Port Aransas South Jetty (Port Aransas, Tex.), Vol. 37, No. 4, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 25, 2007 Page: 3 of 26
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Murray and Mary Judson
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Port Aransas South Jetty
A member of the Texas
Senate moved to do away
with its two-thirds tradition
that requires a two-thirds
vote to bring a bill to the
Senate floor. Once there,
it only takes a majority to
"You're trying to get us
beat!" bellowed another
senator. "A lot of bills die
on the calendar even the
author doesn't want to
The senator wanting to
ditch the tradition of bring-
ing bills up out of their regular order, which
requires a two-thirds vote, wasn't conservative
Houston Republican Dan Patrick, whose self-
promotion on his radio station got him to the
Senate. Patrick had proposed doing so on Jan. 9,
but the only senator he convinced was himself.
The senator who had provoked the other
senator's outburst was liberal Democrat Oscar
Mauzy of Dallas. The senator who objected so
strongly was conservative Democrat Bill Moore
of Bryan, known affectionately, or derisively,
as "The Bull of the Brazos." It was the special
session in the summer of 1972.
Mauzy and Moore have since died. But that
was the last serious move to do away with the
Ben Barnes was lieutenant governor ~ a lame
duck because he'd run for governor. The appar-
ent incoming lieutenant governor was William
P. Hobby, Jr. of Houston. He had beaten three
senators to win the Democratic nomination, and
had no Republican opponent in November.
Mauzy said he had nothing against Hobby;
he'd made the same proposal when Barnes and
Preston Smith were lieutenant governor.
Some senators objected to rules changes when
15 of the Senate's 31 members were lame ducks.
They voted down Mauzy's proposal, 20 to 10.
When the new Senate convened in January of
1973, Hobby easily won the skirmish to keep
the lieutenant governor's traditional powers.
And then, he was lieutenant governor for the
next 18 years.
His successor for eight years was former state
Comptroller Bob Bullock - who had amassed,
sueh power amonjftfte senators even before^'
heNtes sworii*# fh#M' never
By the time Bullock was succeeded by Re-
publican Rick Perry as lieutenant governor,
there was a Republican majority, so the matter
never came up.
Besides, as Sen. Moore had pointed out a
quarter century earlier, some senators liked
something that often kept them from tough votes
on bills introduced at the behest of powerful
contributors or lobby groups. And most also
like the fact that with 10 allies, they can block
Lieutenant governors like it, because it keeps
a lot of chaff off the floor. Also, with the help
of just 11 senators, they can block just about
anything from coming up.
' Even for lieutenant governors, however, it can
be a problem. That was the case in 2003, when
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst finally sidestepped
the two-thirds rule so Republicans could ram
through a Tom DeLay-driven congressional
< That caused 11 Democratic senators to bolt for
New Mexico to break a quorum. They became
known as "The Texas Eleven" (the 51 House
Democrats who'd earlier fled to Oklahoma to
break a quorum became the "Killer D's.")
The fugitive senators folded several weeks
later, after Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston,
broke ranks and returned to Austin. The Texas
Ten glumly followed.
In 1979, Lt. Gov. Hobby tried to circumvent
the two-thirds rule, to force a vote on setting up
a separate presidential primary.
But liberal to moderate Senate Democrats
felt it would let Republican sympathizers vote
in the Republican presidential primary, and then
return to the regular Democratic primary and
vote against them. A dozen of them hid out in a
Senate aide's Austin apartment.
Hobby, who earlier had described the dissident
senators as about as useful as "Killer Bees," gave
up after four and a half days. His only accom-
plishment was to give the group of triumphant
fugitives a name.
One of those Killer Bees, who capitalized on
a minority being able to frustrate the majority,
was none other than that champion of undiluted
majority rule: Oscar Mauzy.
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Parents, kids must prepare for aging
I used to tell my mother that if she died and
left me to take care of Daddy I'd kill her.
Dang if she didn't do it!
For simplicity's sake, I'll refer to my mother
as Kitty and my father as Cap. They'd both
disown me for writing about them, but I'm
doing it for what I hope is the greater good. It's
really not about them, or me, it's about what
millions of people are going through with very
little help or support.
During the years of their failing health (1984-
2002), I was so caught up in the day-to-day
challenges of caring for my own family on the
one hand, attending to my parents' needs on the
other, handling my job with the third hand, and
trying to have a personal life with the fourth,
that there was no thought, and certainly no
way, of recording what was going on, much
less finding a better way to do it. I just did it.
Mistakes were certainly made, and I hope I
learned from them, if only to pave a smoother
road for those who follow - most especially our
Every week now I read about baby-boomers
caring for aging parents, or "tweenies" trying to
care for their young families and aging parents
at the same time. I guess I was a "tweenie"
- torn between my family, my job, my parents
At the time, little was written about what I
was going through, other than one book that
I knew of, "Moving Mom and Dad", that
was helpful if you had traditional parents. I
did not. My parental units were not people
who would cheerfully move into a retirement
community where they would look forward to
playing bingo in the community room, having
breakfast at 6:30 a.m., lunch at 11 a.m. and
dinner at 5 p.m.
No. My parents were fiercely independent,
unconventional and - how do I say this? - their
entertainment was mental gymnastics. They
reveled in lively discussions of politics, history
and current events (not to be confused with
Entertainment Tonight or Inside Edition).
Unfortunately, their physical health did not
keep pace with their mental
My mother died before
she had to face a decision
to leave her home and
give up her day-to-day
with a body imprisoned
by arthritis, her level of
_ _ liJiffy was compromised.
h enkel £aE was pother stay.
Cap was a typical charac-
w u dson ter- lots of fun for everyone
on the outside, trying for
those of us on the inside. He
thought he could take care of himself, even after
he was not able to drive and his physical condi-
tion made it impossible for him to live alone.
For too many complicated reasons, I was
the one who took both parents to the doctors
and "managed" their health care, and here's
where I can give advice. It would take a lot
of coordination, which can be difficult when
siblings are spread out across the state or the
country, for more than one person to handle
So, one person needs to be in charge of
medical history unless you can communicate
full medical history and keep it current from
sibling to sibling, and from one specialist to
Another piece of advice: Everyone needs
a primary care physician who is the "quarter-
back" for the team of specialists that inevitably
becomes involved in the medical care of a
person with multiple health issues.
Communication between parents and chil-
dren, and among siblings, is critical.
It may not be fun to talk about moving out
of the family home or death, but it has to be
Children need to know what their parents
want, and parents need to know what their
children are willing to do, and are capable of
doing, for their long-term care.
Cap was oblivious to the amount of care he
really required, so it took some doing and a
pacemaker to get him installed in an assisted
living facility (he called it his "place of incar-
ceration") in Corpus Christi - away from his
dear friends in Rockport. That was not easy.
After my research into "places of incarcera-
tion", I learned that the best route is to find
an independent or assisted living facility that
suits you and go there before you don't have
a choice. It's a high risk situation to hope the
facility you'd prefer will have an opening when
you don't have a choice about where to go when
you can't go home.
I don't know what it's like to lose my inde-
pendence, and I don't want to.
More than that, I don't want to put Libby in
a situation where she is divided between her
parents, her own family, her career and her
Men and women in their 70s, 80s or 90s,
if they haven't already, should sit down with
their children and/or grandchildren to map out a
game plan for the time when they are no longer
able to care for themselves. They should realize
that they may not be able to recognize when that
time has come, and be willing to listen to their
adult children, then follow the plan they made
when they sat down together to discuss a future
of which they may not be in charge.
Throughout my experience, one thing I had
on my side was sibling support. There was no
rivalry, no dissension. We each played a role,
undefined as it might have been: Health issues,
finances, daily needs, social needs, and support-
ing roles (who's picking up that prescription,
feeding the dog?). No role was greater or lesser
than the other. It took all of us.
The last thing parents need is children who
aren't pulling together when they need them
So think ahead. Have a plan A, B and C. And
talk about it: With your parents, your kids, your
brothers and sisters.
Like it or not, this is going to happen to all
of us, and we need to be prepared.
Whatever happened to Danish?
Remember when you had the rare oppor-
tunity to eat one of those delicious rolls for
breakfast? That delightful day-starter was
delivered to us kids by our mother.
Mary Pryor learned how to make those most
wonderful things of our lives from her mother,
Anna Kristina Christoffersen. Grandma
learned from her mother when she was living in
Denmark. And when grandma moved to Texas,
we would go to her country house and enjoy her
delicious Danish baked breakfast rolls.
And I was proud when we were able later on
to buy wonderful breakfast rolls all over town.
Momma would take them
hot out of the oven and
serve them with a glass of
cold milk. And when we'd
head for school, and when
the cafeteria was open to
us, we'd head for some
more delicious breakfast
rolls. Well, that was then
and now is now.
But breakfast rolls ain't
what they used to be. Oh,
there're scores of fancy
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Port Aransas, Texas
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Aransas, TX 78373
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Letters to the editor
A soldier's question
A soldier back from Iraq, Bryan D. Cather-
man, asks a most pertinent question.
"HoW can America expect to rebuild Bagh-
dad when we have yet to rebuild New Orleans
~ a city free of roadside bombs, insurgency,
and civil war - where we speak the same lan-
guage - where we are the government?
Teachers need support
I am writing in response to Mary Judson's
Jan. 11th column in the South Jetty regard-
ing teacher responsibility. As I read it, many
thoughts came to mind.
First, I agree, our children are the future and
the most important part of a civilized society.
They are to be nurtured, guided and cherished
above all else. As teachers, we play a significant
role in the molding of these future adults, but
to say we are responsible for the ills of society
looking breakfast rolls - very colorful, a pool
of very soft jelly surrounded by rivers of soft
white icing, scatterings of nuts and a scattering
of whatever. When you bite in, it's like eating
out of a jelly jar, and the nut fills your cavities
and a wave of white stuff spreads generously
around your mouth. Humbug.
Remember crusty breakfast rolls? Eatable
without a napkin? Coinciding happily with
your milk? Nobueno. Nomas. Nonada.
If you know a source of old fashioned break-
fast rolls let me know, will you? I'll pass the
rolls all over town.
is quite a stretch. The family and society, along
with teachers, must take on the responsibility
of raising children to be productive adults to-
gether. Just as our government can't be relied
on to solve all the problems of private citizens,
school systems cannot take on the responsibil-
ity alone of raising America's children.
I feel very fortunate to work in a school
district where most teachers and parents care
about students. I believe we do our best to strive
for excellence. Are we perfect? Heavens no!
Please see 'Letters,' Page 9A
Thursday, January 25,2007
A Texas voice
Twenty days and
a wake-up left
We are like school kids
counting down the days until
the end of the year.
"Do you have your depar-
ture date yet?"
"How many days until you
"You know, we only have
two more Tuesdays before
we leave (on Monday, of
And, "Are you coming MADTAiynAlt
back next year?" mHniHIIWHbC
By late February, our bus-
tling little "town" of McMurdo Station will have
flown out the last of the summer staff, processed
and sent on their way the South Pole evacuees, put
most of the dorms into deep freeze, witnessed the
first sunset in months, and started the annual slide
into the inevitable cold and dark of an Antarctic
But without me. Without most of the people now
here. Some science continues through the winter.
That's especially true at the South Pole, where
several astronomical experiments are anxiously
waiting for the 24-hour-a-day dark skies. All told,
however, it is only a smidgen of what happens in
the summer. Regardless, it is worth it to keep the
station operating or else it would be horrendously
difficult to reopen when spring comes.
Some of those winterover people haven't even
arrived yet. Those who are already here are wishing
the rest of us would hurry up and leave so things
will slow down. And they won't get an argument
from those headed north. Everyone, it seems, is
ready to start the next phase, whether it be returning
home to family and friends or hitting the road for
a round-the-world tour.
Yeah, I know it is 20 days until my scheduled
departure ("scheduled departure" because weather
or changing priorities can alter plans at even the
last minute). Guessing at the departure time, I'd
say 473 hours until I leave the Ice. My commercial
flights originating in New Zealand may not be set
until we leave here, but I'm guessing that I'll be
meeting my wife at the airport about 50 hours after
our military aircraft lifts its tires off the glacier run-
way. So I have another countdown to my projected
arrival at home.
Many people are like me. They are ready to get
back home or meet their spouse in Australia or
whatever. But most of them also say that they are
still enjoying their time here. They 're ready to go
but are not miserable.
That's exactly what I told Daddy the other day.
I'm definitely ready to get home. I talk to my wife
just about every day. At 3.9 cents a minute, it is
my primary budget item, and we're not bashful
about using it. But I very much want to look into
her eyes while talking to her. I cannot guess how
many times I have imagined getting off the com-
muter airplane and walking across the tarmac to a
stupendous bear hug.
Yeah, I'm ready.
I'm looking forward to chatting regularly with
my daughter again. We have talked on occasion
since I've arrived in Antarctica but nothing like we
used to. I hope the Texas Aggie basketball team is
still doing well when I get home so we can follow
And I'm really wanting to get a hug from my
grandson again, to try to remind him of his papa,
whom I realize he will not remember. The photos
and updates that I have received help me stay
abreast of his development, but I won't understand
how much he's grown until I pick him up.
But, as much as I look forward to getting home, I
am not miserable here. It is still a great experience,
and I'm still having fun.
Do I want to come back next year? I really don't
know. I promised myself early on that I would not
make that decision until I've finished the season
and put away a little time at home. Luckily, my
boss agrees. I had been leaning heavily against
the idea but have lately started thinking another
season might be good. More time to worry about
What's that? What did you ask, dear reader?
Oh, my grandson. Yes, Charles. No, I haven't
mentioned him to you before, have I? It's late now,
so I'll explain next week.
Steve Martaindale is a self-syndicated columnist.
Write him email@example.com.
Letters to the Editor
Monday, 10 A.M.
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period • letters endorsing or opposing political
candidates are political advertising and should
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ters are subject to editing • letters of complaint
about private businesses will be forwarded to the
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Letters may be mailed to
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Port Aransas, TX 78373
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Judson, Mary Henkel. Port Aransas South Jetty (Port Aransas, Tex.), Vol. 37, No. 4, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 25, 2007, newspaper, January 25, 2007; Port Aransas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth409940/m1/3/: accessed February 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Ellis Memorial Library.