Letters To The Editor 4/3/14
Letter to the Editor
Senior Photography – Grades 9 – 12
Humor—“A comic, absurd, or incongruous quality causing amusement.” [Webster]
The Robertson County Fair has always been and still is one of the major attractions for everyone in our County! It not only provides an opportunity for youth of all ages to develop skills of many degrees, it also serves as an aid to children in discovering hidden talents and gifts that he/she may be completely unaware of. It also encourages the bonding of family units as the community comes together to make its contribution to an event worthy of being called the Robertson County Fair. It isn’t just a weekend event; in some instances it may take as long as a year in preparation, or even longer! As our youth progress, they are encouraged to be creative and steadfast, never losing hope or sight of goals in which they have been challenged to accomplish! As someone once stated, whether it is “To be or Not to be”, that is their purpose!
So it was with these thoughts and more racing through my mind, PaPa and I were off to visit the 2014 Robertson County Fair! Our first stop was to purchase our tickets ($8.00 ea) and then up the hill we went. We were excited because we knew our great-grandchildren had entries in the Crafts Division along with their friends and the upper classmen that they so admire and will someday out there in the nearer future than we can even imagine become one of! Yes, these upper classmen that they really admire and aspire to be like also have entries in the Crafts Division and we were looking forward to the examples that the older youth as role models were setting.
The building was full and as we searched through the many displays, it was rewarding to view the massive talent and beautiful entries of so very many children, youth, and yes, even adults! God has blessed everyone with multi gifts and talents and a large array of these unpolished jewels were there for us to enjoy. Of course there were also some extremely fine works of art on display for our enjoyment along with those works of art the children had so diligently completed during the year! It was all there for us to appreciate and anticipate what will someday be a time when we will look back on as “some of the best days of our life!”
Unfortunately, there seems to always be that “fly in the ointment!” And we scanned the many beautiful Blue, Red, White, Yellow and Purple and Pink ribbons, I turned to look at just what was so funny to some very young boys behind me between the ages of 8 and 10 years of age, as they snickered and nudged one another and I heard one say, “Up there in the far right corner!” As I looked up, I was shocked to see a Blue Ribbon (First Place Winner) on a picture done by a 10th grade student from Franklin. It was nothing special, just three or four stuffed animals stacked up to get a full view of three beautiful models on the magazine “Sports Illustrated” with nothing to cover their bodies but “G” strings to cover their bottoms and another “string” tied behind their upper torsos. The young boys moved on eventually, but I was horrified as I realized that this pornographic photo was being displayed as humor – obviously “incongruous” humor but these these young innocent youth, it was still representative of “humor”, even though very crude!
As we inquired about how such a picture could have been selected to be on display as a First Place Winner, since it was obviously a picture taken of a pornographic picture displayed on the front cover of Sports Illustrated, the nice woman in charge of the displays explained that they had only one Judge to make the selections and he was new this year. She also explained that they had “no guidelines” to use as a standard on the acceptability of certain materials. She acknowledged that she really did not pay close attention to the entries that were being submitted. She and her helper both agreed that the display was not a good example of the type of “humor” that should be displayed before the very young, junior age, and the youth in the upper grades as acceptable material to be placed on display at the County Fair and especially as it received a First Place Blue Ribbon! It definitely provided crude pornographic viewing and we do not wish to feed that into the minds of our youth. If this sort of entry is recognized as “humor,” what can we expect next year?
The lady in charge of the displays did tell us she would make “certain ones” aware of our concern. Whoever these “certain ones” are we don’t know but we do look forward to some changes, perhaps some guidelines need to be adopted and maybe more than one Judge on the forum would be helpful.
A concerned citizen,
County Hotel Occupancy Taxes (HOT) are collected by hotels & motels in addition to usual & customary sales taxes. The idea is to create a revenue source to help promote tourism and increase hotel stays in the County. Funds from this dedicated tax (usually collected from non-resident hotel guests) may only be used for limited purposes. Among these uses are advertising, promotion, historic restoration/preservation, convention & visitor centers and a variety of educational, cultural and sporting events that increase overnight stays (“heads in beds”). It is also legal to use these funds for the day-to-day expenses of convention & visitor centers AND historic sites & museums in the immediate vicinity that entertain travelers and hotel guests.
Commissioners Court decided (2 to 3 votes) NOT to fund Camp Hearne’s M&O portion ($2500) of their annual request. This was not because it did not meet the legal requirements for HOT purposes. The Court chose NOT to fund historic site day-to-day expenses because they did not want to set a precedent that could lead to assisting the Bremond Historic Museum, El Camino Real Exhibit, Hearne Depot & Visitor Center, and Calvert Central Texas Museum or any future heritage tourism venue.
Any support given by the Court to help these projects stay open to travelers and hotel guests would surely be welcomed. I had suggested reasonable rules to ensure proper venue management before HOT funds could be used for M&O expenses. Still, even though it is legal for HOT funds to be used for day-to-day expenses, it simply appears that three commissioners decided against supporting our County’s heritage because they had the discretion to do so.
The Court’s decision not to help sustain the County’s historic sites, museums and ongoing efforts by many residents who volunteer their time to preserve our County’s legacy is offensive.
To Robert Bielamowicz, the only commissioner to support Hearne’s project, thank you.