Gringo...We've all heard the word said in a negative manner. We all assume that the connotation is bad. But, I'm here to try and change that. Gringo's have been a part of Texas since the time of Santa Anna. Being called a Gringo used to rile me up a bit, but now, I see the word just a bit different and it's time to pay homeage to this time-honored term. Let's grab hold of the word and make it something that isn't "politically "incorrect".
When I hear the word Gringo, my mind conjures up a good ole Texas boy wearing a worn out hat and pants with a scraggly beard and worn out boots. He lives the simple life in a small house on the outskirts of town and he drives his 25 year old pickup like he just took delivery of it yesterday. He's rugged looking and has a well-worn persona, but he isn't necessarily mean or mean-spirited.
He lives on beans, tortillas, grilled meats and the Texas Tornados body of musical genius. He'd rather shop at Kmart than Dillards. He wouldn't be caught dead with a wine glass in his hand or ever repeating the words "dining" and "brunch". Life inside the city limits might as well be a prison sentence.
He is everything Texas and Mexican, thrown into a blender and mixed up real good. There's a little Willie, Pancho Villa, Doug Sahm, Flaco Jiminez, Augie Meyers and Freddy Fender inside the mix. What you have when the mixing is done is a man that is proud to be a Texan and just as proud to realize that the Mexican heritage and way of life is where Texas came from. Think about it. When you go out to eat, do you go to a Mexican food restaurant, probably. Does lively conjunto music get your feet to tapping? Is Freddy Fender a favorite of yours? I thought so.Do you like to grill meats and play guitar? Guess what, all of that is a big part of the Mexican heritage that has made its way into the Texas heritage.
The Gringo is all things Texan and a lot of things Mexican. So the next time you hear the word "Gringo", smile, don't get offended. Reach in and embrace your "inner Gringo" because it's dying to get out and show the world that being a "Gringo" ain't necessarily a bad thing.