I once was passing my neighbors place out of Dripping Springs and saw he was there. It was a weekday and I realized he, being a state employee probably had the day off because it was Texas Independence Day.
When I pulled up he came outside a we visited a few minutes, then he said, why don’t we drive into town a buy a 6 pack of Lone Star Beer and drive over across the creek, Onion Creek, to the “lookout” a place he really enjoyed. It seemed like the Texas thing to do. I had nothing going on so that’s what we did. We had a nice long good talk.
Anyway as we loaded up and pulled out onto the little country back road heading to town, he looked over at me and said, “aren’t you going to fasten your seatbelt”?
I laughed and said “well we are just running to town”.
The new seat belt law for Texas had just passed and became law.
He said “Lewis if I can’t get you to buckle up, how will I ever get everyone else to”?
He had a point so snapped the buckle shut and have religiously worn one ever sense. That was around 35 years ago.
My beer drinking buddy that afternoon was the then Governor of Texas, Mark White.
What did we talk about that afternoon?
It was mostly centered around the over crowding problem in Texas Prisons. He knew I was in the construction business and he was seeking my assistance in piloting a program to give early release to some worthy prisoners that just needed a break.
He thought that if they could come out and show up to work (digging ditches, if you will) and not get back in trouble, they could find their way more easily back into society.
We did some planning and talking about it. He wanted to jump start it after he was reelected. Only problem, he went down to defeat in the election and so did that program.
I thought of the whole experience being something that could help in a myriad of ways. Helping the prison overcrowding. It would give some men a real chance to start over. It was just a good thing to do and would give me an endless supply of workers. Oh well, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.