What Makes Us Love Texas?

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Every Wednesday and Friday one of our Life List Club members posts a blog on the LLC Website. Today, Sonia G. Medeiros will post on that site. After you read my post, be sure to come back up here and click on the LLC Website so you can read hers also.

——————————————

What is it about Texas and Texans? What sets us apart from other states or provinces and their residents?

George “Gabby” Hayes, a great character actor in old Westerns, used to use the expression “. . . the whole United States and Texas.” As if Texas were a complete entity separate from the rest of the United States.

Tanya Tucker sings “They may not let me go to heaven . . . [but] just let me go to Texas . . .” I wouldn’t provoke God by equating Texas with heaven as a final destination, but her song illustrates the strong feelings our native sons feel for our state.

There’s no Hollywood or Nashville in Texas. But we probably have as many big-time entertainers with Texas roots here as any other state. College football coaches from all over the country come here to recruit players. Like ‘em or not, two of our last four Presidents came from Texas. That’s just how we are. We always say everything’s bigger and better in Texas.

Very few people call themselves former Texans. Like Marines, there are no exes. We’re just Texans. My little brother lived in San Francisco for many years as a part of the gay community there, but he wore his Texana proudly—from his drawl to the boots he frequently wore to his love for country music.

Why is that? I frequently wonder. Is it because of our history? We do have a unique and interesting history, but other states have their own claims to fame in that department.

After all, we have some of the worst weather on the planet. We have four seasons here: winter, hot, hotter, and still hot. Why are we so proud of that?

Name the ten biggest natural lakes in Texas. You can’t? That’s because most parts of the state are so dry we have to build our own. And our rivers . . . the Rio Grande in most places runs somewhere between a trickle and a dry bed, as do many of our other ones. When Texans see the Ohio or the Mississippi or the Columbia—or even a lot of mountain streams—we’re blown away by the amount of water they carry.

We used to be known for our wide open spaces. Well, we do still have a lot of wide open space in West Texas, but from Denton—north of the Fort Worth-Dallas Metroplex—to somewhere south of San Antonio, a distance of well over 300 miles, I-35 is basically an urban freeway. These days, it’s unusual to traverse those 300 miles without incurring bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic somewhere along the way. Often more than once.

So what makes us love this piece of real estate? Why do we Texans brag on our home state so much?

Is it our size? It’s a little over 920 highway miles from Brazos Island State Park on the Gulf of Mexico near the Mexican border to the New Mexico border near Texline and a bit over 880 miles on I-10 from the New Mexico border north of El Paso to the Louisiana border just east of Beaumont. Pretty impressive, but Alaska’s 586,412 square miles make it nearly 2.2 times Texas’s 268,820 square miles (although Alaska’s population would just about fit in my neighborhood).

Is it our scenery? Very few states go from the verdant woods of East Texas to the arid desert of far West Texas. From coastal plains to mountain peaks of nearly 9,000 feet altitude. But our mountains are admittedly not as pretty as those of Colorado or Montana. And our coastline lacks both the ruggedness of the Pacific coast and the white sands of the Mississippi coast.

Maybe it has to do with the fact we’re the only state that was its own independent nation before becoming a state. Our original borders would run up into Wyoming and would include most of Albuquerque and all of Santa Fe. All east-west transcontinental interstate highways south of I-90 would have to cross Texas.

This is definitely a source of pride to Texans. So is the fact that we’re the only state that had to fight for its independence from a foreign country. We remember the Alamo and Goliad and other symbols of that fight.

I don’t believe any one of these things accounts for feelings Texas have for their state and their heritage. But each of these, along with 1,000 other things, goes into the pride we feel as Texans. That’s as close as I can come to explaining it.

David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a neimagear-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his non-fiction Web Wisdom: Inspiration from the Inbox and starting his new fiction work—a series of novellas set during the period from 1860 to 1880.

Contact me at davwalktx@yahoo.com or tweet me at @davidnwalkertx

Advertisements

About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
This entry was posted in Archives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to What Makes Us Love Texas?

  1. Pingback: Personal Milestone | David N Walker

  2. BK Jackson says:

    I’m not a Texan but I love that Texans are so proud of their state. I feel that way about Arizona, but Arizonans do not have that unity in common–or at least it isn’t so visible as it is with Texas. For that matter, I cringe at how many Arizonans don’t even know our statehood anniversary. We all know the “pride goeth before a fall” verse but well placed pride in your state means a lot. So my hat is off to Texans! 😎

    Like

  3. Pingback: What Makes Us Love Texas? « David N Walker – Where the Heart Is | Marji Laine ~ Writer

  4. Julie Glover says:

    I loved the old commercials from the Texas Tourism Bureau that claimed “Texas is like a whole other country.” What I love about our state is that we gun the gamut: We have hillbillies and high culture; mountains, beaches, hills, forests, and prairies; huge cities and teeny towns; every kind of music and food you can imagine; and much more. I am born and bred, but I invite everyone to visit Texas (and move here if you’d like). One of my favorite songs is from Lyle Lovett: “That’s right. You’ve not from Texas, but Texas wants you anyway.” Welcome, y’all!

    Like

  5. Marcia says:

    Those of us who have never been to Texas believe all the stuff Texans say is so great about lviing there. We don’t know any better. 🙂 I guess most of us are proud of our native states, though we all find room to find fault sometimes. You sure do have a lot to be proud of there in Texas, David. I’d love to visit many of your cities, but I’m New Yorker through and through.

    Like

  6. Barbara Estinson says:

    Fun blog, David. Though I can’t see myself moving back to Texas, I do enjoy my time there. The older I get, the more I appreciate some of the Texas beauty. I think those roots do go deep…. though I think of myself as a Northwesterner mostly.

    Barb

    Like

  7. Emma says:

    I recently watched the tv show Friday Night Lights and will now always remember the characters’ catch phrase of “Texas Forever”. Hopefully I’ll get to visit some day.

    Like

  8. Lynn says:

    You forgot some of the most important draws: low cost of living and no state income tax!!!

    Like

  9. I love Texas. I think we have the best of all worlds here in one place. Plus, I’m not sure I could live anywhere else without Mexican food restaurants on every corner. I could eat Mexican food three times a day…. okay, Tex-Mex. 🙂

    Like

  10. Karlene says:

    You also have my youngest daughter and adorable grandson and incredible son-in-law living in Austin. But is Austin really Texas? 🙂
    Excellent post. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  11. Catie Rhodes says:

    For me, the “big deal” is that I am directly descended from a Texas Revolution fighter. This place was important enough for my ancestors to fight for it, and it’s that important to me. My family has been here a long, long time.

    I live in the suburbs of Houston, where we have a lot of imports from other states and even other countries. It’s funny, but I can always tell I’m talking to a fellow native Texan (and it’s not just the accent). Here’s two things I’ve noticed:

    *Native Texans don’t think they need to holler “help” every time they run into an obstacle. They think they can climb right over that obstacle or plow through it…or shoot it.

    *Native Texas (and Louisanans) define “good food” as food that is so spicy that you can still feel the effects of the next day.

    Good post, David. I enjoyed reading it.

    Like

  12. I married a native Texan, David, and you’re singing his song.

    I am *gasp* a transplanted Yankee and traveled here by way of Pittsburgh, PA to Southern California, Phoenix, Denver, and then the final corporate relo to Dallas.

    I don’t fully understand the pride native Texans have for their home state, but I’m pleased ya’ll let me stay.

    Anyone ready for some boot scootin’?

    I already visited LLC, and Sonia’s post over there rocks! Have a good one.

    Like

Comments are closed.