Sunday, March 23, 2008

Texas Zone - Cowboy Culture

We went to Gruene Hall today (pronounced "green"). It's in a touristy little town south of San Marcos. Gruene Hall is a big old dance hall where lots of Texas musicians have played at one time or another including famous ones. Some of the people we saw at Gruene Hall were sporting the Texas cowboy look. I received instructions from Ty on what the Texas cowboy fashion consists of and then he pointed out specific individuals and commented on how well they fit the picture. Here's the layout:

First- cowboy boots. The women get to wear white ones with rhinestones. The men have to wear brown or black ones. The next article of clothing on the way up is jeans. It looks like Wrangler is the "in" brand. The jeans are secured by a belt with a big shiny metal buckle with some kind of cowboy or Texas image on it like a star, or a horse. Jeans should be worn tight. For men, the belly must hang out over the belt buckle. Next we have a cowboy shirt with pearly snap buttons and a kind of down pointing yoke shape to the flaps on the shirt pockets which is reflected in the stitching on the back of the shirt. The shirts can be plain, plaid or striped. Last but not least we have the wide brim cowboy hat in white, brown or black. There are a couple of styles to these.

Cultures change over time so I suspect the Texas cowboy look might be different ten or twenty years from now. Below is a picture of an improbable future Texas cowboy look.

Texas is one of very few of the fifty American states that has a pretty well-defined culture of its own. The Texas cowboy look has been exported all over the West. Texas has its own music and star musicians. Signature Texas music is a kind of folk/country thing. Austin is the heart of the music scene. Texas has its own cuisine - Texas Barbecue. A typical Texas barbecue meal has ribs, potato salad, beans, and beer. The fact that Texas is a BIG state contributes to the culture. Texas has the world's largest honky tonk (a word probably made up by Texans). You can buy really big coffee mugs as tourist gifts. It has Texas long horns, some of whose horns end up on the hoods of big Cadillacs.

Just in case you think I am picking on Texans, it's not true. Of all the Texans I have met so far none of them fit the negative stereotypes that have been ascribed to Texas over the years. They are as friendly, creative, intelligent, hardworking, and fun loving as good people everywhere. I've has a great time in the Texas Zone so far.

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