The Year Big Tex Lost His Hat — 1957

by Paula Bosse

big-tex_100357_utaHat still on… (click for larger image) Special Collections, UT-Arlington

by Paula Bosse

The above photo shows Big Tex in1957 during his annual “look, he’s up” photo-op held for the local media before the State Fair of Texas begins — just like every other year (although, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him standing — almost Godzilla-like — next to a car).

The State Fair coverage continued with the standard “man, those clothes are really big” blurb that always appears in the paper.

big-tex_dmn_100657Dallas Morning News, Oct. 6, 1957

And the obligatory photo of Giant Tex presiding over his realm was published — like this nice night-time shot (where we see the somewhat unsettling profile of the original Big Tex).

big-tex_dmn_100657-photoDMN, Oct. 6, 1957

So, everything was pretty standard.

Except that this was a particularly rainy State Fair, and the rain had caused the papier-mache covering of Tex’s hat to start peeling — apparently pretty badly. I’m sure there were frenzied meetings called to decide what course of action should be taken, and it was decided that Big Tex’s hat would be removed for repairs — during the fair! The powers-that-be decided that Big Tex’s “bald spot” would be covered by a “giant-sized handkerchief.” That must have been a pretty strange sight.

big-tex_dmn_101757-photoDMN, Oct. 17, 1957

If any SFOT groupies out there have a better photo of a kerchief-covered Big Tex, I need to see it!


Top photo (dated Oct. 3, 1957) from UT-Arlington Library, Special Collections; found on Flickr, here. UTA’s fantastic Flickr photo stream is here.

Dallas Morning News photos and clipping as noted.

Other Flashback Dallas posts featuring Big Tex can be found here.


Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.