LETTERS TO OLD TIMER
I get sporadic feedback from folks that frequent this column. I hate email, but I do check it once a week or so and typically I get emails from folks with some free time on their hands that care to share their own opinion either with what I’ve discussed in the previous column, OR their opinion on what I should be talking about in the future.
I received this little gem this past month and want to discuss briefly:
Dear Old Timer,
I have been reading the Explore magazine for several years now and I always look forward to your article. I agree with most of what you say: the traffic problem, the duck “left behinds” on the sidewalks caused by their overpopulation, the growth of our little town, the unsynchronized traffic lights, the overgrown vacant lot at the corner of River Road, and the TAJ MAHAL otherwise known as City Hall, etc.
But enough of your griping Old Timer!!!Let’s just say, I am the Pollyanna to your Mr. Grumpy. Yes, change has come to our little town. The only two constants in life are death and taxes . . . and our little town definitely has its problems. I for one, wish that our elected officials would really look at our growth problem and make some positive changes. We, who have the POWER to elect those people, need to exercise our rights and for crying out loud! Vote for those who have common sense. (That will be my slogan when I run for office!)
My thought is to look to the positive and come up with some good solutions. For instance, the weed growing vacant lot on the corner of River Road. Why doesn’t someone (and not me, I’m too old) find out who owns that lot and see if they would be willing to beautify it on behalf of the city. Imagine a few trees, some benches that you could sit on and enjoy your shaved ice or frozen yogurt and maybe a small water feature . . . Maybe, even some private donations could be involved. What a wonderful gateway to our quaint town! Better than an ugly, weirdly fenced lot.
So, Mr. Grumpy, maybe you and I need to meet and we could accentuate the positive (I think that is a movie song) and come up with some viable solutions for our little town as it grows and grows and grows!
I share this letter because it is very similar to the feedback I get the majority of the time, not only from the readers of this column, but from the very leaders I frequently criticize that have the power to actually enact some changes in our little ‘burg. “Oh Old Timer – all you do is bitch. It’s endless. Why not focus on some positives for once, you old codger?!?!” is the jist of it.
I snort and smile when I hear this because it tells me a couple of things – 1. this person (and the people that say this to me in person) don’t actually read my column and 2. despite their griping at me, they actually AGREE with me.
First of all, yes I do complain about the stupid shit that goes on around here. Yes, it irritates me but it actually makes me laugh most of the time simply from the sheer stupidity of it all. I mean, Mad Money Mike $chultz’s Taj-Mah-City-Hall will go down as one of the most ridiculous and corrupt chapters in our town’s history. So yes, I laugh about it and make fun of the building.
Yes, I complain about the stop lights because, well….we ALL should. The timing is perfectly designed to piss you off and beg for new roads, and TxDot has done this for years. Growth. Jeez. Need I say more? My favorite part to our growth problem is how some new franchise joint moves to town, citizens gasp in horror, bemoan the relentless growth, and whine about the loss of charm…and then there’s a line wrapped around the building to get into said franchise joint. It’s funny and sad at the same time.
So yeah, I definitely have some fun at the expense of some of the more ridiculous things that go on around here.
That said, the author above says I should be more positive and find solutions, and to that I say: Do you have any idea the number of articles I have written along the lines of “Old Timer’s Top 5 Ways to Fix XYZ Problem”?? They’re countless. I’ve been doing this now (consults calendar) going back ALMOST TEN YEARS NOW and have written so many topics I’ve probably forgotten most of them. Yes, many are snarky and negative, but many are also solution based. Yes some of my solutions are snarky as well, such as my relentless pursuit to become Boerne’s Emperor so I can single-handedly fix a bunch of the dumb shit that happens around here. But some are actually real suggestions.
Such as the River/Main lot referenced in her letter. How many times have I actually suggested that the City should buy it ASAP. If they can built Taj-Mah-City-Hall…they can find the money to buy it. Then we should build a nice Kendall County Museum there. What a great gateway for tourists and locals to get out of the heat as they walk Main Street and actually learn about our community and WHY it should be saved. I’ve said it for years. I’ve discussed how to clean up River Road Park. I’ve talked about parking solutions. I’ve talked about tax issues, bond proposals, street improvements, and City Council initiatives to control growth.
Basically, in between my snarky nonsense, I actually have a brain and try to use it. I think that most of my silly ideas are so off the wall, that some of my REAL ones are overlooked. I would understand why.
So to Ms. Anonymous Letter Writer…I hear you. But it’s now on you to go to www.hillcountryexplore.com and you can actually read every column I’ve ever written if you’re bored. And you’d get a pretty good idea about my thoughts and you’d actually discover that I sincerely do care about this area as it’s been my home since the ‘40s. I hate to see what is happening to it, but I have little more than a voice and this column. So then the question is: What are YOU doing to spearhead some of your ideas? Get involved. Run for office. Start the fundraiser. Get a group together to accomplish your goals. Speak out. Make noise. Join the Board. Volunteer.
I’m way too old for any of that nowadays, but it sounds like you have some good thoughts and motivation, so I challenge you to ENGAGE. The apathy of this community is one of its worst features, as we have the power to do so much more than we do. We can all bitch and moan for another decade and then scratch our heads when we realize that there’s literally nothing left to “save”.
Ok, rant over. Thank you for the note and I hope you’ll write me back and tell me about all the initiatives you’ve been working on and the progress you’ve made. And hopefully you’ll keep reading my rants and perhaps even take some of my less-than-zany ideas and use them as inspiration.
Especially the one about making me Emperor.