Saturday, August 27, 2005

Throwing Aunt Jemima To The Lions

Like most members of the media, this past week I've spent a lot of time writing stories about Cindy Sheehan - if you don't know about her then I applaud you and please don't let me yank your head out of the hole you've found so comfortable. If I had a choice I wouldn't write anything about her. It's not that I agree or disagree with her, I'm simply sick of her.

However one of the radio stations I do news for is in Waco, and Ms. Sheehan is the talk of the town, not so much because of her beliefs but because of all the folks who have descended on Waco and nearby Crawford to either join Ms. Sheehan in her cause or to demonstrate against her. It's now become an organized event for both sides...kind of like the carnival coming to town except there are no rides or animals, but there still seems to be an abundance of animal dung left behind.

As you might imagine the folks in the small town of Crawford, no matter their political leanings, are kind of sick of everybody. It's hot...really hot...and humid...wake up feeling sticky humid. It is generally uncomfortable in Crawford anyway without having a bunch of California peace activists and California pro-military, pro-President Bush activists screaming at each other and swarming all over the place, staging "media events." When they're not doing that they're going in and out of restaurants, gas stations, motels, and bars...and letting a lot of the cool dry air escape outside.

In truth, there's not much to do in Crawford...or Waco and now these folks who have traveled all the way there are scrambling to find something to occupy their time when the TV cameras are off - evidently a lot of these people on both sides don't have to work for a living.

So who is the primary beneficiary of this restlessness?

Hearne - the town of Hearne - which is not too far away. A lot of the Crawford invaders have ended up going to Hearne for something to do.

Hearne's biggest claim to fame is that it was the hometown of Rosie Lee Moore Hall...she was the last real person to play Aunt Jemima for the Quaker Oats company. She had that role from 1950 to 1967 when she died and the company started thinking different about things.

You can go to Hearne and visit her grave. That's about the extent of the Hearne experience, but so help me that's what people are doing.

I'm serious, once you've seen the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco and driven by Mount Carmel where the Branch Davidians died your Central Texas sight-seeing options tend to degrade rather rapidly.

I believe I mentioned that Amy and I are house-sitting for friends the next few days. We're doing this for several reasons. First off, their house is clean and every once in a while we like to remember what that's like. Secondly, they've got cable out the wazoo so we can really be completely mindless fools should we so choose - this blog entry is ending soon by the way. Lastly, they have a really nice house and sort of like to have people watch out for their really nice stuff when they're protect it from people like...well like us.

Anyway I was thinking today about how we are the guardians of their domain when I read this story.

I really...really like this idea. Having a problem with bandits? Unleash the lions! The kids hanging out on the corner starting to make you a little nervous? "Sic 'em Leo!"

I was struck by the simplicity of the solution and sort of gladdened by it - of course I may have been watching too many Steven Segal movies on cable...who knows?

In any case, I hope the folks in Crawford don't get wind of this approach to dealing with unwanted malingerers.

Okay, to be honest, I sort of hope they do.