Anyone who was at a recent Texas City-La Marque Community Advisory Council meeting got to see the return of Bruce Clawson.
After a seven-year absence, Clawson is back in the director’s seat for Texas City’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
I never felt more secure; a feeling shared, probably, by mostly everybody in Texas City.
For several years, when he held that position previously, he was the great comforter. At least to me.
If a hurricane was coming, he got on the phone and called everybody in the city to tell them what to do, what help was available and everything else we needed to know.
You didn’t hear much from him during the storm, but I imagine he was busy doing something.
It was after the storm that I appreciated him the most.
His kind and soothing voice was readily recognizable as he called and told everybody that everything was going to be all right.
Day by day, the robocall from Clawson came to my ear, reassuring me, and everybody in town, that things were going to work out eventually.
Clawson came to the meeting to tell us about his new plans.
He’s replacing the previous emergency man, who had been recruited from Houston and summarily called back into action by the Houston mayor.
That’s when another mayor, from Texas City, stepped in and called Clawson back into action.
Clawson, during the interim, had worked for local industry and then served as a commissioner-at-large in our fair city. He lost election in the most recent contest.
As he tells it, he was really enjoying retirement after a busy life that included several law enforcements jobs.
He said he was sitting out on his porch, enjoying a cool one and reveling in his laziness. He resisted the invitation to go to work and then gave in to a temporary assignment.
He has signed up to work for only three months, during which time he will help train a successor.
“I will go back to the phone calls,” he said. “It is important to talk to each one of you in person.”
When his three months are up, he will still jump in when the robocalls are needed, he said.
He likes to do them. We like to hear them.
He also will be applying for grants, presumably because fiscal help is necessary and available.
He remembered the days when all the emergency news was delivered by radio and explained that radio stations had lost their power and phones were best. Likewise, he said the big alarms on poles around the city aren’t as useful.
“Nobody paid attention to them,” he said.
When his temporary employment is over and his volunteer telephoning is over, “I’ll be back on the back porch,” he said, smiling at the thought.