A Few Thoughts on Hurricane Harvey, Texas, and You

I, like a lot of people who grew up in Texas, have spent quite a bit of time on the Texas Coast. Pretty much every birthday I had up until my 10th was spent in Rockport at the Suntan Motel. I remember going fishing with my parents and watching the fireworks at the beach from the pier. One time my dad rented a Jetski and took us around the little lagoon.

Then, my aunt and cousins moved to Rockport (and then Port Aransas) around the time I was 11 or 12. My mom and I would go and visit them a couple times a year, sometimes spending a week at a time with them. At first me and my cousins would have to go around with our parents, but as we grew older, we’d wander off on our own and go all around town. We’d hang out with their friends, we’d cruise on the beach, we’d drink and have bonfires right there next to the water. I have a lot of fond memories all around Port Aransas, Rockport, and Corpus. And now, judging by some of the images I’ve seen, most of it’s gone.

It wasn’t that big of a deal to me at first. I don’t think what had happened had fully sunk in. My aunt and cousins had made it up here Thursday night, the night before the storm hit, and were staying with my parents and grandma. When we saw them Sunday, they all seemed so chipper and fine, almost as if nothing had happened. But then they started showing me pictures of their home. They started sharing videos of some of the places we’d hung out when we were kids. One of their friends had stayed behind and was sending them horrific images of what they, and most everyone else, had left behind.

Like I said, it took a while for it to hit me, but now I’m starting to make all these connections. The Rockport beach is probably gone. The Suntan Motel, the place I spent most of my childhood summers and birthdays, is gone. The Fulton Mansion, one of the coolest places ever, is probably gone. Oh damn. What about the big tree? (Don’t worry. It’s fine.) And that’s just Rockport. Not to mention Port Aransas. Or Houston. Fucking hell.

I’ve ragged on Houston in the past, but nobody deserves that shit. Nobody.

I kind of feel weird about…well…feeling weird about it. I didn’t live there. Everything in my life is exactly the same. San Antonio only got about four inches of rain. I can’t imagine heading back down to my home to see that the only thing left is just a foundation. Around 6.5 million people live in the areas near Houston. About another 400 thousand live in the areas around Corpus, Port Aransas, and Rockport. It’s just insane. These people might be without homes, without work, without food or water, for quite a while. It’s mind blowing to me that this is happening.

But what’s even more mind blowing is the fact that people are trying to politicize this event. Republicans and democrats alike are trying to shove blame around for response times. They’re saying that one or the other didn’t do enough to help the people who they knew would be hit, or that one religious group is doing less than another to help people that were impacted by the storm.

Jesus Harold Christ, guys. Can we just drop it for five fucking minutes and actually do something? Or is it really that difficult to quit talking about Trump, religion, congress, and global warming?

Joel Osteen doesn’t want to help? Who gives a shit? Fuck him.

Donald Trump is (I’m assuming) going to do something stupid in Corpus while he’s down there today? Great! Who cares? Let’s do something instead of just bitching about other people not doing anything. I’m looking at Twitter now and all we can talk about is Melania Trump’s shoes? C’mon.

Please. Just stop.

This isn’t a situation where politics should matter. This is humanity, not red versus blue.

Lemme have a little sidebar with my fellow Texans real quick.

Texans, we’re made fun of quite a bit. We’re the butt of a lot of jokes, especially lately with the whole sanctuary city thing, the bathroom bill deal, gun laws… I mean, we’ve got a lot of stuff going against us here.

But I have an idea. I’ve thought of a way we can make it all go away – a way we can regain the respect of the rest of the U.S.

We can help each other out.

It’s already starting to happen, too. People are taking straight up kayaks out into the streets of Houston to rescue their neighbors. People are fishing bats out of the water with nets. I saw a guy taking a carp, that’s right, the most hated fish in all of Texas, out of a street and place it back into a navigable body of water.

Now let’s everybody else roll up our sleeves and help out, too.

You can donate food and water to your local food bank.

You can donate money to the Red Cross.

Or hell, you can go down there and start moving trees.

It’s time to rock ‘n’ roll. Let’s do something about this. Let’s get Texas in better shape than it was before the hurricane. Not just Rockport. Not just Houston. Not just Port Aransas, Corpus, or La Grange. Let’s get the whole damn state in better shape by helping out anything and everything that needs it. Let’s show the world that when it really matters, Texas doesn’t care whether you’re an immigrant, if you’re LGBT, or what religion you are. We care about helping people.

And I know there are plenty of people who need help right now.

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