it seems odd to refer to blair as an old friend, but it just seems kind of disrespectful to refer to him as a “kid” from my old youth group in huntington beach…seeing that he’s a card-carrying member of the over-40 club. how weird is that…for me?
blair is the new director of communications for a church down near TCU, after spending most of his first 40 in shiny orange county, california. geez…talk about following in my footsteps!
on my way home from our first lunch together here in the great state, i started thinking about things i’ve learned in my years in texas that might be good for him to know…maybe even some things i wish people would have told me before i showed up here at my new home on the range:
pay careful attention to the service, or frontage, road. those are the roads that run immediately parallel to the the highways. you didn’t have anything like these in california. they only go in the same direction as the highway traffic on that side of the centerline. usually.
when there is serious traffic congestion on the highway, texas drivers often make their own “off ramps” through the grass and onto the service road to avoid the traffic jam. i think it’s illegal, but people do it all the time. proceed at your own risk.
make sure you check the weather channel every morning…and then multiple times during the day. yes. the weather changes that much.
it will take some time to get used to prime time television starting at 7:00pm and not 8:00. once you get used to central time, though, you will never want to go back.
tex-mex is not the mexican food you grew up on. you will grow to like it, but it will never replace the flavor and experience of the northern baja flavor sensations.
be careful of buying a fish taco here. a few places are good. most are bad.
don’t ever invite people over for a backyard barbeque. you’ll be laughed at…especially in fort worth. barbeque is a food group here, not an event.
not everybody in texas is sports-crazy. but almost everybody…and everything…is crazy competitive. if there is not a winner and loser, there is generally no point in doing it.
there is no match for a long drive on a two-lane country road that ends with lunch at a little gas station diner.
the love-affair with the “lone star” is genuine. you will hang a star somewhere at your house eventually. you might as well do it sooner, than later.
you and your wife may never say y’all. but get ready. your daughter will. and she may eventually like country music… and it probably won’t be nashville country. you live in fort worth. it will be texas country. trust me.
blair, you are not a sports fanatic, but you really need to spend some time listening to randy galloway. just ask a sports fan at your new church.
don’t wait too long before you vist the fort worth stockyards. i wish we would have gone years earlier. it is a cool experience…and you don’t have to wear boots.
don’t let them fool you. deep in the heart of every true texan is the desire and willingness to secede from the union.
you will always be referred to as the guy from the land of fruits and nuts. speaking as a fellow former californian… don’t do anything stupid to reinforce their belief. there’s enough of that already.
i was surprised at how many men dip. you probably will be, too. always double-check your dr. pepper cans and plastic bottles before you drink from them.
texas history means something here. don’t ever disrespect it.
pool water in the middle of summer can reach the mid 90’s. it is not refreshing.
malls and movie theaters will be your best friends during the summer. you might even pick up bowling like we did. those three places have the best air conditioning.
friday night high school football games and half-time shows by the bands are bigger deals than you have ever experienced in your life. embrace them as part of the culture.
i apologize, in advance, for the phenomena of homecoming mums. do a google image search, if you need to…but don’t say i didn’t warn you that your head will explode when you see some of the winners.
take a tour of the deathstar. it will help you understand a major segment of life here.
these are just a few of mine. no doubt i will think of more to pass on to you.
here’s a challenge to my adopted texas family: for the most part, you guys have been totally lame over the past six months when it comes to commenting on my blog. maybe i’ve worn out my welcome. maybe i’m no longer interesting. maybe you’ve been cheating on me with another blogger.
whatever. it’s now time to man up. what’s some texas advice you want to pass on to my friend blair…to educate him in the ways of his new home…to prepare him for the reality of life in a foreign land… to give him some tools for passing part one of his entrance exam to the texas militia?
come on. help him learn to be one of us.
don’t make me hunt you down.