When Texas received its independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836, the 60 delegates from over the state signed their Declaration of Independence.

Texans have come a long way since that day.

I recently came across an article by someone named Russell Keith that I felt was appropriate for the occasion with a few added thoughts of my own. The piece is titled “You Know you’re a Texan If…” It’s always fun to see where Texans fit into this description of a person who is a true Texan.

You can properly pronounce Corsicana, Palestine, Decatur, Wichita Falls, Mexia, Waco, Beaumont, Pflugerville, Kerrville, Boerne, New Braunfels and Amarillo. We Texans have heard the names of all these towns butchered. It seems that Mexia, often pronounced Mex-i-a, and Waco, often pronounced Wakko, by many are the most misunderstood names. Oklahoma is just across the border, but names of towns there are butchered even more.

Your manners include “Please,” “Thank You,” “Excuse me,” “Ma’am” and “Sir” and you wanna punch those who don’t use them. Many of us Texans need a refresher course in these manners. My pet peeve is “no problem” and no reply at all when I say “Thank You.”

A tornado warning siren is your signal to put the stuff out in the yard that you wanna get rid of. This is hitting a little below the belt.

Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway. Those of us living in the suburbs understand this “if” more that those who live within the city limits.

You’ve ever had to switch from “heat” to “A/C” TWICE in the same day. That can happen or vice versa any time of the year. The last few days we have been turning the central heat up every time we pass it. That’s unusual for anyone who has been in Texas very long.

You know that the true value of a parking space is not determined by the distance to the door, but by the availability of shade. This is a Texas summertime no-brainer.

You know that stores don’t have bags, they have sacks — plastic, paper or one of those inexpensive ones that you take with you every time you go to the store.

You see people wear bib overalls at funerals, with the utmost respect. I won’t comment further on this one because overalls are my husband’s favorite outfit.

You think everyone from a larger city has an accent. We generally don’t think that we have an accent until we go to another part of the country and realize we don’t sound like everyone else.

You measure distance in minutes or hours. This idea is generally exaggerated.

You refer to the capital of Texas as “home of the Longhorns.”

You know that the Chicken Ranch didn’t really raise chickens. I won’t go into this any further but we all know what it was.

You go to the lake because you know what a bigmouth and a striper are. Living so near Lake Texoma, this is a given around here.

You listen to the weather forecast before picking out an outfit. It’s smart to do this because you never know what the day will bring. It may change two or three times during that period.

You know cow pies are not made of beef. My grandmother found this out many years ago when she traveled by covered wagon and burned them to cook along the train to New Mexico and keep warm at night.

Someone you know has used a football scheduled to plan a wedding date. This is nothing unusual here in football land.

You have known someone who has had one belt buckle bigger than your fist.

A bad traffic jam involves two cars staring each other down at a four-way stop, each determined to be the most polite and let the other go first. A wave of the hand usually gives the signal to get one car moving.

You aren’t surprised to find movie rental, ammunition and bait all at the same store.

You always have iced tea and cold beer available for guests. For most Texans, it has to be sweet tea.

A Mercedes-Benz is not a status symbol. A Ford F-350 diesel 4x4 is.

You know everything goes better with Ranch dressing or hot sauce. Let me add honey mustard to those staples.

You actually like these jokes and are fixin’ to send them to your friends.

You know not to order a chicken-fried steak using words like “rare” or “well done”.

You know where the Cotton Bowl is located.

You are 100 percent Texan if you have ever heard this conversation:

“You wanna Coke?”


“What kind?”

“Dr Pepper.”

I feel sure most Texans can find themselves in a few of these “Ifs”.

Donna Hunt is former editor of The Denison Herald. She writes a twice-weekly history column for the Herald Democrat. She lives in Denison and can be contacted at donnahunt554@gmail.com.