SHERMAN, Texas — I’ve discovered a new region.
Local media in the Sherman-Denison area of North Texas use an interesting and charming term to describe this part of the Lone Star State.
They call it Texoma.
Longtime Texans no doubt will scoff at me for posting this brief post. Too bad. Let ’em scoff all they want. I find the term vaguely enchanting.
My wife and I watch some local TV while we are holed up in our RV — when we’re not visiting with our granddaughter and her family down U.S. 75 just a bit south of us. I’ve been struck by the media’s use of Texoma to describe the region that is partly Texas and partly Oklahoma, given that Sherman is barely beyond spittin’ distance south of the Red River that serves as the common border between the states.
I don’t know when Texoma became the term of art to describe this region. It does kind of roll off the tongue.
This mini-discovery in a way reminds me of a community struggle that occurred in the mid- to late 1980s in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Texas. It involved a regional name-change effort that was concocted by a committee of civic and business leaders who I guess grew tired of the region being known as the Golden Triangle.
They decided to launch a TV ad campaign featuring some actor dressed up as the late Army Gen. George S. Patton Jr. He would scold viewers about how the term “Triplex” was more suitable than “Golden Triangle.” The ad appeared throughout the cities of Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange, which are the largest communities within the Golden Triangle.
We at the Beaumont Enterprise newspaper were instructed to use the term “Triplex” whenever we referred to the region in our news and editorial coverage.
The effort failed miserably. The residents of Jefferson, Orange and Hardin counties spoke out loudly and passionately against any such name-change effort. They hated the term “Triplex.” Some folks resorted to calling the outline of the three counties as the “Tri-Pot,” given the shape of the counties kinda/sorta looked like a commode.
Well … the campaign eventually fizzled out. It died a fairly quick death.
I trust the folks of Texoma didn’t endure a similar wrenching of its collective gut when someone decided to name this region. If they did, then they got over it.
Good for them. I like the sound of Texoma.