West Texas Talk


West Texas Talk is a weekly roundup of interviews for West Texas Public Radio.

In this hour we spotlight interviews conducted on-the-air for KXWT in the Permian Basin and on our sister station KRTS in the Big Bend.  West Texas Talk also draws from conversations we curate from public radio producers across the state and across the country.

The program is broadcast on 91.3 FM weekdays at 6:30 p.m. and hosted by station manager Tom Michael. We welcome your comments and your suggestions for interview guests at info@kxwt.org


Recently on West Texas Talk:

Friday, Feb 17, 2017:
Geno Delafose – Zydeco Musician

On this edition of West Texas Talk Jackson Wisdorf talks with well-known zydeco musician Geno Delafose about his musical roots playing with his father John Delafose, the new direction zydeco music is taking, and you’ll hear a few tracks from Geno’s latest Grammy-nominated album Le Creole Cowboy.

Thursday, Feb 16, 2017:
Little Joe at Valentine’s in Valentine

On this episode of West Texas Talk, Elise Pepple sits down with Little Joe Hernandez before he takes the stage at Valentine’s in Valentine. Little Joe says he didn’t always want to tell his story, but the reason he changed his mind. Here, he talks about how he got started, what his success means, meeting fans on cruise ships, and family.



Wednesday, Feb 15, 2017:
Love Stories from Brit Webb, Julie Bernal, and Socorro Licon

On this episode of West Texas talk, in celebration of Valentine’s Day and in anticipation of our storytelling event on Thursday, February 16th at the Lumber Yard at 7, we’re bringing you three voices from the community talking about love.

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2017:
Modern Love: A Valentine’s Day Special

Today’s West Texas Talk is a special Valentine’s Day treat — a box of chocolates for your ears.

It’s a Valentine’s-themed episode of the podcast Modern Love — produced by The New York Times and WBUR in Boston. It’s based on The New York Times Sunday Styles column by the same name, and features true stories of love, loss, and redemption.

We brought you an abbreviated version of the episode on West Texas Talk, but you can listen to the whole thing on the podcast’s website.

Wednesday, Feb 8, 2017:
Evan Smith, CEO of Texas Tribune

On This West Texas Talk, Elise Pepple has a conversation with Evan Smith about the importance of bringing politics to small communities. The talk is in anticipation of  the station’s partnership with The Texas Tribune in Odessa for their event, “A Conversation with Senator Kel Seliger & Representative Brooks Landgraf.” This event will take place at 11:30 AM on Friday, February 17 at the Zant Community Room located in the Saulsbury Campus Center at Odessa College.

The conversation will be also livestreamed at texastribune.org/livestream, and the video will be available for viewing afterward.

Friday, Feb 3, 2017:
Presidio Mayor Reflects on President Trump’s Executive Orders

We’re about two weeks into the presidency of Donald Trump. And like President Obama before him, President Trump used the first days of his presidency to sign several directives — some of them were Executive Orders, others were Presidential Memoranda.

A few of those directives could have especially big implications along the Texas-Mexico border — specifically those related to border wall construction, a potential increase in Border Patrol Agents, and pipeline construction.

Joining us today to talk about some of those implications is John Ferguson. Ferguson’s the Mayor of Presidio, Texas — a town of about 4,000 on the Texas-Mexico border.

Thursday, Feb 2, 2017:
Casey Zmich: Cross Country Cycler, Ex-Trucker, and Nomad

Today on West Texas Talk, Casey Zmich joins us in the studio to talk about cycling across America, couch surfing, an unexpected romance, and what made him start his adventure in the first place. An ex-truck driver, Zmich is no stranger to long drives, but he says that bicycling is different; now when he rides, he’s not just another truck on the road, but a cyclist with a story to tell, and people are drawn to that. He has more conversations, more meaningful interactions, and sees so much of the beauty he was missing out on before. At a time when the nation feels divided, sometimes the best thing can be to just see America, see the land, the people, and the magic of it all.

Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017:
Strange Fruit: Anniversary of a Lynching by Radio Diaries

Eighty years ago, two young African-American men, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, were lynched in the town center of Marion, Ind. The night before, on Aug. 6, 1930, they had been arrested and charged with the armed robbery and murder of a white factory worker, Claude Deeter, and the rape of his companion, Mary Ball.

That evening, local police were unable to stop a mob of thousands from breaking into the jail with sledgehammers and crowbars to pull the young men out of their cells and lynch them.

News of the lynching spread across the world. Local photographer Lawrence Beitler took what would become the most iconic photograph of lynching in America. The photograph shows two bodies hanging from a tree surrounded by a crowd of ordinary citizens, including women and children. Thousands of copies were made and sold. The photograph helped inspire the poem and song “Strange Fruit” written by Abel Meeropol — and performed around the world by Billie Holiday.

Today on West Texas Talk, on the first day of Black History Month, we listen to a piece from Radio Diaries about this notorious act of violence and the spectatorship of that violence.

A word of warning: this piece contains depictions of violence some listeners may find disturbing.

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017:
Aphasia Center of West Texas Hosts Chocolate Decadence

Aphasia is a communication disorder caused by damage to the parts of the brain that deal with language. It’s most often caused by a stroke, but can be caused by a number of traumatic brain injuries, too.  Statistically speaking, more people suffer from Aphasia than  Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease, for example — but many people simply haven’t heard of it.

Tonight on West Texas Talk our guest is Kitty Binek. She’s the Executive Director of the Aphasia Center of West Texas in Midland, and she joins us to talk about Aphasia, what her organization does, and about an upcoming fundraiser called Chocolate Decadence.

Friday, Jan 27, 2017:
Gracie Lara, Stripes Cashier

Work is a such a big part of life — for many of us, it’s where we spend much of our day. So all this week we’re talking your neighbors about their lives and the the work that they do out here in West Texas.

Our guest tonight is Gracie Lara — a cashier from Marfa. We talked about managing stress on the job, working in a town where everyone knows everyone, and the things she thinks Marfa lacks.