This article is part of the The Great American Reach Around series.
This week the Great American Reach Around heads from South to Southwest and tackles the mega state of Texas. The fiercely independent Lone Star State has become a symbol of America for many foreigners, something that is a source of irritation for those Americans not suitably blessed by the magnificence of Our Lord God Almighty to be living in Texas. As for the Texans, well I doubt they give a hoot what anybody thinks of them.
This week's American portion of the Great American Reach Around will be a little different than previous weeks. Because I have never visited Texas I invited natives to write an article on their home state. One gent going by the name of The Karma Crip stepped up to the challenge and will be presenting an article on Austin. I will counterbalance this with my outsider's view of Dallas, Texas. Hopefully his article on the most liberal city in Texas will suitably represent all of the yokels I will be disenfranchising with my hateful screed on Dallas!
Texans, fear not, for the unfortunate tale of your home state will be offset by the most thorough coverage yet of a foreign nation. We will be peering into no less than four cities in Mexico for a look at how America's southern brothers and sisters live their lives. José "Talas" Talamantes will give us a peek at Monterrey, Luis "Kal-L" Toscano is going to show us around Veracruz, Luis "Luisfe" Rubio Miranda has written a delightful piece on Queretaro, and from just south of the border comes Gustavo "Jesupisto" Valdez with a fascinating look at Tijuana.
Just glancing at the pictures featured in these articles about Mexico should be sufficient to blow apart one misconception about Mexico. Rather than nothing but rundown shanty towns and dirt roads it turns out Mexico has some absolutely gorgeous cities.
Our story this week begins in Texas. The second largest state in the United States in terms of area and population, Texas is probably the most iconic state in the Union. It is the home state of four US Presidents of the past 100 years, it is known for cowboys and harsh justice, and of course its oil millionaires. They don't really drive around in Cadillac convertibles with a bull's horns on the hood, but they do exist.
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"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
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