A Tale of Two States

High times in the Bay Colony, hard times in the Oil Patch

In many ways, they are the yin and yang of the American experience, poles of the national character. One is "back East," a little overbred and intellectual for a Texan's taste. The other is "out West," big and rough and physical. Massachusetts evokes Calvinism and Brahmins and John Kennedy. Texas is the fenceless dreamland of American individualism, where the native exuberance went to herd cows and sling guns and strike oil. It means Giant, Lyndon Johnson and everything bigger and louder than it ought to be.

The destinies of the two states sometimes worked in counterpoint, almost seemed to leapfrog each...

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