For Easter, children and the spring that hopes eternal

I’ve said before that I hate spring, and I do.

This is not the climate or location for it, even in the best years.

For the longest time, I thought the smoke from all of the wildfires was just the usual dust blowing in the air, the brown particle overcast of West Texas common to the season. It’s too dry to keep down the dirt, and that’s true, yet it’s now too dry for there to be much left unburnt except for dust, it sometimes seems lately.

Continue reading For Easter, children and the spring that hopes eternal

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The South will rise again, then Sherman will reincarnate

It’s the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, all this year and for the next four, and it started, really, really, with April 12 and Fort Sumter. Now we’re getting into the sort of thing mustachioed Southern men can actually re-enact, and be interviewed about while dressed up on the History Channel.

(Or rather, be interviewed about on the History Channel as it existed 15 years ago.)

This is the good part of the Civil War, the one everyone likes with its gallantry and troop movements, and “Oh, brother-against-brother; they had such courage on both sides, and who really knows who was in the right?”

Continue reading The South will rise again, then Sherman will reincarnate

No, we shouldn’t really make junior high kids smoke

The other day I went to visit my parents’ home to say hello and pick up some mail that fails to migrate with me to new residences.

As I parked and walked up to the door, I went across their lawn and first thought they’d started laying down straw before I realized it was grass, or used to be.

“Wow,” I said when I got inside. “You’re sure taking this water-restriction thing serious, aren’t you?”

My dad said, “What water restrictions?”

(He didn’t really.)

Continue reading No, we shouldn’t really make junior high kids smoke

The Main Drag

There’s nothing about Jimmy to suggest he’s a showman.

At 34, the short, somewhat chunky Hispanic looks polite but entirely modest to the point of boring. Hiding his smiles under his baseball cap and his shrugs under his hoodie, he stands in a dimmer part of Club Passions and sips quietly from a longneck.

Jimmy isn’t the last person you’d expect to go perform on stage, but he is toward the bottom of the list. And that’s before you notice he’s got a bad hip and a limp.

But that was a workday. The next time I see him, it’s a Saturday, and the weekend changes things. Jimmy has put on his dancing shoes, girded his loins — and torso — and put on a dress, wig and makeup.

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This is a democracy; we get the government we deserve

In my younger, more mentally virile days I could have written a very, or at least somewhat, sophisticated allegory using President Obama to represent all the various recent abuses of local-government transparency as opposed to open records laws written and intended.

Continue reading This is a democracy; we get the government we deserve