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Remembering Big Tex: His History Is Ours

Briscoe Center For American History

Today on Anything You Ever Wanted To Know, listeners called in to pay respects to Big Tex while the burned remains of the State Fair patriarch were being carted away in pieces.

'Pay No Attention To The People In The Saffron Robes'

We heard from NPR's roving reporter John Burnett first, who was born in Dallas. He called from Nairobi, Kenya, after hearing the news of Tex's end. As a particularly tall kid -- Burnett is now 6'7" -- his go-to Halloween costume was Big Tex. He shares this and other tender stories, like when Big Tex saved his life. (One anecdote via his wife: Big Tex apparently directly addressed a Hare Krishna situation at the State Fair in the 1970s.)

Massive Third Wheel Preserved Forever In Engagement Photos

When Brianna from Dallas' fiance suggested they take their engagement photos with Big Tex, she felt a little weird about it at first. Now, the photo with the icon is a family heirloom.

brianna on big tex.mp3
Briana from Dallas on how Big Tex became part of her family ... sort of.

Falling To Pieces: Big Tex's Loneliest Moments

Grace from Dallas remembers her mother reading to her from the Dallas Morning News about Big Tex being built. As a tiny child, her anticipation mounted as she waited to visit the giant. What she saw, though, in the deserted automobile building, was something that would go on to haunt her.

grace on big tex.mp3
Grace from Dallas remembers seeing Big Tex in a less-than-glamorous light.

Related: The Stories: Why 'Big Tex' Matters on