A thought popped into my head a couple of weeks ago. Though I was born in Virginia, and have lived all over the U.S. (in 13 different places), most of the important women in my life are from Texas.
- My mom, Oleta, was born in Brownfield TX. She grew up in west Texas around Lubbock, Midland, and the oilfields. She would have been 83 this year.
- Her mom, Viola (or Granny), was born in west Texas too. (My other grandma, Cecelia, was born in New Orleans. All Dad's family is from Louisiana.)
- My two sisters are also from Texas. Sis (Deb to everyone else), 7 years older than me, was born in Levelland. And Tish, 7 years younger than me, was born in Ft. Worth. (Sandwiched between our sisters, my brothers and I were all born in Virginia).
- My wife, Roanne, is not originally from Texas, but you'd never know it. Though born in North Carolina, she grew up in Houston for a bit, but was mainly raised in Big Spring out in west Texas, where her dad spent his entire career as a doctor. Roanne graduated from Big Spring high school, attended Baylor University in Waco, and then graduated from Baylor Nursing School in Dallas (the town where we met).
- My mother-in-law, Fran, was born in Texas, and grew up around Beaumont and Houston. Roanne's grandma Alice (Fran's mom) was born in Beaumont, and lived in Houston most of her life.
- And finally, my daughter Christie was born in Plano, a Dallas suburb. She is a Baylor grad too, met her husband (from southeast Texas) at college, and they live in Ft Worth.
So my mom, grandma, sisters, wife, mother-in-law, daughter, and most of my aunts are all Texas women. Through these women I've been blessed, and Texas has been a big influence on my life.
Perhaps things would have turned out just as well for me if all these women were from another state where I've spent my life, like Colorado, or Missouri, or California, or Alaska. I guess I'll never know. But I can say with some authority that Texas women, at least the ones I know best, are pretty awesome.
Once the significant role of Texas women in my life hit me, I began to notice that there is a lot of music about Texas girls. Mainly, as you'd expect, country songs. Now my taste in music is pretty eclectic -- jazz sax, pop, blues, worship, cajun, classical, jazz combos, R&B, big band, reggae, latin, etc. -- but I do like some country music (not the twangy kind). Here are four of my favorites songs about Texas girls, with snippets of lyrics. Click on the title to listen.
'Girls from Texas,' a 2014 release by Pat Green and Lyle Lovett:
New York's got the fashion, Florida's got the weather
But the girls from Texas are just a little bit better.
But if you can find a lone-star gal, boy you better get’r
'Cause the girls from Texas are just a little bit better
In 'That Girl in Texas,' Jon Wolfe talks about what he's missing:
Might be the ... miles of fence line
That old Rio Grande or the wide open sky
But my best guess is it's that girl in Texas.
'There's a Girl in Texas' who has Trace Adkins' heart:
I won't try to lie to you about this heart of mine
That I can't give, that I don't really own... cause
There's a girl in Texas that does.
Yes, there's a girl in Texas that I still love.
'That's Right, You're Not From Texas,' has Lyle Lovett explaining to those not from Texas:
At a dance hall down in Texas
That's the finest place to be
The women they all look beautiful
And their men will buy your beer for free.
Apparently, I'm not the only one whose life has been favorably influenced by Texas gals.