Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: In Public’s Interest

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: In Public’s Interest


YES, I AM still here looking out this window on Main Street, and I now believe that in the public’s best interest I should interrupt my campaign to become the city’s deputized and armed Downtown J-Turn Enforcement Officer. I dread the coming spike in offenses I’m sure will arrive once the traffic criminals learn that there is no one in the guard tower.

But our president has told me to stay home in the face of the Coronavirus since I’m a senior citizen. Well, I’ll disobey him, but I’ll duck behind the window just in case he has informants out there. Some of them would love to squeal on me in return for a high Cabinet position or a possible ambassadorship to a warm Mediterranean country or a night’s complimentary lodging plus breakfast with Melania at Mar-a-Lago.

I sincerely hope this virus threat isn’t merely a hoax thought up by the mayor to help him ignore the city’s great need for a J-Turn officer, along with my offer to serve in this capacity.  The virus needs to go away. It is nearly time to pack away my unused winter camo uniforms.

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THE GOOD EARTH. Now the streets and lawns are awash with Bradford Pear blossoms which have blown loose. Ditto for the Tulip Trees — they never keep their blooms long. And the Japanese Cherry Blossom tree in my front yard is showing pale pink blooms.

MORE OF THE GOOD EARTH. One of the rarest trees on the planet is the Clanwilliam Cedar which lives only in the rugged western cape of South Africa. The species has been around for a long, long time. In fact, it survived the last ice age.

A conservation outfit in South Africa estimates that there are only about 13,000 of the trees still in existence. They survive mostly high in rocky mountains.

At one time the main threat to Clanwilliam Cedars was tribespeople gathering firewood. Another threat was rodents eating the young shoots.

But in the last 20 or so years, the climate has changed for the drier and hotter, and the Cedars just aren’t reproducing very well. And there are fires in that area caused by climate change. Any of these trees that are touched by even a little fire are doomed.

Conservationists are hiking into the mountain wilds to plant seedlings among the rocks, and often they have to hike for days to find likely spots. They also carry water to give freshly-planted seedlings a start-off drink.

It may seem like a small thing to save a species of cedar tree, but put enough endangered plants and animals on the extinct list and we may find that Mother Earth can’t take care of her humans, either.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. An acknowledged expert on the Roadrunner visited my desk last week to share a little-known fact about these swift-footed birds: If a Roadrunner runs north on a road it means that weather is about to get hotter. Conversely, if the bird runs south it means cold weather is coming.

“But what if it runs from side-to-side on the road?” I asked.

“It means the weather is uncertain,” he replied.

Pure genius. I don’t deserve to be in the same with room.

MORE CRACKERS. I’ve got bluebirds. Saw a pair inspecting one of the boxes on my patio, Sunday afternoon. AND MORE. Someone observed the other day that there has been a record number of dead skunks on highways this year. AND MORE. It was dark as I drove out of my neighborhood one evening last weekend when I saw a possum rumble across the street. Her back was lined with little ones.

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THANKS. I am reminding myself — and notifying you — to thank Sheriff Bryan McJunkins who sent out litter crews last week. I noted many many stuffed orange bags along the highway from Saratoga north to Tollette. That’s just a drop in the bucket, though. And someone in Hempstead County needs to complain to that sheriff about litter.

Our sheriff notes that litter control is expensive. I didn’t realize that the bags are picked up by highway employees in state vehicles. Worth the cost, in my humble opinion. Crime follows blight, my pappy said.

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WHEN IT RAINS. It pours. Down in Texarkana they are not only wrestling with the the virus and with border jealousy, but BOTH sides of the city are under a boil water order. Due to a break in a water line, it is possible that some drinking water got contaminated, so until the possibly dirty water can be purged and lines sanitized again, Texarkannannannanners must boil their drinking water.

I believe in the adage that all bad things come in threes, so folks along the state line had better be prepared for the third.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) email: “If a turtle doesn’t have a shell is it homeless or naked?”

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WORD GAMES. Another set of twins: Sodom and Gomorrah. Stay away and don’t ask questions!

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HE SAID: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

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SHE SAID: “Once I knew only darkness and stillness … my life was without past or future … but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.” Helen Keller, teacher

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