Texas is crazy for symbols.
We have a state bird, a state tree and -- apparently after a political compromise -- no fewer than four official state musicals or plays.
But do we really need another symbol?
The dust started flying after a state agency proposed naming an official Texas State Soil.
I mean, it's not as if the Lege doesn't get into dirty business already.
Now, the Temple-based Soil and Water Conservation Board wants the Lege to stop other work and recognize the dark dirt across Central Texas and much of the coastal prairie -- officially, the Houston Black Clay -- as our superlative soil.
"People come from all over the world to study the Houston clay," said Frank Hons, a Texas A&M professor of soil science.
"From Dallas down to San Antonio, the reason cities grew is because settlers started farming those soils."
Frankie Miller, 79, now of Arlington, cut a country music hit in 1959 singing about a Blackland Farmer.
He was thinking about his uncle's farm near Port Lavaca.
"They say it's the deepest furrow of black dirt in the world," he said.
He headlined the old Big D Jamboree show singing, "I guess I'm the luckiest man ever born/'Cause the Lord gave me health and a blackland farm."
"That dirt's like gumbo," Miller said.
"You'll get stuck. But it sure is good for planting."
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