Monday, 11 May 2009

Before you come to Texas....a tongue in cheek look at the "culture" by Susan.

As most readers of this blog will already know the annual QCI Meeting will be held in Dallas, TX in October this year and as co-organiser, Susan felt that there were one or two things you ought to know before you go.
If this will be your first trip to Texas, we do need to get a few things straight. I must tell you that though you may think otherwise, every Texan does not drive a Cadillac with a set of horns from a Longhorn steer mounted on the hood, own an oil well, know how to ride a horse or wear cowboy boots.
Sad, isn't it! Don't despair, this native can ride, has trained a horse, owns cowboy boots AND had a grandfather nearly strike the big one in the early part of the last century. I won't bother telling you that this is the same grandfather who turned down the bottling rights to Coca-Cola in North Texas. sigh...

Before you arrive, we need to talk about the language. English is not English. Ask Maggie or Gay! With a few Texan words, you will be hangin' with the best of 'em while you are in Big D!

Y'all (yawl) is a term for a group of people. It will be used to "round-up" members before bus departures.
Fixin' is a term that will be used primarily to indicate the imminent departure of the bus, or the start of a tour or the tour is almost over.
Heidi can be used as a substitute for "Howdy."
Righcheer denotes a specific location.
Comeawn is used to speed up a group of people, a dog or a child.

Therefore, when the Meeting planners say, "Heidi y'all, the bus is fixin' to leave. Comeawn and get your seat" OR After your museum visit, "the bus will pick you up righcheer, so when you're fixin' to catch the bus, comeawn back to this corner" you will know what we're saying! And don't forget, jes think of what yew sound lak to a Texan!

Texas trivia...DID YOU KNOW:
Texas is the only State that can fly it's flag at the same height as the US flag?
Texas is the only State that was it's own Country?
The dome of the Texas State Capitol stands 7' higher than the US Capitol?
The first word spoken from the moon was "Houston?"
The King Ranch is bigger than the State of Rhode Island?
Texas is home to Dr Pepper, Dell, Lay's, Compaq, Southwest Airlines, Six Flags & Whataburger?
Chili is the State food of Texas and Austin is the live music capitol of the world?
If you're in El Paso, Texas, you're closer to California than you are to Dallas?
As they say around here, "Nowhere else but Texas!"

If you travel around the State, you will notice some unusual town names. Hungry? Try visiting Bacon, Oatmeal, Turkey, Trout, Rice, Salty and Sugarland, Texas! Looking for the Old West? Visit Hoop and Holler, Muleshoe, Cut 'n Shoot and Gun Barrel City. If you are visiting in the winter, try a stay in Frost, Blanket or Energy. Hot in the summer? Try Winters, Texas, to chill out. Are the kids bored? Kermit, Elmo, Nemo, Tarzan or Sylvester should liven up the day! Are you a low-techie? Telephone and Telegraph, TX are for you! On a budget? The towns of Nickle and Dime, Texas should fit into the budget! Feeling blue? Stop in Pep, Smiley, Sunrise, Rainbow, Paradise, Comfort, or Sunny Side, Texas to brighten up your day. Ready to get out of the US? Athens, China, Egypt, Ireland, London, Paris, Moscow or Earth and Venus would make very interesting postmarks! Santa Fe, Reno, Miami, etc. are all here, too. There's some place for everyone!

My real recommendations for cities to visit would be San Antonio to see the old Spanish Missions and the Riverwalk. The "river" could possibly be crossed at a narrow spot by an Olympic long jumper, but it's a fun place! Besides, the Alamo is there! Austin, the State Capitol, where the bumper stickers read "Keep Austin Weird" has a huge colony of bats living under a downtown overpass and are quite a sight to see as they take flight at dusk!
Austin is also home to the best grocery store ever, Whole Foods!
Jefferson, a quaint mid 1800's town, filled with bed & breakfasts, restored homes, some antique shops and a bayou lined with moss draped trees also has a "killer" catfish restaurant, like those in the Louisiana bayous.
Lastly, I have to include Houston, for a trip to NASA and Bayou Bend, the home of the late Texas Governor Hogg, filled with antiques and surrounded with beautiful gardens.
Oops, did I forget Ft. Worth? Just kidding! Try Kinkaid's for burgers, Railhead or Angelo's for GREAT BBQ and Joe T. Garcia's for Mexican food. The food is not that great, but the place and its' outdoor patio is legendary! The Cowgirl Museum, The Kimball Museum, The Amon Carter Museum and the Modern Art Museum make it worth the trip!

Many actors, inventors, business men and women, as well as, entertainers hail from the State. Names you would recognize include: Buddy Holly, Mary Kay Ash, Howard Hughes, Walter Cronkite, Ross Perot, Admiral Nimitz, Tex Ritter, Janis Joplin, Carol Burnett, Willie Shoemaker, Larry Hagman (JR Ewing), Roy Orbison, Red Adair, Joan Crawford and Jayne Mansfield. I actually went to that Jayne Mansfield event the The Cotton Bowling Palace with my Dad. It was very exciting! I may have been 7 or 8 years old. As it turns out, my husband John was there, too. He however, was 16 or 17, so even if he'd bumped into me, he wouldn't have given me a second look with Jayne around!!!

Earlier, I may have mentioned the rivalry between Ft. Worth and Dallas. In FTW, there's a BBQ restaurant that sells t-shirts proclaiming "Life's too short to live in Dallas." I have seen another shirt with "Dallas, where the East peters out." I think it all began in the early 1900's. Ft Worth lost some game to Dallas. The bottom line is, Dallas is bigger and more urban and FTW is more Western. Dallas is over it!

Yes, Texans are proud to be Texans. We just can't help it! With the likes of Mr. Stanley, Trammel Crow, Ray Nasher, Ross Perot and Mary Kay, it's easy to think big! You'll occasionally see non-natives sporting bumper stickers that read, "Not native, but I got to Texas as soon as I could." When you come to Dallas, as "when in Rome," immerse yourself in the great shopping, have a Dr Pepper with your Whataburger, enjoy the big blond hair, the Hummers, the language, the Mexican food and by the time you leave Dallas, you might even take on a little of that Texas swagger yourself! Yee Haw!


  1. A fascinating insider look at life in big D and for sure y'all sure do talk funny. It's definately not the Queen's English or received pronunciation maybe that's why we keep on coming back!
    Maggie & Roger

  2. Is there an Texan / English dictionary ?

    I'll bring my bum bag and wear my tights and plimsolls :-)

  3. Pics in order: Pioneer Plaza sculpture - Downtown Dallas, "Big Tex" - State Fair of Texas @ Fair Park, Annie Oakley photo at The Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth, TX., Cotton Bowl @ Fair Park.