SHERMAN and GAINESVILLE, TX-While the beloved State Fair icon "Big Tex" burned to the ground just days ago, Texoma has its own versions of Big Tex who are still standing.
Turns out there are two similar cowboy statues in Grayson and Cooke counties, one was originally called "Big Tex." Now, the owner is volunteering to help rebuild the real Big Tex in time for next years State Fair of Texas.
"I hated to see the original Big Tex burn to the ground. He burned down in about 6 to 7 minutes."
Glenn Goode was shocked, as were thousands of state fairgoers, to see Big Tex burn to the ground. But Goode's son, Jay, said they might be able to help rebuild the Texas icon.
"I was pretty shocked and naturally I thought there was more time left in the State Fair and I was gonna try to rent them one of ours," Jay Goode laughed.
Giant cowboys are a family affair.
Glenn has his own "fiberglass man" standing in front of his Gainesville business, greeting drivers on FM 371 and it attracts visitors from around the world.
"If Gainesville and Cooke county would've gone behind me, I'd have a whole lot of tourist attractions to come out here. I had people from France, Germany, from all over the world come by," he said.
About 34 miles east, its twin stands in front of Jay's sandblasting business in Sherman. Jay said his father built the cowboy in Gainesville in the 1970s and built his Sherman counterpart about ten years later.
"My dad used to work with fiberglass and he found a man like this laying in a field and he was missing parts like the head, the hat and the hands. My dad bought him, fixed him up and then later on made this one," Jay said.
The big guy in Sherman used to be called Big Tex, until Goode ran into some trouble with the State Fair of Texas.
"We got a letter through the mail about it, telling us to take the man down and to take the name off of it because it's a trademark of the State Fair of Texas," Glenn said. "We didn't know what to do so we finally went up there and talked to them and they agreed that if we just take the name off, we can leave the man and leave him standing and just call him something else."
But despite all that, Goode said he's willing to help them out after the 60-year-old icon went up in flames.
"If the State Fair of Texas thought that they can use the head I've got in here, I'd give it to them free! If they'd put him up and say that Goode the fiberglass man built him," he said.
Both cowboys stand at 24 feet, about half the height of the original Big Tex.
Goode actually created a third cowboy that now stands in Amarillo.