We took a few hours at the State Fair of Texas a few days ago.
Today comes the sad news that Big Tex, the symbol of the Fair, burned to his metal bones.
It was more of an unposed photo, as Kathryn and James read about the landscaping and the use of large, unsculpted Oklahoma stone in the garden at his feet.
Big Tex looked fine — if we’d thought his 60 years showed at all, I’d have worked to get the focus just right, and get more of Tex in the photo.
Later that evening I thought the Dracula lighting might show a bit of his years. Maybe it was just the lighting, though. It had been a long day, and it was less than a week before the end of his 2012 run.
Tex had always been a popular stop, one place everyone knew. The family safety plan always included Big Tex. “Where do I go if we get separated.” “We’ll meet at Big Tex.” Heck, even after the advent of cell phones, Big Tex was a popular meet-up-after-the-fair-day location.
They say your arteries, veins and nerves get worn after a good life. Big Tex had some electronics in him, and electrical motors, to operate his jaw and to allow an announcer (in a booth on the ground) to play the Voice of Big Tex, offering a Texas “Howdy, Folks!” to people coming in to the Fair for the first, or 100th time. One of those pieces of wire seems to have crossed another one this morning, some time after 8:00 a.m., just as the Fair opened for it’s last Friday of 2012 (the Fair closes Sunday).
There was a spark. And then, he was gone.
- Fire destroys Big Tex statue at State Fair of Texas (thescoopblog.dallasnews.com)
- Big Tex Burned Down Today at the State Fair (blogs.dallasobserver.com)
- Blaze destroys 52ft Texas cowboy (bbc.co.uk)
- State fair’s Big Tex burns up in fire (amarillo.com)
- Big Tex destroyed in fire at State Fair of Texas; no injuries (kens5.com)