"The Big Empty” is the moniker that Jim W. Corder (1929-1998) called the Texas plains. In his book, Lost in West Texas (1988), Corder wrote:
“The territory I love out there is not much chronicled. In what I have sometimes called the Big Empty, there are, perhaps, only small histories to tell, at least in modern times.”
Texas governor Rick Perry was born in Paint Creek, about 60 miles north of Abilene in West Texas. When Perry ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2011, newspaper articles described Paint Creek as part of the “Big Empty.”
Wikipedia: Jim W. Carter
Jimmie Wayne Corder (September 25, 1929, Jayton, Texas - August 28, 1998, Fort Worth, Texas) was a scholar of rhetoric.
Professor of English at Texas Christian University, Jim W. Corder was a prolific scholar and teacher, producing dozens of books and articles on the history and theory of rhetoric studies and the teaching of writing.
Finding a Voice
By Jim W. Corder
Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman
I can remember old fellows in my home town speaking feelingly of an evening spent on the big empty plains.
Lost in West Texas
By Jim W. Corder
College Station, TX: Texas A & M University Press
The territory I love out there is not much chronicled. In what I have sometimes called the Big Empty, there are, perhaps, only small histories to tell, at least in modern times.
Google News Archive
30 October 1994, Sunday Times-Sentinel (Point Pleasant, WV), ‘What secret does this lost and lonely Texas land hold?” by Mike Cochran (AP), pg. E5, col. 3:
“The Big Empty,” native Jim Corder jokes.
“I’m always looking for West Texas or my part of it, and not finding it,” writes Corder in “Lost in West Texas,” a whimsical and charming book that deals largely with his nameless homeland.
12 October 1998, Associated Press:
WEST TEXAS: A world unto itself
By MIKE COCHRAN and JOHN LUMPKIN Associated Press Writers BROWNWOOD, Texas (AP)
Less fetching is a chunk of land about halfway between Dallas and Lubbock christened “The Big Empty” by native writer Jim Corder.
September 19, 2011 7:30 PM
Rick Perry’s tough home in Texas’ “big empty”
By Dean Reynolds
The list includes such varied places as Hope and Plains, Tampico and Cove Gap, Niles and Waxhaw. And if things go Rick Perry’s way, the next addition to the list of hometowns of the presidents will be Paint Creek.
That’s Paint Creek, Texas, a place so small that CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports it stumped the GPS.
There is a main street in Paint Creek, and a small center in the community. To say it’s small is an understatement. It’s part of what Texans call “the big empty.”
Dallas (TX) Morning News
Where Rick Perry comes from: How the Texas Plains shaped a future presidential candidate
By CHRISTY HOPPE Austin Bureau
Published: 08 October 2011 10:10 PM
AUSTIN — On the flat patch of the Texas Plains where Rick Perry grew up, the years are measured in harvests and rainfall.
It’s a swath of land that his father called “the Big Empty.” The area has two main exports: cotton and restless youth.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, October 11, 2012 • Permalink