It’s Go Texan Day in the City of Houston, which means that the Willard boys got to wear cowboy hats and boots to school today. And the youngest one sang this song over and over and over again in the car this morning on the way there:
Today’s edition of the Houston Chronicle includes an essay entitled “Going Texan: My life with boots.” It’s worth taking a few minutes to read in its entirety. As my wife Carrie said, “This sums up so much about what I love about Texas, and Houston, and the high holy day that is Go Texan Day.” Here’s the conclusion of that essay:
Over time . . . it’s dawned on me: Go Texan Day isn’t about being Texan. It’s about becoming Texan.
Here in Houston, most of us weren’t born here. And even the natives rarely grew up roping and riding. Most days of the year, we don’t look the way that Texans are supposed to look.
But once a year, just before Rodeo, we do. We dress up in what, for most of us, are costumes.
We turn ourselves into Texans. No matter where we started out — no matter which state, which country — we are here now. We swagger and play-act and refuse to be dull. Outsiders don’t realize how new most of us are to the role.
And that, you realize, is how Texans have always become Texans. We don’t just settle in this state; we enact it. Like I did.
The boots make us Texans. And Texans make Texas.
Let’s write haiku about Go Texan Day or whatever else it is that gives you roots in the place that is home to you now. All you need is a single verse with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line:
These two Willard boys
were born in Minnesota,
but now they’re Texans.