The following is an excerpt from the book “Lonesome Dove,” by Larry McCurtry, that kinda casts a loop around what the Lakewood City Council will hear Monday night (December 14, 2015) when Chief of Police Mike Zaro reports on the long-awaited roundup of what has been a 21-month study (p.46) by the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) as to what to do about missing shopping carts:
“Every now and then, about sundown, (the heroes of our story) would strap on guns and ride off into that darkness, into Mexico, to return about sunup with thirty or forty horses or perhaps a hundred skinny cattle. It was the way the stock business seemed to work along the border, the Mexican ranchers raiding north while the Texans raided south. Some of the skinny cattle spent their lives being chased back and forth across the Rio Grande” (p.21).
Zaro will zero in on a similar scenario of shopping carts being carted off across – and thus removed from – the borders of parking lots where they are left free to roam – and/or rust – until, and maybe unless, corralled by gun-packing officers of the law, riding atop 269 horsepowered mustangs (Ford), the wayward four-wheeled runaways lassoed and led back to their rightful owners all of which is illustrated in a git-‘er-done YouTube link provided by Zaro for the City Council so that the council can see how another police department rustled up them there carts that had been steered into the gulches and behind the mesquite bushes of Slidell, Louisiana (there is also a Slidell, Texas).
“In April, 2014,” writes Zaro by way of background for the City Council, “the PSAC took on the growing issue of shopping carts being abandoned on city streets throughout Lakewood.”
Back in August of this year, Marie Barth, Council member liaison to the PSAC reported to the members (August 5) that “she had run into a citizen who has been taking pictures of shopping carts he sees around the city every day.”
Unfortunately, though Barth had asked him to bring the pictures to the meeting, he was a no-show thus there was no evidence as to whether these were several different branded shopping carts seen behind that tree or down in that gully, or rather were one shopping cart hauled here and there – photographed in the fountain outside city hall for example, and perhaps one with Mt. Rainier in the background, you git my drift.
Not only did the album of alleged pictures not appear, neither is there mention in this study by the PSAC for the study session of the city council as presented by Zaro how many abandoned shopping carts in fact there must be to constitute “the growing issue.”
The sense is though that were these stolen cattle and not shopping carts we may want to saddle up and get in on a piece of the action.
After all, when the heroes of “Lonesome Dove” were on the return trip from foraging into Mexico and found the brands of the critters that they’d dun stole from down south were already those of the guy who was paying for replacements up north – his having been stolen just days before and taken down south – the “sinners-turned-Christians” pulled up and considered.
“Here we set out to rob and now we’re in a position to return valuable property to a man who’s already been robbed. That’s curious justice, ain’t it?”
“It’s wasted night, is what it is.”
“If it was me I’d make the man pay a reward for them. He’d never have seen them agin if it hadn’t been for us” (p.125).
So there you go hombres.
Though shopping carts are listed as Number Four of “four things that tend to push our city towards a more slum-like condition;” and therefore certainly a matter worth nearly two years of considerin’ by those ridin’ herd on this here situation; and despite one PSAC member’s contention that there remains “no known solution in place,” Zaro believes otherwise and while he admits it’s “too soon to assess the effectiveness” of his recent plan, still the good citizens of Lakewood can rest easy by their firesides assured that “over the next several months the Community Safety and Resource Team will continue to monitor” the situation.
Meanwhile back on the ranch: to hear the rustlers-turned-rescuers in “Lonesome Dove” tell it, shopping carts – like stolen cattle – sure as shootin’ can be herded back to them that’s rightful owners all while providin’ those without work – or in deed of honest work – a reward.
Not to mention endin’ all the thievin’ – and wasted time spent studying – that’s been goin’ on.