Monday, July 20, 2009

King George and my Beloved Texas

"Are there any TEXANS here tonight?!" George Strait called out Friday night at USANA.

And, folks, I couldn't tell you how loud I screamed or how high I jumped but it was apparently pretty impressive. A girl's gotta represent, ya know.

George continued, "I've got something right here for the Texans tonight." He starts playing Texas and, y'all, I'm not even kidding when I tell you I teared up a little bit during the second verse. And I was one of the ten people in the whole crowd that could (and did) sing every word.

I wouldn't be a Willie fan.
Nobody'd swim the Rio Grande.
I wouldn't be an American
If it wasn't for Texas.
Fort Worth would never cross my mind.
There'd be no Austin city limit sign.
No Lone Star of any kind
If it wasn't for Texas.

Since moving out of state seven years ago, I've been ribbed about my Texas pride. I just grin and agree--I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Texan. The idea of state pride is something I never knew was exclusive to Texas. Growing up, I'd always assumed everyone would be proud of the state they hailed from. I didn't think Texans were any different, merely that our pride was actually justified.

The reasoning behind a Texan's state pride is hard to describe. I'd have to describe the way a field of bluebonnets looks in the setting sun, the way it feels to see the first pitch thrown at a Ranger's game, the memory of reciting the Texas pledge of allegiance every morning of elementary school, the way my heart burns when I see the Lone Star flying and how I grin every time I see a longhorn because, seriously, why are their horns so dang long?

I'd have to recount the way I felt when I walked into the Alamo for the first time, how the streets of Dallas look at twilight, how I get a lump in my throat when I think about Jim Bowie, Sam Houston or Davy Crockett. I could tell you that Texans are just plain ol' decent people, that you can't throw a rock in Texas without hitting a white Ford pick-up and no matter who you are, you'd better have your bum in a church pew come Sunday morning. I can still remember every word of Texas, Our Texas from singing it in every school assembly as far back as I remember and you'd laugh if you knew how many times I've seen John Wayne in The Alamo or how loudly I sing this song in the shower.

But even all that won't tell you folks why I love Texas because I can't make you feel that attachment to my homeland, my stomping grounds, the backdrop to my tenderest memories, the place that still calls to me with a whisper of, "You belong here." I don't love Texas because she's better; I love Texas because she's mine.

The time will come someday when I've lived more years out of Texas than in her but that won't stop me from claiming her as my home. And just like George, I'll be a Texan 'til the day I die.


Corrine said...

AMEN!! and very beautifully written!! Someday you and I should go back for a visit! It is so sad when no more family lives there!!!! :( love ya!

fancy nancy said...

great post--loved it. couldn't have said it better myself. cheers to the king of country and to the greatest state on earth :)

Amie said...

I totally thought about you when I read the review of the concert in the paper. The reported specifically mentioned how many Texans were at the concert. Glad you had a good time.

Kristina P. said...

My brother is a recent Texas transplant. I don't like it.

And I'm not sure if I can be friends with someone who goes to George Strait. Real or bloggy.

Kim said...

Ah, yes, well then you clearly have no soul and I'm not sure if I can be bloggy friends with the undead. So there.

Anne-Marie said...

Glad to know you've never lost that TEXAS PRIDE!!! Texas misses you- thats for sure! And that is Awesome you got to see George Strait...Love it!!

Kim said...

Do you remember the very first concert we went to together?


I miss those good times with you.

Lindsey said...

they do well to indoctrine us as kids, huh? love it!!! glad ben got a year in with the pledge before moving away from the promised land!

Anonymous said...

I think you're mistakenly correlating nostalgia (lit. fondness for one's home/origins) with state pride. I can wax sentimental and poetic about my homeland, the place that's 'mine' as you put it, without a shred of state or national pride.

Kim said...

Blessed as I have been cerebrally, the meaning of nostalgia has not escaped me. I think, perhaps, I ran together the ideas of pride and love. And though I see my true "state pride" was never made explicit in the post, I will not deny I've got it in spades. Clearly my attachment to Texas will irrefutably be entwined with fond memories yet, separately, I feel pride for the history and heritage of Texas. I'm proud of the sacrifices made for the land, proud of the men and women who built the state, proud of the almost palpable legacy left for the current generation. I'm proud that, as a Texan, I was taught a free land was worth the sacrifices, worth the blood, worth everything. I admit I love Texas for what she means to me, but I'm proud of Texas for what she stands for.

Anonymous said...

Oops...I forgot nostalgia doesn't have a double meaning in English. I must have confused you with a Spanish-, Italian-, or Latin-speaker, hence my unnecessary clarification.

Kim said...

I was just teasing you, Mark.

Summer said...

Now that's the first Texan homage to the homeland that didn't even annoy me one bit. I've always wanted to hear from the heart why Texans love Texas so much- I couldn't really take seriously the people I know who have rented there a few years and still claim it as home. Cute.

Oh, and twenty or thirty seconds will do- I'm not sure this comment was worth a full minute... ;D

(Found you on seriouslyobsessed)

Lauren said...

Texas, Our Texas...all hail the mighty State!

I miss it already!