We sailed along, just me and the other pros-- the fifth-wheel and 18-wheeler drivers--going about our bidness, dodging the occasional white-knuckled 25-mph creeper every 8-10 miles or so.
Sure there were mishaps, spin-outs, one jack-knifed and overturned rig--maybe 15 in my 30+ mile trip, but nothing serious.
I used to ridicule Texas drivers for calling in to work terror stricken by the one-quarter inch "ice storm" and refusing to come to work. Obama hit on the same notes yesterday, comparing the winter wimps in D.C. with the far hardier folk of Chicago.
Please don't, ya'll.
Although the horror of the "ice storm" is routine for Texas weather, people here brag about them in the same perverse way they brag about every thing down here... bluebonnets, "Hill Country", not living in Oklahoma, Laura Bush, Texas A&M, The Cowboys, (though not so much this year), and every "Texas Music" picker/singer who ever clamped on a kapo (illustration: see guitar neck, above right).
"Tell you what... that ice storm back in (2003, 1998, 1847, etc.) shut this place down for (12 hours, three days, a month etc.). Back then you could spit yer Skoal and it'd freeze 'fore it hit the dirt."
Texans think that "cold" begins about 31 degrees.
"Ya don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows..."
In fact, they don't have just weather down here... it's special "Texas weather".
It can be "colder'n a whodathoughtit (well-diggers' ass, etc.); it can be suffocatingly hot and humid. Or windy, or draught, or flood... whatever, it's always No. 1 on the hit parade.
Hot... I can take; humidity in Texas, like a lower G.I., was invented by Nazis.
No matter, for Texicans... if it's in Texas, "it's all good", as the young hipsters say these days.
And for those of you unfamiliar with The Lone Star State, you must appreciate that simply in writing this, I may pay a hefty price; there may be no more fried chicken at Lynette's (shudder), people may point at me on the street, Lorri at The Fried Pie may hurt me; don't laugh, she can; I was already afraid of her.
Sometime back, there was a Texas tourism advert tag line, in the vein of: "Texas... Another Country"--in praise of the huge state's varied topography, flora and fauna... oh, and South Padre Island.
You must understand that this is not so much a state as it is a sometimes grouchy former Republic; it existed as a separate nation until Dec. 29, 1846, when it relinquished it's sovereignty and was annexed to the Union.
Many Texicans were pissed about that then, and 15 years later Texas left, taking with it several other states.
Texans are still pissed about how that turned out as well.
Ozzy Osbourne was once banned from the state and probably received death threats (of which he may not have been aware) for taking a leak on the wall of the Alamo back in '82... while wearing a dress, no less.
Arrested (damned straight) for this dangerous breach of taste and common sense, he later said it was one of his greatest regrets.
In 1984 he played San Antonio again and made a point donating $10K to the Alamo Foundation.
Anyway, Texans seem as strangely proud of their harsh weather as they are about large snakes, red ants, "sweet" corn, the Texas Rangers (the cops, not the ball players), and the Red River... but only the portion up to the Oklahoma state line.
Obviously the surveyors were Texans and had the advantage because Oklahoma (finally fighting off the opposition emanating from Austin) wasn't allowed in the Union 'til 1907.
Don also says "I got here as soon as I could" when asked about being a Michigan native; not only that, but he claims to have driven here from The Great Lakes State at the age of three. Go Wolverines!
Don even wrote a very catchy song about "snow birds"... dedicated to Yankees who come down here in the winter, despite the gruesome and deadly ice storms. The lyrical hook is something like "... and then you get yer ass back home."
Lynette is fourth generation, not just Texas, but Gainesville. People here tend to stay around their homesteads. Her great (-great?) aunt ran a boarding house on the square in downtown Gainesville. The very same building now houses a neat little cafe and a bed and breakfast.
Mike and Elaine McHorse (above) got a promotion and moved to California some 30 years ago; they lasted about three innings and pulled the plug. I think they were somewhere in L.A.---so who could blame them?
Ray Fletcher made his brother-in-law and sister move here... next door to him.
Nonetheless, if it's 10 years or 100, Texans honestly believe that everyone is or should be envious of them.
And, real Texans don't allow their boys to play a communist game like soccer.....