Dance with the one who brung ya
There is a difference between getting older and getting wiser, although you can hope that with age you will gain wisdom along with those wrinkles.
We’ve only lived in Port Aransas for 26 years. By no means are we “old-timers.” However, our memory is getting longer by the minute. It’s long enough that I’m surprised when someone, especially one who is involved in the community, is unaware of, and worse, has no curiosity about the background of a civic project, a building or a program.
What seems to be important to too many people is the “here and now,” rather than how we got here and where we go from here. It is important to have a historical perspective of, and an appreciation for a community before rushing headlong into whatever may be the passion of the moment.
Look around. Read street names. Note the public buildings. Tally up the school or communitysponsored activities. Get a feel for the community mind-set, its priorities and objectives.
Who put in enough sweat equity to rate having a street or building named after him or her, and what was that equity?
How did that public facility or community activity come to be?
The answer is that someone came before you, toiled so that Port Aransas could be a better place.
Many people have given their hearts and souls, their money, their time and their talent so Port Aransas could be what it is today. They have brought it to the point that it can be taken to the next level. That must be respected.
Without the many fine citizens who have given so much without thought of personal gain (ergo the Citizen of the Year award), Port Aransas would not have so many wonderful public venues or programs that have improved our quality of life.
We are blessed to have “the next generation” taking the reigns to even further enhance our fine community.
Let them, however, be ever mindful that the Bill Ellis Memorial Library, H.G. Olsen Elementary School, Brundrett Middle School, the Una Farley Library and Doyle Marek Gym at Port Aransas High School, the (Roy) Pollock Center, the Jerry McDonald Field, the Melvin O. Littleton Ferry Landing, the Fred Rhodes Memorial Pavilion at, to mention yet another, Roberts Point Park; the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, the Joan and Scott Holt Paradise Pond, as well as many of the streets that are named for real people who made contributions that have made huge differences in the quality of life we enjoy. (My apologies – that list is certainly not complete.)
We are the recipients of the benefits of many facilities and programs (geared largely toward the youth) thanks to the hard work of these people and others like them who never sought to gain public recognition.
Given the tradition of community service in Port Aransas, it is invigorating to see the younger generation begin to take responsibility for the future of our community.
That responsibility includes an understanding of and respect for the past because “You gotta dance with the one who brung ya.” If you don’t understand that, I’m going to have to give you a crash course in Texana 101.
Bottom line: We didn’t’ get here without out some help. Don’t forget it, and always appreciate it.