Local tidbits

Now that the Houston City Council has finally made its decision public about not purchasing Oakwood Golf Club, I’ll be very interested (and curious) to see what happens next.

As most local residents know, current ownership has declared that if the golf course isn’t sold as a golf course by the end of the year, the land it occupies will basically be sold as farmland.

I’m not concerned with whether the council’s decision was right or wrong, because what’s done is done and what’s next is all that matters. But here’s the deal: I’ve been saying to people for months (yep, it’s been that long) that maybe the acts of presenting the ownership idea to the city and then having the city decline are just part of a process that needed to play out before steps could be taken to reach a solution with regard to Oakwood’s future – or lack thereof.

What I mean is, maybe now that the city is out of the picture, the right person or people will step forward to take on the role of furthering Oakwood’s lifespan. Whatever the case, the bottom line is I have high hopes that someone with the means will indeed take on that role.

Oakwood Golf Club is an asset to Houston and Texas County that offers entertainment value that’s easy to measure and financial value that’s harder to measure but inarguably significant.

‘FEST-OF-YEST’ IS BACK

Ever since it was added to the Raymondville Fairgrounds’ schedule a few years ago, the Festival of Yesteryear has been a great way to spend a fall afternoon.

This Saturday offers another such opportunity, as the event goes for a fourth time.

And ever since its first appearance, I’ve been pretty fascinated by the scale of what the festival has to offer. There are always lots of cool things to do and see, including dozens of craft booths, several musical acts, plenty of great tasting (albeit not necessarily healthy) food, bingo, rides and even more.

And the event is a fundraiser for a great cause: The Raymondville Volunteer Fire Department. That makes it all the more worthy.

And from what I understand, its success is largely due to a handful of people who are dedicated (in sincere fashion) to doing all those tedious things that go into organizing it, like the phone calls and subsequent followup calls, and even hitting the pavement in whatever way necessary.

I guess it’s a group that walks the walk after talking the talk, and the result is obvious. That’s pretty commendable in this day and age of complacency and entitlement.

TEXAS COUNTY IS A SHOOTING HUB

In preparation for this week’s Houston Herald, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Plato resident Doug Kyle, who recently earned a marquis spot in Texas County’s amazing history of top-notch performers in shooting sports.

Kyle’s name goes into the county’s unofficial shooting record books after securing a world championship with a win at the 2017 World Skeet Championships a couple of weeks back in San Antonio. He’s an unassuming, friendly and down-to-earth sort, and I loved listening to him talk about what it was like to reach such heights, and about being “in the zone” while in the process of getting there.

As a world skeet champion, Kyle’s name is now forever etched in county shooting lore, along with the likes of Summersville’s Ryan Hunt, who a couple of years ago set an unfathomable world record for five-shot grouping in 600-yard rifle shooting on the way to winning an International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) national championship. The list goes on and on from there, including Don and Sheron Rabun (also of Summersville), who are both decorated IBS shooters (with Sheron even being a former IBS female shooter of the year), and current Texas County 4-H Shooting Sports program members Travis Hutson and Kaitlyn Davis, who shot their way onto state squads to represent Missouri in national competition.

Of course, Texas County’s rich history in shooting includes way too many names to list them all. I’ve heard countless stories about how the county had “lots of better shooters back in the day,” and how guys used to have friends toss a beer bottle cap into the air and put a hole in it from 75 yards.

The point is, this county certainly tends to produce great shooters, and I have no doubt I’ll be doing a story about another one in the not-too-distant future. That’s downright cool, and I’m already looking forward to it.

One last thing to ponder: Anything can sound good with the right spin put on it. Like if a public project is way, way behind schedule, just revise the schedule and presto, it’s on schedule. Genius!

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. His columns are posted online at www.houstonherald.com. Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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