To all the teachers and students in the world, congratulations, we have survived the first week. To all the school secretaries and administrators, you have at least another week of mayhem to survive. I don’t know why that first week is so hectic. All I know is the kids are just not ready to settle down in class and the hours seem to fly by while nothing gets done!
Donations were accepted for the Parsons. I’m told there will be a benefit to help them get a new place to live. They will also have to replace furniture, clothing and anything else that was in their home when it burnt. I have to say I was dismayed by the talk going around about the fire, but the San Saba Star reported the same news that I heard, so that sealed the deal.
I’m sure all of you have come home late at night and been surprised to see young people roaming around in the wee hours of the morning. While it is true that our kids have no place to go and nothing to do, we cannot have them roaming late at night. All kinds of proverbs spring to mind, "the devil finds work for idle hands", "and many foolish things are done in the cover of darkness." My Dad used to say, "There’s no sense in you being out after midnight, most everything’s closed, the only things you can find to do will get you in trouble." I used to think that was totally dumb, but as I’ve aged so has my Dad’s wisdom improved. I’ve said all that to come to this rather serious note. Lately our roamers have stacked all the picnic tables in the park on top of each other; they’ve thrown rocks through windows of houses. Now I read in the paper that some of them broke into the hardware store and the piece de resistance is the burning of the Parson’s home. Praise God the Parson’s were not at home. Why in the world would I say that? Had the Parsons been home, their health problems might have been exacerbated by the smoke fumes. We could easily be looking at manslaughter charges instead of arson charges. Firefighters, men and women from local communities could have been seriously injured had the propane tanks exploded, or if the oxygen tanks had been in the house and exploded. Parents, it’s time to do two things, first make sure they are in the house and under adult supervision. Second let’s get together and build something that would give them something to do. I’m sure the kids would pitch in and work if they knew it would give them somewhere to go or something to do. The city council has an ordinance on the books that sets a curfew. San Saba County has a curfew. The recent rash of incidents has now made it important that the curfew be enforced. I’m not looking forward to the Fire Marshall’s investigations. It means some children may be facing juvenile detention time, and some parents will be facing property damage claims. We don’t need to be told that by law agencies. We can fix some of these issues ourselves. Parents, please talk to your kids and see if they are being talked into doing things that seem like fun, but could end up as a boat load of misery for everyone in the family. Our kids need to be home safe. If they are going to someone else’s house, make sure there are parents around who don’t let the kids roam. We’ve all been kids before. Someone says, "Hey why don’t we play a prank on…?" It doesn’t take long for the game to get going. It doesn’t take long for the game to get tame, and someone to suggest something that is a little more risky. I hate to see young lives messed up by something that we as adults can fix. My prayers will be with those parents who may be getting a knock on the door in the next few weeks.
The school board is posting a bond election notice for our community. They have stated that the money requested will be for a new elementary building and a new track. No plans are being made, as far as I know, for any other improvements. The land to extend the track was purchased several years ago, but there never was any money to fix the track. Our athletes have done well in spite of our old track, but it is not usable for a competition track because of its length. Mr. Fowler has people searching out grant money for the track issue. Since we have no community health area, we could qualify for funding to use the track for walkers and other crazy, sorry, healthy people. This would give us a safe area to walk. The park is good for short distances, but the track would work better for those folks doing some serious training. I’m sure there will be meetings to discuss all the issues involved. I’ve already been told by some citizens, "If this has anything to do with football, I’m not voting for it." The persons in question aren’t against the program, they just feel that enough money has been expended on football and other sports need some attention. The elementary buildings are another major issue. I occupy one of those rooms and I can tell you that my poor temperature units work all day long to keep us cool or hot. The energy we waste has to be incredible. Our electrical wiring is not up to par, so we are constantly blowing circuits. My computer has been down so many times this week I’ve about given up on the thing. Our buildings just aren’t healthy anymore. That doesn’t mean we need some giant new structure, but we are pouring good money after bad with our present buildings. The results will be up to our voters. I have to recuse myself a little from the issue because my taxes are frozen, so not matter what, they will stay the same. As an occupier of the building, I can tell you that they are not insulated, they are bug ridden, and after 50 years of sick children; they aren’t that healthy. I’m looking forward to hearing from the public on this issue. Mind you, the board and the administration are going to have to say exactly what they mean and then stick to it. No behind the barn deals will be tolerated. Our voting citizens still have a bad taste in their craw from the last building issue. So step up folks and make your wishes known. Our town is here to stay and our school doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in spite of the economic crunch.
We were pleased and proud to see Valerie Gossett honored as a 4-H volunteer of the year. She and Paula Miller are constantly working with our local kids to keep them busy and constructive. Both those ladies embody the spirit of 4-H in America.
Look for upcoming notices in the paper regarding the benefit for the Parsons at the fire department, and for the Stars and Stripes fund raiser for next year’s fireworks display. Football is here and so are the 5th Quarters at the First Baptist Church. Ladies Quilting and Bible Study starts this Wednesday. Things are "fixin to get busy" around this town! The folks at the Shiloh came over Sunday to use the baptistery. We all get excited about people young and old giving their heart to Jesus.
Please pray for our sick, our bereaved and our President and government officials. Elections are just around the corner. Please take the time to study voting records, and turn out and make your vote count. Please pray for our precious troops and their families. God bless America.