It’s a bit after 8:30 a.m. last Thursday, and Vincent Mazzara strides into the gallery of the Texas Senate, eyeing a spot in the third row.
Wearing an orange and blue shirt, and black slacks, the 13-year-old slides into the empty row and sits. He opens his notebook and gets ready to take notes of the eighth day of the impeachment trial of Ken Paxton, the state’s then-embattled attorney general.
“It’s Texas history and you want to be part of that,” Vincent told The Texas Newsroom.
Vincent hasn’t missed a single day of the trial.
So, how can a teenager be in the Capitol every day for two weeks during the school year? Well, Vincent is homeschooled, and his dad is Joseph Mazzara, one of the lawyers on Paxton’s legal team.
But Vincent Mazzara isn’t just here for homework or because he has to be.
He’s here because he has a responsibility to the readers of the newspaper he created: the Grand Enclave Bugle.
“Not a lot of people know about it and it doesn’t have an official website,” Vincent said. “It’s just a fun thing I do.”
Starting the Grand Enclave Bugle
It all began about a year ago, Vincent said.
“I was reading a book about a kid who had started his own newspaper,” he said. “So, I decided to start a newspaper for my neighborhood.”
Since its inception, Vincent has created each issue of the Grand Enclave Bugle on a typewriter his dad got him. While that may be surprising to hear from a teen, he prefers it.
“That’s what they did in the old days, it’s more old fashioned,” Vincent said. “I like that.”
After doing some copyediting to make sure he didn’t make any mistakes, he creates copies for his readers.
Currently, the Grand Enclave Bugle has about 20 loyal fans.
“Some old ladies, some friends of mine, some friends of my parents, a couple of other people, a couple of my relatives,” Vincent said.
All of them live in the same neighborhood in Houston where he lived until recently. His friend, 12, acts as distributor and helps find more potential readers.
The newspaper is free right now, although that could change in the future.
“If I end up getting more people it might be like one nickel,” he said.
Covering history in-the-making
The last time an elected official was impeached in Texas was in 1975. Before that, Gov. James Ferguson, a Democrat, was impeached in 1917.
So, Paxton’s impeachment trial is only the third ever in Texas’ history — possibly a once in a generation event.
Vincent calls the trial “rather interesting,” and said he was learning a lot from the legal luminaries involved.
“The charges, some of the lawyers like Rusty Hardin, Tony Buzbee, Mitch Little,” he says, briefly forgetting his dad.
“Yeah, my dad,” Vincent said, laughing after being reminded.
Despite the complex, and sometimes wonky, legal back and forth, he said observing the trial has only increased his motivation to become a lawyer someday.
But he might also consider doing journalism when he grows up.
“It’s a lot of fun to play reporter,” Vincent said, before quickly correcting himself: “I am one, I’m not playing. I’m actually doing it.”