Dec 18th of 2008 was a sad day for veterans and retirees in the Eugene, OR area. If you, gentle reader, recall Dave read about an Army retiree, Thomas Egan who froze to death on the streets of Eugene. Later, Dave went to Thomas Egan’s funeral. As a follow up to that story, our niece Lisa who lives in Eugene area sent us a newspaper story that describes what has happened in that city as a result of Maj. Egan’s death. It seems his death, frozen and solitary was a shock to fellow veterans and homeless advocates and breathed life into a pledge that no one else would die on the street for want of shelter on a cold night. Before last winter ended, a coalition of churches, local agencies and volunteers set up the first Egan Warming Center in the former National Guard armory. Now, there are over 280 trained volunteers assisting more than 370 people who have used the warming center on any given night when the temperatures are forecasted to 28 degrees or below.
On a lighter note, one day recently we drove over to South Padre Island for an afternoon. We ate lunch overlooking the inter-coastal waterway at Amberjack’s, a restaurant and grill. We sat outside, in the warming sunshine with a little breeze. When lunch was over we drove north to the end of the road, stopping along the way once to walk along the beach.
On our way back to the coach (Harlingen) we stopped on the other side of the bridge at Point Isabel, a quaint historic little town with a lighthouse as it’s center piece.
Another day recently, we visited one of the, “World Birding Centers”, of which there are nine locations. Many people don’t know that many birds (snow birds included) come to the Rio Grande Valley for the winter. The state of Texas thru it’s state parks system has taken the helm in developing existing birding locations into a system of linked birding centers. We liked what we saw, and heard at the Bentsen World Bird Center. Though we are early for the arrival of the majority of the birds, we saw many of the beautiful exotic birds in the U.S. that come here for the winter.
Dave lagged on the subject of a gift given to him when we visited the Untalan’s in Sierra Vista. On our last night there Maria crafted the generator cover you’ll see here. The original gen cover disintegrated long ago. In Eugene we bought a BBQ cover and made it work for about 6 months, til it disintegrated. Not wanting to let the generator be exposed to the elements any longer a heavy duty material needed to be sewn into a great cover. Maria came thru in a pinch and it looks fabulous. Thanks. Next, she and her husband witnessed Dave jump down off the bed of the pickup, knowing that isn’t good for Dave’s recently injured back and bought a step for him. It’s long enough, when slid out, to allow him to get up into the bed when the tailgate in down, a unique situation common to RV’rs, it works great! Thanks again.