Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In the Name of Tragedy

This could be our generations "Where were you when...?" moment.  Or maybe not.  But I will always recall where I was when I read that our State Treasure had self-immolated and is now waving Howdy Folks in the giant midway in the sky.  Big Tex is no more.
Big Tex As We Want To Remember Him
He stood 52 feet tall and this was his 60th year.  He welcomed visitors to the Texas State Fair every October with a resounding "Howdy Folks".  He loved Sooners and Longhorns equally.  True, we was strangely proportioned.  The skinny legs, the huge barrel chest, no neck and arms akimbo.  And his face was not handsome.  He looked constipated to be honest. But he was an icon, instantly recognizable and was a fixture every fall.

And now he is no more.  Was it arson, terrorism or angry UT Football fan after the drubbing by OU?  Big Tex was a Dickies man - maybe some Wrangler wearing cowpoke had had enough?  Where was Lee Harvey Oswald? A second lighter theory?  Either way, on that fateful morning of Oct 19 2012, Big Tex burst into flames and was consumed within minutes.  Dallasites and Texans were shocked.  His skeleton was carefully taken down and placed on a flatbed and covered in a tarp, so saddened onlookers could not be further traumatized.  Over the weekend, mourners placed flowers where he once stood.  And yesterday a local funeral parlor held a memorial service.  A pall has descended over the metroplex and even the denizens of Fort Worth cast a misty eye eastward and bid "Adieu" to the mighty cowboy.

So to answer "Where were you when Big Tex burst into flames?".  Well, I had to get the news second hand, from the New York Newsday at Nana's house on Long Island.  It was even worse to be so far away, knowing that Big Tex was probably still smoldering.  Oh he will be replaced in 2013. But there will only be one original Big Tex, size 70 boots and all.

Big Tex As We Will Probably Remember Him

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