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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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January 23, 2013     Hays Free Press
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THEY REALLY SAID THAT? "If you believe in what you're doing, otherpeople will believe in you as well." -Tom Meny, a Buda musician who changed careers to make his dream a reality. Hays Free Press January23,2013 Page 3A HIP CZECH TpHayseY say he was loud. The Free Press facebook age has comments from readers and friends saying "heaven is a lot louder'- all talk- ing about his booming voice. When Bob Barton passed away this week, a void was left in the world. No doubt. Bob was known for his politics and for his fight for the underdog. He stood up to bullies, and then forgave those bullies, he could argue a pofitical point for hours with someone, and then turn around go have a cup of coffee with them. Don't hold a grudge. Forget about it. His gentle character didn't allow him to remain angry forlong. Until just a fewweeks ago, the offices of the Hays Free Press were full of his comrades, dropping by to talk about the latest gossip at city hall. Theywere loud; they laughed- and argued - a lot. There were times when the staff would walk to Bobs section of the office and say, "Bob, use your inside voice. We're on deadline!" He could comply.. Or, he would just yell back at the staff and tease them until theywalked away. People looked to Bob for advice, for gossip, for a different view. They wanted his opinion on the latest city manager, they wanted to knowwhat he thought about the possibilities of a road bond being passed. They looked to him for his political acumen. But few people talk about his abilities as a businessman. I knew a much quieter side to Bob Barton. As he took me aside to talk about budgets, spread- sheets and taxes, he was quiet, l could stop byhis office- either at home or at the downtown office, until recent months- and find him posting his checks, making sure everything balanced. He would rattle office per- centages for newpaper sales vs. labor overhead. He knew how much you should be paying for printing, for communications, for each department- whether news, advertising or production. He always read trade journals fiom front to back, throwing new ideas onto my desk. "Have we thought about this?" It was a big deal when, just a few years ago, he finally tumed over a few duties to me- starting with payroll. He hated having to go on the intemet to make deposits. He refused to do it. But the IRS no longer allowed small businesses to make payroll deposits through the local bank Instead, the higher ups wanted everything done online. That wasn't Bob's way. So, he turned it over to me. Slowly, one tittle bit at a time, I took over the books for the newspaper bus']- ness. Then came the rental busi- ness, and finally the construction of the BartonWord building. Page by page, account by account, he decided to allow me to take over these mundane but important jobs, so he could pursue writing his book on the history of Hays County. There were lrne I felt over- whelmed with trying to juggle a struggling small bus'mess while making sure that the employees always- always- got their pay- checks. Bob would just say, "Let me help you balance that." He was quiet. He wasn't loud. He just diligently worked away. Page after page of ledger sheets. Pencil - rarely ink- flowing across the page. He took care of business the old fashioned way. Pay the bills, always protect and support the staff, keep the money finwing - in and out. Juggle, juggle, juggle. Bob won't have to juggle all those numbers any more. But wherever he is, his companions certainly need to make sure that their columns add up correctly and their debits and credits bal- ance. Because Bob will know. 6ilt LFI IEIqP ANP I: WART TO GET THE RF ORP ON I-I I;T.ATH.,. PONT IN , I:;F.AR? II,Ii~ ~ -p" "F>':V~,-'TC.q lust because the college football season ended with ano~er bogus champion- ~ FROM THE ship game doesnt mean the season is over. Au contraire, sports fans! You only thought Notre Dame's humiliating drub- bing in the BS Championship game was as bad as it could get. Now there's some cr~me for your Irish coffee. I'm sure most ~m- ofy'all have heard about this scandalous report of the mystery girlfriend of star linebacker Manti Te'o. If you haven't heard about this, allow me to fill you in. Back in the early fall, when Notre Dame and their outstanding linebacker were attracting a lot of attention, a story broke that Te'o received the horrible news that his grandmother and his girlfriend died on the same day. Instead of attending his girlfriend's funeral, Te'o went on and played the game of his life against the USC Trojans. This is the fodder of some sappy movie, but it also boosted Te'o up the list of Heisman Trophy candidates. In my view, I don't think personal tragedy should bolster one's stock in winning the Heisman. If it does, then the next Heis- man Trophy should go to Bubba Clyde Klodbuster, the offensive tackle of Okla- homa, who had to sell his pet sow to pay for his momma's drug rehab. Well, while Manti Te'o and the Fighting Irish were having a stellar season, the sad story of Te'o and his dearly departed loved ones continued to surface in every tele- vised game. Te'o appeared on magazine covers and talk shows. He became a finalist for the Heisman and was loved by all, all except the young lady whose identity was stolen by someone playing a hoax on Te'o and the rest of the sports world. Last week, the news broke that the whole story of a dead girlfriend was pure fiction. It was all made up by some clever jokester, possibly by Te'o himself. There are several theories of who is the master- mind behind the hoax, but I won't waste my time stirring that kettle. I do think it's a bit fishy that Te'o didn't inform the public of the hoax until after the Heisman race and the championship game. Accord- ing to Notre Dame's athletic director, Jack Swarbrick, Manfi received a phone call from his girlfriend on the day of an awards ceremony in early December. There's nothing wrong with the girlfriend calling to wish him luck except she's been dead for over two months. Swarbrick claims that Manti was "very unnerved by that." You think? Getting a call from a deceased girlfriend could really put a damper on a party. You know, I've been told you can't take money with you when you die, but apparently cell phones are allowed in heaven. I bet the roaming charges are outrageous! After the long-distance phone call, Manti Te'o went on and attended the awards ceremony, winning the Bednarik Award, the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Foundation Award and the Jeanne Dixon's Psychic of the Year Award. After winning these awards, there was talk about Te'o winning the Heisman but not a word about his conversation with a ghost. Hmm? I'm going to give Manti Te'o the benefit of a doubt and go with his story that it was an elaborate hoax: He claims he met the girl online but never actually saw her in person. There was a lot of online chat- ring and numerous phone calls, and Te'o subsequently fell in love with this mysteri- ous muse. Perhaps Manti was just naive and didn't know better than to fall head- over-heels into a web of deception. It has happened to others, but their stories never made headlines. Someone should give young, naive men some fatherly guidance about online dating before they too fall into the clutches of some bogus bimbo. Al- low me to give a few tidbits of advice to you young members of the Lonely Hearts Club. OK, guys, I'm sure some gals on the other end of your modem may very well be sincere, but I'm sure there are several she-devils that you need to steer clear of. There are certain phrases in online dating that are red flags, signs that the dream girl you are sweet on might well be the girl of your nightmares.. If she posts a photo of a drop-dead gorgeous gal, that picture is probably a fake. Most beautiful women don't need a PC to get a date. Haven't you seen Manti's girlfriend? That's OK, neither has he. If your computer date claims her favorite food is Chicken McNuggets, she probably hasn't reached her teen years yet and should be avoided. If she claims she hasn't dated a guy in 10 years except for a brief fling with her parole officer, I'd be a little leery of this girl. If she asks how much you earn or the amount of your life insurance policy, it's time to break offthis relationship. If your intemet interest claims she doesn't Skype because her camera doesn't have a wide-angle lens, then it's time to log out. If she asks if you think chest hair on a girl is sexy, unplug your dang computer. If she divulges that she dreams of earn- ing enough money to afford cosmetic surgery and adds, "I'd like to get an implant for my left one," you might want to sign off. Here are a few questions you might want to ask your intemet buddy before you go telling sports reporters about your love life. The answers to these questions might save you heartbreak or other serious injury. You might want to sever your love connec- tion if you get replies like these: When you ask, "What is your favorite movie?" and she replies, "FatalAttmcfion." You ask, "Who is your idol?" and she replies, "Lorena Bobbitt." You inquire, "What's your favorite song?" and she answers "Barracuda." You ask, "What one thing would you like to have if we are both stranded on a de- serted island?" and she replies, "My recipe book, 'A Cannibal's Guide to Cooking."" So, fellas, if you are so desperate that you must depend on a website for female com- panionship, I hope my advice can help you find the right girl. And Mr. Te'o, there's no need to search the intemet for your soul mate. You'll have plenty of nice girls wait- ing for you to sign that NFL contract. Clint Younts is probably glad his cows don't own computers. He would have a heck of a time figuring out why they were so sad -despite the attention of his bull. rockytop78640@yahoo.com Apt press time, inclement weather has ostponed my son's elementary chool spelling bee; but I'm still all fired up over the concept of such old- fashioned contests. I know not everyone has shared my enthusiasm. I hear countless anecdotes of "My uncle couldn't spell his way out of a wet paper sack, and HE turned out okay." ("Okay" in the sense of being put in a nice, quiet institution for people who struggle for ways to extricate themselves from a wet paper sack, I suppose.) Mark TWain and H.L. Mencken chafed under rigid roles of spelling. And Presi- dent Andrew Jackson famously groused, "It's a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word!" (Perhaps "Old Hickory" should have been more of a stickler. Historians recently discovered that the document supposedly authoriz- ing the shamefulTrail of Tears was actu- ally meant to have been an invitation for Native Americans to pose with Jackson for the twenty-dollar bill. Oops.) The mastery of spelling is a way to pay homage to the great American melting pot. Our immigrant ancestors brought to this country their own cultures and lan- guages, each with its own rttles, traditions and peculiarities. (Honest, it was only a TYRADES! couple of years ago that it dawned on me that Goethe and "Gerta" were the same person.) They wanted their descendants to achieve prosperity, to fall on their knees and thank their Creator for their liberties, to fall on their knees and roll dice to make the difficult choice of"f" or "ph" or "gh"... Spelling bees are an invaluable confi- dence-builder and introduction to public speaking. Of course the fact that you're dutifully parroting what those in charge want to hear opens up all sorts of oppor- tunities. ("If you think you can be spared during third period gym class, we want to reward you with a congressional colmnit- tee chairmanship...") A knack for spelling can give you a priceless edge in job interview situations. ("You're hired. And you won't be just a number- you'll be a number who can spell 'antidisestahlishmentarianism'!") It's richly rewarding not only to memo- rize word spellings but to study their ety- mology You can spend many a happy hour delving into word origins and revering in their Latin roots. Of course you'll also wind up sitting on your gluteus mmdmus while everyone else is out on a date, but that's the price you pay for scholarship. I feel an urgent need to champion the art of spelling, because even the people who used to value it are now becoming lazy and depending on a speUcheck app. Dependence on spellchecks has left many a document riddled with hilarious results. I'm proud to say that people often tell me they can tell I don't resort to a spellcheck. Hey, wait a minute... Let's keep spelling bees healthy in the face of technology. Encourage spelling bees in your community. Go and watch. Contribute a cash prize. Most of all, do not allow yourself or your children to be intimidated by spell- ing.You can fortify yourself with a few simple tips. After all, it's "i before e..." or is that "age before beauty"? Um, pearls be- fore swine? Death before dishon6r? Close cover before striking? Okay; I'm about to use "intimidated" in a sentence... news@haysfreepress.com COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSITE "We have lost the model for most of the decent things in the world. For me he was a father, a brother a friend, a mentor and an antagonist. We will be telling Barton stories for years. He did ff his way with enormous loyalty and compassion." -Donn Brooks on "In Memoriam" ",4 very sadday for Hays County. When Bob was around, there was no need for a computer. He had all the data from the most recent election (and many previous elections) in his head, and could tell you what you needed to know about who voted, who hadn't, and what to expect in any given precinct in the county. A wonderful, compassionate, stubborn, articulate man and a great friend who is already missed. " -J Wigginsburns on "In Memoriam" How about charge Walmart (and anyone else who chooses to develop in the shopping center there) a good chunk of the rehab of the Bunton Creek project since they're causing the additional traffic? Sounds like a winner to me. - Jennifer Rapp Forbes on "Residents to see road bond options" MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. Publisher Cyndy Slovak-Barton NEWSROOM Editor Cyndy SIovak-Barton csb@haysfreepress.com Sports Reporter Moses Leos III Features & Education Editor Kim Hilsenbeck kim@haysfreepress.com Staff Reporter Andy Sevilla Community Columnists Sandra Grizzle Myrtle Heideman Pauline Tom Columnists Bartee Haile Clint ounts Will Durst John Young Danny Tyree Proofreaders Jane Kirkham Brenda Stewart OFFICE MANAGER Connie Brewer business@haysfreepress.com ADVERTISING ]racy Mack tracy@haysfreepress.com Dioni Gomez ads@haysfreepress.com CIRCULATION/CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.com PRODUCTION Production Mgr, David White Assistant Designer Melinda Helt Distribution Gigi Hayes Pete Sizemore Contact Us: news@haysfreepress.com business@haysfreepress.com FAX: 512-268-0262 BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6397 www.haysfreepress.com 113 W. Center Street Kyle, Texas 78640