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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


Eating crow is really tough

We all know some foods are more pleasing to our palate then others, but I can attest to the fact that eating crow is tough! Two weeks ago in a frantic effort to get a brief story in the paper about Associate Judge Jim Shoemake being appointed our new State District Judge, I took a tidbit of info from county officials and a splat of info from another and an e-mail alert in lieu of the official word from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was not releasing anything at all to the public because there had not yet been Senate confirmation of the appointment. Sometimes reporters, despite their hardest work and best intentions, just—to put it bluntly—screw up and that I did.

I had been writing stories about the Shoemake’s son Clif being critically injured in a skiing accident in Colorado, so for some reason when I put the story together on Judge Shoemake’s appointment, I said “Cliff Shoemake” had been appointed to the judgeship. Not only that but I misspelled Clif.

So, after realizing I should be put in a column similar to LeaAnne’s Dumbest Criminal of the Week, I had to take a few Rolaids and call Judge Shoemake to say a sincere “I’m sorry.” It took me a couple of days, but I finally figured there was simply nothing to make crow go down any easier and I did.

Judge Shoemake was gracious and had a great sense of humor about the whole thing. Great guy.

And, for the record, Judge Shoemake, his wife Judy, and the rest of their family want to continue to thank everyone for their prayers for Clif, who is making progress in his fight to recovery. While slow, it is progress and that is encouraging. Message in a cookie

County Clerk Dianne Wilson probably would have thought crow was delectable last week as she and her staff worked throughout each day and into the evening to try and serve the public while complying with the AG’s opinion, which basically put a halt to serving the public.

When asked how she felt about the AG’s decision to halt his opinion while legislators worked to resolve the issues created by the opinion, Dianne said she had hardly eaten throughout the week, but did go to a Chinese restaurant the night prior for a late dinner.

“I went to a Chinese restaurant last night. My fortune cookie read: ACT BOLDLY AND UNSEEN FORCES WILL COME TO YOUR AID. That says it all “

Goodbye to a good guy

Fort Bend County Deputy Carl Spradley was at the county courthouse last week to receive his 25-year certificate of recognition for his service to the county. Carl is one of the good guys and deserves any recognition he gets. He told me he was going to be officially retiring the next day. He deserves the rest and relaxation, though knowing Carl. he is not likely to get either one. In addition to working full time at the sheriff’s department, Carl has devoted a lot of time to his other calling. Carl is an ordained minister and spends a great deal of time helping others; he always has a smile on his face and looks at the bright side of the world and the best side of people. When I worked at the SO a number of years ago, he was just about the only one who accepted a media type in the roll of PR person and was always leaving little handmade birthday or Christmas cards on my desk as a sign of encouragement. Those simple, sweet little gestures were ever so appreciated in a stressful (sometimes hostile) environment. That is typical of the fellow who is small in stature, but large in character, and has overcome some serious health challenges as well.

Good bye to one of the last of the good guys. I know we will hear of all the joy he brings in the real world. We will miss you Carl!


Contact skinnerc1@ev1.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  May 02, 2007