The Kosse Blog has returned. A lot has been going on in Kosse and the world while I was gone. The annual Kosse 4th of July fireworks show is next Tuesday and the Kosse Cafe is always proud to be a sponsor of this very entertaining patriotic event.
Speaking of patriotism, there is a story in the Kosse Courier which states, according to a study of patriotism by the National Opinion Research Center, that nearly 90 percent of Americans would rather be citizens of the United States than of any other country. That rating is the highest of the 23 nations studied. I have had contact with a large number of Latin Americans in the past year and am amazed at the desire by so many to immigrate to the United States. (And I am not referring to agricultural workers from Mexico.) The people I was primarily in contact with were highly-educated, middle to upper class professionals who were living a good lifestyle in their native country. These were honest, hardworking, ambitious people who would be an asset to any nation. American citizenship is something most of us never think about because it was bestowed upon us simply by being born here. We all need to occasionally realize the importance placed upon it by the rest of the world.
Kosse has two new businesses, the Perfect Pear Consignment Boutique and Bushwhackers Hair Salon. I cannot recall a previous consignment shop in Kosse (at least in the past fifteen years) but it sounds like a workable business model. We were also in need of a hair salon so I hope it is successful. I can now save a thirty-two mile round trip to get my increasingly gray hair partially removed. I really don't know the full extent of my gray follicles. I usually crack open a bottle of Just for Men hair coloring before it reaches the point where I look like an overweight walking snowman.
Hopefully everyone had a good Father's Day. Ryan got me a nice office chair for my home computer area. It is the perfect gift because I will actually use it everyday, and it's certainly going to be more comfortable than the wood chair I now sit on. That wood gets pretty hard after awhile, especially attempting to support my girth.
I must bid adieu to the Kosse Blog until a week from Wednesday.
We have had a significant amount of rainfall. Last night it poured for quite a while. The internet satellite at my office went out, which is a common occurrence when it storms. I hope the horse show was able to get its events in between the rains. There is supposed to be a chance of precipitation all week.
I received my various electric bills this week. The ones from Entergy were especially high. In fact, the one at the Kosse Cafe set an all-time high. And this is only June. I hate to think of what it will be in August and September. A lot of commodities have dramatically increased over the past few months. Not only energy-related products, but also food items. The majority of my vendors now charge a fuel surcharge. It will be interesting to see if they remove it if and when the price of gasoline drops. I saw on the news that the price of E-85 (the 85% ethanol blend made primarily from corn) sells for 30-cents per gallon less than straight gasoline while getting slightly less miles per gallon. These were quotes from a Waco station which now sells E-85. I also saw that Brazil has become independent of foreign oil usage by Switching over to sugar-based ethanol use. It took them thirty years to get to this point. If only we had begun a program in 1973 when OPEC first embargoed oil imports to the United States over the issue of the 1973 Israeli-Arab war. Believe it or not, the USA was an exporter of oil until 1970, so the embargo of 1973 had only limited effect compared to what a disruption of imports would cause today. I would assume a growing use of ethanol would give an almost unlimited market source for farmers able to grow corn. I'm not in the oil business so am certainly no expert, but it would seem as if the increased use of ethanol could be a win-win situation.
The forecasters were correct and we finally received some much-needed rain. It is supposed to be continuing throughout the weekend. As my mother says, makes for good sleeping weather.
Sam and Jodye Lindsey's Meadowcreek Park is hosting a large equine competition event this weekend. The horse shows are always a boon to Kosse as hundreds of horse lovers converge on our friendly community. The Lindseys' are one of many who through life's circumstances ended up moving from the Houston area to Kosse. They are also one of many who have used their talents and innovation to improve the quality of life in Kosse. I drive past Meadowcreek Park on a daily basis and it is an impressive place. The Lindseys have put in a tremendous amount of effort in creating this world-class equestrian facility, and it is a true asset to Kosse. There are a lot of people here who contribute in their own way and many times it go unnoticed. The Kosse Blog will try to periodically mention some of our unsung heroes. There are a lot of them.
Wednesday is the first day of summer. I personally am not a heat-lover and prefer the cool, crisp days of November over the scorchers of August. I remember when I was 19 or 20 and in the hay-hauling business with my brother John. I think we were making 30-cents per bale because we were also providing the truck and trailer (versus the 5-cents per bale the loaders made if the truck and trailer were provided for them). They were saying on the radio it was 108-degrees that August day. The barn where we were delivering the hay had a loft where we were to place the bales. The window to the loft was about two inches wider than the hay bale itself. This resulted in a number of the bales coming back into our face upon our lift and thrust procedure. Believe me, there are many things tastier than a mouthful of freshly-mowed and baled coastal bermuda on a sizzling summer afternoon.
It won't be long until the annual Kosse 4th of July fireworks show is here. You can see the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air all over town. As a youngster in Lake Jackson I always looked forward to the 4th of July festivities because unlimited free watermelon was provided. One year an attendee was George H.W. Bush. At the time he was running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Ralph Yarborough. He ended up losing the Senate race but I doubt many people can say they got to personally observe a future president devouring a juicy slice of Texas watermelon on the 4th of July in 1964.
In last night's post there was a link to a Civil War history site. It is a site which gives a day by day accounting of the Confederate Army 4th Infantry Regiment. This was the group in which the Kosse area soldiers were placed. It is amazing what many of our direct ancestors went through during this war. The battles included those which even people with no interest in history would recognize. The Kosse-area soldiers fought at Gettysburg, Chickamauga, the 2nd Battle of Bull Run, and the bloodiest battle in American history, Antietam. At Antietam over 30,000 soldiers were killed in one day. This is 1/2 the American death rate of the entire Vietnam War and over twelve times the number of deaths in Iraq to this point. There were many grieving parents after that terrible day of September 17, 1862.
I don't know if this is breeding season for skunks, but there have sure been a lot of them on the road lately, both dead and alive. On the way from Bremond to Kosse the other night I had the misfortune of converting one from alive to deceased. Needless to say, my car had an odiferous reminder of the skunk's demise for a few hours thereafter. It always amazed me how a skunk could leave a lasting odor on a car that flattens it at 70 miles per hour. You would think the reaction time for the skunk to lift its tail and spray would be slower than the moving vehicle, but as I was pungently reminded the other night this is not the case.
It continues to be hot and dry with summer officially still a week away. According to the Weather Channel our best chance of rain is Saturday, although it is only a 40% chance. I have not had my yard mowed in three weeks because the grass has stopped growing. The neighbors who did get their yard mowed now have a scalped brown lawn. It reminds me of how I would look as a youngster after going to the barber shop with my father. It was a monthly ritual that my brothers and I would be loaded into our 1963 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 and taken to the barber shop in Angleton. My father was willing to make the thirty-mile round trip drive because the haircuts were $1.25 versus the going rate in Lake Jackson of $1.50. With gasoline selling for 33.9 cents per gallon maybe it was worth the 75 cents he was saving on having his sons shorn and thereby avoiding the stigma of hippies living in his house.
History is one of my interests and I ran across an interesting site if you are a Civil War buff. This site gives a day by day accounting of the Confederate Army 4th Infantry Regiment. This was the group in which the Kosse area soldiers were placed. Click here to access site.
Headline to Most Likely Lose Sleep Over (at least for a couple of seconds): Now, Now Girls
June 13, 2006
Illness and death are two constants in the world and in this respect Kosse is no exception. Jack McNutt passed away after a long bout with cancer. Jack was one of the good guys.
Another family that has had a hard time lately is the Graebers. I had a nice phone conversation with Mrs. Graeber a few weeks ago and learned that Mr. Graeber is having some difficult health issues. Their grandson, Robert, Jr., lost his wife to cancer a few days after our conversation. The Graeber clan is a unique bunch, and I say that in a positive way. When I owned the grocery store, Mr. Graeber was the mayor and unquestioned political leader of Kosse. He and I had many hours of conversation about Kosse and the world, and he always put forth a reasonable viewpoint. I remember once when he adamantly insisted he would not be running for re-election as mayor. It was a few hours before the filing deadline and the pressure on him to enter the race was coming from all sides. It was obvious there were many who knew the integral role he played in Kosse, especially the people who were most intensely involved in our city government. He came across the street to the store and told me what was going on, still insisting he was not running. To make a long story short, he did in fact accede to his supporters' wishes and a few minutes before the deadline filed for re-election, subsequently winning the race. It was obvious he was conflicted that day but chose Kosse over his own personal wishes. Mr. Graeber is also one of the good guys.