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5-25-13 - Fire Ants and a Dime

Standing on a fire ant bed on the east edge of Fort Worth. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. Thought it was stinging nettle at first. Quickly off with the sandals, knocking the varmints off, pulling pants up, Warren shaking my sandals off, me pulling pants off, shaka shaka shaka. Looking back down. They're so tiny. Strength in numbers. And think of all the steps to travel this far. Took a photo of the bed with my foot prints on top. Darn - the photo took with phone "Exceeds maximum file size." Maybe should get a smart phone. Everyone keeps telling me to.

Warren and I were measuring lots. This property is what I've always heard called our "worthless lots.". There are street addresses but no streets. Last year a representative of a Catholic organization considered buying a bunch of them for an order of monks who have to live in the poorest area. They couldn't take the mineral rights either which are what have offset our losses. We would have given it all to them for a dollar. My father and his partner, Walter Clarke got them with a package of confiscated property in a city auction sixty years ago or so. Johnny Clarke told me yesterday he drove mother out there some years back and they looked into the fields and trees and he said the lots are back there somewhere. She got upset when I asked her where they were last year and said I wanted to look into them. Something bothered her. I won't get into specifics here but the lesson I'm getting out of this is don't own things you're not tending.

I'm looking into the history of the lots for a reason and told Johnny that mother, Ahdel, kept meticulous records that go back before WWII. He said that once she told him that, according to her calculations, the bank had made an accounting error in one of their partnership accounts. He drove her to the bank where they talked with an officer. The discrepancy was for ten cents. After a while the officer came back, said Ahdel was right, she'd found an error. The officer handed her a dime and said he hoped that would be sufficient, that it might cost over a thousand to fix it in the system.

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