The Transcript

Other Arrangements

An Intersection at the End of America

March 19, 2020

In Conversation

EMILY GOGOLAK:

“Dear Dying Town,

The food is cheap; the squirrels are black; the box factories have all moved offshore; the light reproaches us; and our coffee is watered down, but we have an offer from the Feds to make nerve gas; the tribe is lobbying hard for another casino; the bids are out to attract a nuclear dump; and there's talk of a supermax—

In the descending order of your feelings,
Please identify your concerns.

P.S. Remember Susanville where Restore the Night Sky has become the town cry.”

By C.D. Wright, from One Big Self.

Points South theme music

SARA A. LEWIS, HOST:
Welcome to Points South. I’m your host Sara A. Lewis of the Oxford American. On today’s show, an adaptation of Lavinia Jones Wright’s “Skyline Drive” and a live performance by Parker Millsap recorded in the Oxford American office. But first, Emily Gogolak in conversation about her OA essay “Intersection at the End of America.”

Sounds from a Dilley High School football game

LEWIS:
With a population of fewer than 4,000 people, Dilley, Texas, is the site of the largest immigrant detention center in the country. Prior to the center’s construction, the town’s most notable achievement was being the “Watermelon Capital of Texas.”

Over the course of the past decade, two colossal business ventures—prisons and oil—have created “seismic shifts” in the town’s infrastructure, economy, and culture. In her feature for the spring issue, Emily Gogolak offers a case study in how these forces affect the lives of residents and what other rural municipalities might learn from Dilley’s boom and bust life cycle.

GOGOLAK:
The town of Dilley is in the South Texas brush country, a vast unforgiving land that a Spanish Explorer in 1736 called the “país despoblado” and many Texans today, whether or not they've ever been there, call the middle of nowhere. 85 miles north of the Rio Grande and 75 miles south of San Antonio, the town is just past the edge of the borderlands occupying a spiny flat middle at the intersection of Interstate 35 and Highway 85 in far southern Frio County.

LEWIS, INTERVIEWING GOGOLAK:
So Emily, why Dilley?

GOGOLAK:
Um, well I started reporting there first in 2015. I went there initially because the, um, largest immigration detention center in the United States had been built there at the end of 2014. And um, I initially went down to report on the facility. I had access to asylum hearings and I was able to interview women who were detained inside with their children. And after that I really wasn't able to get not only the experience of reporting on the detention center out of my mind, but I really wasn't able to get the town out of my mind. So, I kept going back.

KSAT NEWS REPORTER:
It is the largest immigrant detention center in the country. The South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley has become one of the focal points of President Donald Trump’s policy on immigration.

CBS NEWS REPORTER:
Officials are still trying to reunite as many as 386 children who were separated from their parents at the border under President Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy.

DEMOCRACY NOW NEWS REPORTER:
They’re held at one of two new family detention centers run by private prison companies in South Texas.

DEMOCRACY NOW FIELD REPORTER:
An hour north of Mexico, just off interstate 35 is a detention center that opened in December. It was built on the site of a former mancamp for oilfield workers.

JOSE ASUNCION, IN NEWS REPORT:
I was showing someone the headline in the local paper that came out the week it came out and It says “Feds Okay Internment Camp at Dilley.” And the subheadline was: “Opportunities for Job Employment.”

LEWIS:
Gogolak distills the outside influence on Dilley to three industries: oil drilling, smuggling, and the confinement of immigrants and prisoners.

GOGOLAK:
So the Briscoe is, um, it's named after Dolph Briscoe, who's former governor of Texas and it's a state prison that was, um, built in 1992. That was a really big deal for the town when it opened. This was during the state prison boom in Texas and it was really, you know, hoping that it would be a big, um, driver for employment. So there are, let's see, just about 1200 beds, a little more, a little less, at the state prison. Then right next door to the state prison is the South Texas Family Residential Center, which opened at the very end of 2014 and that is run by Core Civic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America, which is a private prison company. And then, right next to that, Interstate 35 is the crown jewel of highways, of bringing drugs and people North.

So it's kind of, I mean the way that the town is, just spatially, the prison and the detention center are on the other side of the interstate. So it is like these two facilities sort of eerily exist, kind of by themselves, cut off from the town. But that's all within an area that's quite compact and, it is important for employment,certainly. But within the town itself, people don't talk that much about it or it's kind of just peripheral. Like, spatially that's another way, reason why it's so interesting to me.

LEWIS:
In her reporting, Gogolak sought to tell the town’s story through the perspectives of its residents, interviewing business owners, politicians, and locals who are just trying to make a living wage. Daniella Juarez grew up in Dilley and started working in the oil industry at eighteen, before taking a job at the detention center.

GOGOLAK:
She really, like, she really loves the oil industry and I think her, um, experiences in it also kind of show, um, how emotionally difficult I also think that work can be. She also brings to life kind of, I mean, what it actually means to work inside that facility.

DANIELLA JUAREZ:
That's the one thing I never understood while I was there. That there's a lot of people with a lot of hate in them, that they didn't want you to move up.

GOGOLAK, INTERVIEWING JUAREZ:
Really?

JUAREZ:
And I'm like, "Dude, if I were ever here, I would not want to get disrespected by anyone that I show respect towards."

Like I said, you don't know what they went through. You don't know if they're being abused back home. You don't know if they're here illegally for so many years and so many years they're being abused physically, emotionally, mentally. You don't know any of that. So you kind of, regardless of how they treat you, you have to show them respect.

God forbid, it's your mother one day or your children one day going to another country. Cause then when you crossed the border, and you're going to Mexico, you're considered a wetback over there. I'm like, "Yeah, understand that you're considered a wetback over there like they are considered wetbacks here, or however it is that y'all put it." Like, cause that term to me, I don't use it. I hate it. But since I was, like, so mad and upset at that time, that's the only way I could, she understood me. You don't know what these women go through. You don't know what their life's like. So just treat them with respect.

LEWIS:
I think she mentions in the piece that her mother was undocumented at a certain point in her life. And then now she's working in the facility where, you know, she's surrounded by asylum seekers and other women who are undocumented and being separated from their families.

GOGOLAK:
Mhm. Yeah, she worked there when families who've been separated were reunited. And, I think there were, I mean there were several dozen who were held in Dilley post-reunification, so she was also there at a very tense time.

GOGOLAK, INTERVIEWING JUAREZ:
How did your mom feel about you working at the detention center?

JUAREZ:
She was, she was happy. She didn't, she didn't feel disrespected. She didn't feel like I was turning my back on her or anything like that. My friends did. They're like, "Dude, you're, you're stabbing your own mother in the back."

GOGOLAK:
Your friends that lived here or in Arlington?

JUAREZ:
My friend that I had told him, "Hey, I'm gonna, you know, work with, uh, basically ICE, uh, CCA, and they have a contract with ICE and whatnot." He was like, "You're disrespecting your own family." And I'm like, "In what way am I disrespecting my own family? I don't understand. Please explain this to me cause I don't know." And he's like, "You know, your mom was illegal at one point." And I'm like, "I know my mom was illegal at one point, but not even her—that she went through it, unlike you, you didn't go through it—she doesn't see it as disrespectful, she sees it as success for her daughter and that's it.

LEWIS:
I think it's difficult to distill in this conversation all the many factors that are coming in when you have the intersection of oil and confinement and smuggling. And one of the lenses that you take is the challenges to the infrastructure of the city and how the public and private interests negotiate something that's equitable for the people. And in that way, Jose comes in. Can you talk a little bit about how his art and activism is shaping Dilley right now?

GOGOLAK:
Um, well when I first met Jose—let's see, that would have been the very beginning of 2018—he was, like, really fired up. So, at that point, he was just collecting so many documents. Um, cause he really thought that he was getting the information that could bring that place down, that could bring the detention center down. Um, in part because of, it's a place where it can be exceedingly difficult to access information that one would think would be pretty straightforward to access. And I think in the process of that, he became so frustrated that he ultimately got people he knew to run for office and then he ran for County office himself. And I really think that he thought that he could get people as fired up as he was about not just the detention center, but general dysfunction in municipal governance.

JOSE ASUNCION:
So, the point of all this is, here, we romanticize these industries: prison, oil. And so when they come, we're expected to just roll out the red carpet for them and they come and they expect to be treated that way, also. And no one's ever stopped to question, "What are we getting out of this? Can we be getting more out of this? Is it worth it at all to have them here?"

Once you know, it's your duty to, to do what you can. But I'm not feeling real good right now.

GOGOLAK, INTERVIEWING ASUNCION:
Where do you think the town got, like, punked?

ASUNCION:
It was in the structure of the deal. No one calculated that there would be a cost to them being here. That there would be a cost to infrastructure. And, you know, I still have to figure out where they spent the revenue. It doesn't make any sense that we don't have spare revenue. And part of that is because like I was telling you, I just figured out that on their budgets they've never included actual expenditures, which they're required to by statute.

GOGOLAK:
Do you feel any more optimistic than when you were just a citizen?

ASUNCION:
Um, globally? No. The system of government does not work. It is not good. Um, locally we're already in such a bad position that I think we could improve a bit.

GOGOLAK:
Do you think, do you envision staying, running again beyond this? It's a four year term?

ASUNCION:
This has been the longest year, easily, the past decade of my life. Um, there was a point where I felt like time was going by really fast. This year has taken forever. So, to think two and a half years out about running again. That's farther than I can really imagine right now.

LEWIS:
There are so many stories within the story.

GOGOLAK:
The more I kind of put the pieces together of why the facility even came there, I think that's when something kind of clicked for me a bit, that it doesn't happen in a vacuum.

LEWIS:
Gogolak encountered a third force acting on the culture and economy of Dilley, one that was less visible along the horizon line than pump jacks or the lights of the detention center, but equally important. “Smuggling,” an affable tow truck driver informs her, “is a family business, a way of life in this part of South Texas.” The transport of both drugs and people is an economic driver.

LEWIS, INTERVIEWING GOGOLAK:
It’s pretty easy to draw a box around and say, you know, “Smuggling bad.” But when you're looking at the infrastructures in place and, you know, lack of opportunities, it's, um, really interesting to consider what options are on the table for people who own a truck.

GOGOLAK:
Yeah. And also if you think about it, I mean like, for example, there are like these white vans that are owned by, um, subsidiaries of, like, Core Civic and GEO Group, the other prison company, that are moving migrants between the various detention centers on 35. Right. And they’re these kind of dinky vans, but, you know, they belong to a company. But I mean smuggling in a way and people are making money on it. But it's also like, this is, these are both economies that are turning profits on migration, too. I mean, it's interesting to me just when looking at, like, the formal and the informal in the space of that town and kind of, right, thinking about what's legal versus illegal.

I think there's, like, a certain moral question that gets, becomes more complicated when it's, you know, someone needs a job to provide for their family, right? Um, so I think seeing the town through the perspective of labor kind of shifted things for me, too.

LEWIS:
Emily, thank you for joining me and talking about your piece. I'm looking forward to it hitting newsstands so that other people can read more about Dilley and what's going on there.

Yeah. Thank you so much, Sara.

LEWIS:
“Intersection at the End of America” can be found on oxfordamerican.org and in the Oxford American’s Spring 2020 issue. Pick up a copy on your local newsstand or order from our online store oxfordamericangoods.org. Use promo code PODCAST for 15% OFF any purchase at oxfordamericangoods.org.

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In Adaptation: “Skyline Drive” by Lavinia Jones Wright

LEWIS:
And now “Skyline Drive,” written and performed by Lavinia Jones Wright. To read along, visit oxfordamerican.org/skylinedrive.

LAVINIA JONES WRIGHT:
Booming grown-up voices leaked through my Walkman’s flimsy foam headphones, cutting into my backseat cocoon of Madeleine L’Engle novels and Beatles cassettes. My mother and aunt had the map out and were debating our course to my grandparents’ house in the remote West Virginia panhandle.
It didn’t matter to me if we took the scenic route west out of Philadelphia and down the Pennsylvania Turnpike, cutting through the fat bellies of mountains, or the direct route south and around the Baltimore Beltway, spinning by that city, I imagined, like a Gravitron. I only cared that we stop at Roy Rogers, the sole highlight of the seven-hour trip for a nine-year-old girl who would have much preferred a beach vacation.
We never took the Beltway, because my mom always drove. She prefers scenery and is remarkably indifferent to shortcuts. She is her father’s daughter.
At seventeen, Joseph Wright left his working-class neighborhood of redbrick row homes and Italian restaurants in South Philly to spend a crisp spring and boiling summer in the woods of western Virginia. It was 1939, and his father’s death had thrust him out in search of a trade. Strong and hardworking, Joe joined President Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps, and was assigned to help finish a new scenic highway in the Appalachians.
CCC workers constructed graded slopes, guardrails, and stone walls, and planted thousands of new trees. They also helped to build the seventy-five scenic overlooks that provide tourists and hikers with unobscured panoramas of mountain valleys and give the highway its name. When it was completed, the Skyline Drive wound through more than a hundred miles of the Virginia Blue Ridge along the Shenandoah Valley, from the town of Front Royal down to Rockfish Gap west of Charlottesville—hardly a shortcut at the posted speed limit of thirty-five miles per hour. It is recognized as both a National Historic Landmark and a National Scenic Byway. I like to think this means it will always exist.
My grandfather never told us where his CCC company had its camp, but judging by the dates on his discharge papers—April 5 to September 30, 1939—he probably worked on the southernmost section of the route. The construction crews lived in rustic wooden barracks warmed by potbellied stoves, and each day they toiled to push the unforgiving wilderness away from the new road using rudimentary equipment. “Pickup trucks and pickaxes,” he said.
In his old age, he would make grumpy claims that people didn’t know how good they had it; that his living and working conditions in Virginia had been so rustic they would be unbearable to most. But we could tell that the satisfaction of hard labor filled him with pride, and we knew his bright-blue city-kid eyes had drunk up the miles of sky. It was Joseph Wright’s first experience in the mountains, and it never left him.
If we wondered, Why West Virginia?, we never asked. It’s a funny thing about family—the better you know someone, the more about them you take for granted. Twice a year, we would fish out my grandfather’s handwritten directions from the glove compartment of the car. In the absence of another adult, my mother would bestow upon me the title of Navigator, and I would carefully compare his neat, square penmanship to the slithering snakes of rivers and roads on the map.
At home there was smooth concrete for Rollerblading and a 7-Eleven on the corner. In West Virginia we had lightning storms and swooping bats. My grandparents lived in a place so hot that my cousins and I would lie still under the coffee table through the afternoon while the adults sat on the screened-in porch. A place with weather so unpredictable that we could get stuck there at Easter under four feet of blinding white snow. It felt wild and terrible, thrilling and unbearably dull. My friends wrote me postcards from their vacations in Florida and the Wildwoods. I accepted that the Wrights of Philadelphia were people who go to West Virginia.
After being honorably released from the CCC, Joseph Wright returned to Philadelphia, joined the Merchant Marine in World War II, and wed Mary Lavinia. Together they raised five children, and he made a successful career as an ironworker, walking across the city skyline on beams of steel and dreaming of the Shenandoah Valley all the while.
Over the years, they found reasons to return to the mountains. Joe’s war buddy Carl Mace lived on a brambly piece of land at the top of the Monongahela National Forest, just across the Appalachians from the Skyline Drive. Old family photos from visits to the Maces’ show my mother as a child, half naked, feeding chickens, with the smile of a kid who has never seen anything quite this far-fetched. It was one of the happiest times in my grandparents’ lives when Carl wrote to tell them about the eleven acres available in Maysville, West Virginia, and they retired there in 1983. I was born that winter, just before they finished building their new house.
When my memories begin, Joe and Mary are still filled with the giddiness of homesteading—my grandmother setting up her easel to paint watercolors of the trees and ponds, laughing as she sprays water at the bumblebees she is terribly allergic to; my strong, restless grandfather outfitting the house with a better porch and a swing set we will be too terrified to use because its hollow metal frame is a mud wasp’s dream home. They got hound dogs and learned to identify animals by their nighttime sounds, and they laughed at our squeamishness. My mother’s warnings that a large black snake was hitching rides in our car were dismissed until the fateful day it showed itself and my grandfather heaved it into the woods with a rake. My grandmother would grab idly at a giant spider on the sofa, tossing it aside to my horror, and say, “Wonder what that was?” before returning to her reverie.
Hours into the drive, just when the Pennsylvania Turnpike seemed endless, we would cheer as the Blue Mountain Tunnel came into view and I held my breath until we shot out the other end, back into the fast-moving air. The final turn onto my grandparents’ mile-long gravel driveway almost always came as the sun was setting over the lavender-colored valley below. Our whale of a Dodge would veer right onto Hot Hill Road (unmarked) past the row of plastic mailboxes, triggering another round of cheers from us and Coco, our cooped-up poodle.
Later, when I grew old enough to drive, my mom let me handle the long stretches of easy turnpike—after eighteen years of taking the long way for the scenery she could finally enjoy it. But by then my grandmother had passed away and the trip had changed. It was still an obligation, but I had begun to appreciate the unique family ritual.
At twenty-one, I trekked up my grandfather’s hill with a group of friends from Europe I had met while working at a summer camp. We were on a cross-country road trip, and I insisted that West Virginia be our first stop. We missed the turn onto Hot Hill Road three times because it had acquired an actual street sign and I didn’t recognize it. My friends chopped wood and darted around the property on ATVs, thrilled to be doing something so American. We picked wild ramps and marveled at the nine-foot satellite dish, and I was proud to be their guide through this reckless place. My grandfather insisted that my friends call him Joe, and they asked him questions—about the war, about his life. He was in his mid-eighties then. Listening to his stories, I realized that I did not know many of them.
In his CCC identification photo Joseph Wright is grinning—a smile of sly joy I saw on his face many times in my childhood. He was a mysterious scamp who loved to collude and tease. When, as a little girl, my eyes were stung shut by a swarm of bees, he lured me back and forth across the living room, saying my name as I blindly chased him. As an adult, I would call him from my office in New York City, and he would let slip some fragment of a story about hitting the town there during his war days, then quickly change the subject with a joke about not wanting to waste my dime.
The Maysville property remains in the family, but since my grandfather passed we don’t drive there anymore. I am sure there are more new neighbors now, with paved driveways and mailboxes of their own. They may even pave his road. They will extend the highway, and big trucks will fly through. But the Skyline Drive remains a work of roadway art, built out of respect for the shape of mountains, designed for driving slow and appreciating the scenery.
After our few days with my grandfather those years ago, my European friends and I reluctantly departed, clutching a paper containing a new route, written out in the familiar square scrawl. We were young and on our own, and I was eager to carve a different course. It was the first time I left West Virginia not headed toward home. As directed, we took the pristine, newly built four-lane Robert C. Byrd Highway, shooting south at seventy miles per hour.

LEWIS:
Thanks to Trey Pollard of Spacebomb for composing and producing this segment. After the break, Parker Millsap performs at the OA offices.

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In Session: Parker Millsap

PARKER MILLSAP:
[tuning guitar] Hmm. Glad I did it. Alright. Rolling?

LEWIS:
Ready to go.

MILLSAP:
Great.

Millsap performs “YOUR WATER”

LEWIS:
That’s Parker Millsap with “Your Water.” Thanks for joining us, Parker.

MILLSAP:
Yeah, glad to be here.

LEWIS:
We're excited to have you back at the Oxford American. Uh, your most recent album, your fourth, is called Other Arrangements, which is also a song that appears on the album. Talk a little bit about how "other arrangements" as a title has a double meaning or encapsulates this project for you.

MILLSAP:
When I wrote the song, and got to the line, "Honey, don't you tell me that you've made other arrangements," um, I really liked it. And I, once I finished the song from there, like wrote the next verse and kind of made an arrangement, I was like, I kinda think this is the title track. Just because I like the phrase, you know, I really love the phrase and all the different things that it evokes. Like, flower arrangements. I think of, like, plans. I think of furniture. I think of like,relationship status or that arrangement. Um, and I kinda think that works with this group of songs because they're kind of all over the place, like stylistically and what they're about. I mean, the predominant theme is like love songs, like most things.

LEWIS:
Well, maybe let's hear the song.

MILLSAP:
Yeah, let's do it.

Millsap performs “OTHER ARRANGEMENTS”

LEWIS:
Wow, thanks. So “Other Arrangements” as a song, as a record, has this really incredible range of style. It’s like, I listen to a song like “Some People” and I’m thinking you’re channeling Bon Scott. I listen to a song like “Come Back When You Can’t Stay” and I’m hearing a little Bobby Darin. I’d love to hear about some of, like, your vocal heroes. Who are your touchstones for singing?

MILLSAP:
Um, it, it’s constantly changing. I really love all kinds of singers. I really love singers who aren’t afraid to um, like, go for it. Whatever that is for them. Um, like Roy Orbison or like Ella Fitzgerald or like Bob Dylan, um, and Tom Waits. Like, I really love the whole, like, beautiful voices, ugly voices. And a lot of my favorite singers can really kind of inhabit all of those. Um, and so I try to like, just really inhabit the song. Like, what does the song need? Does the song need me to sound angry? Does the song need me to yell? Or does the song need me to croon? And, like, committing to that.

LEWIS:
Are you thinking about style, genre type as you're writing or is that something you bake in in the studio?

MILLSAP:
Um, I don't necessarily think in terms of genre, but I might use those terms to, like, try and explain it to the band. Like “This is a blues,” you know, or, like, “This is kind of a rock and roll song.” But when I’m writing the song, really I'm trying to keep myself interested, whether it's with the lyrics or the melody or the chord progression or how those all fit together. I just try to follow what compels me and kind of figure it out from there. And I love so much different kind of music. There's like, you know, sometimes I write a song— like "Other Arrangements," it started out as an acoustic song. Like that intro, I was playing this over and over: [plays "Other Arrangements" intro] I liked that. So I kept playing that over and over and over. And then later I went, like once I started messing with the chorus, um, just by messing around, I came upon the little lick— [plays "Other Arrangements" chorus lick] Which, for me, is, like, bluegrassy, but also there’s like kind of, there’s something, um, like African and even a little bit prog rock about it. Because the backbeat of the song is half-time and this is like this double-time. [playing guitar] But it’s got [imitates rhythm] underneath it. Um, so that kind of subdivision, um, kept me interested, you know what I mean? Enough to, like, finish writing the song. So, I kinda try to follow that. Just like, what's the song need right here?

LEWIS:
One of the reasons I was really excited about having you here and having you on the show is how much your, I guess, upbringing plays into your music and your authorship. And your work has a lot to do with place. Does that translate when you’re touring outside of Oklahoma? Outside of the South?

MILLSAP:
Um, yeah. I mean, I think we have fans, we find fans everywhere we tour. It’s funny, it’s one of those things, it's like hard to see from, hard to see the forest for the trees or whichever way that saying goes.

But I do know that like, you know, growing up in a small town, and a pretty conservative place, definitely, um, lent me to certain attitudes. Like, I have certain rebellious tendencies, but I have the tendency to keep them to myself, if that makes sense. Cause you got to keep the peace, you know what I mean? I'm not gonna stand up while the preacher's preaching and be like, "Now, wait a minute, what are you saying here?"

LEWIS:
But then you've got a song like "Heaven Sent" that does feel like a rebuttal.

MILLSAP:
Yeah, and that's how I get it out, you know? I'm, I make a nice little song rather than getting angry. Maybe. Um, yeah, it definitely provides a backdrop for me. People are often interested. Like, "Where are you from?" "Oklahoma." They're like, "Oh, what?"

LEWIS:
Yeah.

MILLSAP:
You know? There’s a lot of people from Oklahoma, tons of people live there. And I've had people ask me like, "So did you, like, grow up, like, riding horses to school?" And I was like, "No! We have cars there." But the more I travel, the more I feel like a citizen of the world, you know what I mean? And less like an Okie and less like even an American, you know. I feel just more like, oh, I'm not that much different than this guy in Paris, or wherever I find myself.

LEWIS:
Yeah. There was an element of Okie I was picking up in the early albums, which is like, a few jabs at Texas you had going there. What do you have against Texas?

MILLSAP:
Um, it’s, hmm. They’re loud. Well, and, like, I was raised—this sounds hilarious, cause it sounds like a religion, and it kind of is in some circles—but I was, like, raised a Sooner fan. And, you know, Sooners versus the, uh, the Longhorns, it's like this big rivalry. So, I kinda grew up with that in mind. And at the time that I wrote, um, well I guess there’s two songs really that have jabs at Texas, that’s funny that you bring it up. One of them, it was written around a time when I was playing a lot of shows at this college bar in Norman where, like, we would play on game days. So, it’s like nice to have a song that has a jab at Texas in it. Um, we made more tips that way. But then the most recent one, I’ve just had a lot of, um, it’s “Some People.” I talk, I complain about Texas driving. And um, alls I got to say is go to Dallas and drive around a little bit and you’ll agree with me.

LEWIS:
I was driving around with my Texas license plate today, listening to that, and thought, "Excuse me!" I was like, if you’re getting cut off, maybe, maybe you need to—

MILLSAP:
Where are you from in Texas?

LEWIS:
I grew up outside Houston, but I’ve lived in the Austin area.

MILLSAP:
Traffic’s bad in Houston, too. There’s a lot of aggressive drivers in Texas.

LEWIS:
Yeah. But we can all agree that most things about Dallas are not great. You can be from Texas and think that, I’m sorry to anyone from Dallas listening, but that’s, like, a Houston—we don't need a red river between us for that rivalry. Yeah. But that was funny, driving around today, listening to that, going like, okay, it’s too damn hot. We're cutting people off.

Well, we are, um, just so happy to have you back and excited for the show later tonight on the Oxford American stage. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us and play a couple songs. Um, look forward to seeing you next time.

MILLSAP:
Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

LEWIS:
Alright.

LEWIS:
This episode was produced by me, Trey Pollard of Spacebomb, Christian Leus, and Hannah Saulters with Ryan Harris and Eliza Borné. Thanks to all of our guests and contributors—Emily Gogolak, Lavinia Jones Wright, and Parker Millsap. This episode was made possible by support from Andy & Sommers Collins, UAMS, Spacebomb Group, and Fayetteville Roots.

That’s a wrap for season one of Points South. We hope you’ve enjoyed the show. Please sign up for our Points South newsletter for information about season two coming later this year. Head to oxfordamerican.org/newsletter to sign up. We’ll be sending out a survey soon and would love to hear your feedback.

And remember, promo code PODCAST gets you 15% off any purchase at the Oxford American store.

MILLSAP:
Yeah. There's, like, also, Texans often will be like, “Oh, Okies.” Like, I feel like they started it.

LEWIS:
Well, our like, our rebuttal to that is, like, you can't have a rivalry where one side doesn't care. Cause our feeling on it is, like, we don't have to kind of worry about you.