Canada & North America, headspace, USA

deep in the heart of Texas

Bec / 17/01/2013

Closing out my sojourn to the north, I’ve been relaxing with long-time friends in Georgetown, just north of Austin, Texas. Mandy and I worked at a summer camp in 1996 and I’ve been back a couple of times since then.

When I think about it, I’ve been away from home for over two months and my onward journey involves an average of just two nights in any one location. Outside pit-stops in Panama City, Panama and Quito, Ecuador for a few more days between tours, I’m non-stop from 19 January until 15 July as I make my way overland from Mexico City to Buenos Aires. Given that, you can see how I’ve enjoyed doing very little for the past week or so.

Venturing out into the coldest weather I’ve felt in Texas we hit the LBJ Presidential Library and the Bob Bullock Texas Historical Museum near the University of Texas – go Longhorns!

LBJ’s Library was very interesting, with loads of artifacts from his time in office which followed JFKs assassination. A civil rights advocate he did some good things with his time in office. I particularly liked his speech notes that have handwritten notations of where to pause and what words to emphasise. When I can upload the photos, I’ll show them for all my fellow Toastmasters so I don’t feel alone in my public speaking nerdery.

The Bob Bullock Historical Museum told the story of Texas beginning with the Spanish in the 1500s. I was particularly impressed by the many artifacts recovered and on display from the era. Chain mail suits, horse-head armour, swords, rings, cannons, plates etc in good condition considering. Continuing through religious missions, frontier pioneers and the sorrowful treatment of Native Americans, fighting for independence from Mexico, the story of agriculture, the oil industry, military installations and NASA’s Mission Control. Texas is a colourful state producing some big characters over the years.

Topically while I’m here, the gun ownership debate is raging. I just can’t understand some of the ideas that have been thrown up lately, such as giving all teachers a hand gun to fight back, making state laws that make it illegal to enforce proposed federal laws that put more restrictions on gun ownership. The NRA has started advertising attacking Obama about it and the opposing side use the tired and outdated excuse of the Second Amendment – the right to bear arms. When that was written it was not in the age of semi-automatics and accurate scope-sights. Give me a break…I’ve got friends here – without guns.

2 thoughts on “deep in the heart of Texas

  1. I find the American gun debate absolutely ridiculous, though I can imagine it is interesting to be in the country at the moment and witnessing the propaganda first hand. I heard an interesting statistic in the media the other day that our gun numbers in Australia have recently risen to the level they were at during the gun buy-back scheme in the 90s. That said, and perhaps my perception is somewhat skewed, but owning a gun is still a rare thing for most Austalians. I don’t know anyone who has one, and they certainly don’t have assault rifles! I don’t know how that can be justified in modern society!

    1. I would hope that if the guns exist, at least the laws on storing them and ammunition apart and similar are upheld. It would seem there’s no culture of a gun being dangerous in the USA…it’s just like any other household item like a phone…sometimes just left lying on the coffee table. That’s not something I would expect to see in Aus outside of a drug dealers den. Look up YouTube and search for “Eddie Izzard” + “guns don’t kill people”. Dude’s got a point.

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