SUNDAY April 19, 2020
This week we see the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day that asks us all to be more aware of how our behavior affects our planet and our living environment, and to take action to make it better. With people in quarantine these past few weeks, scientists are seeing a big drop in air pollution due to reduced traffic and industrial activity. Seismologists say the reduction in noise caused by human activity since lockdown is helping them better detect minor earthquakes and improving their tracking of volcanic activity and other seismic events. Excessive consumerism is slowing to a crawl, providing relief to our landfills.

During The Great Pause, we have time to be better. It's forcing us to think very deeply about how we live. There's more focus on conserving energy and resources. We're turning off lights when we're not using. We're not letting the water run while brushing our teeth. We're reusing Ziploc bags and jars and finding all kinds of uses for a variety of containers. We're learning to "make do" for meals and other activities like our parents and grandparents did instead of running to the store every few days. It feels good not being wasteful.

Our governor announced Thursday to start thinking about the "reopening of Texas," as soon as the numbers begin reflecting a decrease in COVID-19 cases. We've got to continue social distancing, wearing masks and taking every precaution not to spread the virus, but good to know there's a sound strategic plan for slowly getting back to things we enjoy and jobs we need.

This is a perfect time to think about what we want for our lives as we ease back in to working together and getting out and about. Is it possible more people can work from home more often? Will people stop buying unnecessary stuff now that they've slowed down enough to know that doesn't buy happiness? Can we stay out of the rat race and live more simply, more deliberately, taking better care of our families, our neighbors, and our communities?
One thing is for sure — our rural destination towns and attractions are going to be hot commodities as people search for authentic, safe places to go for good times. Keeping safety and good health for all at the top of what's important, retail stores can open as of this Friday for curbside or delivery service only. State parks open back up tomorrow with strict guidelines but it's a start.

We're all still going to be at home most of the time for some time to come. Check out the ever evolving Pandemic Pause article for things to do from there.
Earth Day Celebrates 50 Years
Wednesday, April 22, marks the 50th anniversary of the designated International Earth Day, created to make earth inhabitants aware of their responsibility to care for the planet. This care includes environmental natural resources. Organizers are taking events online this year. Go HERE to find digital events and explore activities and also check out Dallas' EarthX2020 for activities all week long. Photo by Ricky Niell
Krista Leard shares her thoughts on the challenges of students trying to get an education under constant threat of violence.
Catch a Live Streaming Concert This Week
A favorite way to spend some time these days for many is watching live online concerts. Singer-songwriters perform in their own homes while 100 to more than a thousand people enter their Chat Room to cheer them on and interact with each other. Most ask for, but don't require, donations. Featured here are Max and Heather Stalling who perform each Wednesday at 7 p.m. Other performers this week include Slaid Cleaves, Sarah Morris, Adam & Chris Carroll, Lee Ann Womack, Aubrie Sellers, Billy Strings, Madison Cunningham, Patrice Pike, Philip B. Price, Andie Kay Joyner, Bruce Molsky, Mark McKinney, Pat Green, Beat Root Revival, and Monday night, a long list of talented musicians play their favorite Willie Nelson tunes for "A Willie Good Time." Find links to their streams on the County Line calendar .
Angelina County — home to towns like Lufkin, Zavalla, Hudson, Huntington and Diboll — is the only Texas county named for a local woman. The Texas and American revolutions were rife with strong, influential women certainly worthy of such an honor. The only one to receive it, however, was a simple, young Hainai Native American girl whose actual name history has lost.
Bonnie Parker Spends Night in Calaboose
On April 19, 1932, Bonnie Parker of the legendary Bonnie & Clyde bank robbers team, spent the night in this small jail called a “calaboose” off the main drag in Kemp, Texas. Reportedly she was arrested, along with an accomplice named Ralph Fults, after a failed robbery at a hardware store in Kaufman. A jury failed to indict Bonnie. By the next August, she and Clyde began their deadly crime spree throughout the central U.S.
As a child growing up in East Texas, James Surls spent a lot of time making things. He didn’t call it art; it was just stuff he made because he was passionate about it. As an adult, he’s been called "one of the most important sculptors working in America today," recognition he’s proud of but embraces with a bit of humility. Surls turns 77 on April 19. Read more about him in this interview from the County Line archives.
Covering the Arts Across the Upper East Side of Texas
Legend at Lanana Creek  by Keith R. Rees is a recently released sequel to the 2007 novella,  Legend Upon the Cane. The novel is the tale of the courageous chief of the Nacogdoches Indians. It’s a story about the events involving his tribe that lead to the establishment of a Spanish mission in 1716, in what would be become Nacogdoches, the oldest settlement in Texas.
Some mashed broccoli, egg, flour, parmesan, and garlic make delicious fritters and come with a yogurt dipping sauce.
Feel free to send story ideas, poems, letters, and beautiful photography from the region to Let us know what you enjoy most about this area.
County Line Magazine
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Ben Wheeler, TX 75754
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