A Friendly Humble Face, in Texas
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A Friendly Humble Face, in Texas • Posted: Dec 20, 2015 10:43:19Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

Texas doesn’t have the best reputation, from the reactionary assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald to the insistence of ideological peculiarities in text books to the deployment of troops to protect its borders to threats to secede from the union. Oil riches and vast spaces in which to cultivate isolated ignorance and fear of outsiders have produced an unusual culture for Texas, quite distinct from the contiguous 48. But, in fact, Texas isn’t as monolithically inhospitable as its outward reputation would suggest.

Take Tom, for example. At least, if I remember right, his name is Tom. Tom owns a small hamburger/snow cone place in the highly rural north central town of Seymour TX. Tom is actually retired. He closed down his hamburger stand several years ago during the deepest parts of the Great Recession. But it’s reopened now. As Tom tells it, he was approached by a young man a while back, newly married, with a kid on the way, who was interested in purchasing Tom’s closed down hamburger stand. “Well now,” Tom said, “do you have any experience running a hamburger stand?” And, of course, the young man had to tell Tom no, he didn’t. “Well, I have to tell you, it ain’t so easy, with all the health regulations and such.” “Would you teach me?” the young man asked. And Tom thought about that for a while. Then said, “Well, I suppose I could.” And that was that. That’s how Tom’s hamburger and snow cone stand opened again, with the cheery addition of a second hand shop for children’s clothes and toys right next door, the inspiration of that young man’s wife.

The point is, there is nothing other than friendly cheery welcoming hospitality emanating from Tom and his north Texas hamburger stand/second hand shop, be you northerner, southerner, brand new immigrant, native American, black, white, or brown. And the food is quite good too. Like I said, Texas isn’t as monolithically inhospitable as its reputation would suggest. But it certainly wouldn’t do Texas any disservice if there were more Toms around and fewer chest thumping fearmongers like Rick Perry, Greg Abbott, and Ted Cruz. My opinion, anyway.

Hope that brings a smile. Best wishes for your Christmas.

Sunday, May 25th, 2014