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May 10th, 2008
Brad Rollins’ Blog: To whom it may concern

HENDERSON — Came back to my parents’ place for Mother’s Day tomorrow and at the first stoplight coming into town a cousin pulled up beside me on a Kawasaki crotch rocket. We talked while waiting for the light to change and then I said I’d see him later, which turned out being every one of the next four traffic lights.

He turned off at the Herschel’s and, at the next light after that, a snaggle-toothed tween leaned out of a truck and said to me through my opened window: “Hey, maaaan, I like your mullet.” Everyone in the car seemed to think it was funny except the man driving, apparently the dad, who turned red as his brood broke into cackles. “You’re going to get us shot, boy,” he said in reprimand and the windows quickly went up. At the next light, the boy rolled down the window to say he was sorry.

“He thought you had the mullet head,” his sister added, which was not particularly helpful in explaining what had just transpired. I do need a haircut but I defy anyone to say my hair resembles a mullet. By this time, I was both cracked up and confused.

Henderson is that kind of cozy.

One of my favorite parts of a visit to the ancestral homeland is being able to leaf through the big, old-fashioned pages of the Henderson Daily News. Leno only does headlines on Monday’s but HDN delivers six days a week.

I rarely pick it up and am not tickled about something. This time it was a paid notice that ran in last Sunday’s paper. Printed without commentary in a simple box, it appears to be the reprint of a note left anonymously on a home owner’s doorstep.

To whom it may concern:

I am writing you this letter asking you to please have someone cut your fence line and edge your curb. The fence line looks horrible because it is overgrown by about 5 inches. This should be cut every time your yard is mowed. Terra Nova and our neighborhood have always looked nice and clean. Since you have moved in, your yard looks unmanaged with weeds and tall grass. Please take care of this before it gets any more out of hand. There are plenty of lawn crews to contact if you cannot do it yourself.

Thank you,
No Name

Then printed underneath it is a reply.

To whom it may concern:

You know nothing about us. How sad. You are so little a person.

This is the last therapy. My husband has A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and it will take him from us all too soon. We don’t need your advice or help.

[signed] 700 Tate Street
Not part of Terra Nova

CORRECTION: The story was corrected to show that the Henderson Daily News publishes six times a week, not five. It does however maintain that funny weekend schedule of small town (and not so small anymore towns) everywhere — the Sunday paper delivered late Saturday afternoon.

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5 thoughts on “Brad Rollins’ Blog: To whom it may concern

  1. Always love your writing when it’s from the heart. A little whimsical and little sarcastic and “write” on point! Keep it coming babe!

  2. Brad –
    Love your blog! My mom mails me the HDN (!!!) or saves a stack for me if she knows I’m coming in to town. All of that to say – I read this same paper! I saw the same ad you blogged about. Good to know I’m not the only one who appreciates the quirks of Rusk County.

    -Beth

  3. LOL, my mom saves me the big stack of HDN too! If I haven’t been there for a month or so, it only takes an hour to thumb through them and provides an afternoon of entertainment.

    I missed this letter, but I kind of want to go and trim the poor man’s yard.

  4. It’s amazing to me that HDN has a circulation of something like 8,500 in a town of about 12,000 (of course they cover all of Rusk County.) Essentially everyone in town reads it at least once or twice a week, I’d guess. It is as ingrained in that community as The San Marcos Mercury intends to be here. So much city identity comes from people having a forum to talk to each other WHEN it is accompanied by relevant reporting.

    This discussion also brings to mind one we’ve been having at The San Marcos Mercury on the viability of a print edition at some point down the road. On the one hand, the cost of publishing and delivering paper editions is astronomical compared to the cost of maintaining a Web site. On the other, large segments of our community still rely above all on ink-and-paper. I guess you can print stories from an online newspaper but its not quite the same as the clipping and stacks of back issues that several people have referred to.

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