When I hear Ted Cruz spewing McCarthyesque insinuations about Chuck Hagel on television, my prejudice against his state rises up and clouds my common sense. I know in my head that all Texans are not like the Tea Party senator, but my heart finds it a hard concept to accept. You would think my views would be tempered by the fact that my cousin Liz lives in Houston, but I don’t really think of her as a Texan, although she’s married to one. Like me, she is Jamaican-born and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s a completely different matter.
I can’t pinpoint the day my heart turned against Texas. As a little boy, I would ride my broomstick horse and pretend to be the Lone Ranger – like millions of other children all over the world. As a teenager, I reveled in those flowery Zane Grey novels and hid Ranch Romances magazine under my mattress when I stayed with my mother’s Aunt Helen (who did not approve of such “trash”).
I’ve enjoyed my share of Western movies through the years, and I delighted in Dan Jenkins’ rawboned humor in “Dead Solid Perfect” (golf) and “Semi-Tough” (football).
Let’s not forget, either, that one of my heroes, the great Ben Hogan, was a Texan (from Fort Worth).
Yet by the time I was offered an editing job at the Beaumont Enterprise during my late forties, I had turned so much against Texas that it took less than a minute to say no thanks.
I suppose my change of heart had something to do with the horror stories of more recent years – like the one about an innocent black man being dragged to death behind a pickup truck, just for the hell of it.
My opinion of Texans did not improve as I became familiar with the politics prevailing in the state. My regard fell even further when I heard what that foolish Rick Perry had to say during the Republican primary debates. And as I learned more and more about the political goons the state sends to Washington , I found myself wishing Texas would go ahead and secede from the rest of us.
But I might have to modify my disregard for the Lone Star state after reading a heartwarming story from Texas this morning.
I must admit that I brushed away a tear as I read how a cop in La Porte, Texas stopped traffic to rescue a little dog that strayed onto a busy street.
Imagine a cop doing something that decent… a Texas cop, no less.
I’m beginning to think I might have liked Beaumont, after all.
But maybe not.
Photo above (taken by Reddit user MissEmKay, who was driving by) shows Officer Kyle Jones stopping traffic in La Porte, Texas to rescue a little dog.