Howard Lehrman, even after all these years, still considers himself an "anti-noise pollution activist," battling "Audio Terrorism" and the "Boomheads."
Boomheads are the guys who crank the bass in their cars, rattling windows and victimizing and booming to death - as Lehrman says - decent law-abiding citizens.
"People are getting more and more fed up with this nonsense all over the country, except Houston for some strange reason," Lehrman tells Hair Balls.
Lehrman's current Number One peeve involves Christ the Incarnate Word Catholic Church, about half a mile from his house. Each February, the mainly Vietnamese church puts on a festival, and the outdoor music that's playing always includes, sure enough, thundering bass.
"My whole house is vibrating with all the doors and windows closed," Lehrman says. "People don't understand that heavy bass travels through walls, through foundations, through windows. You don't just hear it, you feel it. That's what I'm talking about."
He continues, "The only reason I say there's a relationship between the people that are running that church and what I like to call the 'gangsta mentality,' is because they're young and they want to cater to that type of constituency. Unfortunately, they're very tolerant of the heavy bass, whether it's rap music or whatever."
The last several years, Lehrman drove to the church during the festival and asked a church official to turn down the music, and he also calls the police a whole lot. Neither gets him much of a result, and "unless I want to be a vigilante and go in there and bust some heads," there's not much else he can do.
Except bring in the diocese. Lehrman wrote a letter to 12 officials from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, laying out his problems with Christ the Incarnate.
"There is NO good reason why anyone should have to tolerate this in the first place; much less from a faith-based organization allegedly preaching Love, Mercy and Compassion," Lehrman wrote. "How about having some Mercy on the church's NEIGHBORS??"
Hair Balls spoke to Claudia Dechamps, a representative from the archdiocese, and she's checking on the situation. When she gets back to us, we'll update, as always.
Update: Dechamps says the archdiocese is conducting its own investigation into the matter, and that Lehrman's is the only complaint they've received.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.