Wylie is a State of Mind

Remember when Alicia Keys sang about New York being a state of mind? Ffffftttt. New York isn't a state of mind, it's a loud, crowded and dirty playground for adults. In fact, the same can be said for most big cities. Oh sure, you can take the drive to a theme park and spend the day having fun, but what about spending every day of your life having fun?

My husband grew up in NYC. His childhood consisted of drab, grey concrete, being chased by gangs if he went into the wrong territory and being robbed of his brand new bike, you know, the cool 70s one with the banana seat. His childhood existence was devoid of the small, daily activities that made childhood fun and memorable, and I mean memorable in a good way.

As "the blogger", I have spent a lot of time ragging on the political activities of the adults. But I was reminded as I shared breakfast at Country Club Cafe with my husband and youngest son this morning, that the adults are not the most important part of Wylie. The kids are.

Thankfully, I have my wonderful son to remind me of that which I had nearly forgot. Shame on me.

I remember the first time I took my husband into Wylie High School when my oldest son was about to enter. The PTA held a parent meeting in the library and I dragged the hubster along so he could see where the final four years of his son's childhood would be molded.

He stood in the entry, in wide-eyed wonderment, taking in
the massive cafeteria, mural walls
and stairwell. It was unlike any school he ever went to. For his childhood there was no such thing as school sports teams, and certainly no such thing as school dances let alone prom. I reveled in watching him experience the same exciting events as my son, both of them for their first time ever.  

Photo credit: Paul Brooks
This was what he wanted for both of his sons. This is what he worked so hard for. This is what moving to Wylie enabled him to give them.

Wylie is not about Broadway musicals, sterile subways and moving masses of people that are blind to you among the other moving masses. Wylie is that Wonka Factory for young families.

I recall when we moved here in 2001. We dressed our sons up for Halloween and took them downtown to the Boo on Ballard. Back then, we wandered around from table to table and collected candy. Now it has grown into a shoulder to shoulder event.

Even today, there is a guy in our neighborhood who hooks up his Boo Choo Train each Halloween so he can transport the costumed kiddies around the neighborhood. Seriously, how cool is that?

I recall the concerts in Olde City Park with my youngest sliding through a muddy ditch, only to stand and say he was now camouflaged. Even today, we have the highly successful Bluegrass on Ballard festival every year, and there is always, always, always something for the kids, from pony rides, to face-painting, to petting zoo.

I remember standing in a cold line of people many Christmases ago, waiting to enter the Holiday Express train  that makes its way into town dressed up similar to Thomas the Tank Engine. We marveled at the Christmas decorations as we made our way through the train to see Santa.  

Even the schools make Wylie special, with activities, proms, football games and graduation.

I remember my sons getting to have tea in Brown House. I remember sitting in the stadium and watching football games and clapping along with the class song. These are things my husband never had available to him in New York. These are the things that make Wylie a state of mind, more so than New York ever could.

This small town is for the kids and we prove it at every turn. There are pedal car races and a lively library that is tailored to the youngsters, with more story times, comic-book events and activities than Harry Potter can shake a quidditch stick at. Even the rodeo is tailored to kids of all ages.

For any family that is lucky enough to live here, they should count themselves blessed for all of the wonderful memories they have been able to make for their kids. I know we do.

Does America Really Need Another Gasbag in DC?

I suppose it had to happen. I mean, if we can have a movie star in President Reagan, and an unsophisticated loudmouth businessman in President Trump, I suppose Michigan can have their beloved musician Kid Rock as their Senator, even if I kind of question his intellectual stamina.

Though it's not official yet, the man is contemplating whether he has what it takes to change what's going on in DC. Pshaw. He even stopped his recent show in Las Vegas to see how a little political speech might run up the flagpole.

I suppose if your eardrums have been violently assaulted for an hour while getting a contact high, anything sounds good.

I cannot help but wonder if this stellar prose from that speech is what we have to look forward to from a rock and roll senator:
"If you want to take a knee or sit during our Star Spangled Banner, call me a racist because I'm not PC and remind me that Black lives matter. Nazis, XXXXXXX bigots and now the KKK. I say XXXX all you racists. Stay the hell away." - Kid Rock
Except the man is loved. He's dearly loved. Those Michiganian fans are all over this nonsense, and they might just be crazy enough to put this man into office. If you thought a President Trump (R) was bad enough, wait for rude, crude and obnoxious Senator Rock (FU). Good grief.

Just when you thought we might be able to move on from Trump's bombastic stupidity on the campaign trail, Lord have mercy, we may have to listen to the badly aging rock and roller and his salty language. Lovely.

Photo credit: Twitter

An Open Letter from Texas to Charlie Hebdo

Facebook: Brent Webster
Hey, Charlie Hebdo. As socialists, I wouldn't expect you to comprehend the indomitable Texas spirit. Clearly, you would rather spew hatred and ignorance around the world, than help your neighbor.

While everyday heroes, that you generalized in cartoon as self-serving, gun-loving, bible-thumping white supremacists, took time off of work, loaded their personal vehicles and drove their trucks, boats and box trailers to Southeast Texas to help hurting people of all colors, religions and identities, you sat cackling behind your poisonous charcoal stub, sketching out an overwhelmingly clear image of jealousy and pettiness. You truly showed a lack of quality in your character. Definitely not your finest moment.

That's OK. We don't expect you to get it. Texans don't sit idly by, wringing our hands, waiting for government handouts and protection from harm. Rather, we spring into action to help our brothers and sisters in need. It is the very spirit behind Americans rebuilding your country after WWII. To thank the US, you continually nip at our heels like a pesky Chihuahua.

Facebook: Brent Webster
Facebook: Ken Emanuelson
We don't expect a neutered, neurotic Poodle to understand why Texas strangers heeded a call to help others by loading donated supplies and driving hundreds of miles to Houston. With such powdered behinds, you couldn't possibly understand why strangers helped each other launch hundreds of bass boats to rescue random men, women, children, pets, cattle, horses and even a deer from the putrid, killing waters. Obviously everyday bravery is lost on such panty waists.

Bravery is what we do here in America, and we do it rather well. Though a biased and misguided media may highlight our worst hours, thankfully social media highlights our best. We lead with photos of Americans spending time and money to help, rather than hurt Texans, while you were spending your time trying to hurt, rather than help.

In case you were wondering, this is what the average, God-fearing Texas hero in a bass boat looks like. It's certainly a far cry from the rather rare and elusive skinhead you painted.

Facebook: Brent Webster. From left: Brent Webster, Brandon Brickley, Brad Bromlow, Ben Meadows and Mike Meadows
Facebook: Ken Emanuelson
That's OK. We forgive your ignorance. We don't expect you to look beyond your free speech attempt to mangle our free will. Still, if I had to place my bet on a society, it would be on ours, rather than whatever it is yours has become, that can so easily kick people while they are down. Your ignorance and stereotypes harm you, not us.

I invite you to put down your flimsy drawing tools and join us in Texas to do some real work, as everyday heroes move from saving people's lives to helping people rebuild. Who knows? Maybe you will learn a thing or two about the people who once chanted, "Je Suis Charlie" in solidarity with you. Maybe you will finally overcome your close-minded pettiness and see exactly what makes the Texas spirit so indestructible and resilient.

Cover photo credit: Facebook