Janet and I ventured out to the State Fair of Texas today, continuing a tradition we have kept for many years. We always stop in the automobile displays so I can sit in cars I’ll never be allowed to own, then go to the crafts building so she can look at needlepoint I’ll never want to own. We each ate a corny dog (if you have to ask what that is, you’re clearly not from Texas), then I consumed corn on the cob dusted with Cayenne pepper. I learned that Cayenne pepper produces a cumulative effect–by the end of the experience, my lips were on fire and my taste buds were numb.
One experience we chose to forego was the opportunity pictured next to this blog. In case you can’t read everything on the sign, I’ll narrate: It advertizes “the ultimate fried cheeseburger.” This culinary extravaganza features fried pickles, onion rings, fried cheese, fried green tomatoes, and a 1/3 pound Black Angus beef patty. I’m sure there’s a cardiologist handing out business cards beside the restaurant.
This is not the only questionable cuisine at the Fair. Visitors can partake of fried alligator, fried butter, and fried bubblegum. Kevin Costner’s classic “Field of Dreams” made popular the phrase, “If you build it, he will come.” Apparently in Texas, if you fry it we will come.
Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas,” must be very proud. The Fair’s “History of Texas” exhibit displays the first printed item related to Austin’s Texas colony–a notice which specified that settlers must be “moral, sober, and industrious.” I’m not sure how many candidates he would have found at the Fair today.
We cannot choose what those who come after us choose to do (or eat). But we can choose the legacy we leave for them to follow. One of my favorite Steve Green songs prays, “Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful. May the fire of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe, and the lives we live inspire them to obey. Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful.”