A passenger with some serious bite


Might as well file this one under “you never know what you’ll find in East Texas – especially when Bob Staton is involved.’’

Lindale’s Bob Staton, well known for his off-the-wall antics, dropped by the Lindale News and Times office early Monday morning with his son Robert and another “passenger’’ in the back of his truck.

(The last time Bob Staton dropped by the office he brought a photo of himself, perched atop a vintage 1960s Ford Mustang, wearing his best “Hello Ladies!’’ look. He wanted to see if someone could identify him, which Arthur Baldwin – with his sharp eyes -- did. Baldwin pocketed $25 for the ID.)

So, when Staton arrived Monday and asked if I would be interested in taking a picture of an alligator I knew this was going to be good.

Turns out there really was a six-foot alligator in the back of their truck, understandably unhappy at having his life (in the creek bottoms of Staton’s property) interrupted.

Alive and literally kicking, the gator had been hauled in after being snared the night before. He didn’t much care for Robert Staton poking his snout and flipped a couple of times to show his displeasure.

Although rare, alligator sightings in and around Lindale aren’t unique. About a year ago, Faulkner Park visitors called state game wardens to alert them to alligators in the park’s lake.

Game warden officials said the availability of food probably drew the gator to Faulkner Park, which prompted the city of Lindale to post warning signs at the lake advising visitors not to swim in the lake and don’t try to feed them.

Staton didn’t say what he was planning to do with the gator, but an interesting scenario did occur to me: What if Staton was stopped at a traffic light and the gator popped up and eyed the driver behind them?

That’s another photo I’d love to take.


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