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My Own Advice To National Media Coming Back To Texas

Written By : Kathleen McKinley
August 23, 2011

Kyrie O’Connor, deputy managing editor for features at the Houston Chronicle has some advice for out-of-state reporters suddenly returning to Texas. It’s good advice. I don’t quibble with a bit of it, in fact the line about secession (#5) was hilarious. But I would like to add my own bit of advice to the national media coming on back to these parts:

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1) Yes, the sterotypes are true. The love for our country and state runs deep and wide. Don’t question it, learn from it.

2) We are, for the most part, a people of faith. Don’t make fun of it. There is a reason we put up with the heat of a thousand suns here. It’s the people. We care for each other, and do a lot of that caring in our Churches. My Church alone has 74 ministries that caters to the needy. We have big Churches and big hearts. We welcome strangers, just don’t make fun of our religion.

3) We talk with a twang. It’s sort of like the southern accent, but with a twist. We aren’t anchors or reporters so we can talk like this. We like to talk like this. “Fixin” means “about to.” “Didjaeat?” means “Are ¬†you hungry?” “Hop on in” means “get in the truck.” You’ll catch on again.

4) Bush and Perry wear cowboy boots with their suits, not only because it’s awesome and cool looking to do so, but because there is nothing more comfortable than a well made cowboy boot. Even sneakers don’t compare.

5) Texans are down to earth. We may go to opera or plays, but not before we stop to grab some Barbecue for supper. Yes, supper.

6) Sure, people everywhere love football, but it’s a little different here. True story. My 9 year old son’s Texan city football team went to the “SuperBowl” for their age bracket. You would have thought it was the actual Superbowl. One of the parents rented a limo for the boys to be taken to the game and back (yes, crazy, but that is Texas football parents). I’ve never seen anything like it. My point? Football is right there behind religion. Don’t make fun of it either.

7) You guys in New York may have Donald Trump as an eclectic spokesman, but we have Kinky Friedman. So much cooler, with a lot better hair.

8) You will see bumper stickers and t-shirts that say “Keep Austin Weird.” We really do want to keep it weird. Austin is full of fantastic, colorful, interesting, artistic people and we wouldn’t have it any other way, but we do like to keep them all together in Austin..;-) We just visit when we want to have some fun.

9) It’s legal here to keep a loaded gun in the glove compartment of your car. Just be aware of that before you cut someone off on I-45. Seriously though, we do love our guns in Texas. We take the 2nd amendment VERY very seriously. If you are one of those gun control advocates it’s best to stay quiet about that while you are here.

10) We love our Hispanic culture. It’s everywhere. Don’t confuse our desire for legal immigration only, with not loving the heritage and culture that Hispanic Americans bring us. We do love it. It is a part of us, and they are a part of us.

There you have it. Just wanted to add my 2 cents. I might suggest to the newcomers in the media to leave their jackets at home. We wear shorts and t-shirts here up until around Christmas, just so you know.

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