A mysterious bronze; A pretzel wrecks a friend's life

Surely someone knows the story behind this sculpture on the Jasper, Texas, courthouse square. Unfortunately, I don’t.

An odd and end or two need to be discussed from a visit to my hometown as well as to my birthplace a couple of weeks ago.

While visiting my birthplace, what once was the Hancock Hospital in Jasper, Texas, I came across what has become for me, a rather intriguing bronze sculpture. The bronze of this man reading a newspaper while perched on a bench is on the grounds of the Jasper County Courthouse. It is located katy-cornered from the now famous yet now defunct hospital. I say now famous because I was born there. Okay, so it’s a joke. I say it is defunct because as a hospital, it no longer exists. I’m not sure what the building is used for these days. But that is beside the point.

Surely, I figured, I would find something on the Internets about this bronze. And probably something is written about it. It’s just that I can’t find it because a) I didn’t look hard enough b) Nothing written about it exists. c)The statue is a figment of my imagination. So, if you out there in the blogoscosmos see a picture of the statue, you too could be seeing an illusion. But I think not.

After seeing the bronze figure and failing to find any information about it, I e-mailed the Jasper Chamber of Commerce. That was, what, two weeks ago? They never returned my e-mail if they had received it in the first place. After all, the e-mail may not have ever existed.

One would think a small-town chamber of commerce would want to answer e-mail queries about matters in their fair city. That is, provided of course that they exist. By they, I mean the matters and, I suppose, the chamber of commerce.

A reason why the chamber should answer is that they could highlight one of their highlights or illuminate one of their illuminations or just flip a switch and be done with it. Also, an answer regarding the matter would help prevent people from just making s**t up about the object in question. For instance, that the sculpture is of a notorious serial killer or even something less odious but nonetheless patently and ridiculously false. If someone writes me about the bronze or if I find something out, I might follow up right here on this little ol’ blog. But don’t hold your breath.

On to something else.

While visiting my hometown of Newton — some 15 miles to the east of Jasper — I visited one of my old high school friends. I had not seen Frank in almost 30 years. I don’t know why, it’s just one of those things. But he told me something interesting in explaining what he is doing these days, which is driving a truck around there rather than plying his former trade as an over-the-road, long-haul trucker.

Frank said he had a wreck somewhere out west while driving his truck. He had screwed up his knee after it was pinned under the wreckage. He said that what happened was he ate a pretzel and the next thing he knew, he was trapped in his truck. In other words, he blacked out after eating a pretzel. I thought, “Damn, the only other person I have ever heard of that happening to was Gee Dubya”, the story being extracted only after the prez was queried by reporters who noticed what turned out to be a nasty rug burn on his face.

After an extensive Internets search, one page of Yahoo results (that’s about all I have the patience for at the moment), I did not uncover any statistics on the numbers of people who pass out after eating pretzels. But apparently, enough people have choked so that parents are warned in this article to beware of feeding their kids pretzels. Personally, I thought such warnings would be due to shape but apparently, it’s the texture that is potentially breath-taking:

Dry, hard food may be hard to chew yet easy to swallow whole.
Hard pretzels
Tortilla chips

Apparently, we can now add pretzel eating to the list of occupational hazards for both being U.S. President AND truck driving. Who knew?

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