Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Bring him a SHRUBBERY!

Some may call State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, a shill for the chemical plant industry.
Some may call him an enemy of environmentalists.
But don't call him an enemy of shrubbery.

No, sir. Don't call him that. Because that would be a bald-faced, scurrilous falsehood.

Bonnen has stepped forth to support Leucophyllum frutescens, known to horticulturists throughout Texas and the world as the purple sage. Some call it the Texas purple sage (mostly people who live in Texas.)

It's not just any kind of bush. It's a beloved bush. A beloved shrubbery, in fact.

The late Jerry Garcia and some his musician friends once played under The New Riders of the Purple Sage banner. The pre-eminent psychadelic cowboy band of its day, Garcia & Co. played some mighty inspired tunes back in the stone cold '70s.

And before that, there was simply The Riders of the Purple Sage, a very popular cowboy band in the '30s & '40s led by Foy Willing that broke up in '53 (probably, we guess, over creative differences.)

It was no accident that these musician chose the purple sage for their name. Who would have paid money to hear a band called The New Riders of the Waxed Leaf Ligustrums? Not me. Or you, unless you have a lot of ligustrums in your yard.

Of course, it goes without saying that the writer Zane Grey started the purple sage cult with his book.

Anyhow, Rep. Bonnen has proposed that the purple sage be officially named as the state shrubbery of Texas in a concurrent resolution he introduced just yesterday in the Texas Legislature.

Hey legislators, hold on with the school finance, pass the damn shrubbery resolution! That is the message we're delivering here.

So far, opposition has not surfaced. But you never know, with Democrats and such being allowed to attend the legislative proceedings.

As Bonnen notes in his finely crafted resolution, the Indians brewed the shrub into an herbal tea, cows eat it, birds (including the official state bird) nest with it, and just regular folks like you and me (but not, actually, including me per se) plant it around their dwellings for ornamentation purposes and to act a "windbreak."

It is, without a doubt, a multi-faceted shrubbery (or "bush," if you prefer.)

Rep. Bonnen concludes:

WHEREAS, In view of this plant's important role in the
ecology of Texas and its usefulness to the people of this land from
ancient to modern times, it is altogether fitting that the Texas
purple sage be appropriately recognized; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 79th Legislature of the State of Texas
hereby designate Texas purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) as the
official State Native Shrub of Texas.

All we need say, sir, is here, here, and bully for you.

Dennis Bonnen: tireless advocate of the legendary purple sage

No comments: