Dear Not-From-East-Texas-Folks,

Growing up here in Deep East Texas, I'm pretty sure I've heard just about every complaint from people about our space behind the pine curtain. Shoot, I've actually caught myself considering some of those complaints somewhat valid. But, in the end, this is home and I wouldn't want it any other way.

So, this list is for you. These are the honest answers to your complaints. And, if you don't consider them "answers", at least you know where we stand on the issues. Please review below:

  1. Yes, we know the trees around here are quite plentiful. That's one of the things that we like about our little piece of the world. No, we don't want to get rid of them. They may not allow us to see distances as great as people in other parts of the country see, but we like our view just fine.
  2. We are no more fans of road construction than you are. Believe it or not, the construction is a bigger nuisance to us than you, simply because we'll be here throughout the entire project. You're just passing through. Also, we know what we started with, and look forward to a better, complete project once they're finished with it.
  3. No, we're actually not "too far away" from Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, "Insert Big Name City Here". If we were any closer, we might have too many people. Plus, we don't mind the drive. It gives us a chance to enjoy nature.
  4. No, we don't listen exclusively to country music...yes, that is probably the music you will hear the most of, but we listen to a bit of everything.
  5. Yes, there are actually things to do around here. Dance halls, college ball games, wide-open areas...oh, and five words: TOLEDO BEND AND SAM RAYBURN. Those are our two area lakes, by the way. They're rather large, and they're only a few minutes apart, so you get your choice.
  6. Yes, we do take offense when you say that we're from Louisiana. Not because we have any prejudice towards our neighbors to the east, but because we're quite proud that we are EAST TEXANS. We are from EAST TEXAS. NOT West Louisiana.
  7. Yes, we are proud Texans. No, we will not change that. We will still fly a huge Lone Star Flag at our homes and places of business, and we will still teach our kids to say the pledge to the Texas flag, immediately following the American flag.
  8. No, there are not "too many churches" in the area. We call it a wide variety.
  9. (On the same note as #9) No, there are not too many Mexican food restaurants. Each one has its own strengths. For example, restaurant A may have the best salsa, while B has the best quesadillas, C has the best tacos, D has the best desserts, and E is most-accessible with the best parking lot. And, we're going to visit each one in due-time.
  10. (BASICALLY A REPEAT OF 7, BUT IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO GET TWO PLACES ON THE LIST) Yes, we are quite proud of East Texas, and we will refuse to change that. If you don't like something about it...hey, you can leave. We're going to stay right here. And, if we do have to leave for some reason, you better believe that we're going to be getting back here as fast as we can.