Letter Home to Texas on the Eve of Seccession

Letter Home to Texas on the Eve of Seccession April 15, 2009


Hope things are going well for you all down there.

I’m self-employed just now, and struggling with it. I think things are about to turn around, but argh, I’m in a bind right at the moment. It’s not the economy so much as a few of my own bad choices, but the economy is definitely playing into it.

Other than having no money, life’s going good. It’s spring here. The place I live, I wake up most mornings to the sounds of wild turkeys in the yard. So far this spring we’ve had whitetail deer, raccoons,four kinds of squirrels (gray, red, chipmunks and flying squirrels), blue jays, cardinals, goldfinches and crows (plus a lot of other birds passing through) as daily visitors. Some nights we see red foxes, and there have even been a few coyotes strolling through in the moonlight.

I’m working on some websites for money, and that’s going well. I’m also doing a new site for myself, where I have an outdoor adventure every week and write about it. I hope to have that working in about a month.

I wrote two books over last year, but I haven’t sold either one of them yet. I hear the economy has affected the publishing industry, and maybe that’s it. Heh — I tell myself there’s no way they’re not good enough. Can’t be ME. Got to be THEM.

I actually think about you guys fairly often. It’s strange thinking that the people I have in my head, the ones I remember as you, are 30-plus years old, and the REAL people, the ones you really are, have probably diverged dramatically from them. So if I ever do get back down there, it will be like I’ll have to get to know you all over again. That’s always the quandary in distant friendships, I guess.

Plus, I hear the Texas governor is backing secession from the United States. Pretty soon, you’re not even going to be Americans anymore! In all the years I’ve been away, I have continued to think of myself as a Texan. And I can’t say I wouldn’t be proud in some ways to think of my native state being its own country. But … I’d sure hate to think it was largely due to that weirdo Glenn Beck, and some measure of poorly-hidden racism aimed at our first black president.

I made an enemy of my stepfather years ago when I said at the dinner table that I really admired the boxer Muhammad Ali. He was outraged: “You like that nigger?!?” But I liked Ali because he was mouthy, and because he backed up the mouth in the ring. Far as I could tell, he really was “the greatest.” One helluva good showman, he always delivered. He talked the talk, but then he walked the walk. Didn’t matter what color he was, he was cool.

I compare him to Glenn Beck, for instance, and I don’t see any of the same courage; I just see the mouth. And there’s something … I don’t know, DIRTY, about Beck. He just seems so phony and manipulative — like those tear-jerker dead teen songs that were on the radio when we were kids. Except the songs were only trying to wring a sniffle or two out of you, they weren’t trying to run the whole way you lived your life, or the way you thought.

And I could never give up being an American. My people, our people, are the single greatest nation ever to exist on earth. You don’t just walk away from that over some temporary snit about taxes. And especially not when the thing is being manufactured by the likes of Fox News and company.

Watching my homeland from a distance since I left there, I’m still amazed that Republicans, who didn’t seem to exist when I was a kid, swooped in and took over the entire Deep South, including Texas. Way back when, we were solid Democrats. Now it seems like Democrats are thought of as little more than traitors.

I was registered as a Republican for about 20 years in California, but I left the party in the 90s (no, I’m not a Democrat, in case you wondered), and these days the GOP just seems so mean-spirited.

I think Bush — that rich-boy fake Texan — wrecked the nation, and the character of the people in it, in ways we haven’t even seen yet. The bill for his presidency was a huge one, and we’ll be paying it for generations. These weirdos on TV, trying to make every problem out to be Obama’s fault (after only 3 months in office!), are only part of it.

Well, anyway, I do hope to get back down there sometime in the next year or so. I’m eager to get to know you all again.

I’ll bet you’re all every bit as slender and good looking as I remember, and you look exactly as you did when I left in 1974.

I know it’s true of me.

Tell ’em all I said hi. And send me some news!



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