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