This year I am splitting my time between working in the San Francisco office and working remotely from Texas. As someone who grew up in Louisiana and lived in Arizona and California as an adult, I knew little about Texas. As part of our holiday gift exchange, my boss, Jon Pittman, got me three books about Texas.
Here are some fun facts and anecdotes I learned:
Lou Hudson's Speak Texan in 30 Minutes or Less, © 2003
- The great divide is defined by people in West Texas who speak with a twang and people in East Texas who speak with a drawl.
- You don't want a Texan to describe you as "all hat and no cattle" as in "all talk with no action."
- "Catty whompus" is used to describe something that doesn't fit properly or is out of place.
- Texas has four seasons: Drought, Flood, Blizard, and Twister.
- A Texan does not wear a straw cowboy hat to a wedding or a funeral.
Kinky Friedman's Guide to Texas Etiquette, © 2001
- Texas is the only state in the union that entered as a republic and retained its right to become its own country again and/or divide itself up into five states.
- In 1821, Henry Smith became the first governor of the Mexican Provence of Texas and thought Texas should have its own seal. He cut one of the buttons of his overcoat (that had the impress of a five-pointed star) and used sealing wax to stamp the Lone Star upon the documents.
- A pharmacist named Charles Alderton invented Dr. Pepper while working at Morrison's Old Drug Store in Waco, Texas. He named the drink after the man who had given him his first job back in Virginia years before: Dr. Charles Pepper.
- Chili, the official state dish of Texas, was invented in San Antonio as a way to save money by hashing beef or venison for stew without vegetables or beans.
- In Texas, it is illegal to milk another person's cow without permission.
- The Dallas/Fort Worth airport is larger than New York City's Manhattan Island.
- The dome of the State Capital located in Austin is seven feet taller than the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Helen Bryant's Fixin' to be Texan, © 1999
- The state song is "Texas, Our Texas," not "The Yellow Rose of Texas" or "The Eyes of Texas."
- The state motto is Friendship.
- The state flower is the Bluebonnet.
- The state bird is the mockingbird.
- There are several walking speeds: mosey, amble, skedaddle, vamoose, haul ass, and cut 'n' run.
- Dancing is known as boot-scootin' featuring the two-step (couple) and the Cotton-Eyed Joe (group dance).
- There are more pickup trucks in Texas than any other state in the union.
- Cowboy hats have a crease at the top so they can be picked up with three fingers and placed on the head.
- Armadillos can be barbecued and put in chili.
- After unsuccessfully establishing a market for emu meat, farmers gave up, and wild emus now roam the countryside.
- The difference between a bull and a steer is that a bull has testicles, and a steer does not.
- Children are taught to address their elders as sir or ma'am.
Thanks, Jon. Or should I say "Jon, you're big enough to hunt bear with a switch."
Texasification is alive in the lab.