About Texas

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About Texas

The great John Steinbeck in his book Travels with Charley has a couple of neat descriptions of Texas:

Once you are in Texas it seems to take forever to get out, and some people never make it.

And another one …

Most areas in the world may be placed in latitude and longitude, described chemically in their earth, sky and water, rooted and fuzzed over with identified flora and peopled with known fauna, and there’s an end to it. Then there are others where fable, myth, preconception, love, longing, or prejudice step in and so distort a cool, clear appraisal that a kind of high-colored magical confusion takes permanent hold. Greece is such an area, and those parts of England where King Arthur walked. One quality of such places as I am trying to define is that a very large part of them is personal and subjective.

And surely Texas is such a place….What I am trying to say is that there is no physical or geographical unity in Texas. Its unity lies in the mind. And this is not only in Texans. The word Texas becomes a symbol to everyone in the world. There’s no question that this Texas-of-the-mind fable is often synthetic, sometimes untruthful, and frequently romantic, but that in no way diminishes its strength as a symbol.

I really like John Steinbeck’s way with words here…although I kinda equate Texas with cowboys, oil, heat, desert, and immigration issues … and thanks to George Bush – arrogance, corruption, and insensitivity. Kind of difficult to romanticize any of the above (may be cowboys, I remember finding that attractive as a kid).

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