by Verlie Edwards

Changing the filter in your air conditioning unit is a simple task, right? I’ve done it so many times I should be able to do it in my sleep. Well, apparently, I was sleeping when I tackled this easy job on a recent summer evening.

I must confess no one had told me the dos and don’ts of changing a filter. I slid the old filter out . . . removed the new one from the plastic bag . . . then everything changed. All of a sudden, I heard a loud “swoosh” and the next thing I knew the plastic bag had been sucked into the unit! Poor thing, the unit sounded like it was struggling to breathe. I immediately turned the AC off (it was 103 degrees that day!) hoping the plastic bag would drop out. No such luck.

Next came a quick call and text to my AC guy. Naturally it was after regular business hours.  He promptly returned my call with a promise to have someone at my house first thing the next morning, but our conversation ended with this scary warning — “Verlie, this can get pretty pricey. It might be in the motor.” I had nightmares.

I was up early the next morning dreading the possible outcome. The time had arrived to face the facts. The technician removed the cover, reached in and removed the entire plastic bag completely intact! A huge wave of relief flooded my entire body and then the reality of the situation hit me. I was sooo stupid to let this happen.

Moral of the story – turn the AC unit OFF before changing the filter!


Verlie McAlister Edwards was raised in Abilene, Texas and it’s there that she realized her love for writing. She enjoyed a special high school English teacher who happened to be the school’s newspaper sponsor. In order to take another class under her, Verlie signed up for journalism and the journey began. Unlike many students, she never changed her college major – she was always focused on journalism as a career. She graduated from the University of North Texas (UNT) with a degree in journalism and political science.

After graduation she returned to her hometown and worked as a reporter at the Abilene Reporter-News covering the local education scene from the students’ perspective. Following a year of graduate work at UNT she moved to Fort Worth where a career in public relations and political affairs flourished. She always wanted to work in academic PR and achieved that goal early in her career at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

After many years providing public relations consultation to the osteopathic profession and serving as the communications director/special events fundraiser for Lena Pope Home (a residential treatment facility for abused and neglected youth) she joined the staff of the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors (GFWAR) as the communications and governmental affairs director. It’s here that she found her calling and further developed her skills in the political arena.

After 11 years in that position she took her writing, political and organizational skills to serve as chief of staff for Texas State Representative Rob Orr, a past president of the GFWAR. She remained on Rep. Orr’s staff throughout his 10 years as an elected official and then served as District Director for his successor, Representative DeWayne Burns, during his first legislative session. At that time she retired from the Texas Legislature and began working part-time as curator for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams’ personal museum.

Verlie is excited to use her writing skills to help the Iron Butterflies Project as both a writer and Vice President and Editor-In-Chief.

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