It was a ‘fur’ piece for me to drive. I could have gone to one of the smaller TEA Parties in my area. But since I’m a curious animal I hauled off and drove to the Rio Cibolo Ranch out east of San Antonio off Interstate 10. The party started at 4 PM, I arrived around 6:30. By the time I got there the crowd had grown to over 2,000 people, probably more. I noticed a line of maybe 100 people and asked one of them what’s happening. “We are signing a petition that will go to every Texas House Member and our two Senators.” Sounded good, however I thought I’d look around and let the line get shorter. Mind you, I had looked at the temperature gauge in my pick up truck and it read 107 right before I got to the ranch. It had to be a solid 103 on the ground. Very little wind was blowing. Mercy, I felt like I was back home working cattle. The next time I checked the line was up to 200 waiting. It never got shorter. It may have when Joe the Plumber and Governor Rick Perry were talking, but I wasn’t going to miss what they had to say. With egg on my face I have to admit I never signed the petition.
I need to tell you the Rio Cibolo Ranch is a big outfit. They have 30,000 acres, but also are set up for conventions, weddings and family gatherings. They have a big shed that is about 90′ wide and a good 400′ long. It’s a big sucker. Then their open area next to the shaded cover is full of massive pecan trees. People a lot smarter than me brought folding chairs, found tree shade and enjoyed the speakers and band. I can’t remember the band’s name, but they were just good ol’ country boys, picking and grinnin’. The entire thing was FREE. VIP parking was $10 otherwise you parked about a mile away and big buses drove you to the event. I opted for VIP parking, so when the shindig was over I didn’t have to wait for the bus. There was a VIP dinner with Joe and Rick which I didn’t know about until all the seats were sold.
The event promoter said it cost $130,000 to put it on and they expected to make enough on parking, the VIP dinner, food, hay rides and stuff sold to cover the expense. I have no idea what Joe The Plumber charged, but I’m guessing $10,000 plus travel. So round it out at $12,000.
By the way the food was pretty good. Bar-b-que sandwich was $4. I had two.
The promoter said we had between 6ooo and 7ooo, the newspaper said 4ooo. The media doesn’t want us to be successful. They blew it with their count. The place is huge and it was packed. I found a young couple with chairs, you know the cheap $7 kind you find at Wal-Mart. I flashed a $50 bill in his face and he sold me his wife’s chair. I gave him a hard look and suggested I had rather have his seat, it looked more comfortable (smile). I probably saved their marriage. I got me a spot up near the front and plopped down my newly purchased chair. Trust me these old banged up knees were grateful for the chair. I need to explain here, after the event I spotted the kids and gave the chair back to him. I felt I paid $50 for a ticket to the front.
Joe the Plumber is an okay speaker. You can tell he is not real comfortable speaking in front of such a large crowd but that is understandable. I felt sorry for him, because Texas Governor Rick Perry stole the show. No one was expecting Rick to come. He shot one liners like they were coming out of a machine gun. He had the crowd eating out of his hands.
I’m really proud of Rick Perry. I didn’t get a chance to speak to Joe, but I did talk with the governor. I told him he had my support. He did an amazing thing. He is the first governor to sign the Contract with the U. S. Constitution. Pretty gutsy thing for him to do.
Here is a quick summary of what the contract calls for:
1. The principle of limited government.
2. Sovereignty of the United States.
3. Powers of the States are numerous, powers of the federal government are limited.
4. Only the legislative branch can make laws.
5. Freedom of speech and thought. (so called hate crimes legislation or the imposition of the Fairness Doctrine upon any branch of the media or Internet is unconstitutional….
6. Freedom of religion.
7. Security of property.
8. Right to bear arms.
9. Protection of family.
10. Constitution to be interpreted with original intent of the Founding Fathers.
I don’t have room or time to expand on each point. It is an awesome idea and one I hope all the governors of the country sign. You need to tip your hat to Rick Perry, you know he will catch the wrath of King Barry.
I saw a lot of young people, a lot of different races, but only one black couple. Perhaps there were more and I didn’t see them. It was anything but red-neck. I talked to three different doctors who were working the crowd to get them to vote against King Barry’s health care. Flags were everywhere and a lot of people had on tee-shirts with slogans emblazoned across the front or back. I even saw one Michael Savage supporter. He was a Mexican with 8 small kids.
Everyone was picking up their trash. The big meeting area was clean and so were the grounds. If there was some paper, you would see one of the guests picking it up and finding a dumpster. I left feeling proud to be a Texan. I paid the price driving home. I got in, kicked off my boots and fell in my big leather couch. I was still in the same position when it was time to get up. I still had on my party going Wranglers. Yep, I try to keep a few pair that are not blood splattered or covered with cow dung.
One frustrating thing happened on the way there. About 25 miles from the TEA Party I started noticing how green things were. Stock tanks had water and the crops looked healthy. Then I remembered Nixon and Seguin getting 5 inches of rain not too long ago. I was almost guilty of the sin of envy. We are still hurting big time with the need for rain, but I’d never begrudge anyone for getting rain. God bless them.
I was proud to be a small part of the event. I got lucky, I only ran into one couple I knew and was able to escape them when another couple came up and started talking. I was there to enjoy, not to visit. Good night….and this is one I’ll sleep in my bed. Will <><