You probably already know this.
Panhandle PBS has turned 25 years of age. It came on the air in 1988, bringing publicly funded television to the Texas Panhandle from a TV station based at Amarillo College.
Well, the station is still celebrating. It has created a link on its website — PanhandlePBS.org — that gives residents a forum to tell their stories about their lives throughout our sprawling region.
From Stratford to Spearman, Dalhart to Dumas, Canyon to Canadian, Wheeler to Wellington, residents are telling their stories.
Do you recall the landmark Ken Burns documentary titled “The Dust Bowl”? Burns told the story of that horrifying period in the 1930s through the mouths of those who lived it. Yes, that was a grim chapter in our region’s history. It’s not the entire history, however.
The Panhandle’s past is a rich tapestry of customs, of people dedicated to creating good lives for themselves and their families. It was built from the land.
Michael Grauer, of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, reminds us in his story of life here that the region was home once to 2 million horses. Mustangs roamed the vast plains, Grauer said.
Jill Stenhouse, a Canyon resident, tells of her job as an interpreter at Palo Duro Canyon State Park and how she tells young visitors that, yes indeed, the park has snakes, scorpions and all kinds of assorted wildlife. She tells of the fear some youngsters have that “coyotes will eat them or that bobcats will attack them.” She seeks to assuage those fears. That’s her job.
Panhandle PBS will be collecting these stories in the coming weeks and months and posting them on PanhandlePBS.org. Take a look. You might see your neighbor talking to us all about life in the place we call home.
I plan to drop in to listen to these stories myself and provide some commentary on what I hear through this blog. As a relative newcomer to the Panhandle — I’ve lived here just 19 years and two months — I have a lot more to learn about this marvelous place.
Join me in that learning adventure.