Gary Borders

Host of "Borderline"

Gary Borders has been an East Texas journalist and editor for more than 40 years. He works now as a freelance writer, editor and photographer. You can see his work at garyborders.com. He has written for World Wildlife magazine, Texas Monthly, Texas Observer and Airstream Life.

During his career, Gary served as editor and publisher of newspapers in Longview, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Mount Pleasant, San Augustine, Cedar Park and Junction City, Kansas. He also taught journalism at Kilgore College. He began writing a column in 1982 and has written at least once weekly since without fail, though there are quite a few he would like to retract. The New York Times News Service distributed his column nationally from 1995 through 2009. His pieces have been published in the Detroit Free Press, Miami Herald, Austin American-Statesman, Palm Beach Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and — his personal favorite — the Maui News.

Borders has published two collections of columns, the “Loblolly Chronicles” in 2010 and “Behind and Beyond the Pine Curtain” in 2005. The University of Texas Press published “A Hanging in Nacogdoches” in 2006, his account of a brutal murder in 1902 in the state’s oldest town, and the trial that followed. He is currently researching another book, which should be completed by the end of 2015. He is also threatening to release another collection of columns.

Borders and his wife, Dr. Julie Teel-Borders, a professor at LeTourneau University, live in Longview with their daughter, Abbie, a senior at Trinity School of Texas. He also has two grown daughters, about whom he has been writing columns since Ronald Reagan was president. They have long ceased to be embarrassed about it, though Abbie protests occasionally.

Ways to Connect

Gary Borders

Dr. Geoffrey Canada told this story the other morning in Longview, to a crowd gathered in the Belcher Center at LeTourneau University for the Poverty Conference. An acclaimed documentary called “Waiting for Superman” was produced a few years back, featuring his work creating the Harlem Children’s Zone. Canada was raised in the South Bronx of New York City, a tough neighborhood. He and his team have worked cleaning up and taking back 97 blocks of Harlem and serving thousands of kids over the past 30 years.

In August, we spent several glorious days in Boston, with day trips up to my native New Hampshire. It was a lovely respite, precious time with my wife and daughter in a place we all love.

The two hurricanes struck three weeks apart a decade ago. Hurricane Katrina devastated a large swath of New Orleans and the surrounding area, of course, after making landfall Aug. 29, 2005. Thousands of people either fled or were evacuated. Many ended up in Lufkin, where I lived at the time and published the paper. 

Gary Borders

When not working at endeavors that help pay the bills, I burn daylight repainting our house’s exterior. The heat has abated to a manageable level, so I hope to finish before it gets too cold for paint to stick. This is a big project — a two-story dwelling with a couple balconies, several levels of eaves, and faded gutters.

There has been a proliferation of monster convenience stores, where gas pumps stretch far as the eye can see. The merchandise includes deer feeders, barbecue smokers, an extensive clothing line, an overwhelming array of road snacks, 80 soda dispensers — and America’s cleanest bathrooms.

That would be Buc-ee's, a 60,000-square-foot emporium that just opened its 23rd Texas store in Terrell on the way to Dallas. We stopped there last Sunday — along with what appeared to be several thousand other curious customers — to get gas and use those famed restroom facilities.

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