AUSTIN (NEXSTAR) — It’s been 30 years since the Texas Department of Transportation kicked off its “Don’t mess with Texas” campaign.
The statewide litter prevention effort has garnered a lot of support over the years from the music industry. But this year they’ve decided to change things up a bit, hoping to keep Texas beautiful.
In 1986, trash on Texas highways was piling up faster than the state could clean it up. So the department launched the campaign, hoping to reduce the litter problem. And there was one man, a familiar face that could get the job done.
Willie Nelson, a longtime Texan, sang his way into people’s homes — and it worked.
According to TxDOT, 98 percent of Texans said they knew the slogan, recognized the problem, and the litter rate dropped roughly 72 percent.
Now 30 years later, the state says trash is still a big problem. Each year, an estimated 500 million pieces of litter pile up along state highways.
In 2015, the state spent roughly $32 million on cleanup. So with a new set of problems, TxDOT says its time to pass the torch to a new generation.
This year TxDOT re-launched it’s campaign: same place, same song, just a slightly younger face.
“I’m sure dad got a kick out of it back in the day and I get a kick out of it now,” Lukas Nelson said.
Willie Nelson’s son Lukas has taken his father’s reins to continue spreading the same message — to keep Texas beautiful. “Treat Texas like someone you love.”
TxDOT says violators can face fines for littering starting at $500. You can report a vehicle online at DontMessWithTexas.org.
Just click the “report a litterer” tab on the homepage.
Dean Thomann “will fight to the bloody end” as he battles cancer, but a life-changing moment occurred for the 60-year-old Iowa farmer on Saturday at the Hinterland Music demoinFestival in St. Charles.
Thomann, who is battling Stage 4 colorectal cancer, met country music icon and seven-time Grammy Award winner Willie Nelson on the second day of the music festival. Thomann made the trip with his wife, Susan, following chemotherapy treatment that lasted five weeks at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and just days before an impending surgery that will remove a cancerous spot near his spinal cord.
“He’s my favorite of all time,” Thomann told the Register earlier in the week, before Hinterland began. “He’s been there. He’s done it. He’s been through the school of hard knocks like I have. He’s done his time, and he’s still doing it. I look at him as a classic icon.”
Dad recently did a PSA for the homeless veterans in America. Production crews set up cameras on the bus before the concert, and the Redheaded Stranger asked that everyone open their hearts to our many homeless vets. A highly decorated Viet Nam veteran, who was also a fan, had given Dad this well worn, heavy medal hat to wear in honor of all those who have served our country with honor and pride. God Bless our American veterans and please support them when you can. They have already supported you.
Well I have no idea if the is the right place to be sending this, as it was an e-mail address passed on by a stranger on FB.
But to make a long story short, a few months ago I commissioned a portrait for gentleman who’s dream it was to have a picture taken with Willie. Suffice to say, he never got the chance and asked me to draw one for him. He had been told for years that he looked like his idol Willie, and he wanted to show everyone they were all crazy! ( I personally thought he looked like Willie too! lol ). 24 hours after a family member of his picked up his portrait, Basil unfortunately passed away :(. Now I don’t personally know Basil well, but from in the short time I got to know him all he could talk about was Willie. So I’m hoping to do him one last honor of knowing Willie got to see this picture, and where ever Basil is now I know he would smiling from ear to ear!
If there is any way you can pass a copy of this picture Willie in anyway, I know you would make one life long Willie fan and his family a great honor.
Here is a link to Basil’s FB page. People still send him Willie updates lol
Thank you Kindly
The Starlight Theater in Kansas City was packed with love tonight. Jason Isbell opened up the hearts of everyone with his beautiful voice, then Alison Krause and Union Station stepped up to the stage and melted even the toughest among us. She sings like a sweet, soft, fragile winged angel.