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Some Great Quotes About Texas, Texans and Life In the Lone Star State!

Updated on May 24, 2012

Book of Texas Quotes Unique...

Being a fool for good quotes – and a Texan – imagine my pleasure when I found a book called “1001 Greatest Things Ever Said About Texas” edited and with an introduction by Donna Ingham. Lyons Press published the book in 2006. Now, I personally do not know Ms. Ingham but my admiration for her choice of subjects is way over the top.

In the introduction Ms. Ingham says and I quote:

“There is little middle ground, apparently, when it comes to people’s opinions about Texas and Texans. They’re likely to either wax rhapsodic about the place and the people or offer up the most vitriolic kind of condemnation;

“All that makes for interesting reading, especially when one juxtaposes the one against the other. For example, it’s one thing for an icon of Texas history like Sam Houston to say ‘Texas is the finest portion of the globe that has ever blessed my vision,’ and quite another for Yankee Civil War general Philip Henry Sheridan to say ‘If I owned Hell and Texas, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell.’ “

In any event, there’s some great laughs and some profound statements contained within the pages of Ms. Ingham’s book. I’ll share just a few quotes:

“Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word. And there’s an opening convey of generalities. A Texan outside of Texas is a foreigner!” – John Steinbeck

Apparently Texas’ current governor, Rick Perry (Governor Good Hair) agrees as he’s threatened to secede from the United States of America. Most of us in Texas don’t particularly disagree with his attitude (if we’ve given it any thought at all) but it’s not high on our “to do” list, either. The motto on Texas’ state seal is rather revealing in and of itself “Texas one and indivisible.”

Texas - the Old Man River of States?

The late Will Rogers said – and this gives Texans hope where Governor Good Hair is concerned:

“Texas is a great state. It’s the ‘Old Man River’ of states. No matter who runs it or what happens to it politically, it just keeps rolling along!” – Will Rogers

The late, great political writer, Molly Ivins, was a personal friend of this writer for many years. Granted, we often disagreed on many things as she was a liberal and this author is more of a conservative type (with some liberal leanings) but she summed up Texas with only a few words – and we both totally agreed:

“If Texas were a sane place, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun!” – Molly Ivins

“I dearly love Texas, but I consider it a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.” – Molly Ivins

The following is also true:

“Texas has more trees and less timber; more rivers and less water; more resources and less cash, more itinerant preachers and less religion; more cows and less milk; and you can see farther and see less than any damn country in the world.” – Ben (Pitchfork) Tillman

Even the obvious shortcomings of Texas (if this author were going to admit to any at all) could be offset by certain attitudes pertaining to the Lone Star State:

“Maybe the heat…maybe the jalapenos…maybe the cowboys…something ignited my passion to move to Texas.” – Rose Potter

“I am forced to conclude that God made Texas on his day off, for pure entertainment, just to prove that diversity could be crammed into one section of earth by a really top hand.” – Mary Lasswell

Texas can probably boast that it has/had more characters than any state in the union and to a man/woman they’re rarely shy or retiring but outspoken and outrageous:

“Border to border, Texas can boast more quarrelsome characters than any other state.” – David Carlton

“I was, for some years, a member of Congress. In my last canvass, I told the people of my District, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done, but, if not, they might go to hell and I would go to Texas. I was beaten, gentlemen, and here I am.” – David Crockett

Braggin' Rights Retained...

The Lone Star State recognizes Alaska as being larger but gives no quarter to anyone when claiming bragging rights about Texas’ size:

“You must remember that space is large; it is even larger than Texas.” – Dr. Werner von Braun

“What you northerners never appreciate…is that Texas is so big that you can live your life within its limits and never give a damn about what anyone in Boston or San Francisco thinks.” – James Michener

A host of entertainers have offered jokes about Texas as long as one can remember – everyone from cowboy singers to Mexican golfers:

“They say that Virginia is the mother of Texas. We never knew who the father was, but we kinda suspected Tennessee.” – Tex Ritter

“If you’ve ever driven across Texas, you know how different one area of the state can be from another. Take El Paso. It looks as much like Dallas as I look like Jack Nicklaus!” – Lee Trevino

“Whether your destination is heaven or hell, you always have to change planes in Dallas.” – Richard (Kinky) Friedman

Texas weather has been the butt of more jokes, for a longer period of time, than perhaps any other subject about Texas:

“The weather of Texas is remarkable for its versatility and suddenness. Oftenest told on this subject is the one about the farmer who started to town in a wagon drawn by an ox team. On the way, one of the oxen froze to death and, while he was skinning it, the other died of sunstroke.” – Epic-Century Magazine

“In some parts of Texas the wind blows quite a bit, often kicking up a lot of dust. Why once out in Lubbock the dust was blowing so hard I actually saw a rabbit digging a hole and he was six feet off the ground at the time.” – Wallace O. Chariton

Any writings about Texas would have to include its woman as Texas woman seem to have a reputation all their own:

“Mostly, Texas women are tough in some very fundamental ways. Not unfeminine, nor necessarily unladylike, just tough!” – Molly Ivins

“Years ago someone pointed out that Texas is hell on woman and horses. He was wrong about horses, for most horses are considered to be valuable, and are treated very well.” – Larry McMurtry

Texas politics, in this writer’s opinion were quite adequately summed up in one quote – no other is necessary:

“Naturally, when it comes to voting, we in Texas are accustomed to discerning that fine hair’s breadth worth of difference that makes one hopeless dipstick slightly less awful than the other!” – Molly Ivins

And so lots of folks, famous and otherwise, continue to be quoted as to their opinions, etc. about Texas and in all probability that will never end. Ms. Ingham, in her book from which these quotes were taken, has in this writer’s opinion, done an awesome job of gathering quotes and presenting them in a manner that is not only entertaining but great reference materials.

There’s an old saying in Texas which is about as outlandish and ridiculous as anything ever written – and obviously has little if no bearing on anything -- and since the subject here is quotes it’s got to be included:

“If God had intended Texans to ski, he’d have made manure white.”

That one not only hits my funny bone but makes damned good sense to this old lady! I was born a Texan, raised a Texan, lived my life as a Texan and will be on the underside of good 'ol Texas dirt when I die. (And, no, I don't know if it's dirtier than other dirt or not but I've already eaten enough of it to know it does contain some sand!)

Copyrighted and All Rights Reserved by Angela T. Blair, May, 2012

All quotes in this article taken from “1001 Greatest Things Ever Said About Texas” Edited and with an Introduction by Donna Ingram. Published by The Lyons Press – an imprint of The Globe Pequot Press.


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    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      TS Garp -- thanks -- obviously we Texans are a bit biased about our state -- and quotes. Thanks so much for commenting. Best/Sis

    • TS Garp profile image

      TS Garp 5 years ago

      I went to school in Texas and it is indeed a special place. These quotes are very good and quite accurate.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hello Peg -- Thanks for the kind words and glad you like Kinky's quote. Nearly all Texans call Rick Perry "Governor Good Hair" -- he never seems to have a hair out of place. Best/Sis

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Texas. Love it or leave it. A country in its own right. Texas, therefore, the world. Loved these great quotes and sayings. This one was special:

      "“Whether your destination is heaven or hell, you always have to change planes in Dallas.” – Richard (Kinky) Friedman"

      And Governor "Good Hair" hahahaha. That cracked me up.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Nonna -- what a grand compliment to Texas and I sincerely thank you on behalf of my fellow Texans. I've found a lot of generosity and kindness in my state and a lot of folks who'll go the extra mile for others. Of course, we have the few old grumps that won't but all states have to have a few bad apples. Thanks so very much for sharing your experience and commenting. Best/Sis

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

      I had to come back because my son helped me remember something about when we lived in California. I lived in Texas for 18 or so years. My youngest son was born there. I moved from Texas to California (moved a lot because of job) and one day we were driving down a rather busy street. I noticed a car trying to move into traffic from a parking space and no one was allowing I approached I motion the drive to come on out....he threw up his hand to thank me. My son and I say at the same time "they must be from Texas" and sure enough the license plate was from Texas. Of all the places I've lived Texas reminds one of my most favorite and you just can't beat the people.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Will -- and thanks for reading and the vote. You're not the only one that gets tired of the drive through Texas -- I do myself. Loved your last line -- very clever and we do have a few tall ones. Best/Sis

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I've been a temporary Texan several times, and I love both the state and the people. The only thing I don't like is the months it takes to drive though it!

      Voted up and tall as a Texan.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks, Pop! I've still got boots I wore during my ranching days -- a half-century ago -- still wear 'em and wouldn't part with them for anything -- so many half-soles on 'em I stand a half inch taller any time I put a pair on! Best/Sis

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      Even though I am a Brooklyn girl, I have relatives in the great state of Texas. Maybe that's why I own so many cowboy boots. Love this hub and voted that way.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Nonna -- it's a good read and like I said great for reference (that is if one happens to be writing about Texas -- which I so often do!) Glad you got a hoot and a giggle and thanks for commenting. Best/Sis

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      sgbrown -- think most folks feel as you do about Texas if they've ever lived here. Well, I say that and then I think about the folks from the East Coast who are convinced they've entered hell -- because of our summer heat -- and can't wait to get out. Appreciate you commenting and good to hear from you. Best/Sis

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      michiganman567 -- Love the John Wayne quote -- and your comments. Thanks so much. Best/Sis

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago got made me want to read the book. Loved reading this. Voted up, interesting and funny because it did make me giggle.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Although I have lived in Oklahoma longer than I lived in Texas, I still do and always will be a Texan! There is just something about Texas that if you were born there, you will always be from there. PS I think my husband knows all the Texas jokes. I have been listening to them for 25 years! LOL Voted up and funny! Great day! :)

    • michiganman567 profile image

      michiganman567 5 years ago from Michigan

      I was at the store in Michigan and a Texan was in front of me. He bought some beer so he had to show his ID. It was 98 degrees out and he said this is ALMOST like Houston. A quote from John Wayne came to mind. "If ever I meet one of you Texas waddies who ain't drunk water from a hoofprint, I think I'll... I'll shake their hand or buy 'em a Daniel Webster cigar".