Fumbling the Duffle

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Posted September 7, 2005 by Static in News

A few determined Fort Worth volunteers are making things happen for about 150 of the Big Easy’s refugees over at the Resource Connection.


The Red Cross set up shop in the center’s basketball gym just off Campus Drive last Thursday as the first of the expected 4,000 evacuees began arriving, most still in the water-soaked and sewage-stained clothes they’d worn for more than a week, their meager belongings, if any, stuffed in plastic garbage bags, their faces carrying that “thousand-yard stare” well-known to soldiers and disaster workers. These folks, of course. are now dry, clean, and wearing new clothes – maybe even with a few changes of essentials.

So, they need something to put their new duds in, right? How about getting these folks some duffle bags, one volunteer asked. Well, the Red Cross folks scratched their heads for a while, because it wasn’t in their procedure books. But the volunteer went ahead and called corporate sporting giants here like Academy and Cabela’s, thinking they’d jump at the chance to help. Wrong. A spokesperson for one local Academy store said that the bags could be bought at the employee discount price, and Cabela’s corporate office didn’t even bother to call back. So much for corporate good citizenship. Now the volunteers are putting out the word to family and friends to bring in some duffle bags.

No doubt, the Red Cross – helped mightily by the Resource Connection and the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department – has found decent shelter for these weary visitors (compared to sleeping on the concrete of I-10, or amid the horrors of the Superdome.) But haven’t the feds treated these neighbors of ours like garbage long enough without us continuing the insult by forcing them to carry their few possessions in garbage bags?

Needed: Map to LaGrave Field

The Fort Worth Cats won a championship Saturday night, and it was one of those special events that this city seems to love. The players were crying while they hugged 80-year-old manager Wayne Terwilliger, fireworks were going off, and the fans stayed around for 45 minutes after the game cheering. Then the Cats let the crowd onto the field to run the bases. So, you’d think the first championship for the Cats since 1948 might have been played up a bit in the daily. But all the Startlegram managed was a fairly short story on page 9C of the sports section. The TCU football team’s upset of Oklahoma merited its own section, and the sports section cover carried two Dallas Cowboys stories and some weird crap about vanishing breeds of old sports.

The real vanishing act, however, was the newspaper’s crappy coverage of the Cats all year. Maybe the S-T editors and writers think that covering a minor league team is beneath them, maybe something they did in their previous, small-market jobs. Seems like a local sports section should cover local sports – including a minor league team that wins it all. As a version of the old reporter’s saying goes, however, if it’s local news, it’s news to them.


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