Every week, we share dispatches from Texas Country Reporter, the long-running TV show that invites you to hop in and travel along to explore the back roads of Texas.

To say Gene Fernandez is fan of history is an understatement.

For the Brownsville native, the infatuation began at age eight. He was wandering free-range, as kids used to do, navigating a sea of tombstones in the Old City Cemetery. He began to notice familiar names on monuments, and soon learned his family’s roots in the Valley went back to the 1700s. History was personal and fascinating. He was hooked.

Fernandez began to dedicate his life and career to history, and was eventually elected to be the Cameron County historical commissioner. But the ultimate honor came the day a reporter for the local NBC affiliate, KVEO-TV, approached him with an opportunity to host a few minutes on air, every Thursday, to share his passion with the world.

In this video from Texas Country Reporter, meet this charming character from Brownsville who brings enthusiasm to his subject matter by dressing in themed costumes and fully committing to his role as an ambassador for the past.