My Exciting Life and Big Tex
I haven't blogged for over two weeks because I didn't want to boast about the thrilling life I was leading: I was manually scanning documents all day long. Yes, that's right - put one page on the scanner, close it, hit scan, take it off, put the next one on, hit scan. Repeat several thousand times. I know, you're jealous, right? I was converting decades of family files from paper to electronic versions and those onionskin paper copies would jam up the auto-feed every time. Close, scan, remove, repeat. There were days when I would have liked to watch paint dry just to get a little excitement.
But then last week I escaped for a day of revelry! My husband and our best friends all took off work on Friday and we went to the opening day of the Texas State Fair and the unveiling of the new Big Tex.
Big Tex is a 52' tall cowboy who has greeted fairgoers with a wave and a big "Howdy, folks!" for decades. It's hard to explain what he means to Texans, except that when a freak electrical fire burned him to the ground last year, within hours a Big Tex grief support group had been started on facebook. Over the last year Big Tex was rebuilt in great secrecy, and version 2.0 was unveiled on Friday. He's still basically a big steel frame covered by a shirt and jeans but they made him three feet taller, they gave him more movements such as a wink and a nod, and they gave him a butt. Yes, his gluteus is definitely now maximus.
His boots also went Hollywood on us, thanks to sponsorship by a famous boot maker who may not have realized that no self-respecting cowboy would wear those boots unless it was Saturday night and he could throw a really strong left hook. But other than that, he's very much like the original and I can fondly report that I heard Big Tex 2.0's first official booming 'Hooooowdy, folks!' and he's as welcoming and unique as ever. I know you were all worried about that.
I'd like to tell you that we went just to see the unveiling, but I'll confess that we make an annual pilgrimage to the state fair. I married a local and to him, going to the fair is just something you automatically do every year, like decorating for Christmas or seeing fireworks on the Fourth of July.
A lot of that loyalty has to do with the corny dogs and the Belgian waffles. I'm told that corny dogs were invented at the Texas State Fair, and I'll swear that they do taste better here than anywhere else. Of course I don't actually eat them anywhere else so that's a rather limited comparison, but here they seem downright healthy when you're looking at choices like fried butter and chicken fried bacon.
Going on opening day was a win: corny dogs taste better when the oil isn't several weeks old, the Midway rides are freshly painted, and the fairgrounds are clean and beautiful. And I do mean beautiful. Built for the 1936 World's Fair, the buildings have been restored to their original Art Deco glory and are as much an attraction as the exhibits they house. Somehow you just feel classier buying ginzu knives or ogling the world's largest butter sculpture in buildings like these.
I do have cancer info and updates, and I promise to post them in a day or two. In the meanwhile, there's one last box of files to scan and I'm on a roll. Close. Scan. Remove. Repeat.