocks, a bobcat, a cat, and two new puppies. I go through the yard picking up stuff and doing a few chores until Texas gets too hot or until Ramona calls me up for breakfast.
I know a lot of wives don’t or don’t have time because they are juggling half the world in a short amount of time, but she cooks.
And I am grateful for it.
I was too busy and worked too much to be grateful for all the good things in my former life, but I am grateful now and that makes a world of difference.
After breakfast (yes, fresh eggs from our own chickens) I head outside for a garden project or inside depending on the weather. I write for Real Texas Blog or work on my novel about a serial killer. Yes, the book is based in Texas. We all need to be careful of him….he’s just getting started.
These days you would be more likely to find me at a book discussion than at a honky tonk or bar even though I live just down the road from John T. Floor’s Country Store. They stay up way past my bedtime these days.
All I have to do to get a fresh mindset is to walk out the door and look around at the Texas Hill Country and the sunshine.
Or, just look out my window and watch the chickens work all day long, hunting and scratching, making a place for themselves. They all have names and yes, their own personalities. Kinda like people, huh?
I go through email, get a few ideas and then start writing on whatever suits my fancy. Welcome to the Real Texas world.
Real Texas……It’s a great place to be whether you live here or not.
Keep readin’ and you will learn How To Be Texan – Wherever You Are.
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