THE CRYSTAL COW PILE
The longest national highway in the USA goes through one of the poorest counties in East Texas. Alongside of this famous road runs a railroad track. I see in the Crystal Cow Pile an East West high speed train coming and going twice a day from and to Dallas and Shreveport and on to the East Coast. I see a rail siding with a bunch of cargo on rail rather than trucks. I see jobs above minimum wage.
In 2015 ,this poor county would have had no luck at all if it weren’t for bad luck. A Tornado in May took the wind out of a lot of sails. People all over this country talk about how the town responded. The first responders, the school leaders from top to bottom, the community got up and did the things that needed to be done. PRIDE is alive and well. They are rebuilding better than what was destroyed. The past is over; the future is starting.
This poor county is the home of a big flea market. There are estimates of between 200,000 and 400,000 visitors a month coming here, bringing in tons of money and sales tax dollars to the County.
In 2015 there was a big fire at part of the flea market. This was the second fire in the same location. There were no injuries. In 2016 another fire took out more buildings and business. There are many well trained First Responders that know what they are doing. Many of those pros work in other cities, but live here. Much of the burned out area was substandard when built. The Crystal Cow Pile cautions the leaders of the County not to continue to put all their future plans on the back of a Flea Market. Another Million dollar project is about to finish.The past is over. What will the future bring?
The County’s only hospital was closed in 2015. It is now reopened. Not everybody gets second chances to get it right.
The Crystal Cow Pile sees fast changes because of Tec advances in just about everything. This poor county is little behind in education, but can catch up. The superintendents, teachers and school boards are all working on it. They see into the 21st century. This is a bright spot.
Old ideas and failure to change got the county in this mess. Here is another bright spot.
The county got a new regional airport. It took a change in leadership to get it done.
The Crystal Cow Pile sees 20th century leadership being replaced. The new leadership of this county could get the Economic Development Directors on the same page.
A 21st century business that pays wages well above the minimum would benefit everyone, no matter where it locates in the County.
People who see the future of this county would want to live and work here. Change comes fast in the 21st Century.