Monday, October 22, 2012

When Your Icon Burns to Cinders

If you live anywhere but Texas, you may not have heard our 52-foot statue, that waves and talks to the crowds, burned to cinders on Friday. He had been up 60 years. People in Texas took it hard.

It's purely a Texican thing, I guess.

I have never been to the State Fair of Texas (we can be rather formal) without going by Big Tex, waving his hand and amiably saying, "Howdy, Folks," in that ubiquitous Texas drawl scientists now say really doesn't exist. But it does.

He didn't have that many moving parts. How did he catch fire? The Bubba part of me is suspicious. The rest of me is just plain sad.

Big Tex wasn't that much younger. He was part of the fair, like the livestock, the exhibits, the rides.

"Meet you at six at Big Tex!" parents would call off to generations of Texas kids.

His burning hurt me to watch. It didn't even go viral. This is a local tragedy.


Good. That's good.

Watching those flames around the hat, the body....I can't explain it. I can only tell non-Texans it is so. We hurt. We burned. This was a damn giant-sized dummy, and we loved him. Please excuse us while we grieve.

I hear bigger and better is coming, but not at least for a year.

That's good.

We need enough time to hear this 52-foot skeleton gasp one final phrase: "I loved all of you."

Because Big Tex did. He was programmed that way.

Wish more of us humans were.

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