Confessions of 1950s Guy Raised in a Small Town in South Texas

I acquired a huge number of prejudices as a boy growing up in a small town in South Texas, too many, in fact, to list here.  But to cite a few might be helpful to the rare souls who may have a passing interest in someone like me.

In the first instance, I learned early on that heroes (the good guys) don’t come from New York or Chicago; they always are Cowboys, mostly from Texas and possibly a few other beautiful places.

Secondly, the bad guys have a mean look about them, which gives them away, making them easily readable. .  They look and talk like the “city slickers” they are, and their main business is to con as many good people as they can.  Beware of the bad guys at all costs, I still believe that with all my heart.

Also, and this is very important to a native South Texan, the bad guys have no spirituality whatsoever.  They seldom if ever go to church and they usually take up with “loose” women.

Thus, it should surprise no one when I bluntly state that I despise city life.  I can tolerate the suburbs, but prefer living and shopping in an uncomplicated community, meaning one where there are only three races—Anglo, Black and Latino with one religion, Christianity.

I grew up with a lot of beautiful senoritas, who continuously distracted me from taking my studies as seriously as I should have.   But I never dated one, for that was a No-No I never fully understood. The worst thing that could have happened was for me to have dated and wed a beautiful senorita with whom we had fantastic brown children.   Still, I never gave that possibility serious consideration.   And besides, there were Anglo misses who seemed to like me well enough, one of whom I convinced to marry me when I reached age 60. (Did I mention my persistence indoctrination?)

Of course, as a youth.  I had no friends at or near my age who were Black.   The youth "of color" attended a different school and I seldom saw them except when they ventured into the Rialto balcony for a Saturday matinee, and when I visited one of their school’s sporting events, which were always immensely entertaining.

Looking back, I now realize that, religion wise, in my youth, I was more anti-Baptist and anti-Catholic than anything else.  I had friends in those sects, but I got along better with the Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists. my affiliation.

Frankly, I must confess that the values I learned as a youth have been the keys to my success, which explains, in part, why I now live in a city, am widowed, and spend a good deal of my time writing nonsense like this.


The author of this piece, Andrew l. "Andy" Pate, Jr. was born in Humble, Texas, but grew up mostly in Refugio, a small town in South Texas, some 40 miles north of Corpus Christi.







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