In my many conversations with random Texans across Texas, I’ve come to realize we are a state of natural philosophers.
Many people have maxims or aphorisms at the ready for every situation. And most have a story to go along with those nuggets of wisdom to properly illustrate them.
Tom Hoskins, a man I never met, but who was a dear friend of a dear friend, made it his late-in-life mission to record all of the adages he came across in a collection he called Hoskilonians: A Thousand Points of Light. He died in 2016, but a year before, gave us the gift of uploading his collection to a website for posterity: hoskilonians.com.
Tom was raised on a cotton farm in the Panhandle, between Lamesa and Lubbock. He said this of his concordance of popular wisdom: “Some of these sayings were frivolous. Some were dead serious. But they all caught my attention and imagination, and I felt they were worthy to be recorded. I do not claim authorship to any except for a few. I either heard them spoken on that dry-land cotton farm or picked them up in my many years in the rag (clothing) business.”
Quite naturally, many of Tom’s maxims deal with farm life:
Your best bull is usually the one that dies.
“Theoretically” means “not really.”
The Lord put white weeds in a cotton patch to remind us who’s in charge.
If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.
A man’s castle is his truck.
There’s nothing friendlier than a wet bird dog.
There are these on marriage:
Everyone appreciates the funny guy at the party except his wife.
The spouse who snores will fall asleep first.
Daddy eventually comes around to Mama’s way of thinking.