breaking news

FINAL: Texas Tech 27, Texas 23

Commentary: Dear Trump, make your visit about Harvey recovery — not you

We remember the picture because it speaks to life here on the island. One summer morning in 2015, our granddaughter Roxy springs from bed, rushes to the deck in her nightdress and peers over calm seas – a 5-year-old lost in a child’s dreams.

Our condo at The Dunes in Port Aransas is an escape from life’s complexities, at ages 5 or 75. We eat, fish, swim, walk, read and watch University of Texas, Duke and Florida State basketball and football on TV.

Only last Friday did it become a place of anxiety.

BREAKING NEWS: President Trump coming to Corpus Christi to survey coastal damage.

That’s when Hurricane Harvey bore down on Port Aransas with 130-mph winds.

“This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced,” the National Weather Service tweeted on Sunday.

Harvey left catastrophic destruction in Port Aransas, Rockport and other nearby coastal towns. It moved on to produce Katrina-like floods in Houston.

Hundreds of Texas families know and love The Dunes, one of the oldest condos in Port A. It stands like an aging woman of warmth and solid character, showing a few wrinkles and eccentricities after 40 years in summer’s brutal sun and winter’s chilling winds.

If you love the Four Seasons, The Dunes is not for you. The pony-tailed fellow in the lobby with a stringer of dripping fish in one hand and a can of Bud in the other would be a turn-off.

We are the people of T-shirts, sandals and gimme caps.

In our apartment, George Shipley, Ross Milloy, Leon Thompson and I gather a few times each year for drinks before the next morning’s pursuit of redfish and trout with guide Joe Mendez.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Houston floods ‘beyond anything experienced before.’

In the hot tub, I like to chat up young working men and women from San Antonio for a restful weekend.

My wife, Carol, and I love the Winter Texans. They arrive in January and stay until April, when snows of the Midwest melt. They are farmers, accountants, railroad workers, nurses and lawyers. They love music, barbecue and good conversations.

The Dunes still stands today. We can’t get to it. Mayor Charles Bujansays authorities will first make the city safe. Too many hazards.

Speaking of hazards, the absurd man from Washington with the angry eyebrows threatens to visit Texas today. 

I’m of mixed views. He does need to say something about Harvey to reassure victims and unify the country behind an expensive rebuilding. But I pray that he will not take the occasion to pardon El Chapo, herald the redeeming characteristics of Nazis or slander transgender soldiers.

We owners at The Dunes don’t need his reassurances. If The Dunes can’t be repaired, our only really losses will be memories. We are insured.

But Mr. Trump might give more thought to people of modest means who work as bookkeepers, cleaners and desk managers at the coastal beach condominiums — and to those who work in Houston refineries and on offshore oil rigs.

Many own cars that were destroyed, live in houses that are flooded and held jobs that were lost because of Harvey. For them, medical care often is out of reach.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: Our Viewpoints page brings the latest commentaries to your feed.

Mr. President, you seek to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would put a further burden on the poor. You call climate change “a hoax.” That hoax may be causing the violent, aberrant weather that weather experts say is unprecedented.

As you chopper in, please give care to what you will say. The people of Houston, Port Aransas and Rockport are feeling pretty low.

Don’t jabber on about your “perfect words” at Charlottesville and how the media lied. This is not about you. This is about Texas.

Lose that “Make America Great Again” hat. Right now, we’d like to make America functional again.

Oppel is a former editor of the American-Statesman.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: An accused child molester for U.S. Senate? Really?

So maybe we should just cancel Thanksgiving this year? It’s probably an attractive idea to many of those now traveling over the river and through the woods for turkey, cranberry sauce and political arguments that promise more angst than a flat tire in a thunderstorm. It grows increasingly clear that the problem in America just now isn’t...
Opinion: College basketball season begins under odiferous clouds

WASHINGTON — Although it is plausible to suspect this, it is not true that the Credit Mobilier scandal of the late 1860-early 1870s (financial shenanigans by politicians and others surrounding construction of the Union Pacific Railroad) and the 1920s Teapot Dome scandal (shady dealings by politicians and others concerning government oil leases)...
Viewpoints: City should not overlook Austin ISD in CodeNext talks
Viewpoints: City should not overlook Austin ISD in CodeNext talks

“We need a seat at the table.” That is the message the Austin Independent School District is sending to the city of Austin with a proposed resolution regarding CodeNext that trustees are expected to approve Monday. A firm statement outlining the district’s position on CodeNext is needed because city officials thus far have overlooked...
Commentary: Why movie ‘LBJ’ is a needed reminder about the presidency
Commentary: Why movie ‘LBJ’ is a needed reminder about the presidency

The film “LBJ” resurrects fading memories of the strength of the presidency when the Oval Office was occupied by a hard-working person with a clear agenda. Coarse and brutal at times, Lyndon Johnson harnessed the power of persuasion to the benefit of this nation. The screenplay by Joey Hartstone, with LBJ’s fellow Texan Woody Harrelson...
Commentary: Why Bobby Moore should not be on Texas’ death row

A man with intellectual disability – Bobby Moore – sits on death row at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston. Like every person on death row in Texas, Moore is in constant solitary confinement – about 23 hours per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. For people with intellectual disability, solitary confinement is especially agonizing...
More Stories