BEditors Note: The follow-ing column originally ran Aug. 24, 2000.
I grew up in ranching country and no one loved the coyote. But there is nothing that can bring back memories of growing up like hearing the eerie howl of the coyote in the middle of the night. I loved the sound. It always sounded like there were dozens of them, but Daddy said there were prob-ably two or three of them.
Coyotes will eat anything from mice, snails, watermelons and mesquite beans to sheep and antelopes. Every time the bounty hunter killed a coyote, they prob-ably saved a calf but the rodent population multiplied.
As the natural habitat of these animals is rapidly dis-appearing around Aledo they are forced to fi nd new feeding grounds and much of that has been in our back yard. We are next to open ranch land and our cats have been open prey.
Years ago when we moved from the Marys Creek Ranch to Aledo we brought our two barn cats with us. Missy and Prissy provided us with many kitties and they in turn provided us with many more kitties.
And then Tom, who had always professed to be a cat hater, built them a cat house. Not just any cat house, It had running water and a heat light. There was a carpet-covered board leading upstairs to the birthing bed, and somehow they knew how to use it. I painted a mural for the back wall and Tom fi nished the house with a small door in the big one, where they had a sheltered walkway to go in and out.
Mary once complained that we were the only people in town with a cat house. But she is the worlds greatest cat lover. A few years ago Judy mentioned that we had a LOT of cats. I agreed that we did but I told her that we also dont have any snakes. She said, And you dont have any elephants either.
Weve taken a lot of kidding about our cats but Ive enjoyed them, especially in the spring-time. The cathouse is near the kitchen window and I watch the kittens perform their end-less games. We have placed kit-tens in a lot of homes but most of them stayed with us until the coyotes took the last ones.
Coyotes not good
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A CALL TO SERVICE
! Willow Park City Councilman has many titlesBy Dominic GenettiThe Community News
As a small public gathers before a city council meeting in the chambers at Willow Park City Hall, he makes his way to his seat, greeting everyone with a polite hello and a gentle handshake.
With steady steps he climbs the small step and instantly transforms from Hale Alderman the Willow Park resident to Councilman Hale Alderman.
To the average attendee of the Willow Park City Council meetings, Alderman is the calm-faced, button-nosed man who lis-tens intently and makes motions and votes for the betterment of the city, but what many dont know is that this is just another chapter of the 79-year-olds life.
His face has aged. His once dark, wavy hair has faded to a thin snow-white, but through his blueish, emerald eyes Alderman has experienced several walks of life. Its not just because he wanted to, its because he felt like he was called to.
I am a strong, strong believer in the Lord, Alderman said with his adopted Texan accent. Everything I do I feel like is done for a purpose in life and I try to do it in His will.
Originally from Virginia, Alderman was still a boy when the world went to war for the second time. He didnt think of it at the time, but soon after Pearl Harbor was attacked young Hale witnessed what service meant.
My family, during World War II, many of them were in the service, he said. I had two brothers in the Air Force, one in the Navy, a cousin in the Army, two uncles that were in (the military).
We were a patriotic family.While family members were off at war,
Hale was at home doing what he could, imagining that he was fi ghting the enemy.
I would get me a stick and my brother
DOMINIC GENETTI/THE COMMUNITY NEWS
Hale Alderman, mayor pro-tem of Willow Park, served nearly 30 years in the United States Air Force. From the early 1950s to the late 1970s Alderman served in the military under seven U.S. Presidents.
would give me a cap and I would march the students up and down the fi eld, he chuckled.
But it wouldnt be much longer before Hale was in the same service as his fam-ily. He could have become a preacher like other family members, or he could have even had gone to college at Davis & Elkins College on a full ride. However, the Korean War was just sparking and there was a large possibility of getting drafted, so Hale beat Uncle Sam to the punch and enlisted on his own in 1950.
The Korean War was going on in 1950 and I fi gured I was going to be drafted if I stayed out, although I think my college wouldve kept me out, Hale remembers. I was just kind of anxious really, to serve.
Most of my folks were in the Air Force, I knew more about the Air Force and it just felt like I wanted to be in.
His fi rst assignment was an ironic one; Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. The late teenaged Alderman didnt know hed eventually be living fi ve hours away years later in Willow Park, but the young man on the brink of turning 20-years-old was far away from the subtle life of Virginia and an old radio where he listened to future base-ball hall of famers Enos Slaughter and Stan Musial play for the St. Louis Cardinals.
That was the only basic training we had in the Air Force at that time, Alderman said. The only thing I can remember about my basic training is that I had a ser-geant, drill sergeant, and he was mean.
In fact, he did something and was put in the guard house and he called the assis-tant and he would march us up there and (the drill sergeant) would drill us through the fence.
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SPECIAL TO THE COMMUNITY NEWS
Hale Alderman (third from left) early in his career.