Lifestyle

Where Does the “Heart of Texas” Truly Lie?

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You know how the song goes, “The stars at night, are big and bright (clap, clap, clap, clap) DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS!” The song goes on to declare the “sage in bloom” to be “like perfume” and the “prairie sky” that is described as “wide and high”…DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS. All of this begs the question: Where is this “Heart of Texas”?

Geographic Center of Texas

Geographic Center of Texas

Photo: Flickr/Nicolas Henderson

The funny thing is, the location of the geographic center of Texas largely depends on who you ask. For instance, the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors(measuring by satellite the exact distance between the state’s four borders) places the “geodetic” center of Texas 18.5 miles west-southwest of Eden. On the other hand, the Texas Almanac says that the state’s “geographic” center lies about 15 miles northeast of Brady (on private property) in northern McCulloch County. As a result, Brady bills itself as the official “Heart of Texas.” Folks there even put up a “heart” monument on the courthouse grounds. Adding to the confusion, the town of Rochelle boasts the Heart of Texas Park but a historical marker declaring the geographic center of the state is located in another spot entirely, between Brady and Brownwood.

So, while no one seems entirely certain where the real, geographic “heart of Texas” lies, it’s very obvious to residents and outsiders alike that the heart of Texas is alive and well in its residents and communities and in the true melding of cultures that create one, unique and purely “Texan” culture. In fact, some might argue that the real, “heart of Texas” isn’t a place at all, so much as it is a feeling that lies in its people.

An Ego as Big as Texas

texan culture

Photo: Flickr/Andy

There’s no doubt about it, Texans are known for being among the most state-proud and patriotic in the United States. Our famously hefty egos allow us to get away with such state slogans as, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas” and “Texas: It’s Like A Whole Other Country.” Visitors and residents alike enjoy Texas-shaped waffles at many hotels and cafes (You think North Carolina has state-shaped waffles? Probably not.) and t-shirts emblazoned with the images of Texas fly off of the shelves at boutiques all across the state. Texas even boasts an NFL team whose name and mascot is just, simply, a “Texan,” because what could be more of a force than that? Certainly not a jungle cat or a bird of prey as an NFL mascot.

Texans Turn Out In Droves to Help

Bastrop Fire

Photo: Flickr/Austin Community College

Paramount among the traits that make Texans special is our willingness to jump into action when our fellow Texans need help. Texans have long been known to be fiercely loyal to one another (Remember the Alamo, anyone?). But even recently, after such horrific disasters as the Bastrop wildfires in 2011, Hurricane Ike in 2008, and the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion in 2013, Texans showed up for one another in droves, looking for ways to help.

At the end of the day, Texans look out for each other. We might live in the second largest state in the United States, but we treat each other like a close-knit community. We’re proud of where we’re from and we’re proud of what it means to be a Texan. There is a brotherhood among its residents that neither creed nor geography can divide and that is, perhaps, the real “Heart of Texas.”