Thursday, March 7, 2013

I may have to turn in my credentials as a Texan

Yesterday was March 6th and I did not blog a single word about the fall of the Alamo, which occurred 177 years ago on March 6th, 1836.

I forgot to remember the Alamo!

And four days before that, on March 2nd, I did not blog a single word about Texas Independence Day, which is more important in Texas than the 4th of July.

The big three Texas Dates of Historic Significance (and thus blogging opportunities) are only two-thirds done for this year, however.

There is still the battle of San Jacinto on April 21st, when General Antonio López de Santa Anna got his comeuppance.

In addition, there is Juneteenth if you happen to be African-American, which I am not, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I have heard it said that the Roman Catholic Church used to claim, “Give us a child until he is six, and he will be a Catholic for life.” I do not know whether that particular alleged boast is true. My mother, a non-practicing Jew, and my dad, a lapsed Methodist, were not religious when I was very young, so I never went to church or synagogue or anyplace else except the Pawtucket (Rhode Island) Day Nursery. When I was around five, I did visit the Woodlawn Baptist Church in Pawtucket a time or two with my dad. We didn’t own an automobile and Woodlawn was within walking distance of where we lived in the third-floor apartment of the house at 61 Larch Street.

In August of 1947, though, when I was six and a half, something momentous happened. We moved lock, stock, and barrel from Rhode Island to Texas.

The Catholics or anybody else may have you until you’re six if they like, but if Texas gets you when you’re six and a half, you’re pretty much doomed very fortunate indeed a Texan for the rest of your life, like it or not.

This is true even if you move away when you are 20 and hardly ever go back. I speak from personal experience. Even if you try to put Texas out of your mind, you cannot. I think it has something to do with bluebonnets.

(Field of Texas bluebonnets; photo by bombay2austin on Flickr. Noncommercial use permitted with attribution)

I know I'm getting old, but next year I simply must remember to remember the Alamo.


  1. You were almost right with your quote - it was the Jesuits who said "Give me the child for seven years,
    and I will give you the man." But that would be splitting hairs.

    I hadn't realised that you were originally from Pawtucket. Some of my wife's family settled there in the late 19th century which must be a step on our six degrees of separation.

  2. I was going to say - at least you can talk about bluebonnets - but then you did. That's more important (in my book). Where did you live? My folks were born in NE Texas; I wasn't born there, but grew up in Houston. Still have family in "The Valley".

  3. Shooting Parrots (Ian), thank you for providing the correct source and wording of the quote. I appreciate that. Yes, I was born in Pawtucket! I remember four people there from the 1940s: a Portuguese woman whose name I don't know who gave me apple pie and pastrami for breakfast, Mr. Lee Vitale (our landlord), and Miss Irma Chisolm and Mrs. Yvonne Schack at the Day Nursery. Please don't tell me your wife is related to the Portuguese woman.

    Mary Z., I lived in the Fort Worth-Dallas area from 1947 until 1961 and I also attended Southwestern University in Georgetown (Williamson County, north of Austin) for a year. I visited "The Valley" years in the 1980s on a business trip. It's a different world down there.

  4. I was born in Texas and have every expectation that my credentials as a Texan will be good for a lifetime. You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl. Yeehaw!

  5. Pat in Arkansas, it's good to hear from you! Having spent several years in Florida, when I hear someone say "Yeehaw!" it makes me want to reply "Junction!" (a rest area on the Florida Turnpike). Stay in touch!

  6. No you are not a Texan sir. You are a fully fledged Georgian. You may need hypnotherapy to expunge all thoughts of Texas and the hallucinogenic blue bonnet from your shingles-affected mind. so sing after me:-
    Other arms reach out to me
    Other eyes smile tenderly
    Still in peaceful dreams I see
    The road leads back to you.

    Georgia, Georgia, no peace I find
    Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind.

  7. Thank you, Yorkshire Pudding, for putting everything back into proper perspective!

  8. I'm afraid Mrs P isn't part Portuguese which is a shame as that would be quite exotic. The name you would need to recall from Pawtucket would have been Chatterton.