As Waco triathlete Nancy Goodnight approached mile 52 of the 112-mile bike route in last Saturday’s Memorial Herman Ironman Texas race in Houston, she couldn’t help but remember back to Nov. 3 during the Ironman Florida triathlon when she was run over by another cyclist. She suffered seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a lacerated liver.

Jimmy Matus, 52, had just finished dinner on Wednesday when he spotted from his house a fire at the West fertilizer plant. He ran a quarter-mile through the grass to the plant. His son, Dustin, and Dustin’s fiancee, Rebecca Wright, urged him to stay put. But he wouldn’t, Rebecca’s mother, Jo Ann Wright, told me.

At the Family Abuse Center’s Waco shelter, where hundreds of women and children go to escape domestic abuse, a woman with the kindest of faces stood shaking before me on Tuesday evening. She was visibly distraught and scared.

Kris Collins, director of business retention and expansion for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, offered a bit of hard truth while walking me through the process of how new companies might consider relocating to Waco — a major component of economic development.

Amidst the muscular turnout of hundreds of Axtell area residents protesting the July 31 Waco City Council vote to purchase land near Axtell for a possible city-run regional landfill, an Axtell resident asked a Trib editorial board member present why more Waco residents weren’t also outraged over the issue. Our answer may have been discouraging but was at least honest: Many of us in political life simply don’t concern ourselves with such issues till they actually land in our backyard or impact our pocketbook.

Yellow school buses. Fresh haircuts. Crisp, clean spiral notebooks. New names laminated on old desks. Moms and Dads and tears in elementary school parking lots. Nervous teenagers at awkward lunch tables. The early morning crack of football helmets. Marching bands practicing fight songs. These are the things of August. As memories, they are palpable because of our history, because of the hope we place in education and because of the power of teachers.


What were we talking about one year ago? Take a look back.