Keep Austin Weird
Leslie Cochran by Big Bone
For practical purposes I'm going to divide this hub and yes, Texas itself, into five parts:
Dallas, or as we say it here - DALL-ASS has its own very special proprietary section as we shall explore further.
The Panhandle of Texas
The part of the state including Dalhart, Amarillo, Lubbock and the twin cities of Midland AND Odessa constitute the panhandle area of Texas. None of those cities really count for much, they just sort of play a lot of college football and monitor the weather conditions heading for the rest of the state.
Everyone wears blue jeans, including the cows. They must protect their legs from the northers that come barreling down from the frozen north. During the summer, the panhandle heats up to unbearable temperatures and retains most of that heat in order to moderate the northers when they show up.
They wear boots with pointy toes to be prepared for whenever someone opens up a can of whoop ass. The pointy toes are also handy for kicking cow pies outta the way. Perhaps there is less boot to clean and polish when they want to go to a club and do the two-step which is about as high as they can count anyway.
There is a peculiar shirt that is worn by Panhandlers. It has snaps instead of buttons. It's a Western Style cut with pointy things on the pockets and trim. Girls wear them too when they are rustling up some steers. This type of shirt is always tucked into the jeans, never worn on the outside like a T-shirt.
El Paso, Terlingua, Marfa, Alpine and debatably Midland and Odessa are the corner cities of West Texas. It really is hard to tell where Odessa ends and Midland begins unless you are from that area and they even argue back and forth over which is which.
The clothing styles of West Texas and the Panhandle are basically the same with the exception of the bolo or bolero tie. It's a Mexican/Spanish/Native American thang for sure, but lots of Texans wear them too. I think they are garrotes disguised as ties. Or perhaps they are used for some other nefarious purpose. The bolero string is cinched up with a cabochon or other decorative badge which doubles as a belt buckle in a pinch.
Dallas and it's sister city, Ft. Worth are stranger than strange. Ft. Worth still retains its Western roots and charm. But Dallas is like something from another planet. The city is divided into neighborhoods as all big cities are, and you must be careful which neighborhood you drive around in. Not easily done as Dallas has the worst street navigation ever. There is just no telling where you will end up.
Dallas is a lot like California and perhaps all of the Californians have moved there. No one in Dallas is actually FROM Dallas anymore. So the dress code ranges from punk to grungy, homeless to ultra high society.
Valet parking is the norm in Dallas clubs, restaurants and churches and you'd better be driving something along the lines of a Porche, BMW or Mercedes to even get a parking spot. A Maybach is required for some of the higher priced joints.
Glitter is standard for evening wear and the shinier the better. Gold and Silver have been replaced with Platinum in most areas. Of course, the ladies usually wear the typical little black dress. Jewelry is obscenely obvious and sparkly.
Dallas is extremely expensive so you either have to have inherited tons of oil money or you have to be a Southern Baptist Preacher with your own TV show (MasterCard and Visa accepted). Your church must be built on a Rock and pay huge monthly fees to Billboard salesmen.
East Texans do not even resemble most Texans. They look more like they are from Arkansas or Louisiana. They live in the woods. They make moonshine whiskey and drive the standard pick up trucks. They drink their own moonshine and therefore have bad teeth.
East Texans are generally unintelligible except to other Texans. They talk funny. They live in small towns with weird foreign names like Athens and Carthage and Lufkin. The Pine trees have dripped sap onto their heads for years.
East Texans dress a bit old fashioned. I think the schools there still require girls to wear skirts and dresses, never pants or pant suits. If it weren't for the Pine trees and thick Texas accent, you might think you were in the Southern Bible Belt. Holy Cow! You might be right!
Gun racks are required for all pick ups and beer coolers are not. Corn whiskey can be drunk without refrigeration of any kind and it also doubles as fuel in case of emergency. Small stores with gas pumps out front are the local hang outs so do not drive up to one with a Nascar Sucks bumper sticker.
People have been known to disappear completely in the woods or the swamps of East Texas.
Central Texas and Austin, (Our State Capitol!) in particular
Central Texas starts just north of San Antonio and stops north of Waco. It's Eastern neighbor is Houston and Western boundary is Fredricksburg, a little German settlement.
There is no dress code in Austin! I repeat, NO DRESS CODE! Women are allowed to run around without shirts just like men when they mow their yards. Men can wear thongs in public. Leslie's photo is the one I was talking about when I said that whatever you see on this hub can never be unseen.
Most people here in central Texas are normal and dress accordingly, but there are plenty who dress up any which way they want. So get your freak on and come on down!
Leslie Cochran - RIP at age 60 - 3/8/12
Leslie is the colorful fella in the photo above. He loved wearing thongs and heels. But he was a man's man, not a transvestite. He would bend over and give everyone a free show of his heiny!
I DID warn you! I've seen Leslie in person and he bent over right in front of me. I can't get that image out of my head!
Austin is just a little less weird without our lovely Leslie. Leslie has been honored with a mural in one of the clubs on 6th street! The mayor has also declared March 8th to be Leslie Cochran day for Austin.