Each week Gary offers a variety of observations and personal experience in a highly engaging commentary from East Texas. Join us for Borderline with Gary Borders in his new time slot, Fridays at 7:45 a.m.
I often get emails from the Texas Real Estate Inspectors Association offering various continuing education courses at convenient locations. They serve as a reminder of my ill-fated attempt to change careers in late middle age, when it looked like this newspaper gig wasn’t panning out anymore.
Two-and-a-half years ago, I was unemployed and loath to move from Longview, since my wife had a good job as a professor and our daughter was happy in school. We bought a lovely house, and I set about figuring out how to make a living.
Sam the Dog and I walked in the early morning darkness the other day after a blue Norther blew through. I was bundled up against the wind, Sam tugging against the leash, enjoying the drop in temperatures. Leaves skittered across the pavement, which made a naturally skittish dog occasionally flinch. Even after more than two years of affection and living the good life, Sam still bears psychic scars. He was clearly mistreated before my wife found him lying up the hill in the street two years ago, with matted smelly fur and a look of resignation in his eyes. He had given up.
Clad in overalls, Harris K. Teel was affectionately called Papa Teel by his family.
Credit Gary Borders
A year has passed since our family became engulfed in a horrific tragedy. My father-in-law, Harris Teel, was stabbed in the heart two days before Thanksgiving while sitting in a waiting room at the Good Shepherd day surgery center in Longview. Nurse Gail Sandidge died on the scene, and three others were wounded. Mr. Teel — who was 82 and in good health at the time — died nine days later.
I am a word nerd. Etymology fascinates me. I try not to use 50-cent words when a dime’s worth will do, but sometimes I can’t resist tossing in a word that might not be used in everyday conversation. I have learned the hard way to double-check anytime I venture into territory commonly occupied by the likes of George Will.
I was taking a photograph of a city worker installing new banners along the light poles downtown the other day and humming along to a Bee Gees song as the music wafted through the square. It was coming from the Titus County courthouse, from the speakers installed along the roof. The sky was a brilliant shade of blue after the storm passed through, and it finally felt like autumn. I really wanted to just sit down on a bench, listen to the music and enjoy the cool air, but work beckoned.