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What Every Texan Should Know About . . .

How to be a bass-fishing, boot-wearing, twang-talking, bona fide Texan, courtesy of your guide, Andrea Valdez.


Photograph by Matt Rainwaters

For four years I wrote a column for Texas Monthly called the Manual, an instructional page meant to teach both native and transplanted Texans how to be better stewards of our singular culture. Maybe you knew how to fish, but could you tie a Texas rig? Maybe you could hunt, but could you bag a javelina? I two-stepped across a lot of territory in those 48 pieces, but I always felt there was more to add. People need to know how to talk like a Texan! Cook like a Texan! Travel like a Texan!

I touch on all this and more in my new book, How to Be a Texan: The Manual, and here you’ll find a small sampling of the topics I cover. Now, órale, y’all, we’re fixin’ ta learn a thing or two about sounding, looking, and, most important, feeling like a Texan.

Disclaimer: This is not intended to be your sole resource, for there is no substitute for learning skills in the flesh from an experienced Texan.   

How to Be a Texan: The Manual excerpt courtesy of University of Texas Press.

  1. No. 1 Talking Like a TexanEssential vocabulary (and a little Spanglish, por supuesto).
  2. No. 2 Looking Like a TexanHow to buy custom boots.
  3. No. 3 Tending the RanchHow to wrangle a rattlesnake.
  4. No. 4 Rites of PassageHow to shoot a .22.
  5. No. 5 Hunting and FishingHow to tie a Texas rig.
  6. No. 6 Cooking Like a TexanHow to make a margarita.
  7. No. 7 Relaxing Like a TexanHow to float the river.
  8. No. 8 Touring Like a TexanHow to visit Cadillac Ranch.

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