| A friend who recently
moved to East Texas from Ohio says
he is aghast that city residents here are allowed to burn leaves in their yard
whenever they want. |
Where he came from, he contends, leaf-burning is decidedly
against the law and people are prosecuted and sent to the stocks. What my friend
doesn't realize is that he's bucking an old East
Trying to take away the privilege of burning leaves
in the yard is tatamount to arresting a child for selling lemonade on a hot summer
Yes, there are municpal ordinances on the books prohibiting yard
fires, but I don't remember a city enforcing them, except in places like Houston
and Dallas, where they stopped honoring
East Texas traditions a long time
A good example is the dog leash law. One of the hottest controveries
that ever erupted in East Texas occurred
in the sixties when several cities decided that dogs ought to be stopped from
running loose on the streets.
It sounded reasonable, but the muncipal
planners forgot one thing: East Texans consider their dogs members of the family.
city went through considerable anguish in trying to pass the leash law. Hundreds
of dog-lovers marched on City Hall, suggested a community hanging for the city
manager who had proposed the law, and threatened to kick out of office everyone
who voted for such a vile ordinance. The council held its ground, however, and
the leash law was enacted.
The council's courage reminded me of an early
Lufkin mayor who campaigned to
pen up hogs that were running loose in the downtown area. When he was elected,
he had the police round up all loose pigs in town. They were penned in an enclosure
a few blocks from the downtown business district.
The trouble was, the
pigs kept getting loose. In desperation, the mayor had the pigs put in the city
jail, where they couldn't dig out. This idea was abandoned, too, when the prisoners,
in the words of a reporter, "gave cause to complain."
that is dying a slow, agnozing death in East
Texas is running deer with dogs. For as long as I can remember, some East
Texas hunters have used dogs to chase down deer before shooting them (the deer,
not the dogs).
However, the folks in Austin
who enforce our game laws felt that this type of hunting was unfair to the deer,
not to mention the hunters without deer dogs.
So they proposed an end
to the practice. And, sure enough, the dog/deer folks didn't take it lying down.
They did what any self-respecting hunter would do. They burned down the woods
and the deer habitat, probably on the theory that if dogs can't chase deer, the
deer aren't worth having anyway.
We once had a state representative in
Lufkin who was as popular as anyone
who had ever held the office. He had been reelected several times and it appeared
that he could do nothing wrong. That is, until he changed the dates of the squirrel
At the next election, voters turned him out quicker than a minnow
can swim a dipper.
Bowman's East Texas
March 28, 2011 Column.
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers
on dogs, deer and other animals in Texas |
From Texas' Past | Texas |