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Greetings from the Land of Neon Cowboys

What is it about Texas and neon cowboys? For some reason, some folks think of Texas as this “exotic” land of cowboys, indians, horses, and the like. I hate to be the one to break the myth but, sorry folks, there’s just not rolling tumbleweed all over the southland. Central Texas, when you think about it, looks a little like Florida, a little like California, and a little like New Mexico. But nothing like what you’ve grown used to seeing in the movies. There’s no tumbling tumbleweeds, no cowboys, no indians, no horses, not even that much cattle or oil left to be found, although we do have wells and oil rigs in parts, and there are longhorns who graze in place not yet developed by land barrons. It’s just not as “western” a picture as the movies would have you paint.

We do have lots of little brick houses (I live in one, in fact) a significant amount (although diminishing) of open space, more than our share of tacquerios (breakfast tacos are particularly popular), drive through liquor stores (go figure), and our fair share of highways, complete with overpasses. I wish I had a nickel for everybody who came to Texas and said, “Wow. You guys have overpasses.”

Yup. Sorry to burst your bubble but, overpasses are us.

Don’t get me wrong, I like living in Texas. The climate is mild, but seasonably hot in the summertime, the sun is always shining (we average over 300 days of sunshine in these parts) and the housing is affordable. Austin, in case you did not know, is somewhat famous, at least among Texans anyway for having trees. “They have trees in Austin,” is something you might hear another Texan say if you should happen to travel to points afar. Yes, we have trees and we’re not afraid to use them. You’ll find true Austinites willing to park 400 miles away from an entrance, just to get a small patch of shade. Just force of habit, ignore it or join in the fun.

In case you did not know, the “official” motto of Texas is: “The sun has ris, the sun has set, and I ain’t outta this damn state yet.” Very true, this is. One unique (unless you could Alaska) thing about Texas is that it’s BIG. It’s honking, flaming, gasping, mouth-gaping huge, in fact, “BIG” doesn’t begin to describe the size. It’s more than 10 hours drive from the panhandle to the Houston coast, and that’s with a good tail wind. El Paso is like a whole ‘nother world, it’s so far away. And, if you should happen to be one of the unlucky ones who drives all the way down I35 the three hundred or so miles to Mexico, may you not fall asleep at the wheel or keel over from the boredom.

You won’t be seeing all that many neon cowboys, that’s for sure.

Until next time…

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