By WILLIAM LEDFORD
As you may have heard, Senator Ted Cruz showed his constituents in Texas how he really, really cares for them when he, and family, and others, bolted for Cancun, Mexico during the polar vortex weather event that shut down the Texas energy grid during sub-zero temps. The freeze locked up the power generating stations that provide homes with lights and heat, without heat the freeze burst water pipes. Naturally the Republican governor tried blaming the “Green New Deal” and wind turbines. Sorry Governor, that GND is only a concept and the windmills only provide 13 percent of the power to the grid at peak efficiency. What he didn’t blame was the fact that Texas prides itself on being the only state or one of, that has no Federal regulations compelling them to “winterize” their power grid components, so they froze up.
I don’t normally disagree with either Bob the Builder or Scotty the Engineer, but I feel that I must in this case. The case being that it’s the opinion of a few people that more “fans” be allowed into the stands for high school games at gyms and fields based upon facility seating size. As a COVID survivor with lingering issues I couldn’t disagree more. So, I am. I can remember when high school sports were an “extra-curricular” activity. A privilege that was “earned” by attendance, good grades, and full-time status. Now the fun seems to have been replaced by demand. People demanding to be allowed to play and be allowed to attend games regardless of the danger not only to them but any and all they may come in contact with.
And this demand with some “fans”, which include parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts…infinity, it’s no longer about fun. It seems that a sense of desperation is evident here. I sense a pattern, an “Al Bundy Syndrome” if you will. Those adults with the syndrome would have us believe that nothing they’ve done with their lives through adulthood will ever compare to playing HS sports and they seem to be passing that desperation on to the kids. I played ball in school, it just really wasn’t that big of a deal and when it became not fun, I simply stepped away. I also played ball after my high school days were over and had more fun doing it. Maybe I just didn’t like people telling me what to do and I was never a “rah-rah” kind of person anyway. I had more fun dancing in powwows. That was a lotta fun. Hmmm…where was I?
Oh yeah, here. Look, I get it. Being under “house arrest” and forced to wear masks and be cautious about touching things and washing hands during this pandemic is very trying, it’s trying for all of us but somewhere, sometimes, good sense has to prevail. We are not done with a pandemic that’s killed more than 500,000 Americans. The COVID-19 virus is mutating, it’s adapting and now infecting those who were once considered low risk. More than ever we need to be vigilant until we are nearly all vaccinated. That means playing and watching high school sports should be something that’s way low on the list of priorities.
I saw in the One Feather that an individual was convicted of embezzling $199,000 from the EBCI (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians). Eighteen months of jail time (we’ll see how much he actually serves before “good time” early release) and an additional three years of supervised release (is that parole or probation, I’m confused) plus restitution is really just a slap on the wrist. He’ll get himself a jailhouse boyfriend, serve easy time and be out before you know it. And, if he doesn’t declare bankruptcy after he becomes unsupervised, we may get some of that money back. I have a really strange idea that would solve the problem. Why do we, the EBCI, have all of this money sitting around so people can have access and take it, instead let’s spend it and install broadband across the Rez. This pandemic has demonstrated that EBCI kids need access to efficient internet capability to stay informed. Yeah? Or am I oversimplifying here?
Before I go, I want everyone to empty their minds and picture a beautiful, empty blue sky. Beautiful rich vibrant blue. That’s called Carolina Blue. And an old saying goes like this, “If God wasn’t a Tarheel, why’d He make the sky Carolina Blue?” See ya!
Ledford is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians currently residing in Albuquerque, N.M.