If you or someone you love currently (or ever in the past) lived a single day in the state of Texas, there's a good chance that you already know that yesterday, March 2, was Texas Independence Day. (Of course, Texas has its own Independence Day, Silly!)
How do I know that you might already know this fact? Because we Texans (Yes, I said, "we".) are just proud and obnoxious enough to make sure that we properly educate any and everyone that we know about these important matters. I don't know why Texans are the way that they are. They just are.
This fact was brought up over and over again in an episode of How the States Got Their Shapes. (We have been streaming some episodes of this entertaining show on Netflix over the last few weeks.) Did you know that some states got boundary lines because of rivers and waterways? Or botched land surveys? Or political rivalries? Or transportation? I didn't. Of course, I was most interested in watching one particular episode entitled "Mess With Texas". (Yep, it's SUPPOSED to be "DON'T Mess With Texas". Any self-respecting Texan knows this.) The episode shared all kinds of facts about the great state. There are historical facts about Remembering the Alamo and Six Flags. There are quirky facts about Aggies (*WHOOP!*) and anti-pollution campaigns.
One favorite fact, Texans don't drink soda. Or pop. Or cola. Texans drink coke. It might be a Dr. Pepper, an A&W Root Beer, a Coca-Cola or a 7-Up, but it's still called a coke. It is not at all uncommon to hear a Texan ask, "What kind of coke do you want?"
Why am I telling you this? (I am going somewhere with this. I promise.)
We were watching "Mess With Texas" one afternoon, when a map of the Republic of Texas appeared on the screen. Texans know that the Republic of Texas came into being after Texas declared its independence from Mexico on, you guessed it, March 2. The year was 1836. This made Texas an independent sovereign country in North America, complete with its own President and Vice-President. (It remained so until the annexation of Texas nearly ten years later.)
This was all being explained when the map of the Republic of Texas appeared on the screen.
After studying the map, you could've knocked me over with a feather. Do you see it?
"Lis! That's us!" said John.
Y'all, we live in the former Republic of Texas. A detailed map from 1845 shows our current beloved local landmarks. The Flat Tops. Rabbit Ears Pass. The West Elk Mountains. The big bend to the west described as the Yampa River. That's Steamboat Springs!
Of all the places in Colorado we could have landed...here we are. I go to sleep at night under the stars on land that Sam Houston once presided over. Sure 'nuff. Is it any wonder that every January Steamboat hosts a MusicFest called "Texas Week" where literally thousands of Texans descend upon our little ski town to hit the slopes and listen to live Texas bands at the mountain's base?
At the end of the Texas episode, the host asked a sweet gal from Dallas, "If I mess with Texas, what will happen?"
"You'll get your butt kicked."
And you will. Bless your heart.