The Texas mystique
Ya'll know, there's this inexplicable phenomenon of Texas Pride. It is ingrained in those of us who spent a significant number of years living in Texas. While I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, my parents moved to Dallas when I was 18 months old, so I consider myself a Native Texan.
Often abbreviated GTT, Gone To Texas was a phrase used by Americans emigrating to Texas in the 1800s, often to escape debt incurred during the Panic of 1819. Moving to Texas, which at the time was part of Mexico, was particularly popular among debtors from the South and West. The phrase was often written on the doors of abandoned houses or posted as a sign on fences.
While speaking in Nacogdoches, Texas in early 1836, shortly before his death at The Alamo, Davy Crockett is famously quoted regarding his last campaign for Congress,
"In my last canvass, I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might all go to h---, and I would go to Texas. I was beaten, gentlemen, and here I am."
Texas' population has increased in every decade since the days of the Republic. But the rapid growth in the years before the Civil War created the foundation for the legend of Texas.
At the beginning of the 1800s, Native Americans outnumbered all others in Texas. When Texas achieved independence in 1836, the estimated population exceeded 50,000, and the majority group was Anglos. That number quadrupled by the 1850 census, just after Texas became a state. In 1850, there were an estimated 58,000 slaves in Texas.
The journey to Texas required a willingness to face danger, drudgery and deprivation and a determination and endurance during a weeks-long journey by wagon, horseback, ship or on foot. Virtually everyone came knowing they faced hard work and uncertain futures. But all that paled when compared to the incredible promise Texas offered for a better life. That drew thousands of settlers who'd scrawled “GTT" on the doors or floors of their cabins in Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas and other places. Economic opportunity - primarily cheap and plentiful land - topped the list of reasons for moving to Texas. Some settlers came to escape debt, a failed business, legal problems, or what one writer calls “rascality."
The collective impact of these newcomers in the mid-1800s is well described by writer J. Frank Dobie: “The very qualities that made many of the Texas pioneers rebels to society and forced them to conquer the wilderness - qualities of daring bravery, reckless abandon, heavy self-assertiveness."
1952-1968, 1974-1987 Residences Dallas
1968-1974 College at UT, Austin
1979-1987 Graduate School at UNT, Denton
2016 April 10, Denton: "I could live here."
2017 December 2-3, Denton: walk houses & streets; home tour on Oak, courthouse grass,
2018 March: Select Realtor.
March 15, Denton: Meet with Realtor, Trip confirmed desire to move.
Former student: Jim, we are surprised you're still here (in OK). We thought you'd have moved by now.
April - September • Denton
Friday-Monday November 2-5 • Austin: "I wanna buy a house."
November 4/5: 222 West St, "This is it. I can't find any negatives." Nov 6: Submit offer. Nov 7: Offer accepted.
Tuesday/Wensday November 20-21 • Austin • Closing
Thursday-Sunday Nov 29 - Dec 2 • Austin • Move-in
Thursday-Tuesday Dec 20 - Dec 25 • Austin • Settle, Brooklyn #1
2019 Saturday, October 12: Confirmed decision to change address: Want to be a Texan again and connect to Laird, mom, and childhood.
• Researched procedures online.
• Changed address with BankAmerica, ApplePay, Edward Jones, Geico, TxTag
Wensday 10-16, Edmond: Gathered documents, Completed applications
Monday 10-21, Austin
• Got Vehicle inspection
• Applied Voter registration
• Applied Car title/registration; Got & mounted plates front (Dodge dealer) and back
October - November: Got new Passport
Thursday December 12, Austin: Received Voter Card, Submitted Driver's License
2020 Friday 1-24: Received Driver's License
Monday 1-27, Austin: Got temporary tag extension
day , Austin: Got Vehicle inspection; Applied Car title/registration; Got & mounted plates (Toyota dealer)
Fehr & Granger Austin Mid-Century Architects
Above right: 1891. Below: 1910, 1920
Above: 1960. Below: 1968, 1969
Austintatious, Drag at 23rd, 1974, by Kerry Awn, Rick Turner, and Tommy Bauman, Armadillos by Jim Franklin.
North Texas and Denton
Median age: 28.8 65+: 8.3%
• 2014: 128,200
UNT: 2015: 36,000
TWU 2015: 15,000
• 2020: 147,800
• 2030: 207,300
At the Pig Stand in Denton, the cook, in an effort to wow his customers, placed an order for sandwich bread sliced at double the normal thickness, but then, upon learning that this Texas-sized bread would not fit into the restaurant's toaster, buttered the big slices and toasted them on the griddle. Voilà! Texas toast. The Dallas-based Pig Stand chain, which once counted dozens of outlets in Texas and beyond but has now dwindled to a lonely single stand in San Antonio. Pig Stand, is also credited with the invention of the drive-in restaurant concept, carhops, onion rings, and the chicken-fried steak sandwich.
Filming Bonnie & Clyde in Pilot Point, near Denton. The Regional Premiere was in Denton.
Hey, I'm coming home. Sorry it took me so long."
I want to be where there is more innovation, more great things happening, a healthier economy, and more progressive people.
• Teaching jobs
• My house and office
• Walk to naberhood parks/trail, shops, restraunts
• Low cost of living
• CBD and medical marijuana
“I would be happier in Texas."
• Closer to friends and family
• Live in large US metro
• Better weather - less ice, fewer tornadoes
• Call myself a Texan
• Return 'home'
• More progressive environment
• Arts, theater, amenities
Residents like what they do: 8th
Strong social relationships: 16th
In good physical health: 11th
People have a stronger sense of purpose than any state other than South Dakota.
Stronger sense of social well-being, community, and physical health than majority of states.
From Happiest States by National Geographic Explorer, Daily life, Physical health, Location, Finances, Companionship
A mark for I heart Texas
The I ? NY mark has been a popular classic icon since its introduction in 1977. The designer, Milton Glaser, used a pictorial symbol for the word Love and typographic symbols for I and New York.
I wondered if the type symbols could also be replaced with pictorial symbols, especially for the state of Texas, possibly the most recognizable shape of the 50. California, Alaska, and New York might be close seconds, but, the outline shape of Texas is universally known and recognized.
Below: I sketched a side view of an eye and stacked the symbols. But, then I remembered that Paul Rand replaced the I text symbol with a pictorial symbol for IBM in 1981:
Rand's orientation of the eye symbol was more consistent with the symmetrical heart and a row of symbols was more useful than a column. Conducting further research on marks for 'I ? Texas' brought up these images:
There were others, but all were like these, with only the state letters replaced by an image and the 'I' still a letter character (except for the I Texas Texas one on the right.) I am surprised that the eye symbol hasn't found its way into the classic mark to replace the letter I, especially when a symbol or image is used for the other part (where the NY was originally). Using the eye symbol seems like a natural evolution of replacing words (like heart) with symbol images.
New mark with all image symbols
I used a simplified Rand's eye symbol and rounded the sharp corners of the state shape to better relate to the other two symbols. It worked. The symbols clearly communicate and respect each other as a cohesive unit of 3 marks forming a strong statement. Then, I wondered about adapting the rendering to other states.
Above right: I Love Colorado or I Love Wyoming or I Love Rectangles. This one would not work outside of those states - the state shape is just not unique enough to be quickly recognizable.
The 3 states above (Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey, but not necessarily in that order) may be a bit too obscure to be successful.
Is this where the Texas flag came from?
A proposed license plate for Texas
Exploit the state slogan
Texas is The Lone Star State, made famous by its simple yet memorable flag, adopted by the Republic of Texas in 1839. That is the state's symbol and logo that is known globally.
Often, license plates are too busy and cluttered. There is a need for simplicity, so that the plate numbers can be quickly and clearly seen and comprehended. License plates probly shouldn't be for self-expression, their purpose is to communicate letters and numbers very rapidly and clearly, for the sake of emergency personnel. People can express themselves on bumper stickers and in their cars, not on the license plate.
There is no need for The Lone Star State slogan - the lone star is there.
The simplicity and clarity of the proposed plate as compared to more complex plates.
Oops, something similar has already been done
Ad and plate for the Texas Commission on the Arts. Jim's suggestion on the right.
Above: Spotted on cars in Oklahoma. Below: A painted curb address in Dallas