By Lynn Ashby 1 Nov. 2010
“First of all, I was in love with the Alamo when I was 5 years old. I saw Walt Disney’s ‘Davy Crockett,’ with Fess Parker. That was it for me. I never stopped thinking about the Alamo from that day to this. I’m a huge collector of memorabilia. I’ve got Davy Crockett’s bullet pouch. I’ve got Colonel Travis’s belt.” — English pop-rock star Phil Collins, who is writing a book on the Battle of the Alamo.
“I feel safer on a racetrack than I do on Houston’s freeways.” — Car racing
legend A.J. Foyt
“My favorite Aggie joke? I’m sorry I don’t understand the question.” — Singer
Lyle Lovett, Texas A&M class of 1979. Lovett graduated with a degree in journalism, which explains a lot.
Yes, it’s time once again to look at what people are saying about us and what we are saying, as well. For example: “I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday.” — Texas Congressman Joe Barton apologizing to BP for what he called a $20 billion “shakedown” by President Obama for oil spill losses in the Gulf.
In Amarillo, David Grisham, director of Repent Amarillo, planned to burn a Koran in public. But just as he was ready, Jacob Isom, a 23-year-old skateboarder, snatched the book from Grisham’s clutches and ran. Later, Isom told a TV crew: “I was like, ‘Dude, you have no Koran!’ ”
“I love Texans, but I think with the Bush presidency being such a fresh memory, it’s probably not a wise idea for Republicans to nominate a Texan for president.” — Political scientist Larry Sabato, of the University of Virginia, on Gov. Rick Perry’s chances at the Oval Office. Speaking of the guv, we have: “There is a land of opportunity still left in America. It’s called Texas.” Here he is on the future of Archbishop Jose Gomez who left San Antonio to head the Los Angeles archdiocese: “The world will be right when the pope is a Texan.” And finally from Perry: “I happen to think America would be a whole lot better off if Washington did things the Texas way.”
No, I didn’t just Google “Texas quotes.” I’ve got the clippings. “As the saying goes, you have to dance with the one who brought you.” – New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow. That’s his East Coast effete version of Darrell Royal’s favorite saying, “Dance with the one that brung you.” It’s from a 1920s song, “I’m Going to Dance With the One Who Brung Me.” While still in sports and the Times, sort of: “No university, other than perhaps Notre Dame, comes close to matching the cachet, financial fortitude and viewership interest of Texas.” – New York Times sports columnist Pete Thamel. “We recruit Texas hard. It’s a big state, or as some people down there say, a big country.” — Harvard head football coach Tim Murphy, who has 11 Texans on his team.
“That’s like the Bible down in Texas. It’s not as well directed as ‘The Godfather,’ but the arc of it is incredible.” — Actor Robert Duvall on his favorite role in 48 years of films: as the former Texas Ranger Augustus McCrae, whom he played in “Lonesome Dove.” Duvall, being interviewed in a Manhattan hotel room, wore a UT Longhorn track jacket. If the UT athletic marketing department is smart, it’ll send Duvall a dozen UT jackets.
“I never took HGH or Steroids. And I did not lie to Congress.” – Roger Clemens via Twitter
Among the 1.5 million condolence letters sent to President John F. Kennedy’s widow after his assassination in 1963 were more than two dozen from Jane Dryden, an 11-year-old Austin girl who churned out a letter a week for six months straight. ”I know that you hate the whole state of Texas. I do to (sic).”
The folks at the Chappell Hill Bank got tired of being robbed, so they put up this sign on the front door: “Lawful concealed carry permitted on these premises. Management recognizes the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as an inalienable right of all citizens. We therefore support and encourage the carrying of licensed concealed weapons.” They haven’t been hit since.
Blasts from the past: “Texas was heaven for men and dogs; hell for women and oxen.” – Early Texas blacksmith Noah Smithwick. “Jim is dead…I’ll wager they found no wounds in his back.” — Elve Bowie, on learning her son, Jim, was killed at the Alamo. “If the King’s English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me!” Attributed to Gov. “Ma” Ferguson, in 1925, arguing against legislation requiring high school students to learn a foreign language.
“What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.” — Barbara Bush on the Katrinians
In education: “De bobus longicornibus quad ille non cognovit, inutile est aliis cognoscere.” (What he don’t know about longhorn cattle ain’t worth knowing.) The Latin citation by which J. Frank Dobie was presented to the assembled senate of Cambridge University in 1944. Another version is: “De bonus longicornis quod ille non cognovit, inutile est aliis cognoscere.” Take your pick.
“Being in business with Ross Perot (Jr.) is one of the worst experiences of my business life.” – Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban after being sued by Perot Jr., a minority investor in the club.
The Texas school board’s arguments over textbooks certainly received notoriety, like this headline on an online column for The San Francisco Chronicle: “Dear Texas: Please shut up. Sincerely, History.”
And finally, Jeff Foxworthy on Texans: “If someone in a Lowe’s store offers you assistance and they don’t work there, you may live in Texas.” “If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Texas.”
Ashby is quotable at firstname.lastname@example.org