01/26/2011..Watched “a John Wayne movie” the other day. What most people I know, call any movie with John Wayne in it. This one though, was “The Alamo” .. I’ve replayed a line from the movie in my mind, many times over. The Republic of Texas, “where people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sale, be drunk or sober. However they choose” .. That last part, “However they choose” is what sounds so appealing.
..This mythical place called Texas, was once a wide open territory, seemingly boundless.. It was a rugged and dangerous refuge for men with nowhere else to go. An escape from the binding laws and judgments of men, that sought to prejudice and control anyone that might interfere with “social progress“.. Battles were fought and lives were lost, over the notion that such a place should even exist.. Educated and scholarly men legislated a government and positioned the State of Texas as a beacon of hope as well as a nostalgic glimpse, of the legendary rugged frontier..
..Visitors from all over the world come to Texas to view the sprawling landscape, see cattle grazing in fields of bluebonnets and gawk at the ranches scattered along the highways. They come to visit a place where imaginations can run wild and a cowboy can still find work.. But this way of life, this link to the past, is slowly being widdled away. The emphasis in Austin has shifted to “selling off the herds“ so to speak, instead of preserving the adventure that makes people want to come here, in the first place. The reminders of our history are giving way to structures of cold steel and glass, billboards and shopping malls..
..Gone are the days of cattle drives through town and a good old Saturday afternoon match race down main street. But, what if they weren’t. If you could recreate an old time match race through downtown Houston, complete with saloons, poker tables and dance halls, what kind of crowds do think you could draw? Fill the streets probably. But thats not gonna happen, because laws have been written along the way, to prevent that sort of thing..”Social Progress” i guess, somebody decided it wouldn’t be civil..Won’t do much good to try to change the law either, that would take a legislation change, just to get it to a public vote. Just like the slot legislation we can’t vote on, nothing gets put on a public ballot unless the elected folks in Austin vote to put it on there..”However they choose”, is what we’re stuck with, and the attempt to get slot legislation at Texas ractracks on a public ballot has been squashed in every session it’s come up in..
..The bottom line is, the vote for this issue, isn’t as valuable as the vote against it. So the outcome is pretty much settled, and a way of life and a direct link to the past, is going to load the wagons and slip quietly across our borders, where it has been welcomed. The Legislators of Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico have offered their helping hands to save a struggling industry on the brink of elimination..
..Meanwhile in Austin, the 2011 Texas Legislative session has already begun, and unless there’s an undercurrent of good news that hasn’t broken the surface yet, it’s going to be another disappointing year for the horse racing industry..
..So as our vacated ranch land is replaced with shopping centers and tattoo parlors, and a drive down our highways becomes about as scenic as a stroll through a Flea Market, you’ll know who to thank.. That gets us back to where this got started, “where people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sale, be drunk or sober. However they choose”. Just keep this in mind next time you “choose” somebody to send to Austin. Do you need somebody to decide for you, or do you want somebody to represent you, your choice..