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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
November 24, 2010     Hays Free Press
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November 24, 2010

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THEY REALLY SAID THAT? "This is an important and historic day." - PEC Board President Larry Landaker on the body's adoption of new bylaws for directors including term limits Hays Free Press , November 24, 2010 ,,T Page 3A EDITORIAL COMMENT Be fat, give thanks and remember Thanks for Texas Novembers - green grass and crisp sunny days ripe with the echo of football cheers and the faint scent of coming northers. Thanks for TxDOT. which makes other organizations look so efficient. Thanks for staying in the Union Governor Perry. Thanks for Congress. They're a mess. of course. But it sure beats being run by the old Soviet Union's Politbumau or Iran's new theocrats. Thanks for the smell of turkey in the oven and pecan pie on the counter. Thanks for the smell of fresh ink on newsprint. Thanks for the smell of dirt on blue jeans after a game of touch Thanks for the smell of fresh perfume on a familiar neck. Thanks for the zealots who live on Planet Nutcake and visit Earth for holidays and elections. In their hate and hollering they remind us that mason- able is the new sexy. Thanks, O Lord, for the Mexican widows who founded Buda and the pio- neers who founded Kyle, and the wave upon successive wave of immigrants who have washed ashore here, renewing our towns and hamlets, adding diversi- ty, adding talent, complicating our lives. Thanks, Pilgrims, for recognizing bounty in the midst of hardship - for starting a tradition. Thanks, Mr. Lincoln, for taking time in the midst of Civil War to recognize common bounW- for reviving a cel- ebration. Thanks, FDR, for inspirfug the nation in the midst of a Depression to focus on what we had instead of what we didn't - and for institutionalizing a thing called Thanksgiving. Thanks for the capacity to learn, to grew, to come together as families and communities around shared history, memories, and common values. Thanks, dear Reader, for being there. We need you. Be safe this holiday. Be generous. These are lean times. Be fat when you can. itu A SQUEEZIN' (Publisher's Note: A privilege of wtiring columnists has ahvays been their -30- col- umn. Why "-30-7 In the days of setting type, that was always put at the end of a of cola//In so tile proofreaders would know the column was complete. With that in mind, u,,e offer Svea Sauer's letter as her -30- column.) "just realized my name is still listed in your masthead as a columnist and . that I must make up my mind if my "vacation" is destined to end in dis- missal. It wasn't nearly as hard to give up my car as it is to say that I cannot gather my wits to write, knowing that one of the most rewarding associations in my life is ending. People talk about the hardships of old age but little is said about giving up rewarding work. The truth is that though I still have opinions, I cannot retain the facts which support them. I always try to supply some refer- ence to facts and sources, if possible. So the time has come to "quit driving" and admit I am no longer capable. In spite of this, I find the process of growing old interesting even though it means giving up so much. l am 96 and it is time to turn the world over to young people. I know when they are old they will say, as I do, that they lived in the best of times. MI the wars, depressions, scandals fade into the background as we remember our first car and the excitement of our first job. All our compassion for the cold and the hungry dissipates in the fear of our oum failing powers. The truth is we can no longer understand the music, the mor6s, or the mechanics of the present time and can only marvel that other people do.We are not even in Face- book! I felt so rewarded by my recognition from the Texas Press Association, it seemed unfair to you for me to quit. On the other hand, I realized it was unfair to you to continue to write less capably than I believed I could. Unfortunately, I seem to have no control of what is happening to me. My keenest regret is having to quit before writing the really good column I know I once had wait- ing. Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity. I will always be rooting for the continued success of my favorite newspaper, the Hays Free Press. My waning sense of incredulousness was gnawing on a J comlnercial for a brand of artificial hip - you don't just get those off the rack, so "ask your doctor" - when the news guy came on and told us about Black Friday. The story: Many will shop. All the news that's fit. X~aat passes for information in the information age: Reporters dispatched en masse to report what everyone expects, and it'll be "breaking news." Just watch the bottom of the screen. It will say so. Someone will trot out numbers. They'll interview the guy running the toy train shop. How's it going? It's going to be obscene. Bad economy? Just watch us. Train that insta-cam on the action. Someone will say the day's haul is disappointing, but that someone is living in a surreal world. In most of the rest of the world, what Americans do on a day like this is cause for gasps, not unlike what we do when cable news shows what a tidal wave does to a village near the equator. More power to us. Buying power, that is. Consumption is next to godliness, if we are to understand the analyses of most business pages and politicians (at least the ones who most recently won). I won't be joining them, and don't think for a second it's because I'm a holiday hater. For the adult life of me, I can't shake the anticipation and Y0tl Tr general appreciation of the holidays, emotions that colored so much of my youth- the kind that had me wrestling with my brothers for a Sears Christmas catalog fresh from the mail box. No, I insist on loving Christmas. But Black Friday is one of the saddest developments ever. Wait, you say. People have always rushed to the stores on the day after Thanksgi ring. That's the day for all those bargains, the start of the Christmas rush. True. Ever since the pilgrims started getting their provisions at big-box superstores, it's been America's biggest shopping day. Fact is, nothing is new about Black Friday except for the name, and it offends me. It does not convey holiday cheer. It conveys cutthroat consumption. More than that, it carries the notion that getting the gifts that make people happy is a mission, and not joyful in the slightest. You're saying that the "black" part isn't about the absence of mirth. It's about business. Profit. Feel better? Hardly. This sense that we are duty-bound to consume on this day because, well, because the news guy says it, should offend everyone. When did it become "Black Friday"? In the annals of pop culture, nothing has ever emerged from nothing like the capitalistically cold moniker. One day it was just tile big shopping day after Thanksgiving. The next day it was Black Friday and on everyone's lips, like "war on terror," except in this case we hadn't been attacked. We'd just put down our forks. Jumping on this were the bored media. Nice headline fodder: Black Friday. Built for bold lettNs. Because of those bold l~tters, we stand in long lines, press ~t plate glass and throw elbows for 10 percent off on a robot dancing Mickey- at a price that, even with the discount, approximates what Granddad used to pay offon his house one month at a time. I won't be in the mob. I'll continue to think highly of the holidays, however, because they generally make me think of soft lights, quiet times with people who reinforce my notion of goodness, and a connection to times of innocence. Black Friday isn't my idea of that. If you are hell-bent for that artificial hip of your dreams, however, go for it. Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. W}th Thanksgiving just days way, causing pfump turkeys nd dieters to sweat, I think it's time for us to sit back and reflect on what this holiday is all about. Sure, most of us think about the fat, juicy bird sitting on the dining table, surrounded by sweet taters, dressing and cranberry sauce, complimented by the aroma of an apple pie that just came out of the oven (did anybody else just hear his stomach growl'?), but I wonder how many folks actually give thanks for all the blessings they have received in the past. Most families around these parts, mine included, have a tradition of sitting at the table, filling plates they haven't used in 365 days with lip-smacking vittles, eating too much and too fast for their own good, knowing the Cowboys game starts in 30 minutes. 'Tll have my des- sert at halftinm." Well this year, with the Cowboys' pitiful record and the 'tiorns stinking like poisoned possum poop, there's no excuse for rushing through dinner. Let's spend a little extra time sprawled around the dining table, with our belts loosened and the dripped gravy clotting on our engorged bellies, talk- ing with family and friends who we see so little of during the rest of the year. Turn offyour cell phones. No Blackberries allowed, unless they're in the cobbler. The bird is long gone, so there should be no tweeting. Just a group of people sitting in the same room, talking and laughing, allowing each family member to relate what they are thankful for. What a concept! This Thanksgiving, since my mind is no longer on football, I believe I will list all things I am thankful for, and after our feast of turkey and dressing and a couple of Tums, I will reveal them to those family members who aren't in a tryptophan-induced coma. But first, I will reveal my Thanksgiving list to all of you out there, extending my thanks to all fans of"A View from the Crow's Nest." I am thankful for my ancestors who settled here in Texas, acquiring and holding on to land that has provided generations of family members a place to build homes and raise fami- lies. I am thankful my ancestors weren't fond of New lersey or Oklahoma. I am thankful to still be physically active even at my ripe age. I am thankful to know a chiroprac- tor who can keep me that way. I am thankful to have a job in this dreadful economy. I am thankful to Adolph Coors and lack Daniels for their contributions to society. I am thankful to be living out in the country, or what's left of it. I am thankful for being able to sit out on my back deck, watching deer and antelope go by instead of cars and trains. I am thankful to be able to watch red-tail hawks soar overhead in a clear, blue sky instead of seeing sky- scrapers and factory smoke obscure a heavenly sunset. I am thankful for an abundance of good Mexican restaurants nearby. I am thankful for my heartburn medication. I am thankful for a rainy summer day. I am thankful for green pastures in August and fat calves in October. I am thankful to TCU for providing some enjoyment this football season. I am thankful for a strong military for keeping us safe and free. I am thankful for fire ants for wip- ing out ticks and rattlesnakes. I am thankful for Amdro for wiping out fire ants. I am thankful to this newspaper for providing an outlet for my creative juices and for keeping my beer fridge stocked. I am thankful for a working com- puter. I am thankful for a son-in-law who can fix broken computers. I am thankfid to have two won- derful daughters who will do all my Christmas shopping for me so I can stay home and watch football. I am thankful for having an awe- inspiring grandson who can supply radiance on a cloudy day just by smil- ing at his proud grandfather. I am thankful for a loving wife who allows me to refer to her as "Maw" in my column, and I will be ever so thankfial if she doesn't drag me out to Target in the wee hours of Black Friday. I hope you all have a joyous and delicious Thanksgiving. I'll see you again in December. Clint Younts is thanksful that he has a good bull - both in his pasture and whereever else his bull comes frorn. COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSrrE "1 am opposed to the city council spending any more of our hard-earned tax dollars than they absolutely have to. I have no hope that the current situation will change because they are always looking for new things to spend money on, as has already been cor- rectly pointed out." -- Patsy Swinson on "Letter: National League of Cities" at "Just remember that when you sell out to a government run program you sell the City's soul. Once the NLC has this city hooked the mayor and council will become totally irrelevant. I repeat: "Once the NLC has this city hooked the mayor and council will become totally irrelevant." We won't have a say in how our city is run, we will loose all sovereign- 04 because you get nothing for free. We will be beholden to these tittle perks. Sovereignty isn't something / want to give up for a few bucks off of my prescriptions. -- Oebbie on "Letter: Na- tional League of Cities" at MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. Co-Publishers Bob Barton and Cyndy SIovak-Barton Office Manager Connie Brewer NEWS ROOM Editor Brad Rollins , Staff Reporters Jennifer Biundo Seen Kimmons Kay Richter Features Writer Brenda Stewart School Reporter Jim Cullen Community Reporters Sandra Grizzle Myrtle Heideman Pauline Tom Sports Editor Jason Gordon Sports Reporter Mark Caul Columnists Bob Barton Bartee Halle Phil Jones Svea Saner Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart Darryl Jamail Proofreaders Jane Kirkham Brenda Stewart ADVERTISING Tracy Mack CIRCULATION Circulation Mgr Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.eom CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam Distdbution Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizemore PRODUCTION Production Mgr David White Assistant Designer Jorge J. Garcla Jr. Hays County Commissioner Jeff Barton is a minority owner of the Hays Free Press Contact Us: BUDA 512-295-9760 ~t,._ 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6397