March 2nd. Texas’ Independence Day. Long live the Lone Star State.
I am a 5th generation Texan. My great-great-great Grandfather Lentz moved his family to Texas in 1832, four years before the War for Texas Independence. I am the 4th generation not only to be native Texas born, but to be born in Bastrop County. So you’ll have to forgive me if I think of myself first as a Texan and second as an American. I’m a deeply patriotic American. I’m a rabidly patriotic Texan. “Don’t mess with Texas” is the perfect motto in my opinion.
My Lentz ancestors settled on a league of land in southern Bastrop County, a grant from the Mexican government. I suspect they may have temporarily fled their home as part of the Runaway Scrape, a few steps ahead of Santa Anna’s army. A few years after the Texans won their independence, my aforementioned forefather Jacob Lentz and one of his sons were killed by Indians near their home. Jacob’s wife Sarah remained on the home place with her children. A portion of that original land grant remains in the hands of some of their descendants.
My Texas citizenship means a lot to me. True Texans are independent, self-reliant, rugged folks. Our ancestors moved into a wild, untamed land and carved out new lives for themselves. They had to be hardy stock to have survived.
Real Texans are becoming harder to find these days. Our unique culture is beginning to get fuzzy around the edges from the influx of non-Texans who have discovered our warm winters and our freedom from a state income tax. Where once we all dropped our “g”s and sprinkled our conversations with “y’alls” and “ain’ts”, now the younger generation is beginning to look askance at those of us who still let the traditional Texan drawl and lingo slip out of our mouths. “How uncouth,” you can read in their eyes. Phooey. I’d much rather stand out as a true Texan than be taken for a poor-imitation Noo Yarker.
Texans are unique. We feel a special pride in the fact that Texas existed as an independent nation for nine years before throwing in with the United States of America. If we’re honest, we’ll admit that we think we could do just fine on our own again should the opportunity present itself. Our loss of national independence was the USA’s gain. If you have a Texan in your corner, you’ve got backbone that won’t quit.
By the way:
No Texan refers to one person as “y’all”.
George W. Bush ain’t no Texan. He adopted us. It wasn’t our idea.
When a Texan hits the back roads, he waves at everybody. It’s polite.
Texan males still hold the door open for their women. (And we don’t mind at all.)
No matter how far a Texan roams, he’ll always be a Texan at heart.
Long may the Lone Star wave. Y’all come back now, you hear?