Growing Up in El Paso, TX

Wanted Miss America Pageant Poster in White

Phyllis George, the Girl-Next-Door Who Became Miss America

By Jane Little Botkin / September 4, 2023 /

It was her dimples that first drew my attention to the Miss America pageant. A more-than-passable piano player with wholesome beauty, Phyllis George could have been anyone’s big sister or babysitter. I watched the pageant every September along with my parents. Before Phyllis, we knew almost nothing about the contestants parading in pale rainbows of…

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An old black-and-white photograph of alligators

Los Lagartos Fountain, What Happened to the San Jacinto Alligators?

By Jane Little Botkin / October 3, 2022 /

(Photo El Paso Historical Society) Recently I returned to El Paso to visit my past—my classmates, Northeast El Paso’s Milagro Hills where I grew up, the Upper Valley where I last lived in the city, and, of course, Guyrex landmarks important to my newest book, The Pink Dress, Memoir of a Guyrex Girl. A pleasant…

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Jane Little Botkin

El Paso, the World of Guyrex

By Jane Little Botkin / July 2, 2021 /

Some folks claim that El Paso, Texas, should be El Paso, New Mexico. It’s true that the city sits in isolation from the rest of the state—635 miles from Dallas, 600 miles from Austin, and 551 miles from San Antonio. These same naysayers maintain that Midland, 306 miles away, is true West Texas, not El…

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Jane Little Botkin

The Pink Dress, Memoir of a GuyRex Girl

By Jane Little Botkin / February 22, 2020 /

My parents initiated a truce the year I won a beauty-queen title. Actually, I was promoted to queen, but to my mother, how I received the title was of no consequence. In effect, I moved from a dysfunctional middle-class family into a theatrical ménage of high performers, intent on managing all aspects of my life for one…

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A book entitled Copper Stain on a white background

Growing up with ASARCO, EL Paso, TX

By Jane Little Botkin / February 10, 2019 / Comments Off on Growing up with ASARCO, EL Paso, TX

The University of Oklahoma Press recently released a new book that certainly caught my attention. Copper Stain, by Elaine Hampton and Cynthia C. Ontiveros, should be an excellent read. I was raised on El Paso’s northeast side but moved near ASARCO (the west side) after I turned 18. The smelter’s community plays a small role in my book Frank…

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