No. 15


Texas Pride: Amy crosses the grand foyer of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, the epicenter of Texas self-love. You can't shake a brisket in Texas without hitting some of that Lone Star spirit. It's on car bumpers, street signs, billboards, t-shirts and etched into the sides of highway interchanges taller than its high rises, all of it reinforcing the popular understanding that Texas' constitution reserves its legal right to secede from the US. While that may not be technically true, the surprising sum of all this ego is a kind of gentle charm that can only be achieved after decades of being told, "your Frito Pie is the best in the world, now y'all go make one for your neighbor." Admittedly, we were charmed mostly by the people and energy of Austin, a progressive, rockabilly-drenched oasis in the reddest of states. Outside of Austin's organic embrace, we held hands and trembled a little at all that unfiltered, rah-rah jingoism. Were we ultimately happy to get out of Texas? Yes. But not without souvenir t-shirts. {S}

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