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Monday, June 21, 2010

Garner State Park and The Leakey Star...

On Saturday we took a drive out to Garner State Park just to enjoy the weather, relax a bit, and let my daughter show off the place she has enjoyed since she was a baby to her friend who is in town for some military training.

If you are a local and have never made the trip to Garner, I cannot over emphasize how nice it is – even on a packed weekend like Father’s Day – to just relax and enjoy. For us, it just a takes a few hours and the place seems to act as a reset button lowering stress levels all around.

Enough of my sales pitch on GSP; you’ll either go and like it, or you won’t. But just in case, look at the views.

So on our way there, we made our usual stop in Sabinal at the One Stop where I picked up a copy of The Leaky Star, a newspaper from the town of Leakey located just a few miles from Garner State Park. We’ve driven into town a time or two over the years but really, don’t bother going if you are looking to purchase some beer.

Anyway, I started reading through the paper and found it very entertaining journalism. I really enjoyed an article about this guy who had been released on parole only to be seen by eyewitnesses to be violating the conditions of his probation. I just assume that in really small towns, everybody knows everybody else, so if you get out of the pokey and the rule is you can’t drive, it probably isn’t really smart to drive.

The article states,

For two days, following court, Thomas was seen driving around town in his truck, reportedly still with an invalid license. He was cited at The Hog Pen on Friday morning and at the Frio River crossing near the Pecan Farm Saturday afternoon. He drives a large jacked up white Ford truck with a flag displayed in the rear. A witness reported on Saturday the front windshield appeared to have been bashed. Complaints were filed with the Real County Sheriff's office.

By the way, I think the man was “sighted” not “cited”, but who knows?

Can you imagine if the residents of San Antonio contacted the newspaper every time they saw a parole violator or for that matter, someone breaking the law? They would have to start an entire new section. Imagine if you knew your neighbor didn’t have car insurance and called Eyewitness Wants to Know as soon as he pulled out of the driveway in his car that had expired tags and inspection sticker. The local news would turn into an all day event like CNN, only more entertaining.

I’m not poking fun at The Leakey Star – I genuinely find it refreshing to see news that is relevant to the community and an editor not afraid to tell it like it is. Everybody knows that guy is on parole and the terms don’t allow him to drive, yet he does. They don’t go for the politically correct thing or run a comment from his dear mother who will no doubt argue, “He is such a good boy.”

There was one other thing that I was really surprised to see. A reader named Jerry Blalock submitted a letter to the editor in the form of a poem called “Illegal Immigrants”.

From The Leakey Star*

I cross river, poor and broke, Take bus, see employment folk.
Nice man treat me good in there, Say I need go see Welfare.
Welfare say, 'You come no more, We send cash right to your door.'
Welfare checks, they make you wealthy, Medicaid it keep you healthy!
By and by, Got plenty money, Thanks to you, TAXPAYER dummy.
Write to friends in motherland, Tell them 'come, fast as you can'
They come in buses and Ford trucks, I buy big house with welfare bucks.
They come here, we live together, More welfare checks, it gets better!
Fourteen families, they moving in, But neighbor's patience wearing thin.
Finally, white guy moves away, I buy his house, and then I say, 'Find more aliens for house to rent.' In my yard I put a tent.
Send for family, they just trash, But they, too, draw welfare cash!
Everything is very good, Soon we own whole neighborhood.
We have hobby it called breeding, Welfare pay for baby feeding.
Kids need dentist? Wife need pills? We get free! We got no bills!
He pay all year, To keep welfare running here. We think America darn good place! Too darn good for white man race.
If they no like us, they can go, Got lots of room in Mexico .
*I'll remove it if they ask me to.

I have a fairly good sense of humor I believe and I certainly agree that we have a problem with illegal immigration – starting with the fact that people for some reason want to sugar coat the term to “undocumented immigrant” – but I’m not so sure I would have pushed the envelope of good taste in printing the poem that seemed to equate all illegal’s as Mexican and all legal citizens as white. I am sure there are more than a few US citizens of Mexican heritage, or black folk or Asians or any other race who are opposed to illegals, be they from Mexico, South America or Asia or wherever. And by the way, doesn't it seem to be written as if the the teller of the story is a really bad actor portraying an Indian (feather, not dot) in an old Clint Eastwood movie?

Having said that, just because I didn’t care for the poetic commentary, I was glad to see the editors willing to publish such an awful thing. I help with the paper we put out for our HOA (which has an actual printed distribution 3 times the size of The Leakey Star) and I promise you, it is a struggle for me to write while holding back some of the things I would really like to print. These people have an audience that I suspect are eager to read the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it might come across as a tad bit racist in nature. But who am I to judge? I suspect that more than one Leakey resident read the poem and simply shook his head saying, "Ol' Jerry is at it again."

Good times.

Have you been to Garner State Park? Do you know of another small town paper that I just must read? Do you have a bunch of semi-racist poems that get by because they address a serious issue? I hope you will take the time to leave a comment and tell me about it.


AlanDP said...

We went there once when I was a kid. It was so crowded and the restrooms were so disgustingly filthy that we never went back.

Dave said...

the restrooms were so disgustingly filthy

Yea. I suspect they have stepped up the cleaning schedule somewhat over the years, but even with new facilities (many of the older ones were mowed down by floods), the design leaves a lot to be desired. "Oppressively hot" is exactly what I told my wife about them just the other day, and the smell was not so refreshing either.

That is why you should pee in the Frio River. You'll stay cool and won't have to feel as icky about the restrooms.

Deb said...

LMAO at your suggestion of alternative bathrooms.

That "poem" made me cringe, but I appreciate free speech even if it is informed by a healthy dose of ignorance and bitterness. I can understand why people are upset at Freddie Freeloaders, though.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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