Thoughts on Texas
By Garland Davis
I have a friend and shipmate who lives near Dallas. He thinks it is about the best place to live. I can’t really argue the point. I once spent a weekend there. There is a lot to like about Texas. In Dallas, they sell barbeque just about everywhere. Right downtown. I spent some time in San Francisco. The closest they come to pork pig barbecue is when a truckload of hogs gets caught in a traffic jam on the Bay Bridge. Barbecue is always good. Pulled pork Barbecue, Carolina chopped barbecue or sliced pig barbecue. They do a pretty good job with pork barbecue in Texas. It has been said that the state bird of Texas is the smoked beef brisket. Whether pork or beef Texans have perfected the art.
Regardless of whether pork or beef barbecue is eaten, it’s flavor and enjoyment are always enhanced by something cold to drink – preferably beer. There was a time when you couldn’t get Coors beer east of the Mississippi. Coors, also known as Colorado Kool-Aid was available in Texas and paired well with barbecue. Of course, there was always Budweiser and Lone Star.
I was caught in Dallas for a weekend a long time ago. Texas had suddenly become popular with the up-north crowd. New York was even admitting that Texas existed. I went to a hot spot in town and spent an evening imbibing long-necked Lone Star Beer and talking with the local patrons. You could tell the non-locals. They were the ones wearing the fancy cowboy boots and big hats while trying to learn the correct pronunciation of “sumbitch.”
Texas is considered West and South. Their list of cultural gifts to the country is staggering. Texas gave us Chicken Fried Steak and Smoked Brisket. Dan Jenkins, the marvelous author of the book Semi-Tough. Don Meredith is a Texas Boy. Buddy Holly was a Texan. Probably most of the heart-stopping Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are Texans. I try to watch them each week but they are interrupted by a bunch of sweaty dudes playing football. These days there is a one-hour show on CMT that shows the selection process for the cheerleaders if you are craving a glimpse of pretty women. Almost as good as watching Michelle Wie reading a green. But then I do prefer oriental women.
And you know Willie and Waylon are from Texas. Waylon once said, “Everyone in Austin thinks when they die, they go to Willie’s house.”
Other than driving across the panhandle a few times, Dallas is the only place where I ever spent time in Texas. A Dallas native told me that it is populated by people who left the farm and learned to count. But the people are friendly. A shipmate whom I consider a close friend and one of the best people I have known lives in Dallas. But please don’t tell him I said so. It might make his head larger than the Texas-size it already is.
Texans simply know themselves, what they like and what they expect from others. One fellow in the bar put it something like this: “If you don’t like Willie Nelson, longneck beer, long-legged women, rodeos, football, the Texas State Fair, and a fist fight every now then you ain’t no Texan. You just live here.”