Thursday, April 07, 2005

The shame of Alvin, Texas

Here's the wind-up ... and the pitch.

The statue of Nolan Ryan, in front of Alvin City Hall,
catches the famous baseball pitcher in mid-delivery, about to fire one
of his famous fastballs, a fastball that was just about as fast as any
baseball pitcher has ever thrown.

Look closer, into his eyes.

Is that a look of steely determination, or is it a look of terrorized, confused
distress that says, "Look what they've done to me, Ma. Look what
they've done."

Owing to the generous smearing of bird dookie atop his bronze cap and
jersey, the latter interpretation of the Hall of Fame pitcher's visage seems
more likely than the former.

Yes, Nolan Ryan moved away from Alvin a few years ago.

But he's still Nolan Ryan of Alvin.

He always will be.

In TV commercials, he's the young Nolan Ryan wearing the Alvin All
Stars jersey.

At Alvin Community College, he's the reason there's a treasure trove
of Nolan Ryan memorabilia at the Nolan Ryan Exhibit Center.

At Joe's Barbecue, the best restaurant in town, he's the guy in the
autographed, poster-size pictures that are on the walls of the back
dining room.

And in front of City Hall, he's the guy memorialized by a
statue that is splattered with bird excrement that appears to have been
there a long, long time.

Now, think about that.

City Hall. The center of government, where people come to work
Monday through Friday, where citizens go to conduct business, where the people's
elected representatives meet regularly to attend to the important
issues of the day.

And they all walk by that statue.

Hasn't anyone noticed what a disgrace they have right in front of
their hall of government? Does anyone care?

Will a Cub Scout pack have to "adopt" the statue to right this
wrong? Will the Kiwanis, the Rotarians, the Alvin Senior Citizens Sewing
Circle have to step into the breach?

Who will grab a bucket and mop and pinch hit for the ineffectual powers-that-be?

But wait.

Is there a stirring in the home team's bullpen? Is that the mayor,
the City Council, the city manager warming up? Might one of them see
fit to assign a city employee the task of taking a little time each
month to properly represent Alvin's most famous favorite son?

Or, will they let the home team down?

Blame it on the birds, will they? Mother Nature?

Birds, probably grackles, are the problem? Roosting in the oak
tree, are they?

Quitters never win, and winners never quit.


There's no "i" in team.


Suck it up. Do something.


Just do something, anything, to
make it right.

Nolan and baseball and Alvin deserve better.


Bill said...

Dang. If somebody doesn't take care of this, I guess I'll have to go down and clean up the statue myself. Either that, or give Nolan a call and tattle.

Banjo Jones said...

Let us hear what Nolan says, Bill. And if you end up with the cleaning duty, be sure to send the City a bill.

Toby said...

Ryan has money. Let him pay for somebody to clean it.