The superhighway of celebrity and showmanship is filled with debris.
Ever since Willie Nelson brought rednecks into an alliance with hippies back in the psychedelic '70s, Austin has milked its quirky libertarian spirit for a worldwide bonanza of free publicity.
Theodore Roosevelt had been enthralled with the idea of Texas since 1883, when he arrived in the Dakota Territory to ranch cattle.
John Kerry wants to be the hero in his own drama. He likes King Arthur and the Round Table. He likes the young swashbuckling Churchill, and he loved the early antics of Theodore Roosevelt.
What I was most curious about was why Armstrong, a top U.S. Navy test pilot, flying the most advanced aircraft in the world, would want to join the astronaut corps in 1962, which included chimpanzees and monkeys.
In 2012, the city of Austin erected an eight-foot-tall bronze statue of Willie Nelson in the heart of the business district. Schoolchildren, churchgoers, tourists, slackers, conventioneers, tech geeks - everybody, it seems - now congregate around this ponytailed shrine to outlaw country.