by Dan Le
Dan is a member of the San Antonio Bay Waterkeeper Team, and is covering for Diane at the Formosa Plastics Texas plant while she is away on a speaking engagement at Colby College in Maine. Click here for more information on how to support the strike.
Boy, this morning was a lot tougher than yesterday. Yesterday, after a little coffee, I could get on the computer before heading out got moving. Today I couldn’t sit in front of the computer for too long without feeling drained. Had to take a lot of mini-breaks. My friend texted to see how I was doing, and when I described what was happening, he suggested I mix a little salt packet with my water. And so I did. Finally trudged out to Ol’ Red, got going, and sure enough felt better as time went on. But then I started worrying about Diane. Is she getting her electrolytes? Then I remembered, she has a cup or two of black coffee at home every morning. I’ve had it at her place, and it’s….unique. If you can imagine what salty coffee might be like, that’s what’s served up at Casa Diane. Brackish coffee! But that’s how the water is out there. I figure that’s how she keeps her electrolytic balance!
It was clear blue skies today, bay water was sparkling on the drive there and on the way back. Saw some butterflies once I crossed the bridge, some folks fishing. It was such an incredibly nice scene, yet so extremely juxtaposed to the industrial complexes of Alcoa and Formosa Plastics along the horizon. Made me wonder what it was all like out here before modern industry moved in.
Once I got to the Formosa Plant, before I could get fully set up, the Doc pulled up.
“Where’s Diane?” he hollered from afar.
I walked up to his car and told him she went on the trip to Maine. His eyes got real big, “She did what?!?” He put his head in his hands and shook his head, “She’s 75 years old!”
“I know, I know, I worry about her too, but she’s got someone with her.”
“Oh, she does? Well that’s good,” he said with some relief.
But he went on to lecture to her through me about how she ought to be more careful and quit this nonsense. “She’s 75 years old!” he reiterated.
I told him that there was no changing her mind, so the best we can do is check up on her daily. When I expressed my deep appreciation for his care, he jumped up.
“Well I have to, she’s all we’ve got protecting the bay! No one else can do what she does!”
All I could do was agree. Since I started with the Waterkeeper team, it was something that already weighed on my mind, even more so now with this hunger strike. But I’m working on it, we’re working on it. The reality is we’ll most likely always need folks acting as watchdogs and activists, especially at the frontlines, and that’s not changing anytime soon. So whatever it takes to keep our Waterkeeper work going, I’ll do my best to see to it. It’s one of the things I’ll refocus on once Diane comes back to tag me out tomorrow.
On that note, if there’s anyone out there that’s been reading all this that’s interested in supporting the cause, especially folks local to the area, fill out our contact list. We’d love to hear from you! Until tomorrow…