Let's say some good things about Texas

It seems that whenever I read anything about Texas it’s kind of heart-stoppingly horrible. Like the fact that crazy rightwingers in Texas get to choose what goes into textbooks for the entire country. Or that no one seems to care that Texas leads the country in capital punishment. [I’m not saying these are facts–just things I’ve read lately.] [I mean, I don’t want to start a debate about these issues.]

I actually lived in Texas for awhile, in Austin, Fort Worth, and Dallas. We moved to Austin when I was a senior in high school, then I went to college in Fort Worth. Years later my husband and I lived in Dallas for a year. I enjoyed living in Texas.

The Tex-Mex food, the barbeque, the bluebonnets, country western dancing…

Let’s shout out for Texas!


Good Thing About Texas: I don’t live there anymore.


Seriously: My local school district provided an exceptional education, Blue Bell ice cream is the standard by which I judge all ice cream, and there is no comparison to a chicken fried steak in Texas. (Good Tex-Mex is readily available here in Ohio, and it is blasphemy, but I can get good BBQ here too.)

The Riverwalk in San Antonio is pretty.

I vacationed in Texas, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. The people I met were the most friendly, charming and gracious of any place in the US. And they have that Alamo for heavens sakes. If they had nothing else that would do it for me.

Great food, good music and, in the southern and western parts of the state anyway, beautiful vistas. And the people, despite their politics, are pretty friendly.

The only place in Texas that I’ve visited is San Antonio. It’s a beautiful city, especially the Riverwalk, with an interesting mix of cultures – which makes for interesting food and architecture.

Scott Joplin
Blind Lemon Jefferson
Big Mama Thornton
Lightnin’ Hopkins
Buddy Holly
Roy Orbison
Bob Wills
Ernest Tubb
Tex Ritter
Willie Nelson
Waylon Jennings
Janis Joplin
13th Floor Elevators
Doug Sahm
Freddy Fender
Flaco Jimenez
Townes van Zandt
Guy Clark
Joe Ely
Butch Hancock
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Lyle Lovett
Los Lonely Boys

(just for a start…)

I had some drinks there, and I didn’t die. I think that’s good.

My mother lives in the far Dallas suburbs. I am always struck by how attractive so many of the women are when I go there. It is a really big difference from some other parts of the country.

It is a pretty big place too. You can have anything from Deep Southern rural culture in the eastern part of the state to big city life to beaches to true Southwestern culture as long as you are willing to drive a very long way.

I despise their politics, but there’s nobody quicker to put a cold beer in your hand and make you feel welcome, except maybe an Arky…

Bluebonnets! A field of them is a sight to behold. They’re nearly my favorite flower.

Great looking strippers. And I am not being sarcastic.


(Does that really count as Texas?)

When we went to the Alamo, I was expecting a kitschy tourist trap. They did have a gift shop, but I was really impressed with the sense of reverence I got from the place. They really did treat it with total respect and not as a theme park. When they say “The Shrine of Texas Independence,” they mean shrine. It took me apart.

I have never met a single person from Austin who I didn’t absolutely adore.

It really is really big and people wear really big hats, plus as long as you keep going you’ll get to Louisiana.


Texas has reasonable gun and self defense laws, and they’re almost Southern.

The Von Erichs.

The Funks.

Stan Hansen.

The Dallas Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.

The Cotton Bowl.

I grew up right on the Louisiana/East Texas border. My mother was born and raised in Fort. Worth but moved just over the line to marry my father and raise us. It always really, really disturbed her that she had a Louisiana driver’s license and was basically a Louisiana citizen although she could literally be in Texas in 5 minutes or less. Sure enough, as soon as she was able to break away, she dragged my stepfather back to the Dallas area…the promised land.

Texans are unusually proud of their state. My Yankee daughters still get care gifts from grandma with all kinds of Texas paraphernalia including children’s books “‘A’ is for Amarillo, ‘B’ is for Beaumont…”. She knows deep down that we won’t move there but she refuses to accept it. I have to respect that type of state patriotism.