Because of COVID-19, I hadn’t taken my grand-kids to a movie in over a year, and it’s something I love to do. I have thought about taking them to the Drive-In down in Palmer between Ennis and Corsicana, but that’s a long way to go and I’m old enough to remember what Drive-Ins are like in the winter time. The windows of the car fog up constantly and you have to keep wiping the windshield just to see.
Columns & Editorials
If you have a child or other family member who has special needs due to physical or mental conditions, you face a variety of challenges planning for their care, including financial ones. You may also have some wellmeaning relatives who want to help, but who may not realize that their moves could actually result in some serious lifestyle and monetary problems for your loved one. Fortunately, by planning ahead, you can avoid these potential traps.
As virtual learning rolls on, it is becoming more evident how much parents rely on schools being open. It seems with each new day, more parents want their children back in the classroom. I read a news story out of Los Angeles where parents took to the streets in downtown LA for a morning caravan, demanding schools be reopened immediately so their children “could get an education.”
An historic weather event occurred in Texas the week of February 14-19, 2021. Record setting low temperatures and actual snow fell in most of North Texas with the Forney area receiving a number of inches of snow and personal pictures normally seen in Colorado. Electricity distribution was endangered and water froze in pipes in extremely cold homes. But the Forney Family stepped up and volunteered to cook for families who had no power, bring firewood to help create warmth in people’s fireplaces, and transport those who had no other way to get to warmer accommodations.
Dear Aunt B Readers,
The 1920 Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a sight to behold with its multiple newspapers, movie theaters, grocery stores, schools, churches, hotels, medical centers, and nightclubs. Historians credit Tulsa for embodying very progressive racial views. See, Greenwood was a black neighborhood, a very successful black neighborhood. A black family could live, shop, and even obtain a bank loan from another black person without leaving the comfort of their own neighborhood, a feat unheard of anywhere else in the US at that time. Booker T Washington deserves much of the credit for Greenwood’s success. His visit in 1905 set all of the wheels in motion. He was instrumental in guiding the community’s black leaders toward developing 4,000 acres within Tulsa two full years before OK was even considered for statehood. I bet you’re asking why Tulsa? Again, we turn to the historians who explain that post-emancipation slaves largely stayed & settled in the Oklahoma area. They would soon rub elbows with prosperity when massive amounts of oil were discovered in 1901 and again in 1905 with the Glenpool area wells. Soon, the whole country wanted a piece of the action, too. In 1900, Tulsa’s population was 1,400. By 1920, they hit 98,874. The money was flowing as fast as the oil, and, since Booker T had persuaded the Greenwood community to stress education over everything else, a very savvy black community was poised to achieve a lifestyle that would be envied by black neighborhoods throughout the country. The Greenwood District was so successful, it picked up a trendy nickname: Black Wall Street. This is how it was meant to be, they thought. Look at us working hard one generation past slavery. Look how we’re going to persevere. Look what we’ve created. Alas, you may already know this won’t end well. If not, consider this a spoiler alert of catastrophic proportions.
I have just started an adventure that I have always wanted to embark on. I am jogging the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall from near the North Sea on the Eastern Edge of Great Britain to the Irish Sea to the West. I started at Walssend and jogged along breathtaking views of the River Tyne, and at a pace of 30 minutes a day I finished the first of thirteen legs of the Hadrian’s wall jog in two days at Quayside. The best part is the weather was a perfect 70 degrees with not even a drop of the rain that Central England is notorious for and I never left my living room. I jogged the path on my treadmill with a computer monitor mounted on top.
Our actions and how we spend our money tell us more about our priorities and motives than anything we tell ourselves or others. This sentiment is accurate when you consider public education in Texas is moving forward with STARR testing in the spring. According to a January 4th article in the Texas Tribune, $388 million in assessment contracts have been awarded to two companies, one of which has a 30+ year history of providing assessment services for Texas students.
According to the news the COVID-19 is mutating, growing stronger, and may become immune to the vaccine. Although we don’t need a picture of doom and gloom we can become more aware and ready for what is to come. I think we should start by giving thanks and praise to GOD for our own health then protect ourselves the best we can and be ready to help others when they need it. Humans’ needs are everywhere and as Christians we should be available to help.
Aqueducts, concrete, elaborate roadways & bridges, bathhouses: Ancient Rome was a very sophisticated place. Experts may disagree on the order of importance in the factors that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire, but they agree that things like an army that grew ineffective, a failing economy, an incompetent emperor, and invading barbarians all played crucial roles. Regardless, the ruination of Rome inevitably led to the loss of these tremendous engineering feats. Indeed, in the case of concrete, that knowledge would fade away by 476 AD (those darn Goths), and not be rediscovered until 1824. But, we are here neither to bury Caesar nor to praise him. We’re here to talk about another black American you must know, but probably don’t. But this Roman thing, tuck it into your back pocket for me, please?
I’m including background that someone reading my column for the first time might not know. If you read it regularly feel free to skip down a couple of paragraphs.
In this climate of uncertainty that is becoming our new sense of normal, I have found myself increasingly hopeful we will emerge a better, cohesive more caring America; especially as it relates to education. I have seen so many creative approaches to teaching children, some of these methods should remain long after COVID19 is a distant memory. This predicament has forced us to look at education, health and life differently and with hopefully, a new appreciation for each.
Dear Aunt B,
It’s all our fault: the participation trophies, the “everyone’s a winner” mentality, the “no awards” movement. We, the latchkey kids of the 70s and 80s, are sorry. It’s out of control in a way we never envisioned. It’s just, we got all in our feelings. After all, it was a rough life. And, it all started with Valentine’s Day. Play the Gilligan’s Island dream sequence music, cause we’re going back in time.
Let me get the important information in this article out of the way up front before I tell the story. Dr. Wilson at Texas Health Family Care is receiving 70 doses of COVID-19 Vaccine per day.