• Neta Rhyne


Updated: Feb 23, 2019

I Catch Rattlesnakes...

Go toe to toe with kill buyer haulers,

Stand firm in opposition to the fossil fuel industry invasion where I live,

Have faced a terminal diagnosis from lung cancer and beat the odds.

Yet ....after being stuck on an elevator years ago my greatest fear remains being stuck on an elevator. Anyone that has traveled with me can vouch for the fact, I will NOT get on an elevator alone ...until that fateful day!

The significance to this story ...the Railroad Commission PREHEARING CONFERENCES are normally held on the 12th floor of the William B Travis Building, downtown Austin, Texas.

When I finally arrived in downtown Austin, after a harrowing drive in CRAZY traffic, I found the perfect parking spot. Right in front of the hotel. There was even a cute li’l bird sitting on top of the “Please Park Here” sign.

When checking in the desk clerk told me a new key card system had just been installed in the elevators. He explained all I had to do was scan my room key card over the small black square then push the floor number button.

My room was on the second floor and I had a load to carry. Ok, I’ve got this, I’ll just wait a minute and someone will come along going up. Ten minutes later and no one. I’m tired and I have to prepare for the hearing at the RRC the next morning. Ok Neta, I thought to myself, you can do this. I pushed the cart with my luggage into the elevator. As soon as the doors closed I knew this was a HUGE MISTAKE, I scanned my room key card over the black square and pushed the 2nd floor button…nothing! No movement at all! Once again I scanned my room key card pushed the 2nd floor button…nothing! I try the lower level button…nothing! I was stuck in this elevator!

By now I’m in total fear … I banged on the door and still nothing! Tried the emergency phone, my cell phone, nothing! Ok Neta, I thought to myself, get a grip you’ve got this…just breath. I calmed down and focused on deep breathing. I learned this years ago when taking Lamaze method of childbirth classes.

Now calm I pushed the 2nd floor button, nothing!!! You’ve got to be kidding me, this cannot be happening, I’m on an important mission! Then, while standing there afraid I was going to have a heart attack and die in that elevator…the doors slowly began to open.

Thanks to a very cool hotel guest attendant I NEVER had to get on that elevator alone again!


On the morning of the hearing I was nervous but felt it would be smooth going from that point on. With just thirty minutes to get to the hearing I turned the ignition key …nothing! What the …ok try again, nothing, not even a click! Ok Neta, stay focused .. I took a deep breath and one more time turned the key, nothing! Seriously! If I do not make this RRC prehearing conference all my efforts to protect San Solomon Springs are for nothing!

Sister Elizabeth was going to meet me at the hearing. I called her and thankfully she was just 5 minutes away. The only thing I could do at this point was leave my vehicle there and head to the hearing. Sister Elizabeth pulled up and off we went to ...

THE RRC HEARING ...which meant an elevator ride to the 12ht floor!

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