The Lake Arlington Trash Bash

Posted on: April 30, 2012

Have you ever been somewhere – a park or a lake or even a commercial airliner – and wondered WHY some people are such messy slobs? Well, DFW NORML can certainly attest to the fact that a lot of people who visit Lake Arlington are no exception. (Surely it’s not the residents in those fine homes which line the lake!)

Early (VERY early) Saturday (4/14/12) morning a dedicated crew of DFW NORML volunteers were to meet at Richard Simpson Park at 8 a.m. for the DFW NORML TRASH BASH at LAKE ARLINGTON! Some got called to work at the last minute; others had things come up. This being my first event where I was actually heading up the operation, I was a tiny bit worried. Would anybody show up?

I’m on the highway by ten after seven when my phone rings. It’s our “First on the Scene” Bryan James with The Truth Car! (As you can see from his arrival picture, it’s almost still dark outside!) So, there’s Bryan… and me… surely others will be there too! And as I pull into the parking lot, lo and behold, my fears instantly vanish as I see our crew beginning to assemble! Now we’re cooking!

A couple of us head down to the registration table to turn in our group’s forms. As we’re standing there waiting, two of Arlington’s finest off-duty policemen walk up to the line. We look at them. They look at our shirts. Then one of them says to me, “Can’t think of any better way to spend a day off!” They grin and get into line to register behind us!

We caravan by car to the actual clean-up site, a part of the lake accessed by a drainage culvert in the middle of one of those expensive, luxury home neighborhoods. Bryan, parking the Truth Car in view of our work area, was approached by several neighbors. He handed out wrist bands, chatted a bit and even had a couple of residents snap their own pictures of Truthie!

Arlington comes prepared to these cleanups! Our crew chief had plenty of waterproof gloves, heavy-duty trash bags, nifty-keen little trash picker-uppers AND bug spray and Ivy-repellent! Heading down into that culvert, we quickly realized – this ain’t no job for the squeamish. It’s squishy and smelly and down by the water’s edge it gets worse. It was hot and humid. It was sometimes nasty, sometimes disgusting. And sometimes made you wonder, “What the hell???” (See our Biggest Catch by Steve in the pics!)

By the time we were done, we were hot and dirty and sweaty, and some of us were soaked from getting a little too exuberant. HOWEVER, it was also FUN! Yes folks, FUN! DFW NORML has some of the most passionate, dedicated volunteers of any organization I’ve ever worked with. We’re a fine bunch of people working together to change the image that people have of the typical stoner. And we’re making progress! Even one of our city employees, who shall remain anonymous, remarked to me. “I really like your shirts. I work for the government, so I best not say any more.”

Kudos and thank you to everyone who made it out! It was one of those events that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside all weekend long! We are DFW NORML!

Now…Who wants to Adopt-A-Highway?