“You may all go to hell and I’ll go to Texas.” Davy Crockett said this after losing his Tennessee bid for re-election to the U.S. Congress. Also: “Make sure you’re right, then go ahead.” He wrote to his family back in Tennessee: “I must say as to what I have seen of Texas it is the garden spot of the world. The best land and the best prospects for health I ever saw, and I do believe it is a fortune to any man to come here. There is a world of country here to settle.” Then he went and got killed. Yes, it’s time to take another look at what people have been saying about Texas and what we have been saying about ourselves, warts and all. Mary Lasswell, who grew up in Brownsville and wrote “I’ll Take Texas,” said: “I am forced to conclude that God made Texas on his day off, for pure entertainment, just to prove that all that diversity could be crammed into one section of earth by a really top hand.”
“Around company headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., an hour’s plane ride from Dallas, when anybody asks, ‘Why are there so many Wal-Marts in Texas?’ the answer they get is ‘Because it’s big’.” — The New York Times, Aug. 20, 2003.
“Texas is called The Lone Star State because the only good thing to come out of it is Beyonce.” — Comedian and native Texan Zack Wintin
Any soldier who “shall commit any waste or spoil, either in walks of tree, parks, warrens, fish ponds, houses and gardens, enclosures, cornfields” will be court martialed. – Order to soldiers of the Republic of Texas. Does that also apply to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers?
Q: Did you hear about the Texas Longhorns water polo team?
A: They had to cancel their season after the horses all drowned in the first game.
Conrad Hilton bought his very first hotel in Cisco. He said: “There’s a vastness here and I believe that the people who are born here breathe that vastness into their soul. They dream big dreams and think big thoughts, because there is nothing to hem them in.” Hilton also said: “At Lubbock I found that Texas had no use for an imported French chef.”
Larry McMurtry wrote: “Only a rank degenerate would drive 1,500 miles across Texas without eating a chicken fried steak.”
“In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the [governor’s] office; it’s mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose.” — Molly Ivins
We always have fun with Okies, because they have such great neighbors to the south who provide OU with most of their football players. This from July 14, 1996: “How would you feel if Mexico took back Texas?” a British business leader in London asked U.S. Ambassador William J. Crowe, Jr., during a discussion on Northern Ireland. Replied the ambassador: “You’ve asked the wrong man that question. I’m from Oklahoma. We’ve been trying to give Texas back to Mexico for a hundred years.” We, in turn, ask the question: “Why wasn’t there a back door to the Alamo?” Answer: “There was one. That’s why there’s an Oklahoma.”
“I’d rather be a fencepost in Texas, than the king of Tennessee.” — Chris Wall, Texas Singer-Songwriter-Austin.
We’re not in Kansas anymore, so we have: Take the wand. Tap it to your cowboy hat one time. Dance the two-step around the room twice. And then tap your cowboy boot heels together, and say, “There’s no place like Texas. There’s no place like Texas…”
“The Texan turned out to be good-natured, generous and likable. In three days no one could stand him.” ? Joseph Heller, Catch 22
“I like it here in Austin. Anybody got a room?” — Keith Richards
“For Texas is where the modern conservative theory of budgeting — the belief that you should never raise taxes under any circumstances, that you can always balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending — has been implemented most completely. If the theory can’t make it there, it can’t make it anywhere.” ? Syndicated columnist Paul Krugman
George W. Bush on his years in West Texas: “Those were comfortable, carefree years. The word I’d use now is idyllic. On Friday nights, we cheered on the Bulldogs of Midland High. On Sunday mornings, we went to church. Nobody locked their doors. Years later, when I would speak about the American Dream, it was Midland I had in mind.” Who can top Texan George W. in memorable quotes? “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.” Remarks in Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001. “One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.” Jan. 3, 2000. “Rarely is the question asked … is our children learning?” Campaign speech, Jan. 11, 2000. “They want the federal government controlling Social Security, like it’s some kind of federal program.” Speech at campaign stop, Nov. 2, 2000. But just to show W. has a sense of humor. At the unveiling of his National Portrait, Dec. 19, 2008: “I suspected there would be a good-size crowd once the word got out about my hanging.”
Finally, these observations from comedian Jeff Foxworthy:
If someone in a Lowe’s store offers you assistance, and they don’t work there, you may live in Texas.
If you’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Texas.
If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Texas.
If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Texas.
If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Texas.
If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph — you’re going 80 and everybody’s passing you, you may live in Texas.
Ashby may be quoted at email@example.com