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Old 10-30-2009, 07:51 AM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,108,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desert sun View Post
Im talking more of the West TX panhandle, my bad I should have stated that, I agree that people in San Antonio,El Paso blend in better in AZ and NM but people in Amarillo and Lubbock seem to blend in better with the South.

I've hung around Amarillo and Lubbock my whole life, been there many many times and I live in ABQ now and I would say they are alot different, from religion,accents,apperance and friendliness.
Very much in agreement with you, Desert Sun! Personally, when I speak of West Texas, I am not referring to the trans-pecos area. But rather, as you say, the region which includes Abilene, Midland, Lubbock, etc, and on up to Amarillo.

I too have spent a lot time out there -- especially in Lubbock where my grandparents lived for many years -- and, like you, topography not withstanding, the general culture and people blend in better with the South than the interior Southwest (New Mexico and Arizona). Really, this should not be so surprising as it was mostly settled by Southern stock, and the legacy is found in everything from speech to political patterns to Southern Baptist Churches, to name a few.

Personal experience counts for a lot and I am sure many who disagree with the opinions we express have good reasons for doing so. At the same time, I think one of those reasons is that tendency on the part of many to measure "Southerness" on an east to west trek (understandable in many ways, since the country expanded in that direction). On the other hand, it is just as valid to measure it from west to east. And, when one does so, the differences with the desert SW and west Texas become readily apparent (again, I don't mean the trans-pecos ala' El Paso which is clearly the Southwest of the West).

Certainly, one is not going to find the "Old South" in Levelland, Texas! LOL But what does begin to spring up and become almost immediatly noticeable are the traits of Southern culture and history mentioned above (speech, political attitudes, church affiliation, etc) not present in the true SW states.

Even the large hispanic presence in both areas have a different history vis' a vis one another. Raymond Gastil in his book "Cultural Regions of the United States" (where he put most of Texas in a sub-region of the "Greater South" aptly named the "western South") noted it this way:

"Unlike the Interior Southwest, neither aboriginal Indian nor Spanish-American culture played a central role in the definition of the area. The people of Texas are mostly from the Lower, Upper, and Mountain South and these Southerners easily outnumbered the Spanish speaking and Indian people even before the state joined the Union. Therefore, when we refer to a large Spanish-speaking population in Texas, we are primarily speaking of a relatively recent immigrant population, quite different from the core areas of the Interior Southwest."
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:01 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,201,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAnative10 View Post
One thing that Ive noticed in Texas is that there is a HUGE contrast between smaller towns and cities and the major cities.
Yes, but that is no different than North Carolina or Georgia.

Quote:
The stereotypes in the large cities in Texas dont really hold much water. I havent met many people in Dallas with accents or cowboy boots, or large trucks. However, drive 30 miles to the south or east, and you will see it in droves.
Well, I went to the Dallas art museum, and I didn't see them there.

But I also went to the Fort Worth stockyard, and it is cheesy cowboy attire all around. Same in San Antonio, with those ridiculous looking garth brooks shirts. I don't know what the hell you call those things, but you don't find them on the east coast.

I saw plenty of people in Houston wearing those huge hats while driving, which I thought was hilarious. You won't convince me that I didn't see that.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 21,185,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubber_factory View Post

Well, I went to the Dallas art museum, and I didn't see them there.

But I also went to the Fort Worth stockyard, and it is cheesy cowboy attire all around. Same in San Antonio, with those ridiculous looking garth brooks shirts. I don't know what the hell you call those things, but you don't find them on the east coast.

I saw plenty of people in Houston wearing those huge hats while driving, which I thought was hilarious. You won't convince me that I didn't see that.
Admittedly, I havent spent as much time in San Antonio as the other cities. So I cant comment quite as much.

Ill go so far as to say I havent seen any of that in Dallas at all.

In Fort Worth, its alot more common.

In Houston, its more common than Dallas, but less so than Fort Worth.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:27 AM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,108,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpmeads View Post
I have family in/from Alabama. Other than political views, there is quite a big difference the people in West Texas and Alabama. Really, West Texas people are friendly and will fit in with anyone who gives them a chance.
I see what you are saying, but just wanted to make few additional notations that you might agree with. Some of this was alluded to in an earlier post referring to the tendency of people to make comparissons of "Southerness" from east to west. In this case though, it is modified to note a related tendency to "define the South" by the yardstick of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

Backtracking a bit, I can even understand this to a goodly extent. Hollywood movies such as Gone With The Wind have a lot to do with it, and those states embrace and advertise their "Southern identity" in a way one can't fail to miss it! LOL (And BTW -- I don't mean this in a critical note. Not at all, my family roots are deep in MS and AL and I proud of that. If I ever had to leave Texas, one of them is probably where I would go).

But back to the point, certainly, for many reasons, folks in West Texas (and Texas in general, with the exception of East Texas) are going to be different from people in Alabama. But the South has never been a monolithic region. People in the Mountain South are going to differ considerably from those in the lowland areas of the Deep South. And those in the "western South" (i.e. most of Texas and goodly parts of Oklahoma, and possibly some of western Arkansas) are going to differ from both. What bond them all together though are commonalities of a shared history, speech, and other cultural considerations that make them much more similar to one another than they are to the Northeast, Midwest or Far West.

Here is an excerpt from a "review" concerning the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture which kinda sums all of that up pretty well, I thought:

[I "The American South is a geographical entity, a historical fact, a place in the imagination, and the homeland of an array of Americans who consider themselves Southerners. The region is often shrouded in romance and myth, but its realities are as intriguing, as intricate, as its legends...

There are many Souths, many southerners. The region's fundamental uniqueness, in fact, lies in its peculiar combination of cultural traits, a somewhat curious, often elusive blend created by blacks and whites who have lived together for more than 300 years. In telling their stories, the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture ranges from grand historical themes to the whimsical; from the arts and high culture (William Faulkner and Leontyne Price) to folk culture (quilts, banjos, and grits) to popular culture (Gilley's and Gone With the Wind)...

The Encyclopedia's definition of the South is a cultural one: the South is found wherever southern culture is found.
Although the focus is on the eleven states of the former Confederacy, this volume also encompasses southern outposts in midwestern and middle-Atlantic border states, even the southern pockets of Chicago, Detroit, and Bakersfield..." [/i]

Last edited by TexasReb; 10-30-2009 at 09:30 AM..
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,989 posts, read 30,667,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAnative10 View Post
Admittedly, I havent spent as much time in San Antonio as the other cities. So I cant comment quite as much.

Ill go so far as to say I havent seen any of that in Dallas at all.

In Fort Worth, its alot more common.

In Houston, its more common than Dallas, but less so than Fort Worth.
The hat thing is way much more common in Dallas than Houston actually. Dallas represents the cowboy stereotype more than Houston.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,989 posts, read 30,667,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubber_factory View Post
Texas is not more liberal or progressive than the rest of the deep south states. That is a fantasy.

Based on the people I've met, I would say that Texans are pretty similar to people in the Carolinas. Obviously the Carolinas don't have the Mexican influence, and Texas doesn't have the same colonial roots.

The cowboy stereotype has some truth to it. Cowboy hats are definitely not popular in the deep south. In Texas, it seemed like every other vehicle was an F-350 driven by a guy in a stetson hat. This comes through somewhat in peoples attitudes, too. The south Atlantic coast is more proper and reserved.
Texas is very much more progressive than the deep south. "Oh my god a cowboy hat!". What's the point in that??? Did you know they wear cowboy hats in the north and west too. This isn't only special to Texas.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 21,185,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jluke65780 View Post
The hat thing is way much more common in Dallas than Houston actually. Dallas represents the cowboy stereotype more than Houston.
Not from what Ive seen, but Ill take your word for it.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:49 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,201,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jluke65780 View Post
Texas is very much more progressive than the deep south. "Oh my god a cowboy hat!". What's the point in that??? Did you know they wear cowboy hats in the north and west too. This isn't only special to Texas.
I don't understand what you're trying to say. What does a cowboy hat, or lack thereof, have to do with a person's political orientation?

What is the basis for your claim that Texas is "more progressive" than the deep south?
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:57 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,073 posts, read 5,447,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
Certainly, one is not going to find the "Old South" in Levelland, Texas! LOL But what does begin to spring up and become almost immediatly noticeable are the traits of Southern culture and history mentioned above (speech, political attitudes, church affiliation, etc) not present in the true SW states.
Levelland, Texas!

There's a song by Robert Earl Keen called 'Levelland." (I don't think he wrote it, though) I didn't realize it was a real place! It has some pretty good lyrics:

Flatter than a tabletop
Makes you wonder why they stopped here
Wagon must have lost a wheel or they lacked ambition one
On the great migration west
Separated from the rest
Though they might have tried their best
They never caught the sun
So they sunk some roots down in the dirt
To keep from blowin' off the earth
Built a town around here
And when the dust had all but cleared
They called it Levelland, the pride of man
In Levelland

Granddad grew the dryland wheat
Stood on his own two feet
His mind got incomplete and they put in the home
Daddy's cotton grows so high
Sucks the water table dry
Rolling sprinklers circle round
Bleedin' it to the bone
And I won't be here when it comes a day
It all dries up and blows away
I'd hang around just to see
But they never had much use for me in Levelland
They don't understand me out in Levelland

And I watch those jet trails carving up that big blue sky
Coast to coasters watch 'em go
And I never would blame 'em one damn bit
If they never looked down on this
Not much here they'd wanna know
Just Levelland
Far as you can point your hand
Nothin' but Levelland

Mama used to roll her hair
Back before the central air
We'd sit outside and watch the stars at night
She'd tell me to make a wish
I'd wish we both could fly
Don't think she's seen the sky
Since we got the satellite dish and
I can hear the marching band
Doin' the best they can
They're playing "Smoke on the Water", "Joy to the World"
I've paid off all my debts
Got some change left over yet and I'm
Gettin' on a whisper jet
I'm gonna fly as far as I can get from
Levelland, doin' the best I can
Out in Levelland - imagine that
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,989 posts, read 30,667,906 times
Reputation: 7280
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubber_factory View Post
I don't understand what you're trying to say. What does a cowboy hat, or lack thereof, have to do with a person's political orientation?

What is the basis for your claim that Texas is "more progressive" than the deep south?
Bigger cities, more diversity (race, culture, religion, etc), larger population, economy (no other city in the south comes close), world recognition, and more.

One thing though; when did I say Texas was more liberal??? Progressiveness =/= liberal in my eyes.
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