There are many schools of thought on just what makes Texas, Texas. While some indications are unique in nature and some aren’t, there are many things that Texas has and does and believes, that make it like no other place on earth. There’s a valid point to the advertising slogan “Texas, it’s like a whole other country”. Amen.
After pondering on this very subject for the better part of my life, I’ve come up with a list of things that I feel make the Great State of Texas, the one and only Lone Star that shines like no other.
1. Friday Night High School Football – Of all the movies on high school football, Friday Night Lights, defined the essence of the sport of football in the State of Texas, like no other State in America. In Texas, newspapers allow entire sections just for the scores, hightlight’s and stories on the most favorite game in Texas.
2. Texas Dry Rub BBQ – Often imitated, but never duplicated, the art of dry rub BBQ is uniquely Texan. The Texas Hill Country is truly, BBQ Mecca. Franklins, Mueller, Coopers, Blacks, City Market and the Salt Lick are shrines to the art of Texas Hill Country BBQ. Copious amounts of salt, pepper, Oak, Mesquite or Pecan smoke, low and slow heat and the magic of time, create a BBQ experience like no other place. No utensils, served on brown butcher paper and sauce on the side, please.
3. Small Town Salutation – If you ever get the privilege of driving on the back roads around Small Town, Texas, you’ll see something that might cause you to wonder. I’m guilty of it, my friends are guilty of it, but it’s a guilt that is a pleasure. I’m talking about the courtesy of waving at the vehicles passing you going in the opposite direction. Makes no difference if you know them or not, wave. It’ll do one of two things; make them smile or make them wonder, “Do I know that person?” Doesn’t matter if you do or you don’t, that’s Texas.
4. Texas Pride – There is no one school of thought, that I’ve heard, that will explain the extreme level of state pride that Texas has. My own personal opinion is that is goes back to the days of the fight for independence from Mexico. The original founding states of the nation all had each other to back the fight for independence from England. Texas had the settlers that moved there when it was a Mexican state and a 185 rag tag fighters from Tennessee, Virginia and a few other states as their fighting force. The story is told that a request for help in the fight to the United States was sent out and that the request was turned down. So, with a small, unorganized and untrained army, the quickly formed militia waged war against the mighty Mexican General Santa Anna and defeated him, sealing the victory from the country of Mexico… by itself, with no help from any other state in the United States, except for those few, brave volunteers that came to Texas to fight for the idea of Texas. Now that’s just my own opinion, as wrong or right as it may be. But it’s the only explanation that I personally can come up with for our deep, abiding faith, in the Great State of Texas.
5. Texas Music – The medium of music in Texas is as far and wide as the distance from Amarillo to Brownsville. From classical music in the metropolitan areas, to the sounds of country in the honky-tonks and dance halls that dot the back roads, Texas music has something for everyone. Pop, Metal, Classical, Country, Folk, Bluegrass, Tejano, Conjunto, Reggae, Jazz, Gospel, Contemporary Christian… well, the list goes on and on.
6. Tex-Mex Food – It’s not too often that a state wrangles a style of food and morphs it into their own. But Texas did just that with Tex-Mex. Most of the food in the United States is of the Tex-Mex variety. Nachos, chimichanga’s and fajita’s are all the creation of someone north of the border in Texas. Traditional Mexican faire’ is more of a comfort food, rather than the deep-fried, or sizzling style Texas has created.
7. Big, everything – The old saying “Everything’s big in Texas” may be a bit of a stretch, but Texas is known for Big Oil, Big Money, Big Sports and in some cases, Big Mouth’s. Make no mistake, if a Texan dreams it up, the chances are, he’s going to make the effort “Big Time”.
8. Size means everything – In the continental United States, Texas is the largest with 268,581 square miles of desert, mountains, prairies, plains, hills and pine trees. To put that in prospective, you could put 28 states of Vermont and New Hampshire, almost two New York States and four and one-half Illinois’. Oh, one last comparison. You can locate 163 states of Rhode Island with the borders of Texas. Yep, that puts it into perspective.
9. Farm and Ranch land – Every state in the United States has farm and ranch land and Texas leads the way with 130.2 million acres. It also leads the nation in production of cotton, beef, goats and mohair production.
So, there you have it mi amigos, some of my top reasons why Texas is Texas. Again, each one of these might be something that each state has or does, but this is a handful of things that makes the Great State of Texas as great as it truly is.
Blessings on a wonderful day, God bless y’all and God Bless Texas!