| About the Texas Highway Man
|This page last updated February 10, 2020
by Billy Calzada, San Antonio Express-News)
Really, you clicked on this? :-)
day, I'm known as Brian Purcell. Although I have a bachelor's degree in
Urban and Regional Planning, a fluke got me into the computer biz even
before I even graduated from college and now I'm a systems architect at
a university in San Antonio. Believe it or not, I'm not affiliated in
any way with any road-building or transportation agency or contractor.
All my life, though, I've had an interest in all forms of
transportation, and this website is the manifestation of that hobby and
interest that continues to this day.
San Antonio Express-News
did a front-page feature story on me
back in 2015 (must have been a slow news day) which was also picked-up
by the Houston Chronicle. If
you're really bored, you can also read more about me on the Bio
page of a local transportation blog for which I was a contributor along with a former Express-News
reporter and the manager of the Texas Transportation Museum.
also was asked to write a piece on San Antonio's freeway history for
the Express-News' San
Antonio Tricentennial series; it's published on their site here.
Road Hand Award
February 2020, TxDOT bestowed on me their "Road Hand"
award in appreciation for this website, my work digitizing the San
Antonio TxDOT district's historical photos, and numerous other contributions
over the years. Here is the description of the award from TxDOT:
the early days of the 20th century, anyone who helped build roads was
called a Road Hand. Today's Road Hands are citizens who have given
their time, energy, and vision to help improve transportation in their
communities throughout the state. In bestowing this award, the Texas
Department of Transportation recognizes and expresses its sincere
appreciation to these supporters who have helped build one of the best
transportation systems in the world."
the award is given to local politicians who help champion projects or
otherwise have supported TxDOT's efforts in their communities, so as
someone who is neither in the road construction business nor politics,
it was quite a surprise and honor to receive this recognition.
More than highways
addition to highways, I also have an interest in other forms of
transportation, most notably trains and urban public transportation,
which developed from my time living in Germany. To that end, I have a companion website about transportation in Germany.
I got the name Texas Highway Man
Besides my intense interest in roads and traffic, it seems that I also
have a real knack for directions and getting around. As a result, my
little sister started calling me "Highway Man" and sometime in the mid
'90s drew a really cute cartoon (see below.) The name had a nice ring
to it, so when I started my website
in 1998, I decided that "Highway Man" would be a good name for my
persona, but I decided to add the "Texas" to the moniker since I knew
of several fellow "highwaymen" in other places.
"TexasHighwayMen" on the Internet
Over the years, I've come across a few other cases of people using the
name "TexasHighwayMan" on the Internet. For example, I found a couple
of sites where someone using that name expresses some rather strong
opinions on guns and abortion (funny how those topics tend to elicit
strong opinions.) That
is not me.
In general, I sign most of my online posts as either "TexHwyMan" and/or
with my actual name, and I generally try to stay out of the fray on
politics and controversial topics that are not transportation-related. In any case, if you find something
by "TexasHighwayMan" or the like and you want to know if it's me, feel
free to ask. If it's something I posted, I'm certainly willing to
discuss it with you. But I don't want to take credit (or condemnation)
for things I did not post.