WE LEARNED A LOT
By Founder and Editor Bill L. Olson
It has often been said that the measure of a man is determined not during good times,but in times of tragedy or stress. It is during the most difficult of circumstances we learn about each other as well as ourselves.
The impact Hurricane Harvey had on the Lone Star State is still being felt. However, during our most difficult hours we learned more about our state, the diverse array of people that live here, and about those we are closest or thought we were the closest.
We observed an outpouring of support from Texans from all walks of life and backgrounds. Their actions astounded the news media, those that lived in other parts of this country and world. President Trump hit the nail on the head when he said, “Texas can overcome anything.”
As the days and weeks have passed we have had time to reflect on each of our personal experiences. We remember who reached out to us, and those that disappointed by not being there. It is better to learn who we can rely upon, and pleased by the surprises of those unexpected that reached out with an encouraging or concerned word.
America saw our outdoor community swarm floodwaters like an swarm of bees. Many were our coastal captains we know that put us on fish, while others were our neighbors or fishing friends that toed the mark. Y’all made us proud too.
Law enforcement, including our game wardens, where some of the unheralded first responders. Many times it was a game warden that got the call when a behemoth alligator crawled into a neighborhood yard or even worse was found in the den of a flooded home when waters receded.
A few weeks have passed and the communities impacted the hardest continue to struggle. Some of the smaller towns thought they had been forgotten due to the massive devastation in large urban centers.
Historic, Biblical, unprecedented are all words that tried to describe this 800 Year anomaly. What has not been described is the heart of Texas and Texans. When no one else was around, when cameras where not rolling it was just “folks” helping “folks.” The name Texas just got a little bit larger in the eyes of people around the world.
Now we enter a month that is normally a time of anticipation and excitement. This is the big event for so many — when hunting seasons open and fall fishing heats up. This is normally our special time to get away from the chaos of our lives and enjoy some of God’s simple pleasures he created in our out of doors. Isn’t it nice that there are things we can continue to count on and know will be there.
More than ever the outdoors await as our refuge. A place for us to regroup and reflect on what was experienced.
This time of year there is usually anticipated-charged-chatter about how we are going to catch the biggest this, or finally outsmart the largest that. It is only Texan-like for us to continue to boast big about our intentions, but this year it may be tempered during those solitary times when we say “Wow,” and just give thanks.
We will remember those that lost everything, smile thankfully about those that escaped with less damage, and all know that better days await. Regardless of what does, or does not occur this fall season we know what this state is capable from past experiences and well as recent challenges. Not only do we know individually, but it has been confirmed collectively.
We also know our wildlife and habitat is equally resilient— it’s a part of Texas too.
Until next month: Pursue all of your outdoor activities in a safe and ethical manner.