Robert Goddard

                                        By Bob Jamison

          Germany couldn’t sink this great historical edifice over two world wars. But you could. And if you haven’t visited this remarkable ship, which is only minutes away from most of us, drive down to the San Jacinto Battle Grounds and take the tour. Patriotism and pride will intermingle with your soul.

          So how could you help? As you know, this floating house of history is under the care, custody and control of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. So is the San Jacinto Monument and park. Funds have been sorely limited for its upkeep, but there is an opportunity to, not only to save the Battleship Texas, but dozens of other historic and recreational projects in our state for the benefit of all to see.

          Your effort is simple. Shortly, on November 6th, voting day will be here. Money for this and other purposes can be set aside to allow proper budgeting  justifying your loyalty to Texas and the memory of what made it the great state that it is. This is known as PROPOSITION 4 on the ballot. Your vote FOR this authorization by the legislature to earmark funds is desperately needed.

          Fifty two million dollars can be allocated with your vote. Actually, the wisdom of our legislature made a portion of tax collected on the sales of sporting goods to be authorized for the TP&WD. However, the authorization was never accomplished. Thus, when you visit the birth place of Texas on the San Jacinto Battlegrounds, you might notice it is grown up in weeds. The Monument itself was in bad need of repair and limited funds were used to make repairs. Thankfully, this was accomplished.

          PROPOSITION 4 will not only deliver necessary assistance for the visitors intrigued by the out doors, but it will certainly benefit matters that touch our daily lives. One small example would be that a portion of PROPOSITION 4 can be used for various police training. Crime labs in this state are decades old and have an overload of cases. Emergency driver training for police is planned with an up to date track for that purpose.

          Then we can get into other areas that with just a little more funding, can make a great difference. The Rusk State Hospital, which cares for mentally impaired persons of Texas, can be a recipient for some of these funds. Repairs to the roof, as well as parts of the interior, are in need of attention right now.

          Texas has over thirty parks that are also under the direction of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Each could be in line for needed improvements. But it takes the public referendum (that means us) to allow PROPOSITION 4 to pass. Otherwise, the TP&WD can not adequately perform its duty as custodian in the matter of our heritage.

          The San Jacinto Battlegrounds is mentioned in this column because it is close to home and close to the hearts of all Texans. But considering the other thirty or so parks, let us also consider what a segment of these funds can mean to the other historical sites throughout Texas. Most of these important facilities are in need of repair. Many of these were built or improved by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the ‘30s. Actually, some of the buildings are closed for public access or is limited in the necessary employees to operate them.

          We are fortunate that an organization such as the Daughters of the Republic of Texas is doing a splendid job caring for The Alamo in San Antonio. There are other volunteer groups that have put their efforts in the honor of our state and the memory of those who fought for it. Otherwise, The Battleship Texas could sink in debt and degradation along with many historical examples we should never neglect.

          Vote early or November 6th for Texas and all that it has to offer.