By Lynn Ashby 11 July 2011
“I’m gonna let him plead, pay a small fine and he’s gotta sing ‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’ with his guitar right there in the count room. You bet your (rear) I ain’t gonna be mean to Willie Nelson.” – Hudspeth County attorney Kit Bramblett, offering a deal to the singer after marijuana was found on his tour bus. Surprise!!! When his plea proposal went nationwide, Bramblett said he was just kidding.
“In Texas, if you have football players on the field, and you don’t have cheerleaders on the sideline? Where there is football in Texas, there are cheerleaders.” – Denise Martin, founder of Texas Cheerleader magazine, on Super Bowl XLV played in Cowboy Stadium without cheerleaders.
“Look, football has always been a big deal here. This is Texas.” – Steve “Bubba” Williams, athletic director at Allen High School, overlooking his new $60 million football stadium. “But seating 18,000 with double-decked press boxes and huge video screen, Allen’s facility will still be only the fifth largest high school football stadium in Texas.” – The New York Times
Yes, it’s time once again to see ourselves as others see us, or as we look in the mirror. Let’s stick with football for a moment. Former A&M football coach Emory Bellard may have invented the wishbone, but he didn’t name it. According to Darrell Royal, it was a Houston Post sportswriter, Mickey Herskowitz, who gets credit for that. Royal, the former UT head coach, recalled that after a game or two, he was asked at a news conference what the new formation was called. It didn’t have a name, he replied.
“I said: ‘Well, they’re kind of in the shape of a Y back there. Call it the Y.’ I mean, I didn’t care what they called it, you know. Mickey Herskowitz said: ‘That’s not very original. Why don’t you call it a wishbone? It’s in the shape of a wishbone.’ I said: ‘You got it, Mickey. It’s a wishbone.’”
A blast from the past: “Keeping a bull dog to chase mosquitoes would be no greater nonsense than the stationing six pounders, bayonets and dragoons for the pursuit of these red wolfs” – Frederick Law Olmsted, co-designer of New York’s Center Park, after a tour of Texas in the 1840s, on U.S. Army tactics against the Indians here.
“We drew a great many recruits from Texas, and from nowhere did we get a higher average, for many of them had served in that famous body of frontier fighters, the Texas Rangers.” – Col. Theodore Roosevelt, recruiting for his Rough Riders in San Antonio.
Several good quotes from the Texas Reader, published by Copano Bay Press:
“Galveston is destroyed beyond its ability to recover.” – Army Quartermaster report to War Department, 1900.
“I humble myself before God, and there the list ends.” — Sam Houston (as played by Dennis Quaid in The Alamo. You see this quote attributed to Houston a lot, but it is really the work of a screenwriter who captured his essence in a single sentence.)
“Texas, with peace, could exist without the United States, but the United States cannot, without great hazard to the security of their institution, exist without Texas. “ –Sam Houston in a February 1844 letter to Gen. Andrew Jackson.
Back to today, federal officials are concerned about unusually large numbers of dead Kemp’s Ridley turtles, once the world’s most endangered sea turtle, that have washed up on beaches along the upper Texas Gulf Coast. A turtle extruding device, or TED, on their nets, saves the turtles. Cooly Nguyen, captain of a shrimp trawler, disliked the devices. He said it costs him $800 for a TED, and he gets no benefit. “Nobody likes TEDs on the nets,” Nguyen said. “Save the turtles? For what? The turtle is just an animal. Let the turtle go to hell.”
Houston and Texas got absolutely slam dunked when NASA gave the four remaining space shuttles to other cities, including New York, but not to Space City. Said Rep. Ted Poe of The Woodlands on the House floor: “It’s like putting the Statue of Liberty in Omaha.” NY Sen. Charles Schumer told Texans: “Fugheddaboutit.” The NY senator added: “I say to Houston, when people all around the world, in London and in Tokyo and in Paris, Buenos Aires say ‘Gee, I can’t wait for my trip to Houston,’ then you can have a shuttle.”
Now, from former Gov. Mark White, who defeated, and was defeated by, the late Bill Clements. “Bill Clements and I agreed on one thing. We both loved Texas.”
“Texans make the best New Yorkers. It’s because we’re bred for size. New Yorkers appreciate that – our extravagance. We wouldn’t play so well in Indiana.” – Austin author Ruth Pennebaker quoting a friend, The New York Times, June 24, 2011
“GTT” – When early settlers in Tennessee, Georgia, etc. decided it was time to pull up stakes and head for a better tomorrow (Texas), they would simply write on their closed cabin door, GTT. All the neighbors knew that meant: Gone To Texas. Since Texas added more people than any other state between the 2000 and 2010 census, apparently the movement is still in vogue.
At the movies. Actor Martin Sheen, in GQ magazine, says that movie producer Lou Stroller angered Austin-based director Terry Malick. “Terry was not having it, and beat the hell out of him. In true Texas style — he was so Texas. Terry just whupped him…. If more directors would beat up their producers, we’d have a lot more artistic freedom.”
Leslie Benedict: “Money isn’t everything, Jett.”
Jett Rink: “Not when you’ve got it.”
Texas justice is known the world over. “Look, you shoot off a guy’s head with his pants down, believe me, Texas is not the place you want to get caught.” – “Thelma and Louise.” Finally, we have the last line of the novel, Texas, by James A. Michener: “Never forget, son, when you represent Texas, always go first class.”
Ashby can be quoted at email@example.com