July/August 2022- Absolutely Katy Magazine

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Kid Friendly

r e m Sum Fun July 4th Events, Movies in the Park & More

Summer Breeze




HOUSTON METHODIST in Katy and West Houston


















Convenient Locations — Close to Home Houston Methodist is growing to meet the needs of our community. We offer a full range of care across Katy and West Houston, including: • Primary and specialty physician offices, imaging, labs and physical therapy • Easy to access emergency care and transfer to Houston Methodist West Hospital, should you need it • A team of experts using the newest technologies • Personalized care tailored to your unique needs And, with enhanced safety measures in place, you can rest assured your safety is our priority.

Visit houstonmethodist.org/katy-west to find a Houston Methodist doctor or location near you.

Find a Location



The Honorable Pete Olson Contributor Page 8



Patti Parish-Kaminski Publisher Page 13

13 Steve Kursar Auto Enthusiast Page 14


{Column} 8 FORT BEND STRONG Oh, Say Can You See



Summer Breeze

It’s summertime in Katy – what to do? From fabulous fireworks to midsummer music festivals to fun farmers markets, there’s something for everyone to enjoy – all summer long!

Enjoy your summer and the fourth with fresh fruit like strawberries in this easy recipe.

2022 Toyota Tundra




August 20th and 21st at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds


{In Every Issue}

Everything parents need for both summer fun and back to school.

IVYBROOK ACADEMY A Progressive Approach to an Early Childhood Education


KATY ISD New Student Pre-Registration Now Open


Action-Packed Summer


5 2

August 5th to 7th


In a Digital Age

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ON THE COVER: Summer Fun


47th Annual Vintage Glass and Antique Show

Come on out to the 47th Vintage Glass and Antique Show and Sale on August 20th and 21st at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, located at 4310 Hwy. 36 South in Rosenberg. Early shopping hours are 8 am to 10 am with an admission fee of $10, which is also good for regular shopping hours both Saturday and Sunday. Regular shopping hours are 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday. Admission for regular hours is $6 and good for both days. Dealers from across the country will feature glassware items from pre 1900 through the 1970’s including a wide variety of colorful 1930’s depression era glass, elegant glass, kitchenware, Midcentury glass, pottery and dinnerware. The antiques building will feature one-of-a-kind antiques and collectibles. From vintage primitives, linens, jewelry, kitchen items and furniture, there is truly something for everyone. There is free parking, air-conditioned buildings, a food and drink concession in the antique building with on-site repair of damaged glass, silver and jewelry. Call Nancy Norman for questions and details at 281-240-0382 or visit www. houstonglassclub.org.

@absolutelykaty JULY / AUGUST 2022 l



Celebrating Summer July 4th is the Super Bowl of summer holidays, and I for one am ready! Katy has a plethora of fun, family-friendly opportunities to celebrate America’s birthday, and we are bringing them all to you on page 6. With the long holiday weekend, I hope you and your family can enjoy a couple of these firecracker events! And just because the Independence Day celebrations end doesn’t mean summer fun ends. There are so many fun, free, family-friendly events this summer in Katy, and we’re bringing them to you in this issue. Whether it’s a music festival or dinos in the park or an action-packed summer at the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, there’s truly something for everyone to keep the summer fun going close to home. Another summer ritual is back to school shopping, and the Texas Tax-Free Ready to celebrate the fourth – and yes, Weekend happens this year August 5th that’s an original Charles Weiss painting to 7th. It’s the perfect time to get all of of Old Glory on the wall – best artist those school essentials tax free. What’s ever! on the list? Take a look on page 12. As we celebrate our nation’s birthday this year, it’s a great time to remember our hard-fought freedom and the genesis of our national anthem. Pete Olson shares Francis Scott Key’s journey in writing The Star-Spangled Banner in his column on page 8. In sharing Key’s story, Pete says, “America would win the War of 1812, and we would forever have the most beautiful, inspiring and glorious national anthem the world has ever known!” I couldn’t agree more.

Vol. 19 No. 4 JULY/AUGUST 2022 281.728.1204 WWW.ABSOLUTELYKATY.COM absolutely! focus media P. O. Box 1253 Richmond, Texas 77406

PUBLISHER Patti Parish-Kaminski AC C OUNT EXECUTIVES Kay Garrett Gena Horak A RT D I R E C T O R Grace Belleza WEB DESIGNER JOBpage Graphics S O C IA L M E D IA M A NA G E R Natalee Moore CONTRIBUTORS Steve Kursar The Honorable Pete Olson A D V E RT I S I N G I N Q U I R I E S Kay@absolutelyfocusmedia.com E D I T O R IA L S U B M I S S I O N S Patti@absolutelyfocusmedia.com

Happy Birthday America! Absolutely yours,


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Simple Summer Dessert


njoy your summer and the fourth with fresh fruit like strawberries in this Easy Strawberry Shortcake recipe.

Find more recipes at www.Culinary.net.

Easy Strawberry Shortcake Recipe courtesy of Pillsbury 1 2 1/4

Can (5-8) Pillsbury Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits Tablespoons Butter, Melted Cup Sugar

Strawberry Mixture: 3 Cups Fresh Strawberries, Sliced 1/3 Cup Sugar Whipped Cream: 1/2 Cup Whipping Cream 2 Tablespoons Sugar 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla

• Heat oven to 375 F. • Separate biscuits. Dip tops and sides of biscuits in melted butter. Dip biscuits, covering tops and sides, in sugar. Place sugar-side up on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 13-17 minutes, or until golden brown.

Click to watch video to see how to make this recipe!

• To make strawberry mixture: In medium bowl, mix strawberries and sugar. Set aside. • To make whipped cream: In small bowl, beat whipping cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and beat into mixture.


• On plate, split biscuits and put dollop of whipped cream mixture on bottom half of biscuit. Add strawberry mixture. Replace biscuit top and dollop with whipping cream.

Source: www.Culinary.net JULY / AUGUST 2022 l



n u F r e m Sum


t’s summertime in Katy and that means fun in the sun! There are so many amazing things to do in the Katy area this summer perfect for the entire family from Independence Day celebrations to festivals to market days – right in your own back yard. Whether it’s a movie night in the park of gigantic proportion or a midsummer music festival, there’s something for everyone all summer long!

Independence Day Celebration Saturday, July 2nd 9 am - 5 pm George Ranch Historical Park

Freedom Celebration Monday, July 4th 11 am Typhoon Texas Houston

The City of Katy and Typhoon Texas are partnering for another year of Patriotic fun! Guests are encouraged to come out and enjoy a day of 4th of July fun and entertainment at Typhoon Texas. Then, stick around for the Freedom Celebration fireworks show starting at 9 pm hosted by the City of Katy. Guests can view the fireworks from inside the water parks or they can view the fireworks from Katy Mills Mall. For more information, contact katyparks@cityofkaty. com or visit www.cityofkaty.com.

Celebrate our great Nation at the George Ranch. Come and let Freedom Ring together! Step back in time and experience the history of an authentic American cattle ranch and learn about the local people who made this county great. Activities for the day will include square dancing with the Houston Square and Round Dancing Council, cowboy campfire popcorn and patriotic-themed paper crafts! Buy general admission tickets today by visiting https:// www.georgeranch.org/event/park-admission.

Freedom Festival Saturday, July 2nd 6 pm - 10 pm Katy Heritage Park 5990 George Bush Drive Join the annual Freedom Festival at Katy Heritage Park. Enjoy yard games, the Sandlot movie, crawfish and more. One ticket is needed for adults and children one and older. Ticket includes activities and movie. All purchases are a donation to a nonprofit and nonrefundable for any reason. Advanced tickets recommended as ticket sales are limited. Visit https:// www.katyheritagesociety.com/event-details/2022-freedomfestival.


Fulshear Freedom Fest 2022 Monday, July 4th 6 - 9:30 pm Fulshear High School 9302 Charger Way in Fulshear Come out for an evening of live music from the Bag of Donuts, local food trucks, vendor booths and a spectacular Independence Day Fireworks Show. For more information, visit www.fulshearkaty.com/events.

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Farmers Market 2nd and 4th Sunday of the Month 10:30 am to 1:30 pm LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch The Farmers Market is back! Make plans to come out. There will be local vendors selling homemade goods and fresh produce. Visit https://www.lacenterra.com/event/FarmersMarket/2145550318/.

Market Day Saturday, July 16th 10 am - 4 pm Saturday, August 20th 10 am - 4 pm Downtown Historic Katy 5717 Second Street Shop around 100 vendors, food trucks, beer garden, inflatables for the kids and wonderful antiques. And, all area boutique shops will be open! For more information, visit https://allevents.in/katy/katy-market-day-july-16thdowntown-katy/200022469891849.

Midsummer Festival

Summer Nights Movies in the Park Friday, August 12th 7:30 pm – 10 pm Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Park 6202 George Bush Drive Get together with your friends, family and neighbors for some ROAR summer fun! showing Jurassic Park. Pre-movie activities and treats available before the movie begins at 8 pm. Entry is free. There will be snacks and drinks available for purchase. Attendees can bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks. No glass, alcohol or pets. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. Hosted by Katy Parks & Rec. Follow Facebook page @katyparksandrec or visit www. cityofkaty.com/events for more specific event details.

Saturday, July 16th 10 am - 10 pm 700 Westgreen Boulevard Enjoy the night with performances by three incredible bands: Bo Phillips Band, a country cover band from Stillwater, Oklahoma; The Chee-Weez from New Orleans and Queen Nation, a Queen tribute band from Los Angeles. Enjoy a BBQ Cook-Off, large carnival with slides up to 25 feet, food from various food trucks in the greater Houston area and a spectacular fireworks show! Visit https://www.eventbrite. com/e/midsummer-festival-tickets-338194588117?aff=ebdso porgprofile.

JULY / AUGUST 2022 l



Oh, Say Can You See

uly 4, 1776, the United States of America declared its independence from the most powerful nation in the world, Great Britain. Most of the known world thought our Founding Fathers were out of their minds. How could the people ever be trusted to govern themselves? Mr. Washington, Mr. Adams, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison, Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Franklin were fools. Did they actually believe they could win? Did they truly believe the common person could be trusted to vote for their leaders? We all know what happened. Those “foolish” men created the most free, most prosperous, most tolerant nation in human history. The entire world heard the call in the words engraved on the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” People came. They are still coming. There are so many things about our country that make my heart beat so strongly it feels as if it is going to explode from my chest: Coming home and seeing my beautiful wife after six months in the Persian Gulf, hearing Jim Lovell say, “Houston, 13” when the damaged Apollo 13 capsule came through the fire of reentry to splashdown safely, Al Michaels shouting, “Do you believe in miracles? YES!” as our hockey team beat the vastly superior Soviet Union hockey team in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games. Another patriotic moment I’ll always cherish is watching 27year old Whitney Houston belting out our national anthem at Super Bowl XXV in 1991. Here is the video of Whitney if you are too young to remember: https://youtu.be/dtdhxqGmWKU


The Star-Spangled Banner is our national anthem. The music came from a popular English drinking song, To Anacrenon in Heaven. No kidding. The lyrics were written by American Francis Scott Key. Some days during the twelve years I served in the United States House of Representatives, I felt “The Shining City on a Hill” that America always aspired to be was transforming into an old house in a flood zone. Congress was a hyperpartisan group who refused to compromise and loved to fight. In a 2013 poll by Public Policy Polling, more Americans had a higher opinion of root canals than Congress. It wasn’t close. Root canals 56%, Congress 32%, Not sure 12%. On the bright side, Congress whipped meth labs 60% to 21%. It is sometimes difficult to be a member of a group held in such high esteem by your bosses, the American people. During these moments, I would remember the story of Francis Scott Key, and the creation of The Star-Spangled Banner. It is a remarkable story of love for the United States of America. Every time I hear the song, I try to put myself in Key’s shoes. He was born in the middle of the American Revolution – August 1, 1779. His parents were British subjects. He was always an American. The British never got over the fact American revolutionaries broke away from King George’s tyrannical rule. The British kept hassling and seizing our trade ships overseas and imprisoning American sailors. On June 18, 1812, we formally declared war against Great Britain. The War of 1812 had begun. Once again, we were fighting the most powerful navy and army in the world. And just like the Revolutionary War, we lost all the initial battles. On August 24, 1814, the British captured Washington, D.C. and burned our Capitol Building and the White House to the ground. Their next target was one of our greatest ports – Baltimore. One of Key’s friends had been arrested by the British invaders. Key went to the flagship of the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay to negotiate his release. It was a success, but the British would not let Key and his friend leave. They knew Baltimore was going to be attacked, and that information must not be allowed to leak to the Americans. So, Key and his friend were put on a “truce ship” in Baltimore Harbor. The key to capturing Baltimore was taking Fort McHenry. The British kindly gave Key a “front row seat” for the destruction of Fort McHenry. The fort could be seen from Key’s “truce ship.” He could see the huge, 30 feet by 42 feet, flag flying over the fort. Key knew as long as that flag was flying, the Americans were winning the battle.

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As darkness set in, Key was bracing for a sleepless night, waiting for dawn to see if our flag was down and Fort McHenry captured. God/fate was with Key that evening. The British bombs illuminated the night sky when they exploded. With every explosion, Key had one or two seconds to see if our flag was still flying over Fort McHenry. To describe his sleepless night and his pride in America, Key wrote, “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

The American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Bombardment of Fort McHenry. https://www.battlefields.org/learn/maps/fort-mchenryseptember-13-14-1814 On September 13, 1814, during daylight hours in the rain, the British fleet started pouring artillery shells down on Fort McHenry. Key could see and hear the explosions over the fort. Our flag was tattered, but it was still flying. The sun began to set. To immortalize what he was feeling and what he was seeing, Key wrote “What so proudly we hailed, at the twilight’s last gleaming. Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight. O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.”

Rockets Red Glare by Abraham Hunter. https://www.artofthesouth.com/art-news/abraham-hunternews/78-rockets-red-glare-by-abraham-hunter As the sun rose, Key could clearly see Old Glory standing tall. The British withdrew. Baltimore would not be captured. “Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave. O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.” America would win the War of 1812, and we would forever have the most beautiful, inspiring and glorious national anthem the world has ever known! On the 4th of July, while you are enjoying hot dogs, hamburgers, fajitas, potato chips, ice cream and fireworks shows with your family, you will undoubtedly hear The Star-Spangled Banner. All I ask is that you stand. if possible, take off your hat, put your right hand over your heart, reflect on the words of that sacred song, and sing our national anthem as loudly and proudly as you can. America Strong is Fort Bend Strong!

Walter Martin Baumhofer’s The Star Spangled Banner. https://www.familyhandyman.com/article/7-unbelievableimages-of-the-bombardment-of-fort-mchenry-where-thenational-anthem-was-written/ JULY / AUGUST 2022 l


absolutely! Kid Friendly Ivybrook Academy A Progressive Approach to an Early Childhood Education


vybrook Academy is a brand-new Private Pre-School in the Katy area. The school is excited to join the community and welcome families into their school. At Ivybrook Academy, they believe that every child should have a curriculum that follows each child’s academic pace. Their curriculum is a hybrid curriculum that implements Montessori and Reggio Education philosophies. Ivybrook Academy offers a Half-Day Pre-School program that offers morning or afternoon sessions for children 18 months to five years of age. The Academy offers a diverse discovery enrichment program that is embedded in curriculum, and classroom schedules that include Spanish, Art, Music, Yoga and Library. Ivybrook Academy’s philosophy is that children’s interests should be respected as they learn to ask questions and explore the environment around them. Their approach to Multiple Intelligence Research, with a mix of aesthetic classrooms, allows children to explore, create, problem solve and work collaboratively with others. Ivybrook Academy is passionate about building a strong relationship with their families, community and committed educators. They look forward to welcoming everyone to Ivybrook Academy, and cannot wait to share more about their curriculum and teaching philosophies. Ivybrook Academy officially opens on July 11th with Summer Camp running July 11th thru August 5th. Visit https://ivybrookacademy.com/katy-tx-campus/ or call 281.909.4411 for more information. Ivybrook Academy is located at 3120 Peek Road in Katy.

Grand Opening July 11th Summer Camp

July 11th – August 5th

Regular Academic Session starts August 8th Half Day Pre-School We are a brand-new hybrid curriculum private school with Montessori and Reggio Education philosophies. We offer a well-rounded education with a progressive approach to early childhood education.

281.909.4411 • 3120 Peek Rd. Katy, TX 77449 https://ivybrookacademy.com/katy-tx-campus/ 10

Katy ISD New Student Pre-Registration Now Open


aty ISD is Powering Up for Back to School with pre-registration for new students! Parents of new students* can pre-register for the 2022-23 Katy ISD fall semester through the PowerSchool Enrollment website. Important dates: July 2nd to 27th – PowerSchool preregistration for new students temporarily closed. July 28th – Online PowerSchool preregistration for new students re-opens. August 1st – PowerSchool Annual Student Update begins (for returning Katy ISD students**) *A new student is defined as a K-12 learner who has never attended a school within Katy ISD or a previous Katy ISD student who withdrew and is re-enrolling. **A returning student is defined as any student who was actively enrolled during the 2021-22 school year. All new and returning Katy ISD students are required to use PowerSchool Enrollment to submit a new student registration or their Annual Student Update. For more information, visit https:// www.katyisd.org/Domain/3797.

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absolutely! Kid Friendly Action-Packed Summer Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center Crushes Summer with Immersive Experiences For Families Ready To Vacay! Now To August 6th


ort Bend Children’s Discovery Center (FBCDC) – A Very Special Project of Children’s Museum Houston – invites you to be the action hero of your very own blockbuster. Be in on the action during “Action Packed Summer,” happening now to August 6th. The Discovery Center has been transformed into the “FBCDC Studios” to encourage you to live a great story with a dash of movie magic. Choose your destiny . . . you’re the star!

Cocomelon Friday, August 5th • JJ and Melon Meet-and-Greet from 10 am to 5 pm.

Activities, events and times subject to change. For more information, visit www.childrensdiscoveryfb.org or call 832-742-2800.

Action-Packed Summer Programming Don’t miss special events exploring different movie genres. These will include interactives, demonstrations, meet-and-greets, spotlight performances and more! Captain America and Kidpendence Day Saturday, July 2nd Sponsored by Caldwell & Steinbring Dentistry for Children • Captain America Meet-and-Greet from 11 am to 3 pm. Who Let the Dogs Out? Dog Days of Summer Friday, July 15th • Texas Six Steppers Dancing Dogs at 11 am and 1 pm. • Faithful Paws Therapy Dogs at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Be Our Guest Friday, July 22nd • Princess Party with Ariel, Cinderella and Tiana from 11 am to 3 pm. Jurassic Extreme Friday, July 29th • Follow the Footsteps of Walking Dinosaurs in a Day of Gargantuan Proportions at 11 and 11:30 am.

Be the hero of your very own blockbuster! Now through August 6th

$30 OFF

Memberships with Summer Sale code: SIZZLE30WB

CHECK OUT! childrensdiscoveryfb.org/action-packed-summer-2022

832.742.2800 • 198 Kempner St., Sugar Land, TX 77498 JULY / AUGUST 2022 l


absolutely! Kid Friendly Tax-Free Weekend August 5th to 7th

Save the Date


he Comptroller encourages all taxpayers to support Texas businesses while saving money on tax-free purchases of most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (sold for less than $100) during the annual Tax-Free

weekend. Qualifying items can be purchased tax free from a Texas store or from an online or catalog seller doing business in Texas. In most cases, you do not need to give the seller an exemption certificate to buy qualifying items tax free. This year’s sales tax holiday begins Friday, August 5th, and goes through midnight Sunday, August 7th. The sales tax exemption applies only to qualifying items you buy during the sales tax holiday. Items you buy before or after the sales tax holiday do not qualify for exemption, and there is no tax refund available. Qualifying Items • Clothing and Footwear • Face Masks • Backpacks • School Supplies For important information, visit https://comptroller.texas. gov/taxes/publications/98-490/.

Protecting Children in a Digital Age


eeping a watchful eye on your kids requires an increasing level of tech savvy many parents find intimidating. Not only are your kids vulnerable to bad actors online, but your family’s personal information could be at risk, as well. Learn how to protect your children and family in this digital age with these tips:

Elementary-Age Children Encourage open communication. Have conversations about what your kids see and do online and talk with them about potential dangers. Avoid lecturing in favor of an open exchange of information. Make their inherent interest in privacy work in your favor. Kids in this age group, particularly toward the middle school years, understand the concept of privacy and value it immensely. Use that context to help them understand what goes online is there to stay. Talk about what kinds of information should always be kept private, including identifying details like addresses and social security numbers. Stay on alert. Not all apps are completely safe (even the ones you can access from trusted stores) and not all filters are foolproof. Keep close tabs on what your kids are downloading by reading comments and reviews, and regularly monitoring what kind of content they see.

Middle School and High School Kids Continue talking about privacy. You can never have too many conversations about privacy. What seems like harmless sharing on social media can be quite revealing. For example, frequent posts about visits to a favorite store or restaurant can


allow a predator to begin tracking behavior patterns that make your child a target. It’s also important for kids to understand how their privacy settings work. For example, settings that allow exposure to friends of friends make their visibility to strangers much broader than they may realize. Help manage their online reputation. Behaviors that once resulted in a day or two of hallway chatter can now live forever. Documenting mischief online is only fun until it spills over into real life and everyone sees those mistakes in full color – including prospective future employers. Be clear about your position on bullying. From the safe distance of a screen, it’s easier for kids (and adults) to say things they’d never say in person. Teach your kids to handle problems constructively offline and avoid engaging in attacks on others through social media, email and other platforms.

College Students Reinforce the risks. Once they’re on their own, kids may feel more liberated to make their own choices online. However, college students are easy prey for identity theft and worse. Remind them what’s at stake if they fail to protect their identity and private information, like where they live and what they do on a regular basis. Teach smart practices. With all the independence that comes with college life, this is an ideal time for your student to take personal responsibility for his or her online security, including learning about virus protection, updating software, avoiding scams and backing up data. If you’re looking for more practical advice for everyday family matters, visit www.eLivingtoday.com. Source: FamilyFeatures.com.

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By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Professional Porch Sitter


Summer Breeze

is only mid-June, and this summer thing has gotten real. And frankly, I’ve taken this going pro thing very seriously. Being a Professional Porch Sitter is a serious business, and it’s not for the faint at heart, so I may or may not have had Mr. Kaminski install an air conditioner on my porch. Let’s go with may. In my defense, I am a middle-aged woman living in southeast Texas where heat, humidity and mosquitos reign supreme a minimum of five months out of the year, resulting in endless bad hair days, glistening upper lips and thighs that are constantly stuck together. A girl can only deal with so much. Growing up I recall many summers without air conditioning at all. Mawmaw and Pawpaw never had AC at their house in northern Louisiana. There were a couple of old box fans, but Mawmaw didn’t particularly like turning those on due to the unnecessary spike such as that would cause in her electricity bill. If the electricity bill surged past that $20 mark, it was a pure tragedy. So, the fans were mostly for show because if company showed up, the fans still weren’t put to use. Company was escorted to the porch to sit a spell and visit and provided with a glass of sweet tea. They never stayed long. Now that I think about it, that was probably part of Mawmaw’s plan. Getting ready for church on Sunday mornings was a feat in the summer as Mawmaw would always don a dress, and that particular garment required a girdle and stockings. Now if you are en-


Sweaty summers eliminated with an air-conditioned porch. Thank God for technology! visioning some dainty, pretty little pink lingerie type thing, just stop right there. Mawmaw was full grown. Her dress size always boasted a 2 in front of it and typically ended in at least a 6. Her girdle was composed of space-age inch thick spandex complete with military-grade stocking clasps that could put an eye out if let loose. Wrestling into this accoutrement was a battle royale that required copious amounts of baby powder to combat the sweat of the effort and promote gliding over the hills and valleys – so much so that the entire bathroom would become enveloped in a dim haze. The grunting, groaning, twisting, bending, cajoling, stuffing and powdering typically lasted a solid ten minutes, and that was just step one. With the undergarments solidly in place, Mawmaw had to take minute, sit on the tiny bathroom stool that I was al-

ways stunned held her, catch her breath in the powdered air and ready herself for phase two – all in 90-plus degree heat. Phase two went rather quickly. Powdered face to eliminate the glisten, red lipstick – always red – comb the sweaty hair in place and spray liberally with Aquanet, then get that dress on as quickly as possible and get out. Shoes and a purse were grabbed on the way out to catch a nominal breeze on the porch. Once in the car, the air conditioning was turned on full blast, and we could all breathe for the eight-minute ride to the church. Unfortunately, our cool respite was short-lived, because the church did not feature the modern convenience of air conditioning. After an hour of literally hellfire and brimstone accompanied by rapid fanning – Mawmaw was Southern Baptist – we would stand in the long line to shake the preacher’s hand, remark on his wonderful sermon and get back to the much-needed arctic blast at high noon. By the time the sticky got blown out of our clothes, we were back home peeling off our Sunday best eating dinner in 100 degrees. Point of reference: dinner is lunch in the South and supper is dinner. Thing is I never remember being hot in the summer at Mawmaw’s house. The windows and doors were always open, my cousins were always around, we always played outside until dark and there was always plenty of amazing homemade food. We all washed dishes because we were the dishwasher. We all had to agree what to watch at night because there was one television with four channels. There were no arguments over the temperature because there was no AC. There was no issue over who slept where because there was one big room with beds that we all piled in. There was no discussion over what we wanted for supper because we ate what Mawmaw cooked. And we never argued over where we were going because we only went to my cousin’s baseball games, the grocery store or to church. That’s what I remember about the summers of my childhood – not the temperature. See y’all next week – on my air-conditioned porch!

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absolutely AUTO REVIEW By Steve Kursar



he 2022 Toyota Tundra is all-new for this model year. Toyota’s full-size truck was extensively redesigned from top to bottom and sports two new powertrains that deliver much better fuel economy when compared to the last generation’s Tundra. This is a truck aimed squarely at truck buyers who consider Toyota their brand. The first generation Tundra appeared on American highways back in 1999 and was designed slightly smaller than other fullsize trucks on the market. The second-generation Tundra, introduced in 2006 as a true full-sized pickup, was the first Toyota truck built in Texas at its assembly plant in San Antonio. It was powered by the massive 5.7 liter V8 engine that was awfully thirsty at the gas pump. Although this Tundra experienced several refreshes to update its look, the underpinnings of the truck remained the same. In the highly competitive full-size pickup market, the second generation Tundra was long overdue for a complete makeover. And now, the third-generation 2022 Toyota Tundra has emerged as an all-new pickup, and it’s a delight to drive. With a base MSRP of $35,950, the Tundra is available with two powertrains, a gas-only engine and a more powerful gas-electric hybrid engine. The base Tundra comes equipped with the gasonly 389 hp, 3.5 liter i-Force aluminum block twin-turbo engine.

For more power, the 437 hp, i-Force MAX hybrid system combines the same 3.5 liter twin-turbo gasoline engine with an electric motor/generator located between the engine and the transmission. Both gas and hybrid engines are paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. With the base i-Force engine, EPA estimated fuel economy ratings are 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The i-Force MAX gets slightly better street mileage with 20 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.

The new Tundra’s exterior is distinguished by a massive grill and lots of very bright LED lighting. Only two cab configurations are available, the Double Cab and the roomier CrewMax. The Tundra’s interior features Toyota’s all-new Audio Multimedia system which operates via newly designed touchscreens and an all-new Human Machine Interface that delivers improved interaction through sight, touch and voice activation. The available 14-inch touchscreen impresses with high-quality, crisp visuals including functionality like pinch and zoom that mimic your smartphone. The all-new Toyota Tundra is a long-overdue upgrade from last year’s model and is sure to win over new truck buyers.


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