Texas Country Reporter turns fifty in October 2022. Each week until then, we’ll share classic episodes from the show’s history and behind-the-scenes reflections from TCR’s creator and host, Bob Phillips.

Since we started traveling the back roads of Texas back in 1972, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “I wish I could have lived a hundred years ago.”

And every time I heard that, I thought, “Would you really like to live back when there was no electricity, running water, or indoor bathrooms? No cars or airplanes? Really?”

I suspect some of them would still say yes, and that includes my friend Bonnie Cain, who has no desire to live in today’s world.

In 2008, we visited Bonnie and her husband, Dick, who not only live in one of the most remote spots in the lower 48 states, they purposely live totally off the grid.

As you’ll see in this classic episode, they have a set routine that includes getting up at daybreak and cooking breakfast on the wood-burning stove before Dick sets out on horseback to check on his herd of Longhorn cattle. Bonnie goes to work doing things like sewing or making bread or any of the other endless chores at their tiny adobe house south of Alpine, Texas. He’s always in boots, jeans, and a cowboy hat, and she’s always in a long cotton dress, usually with an apron.

Bonnie thinks people want a simpler life, like hers, but simply don’t know how to get there. The first step, she says, is to reassess the good things in life.

At sunset on the day we visited, Bonnie sat in a chair on the front porch, strumming a guitar and playing a harmonica while Dick tapped his foot to keep a beat.

A simpler life? Indeed.

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