Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Foat Wuth, Ah Luv Yew

I am on a bit of a Nostalgia Trip this week. I don't know exactly why, but I have been thinking back on what a "colorful" life I have lived and some of the places that "colorized" me. I came into this world on Sunday, September 16, 1956 at 8:41pm in Fort Worth, Texas. Although I haven't lived in Cowtown since I was nine years old, I have always had a special spot in my heart for it. I think it's because Fort Worth is the anti-Dallas. Big D is a great city, don't get me wrong, but to me it's a bit of a smug place compared to Fort Worth. Dallas = cosmopolitan, trendy, We're-a-big-city-not-a-large-town-dammit kind of place. Fort Worth = modern but old West-ish, cosmopolitan but Cowboy, We-ain't-Dallas-and-we-like-it-that-way-podnuh kind of place. (I loved those bumper stickers that read "Foat Wuth, Ah Love Yew") My kind of place. Fort Worth is the 17th largest city in the USA and 5th largest in Texas , yet in these modern times, maintains and proudly celebrates its Western heritage. Take, for instance, the iconic Fort Worth Stock Yards. This is probably the most famous landmark in the city - loaded with history and the feel of 1870. Not far from the Stock Yards is one of the best universities in the country, TCU, home of the Horned Frogs and Alma Mater to the Purple Cloud, number 74, Bob Lilly. Corporate HQ's in Fort Worth include AMR (American Airlines), Radio Shack and XTO Energy, Fortune 500 Companies all and they do bidness in Cowtown. When I travel in my mind's time machine back to Fort Worth in the early '60's, I am suddenly at Fossil Creek fishin' for catfish with my uncles, Tony and Tim or walking the railroad tracks for miles on end and picking up souvenir railroad spikes to tote back home. Or going to one of the best zoos in the nation, the Fort Worth Zoo and the nearby Botanical Gardens. POOF ! I am six years old again on a big piece of cardboard flying down the big ass grassy hill next to the duck pond at the Zoo, Natures Roller Coaster. Six years old hiding from restless Natives and man-eating tigers and lions in the jungle that is the Botanical Gardens. A six year old future Bill Dance finally managing to reel in (with the help of my Dad's Zebco 33) the catch of a lifetime from the Duck Pond at the Zoo. You know...six years old and Fort Worth were a mighty fine pair of Podnuhs. Foat Wuth, Ah Luv Yew.

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