‘Bayoulands’ Chronicles the Sights and Sounds of Southeast Texas

This new series tells stories from the other Orange County.  

By Hady MawajdehJanuary 29, 2016 11:07 am, , ,

Cowboys and rattlesnakes and everything Western are so much a part of Texas mythology that the case can be made that the Western and Southwestern imagery crowds out the Southern exposure. To say nothing of some of those powerful cultural winds of the East.

Now a new public radio documentary hopes to correct that, taking stock of the sights and sounds of the Bayoulands. Jason Miller at KVLU in Beaumont is producing a series by the same name.

“I think, looking at the area that we’re in here in Beaumont, Texas, we were just seeing some unique traits about our area,” Miller says. “We also saw that the landscape itself – Bayoulands, the bayou, the marsh, whatever you’d like to call it, the wetlands – we saw that that ties into art, community, and all kinds of other aspects of this area.”

The series aims to explore the untold stories of the area, like how smaller communities rebuilt in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

“About 14 houses were spared in this town (Bridge City). It was largely actually overlooked, and that community was devastated,” Miller says. “It went through a lot of trials to be able to rebuild itself, literally, because houses in that town had six inches of water to five and six feet of water.”

Bayoulands will also look at the history that shaped the cultural landscape in the southeast corner of Texas.

“The spindletop gusher, at the turn of the century, was so monumental in the beginning of what would be the oil industries,” Miller says. “After the war, many Cajuns from Louisiana migrated to Port Arthur to work in plants such as the big Texaco plant.”

Listen the full interview in the audio player above.