How this tiny county in Texas became the richest in America

When the residents of sleepy, rural McMullen County, Texas, found out that they officially lived in the richest county in America, “we were shocked,” recalls Kimberly Kay Kreider-Dusek, the only lawyer in the area. She serves as the county attorney, prosecuting misdemeanors and advising county commissioners on legal matters.McMullen County, population: 804, one of the least populous counties in the state, lies southeast of San Antonio. According to Internal Revenue Service numbers crunched by Syracuse University researchers, its population’s average adjusted gross income — at $303,717 — now ranks as the highest in the nation.

This story caught my eye for a very good reason… In the summer and fall of 1971, I was the resident hippie in the small town of Caliham in McMullen County. I was helping my grandparents move and set up housekeeping there. Grandpa had bought a small ranch outside of town there a decade or more before that time for deer hunting.

There was a small two bedroom Jim Walter house at the ranch. No running water, a cistern on the east end of the house catching rain water. The facilities were about a hundred feet north, “The Quarter Moon” so named for the shape of the ventilation hole cut in the door. We hauled water from town in big igloo containers for drinking. And that’s where we lived while we got the mobile home setup in town.

By deer season, we had the house in town pretty much set… But, we stayed at the ranch to hunt. It was nice as the season cooled down to be able to go to town in the evening for a hot bath. Thru the summer and early fall my bathing was done in the two acre stock tank.

It was probably one of the most enjoyable spells in my life. We worked hard most days, but still had time to just sit and enjoy life whenever we wanted.

Grandpa always said he had a dream before he bought the ranch that they would be drilling there and lots of money would be made. I guess he was right…

I gave this photo montage to my Grandparents on their 50th wedding anniversary celebration.
The old Frio River bridge out of Caliham, Texas. Circa 1978
Caliham Post Office, circa 1978

Source: How this tiny county in Texas became the richest in America

Tuesday, May 23

A Late Spring Tease Of A Cool Morning Coffee Muses

A Late Spring Tease Of A Cool Morning Coffee Muses

It’s really funny the difference ten degrees in temperature of a morning makes in the enjoyment of the day… Mother Nature is giving us one more teasing reminder of what spring should be. Lows in the sixties, dry wonderful air, fresh green colors everywhere you look… just about the most you could hope for in spring in Texas along the Gulf Coast.

Well, Donald Trump’s budget dropped last night. The thump should have been felt in every family home in America. The cuts proposed for America’s safety net are profound and speak more to what kind of a man this President is than even the Healthcare bill he backed. The healthcare fiasco came out of the House, not this evisceration of funding for the poor and least protected among us. This thing came from the Trump administration. I think Mr President that you’ve sat on that famous drain you were promising to use on the swamp.

I think we have a problem of definitions in this country. When Americans hear the term working-class families more and more they see the Wal-Mart staffers, the grocery store clerks, the plumbers, the fire fighters, the policemen, the mechanics… But when Republicans say working-class families they are talking about the brokers, the upper management types, the Congressmen, the Senators. All the rest are just flotsam in the backwaters of the economy. They voted for the lies, just like they always do. They’ll take the dregs of the cup, just like they always do. The cream will be skimmed for the richest of the rich, just like it always is.

As long as they have Fox to burnish the lies, nothing will change. We have the most unprepared person in America running the country. And still… still, over 80% of Republicans think he’s doing a great job… Absolutely nothing more needs to be said about the Republican voter than that. They think he’s doing a great job!

Hell, Republicans in Texas have passed a bill that says you can be blocked from adopting a child if you are gay or any religion other than Christian. I mean come on, really… I guess they feel confident their stolen Supreme Court seat will now protect unconstitutional laws. Republicans, never pass up a chance to discriminate, it just might be the last chance you get.

Pardon the morning rant… it’s call blues from a red state of mind.

Monday, May 22

Lightly Raining, Slightly Cooler Morning Coffee Muses

Lightly Raining, Slightly Cooler Morning Coffee Muses

There’s a lite rain falling. One we really need. From the prognosticators out on the TV thingy, we’re about eight inches to the negative year to date… that’s in Houston, we’ve had even less down here. I don’t know how many storms have just missed giving up their rain as they passed us by.

Over the weekend, in the middle of the day, I had another cicada hearing, can’t call it a sighting. Now I’ve got frogs calling from the low spots where the woods once grew. Talk about the dichotomy of Texas weather.

It’s funny how little attention the birds pay to light rain. Chickadees and cardinals come to the feeder, bluebirds fly to and fro from the birdhouse, swallows swooping thru the air. Even had a pair of waterfowl flying by, with seagulls soaring over by and by. And way up on the highest perch, Mr. Kite surveys the world below.

It hasn’t been the best of weeks family wise… two cousins passed away. One on my mom’s side, followed by one from my dad’s. Two families going through the grief of losing a loved one. Both were loved, both will be missed. May they rest in peace.

Time for me to head in…

Sunday, May 21

Ditto Ditto It's Really Summer Morning Coffee Muses

Ditto Ditto It’s Really Summer Morning Coffee Muses

This one’s for you Nigel… The temperature is 84°, humidity is 89%, heat index is a mildly obscene 99°. Just for the sake of my British brother-in-law we’ll call it unpleasantly warm and a moisturizing treatment for your skin.

Last year I discovered when we toured Carlsbad Caverns, that humidity is the bane to my existence. The caverns are a constant 57° but the humidity is a constant 90+%. You would think that the temperature difference from the outside 109° would been heaven, but within minutes the workout of hauling my body up and down stairs and sloped trails had me starting to sweat… And once started it never dries. The air is saturated, it can’t take up any moisture, there is no way to wick the body’s 96° working temperature away.

Maybe that’s the attraction of desert climates to some people. I just can’t get past the hundred degree daily bake…

Looking at the weather map, I see that the cool front did what most do this time of year and pulled up short on it’s way to the coast.

It’s getting late and I have to go fix brunch…

the ramblings of my brain over that first cup… and other meanders