As I get older I cherish the times with my parents. This past weekend I had another opportunity to be of service to them.

Usually, my wife and I are gone somewhere for our anniversary the first part of December. My schedule didn’t permit such a trip this year, so we attended my sister and brother-in-law’s Christmas party in New Braunfels this past weekend.

When we got into town we dropped by the nursing home to pick up my parents. They were dressed to the hilt. My mother even demanded that my father use his bulkier “Cadillac” walker.

After barely squeezing my mother’s wheelchair and dad’s walker in the trunk (the “Cadillac” walker is much bigger) we headed around town for a quick spin to see a few Christmas decorations.

Watching my mom smile, as we passed decorated houses, and the courthouse and gazebo in the traffic circle bathed in bright lights, I caught myself thinking back five-plus decades when I was a kid experiencing the same wonderment.

It’s a bit different this change in roles, but I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to still spend time with my mom and dad.

My sister and brother-in-law always hire a good friend who is a piano player, vocalist, and well-known entertainer in New Braunfels.

He sits at my sister’s baby grand piano and plays Christmas Carols like no other person I’ve witnessed.

Sitting back, watching my parents hold hands, and sing as if they were in one of my father’s churches years ago, wetted the ol’ eyes.

Last year they didn’t have the party because of COVID. At the tail end of the February deep freeze, my sister was admitted to the hospital with COVID. My brother-in-law, addressing the crowd about a third of the way into the evening, opened his heart and shared a message about almost losing the love of his life, and recognizing those in attendance who had not been as lucky with their loved ones.

My sister, tears rolling down her face, thanked everyone for being at the party … one she thought might not occur again.

My parents stayed as long as they could, even though that moment came suspiciously close to when the piano man started belting out Billy Joel tunes on the ivories.

My parents know I love Billy Joel music, so we stayed for an extra 15 minutes or so.

There’s always one song that ends up being played/sung multiple times each year – Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”

After it was played the first time, we loaded up my parents’ wheels and headed back to the nursing home.

We had to wait a bit for an employee to open the front door, again, a reminder of some of the times when I was a kid and my parents were waiting up for me.

“I got them home by 10:30 as promised,” I told the employee who eventually let them in.

Driving home, I flipped through the recordings of my parents’ singing, taking it all in through our vehicle’s audio system.

I’m not going to say my dad still has “it” at 92, but what I heard was my dad singing in church again.

•••

The saga that began with a verbal altercation between Aransas County Navigation District Commissioner Tommy Moore and me during a recess at the Sept. 7 ACND meeting has come to an end – or maybe not.

Moore filed a bogus complaint against me for assault-physical contact, and I was issued a citation (Class C misdemeanor) Sept. 22 by the Rockport Police Department, which is standard procedure after such a complaint is made.

I pleaded not guilty and asked for a jury trial.

Fast forward to Thursday, Dec. 2, the date of my pre-trial hearing.

It was at that hearing I learned Moore had withdrawn his complaint, via a letter dated Nov. 29.

He said he was withdrawing the complaint because, “It has become apparent that the Rockport Police Department and the City Prosecutor will not hold Mr. Probst responsible for his unlawful actions.”

He later said, “I will pursue justice through other available lawful methods.”

I have no idea what Moore means, but as far as I’m concerned, his decision to withdraw the complaint says it all.

The Pilot rarely publishes stories about Class C misdemeanors, and the only time I publicly addressed this matter was in my Sept. 29 column.

Moore, on the other hand, was featured in at least two YouTube interviews, one in which he admitted threatening me.

A video clip, apparently from security footage at the ACND office, showed my interaction with Moore. It was provided to a Corpus Christi television station, which aired a report.

This incident never should have gone this far, but unfortunately, it has.

I did not file a complaint against Moore regarding his threat of physical violence because I recognize the situation for what it is.

As I wrote Sept. 29, any elected official or other public figure who makes a real or implied threat will not intimidate me or anyone else at The Pilot. We owe that to our readers and to Aransas County.

I hope this is the end of this saga, but that is in Moore’s hands.

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