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.

It was back in the early nineties that we first bumped into Sam Raper and his son, Sam Junior. They were out collecting bottle caps in Dimmit, and we followed them to a cluttered backyard where “Mama” showed us some of the pieces the family had made using the tops from hundreds of thousands of drink bottles. They made chairs, statues, and small buildings. The art was primitive, yet we couldn’t help but admire the Rapers’ dedication to form and space while using the simplest of materials.

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