Let me preface this entire conversation by saying that I recently heard on the news that it will take 20 inches of rain to break the drought in our area. In other words, just to get us back to 0 will require a whopping 20 inches of the wet stuff. Needless to say, this does concern me.
You know what happens when you assume; however, I assumed that everyone in Texas realized that Comanche and Erath Counties along with the rest of the state of Texas are in unbelievable need of rain. At least, one would think that EVERYONE knows this, right? However, twice this past week as I was exiting a store, I had the clerks (both old enough to know better) tell me that they hoped it wouldn’t rain.
You hope it WON’T RAIN??!!
I suppose I’m lost. Do people not realize the role that agriculture plays in the state of Texas? Actually, I have just learned that no, they do not. How did I learn this amazing bit of info? I played reporter and went on the hunt. It would have been fun had it not been so serious!
My first stop was at a car dealership (not in Comanche or Erath) where I struck up a conversation with a man I would guess to be slightly under forty. I asked him how business had been and was told that it was “awfully slow.”
So, I went on to say that I assumed it was the drought that was killing his business, and he looked at me as if I had grown another head.
“No Ma’am, I wouldn’t think the drought would have anything to do with car sales.”
“Really? I just assumed that would be a big factor since it affects the agriculture of the area so negatively.”
“No Ma’am. I don’t think agriculture has anything to do with it, but it probably does hurt tractor sales. I just think people don’t have any money.”
“Hmmm, I just assumed this was a big agricultural area. So you don’t have a lot of people who earn their living in agriculture?”
“Oh yes ma’am! Most everybody around here is a farmer, rancher, or a dairyman.”
At this point, I either had to hit him or run, and I chose to make a fast getaway because I knew that if I ever opened my mouth to explain how the world works, I was going to say way too much. I did, however, allow myself to whisper as I left, “They walk among us.”
I won’t bore you with the rest of my research but suffice it to say, I stopped at three more businesses around the Central Texas area and at two of them was told much the same thing, that the lack of rain had nothing to do with the fact that their business was down because they were not in agriculture themselves.
By the end of the day, “They walk among us” was the kindest thing I could think to say…Fredda Davis Jones