Tonawanda News

Opinion

April 19, 2013

HAYNES: West, Texas a tiny town with outsized reputation

In my home state, people know you could be talking about two different parts of Texas depending on where you put the inflection and pauses when you say the words “West Texas.”

If you’re speaking of West Texas, you’re talking about endlessly flat plains where you might see a fair number of tumbleweeds as you make your way toward New Mexico.

If you’re speaking of West, pause, Texas, well, you’re talking about a tiny little town of about 2,800 people.

To the uninitiated it was once barely a blip on the radar as you traveled along the I-35 corridor that runs from north of Dallas-Fort Worth down through Waco, Austin, San Marcos and San Antonio, all the way down to Laredo at the Mexican border. It’s just one of a countless number of tiny towns along the way that might have a gas station or Sonic for passers-by in need of a pit stop.

To Texans like myself, used to traveling that strip of highway, it’s THE pit stop. You may really want something to drink or need to use the facilities in Hillsboro or Waco, but you’re going to hold out the extra 15 minutes until West because it comes with something extra special: kolaches, delicious little danishes born out of the Czech heritage so celebrated in that tiny community.

Now the rest of the nation knows West as that city outside of Waco that was devastated by the explosion of a fertilizer plant Wednesday night. As of this writing, CNN said the death toll stood at 35 souls, with more than 160 injured.

Dozens of the injured were transported to the trauma center at the Waco hospital where I was born. Countless homes, an apartment building, a school and nursing home were flattened by the blast. Residents and even emergency officials were evacuated under threat of a second explosion and kept out due to chemical fumes.

Text Only
Opinion
  • CONFER:

    April 23, 2014

  • GUEST VIEW: What young people aren't learning in college The results are distressing to say the least. A recent survey found that only 17 percent of college graduates â€" graduates! â€" knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation, just 42 percent knew the Battle of the Bulge was fought during World War II, and not even two in five could identify term limits for their senators and representatives.

    April 23, 2014

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: In defense of the Common Core

    They've become the two dirtiest words in education, but the Common Core is very much worth defending.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Bits and pieces from out and about Ever since it was restored and opened, the Hotel @ Lafayette in downtown Buffalo has fascinated me. Last Monday, the Preservation Buffalo Niagara offered a tour of the hotel led by developer Rocco Termini.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.


    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo