Each Texan has a story to tell. Each story comprises one thread in the special tapestry that is the Lone Star State. Some threads seem to sparkle especially bright, glowing with special passion. Following are eight such Texas stories. Though not household names, these Texans are respected in their fields. By virtue of talent, good luck, and fortitude, they have done extraordinary things. Each story is unique, yet together they reflect an enduring commitment to sense of place.
Tourism in the mountain west got a boost in 1930 with the opening of two nearly identical sister hotels designed by famed El Paso architect Henry C. Trost. Hotel Paisano in Marfa and Hotel El Capitan in Van Horn embodied elegant Spanish baroque style for decades. In the 1950s, the Paisano even housed actors James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, and Rock Hudson during the filming of the now-classic movie Giant. By the early 2000s, though, the Paisano lay abandoned, and El Capitan was a bank. Then native West Texans Joe and Lanna Duncan bought the venerable lodgings and spent years restoring them. Today the Paisano boasts 41 well-appointed rooms, and El Capitan 38. Both offer stylish restaurants, bars, and gift boutiques. For the Duncans, it was déjà vu all over again.