Race relations have been in the news for some time and not for good reasons. I will not revisit each atrocity here but I suggest a solution. We (all races) should all get back to the basics of treating everyone we meet courteously and with respect. This may sound simple but it works. Lately I notice people going out of the way to be courteous to me. I have also notices some who walk around looking for a fight with a chip on their shoulder. If a policeman kills someone it should be investigated and if not justified he or she should be prosecuted. If you do not agree with the outcome there are legitimate ways to vent your opinion but they do not include murder or vandalism. If you live in poverty it is not someone else’s fault. There are many honest ways to pull yourself up out of poverty and they do not include stealing or dealing drugs. They do however, require hard work and dedication.

Remember if you want respect you must give it first.



Let me tell you a story. Next to God and family, the most important thing in life is a true friend! I don’t mean an acquaintance but a real friend who is there any time you need them. Anyone that knows me knows I am a sentimental person. About thirty years ago, things were not going well financially for my family and me. We were behind on bills and in danger of losing our home. I had lost a good job and couldn’t find one to replace it. Jo Ann and I were doing everything we could but couldn’t make ends meet. In desperation I went to a friend of mine to see if he could help me find a job. This friend and I had grown up together, played football together but when we graduated from school he went to law school and I ended up in the Marine Corps. Several years later we both ended up in Longview. After listening to my troubles he made some phone calls on my behalf to some business people he knew. I thanked him and as I was leaving his office, he handed me an envelope, I opened it and there was $1000 in cash inside.

I desperately needed the money but I told Ed “I don’t know when I can repay you”. He shook my hand and said “Just pay me when you can”.

Several years later when good fortune had returned, I was in Ed’s office discussing some business. As I started to leave I handed him an envelope with $1000 cash. He opened the envelope, looked at the money and asked “What is this for?”

Ed and I will be friends until we die.

Robert Crawley