While, as many of you know, I have been pretty skeptical about the revitalization of the Baker Hotel, I do believe it looks pretty good for its going forward. If this happens, and I think it just might, we will see a new face of Mineral Wells, and the rest of us will need to follow suit.
For instance, over the Christmas holidays I noticed, to my delight, that the city had purchased and installed new downtown decorations, and they really looked amazing. Also, this year the Christmas tree was completely lit, and the whole downtown area glowed with the season.
However, several of us noticed that the historic Welcome sign was hardly lit at all, and now that Christmas is past it is very hard to see.
Both the “W” and the “E” have no lights on them. Now, I don’t know whether the city owns the sign and the land it is on, but I would hope that the city would subsidize the sign. It needs to glow like the Hollywood sign in California - not be a small dot on the larger horizon.
And what can we, as citizens, do to encourage the reformation of our town so that it reflects the new image of the Baker Hotel?
Well, as downtown merchants and building owners, it would certainly be nice to see it all cleaned up and painted. The boarded up buildings need to be repaired and rented, and the insides of the shops should reflect as much pride and passion as the outsides.
As citizens living in neighborhoods, it’s time to clear up, clean up, and make our property look nice and inviting to the outside world - and for ourselves. If we own property, that property needs to be cleared, the junk in the yards needs to be thrown away, grass and weeds need proper care.
As we live in an area that is drought-ridden, and because of that drought, we must take special measures to be sure our children and their children have water in the future. Because of this, Raf and I are looking at xeriscaping much of our yard and garden. We just really can’t afford, from a personal perspective, to keep on watering the ground when human thirst is so much more important.
We will water our trees somewhat - but, hey, they were here before we were, and they have survived so far. We will water the garden strip at the front of the house and our small raised vegetable and flower garden around our deck. We will keep water out for the birds, wild animals, and the few stray cats that pass through our area, but we are going to, with the help of Felix McLemore of Classic Lawn Care, rock and gravel the rest of the yard.
I know many of us grew up with green grass underfoot, but that time is passed as we work on more conservative ways to help our area respond to the water needs of the present and future.
We are living in a wonderful part of the world. We are Americans. We are Texans, and we are citizens of Palo Pinto County and Mineral Wells. I hope we all want to make our little part of God’s world as good as it can possibly be. He gave us dominion over it. Are we doing all we can to preserve it?
It’s up to us, you know!