How the Nature Preserve Has Come to Home.
(A Four-Minute Dog-Eat-Doggerel Poem.)
by Richard V. Teschner
'Twas the end of July, in twenty oh three
With word just arrived that there soon were to be
One hundred and ninety eight houses--Oh boyo!
In what until then had been our safe arroyo. (Or so we thought.)
Emergency meetings were held by the score
Spear-headed by folks who had come to the fore
To save the arroyo and with it the canyon
From terrible fate, quite akin to the banion
Which once it's derooted will ne'er bloom again
Full mourned in its death by good women and men.
Attending the meetings were folks tough as bark:
Doug Echlin, Karen Williams, Carl Pataky, Ken Clark;
Dorothy Waters, Sharon Geddes, Mac Snodgrass, Janet Bader and Bruce Brooks;
Karen Papst, Don and Ginny Hegarty, John Galceran and Helen of the Cookes;
Grace Sandoval, Jan and Gordie Robertstad, Al Adkins and spouse;
Gretchen Tobey, Arden Abbott, Rick Harrison, John March filled the house.
But of all in attendance, just one name did seem
To rise to the fore--that of Charlie Wakeem.
Born on the West Side to a Lebanese couple
Quite early in life Charlie got into trouble
By pushing a boulder and losing a digit
But thanks to that loss Charlie learned not to fidgit
Graduating instead near the top of his class
From old Texas Western, the school by the Pass.
Then entering business and running a store,
Our Charlie proceeded to show he's no bore
By speaking in public at Rotary clubs
And banquets and dinners in rest'rants and pubs.
(It also helped out he knew takings and torts
The product of running his trailer park courts.)
"Please lead us, good Charlie," the masses did crave
"In fighting the fight, our dear Canyon to save!"
So Charlie boned up on the law of the land
And hunted for measures to help make a stand.
When much to his wondering eyes did appear
Eight firm City ord'nances that helped him not fear
To fight in the toughest match-wits of the season
In hopes one could bargain, sit down and then reason
A City-broked land-swap, perhaps a donation
Whatever it took to bring forth … resolation.
The rest of the story we know like our clime:
How Charlie spent thousands of hours of his time
At websites, in archives, in City Hall's bowels
With mayors, commissi'ners and workmen with trowels
His camera in hand through the wettest monsoons
The flooded arroyo at midnights and noons.
With City Plan Commission in meet after meeting
Not once did our hero lose heart or start bleating.
Encouraged by victories from City Council folk
Disinclined to treat Nature as just one big joke
Development stalled, and did not advance
Thus giving the present Richard Teschner a chance
To spend all the money he'd got from his mother
On saving the Canyon from strife, stress and druther.
From May through December, negotiate we did
And though the pot was boiling, somehow we kept the lid
From flying off the handle, and damping down the deal.
From media to City Hall, they saw we were for real.
December twenty-first, the day it came to pass
That he who speaks these words today rejoined the middle class.
Just two days from then, the closing did take place
Mere minutes before the whole city joined the race
To get out of town and spend their vacation
In plentious awe and in full contemplation
Of how a bunch of ordinary Coronado people
Awakened by their leader a'crying from the steeple
Saved ninety-one acres of nature's prime beauty
Simply because they viewed it as their duty.
Note: Richard Teschner wrote then recited this poem at the Charlie Wakeem/Richard Teschner Nature Preserve of Resler Canyon Dedication on Saturday, January 28, 2006.