Edit Blog Post
Published: December 8th 2008
My wife and I visited Huntsville State Park the weekend after Thanksgiving. It was a little wet but otherwise pleasant. We stayed two nights in the travel trailer. Our dogs came along. Saturday my mother drove over from Bryan with my oldest sister and her youngest child, who is in his 20’s. There wasn’t much to do so we drove around the park and reminisced about the times we would camp with my uncle Bobby and his family during the late 50’s and early 60’s. Those were good times and my mother and I have fond memories of those days.
We drove out of the park and north towards Huntsville. We stopped at the Sam Houston statue. If you have never seen it, it is quite the sight. 65 feet tall on a 10 foot pedestal. There is a gift shop there. It is full of various Texas themed knickknacks, most of which are made in China. I walked ahead of the others and wound up just behind the statue. I noticed that hundreds of people had paid to have their name inscribed on the bricks surrounding the base. I spotted a brick that read “BRICKS MAKE GREAT GIFTS”. The
brick next to it read “YOUR NAME COULD BE HERE”. A tinge of doubt crossed my mind when I considered if bricks really do make a great gift.
Picture this scene. It is Christmas morning at your house. Your spouse is about to open that massive present that he/she has been pondering over for so long. (What could it be? It is so massive, so compact, so…… substantial.) The suspense mounts; the foil gift wrap is carefully removed. Adults don’t rip open presents like our snotty nosed kids do. We savor the moment. Finally, when the last bit of paper is removed, there, in all its glory is revealed….a brick. The look of excitement and anticipation turn into a blank stare. The inscription reads “Merry Christmas 2008 your loving spouse”. Bricks make great gifts? I don’t think so.
After taking a short walk around the statue, I headed back towards the gift shop. My mother was walking towards the statue. We met at a picnic table. We stopped. She took a long hard look at the table and declared “There’s something just ain’t right about a cement picnic table”. I agreed. I noticed that the cement picnic table
had a plaque. The plaque informed anyone who bothered to read it that the table was placed there by the Huntsville-Walker County AARP Chapter. (That would be Chapter 2122 for those of you who don’t keep up with that sort of thing) I had no idea that there were AARP Chapters and that people actually attended meetings to discuss such things as putting in cement picnic tables.
We turn now to the Chapter 2122 AARP meeting called to order for the sole purpose of discussing placement of a cement picnic table at the Sam Houston statue:
Cletus: “I make a motion to discuss any new business we have.”
Dudley: “I move that we put a cement picnic table at that statue thing they are puttin’ up on the big highway”
Tony: “I make a movement that we save our money! Let someone else put up a cement picnic table. Anyway, there’s something just ain’t right about a cement picnic table.”
Cletus: “I just wish that I could have a movement.”
Dudley: “Cletus, if you would just read that AARP magazine every now and again, you wouldn’t have that problem. I follow that AARP advice and it keeps me regular!”
Back to the statue. The plaque on the cement picnic table states that “’Sam’ will smile when you deposit your trash in the barrel”. I have read some about Sam Houston. He was, among other things, a farmer, store clerk, school teacher, soldier, district attorney, congressman, major-general, commander-in-chief, president of a republic, Indian agent, senator, and was both the seventh governor of Tennessee and Texas. He was deposed as governor after refusing to swear allegiance to the Confederate States of America -- making him the only person to be run out of the governor's office in two different states. He ran away from home at 16 and lived with the Cherokees for three years. He was adopted into the tribe by the Chief. He grew his hair out and “adopted their ways”. He received numerous war wounds, one of which never healed and plagued him for the remainder of his life. At the age of 36 he married Eliza Allen, a woman half his age. The marriage ended 11 weeks later when she ran screaming from their house in the middle of the night. He then went back to the Cherokee and married a Native American. It seems that
he consumed massive quantities of adult beverages. After his 2nd. wife died, he married one final time and settled down somewhat. Sam Houston died when he was 70. I bet Sam smiled often, but I don’t think it had much to do with putting trash in a barrel.
Tot: 2.474s; Tpl: 0.047s; cc: 9; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0391s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb