Nothing gets the blood pumping in a medium-sized city that struggles with identity and insecurity issues like an old-fashioned white collar crime. It's exciting. It makes you think that perhaps there are more things of substance going on here than just the memory of an FBI raid that ended in a fiery disaster over a decade ago.
About a week ago the resident town insider at work came through the door holding a copy of the Waco Tribune Herald with a story on the front page about missing funds from Downtown Waco Inc., a non-profit whose purpose is to make this great city more like San Antonio. Or, at the very least, San Angelo. The paper also reported that a seventy thousand dollar reimbursement check had been made out to the group, but had no information on who the check was from. This guy was in the know and he knew it was Margaret Mills, the former director who resigned earlier in the summer. I remember reading about her leaving the agency in the paper and suspected no wrongdoing. What I did suspect, however, was that, although I love this town, I am still an outsider because I couldn't for the life of me figure out why this lady leaving Downtown Waco Inc. should merit the attention of the front page of the paper.
The front page of this morning's paper showed a picture of the reimbursement check that belonged to one Margaret Mills.
Why does this story excite me so? There is crime going on all around me. In fact, my car was broken into today. All they got of value was a Dwight Yoakum CD, because that was the only thing of value I had in my car. But don't think they didn't look. My car is trashy, but they managed to make it even more so by rummaging around for something good. It was almost a favor, though, because they took all the change out of my ashtray. I've been meaning to clean that thing out for years. I'm just glad I never lock my doors because I can't afford to pay for a new windshield.
But this is boring stuff. People need things and they break in places to get it. Wrong, yes. Interesting, not so much. Even violence has been done to death.
But give a city a Martha Stewart type crime and we can almost walk a little taller. Maybe it will put the strut back into a place that desperately needs to move beyond simply the place that houses Baylor. What better way to do that than to put the microscope on some rich old lady who used the company credit card for a little bling from Dillards.
Reason #3 Why I Love this Town:
Clothing and accessories from Fendi-- $1558
Men's Suite from Perfectly Suited-- $4298
Shopping spree at Dillards-- $919
Flight to who the hell knows where-- $852
A (relatively) small town newspaper that refuses to protect the higher echelon of criminals: Priceless.
Dear Margaret Mills,
If you still have that Debit Card, I am in desperate need of a new Dwight Yoakum Greatest Hits CD.