Friday, February 25, 2011

I Heart Texas

Yesterday I read a blog post that made me sad. I've read a few things this particular blogger has written and I really like his dry humor and sarcasm. But yesterday's post was a biting criticism of Texas and the people who live there. My people. It wasn't a tongue-in-cheek, good-natured criticism either. It was sort of mean. And it shocked me.

And yes I did mean to say that Texans are my people. I've enjoyed these past 9 years in Louisiana but I'm looking forward to our move to Houston in a few weeks. I'm going home. I have no idea where we'll end up in the coming years and wherever it is I can be happy there. But Texas will always be my home.

I honestly had no idea that there was anyone out there who hated Texas but judging from the blog post and the comments on it, it's obvious that quite a few people do. If you want to read it for yourself go to Too Many Mornings. The blogger is really very good and I will continue to read his stuff even though I don't care for that particular post.

I sent the author an email and expressed my opinion about his opinions. Like any other state Texas does have its share of stuff that we're not real proud of. And maybe we deserve to get picked on because we are required by law to be obnoxiously prideful about our state. Whaddya gonna do?

Since all that negativity put me on the defensive I thought I'd just point out a few of the positive things about Texas. Yeah, there really are some positive things! And wouldn't you know it, this came up just a day after I got my new issue of Texas Monthly which happens to be the Terquasquicentennial Issue. That's a real word. It means 175 years. This issue celebrates 175 years of Texas independence and includes a virtual road trip that covers 6000 miles and stops at 175 historically significant places in the state.

I won't list all 175 because it would be boring. And because I didn't understand half of them. Well, I understood them but they didn't seem all that significant to me. Like on September 10, 1907 the first Neiman Marcus opened in Dallas. Seriously? That's a milestone in Texas history?? We deserve to get made fun of for stuff like that.

Here are my favorites in no particular order:

In 1966 Tex Schramm and Lamar Hunt invented the Super Bowl in a parking garage at Love Field.

In 1971 Mariano Martinez invented the frozen margarita machine used in bars and restaurants. If you doubt the significance of that, the original machine is on display at the Smithsonian which just released its list of the top ten American inventions. Thomas Edison nailed first place with his light bulb but guess who was number 2?

In 1958 Texas Instruments employee Jack Kilby invented the integrated circuit which we now call the microchip.

In 1983 Nancy Brinker held the first Race For The Cure in Dallas for the organization she created in honor of her sister, Susan G. Komen.

In 1962 a woman went to a surgeon to have a tattoo removed and left with the first ever silicon breast implants. She didn't ask for the implants but the surgeon suggested she would be the perfect candidate for the first pair since she'd had 6 children and the girls were lookin' a little tired and droopy. She agreed on the condition that the surgeon pin her ears back since that was the only physical flaw that really bothered her. Other than the tattoo.

In 1969 Denton Cooley implanted the world's first artificial heart, less than a year after performing the first heart transplant in the U.S.

In 1929 Albert Henninger received a plant patent for the first Ruby Red grapefruit.

In 1932 Charles Elmer Doolin invented the Frito.

In 1928 Ben Milam built the world's first high rise office building with air conditioning in San Antonio.

In 1966 Rollin King and Herb Kelleher dreamed up Southwest Airlines.

In 1955 Buddy Holly's career was launched when he opened for Elvis in Lubbock.

In 1877 Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday met for the first time at the Flat, north of Albany.

In 1885 the first Dr. Pepper was served at a drug store soda fountain in Waco.

In 2007 Twitter was unleashed at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin.

In 1980 the first Whole Foods Market opened in Austin.

In 1984 Michael Dell began building computers in his dorm room at UT.

And the one that gets my vote for being the most significant moment in the last 175 years of Texas history:

In 1907 the Blue Bell Creamery opened in Brenham.


SkylersDad said...

When I was young, we didn't like Texans because they came to Colorado and bought everything up. I work with a number of people from Richardson Texas now, and have traveled there a couple of times for meetings. They are quite nice, and it seems to be a bit of a melting pot of all sorts of people now.

Vyx said...

Pfft to people who don't like Texas. Gotta agree on the Blue Bell Creamery, lol!

I've been reading back what I've missed lately... mostly I just see your FB instead of your blog. Silly me, you are VERY entertaining.