“Once I rob a bank in Texas. Your government get after me with a whole army. Whole army! One little bank. In Texas, only Texans can rob banks.” – Calvera (played by Eli Wallach) in “The Magnificent Seven”
“No other state commands such fierce pride and loyalty. Lesser mortals are pitied for their misfortune of not being born Texans.” — Queen Elizabeth II, visiting Austin, May 20, 1991, in front of the Texas capitol.
Yes, it’s time once more to look at what people have been saying about us, and what we’re saying about ourselves. So let’s start with something serious: football. “Three things can happen when you throw the ball, and two of them are bad.” – Darrell Royal
“Football is only a game. Spiritual things are eternal. Nevertheless, Beat Texas.” — On a church sign in Arkansas prior to the 1969 UT-Arkansas game.
“I visit Austin, Texas, from time to time to lecture at the University of Texas and fully consider myself a long-distance Longhorns fan. Yes, I know, news of the Red River massacre reached even Somerset, but as an Arsenal (English soccer) supporter, I have been emotionally conditioned for calamity. — Geoffrey Wheatcroft, an English journalist
Speaking of UT: “I was stopped and questioned seven times by University police on my way into the physics building. Seven times. Zero times was I stopped going into the gym – and I went to the gym a lot. That says all you need to know about how welcomed I felt at Texas.” – Former UT professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, celebrity astrophysicist (you see him on TV a lot) and director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium. He’s black.
“In my mind, I wasn’t going to pay more than $1.2 million.” — Austin businessman Milton Verret who paid $1.8 million for a jacket worn by Michael Jackson in his 1983 video “Thriller.” Verret planned to exhibit the jacket to raise funds for children’s charities.
“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” — Pro Golfer Lee Trevino.
Some people, for reasons which elude me, don’t like us. “How would you feel if Mexico took back Texas?” a British leader in London asked U.S. Ambassador William J. Crowe, Jr., on July 14, 1996, during a discussion on Northern Ireland. Replied the American ambassador: “You’ve asked the wrong man that question. I’m from Oklahoma. We’ve been trying to give Texas back to Mexico for a hundred years.”
“You know the good part about all those executions in Texas? Fewer Texans.” – George Carlin
Everyone knows, “Houston, we’ve got a problem,” but how about a few more observations on, in and for the Bayou City?
“The view from the Warwick Hotel is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. It’s just like Paris.”– Bob Hope talking about Houston on The Phil Donahue Show.
“Houston is an example of what can happen when architecture catches a venereal disease.” — Frank Lloyd Wright on Houston’s skyline in the 1950s.
“It is an ugly, sprawling city, unprotected by zoning laws. Block after barren block of weed-infested parking lots and disintegrating houses stand close by upscale shopping centers and lushly landscaped residential Edens like River Oaks. Too many hours are spent in cars on the congested but indispensable freeways. Yet in its way, it is also a city of art and culture, of exciting museums and distinguished buildings and world-class performing arts organizations.” – R.W. Apple, Jr., in The New York Times
“When I was a kid in Houston, we were so poor we couldn’t afford the last two letters, so we called ourselves po’.” – George Foreman
Moving on: “Why doesn’t Texas simply close UT-El Paso?” – Prof. Richard Vedder of Ohio University, commenting on the poor graduation rate at UTEP (one out of 10 graduates in four years, 35 percent in six years)
“Give me an army of West Point graduates and I’ll win a battle. Give me a handful of Texas Aggies and I’ll win the war.” – Gen. George S. Patton may or may not have said this. The Citadel, VMI and other schools claim the quote, too.
Turning to politics: “I have been screamed at by total strangers in the street who recognize me.” – Texas State Sen. Dan Patrick, sponsor of the anti-abortion forced sonogram law.
“We already have term limits. They’re called elections.” – Former Texas House Speaker Rep. Tom Craddick.
“Y’all as tempting as it may be, don’t shoot Obama. We need him to go down in history as the WORST president we’ve EVER had!” — Texas College Republicans called for the resignation of the University of Texas chapter president, Lauren Pierce, who is also the state chapter’s secretary, after she posted this tweet.
. Gov. Rick Perry’s disastrous campaign for the GOP presidential nomination gave us a couple of good quotes. “I am concerned that the unfortunate results of Perry’s performance on the national stage may confirm the stereotype that much of the rest of the country has about Texas – the impression that Texas is a bunch of yahoos and people of low intelligence. “ – Scott Caven, a Houston Republican who was Perry’s state finance chairman in his last two runs for governor. “There has never been a more ineptly orchestrated, just unbelievably subpar campaign for president of the United States than this one.” –A “senior Perry adviser.”
Molly Ivins: “Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.”
The Grand Slam winner for years to come (cringe, ye Texans) “Oops.” — Our not ready for prime time Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a GOP presidential debate.
Finally, I checked for quotes about Texas in “Bartlett’s Quotations” but found nothing, mainly because there is no such book. Everyone calls it that, but the true name is, “Familiar Quotations” by John Bartlett. You may quote me on that.
Ashby can be quoted at firstname.lastname@example.org