We live in the most beautiful part of Texas. If you can’t have an ocean or mountains, like we did in California, at least we can have trees and hills and rivers, like we do in the Texas Hill Country. It’s especially beautiful this time of year. We’ve had a little rain, so things are green and the wild flowers (aka weeds) are getting ready to bloom.
Actually, we have our share of flowering weeds right now. Nothing else I planted last spring survived our drought. Even our St. Augustine grass is dead. In California we called it crab grass and the goal was to eliminate it before it completely took over your yard. Here it’s an acceptable grass for all but the most discriminating manicured yard owners.
But I digress. I’m just setting the pastoral scene. We were at a wedding shower being held at the LBJ State Park. A true Texan social event has lots of good food, usually BBQ, and takes advantage of the wide open outdoors. We were right on the river across from President Johnson’s Texas White House. Buffalo and cattle were in grazing on the range.
I was making small talk at this wedding shower, commenting on the cows. By the look on this man’s face, I knew I said something wrong. I was informed that those weren’t cows, they were longhorns. I instantly realized my Texan faux pas. The longhorn is the sacred cow of Texas!
The Texas longhorn is a breed of cattle characterized by their unique horns. They’re sturdy and gentle. With their long, pointy horns, you might think they’d be dangerous (like getting gored), but they’re actually rideable! A local entrepreneurial longhorn owner saddles up his longhorn and brings it to Luckenbach (population 3) for events. People love to have their picture taken with themselves in the saddle!
The Texas longhorn is also the mascot for the University of Texas at Austin. They don’t just have a picture of a longhorn, they have a real longhorn. His name is Bevo. The UT system is like the University of California system, except their alumni are much more visible. Burnt orange and the longhorn head silhouette are prevalent everywhere. To be fair to the other Texas schools of higher education (just about everyone at this wedding shower were Texas A&M alumni!), Texans are serious about their football teams … ALL levels of football (Friday Night Lights is r-e-a-l)!
I never did recover from my Texan faux pas, even when I told him the longhorn was my favorite type of cow!