What a day it was from Mother Nature yesterday. It was our area's turn for tornadoes and the damage was extensive. Click for article and video. The news report said there is a 10-mile swath of damage in the Groesbeck area. My mother and sister came up from Lake Jackson to visit and spent the evening and night in Groesbeck with my brother John. What a day to come. I will try to get up there later to see the damage. One person was killed. I was told it was a gentleman who was staying at one of the veteran's homes outside of Groesbeck. Stacy told me at one point our Kosse Fire Chief came to the cafe to prepare us for the worst but fortunately it did not materialize within the Kosse city limits.
Saddam Hussein was executed last night. Gerald Ford's funeral is this afternoon. December in Iraq has proven the deadliest this year (click for article) and Donald Porch has returned after a mysterious three-day disappearance. And the world moves on.
There's been a lot of activity in Kosse the past few days. Some of it has to do with Christmas travelers, some with the kids being out of school, and some with the Christmas shopping season being over and people not leaving town to spend money.
Former President Gerald Ford died a couple of days ago. It is interesting how the attitude of the news organizations is different than when Ronald Reagan died. I suppose it has to do with the short tenure that Ford served and the fact he was never elected on a Presidential ticket. About all I hear is that he was a good and decent man. He was president when I was a senior in high school so I remember his presidency quite well. He came close to overtaking Jimmy Carter in the final days of the 1976 election, but lost in a relatively close election. He does hold the distinction of living longer than any president in history, as he was 93 when he died.
Ray Bowden sent me an interesting e-mail which describes the bygone era us baby boomers were raised in. I found it poignantly interesting and totally accurate.
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool Aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING ! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers!, no Internet or chat rooms.......WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them! Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! If YOU are one of them . . CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were. Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!
Another Christmas has come and gone and the new year is upon us. I will now be able to wear pants without holes for the first time in months. It's cold enough in Kosse without adding air vents down my legs.
I was driving Monday morning at about 2:15 a.m. and about three miles north of Calvert I saw a herd of deer on the side of the road. There were seven or eight of them of all sizes. I thought maybe Santa had stopped near Calvert (or maybe was avoiding that speedtrap of a town). Anyway, I've never seen so many deer in one group. It was a most interesting sight. Fortunately there was no traffic to speak of and I had my bright lights on which allowed me to see them from a distance. Knowing how spooked deer get, I slowed to a virtual crawl and was able to avoid a pair of antlers in my radiator.
As mentioned before, the Kosse Echo newspaper is a true asset to Kosse. I wrote and asked Nell and Kelley if I could post some of their archived articles on this website. They occasionally reprint articles from long ago issues and they are enjoyable to read. I saw Nell in the post office and she told me this would be fine. I will add them as time permits.
Christmas Eve has arrived and all is well in Kosse. It's been steadily raining since last night although it is supposed to be clear for Santa's arrival tonight.
The repercussions of the now-disgraced former Falls County Tax Assessor/Collector continues. That woman sure caused a lot of problems. The City of Marlin has had to take out a $105,000.00 loan to pay overdue bills from the past two months because of the courthouse mess. Click for article.
I'll be gone for the next couple of days so the Kosse Blog will be on a short hiatus. Have a merry Christmas.
Winter has officially arrived. Ryan received a call yesterday from one of his buddies in the Army. Nathan Watson of Bremond is stationed in Italy and is scheduled to be sent to Iraq this summer. Hopefully things will be safer and more secure by then. Nathan lived with us for awhile six or seven years ago and is a really good kid (although no longer a kid). He worked at the cafe for a short while and proved to be a good worker. Anyway, it's young people like Nathan who make me wish we could find a way out of the mess in Iraq.
The schools are out for Christmas break. I imagine the stores are quite busy today. Being a hermit, I try to avoid the last-minute shopping crowds. I get nervous to the point of sweating in freezing weather when exposed to the hub-bub and sensory overdose of Wal Marts and malls in the days immediately preceding Christmas.
I suppose everyone has memories of their favorite Christmas gift as a youngster and I am no exception. There were six children in our family so in retrospect I imagine it was a difficult time of year for my parents. When I was twelve, my brother John and I (who shared a bedroom) were given the present which I most fondly remember. It was a Zenith 12-inch black and white television. It was the tube type, so it would take a minute to warm up enough for the picture to emerge. It came with an antenna that pulled up and to that we attached a bowtie-shaped UHF antenna. This was long before the days of cable television, so we were only able to get a fuzzy picture from the three Houston network channels. We tried to adjust the contrast and darkness controls to make the picture clearer and were finally able to see it fairly well. But we did not mind the not so clear image as we now had our own television. We watched that thing endlessly over the years and it even followed us to college. For one year a decade later it would serve as the sole television for my brother Bill and I while going to college in Stephenville. It finally met the fate of most tube-type TVs and died a darkening death when the tube went out. I can't say I became emotional over its demise, but I will say that the Zenith television from a bygone era of electronics gave me thousands of hours of enjoyment over the years. That is why it is my favorite Christmas gift of all time.
One of Kosse's strengths is the ability of the people to get along well with each other and look for positive improvement in a cooperative atmosphere. This is even more evident when I read stories of the travails of our neighboring communities. Bremond is up in arms over on-field football coaching decisions. Marlin had to shut down the county tax office for two weeks over improprieties. The Rosebud mayor is arrested over a disputed film projector. Now I read the Meridian mayor was arrested and cuffed by the now former police chief for unplugging an extension cord. Click for article. On the other hand, Kosse is having our annual Community Center Christmas dinner tonight in which 200 or so in a town of 500 will show up for fellowship and goodwill.
Stephanie Lockhart is prominently featured in this week's Groesbeck Journal for her selection as Groesbeck Middle School student of the month. I did not know she is one of the cheerleaders. Maybe I can get her to do some cheers for the cafe catfish crowd one Friday night.
The city has placed very attractive guardrails in the handicapped areas of downtown. They look very nice and serve a good purpose.
The cafe is closing an hour early tonight for the annual Christmas employee gathering.
Two days until the official arrival of winter. It will be warm the next few days but much cooler weather is predicted for Christmas day.
I saw a couple of our former waitresses Sunday. Tess and Sarah Kane were in town along with Tess's new daughter, Cora. Sarah is attending Texas State University in San Marcos and Tess is living in Bremond. It was nice seeing them.
I heard on Meet the Press that there have been 1.6 million Iraqis flee their nation since the beginning of the war. Add this number to the 600,000 Iraqi civilians that, according to a John Hopkins University study, have been killed and you have 2.2 million Iraqis that are either dead or have left the country. If this number was extrapolated to equal the U.S. population, it would be the equivalent of 25.3 million Americans either dying or leaving the country in the past three and a half years. This would represent the entire populations of Kansas, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming combined. Click for state population figures. Can you even imagine the thought of another nation invading America and us losing every person in eighteen states through death or forced leaving through fear of death? According to the latest CNN poll, 67% now oppose the war and only 28% approve of George Bush's handling of the war effort. Click for poll results.