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.

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Gary Borders

When I told folks I was going to spend a week in Mexico and Big Bend working on a magazine story, a few acted as if I had signed my death warrant. “Are you going to have any security?” one friend asked. No, we didn’t, though there was certainly safety in numbers with five of us working together — including a scientist who lives and works in Mexico. My brother Scott had the wisest perspective, noting that many millions of people live in Mexico, and the vast majority get through the day just fine. I liked my odds.

Gary Borders

The finish line of the finest adventure on which I have embarked in many years beckoned, at most 300 feet away. A group of us were descending a peak known locally as Big Hill just off the highway in Big Bend Ranch State Park. The peak overlooks the Rio Grande. On this final day of a seven-day voyage from Chihuahua City, Mexico to the Big Bend area, we got up at 4 a.m. to catch sunrise. It was worth the lost sleep. We arrived in the dark to give the two photographers time to set up their spectacular array of equipment.

I was heading home through a neighborhood north of ours the other day. And that’s when I saw the painted trees.

All of the trees — about two dozen total — have been whitewashed up to about six-feet high. Pine trees mainly, but a few hardwood trees also sported a new look. On the same street maybe eight houses down, another yard sported white-washed trees.

Painting a pine tree with a brush has to be hard work. The bark isn’t smooth, and there are plenty of cracks and crevices. Whoever tackled these loblollies had plenty of energy. This is serious yard art.

From the New York Times: The blue and gold braided beard on the burial mask of famed pharaoh Tutankhamun was hastily glued back on with epoxy, damaging the relic after it was knocked during cleaning, conservators at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo have said.


I didn’t do it. I have an airtight alibi.

I was filling my gas tank the other day, which considerably less painful than a few months ago. As long as a gallon of gasoline costs less than a tall latte at Starbucks, we probably don’t have much to complain about.

Somebody could have made a fistful of money wagering that gas would be considerably south of two bucks a gallon in 2015.