The Corner

The Korean-American Texan in a German Dance Class, &c.

Yesterday, I had a lil’ item on Texans abroad (here). And this has led to quite a bit of mail about Texas, and from Texas, etc. I want to share with you three items — only three, and then out.

Jay,

I once lived in Europe. While there, my family occasionally went out to see the historical attractions and such. Typically, a tour guide would ask, “Where is everyone from?” Answers ranged, of course, but we said, “Texas.” The invariable response from the guide was, “All others from America say they’re from America. But Texans always say they’re from Texas.” I always beamed at this.

And how about this, y’all?

Jay –

It’s State Fair of Texas time. I went on a picture-perfect Sunday afternoon. In front of the Texas Hall of State, dancers representing all corners of the globe take turns showing off their various cultural traditions. My mom dragged my dad and me to the Tom Landry exhibit at the Hall of State, where we waited in a queue long enough to catch German and Brazilian dancers (an interesting juxtaposition).

There were eight pairs of German dancers, completely decked out in matching costumes (lederhosen, feathered hats, and high socks for the men; blue skirts, white aprons, and twin braids for the ladies). The team hailed from Garland, Texas, a Dallas suburb with a strong Korean concentration. I wish you could have seen one of the men — clearly of Korean descent. He was a little shorter than the others, but he looked great in his lederhosen. Only in America would a Korean participate in German dance classes. And, for my money, only at the State Fair of Texas would you get a chance to see such a slice of what makes America so awesome.

That, plus there’s deep-fried beer, deep-fried margaritas, deep-fried bacon, deep-fried butter, deep-fried cheesecake, and — oh, the deliciousness! — deep-fried frito pie.

I think I’ll barf, but I love this letter. Take one more, and afterward a comment (not about barfing):

Hi, Jay,

I’m a native-born, second-generation Californian who’s planning to move permanently to Texas, and my little brother has lived there for years. He went for a job — he’s a captain with an airline — but my wife and I are going for the low taxes, non-nanny-statism, etc.

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a Republican politico in California. I said, “Have Republican numbers dwindled because Republicans are voting with their feet? Is that part of the dwindling? Are the entrepreneurial-minded going to Texas, Nevada, and other places more congenial to what they want to do?” The politico didn’t know for sure; but he allowed it was a worry.

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