Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Crystal Zevon

Crystal Zevon is author of 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon,' an oral history of the life of her former husband and lifelong friend and co-conspirator

February 27th, 2013 10:09 AM

SEARCHING FOR OCCUPY: A Heron in Galveston Bay

This morning I woke up in the lovely home of my hosts whose windows look out on Galveston Bay. On one side was one of those awesome sunrises that makes you know life is worth living.  The planet worth saving.  On the other side of the bay are oil refineries with smoke stacks and towering torches bellowing smoke and fire alongside imposing steel structures with pipes and pumps competing (taking over?) with nature's skyline.  In the middle of the bay, as I walked its shores with my dog, Wilma, this morning, a heron was gazing longingly toward the sunrise.  She stood still as I crept closer to get a photo.  Looking at that sunrise, then communing with the heron, I found it hard to imagine that nature ever intended those refineries to muck up her majesty.  

 

Today, I am going into Houston to meet with a variety of activists, occupiers and spokespeople for a variety of peace, justice and environmental causes.  One of the people I'm most looking forward to spending time with is a man named Juan Parras.  I spent yesterday with Juan's son, Bryan Parras, who told me that in his younger years, Juan worked alongside Cesar Chavez who called him 'son'.  After our meeting with the activists in Houston, Juan is taking me on a tour he dubs 'The Toxic Tour'.  After what I've seen on my own, I'm almost scared of what I'm going to learn.

 

Even though we all know about Texas oil and Texas death penalty and Texas refineries and Texas governors and politicians and presidents... it has been a virtual shock to my psyche to drive through the bayou all along the Gulf Coast, meeting great activists like Cherri Foytlin and Diane Wilson, and seeing first hand how this magnificent landscape, once vibrant and alive with critters and crawlers, is now dominated by chemical plants and oil refineries... How fishing villages are now owned by these companies, leaving the fishermen and women to die of cancers and asthma from the toxins in their waters, and yet they dare not fight 'progress' because these companies now provide the only jobs around. 

The drive from Houston to Galveston Bay yesterday afternoon was an even greater shock as there is absolutely no space, no relief from the monstrosities that stretch from Houston to the bay.  My host, Charlotte Wells, said this morning, "It all comes from Texas.  The pollution, the poison, the mess."  And, she is right.

 

Look at the sunrise and imagine being a heron in Galveston Bay.





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