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Letters to the editor

March 29, 2017 at 4 a.m.


Animal shelter a need

Here we go again with more foot dragging, second-guessing and misinformation concerning both the need for a new animal shelter and the city commission's commitment to constructing it. Once again, it is necessary to set the record straight with facts.

First, anyone who doubts that there is an overwhelming need to replace our current shamefully inadequate shelter with one that meets state standards and serves our community should visit the current shelter. Warning: it won't be a pleasant experience. It is an embarrassment, to say the least. It is unhealthy for the animals and for the humans who work and visit there.

The current shelter was built more than 50 years ago. The only toilet for shelter workers and volunteers is located in the cleaning supplies closet. The walls are crumbling. The building is falling apart. It is dank and dreary.

How can we expect people to work and animals to live in such horrible circumstances and keep a clear conscious when a reasonable solution exists? It is time for a new shelter.

The delays and procrastinations in moving forward on the new animal shelter is both a moral issue as well as a civic one. We are supposed to be an All America City. Then let us meet our obligations to provide the government services our commissioners have already approved, and let us meet our moral obligations to make our community safer, healthier and more humane.

Until we replace the current sub-standard shelter with one that meets all necessary standards, we can only hang our heads in shame.

By: Amy Owen, treasurer of Friends of Marshall Animals

When you're my age

When you get to be my age everything reminds you of a story. I'm out working in my garage; the local station is playing an oldie by Freddy Fender …

Forty-two years ago I was playing records and reading news at a radio station in Lafayette. The boss notified us that Freddy Fender and his manager were coming for an interview on the radio. Freddy, at that time, was on top of the charts. Dick Clark was calling him to appear on "American Bandstand." I was elated to do the interview.

Two new Lincolns pulled into the driveway, one for the star and one for his manager. A sure sign of recent rise to wealth from poverty is owning two luxury sedans when one will do just fine.

Freddy and Huey entered the station. We were introduced. Huey was chewing on a large cigar, grinning like a man who has a pile of money and knows where he can get plenty more. Before Freddy, Huey had been a barber in deep South Louisiana. Thanks to his discovery he had retired his clippers and had his own hair stylist. Years later Huey retired to prison to contemplate his sins and success. I hope he found forgiveness.

We sat in a small room for the interview. Freddy told me about growing up as the child of migrant workers. He went from being a child laborer to doing a guest appearance on "The Bob Hope Show." Dick Clark had called and asked him to perform on "American Bandstand." ABC offered him a recording contract from which came a string of hits.

We were both kind of nervous. Me about asking a stupid question and then hearing it broadcast. Freddy was nervous about saying the wrong thing. I guess it's tough to go from being ignored to being the center of attention.

That night Freddy and another young singer/song writer by the name of Eddy Raven did a show at the civic center. I never saw Freddy again. His star rose and then fell. He spent his last years in Corpus Christi where he continued to perform.

The days of unknown singers recording a song and taking copies to a local radio station for an interview and air play are over. The music business today is high-tech, impersonal, with almost no chance of success. Still it's nice to see the ghosts of some old friends in the CD aisle at our local store.

By: Thad H. Carter, Marshall

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