When I was very young my Dad always threatened to take me to East Texas. I’m not sure what exactly was so scary about East Texas, and at 35 I’ve still never been there, but apparently that was an effective threat.
Dad tells a story about the family going on a road trip when I, at about 3, would not quit talking. He claims he told me that if I didn’t shut up he’d take me to East Texas. He also claims I didn’t speak again for 200 miles. Guess it worked.
We lived in SW New Mexico in a very small town that got a fair share of tourists, especially from folks from SW Texas (read: El Paso). It was never enough tourism to really help the economy, but it was certainly enough tourism to back up the traffic. Dad called the El Pasoans (El Pasi?) “Texas Drivers.” That may be what many others call “Sunday Drivers”. Spending too much time looking around and enjoying the weather and not enough time getting anywhere. Similar, anyway.
So, between the East Texas Threat, and the Texas Drivers, I ended up pretty confused about Texas.
Cut to when I’m four years old. We’re on our way from southern NM to Kansas to visit Grandma Ruby. The story is I fell asleep along the way and didn’t wake up until we’d stopped in Dalhart, TX.
I asked, “Where are we?”
Dad said, “Dalhart, Texas.”
Me, looking around amazed, “There’s PEOPLE in Texas!”
Dad asked, “What did you think was in Texas?”
And I replied, “Well. . . Texans.”
If I were to date any one of you, and bring you home to Dad, I promise that’s the first story he’d tell you. So I guess what I’m saying is: Either threaten your kids with Texas, or get ready for them to be confused about the letter Y.