Wednesday, September 02, 2009

What They Do

I hadn't really thought about Texas in years, having left it behind long before along with so much attendent bullshit. A friend told me in an email about the very famous hotel she worked at hosting a cohort of Texas Rangers. She could hardly hide her infatuation - each one, she said, came in more handsome and rugged than the last. Each one spotless and a gentleman. It made me smile and recall how it sometimes was in that state.

You can find yourself moved in an instant to manners generations lost. You can still see people who respect not mere empty patriotism but true devotion to an ideal of freedom.

Most Texas Rangers are the epitome of that sensibility. Oh, to be certain there are some new ones that decorate anything that stands still with that Ranger star - in the parlance: "I'mARangerI'mARangerI'mARanger..." But there there are some men for whom the badge is not mere symbol but a sort of...tattoo on the soul.

Brian Burzynski is that sort. He was called upon to deal with someone that no one man ought ever to have to render in a report, much less sit in front of, witness to, and corroborate. He knew, instantly - must have - that this would put him in danger of losing not only his career but his own life. Enemies of that ilk...they do not care about the cost. That is obvious in what they did to bring his attention to them.

They are a breed apart, not answerable to anyone but the Director. Indeed, it's true - they may not be abolished - see Texas Government Code Sec. 411.024

One might think that such power would corrupt, absolutely. And yet...you simply don't find any of that sort of nonsense. To be certain, there are egos enough! But...I suppose it is the long, hard path to the role that molds those men into who they have to be to earn that badge.

With luck, and another year, Trooper can start his application process. It could be another decade before an opening fits but...it is what we came here for...it is what he has been working toward his entire life. And they may be of great and terrible use in the days to come.

4 comments:

Ed Rasimus said...

The Rangers are indeed a remarkable group. The history is very checkered and the legends often cloud the reality. The rugged cowboys of Lonesome Dove were probably pretty close for the period. The violent thugs of the border war period and the oil field boom-towns that set the precedent for "one riot, one Ranger" are also pretty true. The glamorous modern cop of Chuck Norris, probably not so accurate.

Today the Rangers are very high-tech professional investigators, but they also remain the epitome of no nonsense lawmen.

Surprisingly the total Ranger force has seldom numbered more than 100 across the entire state. There was a period of politically appointed "semi" Rangers, but the core force has always been small.

The real badges are quite rare and heavily protected by law. You won't buy one on eBay.

Good luck to Trooper. He's got a noble ambition.

LauraB said...

Och, the early days? Well, it was a wild place and required some very...indelicate methods.

But let us consider only the last few decades wherein so many have fallen. No, not much there. Same steady hand at the tiller...

As for the badge? He and a close friend have already stashed away their Mexican coins for that day, should it finally come.

I sometimes think that it is a place for men lost in time. Perhaps the only place left for them and their ways. And that is why the force remains so low - so few heed that calling.

Of course, the Trooper force is alarmingly small, too. For, it's a big state - you'd think there were half again as many.

But hush - we won't let the rabble know the truth...it is, indeed, a very fine line that is more smudged every year. Some day it won't even be visible and, when that day comes, everyone will be on their own. (Not that I worry about my friends but...so many others will be utterly unprepared.)

P.S. "One Ranger" is a very good friend...Trooper called him out of the blue (yes, his number is listed) as he looked at the application from a North Georgia office. "Well, we're not gonna go there and get you, son..." And so it all began...

D.W. said...

Best of luck to Trooper!

LauraB said...

Thanks, D.W.! We only hope it all holds together long enough for the goal to even matter, now...sigh...