This was sent to me by one of our Rockport residents. I felt it warranted being passed on.
AS PER MY DAUGHTER!! So by now, everyone knows that a horrific hurricane hit the Coastal Bend almost two weeks ago. Yes, it was horrific. Yes, it destroyed houses. Yes, it put some people out of a job. And yes, it sucks! All that is true. But I like to look on the bright side of it: Yes, my family was safe. Yes, my friends and aqaintences families were safe. Yes, we had a safe place to stay. Yes, we’ve continued to see how great America is through this whole situation! There have been so many people from so many states and agencies, that have come down to the coast just to help those in need. I have personally seen first hand how many good-hearted people there are in this country. I work at the county jail so you really lose sight and hope for humanity at times. This experience has definitely restored my faith in humanity. There have been so many donations sent to the jail that we’ve had to distribute them to other volunteer organizations. I’ve seen the National Guard, DPS, too many other law enforcement agencies to name, AEP, Asplund (or however you spell it), TX Dot, charity groups, volunteer fire departments, churches, people who are giving away hot meals, and people who just want to help, working countless hours to restore our town to the way it was. It’s been a very humbling and awesome experience. Not excited I had to go through the storm, but grateful that God got a hold of people’s hearts and sent them down here. My family has been blessed beyond reason. My husband’s family has helped us out so much that we can never repay them. We have a trailer to stay in and a pop up that my parents are staying in. We found out that our house is going to be a total. I say, who cares?! Now we can build a brand new house the way we want it! My husband gets a brand new metal garage! I’d like to say to all the people out there who are pitying themselves: YOU LIVED! I think that’s the most important thing. To end this long message, I’d like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that has helped during this time of tragedy. I think God used this hurricane to make us stronger than ever! We’ve all come together as human beings to restore what is a temporary setback. I myself, have never been as proud to be an American as I am right now!
Most people don’t “GET” being a Texan–this guy is starting to.
By Robert Dean:
“I’m not a Texan. I don’t adore the Lone Star State. I’m a transplant who’s lived in Austin for the last four years. I can’t name the state fish, I don’t understand the thing with mums at Homecoming, and I think chicken fried steak sucks. I don’t care about Friday Night Lights.
But I married into a Texas family. A Texas family with crazy deep roots. My wife is a direct descendant from the Texas Revolution. Through my marriage, I get a front row seat to all things that filter through the Texas lens. I’ve learned a lot about bluebonnets and Whataburger. I know the difference between casual allegiance with Texas colleges, what it really means to be a Longhorn, and the difference between good salsa and crap that came out of a jar.
If there’s one lesson I’ve learned as an outsider looking in, it’s that there’s a sense of purpose to these people like I’ve never seen. A central passion runs through Texans unlike any other American identity. Pride percolates here. It’s something people who aren’t from Texas just can’t grasp. We may have a docile sense of civic pride for our hometowns, but nothing like this state demands of its residents.
The Texas flag flies as high as the American flag, while the state Capitol is just a smidge taller than the U.S. Capitol, because – Texas. There are Texas flags on everything. And folks all over this huge collection of miles expect a reverential obsession from those who choose to take up this address, if only for a while.
That sense of purpose and absolute unwillingness to bend in their pride is why Texas will only become stronger in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Before Texas, I spent seven years in New Orleans, a place that knows about heartbreak and flooding. To love New Orleans is to love the city. But a New Orleanian ain’t much of a Louisianan, despite them being hand in hand. They’re two different cultures. But here, even if you’re from the Panhandle or live along the Gulf of Mexico, you still adore this state and will bond together under that flag, that symbol
Typically, cities talk smack on one another, and the outlying country towns don’t want anything to do with the big cities and their completely different personalities. There are liberals and conservatives, cowboys and city slickers, white folks, brown folks, black folks and every shade in between wearing cowboy boots. This place has many stories, many sides to the dice.
Harvey took many lives. It dumped acres of water onto the streets of Houston, decimated Rockport, and flooded Galveston and cities and towns across southeast Texas. But Texas will lick its wounds. Texas will come back bigger and better, and brighter and with more Texas-ness than you can imagine. Texans cannot allow for their diamonds to go unpolished. The thought of a place in Texas where local culture dies just doesn’t feel right. There are no places where the roads are unfinished, or the buildings lie in ruins – that would go against everything these people have known their whole lives: This land is precious and it is our birthright.
…….. H-E-B and Buc-ee’s, two Texas brand giants, came to the rescue, offering shelter, food, showers, and support. Mattress Mack, a Houston mattress maven, opened his warehouses so folks could get a good night’s rest. The people here know a love that moves deeper than their sense of pride – it’s a calling of purpose.
You cannot count Texas out. There’s no other state in our union that could handle this hurricane. New York has taken its lumps. New Orleans knows what loss feels like, but this is a monster named Harvey that we’ve never seen before. Who better to challenge Harvey head-on than Texas? They’ll do it wearing an Astros cap and with a twisted smile, daring that water to take a piece of the land they love so much.”
Robert Dean is a writer and journalist living in Austin.