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August 2013 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

Stephen Barrett

All in a Day’s Work

While preparing to leave for an appointment in town, I was startled by the doorbell. Like many folks in the Hill Country living on acreage, I don’t get many unexpected visitors. I opened the door to find a pleasant young man wearing a Bandera Electric Cooperative shirt, hardhat and sunglasses. His name is Steven Hall [a system reliability technician].

He asked if I realized that a very large oak tree had fallen across my driveway down the hill, blocking it completely. He offered to cut it up with his chain saw and said he would drag it out of the way for me but didn’t have a chain in his truck. I gave him one of my husband’s chains.

Within 10 minutes he had cut the largest part down to a more manageable size, hooked the chain around it and used his truck to drag it out of the way. I said that he probably hadn’t expected to be cutting up and hauling trees for a lady in distress today. True to a humble hero’s attitude, he replied with a smile, “It’s all in a day’s work, ma’am.”

People like Steven make the difference between being part of a co-op and living where utilities are run by cities. Thanks, BEC.

Darlene Wayman | Bandera EC

Generally Pleased

Just wondering about Howard Green [Cover photo, June 2013]. Where does he live? He is very handsome and looks quite “the part.”

Where will the next Civil War re-enactment be held? I think I need to be there if Mr. Green will be in attendance! Thanks for the eye candy on this month’s cover. Delightful.

Gaylynn Hierholzer | Central Texas EC

Best Burger?

The best hamburger I’ve eaten is at Ell’s Place [“Hungry for Maybe the Best Burger Ever?” June 2013]. I’m just a customer who enjoys eating hamburgers there. The catfish is also good.

[Ell’s Place is at 4205 E. FM 4 in Sand Flat].

Mary Ann Waldie | United Cooperative Services

Kelp Help

I always like the photos in Focus on Texas, but the bottom photo in the June 2013 issue certainly was not taken in Texas unless it was in an aquarium. The “look from beneath the surface” was not taken off South Padre Island. That seaweed is giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera. It lives only in very cold seawater off California and adjacent states. A related one lives far south off South America and Australia.

Mary Wicksten | Bryan Texas Utilities

Editor’s note: Wicksten teaches marine biology and invertebrate zoology at Texas A&M University and adds: “I am well acquainted with seaweeds and marine invertebrates. I was diving in California two weeks ago and saw Macrocystis first hand.”

Mounted Police

I enjoyed E.R. Bills’ story “The First Madam Sheriffs.” Emma Banister was my great-grandmother, and our family appreciates Texas Co-op Power telling her story.

To add to the story, her daughter, Leona Banister, at 16 drove her father, Sheriff John Banister, on his official duties. Sheriff Banister could ride any horse alive, but he wasn’t interested in learning how to operate one of those newfangled horseless carriages.

Bob Kingsbery | CoServ Electric

Parental Care

This is in regards to “Parenting Your Parents” [May 2013], one of the most important articles you have ever published—also something you don’t understand until you have been there. I hope that everyone reads and shares the article.

Barbara White | Bandera and Medina ECs

I have been through that with both of my parents (who are deceased) as their legal guardian and primary caregiver. Not only should you prepare for this day, but also take the appropriate steps for yourself—simple things like having a will, a living will, burial plans, life insurance, long-term care insurance and a detailed personal inventory.

David Qualls | Guadalupe Valley EC

I was very offended by the cover headline “Parenting Your Parents.” The advice in your article is good information, but your perspective certainly needs tweaking.

My experience with my parents was just the opposite of the author’s; we’ve had discussions, and I know all I need to know. But, neither he nor I are parenting our parents; we are caring for them—hopefully with the same or greater love and concern they gave us when they brought us into this world. We are not “training them up in the way that they should go,” but showing them our gratitude for all the sacrifices they made for us when we were in need.

Vickie Dillow | HILCO EC

Messing With Texas

I felt I was reading my own thoughts through Kevin Hargis’ experience picking up trash along his rural road with his four-legged friend [“Don’t Mess With My Bit of Texas,” March 2013].

I find my little piece of rural Texas 10 minutes outside Fredericksburg awe-inspiring. With the natural beauty of the wildflowers, lush pastureland and the most interesting insects I have seen, I ask myself why anyone would want to mess with Texas.

I have taken on the 5-mile-long beautiful, hilly Jung Road, with the views for miles, as my running track. After passing too many beer cans, foam cups and other trash, I now start out my journey with plastic bags so I have a place to carry all the stuff. A kindly neighbor along Jung watched me with my armful of cans and offered his bin for disposal.

Sometimes I feel defeated by so much trash and wonder why in such a natural setting humans care so little about our beautiful planet.

Debbie Ellis | Central Texas EC