Spending the day with the government
Last week was a busy week for both Chambers of Commerce. Board members had been invited by State Rep. Ernest Bailes to visit the Capitol in Austin.
The day began with breakfast in Bailes’ office where we met others from our county. Both political parties were represented and family members were also included.
Our Sheriff and District Attorney also were there, and both had visited before and knew their way around the Capitol, which is a beautiful building although it stretches for miles.
Sen. Charles Schwertner gave us all lunch which we had in the Members Lounge. He spoke about the history of the building and both he and Bailes talked about how the Legislature got things done. The talks were informative, sometimes humorous , and questions were encouraged.
We had three other talks from a lobbyist for the construction industry, the director of the Governors Opportunities Office and a CEO from the Temple Foundation. Each gave insight into their field of expertise. We learned that our state needs more housing for the continual influx of people from other states. We heard how to volunteer for the various opportunities on the many state boards and then how to apply for a grant for assistance in the field of children’s literacy, numeracy and health.
A tour of the Capitol and gift shop came next, and we had a visit with Bailes to the Chamber where he has his seat. There were two photo ops during the day and then it was time to come home. Both Chamber presidents were present — Barbara Justice for Coldspring and myself for Shepherd — with members of our boards attending too.
It was a very special day which included us being presented with Senate Resolution No. 151, which proclaimed Feb. 16 as San Jacinto County Day. This was a celebration of the gathering in Austin of residents and business leaders of our county. The one I received will be displayed in Shepherd City Hall after the next Council meeting.
One final word on the day. The traffic in Austin is, in my opinion, worse than Houston, due mainly I think to the rapid growth of the city and the need to expand most highways to accommodate the traffic. Hopefully it will improve once the road works are completed.
•Shepherd Chamber held a ribbon cutting for Daiquiri to Go on Saturday. There are so many flavors to the daiquiris, and food is also available. This building is also part of the Family Restaurant located at 2700 S. Byrd in Shepherd. Call (346) 988-5059 for more information.
•I was very fortunate to have some time talking to our Sheriff recently. Most people know him as the chief law enforcement officer in our county, but I like to show our readers that we have some remarkable people in our area who are much more that a title in the newspaper.
Greg Capers says he comes from a family with a strong presence in law enforcement. His wife, father, uncle, cousins were or are all peace officers. But apart from being immersed in it most of his life, he also loves the country, keeps cows and horses and when he had time, coached softball and baseball teams of young people.
His memories of his own youth, sleeping on his grandmother’s porch with four or five of her quilts were he said, “some of the best night’s sleep I’ve had.” Though he grew up in Spring, the trips to this area bred a strong love of our county and he started work at 18 with TDCJ at the Ellis Unit.
He rode a horse as a field boss at 19 years old and then decided to make the law his life. He knows it’s an all-day, all-night job, but he still has time for his family. His two daughters are both dedicated to their work, and he has two grandchildren and another is on the way.
Greg Capers leads a full, active and at times a dangerous life but he loves his it. Thank you, Sheriff, for giving me some time during your busy day.
Contact the Shepherd Chamber at (936) 628-3890 or the Coldspring Chamber at (936) 653-2184.
Yvonne Cones is president of the Greater Shepherd Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Coldspring Chamber of Commerce.
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