The Republicans nominated GeorgenBush, an adopted Texan, while thenDemocrats sought to hold the Southnwith Lloyd Bentson’s nomination fornVice-President.nPrior to December of 1987 and mynretirement, my wife and I had decidednto retire in Texas. We thought we wouldnlike Waco, a city that appealed to us as anplace where we could decline, hopefullynwith some grace, toward the grave. Inhad been gone 25 years from my nativenstate as I followed an academic careernthat took me from Texas to Arizona tonOklahoma to Tennessee and back tonOklahoma. (My friends say I have beenna mendicant scholar.)nI will admit to intense patriotic feelingsnfor the Lone Star State as wencrossed the Red River headed for Waco.nTexas history is drilled into youngstersnin the 4th, 7th, and 11th grades, andnwith Sir Walter Scott I could say, “Thisnis my own, my native land!”nThe physical change wrought by 25nyears were obvious everywhere, especiallynin Fort Worth and Dallas, both ofnwhich I had known well as a youngster.nIt was apparent that contractors had halfnsucceeded in their goal of coveringneverything in the so-called Metroplexnwith concrete or asphalt highways. Andnif, as Samuel Johnson noted, ‘Tatriotismnis the last refuge of a scoundrel,” itnis the first refuge of Texas car dealers;nevery one of them flying a Lone Starnflag half as big as a football field.nOn to Waco we went. I long hadnbeen aware that Waco has an imagenproblem. One Dallas radio station reportedlynran a contest in which the firstnprize was a week in Waco, and thensecond prize was two weeks in Waco.nThere are those who make snide commentsnthat Waco, as the home of BaylornUniversity, is the “Baptist Vatican,”nwhile others call it “The Baptist Heavennon the Brazos.”nNot anxious to rush into somethingnso major as buying a house, my wifenand I rented an apartment for threenmonths and began sizing up the placenwhere we intended to spend what thenmedia people love to call our “goldennyears.” For us the weather seemedngloriously warm for the middle of winter,nand we delighted in what locally arenknown as “Yankee-bashing commercials.”nTexas is a market so large thatncommercials are made especially for thenstate by car manufacturers and beernmakers, and several of these poke fun atnthe Yankees who have inundated thenstate in the last several years.nAbout two weeks after my arrival innthe city, during which we kept congratulatingnourselves on our choice, mynmirror told me the time had come for anhaircut. Thereby began my disillusionmentnwith the Texas of the late 1980’s.nThe future may be a place where allnbarbershops are unisex, and I knownthere are some men who like women tontrim their locks. However, I confess to anweakness for barbershops with linoleumnfloors and chrome dinette chairs fornthose awaiting their turn to be shorn bynmale barbers. This is the kind of placenwhere denizens talk unashamedly aboutnfishing and hunting and the best time innthe spring to plant tomatoes.nI found such a place in one ofnWaco’s malls and sat down to wait mynturn. Idly I flipped through a slicknmagazine, one with Texas in its title,nand there I found an article about theninaugural festivities for Bill Clements,nthe first Republican-elected governornsince Reconstruction. He served fromn1978 to 1982, was turned out by MarknWhite, a Democrat, and then wonnagain in 1986 for a second four-yearnterm.nThis article told of the several inauguralnparties that were held at variousnAustin hotels—apparently one partynwas not enough. At each of these therenwere gaudy displays of the latest gownsnfrom Paris and tuxedos custom-made bynBritish tailors. Those in attendance, Inread, were fed on fancy dishes whosennames could be pronounced only bynintimates of French restaurants whondine on disgusting things that realnAmericans do not eat. And they sippednon vintage wines from Tuscany andnBordeaux, imported for the occasion,nnot on tawdry domestic brands.nI was confused. Was this the samenstate that had elected Pat Neff in 1920,na man so strict in his moral convictionsnthat he would not hold an inauguralnparty because he did not believe inndancing? I sat in a daze as I got mynhaircut—which cost a dollar more thannit had in Oklahoma.nOnce my disillusionment began,nthere was no turning back. I had crossednsome kind of Rubicon that caused mento notice other disturbing things aboutnTexas. I recalled only too well whennTexas had adopted the sales tax, Gover­nnnnor Price Daniel promising solemnlynthat it would never go above two centsnper dollar. In 1987 it stood at eightncents on the dollar in Waco and Dallas,nand there was increasing talk about thenneed for a personal income tax tonfinance social services that an expandingnbureaucracy argued were needed.nNot long after this, we were in Dallasnand went into the Galleria to shop. Thisnfancy mall further contributed to mynconfusion, for here in North Dallas Insaw shops that boasted of having outletsnonly in “Geneva, Paris, New York,nBeverly Hills, and Dallas.” Here werenmen and women dressed in “chicnWestern” — and who were, as describednby one disgusted old-time Texan, -n”more hat than cattle.”nThese people are thick in parts ofnDallas and Houston — and increasinglynprevalent in Fort Worth and San Antonio:na pack of liberal-voting, Mercedes-driving,nimported-wine-drinking,nquiche-eating snobs dressed in exoticskinnboots, designer jeans, importednfringe jackets, and Indian jewelry madenin Hong Kong. They gather at ersatznWestern pubs and glitzy steak houses tondiscuss the latest chic social cause beingnpushed by Dan Rather and other Texansnwho have sold out to New York.nOutside the big cities the old-timenTexas virtues and verities may still holdnsway, but this no longer is a land wherenthe major state newspapers are run bynmen like George Dealey in Dallas,nAmon Garter in Fort Worth, and WillnHobby in Houston. Rather these corporatenentities now are directed by descendantsnwho are graduates of HarvardnBusiness School and who are moreninterested in punishing South Africanthan in moving Texas forward economically.nIt is a state under siege from thensouth by illegal immigrants, from thennorth by liberals bent on providingnsocial services for everyone who cannotnor will not work, and from within bynbureaucrats bent on advancing theirnsocial agenda. It is with sadness I saynthat while the state I knew has grown tonalmost 20 million, too few of them arenTexans.nOdie Faulk is an emeritus professor ofnhistory and resides in Waco.nJANUARY 1990/49n