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Us ‘n’ them: Reflections on West Texas

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By Sherry Robinson

 

Texans fascinate me. It’s not an uncritical admiration, but I can’t help looking across the border and wondering why they zoom out of the recession while we in New Mexico spin our wheels.

From a recent annual meeting of the West Texas Historical Society, held in Odessa, I returned with some ideas to share with you.

“Texas exceptionalism.” 

This phrase, tossed out during one talk, is a fancy way to capture the confidence, the bravado, that permeates the atmosphere the way the smell of money from bobbing pumpjacks fills the air for miles around Odessa. What other state could name a major Austin museum exhibit “It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true?”

As Texas publicly chalks up its fine qualities and assets, we mourn our latest depressing national ranking. I and a few of my fellow ink-stained wretches poke at the New Mexico inferiority complex, which is as real as our state bird. What would it take to raise our opinion of New Mexico?


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