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 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

The Mayor of Bluesville is dead. B.B. King, the legendary guitarist and singer died in his sleep May 14 at age 89.

Gary Borders

We celebrated our nephew Connor’s 10th birthday in a time-honored East Texas manner: grilling hamburgers, pitching washers — and plinking balloons and Diet Coke cans with pellet guns. The clan sat outside on a Saturday afternoon enjoying a rare respite from the incessant rains.

Since the party was at our house in a quiet subdivision, we had to settle for pellet guns and leave the heavy ordnance in the gun safes. Previous family get-togethers out in the country have allowed us to indulge in another Pine Curtain tradition: Blowing Stuff Up.

When “A Prairie Home Companion” first went on the air, Richard Nixon was a month away from being run out of the Oval Office. “Annie’s Song” by John Denver topped the pop charts. The Ford Pinto and the Plymouth Valiant were the best-selling cars in America, and the median price of a home in America was $37,400. It was July 1974, and Garrison Keillor and his troupe took the stage for about a dozen people in the audience in Saint Paul, Minn.

Gary Borders

I wrote a few months back about getting rid of stuff so that my daughters or wife do not have to go through the arduous task of doing so after I’m gone. Both my wife and I had to help dispose of our parents’ possessions after their deaths. I had to do it twice: the first time after moving them into assisted living, and again with what remained after they passed. Even after the family gathered what photos, artwork and memorabilia we wanted, there were a couple boxes left of photo albums. They remain in a storage unit.

Gary Borders

The voice on my cellphone was familiar and welcomed, in heavily accented Spanish. “Hallo, Meester Gary. It’s Jaìme. How are you?” I haven’t heard from my compadrè since my birthday in 2010, when he called to remind me I was turning 55. “Muy Viejo,” he joked at the time. Very old.