Who am I?
I’m Tynan Stewart, a freelance writer, journalist and cultural critic. My work has appeared in a number of publications, both living and dead: Real Life Magazine (RIP), The Counter (RIP), Current Affairs (dead to me), Undark Magazine, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Columbia Missourian. I grew up in Mississippi, went to school in Georgia, and lived in Missouri for a good while. I now call North Texas home. You can find my other writing here.
Also, remember that I’m human and this is a DIY project without editorial support, so I will make mistakes. If I defame someone by accident, let me know. As my own boss, I’ll try to remember to give myself a stern reprimand in the next issue.
Please write to me with lavish praise, good-faith criticism, and strident diatribes about Fort Worth stuff I should know: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m also on Twitter until Musk finally junks it, so go follow me there: @tynanstewart
What is this thing?
A newsletter about the history and sometimes also the present of Fort Worth, my home and a city so secure in its civic identity that it needs a thousand different marketing slogans: Cowtown, Panther City, City of Cowboys and Culture, Funkytown, Queen City of the Prairie, Where the West Begins, the Unexpected City, the Modern West, and, of course, “Not Dallas.”
Too much local history (everywhere, not just in Fort Worth) is achingly boring, breathless boosterism, or nostalgia kitsch. As a corrective, I’ll do my best to dig around in archives, books and old newspapers for the things Fort Worth isn’t going to stick on a tourism brochure. Sometimes I may also take detours into Dallas or Arlington or the suburbs, but hopefully in ways that reveal something meaningful about Fort Worth.
Before you object, yes, I know — I’m a journalist, not a historian. But to paraphrase Art Spiegelman: History is far too important to leave solely to historians. I find it useful to view the past as the site of an ongoing, collective struggle with significant consequences for the present. What we choose to remember and how we remember it are not fixed, and our understanding of the past can shape the boundaries of what we believe is possible in the future. The ways in which history is used and weaponized in contemporary society is something we all have a stake in.
Powerful people with an interest in the status quo like to tell particular stories about Fort Worth because it fits their vision of what the city should be. So what are the other stories we might tell?
Last revised March 2023.