Daily Archives: August 8, 2012

Strange Folks, These Texans

Yankee sniper roost

Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Sometimes I marvel, sometimes grind my teeth in frustration without intending to be so involved inside the heads of others, sometimes just don’t know what to think at all.

Texans carry around an over-weening, unconscious, cultural pride in the history of Texas, but mostly don’t know anything much about Texas history.  Literally don’t take the trouble to know.  Carry it around like kids playing cowboys and Indians, a given, picked up from John Wayne movies and a vague awareness the Alamo happened.  San Jacinto happened.  Sam Houston was somebody-or-other important, and naturally they admire him.

Mostly they don’t have a clue what the hell those guys were doing at the Alamo, why they were there, why they made the decision to die, instead of evacuating.  Don’t know why Houston made no attempt to relieve them.  But they venerate them because what-the-hell, everyone does.  Whoopteedoo.

One day when he was still visiting down here the neighbor from up the hill began the favorite Texas assertion, “Texas has the right to secede if it chose to.  Has the right to split up into five different States.”  Evidently the neighbor’d been learning his history from this ignorant twit calls himself Governor of Texas.  [Gov. Rick Perry: Texas Could Secede, Leave Unionhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/15/gov-rick-perry-texas-coul_n_187490.html“Sam Houston arranged it before Texas was annexed into the US,” the damned neighbor blandly tells me.

You happen to recall,” says I, “Texas tried once to secede?  Recall the consequences?”

  “Yeah, but it wasn’t voted by the State Legislature,” says he.

“What the hell you talking about?” says I.  “Sam Houston spent the last weeks before the vote to secede travelling all over Texas trying to talk them out of seceding.”

“Oh.  You mean THAT secession.”

Evidently he was referring to some later attempt by some Texas geniuses to secede.  Texans who never bothered to read up on how it turned out the last time it was tried for real.

But I’ve digressed.  I wasn’t going to tell you about the mindless drivel echoing around inside the heads of modern Texans.  I was going to tell you about some Texans and events of the 19th Century so truly remarkable they’d be worthy of study by anyone.  Texans and events, I was about to say, the overwhelming majority of Texans never heard of.

I was going to tell you a bit about Mirabeau Buonoparte Lamar, second President of the Republic of Texas.  Ten times the man, the courage, the intellect, Sam Houston ever was.  And a poet, besides.  Somewhere around here I’ve got a couple of books of his poetry. 

I was going to tell you about Jacob Snively.  One of the strangest, most interesting men in Texas, even US history.

I was going to tell you how Texas military forces invaded west, New Mexico twice, New Mexico and Arizona both, once, occupied Tucson.

I toyed with the idea of giving words to the Somerville expedition, the black bean incident Texans have a vague awareness of, but couldn’t tell you when, where, why, on a lottery-sized bet.

But to hell with it.  Texans ain’t interested in Texas history if it wasn’t in a John Wayne movie and I suppose it ain’t worth the effort anyway.  If they wanted to know anything about Texas history they’d learn to read.

Screw it.

Old Jules