What’s With the “One Riot – One Ranger” Theme?

By Charles Besondy

I have to admit that I’m surprised that so few people know about this legend. I didn’t expect folks outside of Texas to know about it, but I’m finding that very few Texans have heard of this Texas Ranger legend. This is REALLY odd considering Texans’ infatuation with the state’s rich history. Anyway, it’s a fascinating legend. It’s very Texas Rangers, and oh so Texan.

I selected it as the impetus for my firm’s name because it embodies so much of the characteristics that interim managers must have. And so, I’ve included here an historical excerpt that provides the background for “one riot, one ranger.”

Upon the re-admittance of Texas into the Union in 1876 and the return to a freely elected government, the Rangers played an integral part in restoring law and order to Texas. It was during this period that legend records a Texas Ranger stepping down from a train in a riot-torn town and being met by the locals who said, “They only sent one Ranger?” His reply, “You only got one riot, don’t you?” assured the Rangers’ place in Texas lore. “One riot, one Ranger” personifies the image of the Texas Rangers held by Texans.


(Epilogue: in 2006 I named my consulting practice “OneRanger”. I explain the reason above. While the name was appropriate I spent too much energy explaining it to people so after a few years I changed my firm’s name to Besondy Consulting & Interim Management).

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