When Nicole Crabtree Haney read that her local hospital was facing a mask shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wise Electric Cooperative customer service representative got to sewing.
The rest of Decatur, in North Texas, did, too—fulfilling the hospital’s need right away. But Haney, who has a sister and two daughters who work in the medical field, was undeterred. She realized that her co-workers at the co-op, who are critical to keeping the lights on, could use the protection.
“I was able to get all the specs and qualifications of the masks that our hospital had asked to be made, and I dusted off my sewing machine and got to work,” Haney said.
By mid-April, she had sewn nearly 250 masks, donating more than 100 to her co-workers and other essential workers.
“Honestly, this has turned into a bigger project than I anticipated,” she said. “It feels good to be able to help in some small way during these uncertain times that we are in.”
Social Distance at the Drive-In
As movie theaters across the country were forced to close to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, many drive-in theaters found themselves in a unique position to remain open, offering an increasingly rare opportunity for public entertainment while allowing patrons to maintain distance from one another.
For some drive-ins, like the Showboat Drive-In Theater in Hockley, outside Houston, it led to a momentary uptick in business. As Showboat owner Andrew Thomas told The Associated Press, ticket sales increased by about 40% one March weekend when the theater otherwise would have expected a 40% loss. “Obviously this isn’t the way you’d want it to occur, but I’m excited for the idea that there may be a new generation of people that will get to experience going to a drive-in theater,” he said.
To find a drive-in near you, check out our story Drive In, Chill Out.
Feather in Their Caps
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Audubon Texas have selected Bastrop, Dallas, Houston and Port Aransas for the Bird City Texas distinction. They are recognized for community engagement, habitat management and threat reduction for birds in the inaugural year of the campaign. Their Bird City designations last through 2022.
Palo Duro Love Letters looks at Georgia O’Keeffe’s creative legacy—her paintings and writing—from her time in Texas 100 years ago.
When the artist died in 1986, she left behind a collection of some 300 recipes, which Sotheby’s auctioned in March, along with artistic works, books, clothes and other personal effects from the estates of O’Keeffe and her husband, noted photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library paid $17.2 million for the whole lot.
The recipes, many handwritten on notecards, slips of paper and hotel stationery, reflect O’Keeffe’s culinary passions. She was as exacting in her kitchen as she was on her canvases, growing vegetables at her New Mexico home, obtaining eggs from a local woman and weekly making yogurt from goat’s milk.
O’Keeffe and her guests enjoyed a variety of dishes, including pecan butterball cookies, tomato aspic, vegetable soup, applesauce and chicken flautas.
Waving Old Glory
The U.S. flag is said to have been raised on San José Island, a sand barrier between Matagorda Island and Mustang Island in the Gulf, on July 26, 1845—the first time it was flown in Texas.
By the Numbers: 1.6 Million
That’s how many copies of Texas Co-op Power magazine are mailed to subscribers—mostly electric cooperative members—every month.
This reminds us that July 1 is National Postal Worker Day.
Mergdata, an online platform for small-scale farmers, made Time magazine’s list of the 100 best inventions in 2019. Farmers use the service to get information about the weather, produce prices and financial services. Mergdata is helping more than 200,000 farmers in 13 countries in Africa.