Dallas-Fort Worth

What a big ol’ place, this Texas. How can you not like, or at least respect a little, a state with such storied names as Fort Worth, Abilene and San Angelo? Love those names.
One change: Seemed to me that there are more immigrants in Dallas than in times past. Yes? No?
Another shuttle driver of color picked us up and I asked him if
he too was from Ethiopia, like the last one we had. He laughed and said “No, Burundi! But we all look alike! Ha ha ha.”
But a female parking garage attendant was from Ethiopia. Why so many Africans in Dallas?

More great names . . . Waco, Wichita Falls, San Anton’. . .

We had coffee in the ritziest shopping mall I’ve seen (I don’t remember seeing one like this in Beverly Hills, and Montecito’s is a little bittie area; Texas’s is BIG). While waiting for a friend to join us for lunch at an equally ritzy cafe, the famous Al Bernait’s, we got a glimpse of Dallas’s fabled wealth: the line of very expensive cars outside Starbucks — a row of Lexi with a gleaming Mercedes, the parade led by an even shinier new Mazerati.
Inside, beautifully kept women were dolled up in a manner befitting their attitude . . . Or maybe it was the reverse of that. Start with an attitude. . . Montecito East, a fine view on a morning when the weather was as nice as SoCal’s. (It was 90 and up the next week.) Classy! Or not? Fun to think about that. And to watch the parade.

Cities like Galveston, “Amarillo by mornin’” (a song) . . . Odessa. . .

Must be time to leave, I thought as a riotous barbecue my daughter put on was drawing to a close and my great-grandson was getting tired of my tickling his ribs. I was beginning to feel especially out of place, being from California but having been born in (shudder) rural Oklahoma, town of Tipton, deep southwest OK.
My daughter’s friend at work, a native of Fort Worth, asked “What’s the best thing to come out of Oklahoma?” I said I didn’t know.
“Hwy. I-35. Ha!” Got me.
I countered with the “go south till you step in it” joke.
She came back with “Why doesn’t Texas slide into the sea”?
Don’t know.
“’Cause Oklahoma sucks!”
We let it go at that, and I admitted that the cowboy stuff in her home town was really interesting. The old town, “The Stockyards” area, was full of barbecue and saloons, and the Chamber of Commerce threw in a pretty good museum. Then, during our visit, a small herd of actual longhorn steers meandered down the main tourist street, controlled by several mounted cowboys.
Black cowboys rode the range in Texas back in the day, and the lead guy on this day was a black man. That startled me in this state where some nearly violent racism had shocked and scared me in about 1947. But then that was in my Dad’s birthplace of deep eastern Texas, a hillbilly area if there ever was one. Another Texas.
Nowadays — I wouldn’t mind going back to Fort Worth and some more beef off the hoof, barbecued.
I reckon there’s no place like Texas. Maybe that’s good. Maybe not.
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