Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 20, 2016     Hays Free Press
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January 20, 2016

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+ + QUOTE OF THE WEEK Page 3A "It's how we are going to fund that... We have issues with water and wastewater and all of the other things going on. How do we fund these things ?" -Leon Barba, city engineer Hays Free Press January 20, 2016 idn't Ywin last week's Powerball, and unless this From the CroW'S Nest by Clint Younts newspaper finds its way into California, Tennessee or Florida, I'm guessing y'all didn't win either. So far, a couple up in Munford, Tennessee has announced they were one of the winners, and they immediately discovered three dozen long-lost cousins camped on their lawn. I don't know how many lottery tickets these Tennessee folks purchased, but I reckon it was well worth it, unlike the poor gal in nearby Cordova, TN who spent every last dollar she owned in hopes of becoming rich.Now she started a Go Fund Me account so she will have money to pay rent and buy groceries. Did she not understand the odds in winning the Powerball? I read that the odds of winning were 1 in 292 million. Now, I'm no math whiz, but I've bet on ponies a time or two, and I have donated money to various Native American tribes in Texas and surrounding states, so I have a good idea that i in 292 million is a longshot. I'm also smart enough to buy only two lottery tickets because the odds of me losing my money is a sure bet, and I still have to pay bills long after the Powerball drawing. Maybe, that poor gal in Cordova and many other broke losers just didn't understand what those odds really meant. They're just some confusing numbers that don't make much sense to many folks. Since I'm not flying to some South Pacific island in my newly- purchased Lear jet and still have to work for a living, I thought I should inform those folks who never studied numerology what the chance of winning the Powerball is in terms they might understand. You'd have slightly better odds of getting struck by lightning while touring Carlsbad Caverns than winning the Powerb~L ...... You are more likely to see Troy Aikman come out of retirement and lead the Cowboys back to the Superbowl in 2017. There's a higher probability that Donald Trump will build himself a modest home in Juarez, Mexico, and not put up a tall fence around the backyard. The chance of winning the lottery is like driving around Austin all day and seeing every car that is making a turn has its blinker on. You are more likely to photograph a Sasquatch trying on loafers at a Payless than actually winning the Powerball. There are similar odds that Bruce Jenner will make the cover of Sports Illustrated again, unless it's the swimsuit issue. You'd have a better chance of being attacked by a tiger shark while skinny- dippin' at Hippie Hollow than winning the lottery. It's more probable that during your first colonoscopy, the doctor doesn't discover any polyps but does find that secret decoder ring that you swallowed when you were six years old. You'd have better odds in having a toothless vegan as a judge in a fajita cook-off than having the winning Powerball ticket. It's slightly more likely that Bill Cosby will be invited to give the commencement address at a women's college than your winning a billion bucks. What are the odds of me winning the Powerball? Similar to writing a year's worth of columns and not once being politically incorrect. I'm no expert at beating the odds. Even at a coin toss, I'd have less than a 50-50 chance at winning. As some smart fella once said, if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. Does this mean I'll never buy another lottery ticket? Aw, heck no! Who knows? I might just get lucky once in my life and win it all. Even a blind bull finds a pretty heifer sometimes. Clint Younts would love to win the lottery. He'd probably buy out the Lone Star Brewery and have beer delivered cold, directly to the Crow's Nest. personal experiences have taught me to overlook "conven- tional wisdom," malicious gossip or just plain stupid, misguided opinions about individuals. One such instance came early in my college days and was particularly gratifying. The young man was John Ellis, adopted son of O.B. Ellis, the late director of the Texas Department of Corrections and for whom a prison unit is named. Ellis is credited with putting TDC on a modern path. John and I were both journalism students at then- Sam Houston State Teachers College in Huntsville. We each had a bent toward sports writing. Both of us were on the staff of The Houstonian, the student newspaper. In addition to being the sports editor of that publication, I was also the paid sports publicity director for the college and got to travel with the teams. John's parents sent him wherever he wanted to go to cover Sam Houston sports so, in addition to being classmates, we attended a lot of events together. He was a bright young man and wrote well. He had some physical challenges. John had a malignant tumor removed from his tongue as a child and dealt with a speech \ Webb's Wisdom by Willis Webb impediment. He'd also lost part of his right leg, just below the knee, and had a prosthesis. John's social skills were understandably a little lack- ing, and the athletes espe- cially teased him occasion- ally. I defended John and the athletes became accepting and appreciated that he was a talented sportswriter. As we became friends, John asked me to visit his home, which was the residence of the prison system director and across the street from The Walls Unit. That sort of blew me away and scared this small town boy a bit. Right by the prison! What if prisoners broke out?! I stifled my panicky thoughts and accepted a Saturday invitation to watch an afternoon game on TE. At the beginning of the game, inmate trusties brought us snacks. I learned that I shouldn't fear them. Trusty was a special desig- nation that allowed inmates to provide work services without close supervision and earned them special privileges. John kept a small hand bell on his TV tray to summon them. After snacks, I got out of my big easy chair to go to the bathroom. John's head snapped up from watching TV as he said, "Where you going?" Afraid he was going to summon those trusties, I said, "To the bathroom, but I don't need any help." John thought that was hilarious. I think I turned several shades of red. We watched the game and, when John left the room once, his mother slipped in and thanked me for being John's friend. I told her I appreciated having him as a friend,enjoyed covering games and work- ing on the student newspa- per with him. Then I told her he was a talented writer and I thought she was going to cry. Later that year, John accompanied the team to a bowl game in Evansville, Ind. It was a mtflti-day trip and one of the highlights was a parade. Sam Houston's colors are orange and white, and like the University of Texas, the letter jackets have a T. To the Indianans we were "Tex- as," and the crowd favorite against game-favored Mid- dle Tennessee State. We were standing out- side our downtown ho- tel watching the parade, which seemed to have an inordinate number of beauty queen floats. All of them were waving and blowing kisses at the orange-and-white-jack- eted Sam Houstonians. The kiss-blowing got hot and heavy and the players began running out to the convertibles and kissing the beauties. Apparently 135-pound, physically challenged John got so excited, he ran out to one of the convertibles. He started grabbing 250-pound players by the shoulders and spinning them out of the way, all with very star- tied looks on their faces but not as shocked as the queen was as John planted a big, wet one on her lips. John came back to the sidewalk with a huge grin on his face. It looked perma- nent. I think it was proba- bly the first time he'd ever kissed a gift. From that day forward, the players looked at John with newfound respect. Oh, and underdog Sam Houston won the game eas- ily, 27-13. It was altogether a very satisfying day. Willis Webb is a retired community newspaper ed- itor-publisher of more than 50 years experience. COMMENTS FROM THE WEB This angel was my daughter's Bracelets are being ordered in and the back says "1999-2016" Parents worst nightmare. And classmate. Her desk has remembrance of Josh! They will and there is an inside message then the very recent kayaking become a memorial of sorts, arrive on Monday January 18th on the inside of the wristband accidents. I ache for the familys' I have never seen so many and we will be doing mail outs that says "My Hero, My Heart". losses. Sending prayers. children (and parents/teachers) since they won't be here by the - Jordan Gully on Hays High - Donna Egenolf on Hays High heartbroken. Rest in Peace service day. They will be $5 each student dies in vehicle fire student dies in vehicle fire sweet child. Prayers & thoughts and all the money will be going to her mom & dad. to the family of Josh, we ordered - Eric Crisamore on Lending a 300 of them! Please email me at Thank you for writing and Oh no...another young life lost helping hand." Community assist posting this story. This is a from Kyle. Prayers for the family. family of fallen student or send me a message on Face- devastating loss of a bright, - Joeleen Jo Fergen Blome on book if you would like to order inquisitive, beautiful soul and Hays High student dies in vehicle some and to get your name on she is deeply, deeply missed, fire Rest in peace Eleanor the list knowing they will sale out - DeAnn Hopper Holzman - Dick Trudel on Lending a quickly.. He was loved by many!! on Lending a helping hand: helping hand: Community assist The band is a tan color with kelly Community assist family of fallen family of fallen student green writing engraved on the student front "Rest In Peace Josh Otto" Barton Publications, Inc. News tips: Opinions: 113 Wo Center St., Kyle, TX 78640 512-268-7862 122 Main St., Buda, TX 78610 512-295-9760 Publisher Cyndy Slovak-Barton News and Sports Editor Moses Leos III Reporter Paige Lambert Columnists Willis Webb, Chris Winslow, Pauline Tom, Clint ounts Proofreaders Jane Kirkham, Debbie Hall Marketing Director Tracy Mack Marketing Specialists James Darby, Pam Patino Production Manager David White Production Assistant Christine Thorpe Circulation/Classifieds Suzanne Hallam Distribution Pete Sizemore, Gabe Oranelas, + +