By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Richardson was pretty damned proud of it. "I wasn't able to serve my country like a lot of my friends, but at least the award proved that I wasn't afraid to stand up and do right if I was ever called upon to do it," he says. "It kind of validated me as a citizen."
Richardson made the certificate a permanent part of his résumé, showing it to potential employers and landlords. Not bragging, to be sure, just casually letting folks know they were in the midst of greatness.
When the certificate was lost in 1990, he says, HPD went to great lengths to replace it, even tracking down former chief Harry Caldwell to sign it. Now that it's gone again, however, they aren't so cooperative.
Richardson was moving to a new apartment last year, all his stuff in his '93 Oldsmobile, when a gunman carjacked him and drove off. Included in the stuff was the Hero Certificate.
HPD, he says, can't be bothered to replace it, apparently believing in a two-strikes-and-you're-out philosophy. "It's like somebody took a big eraser and erased your name away," he says.
He's considered picketing the HPD building, but his health makes that unlikely.
"It wasn't like I lost the award," he says. "It was stolen at gunpoint."
A disabled grandfather now, Richardson cannot fight this battle. His cape has been hung up, his superpowers diminished. Is there no one in the younger generation to take up the mantle and battle the evil bureaucracy?
So far, sadly, the Bat-Signal has gone unanswered.
Flooding Up North
Think Tropical Storm Allison didn't do enough damage to Houston? The worst may be yet to come.
14 Hours is a made-for-TV movie scheduled to air on the TNT cable network in April. Starring Rick "Don't Call Me Ricky" Schroeder and JoBeth Williams, the movie looks at a Houston hospital "and the community that pulled together and raced against time to ensure that hundreds of patients were successfully evacuated."
A race against time? Why hasn't anyone used that concept for a movie before?
In case you're wondering how you somehow missed all those film crews and movie-star trailers at the Medical Center, rest assured you didn't miss anything.
"It's the same pattern as with the Enron movie: They saved a lot of money doing it up there," says Alfred Cervantes, deputy director of the Houston Film Commission. "They called us for information when they were starting, and they kind of hemmed and hawed that they might do it here, but we knew they'd end up doing it in Canada."
Which will no doubt lead viewers to ask, If it's flooding so bad, why don't people move up to those mountains in the background?