I saw the total solar eclipse. It was spectacular.

There are no words to do it justice.

Right before totality began, the wind calmed, the temperature dropped, and the crowd hushed.

“Awesome!” some guy with a booming voice exclaimed.

As I peered through my solar eclipse glasses at the shrinking crescent of the sun, one thought kept running through my mind:

I want to remember this day forever.

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Ghosts of Gilliland

Smack dab in The Big Empty region of Texas is a sleepy town called Gilliland. Nestled in the remote, rugged terrain of northern Knox County, Gilliland was a bustling little community in the years following World War II, but decades of decline have since taken their toll, and the village is now considered a ghost town.

During our most recent trip to Dallas, my family took a slight detour from our normal route in order to pay Gilliland a visit. We were not disappointed.

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The guardians

Based on a true story.


May 7, 33 A.D.


6:50 p.m.

Titus was his name. A slender, grizzled man, with dark hair and strikingly blue eyes. 34. Alert, as always. He watched as a hawk drifted lazily on a current of hot air high above the semi-arid landscape. Strangely warm for this time of year, he thought, sniffing. A bead of sweat dribbled down the right side of his face, which was dusty from a long day of guard duty and suntanned from countless hours spent outdoors.

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Motorcycles and wind turbines

“For 20 points. 1,000–1,200 words. Choose two pictures. One should illustrate the history of Texans relating to their land. The other should look to the future to address challenges facing the state and its land. Explain where the pictures came from and why you think they are good illustrations of the past and future of our relation to the land. Due Saturday, May 13, at 7 p.m.”

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