Who is Tex?
Tex was the "lantern-jawed boy from Lubbock" that sets up his display next to Homer's at the national science fair in Indianapolis. His display was about using plumbing equipment as rocket nozzles as well as an electro-magnetic launch display with some nice lights and stuff on it. He and Homer became, in Homer's words, instant friends and actually switched roommates in the hotel so they could stay together.
Tex also helps to introduce Homer to the big city and the ways of the big science fair, especially after Homer's display gets stolen he helps him figure out what to do next.
Tex is Texas McCormick, the narrator of the novel. Tex is a young man growing up in Tulsa Oklahoma who spends lots of his time with his best friend, Johnny, and eventually falls in love with Johnny's sister.
Tex looks up to his older brother Mason but is not close to his father. During the novel, Tex realizes that Pop is not his biological father. It is Mason that reveals this to Tex. At the end of the story the brothers are completely reconciled.