Friday, October 14, 2016

Writing Texas - Texas: De-Mythed

Texas: De-Mythed

I have a gazillion friends, family members, and maybe an ex or two that live in Texas, and none
of these keep me from going from time to time. I love Texas, from Dallas to South Padre, from
Austin to Galveston, and sometimes, Texas loves me. But, as I’ve lived all over the US and have
friends from all over the world, I’ve discovered that to many, “Texas” represents several specific
stereotypes.

As a non-Texan, but lover of most things Texan, I thought it would be fun to dispel the myths, from an outsiders point of view.

Everyone wears a cowboy hat and boots. = Well, that’s sort of true. But they are expensive hats and designer boots.

Everyone carries a gun. = That’s close enough to assume that it’s true, and visitors should be on their best behavior.

Everyone is rich from the oil business. = Ha. They wish.

Everyone speaks with a slow drawl and says “y’all” a lot. = First of all, 1 in 3 people in Texas
speak Spanish, and 1 in 12 speak ONLY Spanish, so the idea that there is a distinct drawl is
obviously incorrect. Slow, no, in fact, most I’ve encountered speak so fast that their “y’all”
comes out more like a “ya."

DFW is the worst airport in the US. = Not even close. This is only said by people who have never visited Atlanta or Newark.

“Everything’s bigger in Texas” = Didn’t I say I have an ex or two living there? Obviously, this isn’t true.

Texas culture is (fill in the blank) - - Texas is a huge state and I would venture to say, depending
on what part you are visiting, there are at least five distinct “Texases”. The constant activity in
the cities of Dallas and Houston are complete contrasts to the laid back lifestyle in South Padre
Island. El Paso’s proximity to Mexico gives it a distinct culture, as does the college life in
Austin. So unless the fill in the blank above is diverse, it's probably an inaccurate statement.




Kelly Stone Gamble is the author of They Call Me Crazy and Call Me Daddy. She is a member
of the faculty at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and moves between her homes in
Henderson, Nevada and Idabel, Oklahoma allowing her to enjoy the best of both worlds.

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