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April 2010 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

Turkey Feather Dance
On an occasion when I was playing and flopping (dancing with) turkey feathers, my mother inquired what I was representing. I pointed to a large (Texas Centennial) poster plastered on the side of the neighboring garage and replied “I am Sally Rand,” as there she was portrayed with all her beautiful feather fans (“Sally Rand: Barely There,” Footnotes in Texas History, February 2010.)

We received passes to attend the comedy/burlesque show. I never got to meet Sally Rand, fans or no fans. My best memory was meeting entertainer Kate Smith. After the show in her dressing room she taught me the ditty “The Little Spider” and sang other songs with us kids.

Nedrah S. Magnan, Burnet

Vietnamese Deserve Recognition
The February 2010 issue had a great article on the Vietnamese in Texas (“From Surviving to Thriving: Vietnamese Now Woven Into Texas’ Community Fabric”). We lived in Rockport several years and were always very impressed with the work ethic of these people. They had a difficult beginning but gradually earned the respect they deserved.

Ollie Winfrey Evinger, Meridian

No Need To Buy Seed
Thank you for the article regarding the work of J. David Bamberger and the staff of the Selah Bamberger Ranch Preserve (“Water from Stone,” February 2010). As a volunteer in the education programs there, I have great regard and respect for the vitally important work Mr. Bamberger has inspired, led and facilitated generously with his resources. However, there is one aspect of your article that is incorrect.

You raise the question about whether restoration and conservation of Hill Country—or other land— really is for everybody, given the $20,000 David Bamberger spent on native grass seed. When Bamberger tells this story, he notes that he now considers it “Bamberger’s Folly.” After scouring not just Texas but the nation for native grass seed and spending that sum, he discovered the money and effort had been an unnecessary waste. You see, that seed is already present in virtually all areas once covered by our native short grasses. Even on the ruined land that is today Selah, those seeds were in the soil, waiting for the sun and moisture that removal of juniper allows.

The moral of Bamberger’s story is this: A chain saw and a good pair of loppers are all a landowner needs—along with some favorable weather—to see the prairie flourish on his or her land, once again.
Dave Collins, Pedernales Electric Cooperative

Editor’s note: Bamberger did not mention to us journalists that he decided purchase of seeds was not necessary, but that’s good to know.

Call a Licensed Electrical Contractor
I have noticed that many of your articles about electrical safety tell people to get a “licensed” electrician. Many people in Texas don’t realize that just having a journeyman license does not give the license holder the right to perform work.

The correct thing for people to do if they suspect a problem is to call a licensed electrical contractor. A licensed contractor will have the company name as well as a TECL (Texas electrical contractor’s license) number on the side of company vehicles and any related ads or company letterhead. This protects the homeowner because if the contractor has these numbers, that means he or she is licensed by the state of Texas and has the insurance that the state requires contractors to carry. Check out for more information.

Lance Askew, Jasper-Newton Electric Cooperative