504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Friday, October 19, 2012

On Big Tex and Childhood Memories

I am a Texan. I was born and raised in the Sovereign Republic of Texas (Fort Worth). I joke about being a "recovering" Texan since I moved away when I was in high school.  The I get to be back in my home state a couple of times this month.  This past weekend was state fair weekend, a special weekend in the life of any school child in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I remember getting out of school to go to the State Fair.  My father would take me to a Cowboys game every year on the weekend of my birthday (first weekend in November)--before Texas Stadium and Jerry World, the boys played in the Cotton Bowl.

I mention all of this because my teaching assistant got to go to the fair and I joked to be sure to take a picture of Big Tex, the iconic figure who dominates the center of the fairgrounds.  She took the picture on her phone and sent it to me. Big Tex has been around since the 1952 State Fair of Texas. He wore size 70 boots and a 75-gallon hat and towered 52' above fair visitors. For me, he was the reassurance that funnel cakes and carnival rides were just around the corner. Tex was there when I was a kid and he had this big voice that boomed, "Howdy Folks!"

Little did I know that it was the last day that Big Tex would stand watch over the fairgrounds.  Yesterday, the big fella was badly burned. I got a little sad. I didn't try to go to the fair while I was out there.  I was only vaguely aware that it was going on until my TA said she was going and took the picture for me. Until I heard that he had burned to the ground, I also didn't even realize that Big Tex represented for me all the great times I had with my Dad.  Dad has been gone for almost 12 years now, and being in Texas on State Fair weekend brought back those memories.

I am also grateful that the memories came back.  Dad had a tough last few years with multiple heart issues and finally his kidneys failed.  It was okay with me that the painful memories of my father in dialysis were shuffled around to accommodate the memories of a little boy in boots and shorts going to the fair with my hero.

Paul said in 1 Cor 11:1, "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ."  I get it.  As a father, I do my best to imitate Jesus. In doing so, I hope to clear a path that makes Jesus clearly visible for my son and daughter. Then I make memories with them so that they get to see me love Jesus as I love them.  Sometimes the memories are pleasant, and sometimes they are a little sad when a life situation seems to go up in flames. Either way, the ministry of presence and imitation is how God told us to pass the faith to the next generation.

I will miss you, Big Tex.

No comments:

Post a Comment