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For Electric Cooperative Members

June 2012 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

Will van Overbeek

Sowing Seeds for the Future

Thank you for your recent keyhole gardening article [February 2012]. Inspired by your article, The Master’s School’s sixth-grade students, led by their teacher, Nick Moore, and Principal Beth Heatwole, just completed a garden on the school’s campus. Some of the students were inspired to start their own gardens at home, and others hope to use the knowledge gained to apply this gardening method in the mission field someday.

Sharon Blue, business manager, The Master’s School of San Marcos, Bluebonnet EC

We were so impressed with the keyhole gardening article [February 2012] that we built one! We went to Deb Tolman’s website and gathered additional information regarding the keyhole garden, gathered the necessary material and went to work. The rock and mortar outer structure took about three weeks (first experience building a rock wall). We have planted tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cantaloupe, cucumbers and green beans. So far, so good. The 2,000-gallon rain harvesting system we installed last September provides more than adequate rainwater for our garden and all our other plants. We love to read your magazine even more since we retired to Concan in the beautiful Hill Country. We miss all you wonderful co-op people, but retirement is great!

Marshall Darby, retired general manager of San Miguel EC, and Dorsey Darby, Bandera EC

Hand-Me-Down Work Ethic

I enjoyed the article “Hand-Me-Down Work Ethic” in the April 2012 issue [about Kirk Lacy, maintenance manager of Texas Electric Cooperatives’ Manufacturing and Distribution Services plant], especially since it seems we might be losing this great attitude with each generation.

My dad, a retiree of Hamilton County Electric Cooperative, and his 10 siblings had this work ethic. I enjoy your magazine—articles and recipes. Thanks for rural electricity, workers and all.

Hallye Bottlinger, Hamilton County EC

A big thumbs up to Suzanne Haberman for the “Hand-Me-Down Work Ethic” article. The quality of the story matches the story’s subject. As a brother of an IBEW construction lineman, I appreciate the “Pole Manufacturing Facts” that accompanied the story. And having a career based on mentors from the petrochemical industry, I appreciate the accuracy and appropriateness for a general audience of the other sidebar, “What Is Creosote?” Hurrah for the April 2012 Texas Co-op Power! That includes Woody Welch’s photos.

Owen Campney, Pedernales EC

Loving Dutch Oven Recipe

Thought you might like to know that the April 2007 Dutch oven recipe for Texas Caviar Casserole is a hit with Sam Houston Area Council Boy Scout Troop 993. The recipe has been a favorite at several campouts. The recipe was also our entry in the Scout Fair Dutch Oven competition April 14 and won a Silver Spoon!

Karen Brennan, Jackson EC

Editor’s note: Find this and other recipes in our searchable Food and Recipes sections.

Disappointed in Easter Photos

I eagerly await each month’s edition of Texas Co-op Power. However, I was extremely disappointed in the April 2012 edition’s selection of Easter pictures [Focus on Texas]. Sadly, the celebration of the meaning of Easter was not captured in any of the chosen photographs. Cascarones, Easter eggs and dressed-up cows are fun, but let’s not miss the real celebration. Where were the church-attending children dressed up in their finery celebrating this joyous holiday? Thanks for your hard work in producing a well-written magazine.

Marsha Mayfield Lockett, Hamilton County EC

Fess Up

Before I even read the first paragraph in the March 2012 cover story—“Don’t Do Mild” by Camille Wheeler on Roy Spence’s life and times—I saw the Royism No. 2: “Fess up when you mess up.” I realized that I had preached that same message to 125 golfers who were about to tee off in the 2012 Turtle Hill Golf Classic. After going over all the local rules for the tournament, I spent a minute explaining that golf is a game not only of skill, but also a game of integrity.

I finished by saying that if you shave off a stroke on a hole with no one knowing, you can count on the golf gods getting it back before the end of the round. I’m proud to say that Royism No. 2 now hangs from the bag of each member of my golf team, right beside “Rules of Golf.”

Dan Hamric, Cooke County EC

What’s in a Name?

I just read the Lone Ranger article in the March 2012 issue. I take offense at the fact that the white star was called Kemo Sabe, which roughly translates as “trusted scout,” and Tonto is Spanish for “fool,” or “stupid.” I have to wonder if the new movie [set for release in 2013] is going to overlook this slur with such a large Spanish-speaking population these days.

Julie Gonzales, Bluebonnet EC

Shining a Light

I recently moved here and, in renting the home I am in, joined the local co-op. I was pleasantly surprised at the Texas Co-op Power magazine showing up at my home and with the quality of the magazine as well.

I am writing to respond to a letter writer in the March issue who was upset with a perceived problem with the phasing out of the old, wasteful, incandescent bulbs that he likes to use as small space heaters.

I am an engineer and frequently help people understand the effects of the new lightbulb regulations that require bulbs to be at least 30 percent more efficient than the standard incandescent bulbs. The new halogen bulbs meet this requirement; the law was written to include them. They still give off plenty of heat to use for space heaters and last twice as long as incandescent bulbs.

Fluorescent bulbs are about 75 percent more efficient and last approximately five to seven times as long as incandescents. They still give off some heat, and with proper insulation would still be useful and cheaper to use, even if two bulbs are used to heat a small space around water pumps or pipes. Using two bulbs also ensures that if or when one burns out at an inopportune time, the homeowner would still be able to replace the other without a catastrophic freezing issue that can happen when only using one incandescent as the writer suggested he was using.

There is no downside to this issue of reducing energy consumption, only a proclamation of sour grapes from some folks who don’t understand what they are upset about.

James Kaye, Pedernales EC

In regards to the letter to the editor in the March 2012 issue lamenting the changeover to energy-efficient lightbulbs that do not produce as much heat as incandescent bulbs: Heating the interior of a well house to prevent freeze-ups has been a waste of energy. Electric heat tape uses very little energy, turns on and off as needed, and works very well.

Jerry Vogler, Central Texas EC

Cool, Refreshing Memories

I look forward to your magazine every month. I played baseball in West Texas in 1957 for the Alpine Cowboys. Your article on Balmorhea State Park [“Don’t Forget to Look Down,” February 2012] brought back memories of swimming in the cold water in the heat of summer.

Pete Embry, Lake Kiowa