There is this thing about Texas that somehow irks the rest of the good ole USA. Sometimes, it is our ambition to create as many Texas Shaped objects as we can and place them on everything! From cans of beers to big ole trucks and even everything in between, I mean you haven’t lived till you eat Texas shaped chips. This loyalty to our state has caused many people to poke fun at us, pointedly talking about how backwards we are, how conservative we are, and of course jesting at our attire of cowboy boots and hats.
Let me set the record straight, only real cowboys wear boots. Well, Big E technically is a roughneck. I mean he wears work boots and a white hard hat. He is pratically a cowboy except when the Fire Proof clothing, hard hat, and H2S monitor come off. He is just Big E, video game playing and music loving man.
Like I said, only real cowboys can rock the wranglers. There is a confidence among Texas Cowboys and Cowgirls and it is not easily replicated and for that we are misunderstood. The majority of people I knew wore boots and jeans to the bailes at our local dance hall or at the neighboring dance hall and even though there was always a percentage of those who didn’t it becomes a notion of In-Town versus Out-of-Town. I know, huh, atown with 4 stop lights and there was an in town group and an out of town group. I fell in the fringe.
We lived down a dusty country caliche road which has made many appearances in my short stories. My house was on a few acres and we had a pen for our 4-H animals but my abuelo had about 25 acres of land until he sold it right before his death. When, I see people make fun of us Texans, there are making fun of us. Abuelo used to shine his good boots to go to outings and bailes. We were not trying to be cool but this is how the Vaqueros dressed.
Even now, dressing Cowboy has become cool like in the movie remake of Footloose. It becomes a part of who you and not a caricature. Boots are used for protection on the ranch in case a rattler decides to strike. Big E’s work boots are steel toe to help protect him. My whole family has always been blue collar and have always dressed cowboy. I saw a recent blog post that had a photo of a blogger who was relocated to Tejas dressing up as Cowboys. Tsk…Tsk…not in Cowboy Country.
Texans are proud people and fiercely loyal to our state. We have a strong heritage and will not let anyone forget that we are the only state in the union to be admitted through TREATY.
Seriously, we were annexed by treaty and that is why we have so much pride. When Tejanos say the border crossed us, they are being serious. Spain became Mexico which in turn became Texas which became part of the USA. Tejas was here before the Declaration of Independence. It is deep rooted and a part of our tradition and although not everyone grew up this way, I just happened to have had the oppotunity to be part of the city life and the country life. I spent my whole life trying to escape from it and now I yearn to find myself back in it. I yearn for the sweet sounding accordian of Tejano, the silent shuffling of boots against a hard concrete floor, and the deep voice connecting me to my family.
There is this thing about Texas that stays with you no matter where you go. Ask anyone who is orginally from Texas and they will claim their roots. How could they not? How could you not be in awe of sprawling Mesquite trees and the sounds of nature all around you? Texans, sigh, love us or hate us but you have to admit we are a proud bunch.
We bleed for our state, are proud of the fact that we have had multiple national flags believe it or not. Although, we are not all created equal, if you are from Texas we would definitely have your back. I was watching a Top Chef Texas Competition awhile back and one man made a comment like “One of those chefs is from Texas.” everyone nodded and said “That’s why this tastes so good.” It made me chuckle, being Texan is like you can do no harm to others. Although, we have had our share of misgivings and tensions may run high at the moment but Texans are slow to change. I mean not Texans from Austin or Dallas. But, in the South, we are far and few inbetween. Our towns have grown but many of the traditions are the same.
Even though, we try to keep our ways, culture is an evolutionary creature melding and adapting as more of our youth move away from how even I grew up. Ten years ago, I was a boot wearing, steer showing, gas welding chick. Now, I am a chancla wearing, short having, blogger.
In fact, here is my son in all his High Tech Cowboy Glory.