Monthly Archives: April 2023

Whistle story

So I keep my whistles in a wooden tall vase with blue glass beads in it to weigh it down (picture above with Mason Jar so blue glass beads can be seen) when we perform, so they’re sitting there beside the mike ready for when Mark or Kim lean over and say ‘Get your G whistle. This song is in G’ and I can just fetch it out and start tootling. So I had the tall wooden vase in the front seat floor passenger side.

I turned a corner and heard the most alarming rattling. I thought “Good God there’s a snake in this truck!”

I pulled over to the side and the rattling got worse. The vase had tipped over and was spilling its blue glass beads, sounding exactly like a rattlesnake.

Scares like that are not good for your blood pressure.

The ribbons are for quick identification. The C whistle has a purple ribbon, the D whistle a yellow ribbon, A has no ribbon, the B-flat is the only metal whistle I have, and the G is so big there’s no mistaking it.

It is the nature of pennywhistles that they play in only one key at a time so you have to have one for each key. Sometimes they forget to tell me or pastor John has a new song unidentified as to key and so I go tentatively through on or the other trying to find the key. Fun times.

Uvalde, a changed town April 7 2023

This was yesterday. The occasion; a speeding van full of illegals, mainly Hondurans, gunned it right through town and ended up crashing into several other cars. Nobody killed this time. this is the main square of Uvalde, and courthouse, this is where the memorial for the massacred children was set up. Pic from the Uvalde Leader-News.

This stuff never happened before. I mean before the last two years.

This happened on March 24th/23 (UL-N photo) on the Highway 90/southern pacific rail line on the way into Uvalde. Highway 90 was shut down for two hours. (I will learn how to do screen shots soon…) I used to go into Uvalde all the time to shop — the AT&T store, hardware and paint stores, Walmart, a good feed store, an HEB, a good hair and nails place…I never go there any more. You never know when 90 is going to be shut down, or suddenly you hear/see sirens/lights coming at you or coming up behind which means you really should get off the highway altogether because there is , somewhere near you, a madly speeding out-of-control coyote vehicle full of mainly Hondurans.

After the horrible event of last year, May 2022 — in fact four days afterward, there was a shoot-out of some kind on this very same town square full of flowers and memorials to the massacred children, and four people were shot dead. Three had Hispanic names, one had an anglo name but then a lot of people in Honduras/Guatemala have anglo family names. Somebody told me it was a drug gang fight. I had NO IDEA that this little town had drug gangs, much less gangs willing to shoot each other dead right in the town square. Among all the memorial bouquets.

(from the Texas Tribune)

This kind of overt, public violence is recent.

Then within days after that, June of 2022, yet another speeding out-of-control car full of Hondurans slammed into the back of an 18-wheeler, once again right at the square, and more Hondurans were killed. I think it was three deaths.

Sheriff Nolasco has said he is overwhelmed. It’s happening 24/7.

And by the way, think about the reporters at the Uvalde Leader-News. I think they’re extraordinary. They were small-town reporters before all this, with the news being mainly what the high-school sports team and drama club were doing, church services and activities, what’s happening at the rodeo and the Thursday cattle auction, events at the wonderful El Progreso Library. And now they’re plunged into the midst of international drug traffic, the unspeakable school shooting, shootouts in the middle of town, corruption in the Uvalde city and county governments revealed, and yet they maintain a strictly professional approach, as good as any reporting I’ve seen. They’ve risen to the challenges like champs.

Look at a map and you’ll see that highway 83 starts in Laredo and goes straight north. It crosses 90 in Uvalde. 90 takes you to San Antonio, where there are big markets for drugs and prostitution. Keep on north and it will take you to major highways leading to Dallas/Forth Worth. Stay north you’ll end up in Abilene and then on to Kansas, Oklahoma. 83 is an important, if somewhat narrow route to the north.

(Photo by me)

This is old Fort Clark, near Del Rio and north of Laredo, one of a string of forts which served to secure the border back in the early part of the 20th Century. My husband’s father and uncle were assigned to this unforgiving landscape with either the 3rd or the 12th Cavalry, I think it was the 12th, for a year or so. At that time there wasn’t any fentenyl or meth coming across by the ton, or children dragged across for child prostitution, or pedophiles skipping happily over the Rio Grande and into Texas. It was just revolutionaries escaping other revolutionaries, a few gun runners, illegal liquor. How innocent, how artless, how harmless.

Myself and the others hauled our horses to Fort Clark to ride the Springs and stay in the old Fort barracks (now luxurious hotel rooms) shortly after the massacre happened, and when we came to Uvalde, we were held up there just the other side of the square at the light. It was a funeral procession, and I could see a small white casket inside and I knew it was one of the kids.

More on Uvalde and it’s history in another post. So where do I go for supplies etc.? Well both Uvalde and Hondo are forty miles away, both towns in Highway 90 south of here in the flat country. Bandera is 30 miles away by a mountain road and Kerrville is 60 miles away, a much larger town, and it’s in the hill country north of here. So I usually go to Bandera or Kerrville.

This is not to slight our wonderful General Store! The best ever!