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Trash Talk in Bandera

Some of the topics we looked into while you were reading last month’s issue

The Medina River gets its annual spring cleaning, thanks to a dedicated cadre of volunteers. And April showers might be overrated. That’s not a joke.

Tons of Love

Bob Brischetto has tons of feelings for the Medina River, which meanders through Bandera County for about 50 miles, and he’s not alone.

“This is probably one of the most beautiful rivers in the state of Texas,” says Brischetto, a member of Bandera Electric Cooperative, who is enticed by giant cypress trees that shade the water. “Frankly, I’m in love with the river.”

So for 16 years he has organized the Medina River Cleanup, an all-day venture by volunteers—sometimes more than 200—who cover the river by boat, truck or foot to pull out trash. And not just candy wrappers and drink lids but also big stuff that floods wash downstream. Brischetto says they fill dumpsters with metal roofing, sheds, trailers and decking pried away from homeowners.

“This is what amazes me,” he says. “Each year, we still pull out several tons of debris.”

The cleanup, which starts at Bandera City Park, is may 6 this year. “We would love to attract people to the river cleanup from throughout the state,” Brischetto says, “and we would like very much for them to be interested in starting their own cleanups.”

April Showers Overrated?

April showers bring May flowers. But a list of the 30 rainiest U.S. cities doesn’t show April to be the month with the most rain.

In Beaumont, No. 28 with 60.47 inches per year, June gets the most rain. The list is based on average annual precipitation across cities with populations of 20,000 or more using climate data from 1981–2010. Beaumont is the only Texas town listed. Hilo, Hawaii, is No. 1 with 156.79 inches of rain annually.

Have You Heard?

April Fool’s Day is being moved from April 1 to April 8, starting next year, to give people more time in April to plan their pranks.

Worth Repeating

“Idea is nothing but an electricity through the wire of nerves.” — Thomas Huxley, 19th-century British biologist

The Doolittle Raid

April 18 marks the 75th anniversary of one of the most daring military missions in American history: the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo.

Eighty men in 16 B-25 bombers attacked Japan in retaliation for the bombing of Pearl Harbor, four months earlier. Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle led the raid April 18, 1942. His co-pilot was Lt. Col. R.E. Cole of Comfort, now the last living raider at 101 years old and a member of Bandera Electric Cooperative. [See My Flight With a Doolittle Raider, November 2016.]

Seven of the raiders died as a result of the attack. Three died making emergency exits from their planes; three were executed and one starved to death as Japanese prisoners of war.