It's been a long time coming, but it finally happened today -- right there, second on today's consent agenda for the Texas DPS's Public Safety Commission: "Discussion and possible action to recognize Chuck and Aaron Norris as Honorary Texas Rangers."
The Texas Tribune's Brandi Grissom spread the word on Twitter, but it's still not clear why the Brothers Norris are getting the nod now, nearly a decade after Walker, Texas Ranger, hung up his ass-kicking boots and left Dallas to fend for itself.
We reached the commission's chairman, Allan Polunsky, in San Antonio for more details, and he says the honorary titles are "probably going to be a first for the commission if action is taken." (The meeting's not over yet; no word on whether or not the badges were polished up and passed out.) It's rare, Polunsky tells Unfair Park, for anyone outside DPS to be recognized -- but the agenda item came straight from the top, DPS Director Steve McCraw. (DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange says McCraw's out of town on business; we'll update when we learn more.)
Aaron Norris, of course, was a writer, director and producer on a number of Walker episodes, along with his accomplishments as a Hollywood stunt coordinator and writer-director of Chuck's 1995 canine-cop film Top Dog. He still lives in North Texas.
We reached Chuck's publicist Jeff Duclos this afternoon, who ran the news by Lone Wolf McQuade and reported back that while "he's been aware that this might happen," the 70-year-old legend didn't know today was the big day. "He's really happy about it," Duclos said. "He's so indelibly linked to that organization. In his mind, he'll always be a Texas Ranger." He also delivered himself at birth.
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Update at 5:44 p.m.: DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange just called to say the commission did indeed approve the Norris boys' honorary Rangerness. They will receive their certificates soon. But, what, no badges? "They'll get an honorary certificate like everyone else," she says.