Up here in the panhandle of Texas, people love tall things… makes ‘em easy to spot on the plains. That’s why everybody loves Tex Randall.
Everybody knows about Big Tex – beloved icon of the State Fair of Texas.
But do you know about Tex Randall? Built in Canyon (just south of Amarillo) in 1959 by industrial arts teacher Harry Wheeler, this “Tex” is 47 feet tall, made of rebar, wire mesh and concrete, and weighs 7 tons. He is anchored against the mighty panhandle winds by steel struts and anchor cables.
Tex Randall as he is known, once promoted a western curio shop, leaning on one giant boot and smoking a cigarette. He was almost lost to history through wind, rain and a head-on with a semi, but was restored in the late 80’s, and the cigarette was replaced by a spur. The spur seems lately to be replaced by rust.
The makeover didn’t last long. Like Cher, Tex Randall obviously needs constant
work to keep up appearances. This photo from the blog StefStyle shows Tex during his heyday in the 70s. Guess we ALL wish we could look like we did in the 70s, eh?
The good folks of Canyon are once again trying to save Tex. He’s part of their Mainstreet campaign which is doing great things in town (in spite of having to cut down their towering trees on the courthouse square to comply with design requirements – but that’s info for another blog). You can read more about Canyon, its Mainstreet campaign and Tex Randall at www.canyonmainstreet.com
In 2008, faced with destruction, a local diner bought the big
boy, but couldn’t afford the moving costs.
I just happened upon him today. He’s looking bad, folks.