Although it's true that pickup trucks are traditional for the area, a lot of the huge ones that seem to have never been used for actual farm work belong to "weekend warriors": folks from San Antonio or Austin driving here to shoot deer.
It's true that actual ranching isn't what it was (still not clear on the reasons for that), but beekeeping is the new hot industry. Apparently that's what a lot of land that used to be used for goats (i.e. mohair) is now being used for.
However, having said that, it's not as if everyone in the area who doesn't own ones of the towns' dwindling number of businesses is now a beekeeper: a high percentage are according to the local I talked to just on the dole. To be frank, this is kinda what I suspected.
And, of course, crystal meth is a big presence: apparently the rougher of the two motels in the town I'm staying in tonight tends to have a fair number of local tweakers on extended stay.
So, I guess that's what this vision of small town life comes down to: hunter wannabes, a dwindling number of shops, beekeeping, crystal meth, and government checks.
I find myself wondering whether the Norman Rockwell vision of small town America ever existed at all.