Daddy vs. Big Tex

"Big Texas" Image credit: Wikipedia

The Texas State Fair opens this weekend up in Big D. This means that pretty soon we’ll get the ubiquitous national news report on some fat and/or sweet food newly deep-fried in the Lone Star State. YAY!

Growing up in Northeast Texas, this annual event was a big to-do. Having lived in Central Texas most of my adult life (save for four years in Baton Rouge), I can vouch for the fact that the rest of the state doesn’t pay much mind to the fair. (Okay, the football game, maybe, but not so much the fair itself.)

We went to the state fair only a couple of times when I was a kid. I actually think that I went more in high school, when our drama teacher took us to see musical theatre productions. So I can’t say that I have any particularly fond memories of it to summon.

I do recall vividly, however, the time that Daddy almost shot Big Tex.

No, it wasn’t a case of him going out for a jog and, and mistaking Big Tex for a coyote, shooting him dead.

Nothing quite so thrilling, nope.

Basically, Mom–a brilliant artist/seamstress/craftsperson–fixed up an old mannequin for my high school dance club. This fancy-pants group was called Soirée because, see, I grew up in the second largest Paree in the world. One of the fall parties had a “state fair” theme, so Mom borrowed some of dad’s jeans, snagged a red-checked shirt from Goodwill, and dressed the plastic dude up like the guy pictured at top left and placed him in the living room.

Come to think of it, he had terrific hair–especially for a 1980s mannequin–and did in fact look a little bit like this fella:

Gov. Perry. Image credit:

But I digress.

Daddy knew nothing about this fair-themed shindig and came home late on the night Mom had dressed the dummy. My poor pop walked into a darkened house only to encounter a 6′ tall man standing in the dark with one arm raised in the direction of my bedroom.

Don’t mess with Daddy’s teenage daughter, right?

Anyway, no shots were actually fired, but we laughed and laughed about that one for years.

And I think of it every fall, when the Texas State Fair opens again.

Happy Fall, y’all!


  1. I have fond memories of the state fair. One, which is the most predominant and my favorite, is the Texas – OU game held every year. I just loved the atmosphere, the rivalry, and the overall fun of the game.

    • Would you believe that I *never* went to the UT-OU game, TC? I always loved that campus would clear out that weekend, which was always around the time of my birthday.

      Of course, I always want us to win. =)

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