Texas is full of heroes with nary an umbrella

Business took me to the university today. The weather felt more like late March than late January. Folks have told me that this might be it for winter. This might be Texas but people shouldn’t say the winter is done until it is done.

It has been awhile since I have seen a late winter though.

Not a lot of kids were stirring on the school quadrangle or whatever they call it. The place has a big head of a man who once was a president of the Republic of Texas. The big-headed man has a name. Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar. I wonder if voters gave him the crap that Obama got from his middle name — Fillmore? Lamar is described as a poet, politician, diplomat and soldier. Hmmm. I wrote poems. I even had some published. So can I be known as a poet? I guess you have to have a big head too. Which makes me wonder …

Did you ever know a man named Umbrella Jones? He had a big head and thus he carried around a big umbrella with which to fit his big head. He had a lot of things in his head. Like Richard Brautigan poems.

Mirabeau Big Head Lamar was accepted to Princeton but instead worked at two failing businesses including a newspaper. When president, Lamar drove the Cherokees from Texas which made him at odds with Sam Houston. The Cherokees liked Big Sam — he has a big statue on Interstate 45 outside of Huntsville, Texas. He has no umbrella. Big Sam had stayed with the Cherokees. They called Sam “the Big Drunk.” Perhaps they knew that one day he would have a big statue. Maybe even the Cherokees saw in their visions that one day a great general with five stars would build what was called the “Interstate System.”

The system would be known at one time for roadside trading posts called “Stuckey’s” with pee-can log rolls and places off the highway where traders and travelers might rest and do the pee pee. But damned if there wasn’t a lack of umbrella.

Lamar was known as the “Father of Education” in Texas. Which makes one wonder who is the Uncle of Education? Or perhaps the Mother’s Half-Brother’s Aunt of Education? Mirabeau later fought in the Mexican-American War and was appointed by President Buchanan, when Texas became a state, as Minister to Nicaragua. Much much later they named this college in Beaumont, Lamar University, after him.

Even though it is nice to have a university in town named after a poet and diplomat, it is much more satisfying to have graduated from a fine school named after the Father of Texas: “Umbrella “Peabody” Jones State College for the Foolish. Just kidding. I was a graduate of the university named after the “real” Father of Texas, Stephen F Austin. I don’t think his head is all that big and he has no statue on the freeway. However, Steve is honored with a life-sized statue of him in front of the library where he is surfing the big waves off Galveston during a hurricane. Good ol’ Surfing Steve. By golly. And wouldn’t you know he forgot his umbrella.


If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.