It was at the State Fair of Texas about a year ago that Big Tex, the giant cowboy statue that welcomed visitors at the front gate, caught fire and turned crispy critter. It seems the motor that moved his jaw when he "talked" shorted out. (They never offered an explanation of why his crotch ignited, although rumors were ripe.)
It was big news at the time, and many people around here were truly saddened. (I personally thought the whole concept was pretty cheesy.) Money was raised for a new Big Tex, and he was ready for this year's fair.
Several days ago at lunch I had the TV on and was (sorta) watching the local news when I happened to glance over to see this:
My first thought was, "Holy crap....he fell over! THE SUM BITCH FELL OVER!" *we just can't have nice thangs!*
Turns out the Fair ended its 3-week run last weekend and workers were taking him down and back to storage. *Whew* I'm not sure people around here could handle the trauma of losing another Big Tex so soon.
I don't get all this fascination with cowboys. I really don't. While there are still some working cowboys in Texas (mostly in west and south Texas), they're rare, and you're more likely to see them working out of 4-wheel drive trucks or even helicopters than on horseback. They dress the way they do for a reason.
What you will see here are what we jokingly refer to as "urban cowboys". These are city people who wear boots (dirty, never polished), Wrangler jeans, shirts with snaps instead of buttons, belt buckles the size of hub caps, and of course cowboy hats. But the funny part is, they wouldn't know what to do with a cow or a horse if their life depended on it.
I understand honoring your past, and we in Texas have an exceptionally colorful one. But to re-live it every day? I mean, do you see ordinary people in Boston walking around wearing 3-point hats, coats with long tails, and shirts with ruffles? Or people in San Francisco walking around wearing....OK....bad example.
Oh well, to each his own. As long as there's not a run on LL Bean "looks good fresh out of the dryer" T-shirts, I'm happy. :)