Dear Editor: Friday night football, that great American institution almost taken as a religious experience in Texas, is alive and well in the Heart of Texas. It was homecoming night with the beautiful girls in their beautiful gowns, basking in their night of glory, and the rugged young men in their football gear, ready to do battle on the gridiron in the time honored tradition. And I was there! Yes, for the first time in 40 years, I was there to see the Brady Bulldogs in action at the Brady High School stadium. To make the evening more perfect, I was joined by my only nephew who had been told all his young life by his grandparents and mother about football in Texas, but who had never had the opportunity to actually experience it. Although the Bulldogs lost, it was still a great evening for both of us as we enjoyed being together, watching some exciting football and “chowing down” on hot dogs and nachos. Saturday was a much anticipated event, the reunion of the BHS Class of 1960. Forty years! Who of us 40 years ago would have even conceived of the idea that we would still be around in the year 2000 or that most of us would still have our own teeth. At 18 we thought anyone over 30 was old and could not imagine ever reaching the ripe old age of 58 (or 59 as one of our classmates celebrated on the day of our reunion). No wonder she was valedictorian, she was older than the rest of us! Sorry, Bonnie, I just couldn’t resist. Yet, here we were, senior citizens: not yet over the hill, still movin’ good, some bodies shaped a lot differently than they were in 1960, and hair color changed on some of us. The three most used words during the entire reunion were, “Who is that'” or “Who is that'”, with the emphasis changing depending upon the appearance of the person who had just entered the room and who no one could recognize. We all laughed a lot and partied hard, renewing old memories and old friendships. The only “downer” of the evening was looking at the list of our friends and classmates who are no longer with us. It made us realize that the list may grow much longer before we can get together again. Now I’m going to get on my soapbox about my beloved hometown. I’ve always been proud to tell people that I was born and raised in Brady, Texas, because it was a beautiful town. The key word near the end of that last sentence is “was”! I spent a lot of time Friday and Saturday driving around town making mental notes of what I was seeing. Some of what I saw made me disgusted and saddened because parts of the town have begun to look like a trash dump. The most disgusting sight I saw was the state of the old hospital and the trash and broken appliances gathering around it. Also, as I drove around, I saw many dilapidated, decaying and rotting houses and buildings with overgrown yards filled with trash. Even the old power plant looks horrible with all the broken windows. One house I especially noted was one on West 2nd Street with a giant oak tree in the front yard where I had lived as a child. The house was falling apart and the yard was totally trashed and filled with weeds. What an eyesore! There are too many other places I saw on both the north and south sides of town for me to even comment about in this letter. How could the government of the City of Brady let this happen’ Don’t the Mayor, City Council, County Commissioners, and City Manager have eyes’ Have they lived with it so long that they just don’t see the visual state of the town’ I challenge them to get out of their pristine neighborhoods where they live and collectively or separately drive around the town and see what I saw. Aren’t there laws on the books which they can use to force owners of dilapidated properties to clean them up or have the city come in and do it and then bill the owners. There are other towns in Texas which are “taking the bull by the horns” by condemning property like I saw in Brady and then going onto the property to bulldoze decaying or falling apart buildings. There must be some legal way for the County Attorney and the City of Brady government to do the same thing. I also challenge every citizen of Brady to get off the main traveled streets and drive streets you may not have been on in years just to see the state of disarray. Drive with your eyes open and see things as they are, not as they used to be. The condition of the streets in Brady is another story in themselves, which is possibly another letter. Roger Metcalfe Coleman, Tex.