Texas History? Come and Get It!

artwork-01Do you want to learn more about the greatest nation in the history of the world?  Would you like to be provided that learning in podcast form?  Come and Take It! is a podcast by 3 native Texans about Texas for everyone.  And they do not limit themselves only to the tragically short decade when Texas was its own republic and not a part of Mexico, the United States of America or the Confederate States of America.

In fact, a great deal of the topics covered by the hosts of Come and Take It! are from the 20th century.  They span the spectrum from what most people think are truly historic to what people think are only pop cultural and from well known to everyone such as the Texas Rangers and Texas barbecue to things that form a part of the Texas psyche but are less famous in other places such as Six Flags and Whataburger to subjects that even most Texans know little or nothing about like the US government’s attempts to introduce camels to Texas as pack animals or a lost city like Indianola.

The topics chosen resonate with the Texas soul and this is nowhere more evident than with their first podcast.  The Battleship Texas is an icon to any native Texan.  The official flagship of the Texas navy, it is a symbol of our pride, courage and importance in the United States, even now that it is dry docked and outdated.  Many native Texans, including me, have fond memories of visiting this relic of one of the most important cornerstone eras of American history.  Few of us have any idea of just what an important role this vessel played, not only in Texas but in world history.  The Come and Take It! crew carefully illuminate this role, providing facts and details that few but the most informed historians would know.

Added to these facts and details are their own personal reminiscences.  As native Texans, they have a close connection with all the topics that they discuss given that the topics are all Texas based, whether this be something like visiting Dealy Plaza and feeling the impact that had on Texans and the nation as a whole, or fond memories of going to Deep Ellum when it seemed to be one of the capitals of alternative music, or even learning more about their own heritage like the Polish immigration to Panna Maria.

In the interest of transparency, I should point out that the hosts are three of my oldest friends.  Because of this connection, I have been given a lot of insight into the process of creating an episode of Come and Take It!.  The two most important aspects of their podcasts to the group are sound quality and ensuring that their discussion of the topic is both historically accurate and detailed.

These goals may not sound like a formula for thrilling entertainment and, honestly, a couple of the earliest podcasts are not exactly nail-biters.  Nonetheless, the hosts are getting steadily more comfortable behind the mics and their on air chemistry grows more entertaining with almost every podcast without sacrificing any of the scholarly precision that they are striving for.

For native Texans, the title of the podcast says it all – the phrase “Come and Take It!” encompasses the brash, bold, self-confidence-verging-on-arrogance attitude that most of us strive for.  For those of you not fortunate enough to have been born in the best place on Earth, you can listen to episode 3: The Battle of Gonzalez (http://brainstaple.com/comeandtakeit/episodes/gonzales) to hear exactly why that phrase is almost as beloved by Texans as the much better known “Remember the Alamo.”

Come and Take It! is a podcast about Texas by Texans but shouldn’t be assumed that it is only for Texans.  As they say on each episode, paraphrasing a song by native son Lyle Lovett, “you may not be from Texas, but Texas wants you, anyway.”

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