Thursday, February 26, 2009

I am writing in direct response to Brian Burrough's recent article in the Washington Post. 

Honestly, I enjoyed the article, and nodded as I read it, but something inside me, began to fester and rankle. 

I started to get really, really mad. 
I couldn't stand it any more, after a decade of apologizing all over the Western Hemisphere as my husband and I served the US Army in Germany. 

I got into some specialized training in Munich, DE where I was the only American, and it became an ordeal I learned to preface with "Yes, I am an American, from Texas. And Mr. Bush is not. Buy me a drink, if you want the explanation". 

I lived with that for six excruciating years. 
I've had enough. 

This is a tick that's been in me since Bush took office as the Governor of Texas, and it's time I tore it out, torched it, and smashed its worthless carapace into the firepit. 

I'm at least a 4th-generation Texan. My great-grandfather on my mother's side, was a pharmacist and hobby carpenter (a fine German occupation) in Amarillo. That side of the family still curses in German to this day, though we don't know how they got here. Escapees from the World Wars didn't always have a choice about where they ended up. Let's face it, that's America. We are the best, and the worst, of the rest of the world. If you aren't Native American, you have nothing to say about that. If you are, I'm listening. 

My father's family came down from Indiana, three generations back, Clara Shaw married one John Dolan and was written out of the Shelby County, IN annals for marrying a dreadful Irishman. I know, I was there looking for any trace. I found quite a lot about Charles Major and his wife Alice Shaw Major, my great (3) aunt who sent postcards to twin boys in Jacksonville, Texas.. one of whom was my own father. He tells me, I must have inherited her wanderlust, despite our lack of blood relation. He does. You can ask him. 

One of the Dolans lost an infant to an Indian raid. You can find Pat Dolan at the Ranger Museum in Fort Worth. 

Now that I have established my credentials as a Texan, maybe ya'll'll listen to me for a minute. 

I was born, as in I physically came out of my momma, in Austin, TX, in the old St David's before 1970.  The rule is, in Texas, if you don't come out of your momma in Texas, you are an immigrant.
Immigrants who get this, conform and admit to it, can become honorary Texans. 
Those who do not, are liars. 

In old Texas code, the only thing lower than a liar is a rattlesnake. Poisonous, dangerous, and shot on sight. 

Too bad we forgot that, when GW showed up. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Midland age 3.

I'm not sure who got hornswoggled & hoodwinked, or who stood to make money out of the deal of making this delinquent, brainless, black-thumb nothing into something profitable. I am sure that dragging over broken glass,  behind horses recently fed laxatives, is probably too good for them. 

No one overcame more obstacles than the early Texans. Have you ever read about the Karankawa? These were the aborigines of the Texas coast. They lived in a coat of alligator fat, to turn the ravenous mosquitoes and sand flies (they bite through DEET like it was salsa fresca) they ate anything and anyone presenting themselves in an edible way. They carried clubs armed with barbed alligator teeth. I don't think anyone now living, understands how hard it was, to be a Texan, back before air conditioning.  If they do, I want desperately to hear their stories. 
My mom is visiting next week, and I hope to get some "footage". 

The Apache & Comanche roamed central Texas when the tallgrass prairie still stood.  Immigrants did bloody battle with these fierce, beautiful peoples, and proceeded to run beef cattle where the bison (buffalo) once roamed, eventually decimating all three populations. 

Then, the newcomers wondered, where all the nice grass and topsoil went to, as we paid our first debt as a nation in the form of the Depression. 
The Depression never left the poorer areas of Texas. My parents were fixers, hoarders and repairers and inventors of almost everything. I grew up between the late 60-s early 80-s, and I was always far more "handy" than most of my peers, depending on economic echelon.  I taught my ex-husband how to replace a master cylinder on a 66 Chevy pickup, and drive a stick shift. 

Now, here I am, daughter of the Depression, looking the consequences of GW Bush in the face. 

The principles of Texas were never the principles he espoused. He wasn't raised here, he didn't get it. The "cowboy mentality" he fronted was just idiocy. Real cowboys understand their neighborhood, have a deep foundation of integrity, take care of strays and mavericks, and will stay up all night with a sick calf. GW didn't have the balls, or the guts, to do any of that. Nor did he even have the heart or brains to figure out why, all that he was doing was wrong. 

No cowboy, just does what he's told. 

We think for ourselves, we are REAL mavericks. We find freedom, where others only find fences. This tendency can go both ways, but the tendency to break rules unseen, remains the same. Breaking rules people tell you to break, DOES NOT COUNT. You have to come up with it yourself. As I am doing here.

 Nobody told me to do this. Lots of people would tell me Not To. I would moon them. At least. 
At some point, you have to draw the line and find your own place of rebellion and resistance. I never did. I'm still rebelling, and resisting. It's not comfortable. It's not supposed to be. I like it here. I'm a Real Texan. I like resistance. I grew up with it. It's a natural state for me. 

GW hijacked it all, he made the "cowboy mentality" seem autocratic and narrow-minded. 
In fact, cowboys are highly socialist. They help each other out, and they are, frankly, all about the cows, their horses and each other. GW would have gotten shot, early on. 

Otherwise, no one survives. 
Nobody in this environment has anywhere they actually live.. so real estate isn't an issue. 
You wear what works, so fashion isn't really an issue, unless you are a highdolla bronc buster, and then you are suspect anyway. If you can't ride it, and you can't break it, you BBQ it. 

The bigger your belt buckle, the smaller the equipment under it. 
The bigger the cowboy hat, the fewer cattle look to it. 

These are the living facts of the Old Texan. We do a few things well: We ride, we shoot straight, and we tell the truth (original quote: Jeff Cooper). 

The rest of it don't matter. 

Mr Burroughs, I suggest you look a little further back than our beloved LBJ, next time you delve into the history of Texas. Sure, it's corrupt, but read your Bedicek, your O Henry and listen to Jim Hightower once in a while. That's the Real Texas. 

Let's forget that Bush pretended, BADLY, with his damned Nouveaux Ranch and his inept brush cutting, to prove that he ever had more to do with Texas than a bad bet, with bad reprisals, by his parents. Let's excise this rotten damn apple, this Connecticut Yankee infesting the Texas Court. 

Let's get back to being honest, basic, no-bullshit Texans. Let's go back to LBJ. His legislation was revolutionary and remarkable, but it wasn't what he, personally, wanted to do. 

It was what was good for his country. 
We may all want that pony for Christmas, but what the family may need, may be 40 acres and a mule, is what we actually work for. Then, when the fields are healthy again, we can get back to the pony. I grew up here. What we need, is, work, that brings us all forward. 

Until then, we need a lot of people with shovels, shears, rakes, wrenches, computer terminals and a whole helluva lotta gumption, and no limitations. Not in terms of stem cells, not on networking, not on any energy source efficient enough to get us out of petroleum slavery. 

Real Texans have the intellectual independence, to separate religious dogma from legislation. Furthermore, they would understand that population and health issues should come before any writs possibly no longer applicable after several thousand years. 

Our Founding Fathers separated Church and State, for a reason. 
That which is mandated by the Church, may or may not serve the State. Only the State, and its constituents, can make that decision, by voluntary declaration. 

That would be democracy, more or less. 
Listen to my old buddy Guy Forsyth, and Rise Up. 

Juanita, back to you, honey. 

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