Friday, October 19, 2012

In Memoriam - Big Tex

To know me is to know my love for the Great State Fair of Texas. That being said, today is truly a sad  one for not only me and my little family, but also the entire Williams clan, our extended group of Fair-loving friends, and the entire state of Texas. I know some may think its silly to mourn such a goofy pile of sticks and plaster,  but to people like me Big Tex was a symbol of a joyful place and time where families and friends join together in merriment and good, old fashioned fun. Not to mention the fact that my family and friends buy plane tickets to Dallas for the express purpose of visiting the Fair every year. It's a big deal to some of us, people. 

Big Tex was "born" in the summer of 1952, the same year as my parents. He began as a awkward statute with one winking eye and a crooked nose and continued to evolve over the course of his time as the face of the State Fair of Texas. Somehow, though, through all the changes he still managed to keep that awkward and goofy feel about him. This year marked the 60th anniversary of Big Tex and he was set to be retired for the year just two days after the fire that burned him to the ground. 

Here he is in his inaugural year: 

And here's what he looked like until this morning: 

This just makes me sad:

Regardless of how I felt when I heard about the fire (said to be an electrical shortage), I don't doubt for a moment that we'll have a new Tex to say "Howdy" to next year! And you can see from these pictures of Bridget though her years at the Fair that he really does change a little each year anyway. I'm not even telling her about the fire because she won't understand. You guys - she was OBSESSED with Big Tex this year and he's pretty much all she cared about during each of our 3 trips we made this season. She even sat peacefully in her stroller for 15 MINUTES (that's right, I said PEACEFULLY for 15 MINUTES with NO SNACKS) while she demanded to wait to hear him speak. I wish I'd gotten her sweet, "Goodbye, Big Tex!" that she spoke on Tuesday morning during our final visit for the year. At least I have it as a wonderful memory!

Bridget's First State Fair trip - 2009 
(she was two weeks old and it was drizzling and about 40 degrees...seriously, we are hard core about the Fair)

Us in 2010 with great friends (beware! I'm HUGE!)

A pic of me and J in front of Tex in the rain - B with Mimi and Daddy enjoying free ice cream (2011)

Me and B with Tex this past Tuesday morning on a spur-of-the-moment trip organized by my Mom (2012)

Can't wait to meet the next Big Tex in Fall of 2013. Yet another great reason to visit the State Fair of Texas. Look forward to a fun, picture-filled recap of our THREE fabulous trips we managed this year. 

My mom made SIX total trips to the Fair this year. THREE of those were between Tuesday - Thursday this week. I wonder where my love for the Fair comes from?! And just think, my mom is from Iowa. 

I'll close with a quote:

"Get ready next year, because he's coming back bigger and better than ever. And I'll be his voice." 
- Bill Bragg, iconic voice of Big Tex 

(did you know all Tex's annoucements were made live? Mr. Bragg had just started his beloved "Howdy, folks" to be followed by notes for today's fair goers when someone knocked on the door to tell him smoke was coming from Tex. Mr. Bragg said he came out to see what was amis and watched the whole thing with tears in his eyes...)


  1. That last part totally made me cry. I actually didn't know that. :(

  2. I love you Anna, that was wonderful.

    One of my favorite memories of the Fair was going on Saturday and saying halfway through . . . we don't have to rush, let's just come back tomorrowa, and we did many many times.

  3. My first ever blog post is not going so well, typos and mystery title. I know how to spell tomorrow.

    Love- J Carol