It's been a hell of a year. Here in Texas, we have faced adversity and heartache as well as triumph and hope. Wide Open Country has been reporting on stories that are important to Texans all year, and there have been several stories that were particularly poignant. Whether they were funny or interesting, educational or historic, here are 10 of the stories about Texas from this year that have had readers coming back for more.
1. Texas Dad Has Hilarious Response to Finding Whiskey Bottle in Daughter's Drawer
soooooo my parents found this bottle I was hiding in my room and this happened...... pic.twitter.com/99U2yECsdy
— Elainey (@glovelacee) June 22, 2016
One Texas Dad's sarcastic video to his daughter went viral this year when he found a mostly empty bottle of fireball whiskey in her sock drawer. The teen posted the video to Twitter and it made the rounds on the internet. To his credit, Dad isn't angry or yelling. His tone is calm and jovial, because they both know she's busted.
2. Olive Oatman: The Tattooed Texas Woman with an Incredible Story
Olive Oatman was perhaps made famous to modern audiences by the television show Hell on Wheels. The show's character Eva is based on Oatman. However, she was famous in her own time as the tattooed Texas woman who was raised by Mohave Native Americans after her parents were slaughtered in an attack. Her story is so captivating that it continues to entrance readers to this day.
3. Historic Texas Dance Hall Goes Down in Flames
It was a sad day in Fredericksburg this Summer when the historic Turner Hall was engulfed in flames and destroyed. Turner Hall was built in 1871 and served as a community center for the small Texas Hill Country town. The owners are currently working on rebuilding the historic structure.
4. Best Places to Get Burgers in Texas
From Wichita Falls to El Paso, there are plenty of place in Texas to get incredible burgers. We assembled 15 of those places in this mouth-watering list. Among the best burgers are the Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth and Christakis in Lubbock.
5. Texas Wounded Warrior to Open Veteran-Run Restaurant
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Bobby Henline survived an explosion while serving in Iraq in 2007. He wants to do a different kind of serving now, by opening a veteran run restaurant in San Antonio. Henline is still hoping to raise the funds to make this dream a reality.
6. Signs You're Dating a Texas Girl
As Pat Green said, "The girls from Texas are just a little bit better." As usual, ol' Pat was right, and readers seemed to agree as they clamored over this article about Texas women.
7. Texas Man's Inflatable Hail Protector Selling Fast After Recent Storms
Shortly after Texas got pounded by hail back in April, Mike Siciliano's Hail Protector sold like hot cakes. His invention slips over the top of a vehicle and inflates into a shield against any size of hail. A video demonstrating the product showed all kinds of objects trying to break down the Hail Protector, all ultimately failing.
8. Two Lubbock Cowboys Give the Most Texas (and Hilarious) Interview of All Time
Even here in Texas, none of us were really sure if these cowboys were putting us on or not. What is certain is that these guys wrangled some loose cattle that were running rampant (as much as cows can run rampant) through the streets of Lubbock. The interview is actually from 2011, but it's hilarious, so if you haven't seen it, now's your chance.
9. Texas Homecoming Mums That Are Absolutely Out of Control
Us Texans love our traditions. We love chili, football and best of all, MUMS. Mums are a beloved Texas homecoming tradition where high school boys will give their dates chrysanthemum corsages to wear. In recent years, they have gotten completely out of control, requiring girls to strap on harnesses simply to be able to support them.
10. The Blue Hole in East Texas: The Accidental Lake You Didn't Know About
Most people have heard of the Blue Hole in Wimberley, but not many know about the Blue Hole in Jasper County built on a private inholding in the Angelina National Forest. It's private property, so the only way to visit this gorgeous lake is to call owner David Frankens and ask for permission to come.