Jacksboro Gazette-News (Jacksboro, Tex.), Vol. 133, No. 28, Ed. 1 Tuesday, January 8, 2013 Page: 4 of 8
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Page 4 • Jacksboro Gazette-News_WWW.IACKSBORONEWSPAPERS.COM_Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Is mental healthcare
In the past, I’ve made it no secret I believe
Americans should have the right to bear arms.
The recent shooting in San Antonio where
another mentally disturbed person shot his
girlfriend in a restaurant and then went to the
theatre next door, only to be stopped by an
off duty deputy sheriff, enforced this belief.
(It was a woman who shot him, by the way.)
I also believe there would be less shootings if
mentally disturbed persons knew more peo-
ple were exercising their right to bear arms.
With that said, I also believe there is another
solution to decreasing these mass shootings.
I have been an educator since 1978, so the
Connecticut shooting in an elementary school
really hit close to my heart. I have taught all
ages, starting in Head Start, then second grade
and all grades up to 12th. Once an educator,
always an educator.
Teaching second grade primarily, it really
hit me hard when I heard about the shootings
involving 6 year olds. It still hurts. I have had
many discussions with anyone that will listen
since then and I get pretty passionate about
solutions. How it would have made a differ-
ence if even one teacher had been carrying a
Nevertheless, back to my other solution.
About a year ago, my love for learning
called once again, and I decided to pursue my
second love... Psychology. So, I enrolled to
get my second Masters, this time in School
Counseling, primarily because it allowed me
the option of my LPC (License in Profes-
sional Counseling). I have focused on private
counseling, specifically family therapy with
By Pain Hudson
plans to get registered as a Play Therapist for
children. I am enjoying this study.
Then, the other day after the shooting, I read
an email where one of our government lead-
ers said that the answer wasn’t in treating the
symptoms and arming all our teachers, the
answer was in increased mental healthcare.
I truly believe increased mental healthcare
could help. And I believe it should start in the
schools. It will take some stepping out of the
box by school leaders. What if they could as-
sign school counselors to the type of counsel-
ing they enjoy? Some to do career counseling,
testing, scheduling/registration and yet others
to do the individual and family counseling
with children and families who are showing
signs of emotional disturbance or issues. Or
maybe a county coop counselor? I’m won-
dering what would happen if counseling were
made part of the discipline process that stu-
dents have one or more counseling sessions,
depending on their infraction.
my column) and everyone has o
ink counseling is a bunch <
Of course, this is my opinion (hei
name of my column) and everyone
Some think counseling is a bunch <
key and some of the theories truly i
my opinion), but I also believe talking c
problems is healthy and it helps. I belie
grow up to be shooters, and we might have
need to get to the root of the problem and
help these children and teenagers before they
Not worried about
I’m so tired of people wanting me to worry
lately. Really, now, first it was whether or not
the world would end back in December. Once
that was settled, the worrying switched to the
Fiscal Cliff. To worry or not to worry: that is
the question. I, for one, don’t usually do much
serious worrying. It drives people crazy.
For one thing, I like to know the details up
front. If the world is going to end on Sunday,
I want to know what time on Sunday. I don’t
like any of this generalized worry. On the oth-
er hand, I might need a little warning to apol-
ogize to some friends, tell some people I love
them, and have a serious talk with the “man
upstairs.” I have a tendency to put things off,
and those things might make Etemit
I generally d
irse, if I didn
about me. They would think I was ignorani
the facts, hiding my head under a bushel <
No, seriously, people don’t trust those who
don’t worry. Tell someone you think ev
thing will work out... that God will take
If the world had ended in December, ev-
erything would have been easier. If we could
have a December of buying expensive gifts,
eating too much, charging the credit cards to
not have to wake up i
lity a really
Of course, not every worry has to do with
the end of the world. Some of us just like wor-
rying. If I wear yellow, will I look fat? Will I
run out of clean underwear before I run out of
laundry detergent? Will that last spoonful of
mayonnaise still be good ... even thoi
date on the jar says 2007?
I kind of enjoy worrying. It gives me some-
thing to talk about during lulls in conversation,
dream about on those cold winter evenings,
and generally drive everyone else crazy. Of
and skipping exercise sessions, and
ake up in January, that would be
really good thing. Most of us put the skids
on when we come to the realization that Janu-
ary will bring bills, pants that are too tight,
and decorations to squeeze back into the attic.
Along about December 20th, those of us who
are smart enough to worry, wake
i up on the first day
next Mayan Calendar, the news shows took
y, wake up.
When we woke up on the first day of the
the next worry: The Fiscal Cliff. I didn’t
worry about that much either. After all, I’ve
been around a lot of horse traders in my life,
and they never shake until they know for sure
>ugh the they have the best deal.
se politicians were not going to agree
to anything until ten o’clock on New Year’s
raise the taxes on the rich and cut spendii
“the other people” before that,
don’t worry. Tell someone you think every-
dll work out... that God \
and they look at you like you just
swooped in on a sleigh with eight tiny rein-
matter what. If they had agreed to
2S on the rich and c
r people” before th
have looked like they’d given up. After all,
they have to run for office sometime, and they
didn’t want to go down as weak.
Whether you are running for office, balanc-
ing your own checkbook, or just trying to
make decisions about whether to go to the
gym ... the “Cliff’ has come and gone again.
Don’t worry, there will be other cliffs to
worry about... probably sooner than later.
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Stone Arch Bridge
It’s doubtful that motorists driving on Pos-
sum Kingdom Stone Arch Bridge realize
what a marvel of engineering it is.
The Public Works Administration started the
bridge in the late 1930s at a site that passes
over Texas Highway, 26 miles below the
Morris Sheppard Dam in Palo Pinto County.
The stone bridge was constructed in 1941,
the same year Morris Sheppard Dam was
completed, and is the longest and most sub-
stantial masonry arch bridge in Texas, accord-
ing to the Historic Bridge Foundation.
Despite having been overtopped by numer-
ous floods, the Historic Bridge Foundation
maintains the structure has been virtually un-
Lindsay Baker, a Texas historian, included
the bridge in his book, “Building the Lone
Star: An Illustrated Guide to Historic Sites.”
He considers the PK bridge among one hun-
dred of the state’s most interesting engineer-
ing feats. But unless you stop and look under
the bridge, its incredible masonry is hidden.
First of all, it’s rare to see a low-lying bridge
with its many arches like the bridges built by
the ancient Romans that resembles a Roman
structure because of its multiple arches. The
18 arches measure a few inches more than
i they ap]
the naked eye, the;
across. Unlike suspension bridges, the bridge
was designed low because it to has withstand
the tremendous force of rushing water re-
leased periodically from Possum Kingdom
433 feet long
Although they appear to be the same size to
from 23 to 30 feet
By Gay Schlittler
Dam. Sometimes enough water is released so
that the bridge is totally submerged.
No steel was used in the bridge’s construc-
tion in contrast to Texas’ many steel girder
bridges. Instead, limestone was cut from
nearby PK cliffs and artfully pieced together.
Engineers working on the project said that
few machines and outside materials were re-
quired. Men shoveled sand and gravel from
the area close to the bridge, and lumber was
salvaged from the construction of PK Dam
(built around the same time). The total cost
of the bridge totalled $760,000, a small cost
considering the price of modem projects, ac-
cording to Jon McConal in “Bridges over the
The WPA engineers were extremely fortu-
nate to build the bridge in an area of Texas
where many of the unemployed had been
miners. They and other jobless men in coun-
ties surrounding Palo Pinto were picked up
by converted cattle trucks and then returned
home in the evening. The former miners were
used to working with limestone after toil-
ing in the coal mines of Strawn, Thurber and
Mingus. They had the best available skills to
cut slabs of rock from nearby PK limestone
cliffs and mortar them together. If you walk
under the bridge’s arches, you can see how
the bricks fit together like a perfect puzzle.
The bridge has withstood the tests of water
Bigger than life...
It was, hands down, the most remarkable
athletic feat I’ve ever witnessed. The scene
was Dallas’ American Airlines Center, where
some 20,000 fans watched the Mavericks/
Phoenix Suns NBA game, April 5, 2009.
They saw a blow-out win by 26 points—and
the Mavs’ 140-point barrage could have been
more. Memorable, too, was Josh Howard’s
71-foot shot that beat the halftime buzzer.
Moments later, however, an intermission
feature drew greater applause. Fisher Floyd,
a man from the stands in street clothes, hit a
lay-up, free throw, 3-pointer and half-court
shots. Fisher’s “swishers,” made in 45 sec-
onds, have never been duplicated. What are
His feat has gone viral on “YouTube;” 5.5
million “hits”—some 3 million the first year.
I found him to be engaging, gracious and
caring during a phone conversation later.
He politely answered questions, but seemed
most interested in whether I saw him “blow-
ing kisses to Lindsey,” his bride of a year.
She was seated behind the Mavericks’ bench,
where several players, unaware that the kisses
were directed slightly above their heads, blew
Friends—and he had many—describe him
only in superlatives. He was captain of his
district champion Highland Park High School
basketball team and was the league’s offen-
sive player of the year for 2000-2001. At
the University of Califomia-Santa Barbara,
where he graduated with honors, he intro-
duced a new game—Frisbees— played with
Friends and family agree that his specialty
is making virtually everything competitive,
always “edge-searching.” His adventurous
spirit dates back to 1986, when Top Gun was
a movie hit. Just four years old at the time,
he was “hooked”—always probing, “what-
iffing” and fixing whatever was broken....
Perhaps no one was ever more in love with
life. His Christian principles and knack for
making friends at warp speed were evident.
By Don Newbury
His checklist of “things to do” included fly-
ing in a fighter jet. A while back he won such
a ride as the high bidder at a charity auction.
Dressed in aviation gear, he made three trips
to a Lancaster airport for a flight with Noell
Rather, himself a Highland Park High School
graduate. (Rather flew 60+ missions in Viet-
nam and was a former Braniff pilot. He loved
the Delfin L-29 aircraft he’d spent years re-
storing and frequently offered rides to char-
ity benefactors.) Weather scrubbed the first
two efforts, but Dec. 13 dawned bright and
A friend accompanied Fisher to the airport.
There were exchanges of phone texts until
take-off and animated, first-hand descriptions
were anticipated upon return.
But it was not to be. There were no second or
third-hand descriptions, either, or any kind of
distress signals prior to the crash of the two-
seater plane in Kaufman County, where both
men perished about a half-hour after take-off.
The tragedy is inexplicable. Again, what are
Fisher Floyd’s memorial service was held
Dec. 18 at Highland Park United Methodist
Church, where he, his wife and two sons—
Ryder, 2, and Hudson, 1—had planned to be-
come members in January.
Real friends, it is said, are counted not by
hand, but by heart. Fisher, a picture of humil-
ity whose spirit brought out the best in others,
must have had a giant heart. It would have
taken a facility the size of the A AC to contain
the mass of mourners. Seating at the church
accommodates about 1,000 people; some
The family has received hundreds of condo-
lences. One referenced Fisher’s being “kind,
See IDLE, Page 6
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Hudson, Pam. Jacksboro Gazette-News (Jacksboro, Tex.), Vol. 133, No. 28, Ed. 1 Tuesday, January 8, 2013, newspaper, January 8, 2013; Jacksboro, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth707703/m1/4/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Gladys Johnson Ritchie Library.