Somewhere down in Texas

Don Barone
"A sun so round, so bright, so close you could almost touch it."

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

“Cause no matter how big the storms…”

Dateline: Toyota Texas Bass Classic

I get it now,

this Texas thing.

As in…everything bigger…thing.

And like “What happens in Vegas blah blah blah,” I think it cheapens the state…this fascination for bigness.

So, I’m writing this for all you non-Texans out there, if all you know about Texas is this BIG thing, Jerry Jones, big shiny buildings and boots, you don’t know Texas.

I have been all over this country, many other lands as well, but I have to tell you, I stack East Texas, and its people, up against the best ya got.

Over the last two weeks I have driven almost 1,000 miles with East Texas under the tires and it’s,

rolling hills of brown and green,

pastures with stately longhorns,

beautiful Live Oak trees,

white rail fences and downtown squares.

The beauty of this part of Texas is not in the BIG, but in the small, once you manage to exit off the crowded I-35, this is a home kind of state.

Proud high schools, proud homes, a state framed in manners, out here where the doors are unlocked.

As much as I miss my daughter, Ashley, who moved away from Connecticut almost 8 years ago, I now know why she stays, I now know why she loves this place, I now know why she calls it home.

She stays, not for the BIGNESS. She stays for the small things.

For me, I would stay for the stars.

They have these roads called “FM” way out here, they may have them all over Texas, don’t know, but I know here that one night I was driving down one of these “Farm-to-Market” roads, straight road, may have been gravel, may have not, but just for ya-hoos I reached down and turned off the lights on the Tundra, and the solar system seemed to light up.

I stopped the Tundra dead in the “FM” road, put it in park, and stepped out onto the road, and just looked up. Up north we build planetariums; these East Texas folks live in one.

Dark, is a natural resource.

Dark, is lost on many of us, we light up the bottom down here on Earth and it sneaks up and lights the sky.

Cherish, the dark, then look up.

Don’t look at the bright shinning stars, everyone sees those, look at the pinpricks, look at the very tiny dots, see them…we don’t. If you don’t believe in heaven in Manhattan, you will out here.

But it was the sunset that got me, a sun so round, so bright orange, so close you could almost touch it.

I can imagine growing up, courting a young lady, a blanket, a lone oak tree on a rolling hill…and the golden sunset.

I know why you love it,

and someday,

on a blanket, under a lone oak tree,

under the universe and golden glow,

with a crazy shih-tzu,

and a beautiful wife, still very young in my eyes,

we will watch the stars,

we will watch the dark,

and we will be thankful, that we found this small spot,

called Texas.

“…I know I can find me a place that's warm …”