By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
It’s almost over. Spring Break 2015 has come, and now it’s just about gone. It’s brought with it thousands of coeds, days of grey skies and rain interspersed with a few rays of sun, relentless traffic and the seemingly ever-present sound of sirens.
It’s the biggest party of the year, and that takes a huge amount of planning and a whole lot of hard work from hundreds of people dedicated to making the Island and the Laguna Madre region as a whole a safe, inviting place to be.
And while many of us have the luxury of staying on the mainland side of the Causeway during the most hectic parts of Texas Week if we so choose, there are many men and women who not only work on the Island, but volunteer their time, as well. So this week I’d like to use this space to offer the folks involved in law enforcement, local government, medical services, hospitality services, business owners and workers and volunteers a much deserved thank you.
In speaking with various people this month about all the preparations that have been made, the hard work undergone, and the sheer logistics of coordinating with hundreds of people across dozens of entities and organizations, a few things have become abundantly clear. The first, and most obvious, is that everyone is pretty tired. You can hear it in almost everyone’s voices. Exhaustion is a given when folks are pulling 12 hour shifts or longer every day. But another thing that’s equally discernible is the dedication.
I haven’t met a single person who, despite their exhaustion, hasn’t been incredibly polite, focused, and still eager to keep going. It’s a testament to the Laguna Madre and to the people we have here. In fact, now that Spring Break is wrapping up, the work isn’t over. Already, folks like those at Respeta Tu Playa have a beach cleanup planned for Saturday in an ongoing effort to keep our beaches beautiful.
Another common refrain I’ve heard is that everyone feels like one big family and treats each other as such. This is Texas, so that’s not an uncommon thing to say. We Texans are known as a friendly bunch, but it can be rare to see it in practice, especially at times when it’s easy for patience to wear thin. Yet time and again, I’ve seen people giving of themselves to make sure their coworkers, friends, and utter strangers are taken care of. “It’s an honor” is another thing I’ve heard.
To say I’ve been impressed with everyone I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with would be somewhat incorrect. Mostly, I’ve been humbled. South Padre Island — Laguna Madre — you have set an excellent example of what Southern Hospitality truly is. So, thank you. Thank you for all your hard work, for your graciousness, and for your grace under pressure.
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