Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

small claims

Last night I attended the Garland Bar Association meeting. There were twenty of us there. The speaker was our local justice of the peace. A justice of the peace in Texas tries small claims up to five thousand dollars, performs marriages, and handles hot check and truancy cases. The local JP is a really nice guy who just got elected to the spot eight months ago. I think that being a JP would have a lot of advantages. I'd love to be empowered to marry people, and to know that any case I tried only involved up to five thousand dollars. I would have to practice in the mirror to work up my best "stern face, you truant" for the parents and kids who think school is an inconvenience rather than a salvation. Although most of the justice court rules he told us about were pretty well familiar to me, some of the other "reforms" our legislature passed this year were less familiar to me, and far from welcome. We didn't even talk about the odd "tort reform" bill, either.

I seem to have managed to get myself elected an officer of this local bar association. Usually, as here, any club in which I am an officer is one which desperately seeks volunteers to fill empty slots. This week I had to confront my first official duty--the local catering room's earnest desire to increase the price of our bar association monthly meeting steaks. I am reminded why I did not go into event planning for a living. I hope that my term of office is only one year.

I must travel out of town to San Diego for business this weekend. I would much rather spend my weekend in Texas. The issue now is whether I must fly tonight or tomorrow. I hope I get a reprieve until tomorrow.

I got an e mail from my Arkansas nephew this morning. I am glad to see he is writing so well, as he's still not too old. I wish I could spend my weekend taking him fishing someplace, but it is not to be.

Lately I have a hankering to be back at one of my childhood haunts, The Crater of Diamonds State Park, in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. I'd walk the plowed field which used to be a volcano, searching for diamonds, finding quartz, calcite and amethyst, and in my mind's eye, I'd be very happy while I did so.

I think that my part of Texas needs more "pay to dig" rockhound sites. I don't like to look for rocks on other people's land, because I have this hangup that other people's property, well, belongs to other people.

Give me a place where I can pay three dollars and take home quartz from mine tailings and I am happy. Most of our best "searching" here is for ammonite fossils in the local limestoney ane shale-y strata, but I'd settle for any cool mineral. Ever since I got all these "Gemstones of x State" books at an estate sale a few months back, I have felt my inner rockhound bay at some diamond moon. It's funny, though, being a dilettante--I can't identify most minerals. I took a course in mineralogy in college, barely surviving with a "C", and learning perhaps as close to nothing about rock identification as imaginable. I wish I had had the discipline I acquired later when I was an undergraduate. Of course, I marvel that I went to college in the gorgeous Ozark Mountains and yet went hiking so few times. So maybe I have a cooler life now, where I live in flat near-prairie, but go hiking all the time.

I think sometimes about the boring nature of the familiar. I remember when we were in Victoria once, I looked up how to take a bus to a suburban neighborhood, where a walking trail began. The neighborhood was kinda nice tract home-y looking, and yet right by the houses a hiking trail into a gorgeous forest of tall trees began, ending in a provincial park by the ocean. We had a great time walking it, and it seemed very exotic. Yet I wondered if to the people who lived there and could hike it every day, it didn't seem a bit tame. It's so hard to appreciate the things one has all around one.

I must pack and eat raisin bran and read prognostications about sports and go to work.

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