It always makes me sad to see photographs at an estate sale.  I’ve seen wedding albums, studio portraits, school pictures — you name it.  It just seems so cold, so uncaring.  I treasure my photos, and hope my kids will too someday.  Or at least not sell them.

This photo I found at a recent estate sale must have been taken in the early days of the oil industry, back when men weren’t afraid to let a little sock peek out from their pant leg, and there was no such thing as ripped abs.  These guys worked hard in the field, but as you can see in this next photo, they also knew how to party:

Miss Sooner?  I’m thinking these guys were hoping she’d be Miss Later, if you know what I mean.   This must have been a helluva party–looks like they rented out the whole VFW for this shindig.

Anyway, as I stood in line at the estate sale with no air conditioning, waiting to pay for these two photos and a magicube (for another post) and my daughter rolling her eyes, I found myself reminiscing about what brought me to the Lone Star state in the first place.  It was 1981 and not only had I just graduated from nursing school, but I had also just seen the movie Urban Cowboy. Texas looked like so much fun — cowboys, mechanical bulls, two-stepping at Gilley’s.  So I headed down here with a few roommates, and we found jobs at one of the most amazing medical centers in the country.  We didn’t really plan to stay, but soon the triple digit temperatures, oppressive humidity, and frequent tropical disturbances worked their magic on us, and Texas became home.

Maybe I’m just getting old, but the dream of living in a trailer while my husband goes off to work at the refinery doesn’t seem quite as glamorous as it once did.  But I still love Urban Cowboy.  My favorite line in the movie is near the end where Bud is trying to keep Sissy from leaving, and he says, “I want to apologize clear back to when I hit you the first time.”  Don’t you wish you had a nickel for every time you said that?


And then there’s the scene where Sissy and Bud are eating tuna salad that Bud’s aunt made for them.  Sissy’s picking out the onions, because, as she tells Bud, she likes her tuna salad “with apples and walnuts, not so much these onions.”  As Sissy gets up to change before they go out for the evening, she tells Bud, “Eat your tuna with the onions,” and he laughingly retorts, “Clean up, pig.”  So romantic!

I love plain old tuna salad — mayo, lemon, maybe some celery.  But today, inspired by the photo of the oil guys and the memories of Urban Cowboy, I’m making a Texas Tuna Salad, and yes, Sissy, it’s got onions!

Recipe type: Seafood, Salad
  • 2 5-ounce cans chunk white albacore tuna in water, drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 green onion, green part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced red, orange, and/or yellow bell pepper, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon tabasco
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • Microgreens, or sprouts, for garnish (optional)
  1. Mix together tuna, onion, green onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and bell pepper in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, lime juice, and tabasco. Fold mayonnaise mixture into tuna, stirring until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. To serve, place shredded lettuce on 4 individual plates. Divide tuna salad among plates, mounding in the middle. Garnish with microgreens, if using, and scatter minced bell pepper around plate.



  1. Too funny! I think you must really be my alter ego. I too am from Texas ( I miss that frizzy hair so much I’m dying to move back) and I love me some Urban Cowboy. That movie and Terms of Endearment get me to stop channel surfing everytime. Maybe it is Debra Winger? Never thought of that. Anyway our tuna is very similar but I’ve got crushed saltines in mine. Don’t laugh.

  2. I love the stories you tell – I love old photographs too, and hope that my kids keep all the photographs I’ve taken over the years. I am the family photographer for sure! That tuna salad looks right up my boyfriend’s alley and we will have to try it this weekend (certainly too hot to cook!)

    • Thanks Danielle — for the nice words and for being the first to leave a comment!

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