On My Path to Becoming a Texan

On my path to becoming a Texan

I moved to Houston Texas 1½ years ago. I was told by someone about a year ago that to be a true Texan I had to have a cowboy hat, a pair of cowboy boots and a big belt buckle.

One of the great people I met is a born and bred Texan named Jerry who loves western ware and has forgotten more about boots and hats than most of us know. He has a huge boot collection and knows who made every pair and where he got them, even many years ago.

He took on the challenge to educate this Yankee and help me find my cowboy gear.

Our first challenge was to find me a hat.  The problem is that my head is 8 ¼, which is why my nickname is meathead. We went to Cavender’s first, and they do not have hats big enough. We visited Kane’s, and Pinto Ranch and finally had a hat made for my big noggin at the Hat Store on Richmond. This was a blast.

My new hat is an 8 ¼ and found out the biggest problem is my head is round, not oval shaped like the rest of you flat landers.

While we visited all of these stores we looked at boots, and, of course, Jerry has a story about all brands and where they originated and are made today. I had a small problem since I wear an 11 EE. We saw boots made out of every kind of hide known to man and every price from $125 to $3000. The most interesting were rhinoceros, giraffe and rattlesnake.  Most of these you will need to mortgage your house to buy. During this time I was trained how to wear these and walk like a cowboy – I thought the girls liked the tight jeans, not the walk. One of the most unique places we visited was the Texas Junk Company, which is only open 2 days a month and not on the same days each month. This place was an antique store of cowboy gear with hundreds of pairs of used boots, shirts, etc…. It also had some 50 year old dust as well. The owner is a guy with long gray hair who looks like he just walked out of the 60’s, and does not care whether you buy or not.  They only had 3 pair in my size, but they looked like they were worn in the Alamo battle by the losers.

I finally broke down and bought some Tony Lama’s at Kline’s this past Thursday. What an exciting event! We arrived there just as the Spanish Trail riders did on their way to the Rodeo.  They had ridden their horses and wagons from Kirbyville.  I have many pictures and even met a converted Yankee like me who grew up not far from my home town.  He was a 25 year, converted Texan with trail ridersworn out boots, chaps, and gloves and rode a beautiful horse.  I think I saw trail dust from around 1995 on him. Kline’s is a great place for cowboy gear, and we were privileged enough to meet the original owners that started the store in 1956. This wonderful Texas couple have been married for 63 years, and are now retired.  Their daughter runs the store, and they come in each year to give free donuts and coffee to the trail riders.

As I have been shopping, I have been scouting out for belt buckles. I have seen hundreds of styles shapes and prices, but have not found one yet with the Indianapolis Colts logo.  In the meantime, Jerry loaned me one of his.   As you might imagine, he has a large collection, with some big enough to fry hamburgers on.  He loaned me a new one from the 1990 Houston Rodeo.

I cannot say when I moved here 15 months ago that I thought I would start my Texas adventure with all this great fun and meet so many wonderful people, but I can say I have lived all over the world, and I did  wait too long to move to Texas. I even have a beautiful Texas girlfriend that says ya’ll, loves to dance and says she is going to marry me sometime this fall.

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