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Editor’s note

I

IT’S DIFFICULT TO OVERSTATE just how much I learn from our food writer, Anna David Cooper. She clearly knows her stuff, and I clearly do not. As evidence is her offering this month about salt and its necessity for flavoring. She first tipped us off a few months back when talking about using sea salt instead of standard old iodized table salt. My wife had been suggesting we switch, but being both stubborn and cheap, I’d resisted. Anna’s piece made me relent. I actually have a long-term relationship with salt. To get to the Lake Erie beach we frequented in Mentor, Ohio, in my youth, we passed a Morton Salt facility. We didn’t realize at the time they were mining the salt from 2,000 feet below the lake surface, only that

Gift package winner We drew Kim Fox of West Columbia’s entry form as the winner of the Brazos Monthly Prize Package the April issue. She received a collection of Massage Heights products and gift certificates, plus a Facts umbrella and cup. To enter this month’s drawing, see the entry blank on Page 5. The winner of the drawing for the May issue of Brazos Monthly will be announced in the next issue.

we had seen the little girl with the umbrella on our kitchen counter. You’ll find plenty of other salt connections in this edition of Brazos Monthly. In addition to Anna’s dissection of all things salt, combined with Food Science writer Valerie Jansky filling us in on the benefits of seaweed, we feature an array of saltwater adventures this month as we head toward summer. New contributor Jill Friedman provides a primer on sailing, old-time Surfside surfers relive their glory days and we sent our models to Quintana County Beach Park with some comfortably, adaptable looks for all warm-weather occasions. Other favorites include Jessica Tompkins sharing the value of growing a backyard garden with your children’s help and contributor Rick Cousins taking a serious look at prostate cancer and how early detection makes it a very beatable disease. This issue will make for a great beach read, so pack it into the bag with the shovel and pail and head toward the Gulf.

Michael Morris

Brazos Monthly editor


BRAZOS MONTHLY

Contents

20

Publisher Yvonne Mintz Editor Michael Morris Writers Anna David Cooper Rick Cousins Jill Friedman Nathan Hudson Valerie Jansky Sam Liebl Holly Lopeman John Lowman Michael Morris Mary Newport Jessica Tompkins Photographers Anna David Cooper Barclay Fernandez Prentice C. James Kevin Jamie Michelle Raye

26 10

46

32

Advertising director Cindy Cornette Advertising representatives Jessica Arriaga Yadi Cantu Bobbie Greer Karyn Kadera

8 Wine list Good wine might not be in the bag,

36 Air history A restored vintage aircraft offers a

but it is in the can.

glimpse of air travel’s luxurious past.

Editorial 979-237-0148

20 Cover story Sailing doesn’t take a lot of money, just

46 Men’s Health A prostate cancer diagnosis doesn’t

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a sense of adventure.

mean a death sentence if found early.

26 Waves of nostalgia An early generation of Surfside surfers

50 Parenting Give your kids an excuse to get dirty

relive their youthful days on the waves.

while learning valuable lessons.

Circulation 979-265-2999 VOL. 2, NO. 11 All material herein c. 2018, Southern Newspapers Inc., dba The Brazosport Facts, 720 S. Main St. Clute, TX 77531. No material herein may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without written permission of the publisher. Brazos Monthly is a publication of

ON THE COVER: Sydney Pettett and Triston Ewald stroll the beach at Quintana County Beach Park in fashions from T’Salta Hair Studio and Boutique in Clute. More styles on Page 32. Photo by Michelle Raye

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JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 5


BOTTLES UP

Julep

Mint

ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS cocktails ever to originate from the South, it is synonymous with the biggest event in all of horse racing, the Kentucky Derby. It’s because of its sweet and smooth taste that it has been enjoyed ever since Henry Clay introduced it during his tenure as a U.S. senator from Kentucky in the mid-1800s. It enjoyed a reputation as the absolute best drink to have while relaxing on a porch until 1938, when it also became the best drink to have while at Churchill Downs for the Run for the Roses. A cool taste of mint matches perfectly with the sweetness of the sugar to adequately quench the sting of the bourbon so one can truly appreciate all of its complex flavors. A surefire favorite as the days become longer and hotter.

story by NATHAN HUDSON

MAKING THE DRINK

INGREDIENTS 6 parts bourbon 4 mint leaves 1 teaspoon powdered sugar 2 teaspoons water DIRECTIONS In a highball glass, gently muddle the mint, sugar and water. Fill the glass with cracked ice, add bourbon and stir well until the glass is well frosted. Garnish with a mint sprig.

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Celis Raspberry

Celis Brewing Co. Austin This beer is a master of mimicry and very good. It pours clear pink into a glass, almost like champagne would but not nearly as fizzy. Immediate smells of raspberry waft out as well. It is almost as sour but not quite as tart, mimicking the actual taste of raspberries and is quite mild and pleasant. The finish is great as well; it doesn’t leave you parched after drinking it. If you have never tried a sour beer before but want to see what all the buzz is about, this is an excellent starting point.

GPA (German Pale Ale)

Three Nations Brewing Co. Farmer’s Branch If you’re looking for a beer that defies all classification, then this is the one for you. An IPA and German Kolsch mixed with American hops gives this beer a strong, dark color and heady aroma, but a wild light citrus taste and easy drinkability suggest a much lighter beer. The trademark bitterness in the finish is still present and strong, creating a fantastic end. It’s definitely a puzzle in a can, but it’s a good one. beer reviews by NATHAN HUDSON

Orange Show

Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Houston Saint Arnold nails it again with another great fruit beer. The beer pours into a glass looking exactly like orange soda and provides a low citrus note with wheat that one can expect from an American Blonde. The taste is much more subdued than its previous raspberryflavored entry, as it only has notes of orange and citrus. That combination makes this beer much easier to drink without overloading your sweet tooth. It goes down mellow and finishes light, making this the perfect beer for the warm months ahead.

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WINE LIST

T

THERE UNDOUBTEDLY are wine drinkers out there thinking … if wine in a can is anything like wine in a bag, I’m not drinking it. Guess what? It is nothing like wine in a bag. It’s better. High-end wine companies are flooding the market with the concept, and it is appealing for several reasons. Packaged in single servings, wine in a can is convenient for small ice chests, backpacks and picnic baskets. It is perfect for water activities, such as floating the river, swimming in the pool or hanging out at the beach, where glass is prohibited by law. Instead of packing a glass, all you need is your favorite koozie. reviews by

HOLLY LOPEMAN

Canned numbers 1 percent

Share of 2017 U.S. wine sales that are packaged in aluminum cans

$28 million

Domestic sales of wine packed in cans last year, almost double 2016’s sales and more than four times the sales in 2015

73 percent

Americans who say having convenient-to-carry packaging of their cold beverages is a priority Source: Money magazine

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Underwood

2014

Fiction Red Blend 375mL Field Recordings in Paso Robles makes the best red blend I have ever had. Luckily for me, they also make this wine in a can. I was given the opportunity to taste it side by side with its glassbottled counterpart and the two were identical, proving to me wine is not influenced by the aluminum packaging. It is dark and bold, without being too dry. It is my first experience with a wine that truly tastes like blueberry pie. The tannins in this wine are strong enough to hold up to rich foods, such as lamb or filet mignon, but smooth and juicy enough to drink all by itself around a campfire. My favorite thing to pair it with is a roasted marshmallow s’mores because the graham cracker pairs perfect with the blueberry. This wine can be found online, at Whole Foods and Phoenicia Specialty Foods in Houston. 36% Zinfandel, 26% Tempranillo, 18% Mourvedre, 14% Grenache, 12% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Viognier

Rosé Bubbles Union Wine Co. is known for making quality Oregon wines at a reasonable price. At The Grape Taste Wine Bistro, we never take their Underwood Pinot Noir off the menu, so naturally I was drawn to trying their Underwood Rose Bubbles when I spotted it on the shelf at H-E-B. The grocer carries it for $6 a can in its refrigerated wine cooler, as well as the Underwood Rosé (without bubbles). I chose the Rosé Bubbles because I planned on drinking it straight out of the can and I wanted the familiar sensation of carbonation. It was best consumed iced cold, so I threw a few cans in the bottom of my ice chest and took a nice ride to the beach. I found myself humming an old Deana Carter song, “Strawberry Wine,” while consuming. Bright strawberry and cherry, a little tart, and good bubbles. Impressive, yet I really missed the concept of smelling my wine while drinking it. Oh well, you can’t have it all!


JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 9


FOOD

Salt Away Drawing out flavors is as simple as basic seasoning

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T

There is a quote by a Danish author, Isak Dinesen, that reads, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” That quote always makes me pause with agreement because, in most cases, it’s true — there’s not much a good workout, a good cry or trip to the coast can’t make at least just a little bit better. In my opinion, Dinesen also could have included simply “salt” to this list of cure-alls, because much like the rejuvenation the other three remedies leave you with, salt can do the same with food. I’ve spoken at length about my obsession for good salt and my disdain for the oncepopular iodized table salt. I’ve lined up multiple types of salt and taste-tested my way through them to determine the difference in flavor, if any. I’ve taken a microscope to salt to see first-hand the difference in shape and color, and I’ve substituted salts in recipes to experiment with the flavor. What I’ve concluded is salt is a must, but there are many story, recipes types to choose from. The and photos by first difference is how salt is ANNA DAVID made. COOPER Rock salt: Made by flooding underground salt deposits or mines with water and evaporating it quickly. It is then mined. These can be ancient- or modern-formed. Sea Salt: Made by rapidly evaporating sea water. After salt is made, there are more than a dozen types that can be created, and all have different characteristics and even flavors. My favorite three are sea salt, pink Himalayan salt and kosher salt.

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Fleur de sel, sel gris, flake, black/red Hawaiian Sea salt, specifically fleur de sel, is my favorite taste and texture. Sea salt’s flavor tastes like the sea and can be felt all over the mouth. Its texture, when in an unrefined form, adds the perfect finishing crunch to any dish but melts perfectly into your dish when using the refined, all-purpose form. I use all-

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Granular salt isn’t the only source from which you can get that saline-tang to add to your dishes.

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purpose sea salt before and during cooking, and fleur de sel at the end. Although recent studies have proven the majority of sea salt around the world, including fleur de sel, likely is contaminated with microscopic plastic particles from the sea, I still tend to use this often. This finding could be scary until you realize that detectable levels of bisphenol A — plastic — have been found in the urine of 95 percent of the adult population in the United States. These levels don’t just come from the microscopic salt particles; they come from our daily drinking water, beer, seafood and more.

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Pink Himalayan Salt A good substitute for those worried about the plastic content in sea salt is pink Himalayan salt. Pure Himalayan salt is considered the healthiest and purest of all salts. While its flavor is much milder and not as briny, meaning you may have to use more to pick up the flavor, it’s a good, cleantasting salt preferably used after cooking as a finishing salt. Pink Himalayan salt is extracted from salt mines of ancient evaporated seas, as opposed to sea salt, which is created by rapid evaporation of current seawater. The pink salt includes 84 trace minerals including potassium, magnesium and calcium which make it one of the healthiest salts. It also contains iron oxide (i.e. a form of rust), which cause its pink hue.

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Kosher Salt Kosher salt is typically a more coarse salt that was originally purposed for koshering (removing the blood from) meat for Jewish dietary guidelines. Its roots date back to ancient history. In modern days, kosher salt isn’t always this same “koshering salt”; in fact, any salt can be kosher if it’s made in a kosher setting, but not all branded kosher salt is Jewish kosher. Kosher salt can be evaporated from seawater

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or mined from underground deposits. It is used before cooking to season meats, vegetables and water, to salt cure or brine ingredients, and during cooking. It’s usually large and coarse so it doesn’t dissolve as quickly as other small, granular salt and tastes pure. It gained popularity by chefs and restaurant kitchens outside the Jewish community in the 1960s, and today, there are two brand providers that are more well-known: Diamond Crystal, which is light and flaky, and Morton, which is denser and saltier.

Cacio e Pepe

INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons kosher salt or all-purpose sea salt 1 pound pasta (spaghetti, bucatini, etc.) 5 tablespoons salted butter, cubed, divided 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper 1 cup finely grated Parmesan 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano 1 to 1 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water Half lemon, zested

INSTRUCTIONS

Ingredients such as prosciutto ham, bresaola, pancetta, salami and parmesan cheese can add salt to dishes without reaching for the shaker.

Other options Granular salt isn’t the only source from which you can get that saline-tang to add to your dishes. There are quite a few ingredients that, when used in your recipes, bring out flavor much like standard salt. u Aged cheese: Parmesan, cheddar, feta u Capers, olives and ingredients preserved in salt or brine u Pickled and fermented vegetables u Fish or Soy sauce u Cured meats: prosciutto, salami, pancetta u Salt-cured Fish: anchovies, sardines, salted-codfish u Condiments: ketchup, mustard, salsas u Salted butter When adding these ingredients to your meals, you’ll likely find less boxed salt is needed. Knowing your salts, when and how to use them, and finding your preferred flavors are all key to making your cooking stand out. Don’t be afraid of salt — the majority of home cooks undersalt due to this fear. I encourage you to taste-test your own salts and experiment with other salty ingredients to find your perfect level of seasoning. For both recipes this month, I purposefully eliminated granular or crystal salt to show the salting power of other ingredients. Of course, you can always add a finishing salt at the end, but I’m confident you won’t need to because, by using some of these naturally salty ingredients, the flavor still comes out with a delicious zing.

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Bring 3 to 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Season with 2 tablespoons of kosher or all-purpose sea salt and add pasta noodles, cooking until al dente or almost done. Drain and reserve 1 cup of cooked pasta water. While the pasta cooks, melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When melted and bubbling, add pepper and sauté, until toasted and fragrant (about 1 minute.) Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the cooked pasta and 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter and mix to coat. Reduce the heat to low and add cheeses, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted and fully combined (about 4 to 5 minutes.) Add more reserved pasta water, if needed, to get to your preferred thickness. Remove the pan from heat and mix in the last tablespoon of butter. Garnish with zest of lemon and fresh cracked pepper.


Cacio e Pepe

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 15


Asian Salted Codfish Fritters with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce INGREDIENTS 1 garlic bulb, roasted 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil Canola oil (for frying) 1 pound dried salted codfish (pre-salted or homemade) 1 1/2 limes, 1 halved and half zested 2 cups whole milk 1 to 2 cups water 1 pound Russet potatoes, cut 1-inch inch cubes 2 tablespoons salted butter 1 medium shallot, chopped 1 Serrano chili, deseeded, finely chopped 1 bunch cilantro, halved 4 green onions, horizontally sliced thin 2 teaspoons fish sauce 1 teaspoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder 2 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS Prior to cooking, prep the cod according to your preferred method. Pre-salted: Soak the fish in a large bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight to release some of the salt. Rinse when ready to use. To salt yourself: In a large bowl or baking dish, lay the fish atop a bed of kosher salt. Cover the fish with salt until completely submerged. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to a day. When ready, remove the fish and rinse well. For the Roasted Garlic: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut off the top of the head of garlic, keeping it unpeeled. Place the bulb on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and wrap the foil around to form an enclosure. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, allow the bulb to cool and squeeze out roasted garlic cloves. For the Salted Codfish Fritters: Preheat about 2 inches of canola oil in a medium frying pot or high-sided pan to 360 to 370 degrees. While the oil heats, transfer the rinsed/ drained fish into a large pot of the milk

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Asian Salted Codfish Fritters with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce


and water, making sure the fish are completely submerged. Heat to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add in half of the cilantro sprigs and lime, cut in half, and simmer until the fish is tender enough to flake with a fork (about 20 minutes). Transfer the fish to a medium bowl (save the milk/water) and flake the fish with a fork. Set aside. In the same pot with the infused milk and water, add potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork (about 15-20 minutes). Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher and set aside. While the fish or potatoes boil, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of the salted butter over medium heat in a medium saute pan. Add the shallots and Serrano pepper and cook until soft and fragrant (about 2 minutes.) Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Combine the potato, shallot and Serrano mixture, three cloves of the roasted garlic, remaining half of the cilantro (chopped), green onions, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger powder and eggs. Gently add the flaked codfish until everything is fully combined. Working in batches, shape the cod mixture into a 2-inch ball and gently place it into the fry oil. Fry until it’s golden brown, turning and moving the oil around to evenly cook on all sides (about 5 minutes.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate or pan to drain. Allow the fritters to cool slightly and serve with the Sweet Chili Dipping sauce. Sweet Chile Dipping Sauce

INGREDIENTS 1 cup mayonnaise 2 to 3 tablespoons Thai Chili Garlic sauce 3 cloves roasted garlic, minced 1 tablespoon honey 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder Half lime, juiced

INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients until fully mixed. Serve.

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FOOD SCIENCE

Seaweed Discover the health, nutritional benefits of eating water plants

18 BRAZOSMONTHLY | JUNE 2018


G

GROWING UP IN A COASTAL town gives you many options when it comes to fresh seafood. Generally, when people think of seafood, they think about fish and shellfish varieties. Another type of seafood used in many cuisines without people always realizing is edible sea plants. Some edible plants can be grown in freshwater and others in saltwater. Edible plants that can be grown in freshwater are often used for aquaponics systems as well. An aquaponics system uses space and waste efficiently. They do this by recycling the waste produced by fish as nutrients for plants that are grown hydroponically (without soil), which in turn purifies the water the fish live in. There also is a bacteria present in the water that converts ammonia from the fish’s waste into nitrites and then nitrates (forms of nitrogen) for the plants to absorb. Currently, there are several companies that are growing food with the use of aquaponics systems. Salty seawater, on the other hand, is toxic to most plants and will kill them. There are several types of saltwater plants that are edible and have been eaten throughout history. Most famously probably is the use of seaweed in sushi dishes. Several of these seaweeds are multi-celled algae that look like long grasses story by that would grow on land. VALERIE Nori is the name of the plant JANSKY commonly used to wrap sushi rolls. More than 600 kilometers of Japanese coastline is dedicated to growing Nori, which also is known for its sustainable vitamin B12 levels. Nori has the lowest amount of iodine, which is commonly found in seaweed species. Wakame also is a popular type of seaweed used in soups and salads in Japanese cuisine. This plant is packed with niacin, thiamin, calcium, sodium and iodine. One study even shows Wakame contains a compound named fucoxanthin, which is believed to burn off fat and assist with weight loss. Spirulina has become more popular in recent years, especially among vegetarians and vegans, because it contains all nine essential amino acids. Other vitamins and minerals found in spirulina are protein, calcium, niacin and iron. The taste of spirulina is very mild, and it is sold in a powdered form that can be added easily to salads, meals and smoothies. It has a bright, bluish-green color and is a single-celled type of algae.

As mentioned in a previous article about chlorophyll, chlorella is a cousin of spirulina. It is another type of single-celled algae commonly sold in powdered form as a dietary supplement. Chlorella has a brighter-green color than spirulina because of the amount of chlorophyll present. In its dried form, it is comprised of 45 percent protein, 20 percent carbohydrate, 20 percent fat, 5 percent fiber, and 10 percent of other vitamins and minerals. Both of these powdered substances are good additives for foods and drinks but not really intended to be eaten on their own. Many types of seaweeds also contain antiinflammatory and antimicrobial agents. They have been used throughout history for medicinal purposes as well as basic nutrition. Seaweeds have been used to treat wounds such as burns, rashes and open sores. Some seaweeds even contain powerful cancer-fighting agents that scientists hope someday will prove effective in One of the seaweeds treating people with that commonly washes malignant tumors and upon our shores here leukemia. in Texas is sargassum. The study of seaweeds It is edible, and often and their extracts to be you might find some used in spa and beauty interesting crustaceans or other animals living treatments is called in it. Sargassum is best “algotherapy.� if fresh from the water Seaweeds also can be instead of being taken used for other purposes, from the shore line. including as a fertilizer in your garden, feed for animals and in cosmetics. Agar is a jelly-like substance that comes from the cell wall of some species of seaweed. When the seaweed is boiled, the agar is released and can be repurposed. It is commonly used in Asian desserts and is a wonderful vegetarian substitute for gelatin to create dishes such as jams, jellies, puddings and custards. Traditional gelatin is extracted from the skin, bones and connective tissues of domesticated animals such as cattle, chicken, pigs and fish. Next time you are at the beach and you see some seaweeds washed ashore, think about the possibilities they possess.

Sargassum seaweed

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 19


COVER STORY

20 BRAZOSMONTHLY | JUNE 2018


People of all skills, ages can breeze across the high seas

Set sail

story and photos by JILL FRIEDMAN

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 21


W

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO go sailing? Well, that depends. When I asked a friend recently what she thought of when I mentioned the word “sailing,” she said she loved it. “There is so much to it,” she said. “You can enjoy it at the most basic level, or you can dig deeper and deeper. There are so many aspects of it.” Very true. There is the sailing itself, the challenge of learning your vessel and how she sails, learning the weather, observing the sea life around you, the peacefulness and serenity of a calm sunny day at sea, the adventure of a cruise around the world, the teamwork, camaraderie and community of sailors around the world.

Progressive steps Beginning sailors often start out young. Kids living near the water spend their days piddling around local lakes and bays on perfectly sized for them Sunfish. Or Sea Snarks, which are made of Styrofoam and have the added benefit of being practically unsinkable. You don’t have to start out young, you can start at any age, and you don’t really need to know anything to start out either. You learn as much as you need while you’re out there enjoying a day out on the water. As you get more involved, you’ll learn the basic terminology. Boating has its own language. It’s useful to call a thing by its proper name rather than yelling at your mate to “grab that thingy over there!” That “thingy” might be something important, like an anchor. Better to be able to communicate clearly before you’re in any kind of dangerous situation. “Dangerous situation”? You might be wondering why anyone would want to go sailing if it is going to turn into that. Let’s get this clear. Anything can be dangerous. If you prepare yourself and your vessel, you’ll be fine. Most sailors are not preparing for the Vendee’ Globe or the “Everest of the Seas,” otherwise known as the Volvo Ocean Race. These are for the real elite of the sailing world. You don’t need to challenge yourself to that extreme. You might have no desire to sail around the world and challenge the towering seas and howling winds of the Roaring Forties around Antarctica. Most sailors are perfectly happy to go out for a couple of hours on the weekend, slowly cruising around their local lake, enjoying the fresh air, sunshine and a nice snack. Returning to dock just in time for happy hour. If you have any interest in sailing, you can choose

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Top: Capt. Victor guides his sailboat, the Lazz, during a race off Galveston. Above: Sailboats get close enough to each other during races that it feels as though crews could shake hands. Left: Writer Jill Friedman participates in a sailboat race off Galveston.

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 23


to join the sport anywhere along these extremes — Sea Snark to Volvo Ocean 65. One of the best things about sailing is it’s open to anyone: young or old, fit or fat. There are even programs now for people with special challenges. The United States Sailing Association has an “adaptive sailing program” and if you prefer a more traditional vessel, the barque “Tenacious” is a fantastic choice a little further afield.

Start slowly Many people dream of one day sailing off into the sunset. Too many chuck everything, buy a boat and without much real preparation just take off for faraway places. I don’t recommend that approach. Start out slowly. You don’t even have to buy your own boat. Take a class. Join a local sailing club (or take a sailing vacation). Learn the Rules of the Road and some basic seamanship. Learn how to navigate. None of this stuff is hard. In fact, it’s really a lot of fun. We live in a great area for sailing. If you have a something like a Sea Snark, you can put in at any of the bays along the Intracoastal Waterway or head on up to Galveston Bay. Stay out of the Intracoastal itself though as the current can get pretty strong and

the push boats don’t always have the means to avoid a small boat. If you have something larger, you can head straight out the Freeport Jetties. It’s only about an hour to get offshore from the ramp at Bridge Bait & Tackle in Surfside Beach. Maybe a little more from Freeport Marina.

Hands-on lessons We have one of the best opportunities in the world for those who love traditional sail. The tall ship Elissa in Galveston accepts volunteers who want to learn about it. Spend some time working the ship at the dock and you can sign up to see what it’s like to sail a real sailing ship. There’s nothing like it. Some people might think it’s important to learn all they can before they actually get out on the water. If you do, there are plenty of options for that. Take a course through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, or one of the many sailing schools in the Houston/Galveston area. Rather than going that route or just jumping right in with your own boat, I recommend joining a local sailing group. There are plenty to choose from: Houston Yacht Club, Seabrook Sailing Club, Carefree

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Sailors enjoy snorkeling and swimming during a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Boat Club, Kemah Sailing Meetup, TASS (Texas Association of Social Sailors) and Sail La Vie, are just a few. I’ve been a member of Sail La Vie for a few years now. It’s only $65 for a yearly membership which gets you weekly sails for only $45 and invitations to various parties and other events. We go sailing rain or shine (as long as there are enough people signed up). It’s a fun bunch. Anyone can choose to help with the sails, steer, tend the lines, learn the details of sailing. Or not. Some prefer to just chill out on deck and work on their tan with a cool drink in hand. Joining a club is also a great way to get started if you want to get more serious about sailing. Many of them participate in the local races and offer training. Racing has an entirely different approach than cruising. While some captains just join a race for the fun of being out on the water and don’t really care about winning, others are super competitive and are out for the prize from start to finish. You might think it’s got to be boring. Sailboats don’t go that fast, right? Some do, actually, but even if they’re not speeding through the water at 50 knots, it still can get pretty exciting. When you’re on a 30-foot sailboat, heeling over about 15 degrees, the wind is blowing your hair in your face and spray over the bow and you’re holding hard on the wheel in order to keep your balance, it can get your adrenaline racing. Especially when you’re rounding the mark and so is everyone else — close enough that you can reach out and touch your nearest neighbors. Racing isn’t for everyone. It’s just another option. There are so many. Take your pick and get started.

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JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 25


COVER STORY

Surf Turf Board kids hold firm to memories of coastal roots

E

EVERY SUMMER, THEY flow down the coast back to Surfside Beach. Some come from Houston or South Padre Island, others from California or Hawaii. Wherever they come from, everyone at the Old Guys Surf Reunion has a story of the days when they roamed this beach, paddling their boards out and pooling their money for hamburgers. “Me and Bubba are the youngest surfers in this crowd that surfed here in the ‘60s,” Albert Brown said. “I’m the youngest, he’s a little older than me.” Back in those days, the sport was still new to Texas. People went wild as the craze swept the beaches, but it didn’t start with board shorts and

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story by MARY NEWPORT • photos by BARCLAY FERNANDEZ


Old Guys Surf Reunion members and friends take photos at the memorial monument on Surfside Beach dedicated before this year’s annual event, which took place April 28.

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 27


Hawaiian shirts. They were surfing in cut-off denim jeans with long, heavy boards. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is the culture. “Everybody loved the sea and loved surfing,” Bubba Barnes said. “Everybody loved to surf and get in the water, fish and do everything else. We just loved the beach life.”

Starting young

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Chet Davidson, left, and Bubba Barnes raise the flag April 28 as the National Anthem plays during the Old Guys Surf Reunion at Surfside Beach. File photo

Barnes started surfing at age 9, Brown at 7, and by their teen years the pair were neck deep in Surfside’s surfer scene. Before either could drive, they were bumming rides with their boards, and when they took the wheel, they saved every piece of pocket change for beach trips. They would do just about anything to get to the water, they said. “We had a grocery that used to store all their milk bottles and Coke bottles outside behind the store,” Brown recalled, laughing. “We would go in the back, get the milk bottles, then run them around to the front of the store. We’d get a quarter a bottle.” When they did get some money together, the first place it went was a tank of gas for whoever had the car. Holly Sanders had a tiny Volkswagen that almost couldn’t make it up the big bridge when it was loaded down with four surfboards. It would creep up the slope at 20 mph as passengers cheered and prayed — which might have been a little ironic, considering. “I came from a big neighborhood of Catholic kids. We used to tell our parents we’re going to go to church and then we’re going to go to the beach,” she said. “Of course, we’d have our bathing suits on underneath

Barbara Ann Daniel of Houston prays as others gathered to remember loved ones during the 2017 Old Guys Surf Reunion.

Old Guys Surf Reunion founder Albert Brown gets his surfboard ready to hit the waves during this year’s reunion in Surfside Beach.

and our surfboards on top. We’d run in the church and we’d grab a flyer, which would prove that we went to church, but as soon as we got that flyer, we were gone.” After a day in the sun and waves, the young surfers came back just about ready to eat a horse. Instead, they pooled their

remaining money and could usually scrape up the change to split a hamburger four ways. “It seems like when you’ve been swimming you’re hungry, big time,” Ed Bill said. “We would take up a collection and we’d hit this little hamburger joint down here. We’d get the steak finger basket.”


File photo

Mark Muse, Eric Younkin, Austin Campbell, Bubba Barnes and Albert Brown pose May 1, 2016, at the Old Guys Surf Reunion at the Ocean Village Hotel in Surfside Beach.

Surfer status It was tough to be a surfer in those days, he said. School cliques were divided between cowboys and surfers, with little love lost between the two sides. Fishermen didn’t like the boards sweeping past the jetties, and sometimes threw weights with malicious aim. Cops liked to stop surfers and parents rarely understood their passion. But there were compensations. “We were down here when there wasn’t five beach houses on this beach,” Bill said. “We had the hood off a Volkswagen, and we would drag it behind a car down the beach and slide out into the water. You do that nowadays, you’re gonna be in jail.” In high school, he made sure all his classes were electives and his education required little of his actual presence. Every day,

he would skip school at 10:30 or 11 a.m. When particularly choice waves required an entire day of surfing, he would instruct a friend in the attendance office to mark him present anywhere he might be marked absent. “One day, a week or two before the end of the school year, that girl wasn’t in there,” he said. “They called my mom and checked if I was home sick. I got busted.” It wasn’t much fun back then, but getting busted makes for some pretty good stories these days. Ben Reyna, now a musician who plays every Old Guys Surf Reunion party, recalled a particularly knotty incident when he was 16. The fresh recipient of a driver’s license, he borrowed his dad’s station wagon and took a load of friends to the beach. There they engaged in the time-honored

teen traditions of surfing, flirting and drinking while underage. “This buddy of mine was at the station wagon getting a beer. He sits on the hood of my dad’s brand new station wagon, looks down the beach and sees the sheriff coming,” he said. “Instead of hiding it, he drank it as fast as he could, trying to get it all down and toss it under the car.” The sheriff confiscated his beer and his buddy, telling Reyna he could have the latter back if he brought $28.50 to the Brazoria County Courthouse in Angleton. A hasty whiparound only raised $18, so the rest of the group finished out their day of surfing, then stopped by to ask the prisoner what to do. By the time the young man’s mother got him out, it was 6 a.m. and he had made a solemn vow to beat Reyna up after school.

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 29


Surfside sweeties Of course, surfer hijinks were just as likely to end in love as they were trouble. Eric Younkin said he’s probably best remembered for the night he overindulged, slept on the beach and woke to water in his dad’s car. But his most enduring memory of Surfside is far sweeter. “My son’s 50 years old and he has an affinity for this area. My son didn’t know it, but always wondered why he was so attracted to this island,” he said. “He was conceived on this beach. There used to be a pier that was out over Surfside, and that’s where it happened. His mother and I recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.” Not every love story goes so

Remembering a Surfside icon

Longtime surfers lost a longtime friend in May when Bingo Cosby passed at age 71. Revisit our profile of the Brazoria County coastal legend in the June 2017 edition of Brazos Monthly, available at The Facts office or at thefacts.com. smoothly. Mark Muse’s fellow old guys admit he was a pretty good-looking fellow back in the day, but Aline Muse couldn’t

spare him a glance. Surfer dudes were a no-go back then, she said, and Mark looked like bad news. “We went to the same high school, but it was like, ‘Mark Muse, oh my God, no,’” she said. “I wasn’t a goody-two-shoes, but I colored within the lines. These guys in the parking lot I wasn’t allowed to hang out with.” Years later they would meet again at a hurricane party at Outriggers Bar & Grill. As they hit it off, Aline began to find his surfing ways less unobjectionable. Now they’re happily married, and she’s a familiar face at the annual surfer reunion. That’s the way it goes, Barbara Ann Daniel said. The love never fades, it just spreads. “Once a surfer, always a surfer,” she said.

Surfers get together for a group photo April 28 during the Old Guys Surf Reunion at Surfside Beach.

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FASHION

ShoreThings N NOT EVERYONE HEADS TO the beach to fish, swim or surf. There are romantic walks, volleyball games and Frisbee tosses, and firing up the portable barbecue. There also are the realities that everyone still wants to look good while being comfortable, and that the Gulf breezes can turn tank-top temperatures into a slight chill requiring a wrap or light jacket. Our friends at T’Salta Hair Studio and Boutique in Clute put together some great looks to cover all the bases for both men

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and women. The fashions emphasize comfort and style, including dresses fitting for date nights or dropping over a swimsuit, trendy tropical prints for men and layering to adjust to whatever the climate decides to subject beachgoers to on a given afternoon. Our models, sisters Aubrey Pettett and Sydney Pettett, and friends Triston Ewald and Randal Perry, were perfect sports for proving the practicality and versatility of the clothing.


Sydney Pettett Z Supply Reverie Dress, $56 Mumu Kamryn Cape, $136 Rebels brown and gold sandal, &79

Fashion partners

Our thanks this month to those whose cooperation made our fashion shoot possible. Photography Michelle Raye www.facebookcom/ MichelleRaye Photography/ 979-248-6671 Models: Triston Ewald Randal Perry Aubrey Pettett Sydney Pettett Clothing: T-Salta Hair Studio and Boutique 101 Plantation Drive Suite B Lake Jackson 979-297-3203 tsaltaboutique.com Location: Quintana County Beach Park 330 Fifth St. Quintana

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 33


Randal Perry Tommy Bahama Sunset Shores mint mojito V-neck, $69.50 Tommy Bahama Linen The Dream Loungers, $88 Tommy Bahama Salvatore button shirt, $99.50 Hari Mari Men’s Fields tan and green sandals, $60

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Aubrey Pettett Left THML cold shoulder dress with tassels, $69 Rebels brown and gold sandal, &79

Randal Perry Right Rowdy Gentleman Cactus Cocktail Hawaiian Shirt, $59 Tommy Bahama Sunset Shores electric coral V-neck, $69.50 Tommy Bahama Boracay shorts, $89.50 Hari Mari Men’s Fields tan and green sandals, $60

Sydney Pettett Bottom left Bella Dahl seams halter romper, $119 Andrea Barnett blue pearls on heishi necklace, $147

Aubrey Pettett Bottom right Surf Gypsy Soft Palm wrap jumper, $53 Rebels brown and gold sandal, $79

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 35


Triston Ewald Top left Tommy Bahama Hula Hula Maritime shorts, $110 Rowdy Gentleman Cactus Cocktail short-sleeve pocket tee, $32

Randal Perry Top right Tommy Bahama Catch the Wave electric coral tee, $49.50 Natives swim trunks, $49

Aubrey Pettett Bottom right THML striped embroidered top, $57 Tommy Bahama ANA twill ankle denim pants, $135 Rebels brown and gold sandal, $79

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Triston Ewald Tommy Bahama Hialeah Hibiscus button shirt, $125 Tommy Bahama Bedford and Sons short, $99.50

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 37


fly the

Iconic aircraft beckons to when travel was luxurious

A

A PIECE OF HISTORY paused to roost recently at the Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport. Some aviation enthusiasts turned out to take a ride in a rare 1929 Ford Tri-Motor, lovingly restored and flown by the Experimental Aircraft Association. “The airplane is a pretty rare bird in that the Ford Motor Company made 199 in the years between 1926 and 1933. There are only about 13 that are left in existence, and right now only four or five that are airworthy and being flown,” Director of Aircraft Operations Sean Elliott said. “Ours are the only two being flown around the country.”

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The whole enterprise started with a stroke of luck — though good or bad depends on perspective. In 1973, Experimental Aircraft Association founder Paul Poberezny was at a show where a Ford Tri-Motor happened to be on display. A freak thunderstorm ripped the plane out of its tie-downs and flipped it onto its back, causing heavy damage. The owners at the time no doubt saw disaster, but Poberezny saw an opportunity to create something. “He purchased the wreckage from the insurance company for I think like $3,000, some ridiculously low price,” Elliott said.


story by MARY NEWPORT photos by PRENTICE C. JAMES

That was the beginning of a 12-year restoration project. The Experimental Aircraft Association led a huge fundraising campaign while staff and volunteers poured hours of work into fixing the plane. The process was complex because each piece had to be historically correct. For example, the plane is covered with a corrugated tin shell. In order to stay true to the plane’s original design, workers had to rediscover the original process of dyeing the tin, including dye recipes.

The Experimental Aircraft Association gained access to a second airplane when the Liberty Aviation Museum called. They had found a Ford TriMotor in a museum and wanted the Experimental Aircraft Association to restore it as well. The association agreed, and Liberty made the purchase. “They asked us to really go through the plane and make sure it was ready for flying once again. It’s hard when a plane has sat for that long,” Elliott said. In the beginning, the Experimental Aircraft Association flew their restored Ford only from a specially built 1920s style aerodrome. Eventually,

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 39


Above: Jeffrey Laver, left, explains to his grandson, 6-year-old Logan Wilbanks, the workings of the Pratt & Whitney R985 engines that power the Ford Tri-Motor aircraft. Below: Peyton Wilbanks, 9, of Lake Jackson peers out of the window prior to takeoff on the Ford Tri-Motor at the Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport in Angleton. Bottom left: A peek at the Ford Tri-Motor’s cockpit. Left: Charlie Lindley of Jones Creek sits in the cockpit as final checks of airworthiness are made on the Ford Tri-Motor.

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History lesson u From 1926 through 1933, Ford Motor Co. built 199 Tri-Motors. u EAA’s model 4-AT-E was the 146th off Ford’s innovative assembly line — the 76th model 4-AT-E — and first flew on Aug. 21, 1929. Days later, it was sold to Pitcairn Aviation.

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u When Pitcairn’s management changed hands later that year, NC8407 became the first airplane belonging to Eastern Air Transport, whose paint scheme is replicated on EAA’s Tri-Motor. Eastern Air Transport later became Eastern Airlines.

though, they started taking it for visits to other areas. They also arranged a part-time lease of the Liberty Ford and took it on excursions as well. Now both go all over the United States, giving crowds a chance to try flight the old-fashioned way. “Really we’re taking people back 90 years into what state-of-the-art airline travel was. You’re sitting there in straight-back chairs, you can see directly into the cockpit. It’s slow but very stable, it’s noisy,” Director of Communications Dick Knapinski. “There’s a kind of magic about it. This is when people realized they could fly around the country, not to be pilots, just to travel.” It’s a different experience from modern flight in many ways. Elliott, who has logged several hundred hours piloting the tri-motor, said it takes pilots with an entirely different set of skills than those required for modern flying. “It needs what we call stick and rudder availability. Somebody who’s been flying a jet their whole life would have trouble just keeping it going straight down the runway,” he said. “It’s a wonderful machine and it’s very capable, but it requires skills that are really gone.” Whatever it is, Elliott seems to have it, because he and the Ford have appeared on the big screen twice. First they took part in “The Family Jewels,” a 1965 film directed by Jerry Lewis. In 2009, Johnny Depp came on board during filming of “Public Enemies.” But it’s not just on screen that the plane holds a powerful attraction. Elliott said roughly 14,000 people a year buy a ticket to try out Ford Tri-Motor. “It lets people experience flight the way it was, 1,000 feet above the ground, with all the sights and smells and sounds that go with it,” he said. “Today’s jetliner is such a sanitized experience you hardly get any of that.”

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Members of the Brazoria Paddler’s Club make their way down Oyster Creek during a recent excursion.

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OUTDOORS

Floating your boat

S

Paddling Oyster Creek a unique view of county

SLIPPERY CLAY CLUNG TO my shoes as I jumped onto my paddleboard, and I nearly fell into Oyster Creek at the outset of my paddle down the waterway. But I regained my balance, made a few tentative strokes and soon was on my way through a tunnel of trees decked in Spanish moss. I had paddled creeks and rivers in Southeast Texas before, but my afternoon-long trip down Oyster Creek in April was my first time navigating a slow-moving stream on a paddleboard. My board, a stubby 9-foot inflatable, was better suited to the fast-moving rivers of Colorado. But since moving from the Rocky Mountains to Brazoria County in September, I had been hankering to see my new home from a river’s point of view.

It’s a point of view few enjoy. Maybe it’s the brown water or the healthy populations of snakes, but Texans in the greater Houston area tend to think little of their rivers and creeks, aside from when they flood. Years ago, while kayaking the upper reaches of Spring Creek in Montgomery County with my dad, a man screamed at us from a bridge, “You can’t do that in there!” Yes, you can. The broad floodplains that surround many of our waterways has prevented development on their banks. In Texas, where we have little public land compared to other states in the West, rivers are one of the few wildernesses we can readily enjoy. My dad tipped me off on the fun of floating muddy Texas rivers when

Take a trip The Brazoria Paddler’s Club takes regular trips down Brazoria County waterways. Participants can bring their own boat, kayak or canoe, or borrow one from the club. Learn more by calling 979864-1152 or email mikem@ brazoriacounty.com.

story by SAM LIEBL • photo courtesy BRAZORIA PADDLER’S CLUB

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 43


I was a kid. I was a teenager when he caught the paddling bug and bought a couple kayaks. He kept an eye on San Jacinto River near Conroe, a short distance from where we lived, and when the river reached flood stage, we would put in at a county park and enjoy a fast ride, dodging debris and snagged trees. Looking back, those trips were more than a little dangerous. My dad has since moved on to mountain biking. Oyster Creek, on the other hand, was placid as I left my put-in at Dunbar Park and picked up speed toward the first of many meandering curves and the FM 2004 bridge. The sharp tang of guano greeted my nose while I passed under the bridge, and I skirted around lines cast into the creek by fishermen hoping to bring catfish home for dinner. It was around then I felt the first puff of a breeze. It soon began blowing in earnest, forcing me to seek shelter along alternating sides of the creek so I would avoid being blown back. Paddleboarding, for all of its advantages, is far from aerodynamic. Cars rumbled overhead as I floated beneath That Way. Looking ahead, I saw homes perched above the creek’s high banks. I was in a public waterway but it was effectively the backyard of many homeowners.

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Kids waved to me from lawns, I admired terraced vegetable gardens and a man in a hammock continued napping as I glided downstream. But the wind persisted, canceling out whatever help the creek’s slow current might have given me. It also forced me to change plans. The boat ramp at Brazosport College would be further than my already fatigued arms would allow. Instead, I pulled my paddleboard out at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, said hello to some of the folks I recognized from going to Sunday services there and started jogging back to my car parked at Dunbar Park. In my excitement to get in the water, I had neglected to set a shuttle. My wife told me to take a shower as soon as I got home. The slippery clay had never let go of my shoes and was smeared all over. Smelling of mud, I also was sweaty from running. I made a mental note to intentionally fall in at the end of my next paddle trip. Perhaps that would be on Bastrop Bayou or maybe the San Bernard River. I put away my paddle board gear feeling I knew the place where I lived in a new way. But in a county defined by its rivers, I still had much more to explore.

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HEALTH

Early

DETECTION

Men can improve prostate cancer odds THE INTERNATIONAL HEADLINE reads, “Prostate cancer: Four in 10 cases diagnosed late,” where a late discovery could mean a death sentence. What are men to do? Statistics from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation assert cancer rates are marginally higher here in Brazoria County than in the rest of Texas or in the United States as a whole. But the clearer message to men is, when it comes to the walnut-sized gland in question, early detection remains their best bet for survival. What are the odds? First, some good news. For prostate cancer that hasn’t spread when it is diagnosed, the odds are very good. “The five-year survival rate for most men with local or regional prostate cancer is almost 100 percent,” according to the website Cancer. net. “Ninety-eight percent are alive after 10 years, and 96 percent live for at least 15 years.” story by RICK COUSINS

46 BRAZOSMONTHLY | JUNE 2018

And the bad news? “For men diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, the five-year survival rate is 29 percent,” the same site reports. “Prostate cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States. It is estimated that 26,730 deaths from this disease will occur this year.” Dr. Dan Garlitos, a radiation oncologist with CHI St. Luke’s Health-Brazosport Cancer Center in Lake Jackson, said such screening is both important and often overlooked. “We have learned a lot about the natural history of prostate cancer,” he said. “Now, after screening, we can stratify men into risk categories and determine those that benefit most from treatment and those who may be observed closely. Screening is relatively easy with a simple blood test and a physician’s digital (finger) exam, with biopsies in suspicious cases. Shared decision-making


JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 47


Stages of prostate cancer

Stage 1

The tumor or cancer cannot be felt by the doctor during exam

Stage 2

The cancer can be felt but it has not spread outside of the prostate

Warning signs Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. More advanced prostate cancers sometimes do, such as: u Problems urinating, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night u Blood in the urine or semen u Trouble getting an erection (erectile dysfunction or ED) u Pain in the hips, back, chest (ribs) or other areas from cancer that has spread to bones u Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord Don’t be alarmed Most of these problems are more likely to be caused by something other than prostate cancer. For example, trouble urinating is much more often caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia, a noncancerous growth of the prostate. Still, it’s important to tell your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms so the cause can be found and treated.

Source: American Cancer Society

48 BRAZOSMONTHLY | JUNE 2018

Stage 3

The cancer has spread outside of the prostate into nearby tissues

between physician and patient is important. As an example, one unfortunate scenario would be diagnosis of an aggressive, lesscurable cancer at age 70 which was not found by screening at an earlier, more curable age.” If found, treatment can vary from “watchful waiting” for the slowest-growing cancers to a full-court press with hormonal, radiation and other therapies to address the most virulent forms of this disease. “In less aggressive cancers, various forms of surgery and radiation both have very high cure rates,” Garlitos said. “In the more aggressive cancers, additional and combination treatments are used to deal with the likelihood of the undetected spreading of cancer to other parts of the body.”

Fighting the fight Previous generations faced cures that tended to limit a normal life, but new techniques now offer treatments that often don’t cripple a man’s sex life nor render him incontinent. So, with early detection, most men will survive prostate cancer. What’s it like to be one of these?

Stage 4

The cancer has spread into nearby organs such as the bladder

Dennis Young, who was treated at Garlitos’ clinic, shared his experience. “So this is what it feels like to be made aware that you have cancer,” he said. “It was very similar to an experience I had on an airliner years ago flying over Tennessee. The plane seemed to go completely out of control briefly, and oddly enough, my first thought was, ‘Oh, so this is what it feels like to be in an airplane crash.’” Young, whether fighting fright in the air or sitting and listening in his doctor’s office, felt as though he were viewing the very personal threat from a great distance. “In both cases it was almost as if the situation didn’t involve me,” he said. “It took a moment for it all to sink in.” Now, a year into intensive treatment, he still worries the medical efforts might come to naught, but he also is finding his faith deepening. “My Catholic faith sustains my trust in a loving Jesus. I’ve been incredibly blessed in so many ways in my life. I’m secure in his love for me and know that I’m a part of his very good plan,” Young said. “But I hasten to add that ‘Seriously? Now


this?’ has also been one plaintive exchange I’ve had.” Young doesn’t recommend feeling sorry for oneself as the best medicine. “I try to cultivate gratitude to keep these self-pitying thoughts at bay,” he said. “I know that everyone carries unseen burdens. And I know that a smile is an easy and effective gift that can lighten those burdens. I try to give that gift — some days more successfully than others — but it invariably lightens my load.”

Changing treatment As for the recent improvements, Dr. Eric M. Walser, professor and chairman of the Radiology Department at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, explained the last decade had seen a remarkable and promising evolution, including lasers, robots and photochemistry. “As physicians became more adept at imaging and diagnosing prostate cancer with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), new therapies arose to treat prostate cancer directly (focal therapy) rather than the entire gland (whole gland therapy),” Walser said. “Why not treat the tumor itself rather than remove

Common cancers

The three most common cancers in men. The number reflects the incidence among 100,000 U.S.

68.1 Lung

95.5

Prostate

44.0

Colorectal Source: Centers for Disease Control

the entire prostate? The theory was that erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence would be reduced dramatically if only the portion of the prostate containing the cancer was removed. Other benefits of focal therapy include reduced cost, less pain, no need for hospitalization and the ability to repeat the procedure should the cancer return.” d’Arcey Scott is a registered nurse who also runs a cancer support group at CHI St. Luke’s

Lake Jackson campus. For the last three years, she’s encouraged dozens of cancer survivors, including many who are living with prostate cancer. “My patients help me to no longer take certain things in life for granted and to live life to the fullest, no matter what,” Scott said. “They have helped me to see the good things in life and not to focus on the negative. From the day they are diagnosed, they are fighting for their lives. As an oncology nurse, I get to assist them in that fight. They are very appreciative of everything I do for them, from getting them a warm blanket to just sitting down and talking about everyday life.” We’ll give the last word to Young, who is still fighting against this disease. What wisdom does he offer other men? “My concept of prostate cancer was that every man gets it if he lives long enough,” Young said. “It turns out it’s not confined to the elderly, and it’s not necessarily slow-growing. It can be of intermediate aggressiveness or hard-charging aggressive. So, get your PSA (prostate specific antigen, a simple blood test) checked. You’re still going to have to make some informed choices. Timely intervention is key.”

Gleason scores If a growth is found and biopsy performed, the tissue will be viewed under a microscope and assigned a Gleason score based upon its appearance. Cancer with a higher Gleason score is more aggressive. Grade 1: The cancerous prostate closely resembles normal prostate tissues. The glands are small, well-formed and closely packed. Grade 2: The tissue still has well-formed glands, but they are larger and have more tissue between them. Grade 3: The tissue still has recognizable glands, but the cells are darker. At high magnification, some of the cells have left the glands and are beginning to invade surrounding tissue. Grade 4: The tissue has few recognizable glands. Many cells are invading the surrounding tissue. Grade 5: The tissue does not have recognizable glands. There are often just sheets of cells throughout the surrounding tissue. Source: American Cancer Society

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 49


PARENTING

Growin’

CHILDREN Family gardening gives valuable time, nutrition

commentary by

JESSICA TOMPKINS

50 BRAZOSMONTHLY | JUNE 2018

WHEN MOTHER OF TWO Vicky Surber enacted her plan for a family backyard garden, she knew it would be a learning process for her entire family. What she didn’t expect was all of the surprising ways she and her children would benefit from the experiences in the dirt. Surber began the garden three years ago when she was home with two small children. She disliked the constant trips to the grocery store and was frustrated by the lack of freshness of the produce available in the aisles. So, she decided to grow her own and have her children help. “Not knowing anything about growing food,” Surber said, “I thought it would be easy, fun and economical to have a small garden in the backyard. My husband built our first 5-by-8 bed, a friend generously

delivered a load of high-quality organic soil, I chose the plants, and we were in business.” Many families have turned to backyard gardens to supplement the grocery fare, then also discovered a love for the lessons and experiences these gardens can bring to their children. Tending a family garden will teach children about nature and teach lessons about healthy food choices, but also educates the kids about life. A backyard garden creates opportunities for family fun. After all the movies have been seen and the jump houses have been visited, a backyard garden can provide many opportunities for families just to be with one another and have a common goal — all while being outside together. Planning, building, planting and tending to the


Virginia Surber proudly shows a beet pulled form her family’s backyard garden. The whole family is involved in planting, nurturing and harvesting the garden.

JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 51


Vicky Surber and her son, Henry, show some of the items they grow in their backyard garden.

52 BRAZOSMONTHLY | JUNE 2018

garden will take, at the very least, a few minutes every day. And family time is valuable to children’s development. Allowing the children to help as much as possible could mean some seeds get poked too far into the soil or a plant gets ripped out of the soil from excitement, but patience is the key. The whole goal is to get the children involved, despite the oopsies. “My daughter likes flowers, so I let her choose a packet of wildflowers to scatter in one section, and one section of sunflowers in another,” Surber said. “My son likes salads and herbs, so I try to grow dill, basil, lettuce, carrots and radishes where he can reach and pick them himself.” A family garden provides teachable moments and opportunities for children to learn about nature, bugs, weather and the environment. Reading about these things in books is fantastic, but hands-on experience is the best learning tool. Surber has found the pesky bugs she tried to try to eliminate in the beginning, such as mud daubers and wasps, sometimes are completely beneficial to backyard gardens and the ecosystem. Now her children understand this concept, too. “My kids have seen the wasps working in the garden and have learned not to be afraid of them, and instead, to give them their space and not disturb their nests,” she said. Children are more eager to try new vegetables and experiment with food once they see how the food is raised and cooked. Backyard gardens are a fantastic way to teach healthy eating habits and encourage children to try new foods. No child wants to try new vegetables, just out of principle. However, if they have raised the vegetable and watched it sprout, the interest and value are a little higher for them. “Both of my kids are more willing to try vegetables we grow and get a kick out of things that are different,” Surber said. “They enjoy raw cauliflower,


Tips for Gardening with Kids Never tell kids something you could show them. Young kids have a very short attention span. Make sure you have lots of options available so they can get started immediately and stay busy. Digging holes is one thing that seems to hold endless fascination. Instant gratification helps a lot. Plant radishes even if you don’t like them — they come up in three or four days. Growing their own generally will get kids to try eating things they otherwise wouldn’t walk into the same room with. Getting dirty is an integral part of growing up Your role should be facilitator, not a leader who imposes direction. When giving out supplies to several kids, try to keep seeds, tools, etc., as similar as possible to avoid the inevitable squabbles. After an activity, do something to reinforce what everyone has learned. Talk about what went on, who did what, who saw what. If you can, have them write things down or draw pictures. Source: American Community Gardening Association

so each year we grow a head of purple and romanesco just to make it fun.” As always, when doing anything that involves children, it is important to follow safety protocols. First, make sure children are wearing hats, sunscreen and, if necessary, bug spray. Children need to stay away from tools, both powered and unpowered. All chemicals should be used according to the label instructions and stored out of children’s reach. Parents should make sure children in the sun are being hydrated to prevent sunrelated illness. Finally, make sure all members of the family have had a recent tetanus shot, just in case of an injury. Patience and perseverance are keys to owning and maintaining a successful working garden, and children can develop these qualities for themselves by

experimenting with a garden. Sometimes the garden can be tended in all the right ways, but a hailstorm, flooding rain or cold snap will change the outcome completely. Gardens aren’t predictable. “You can’t control everything,” Surber said. “I have so much respect for farmers and families who raise their own food. If we relied solely on what we grow for food, we would be in big trouble. For me — and this is what I try to teach my children — the fun in gardening comes from the small victories and looking ahead to the next planting season. The kids talk about memories of last season’s garden and what we can do different and what they hope for this season. These conversations are the best. I hope they always have these memories and choose to raise gardens with their own families some day.”

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JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 53


THE RED CARPET

Lake Jackson Pioneers Banquet April 13, 2018 • Lake Jackson Civic Center

Jimmy Stanford, John and Joanna Evans, Cathi and DJ Beatty

Jesse Hibbetts

Everett and Dolores Stovall

Nanette Freelon, Shirley Girouard, Collette and Paul Garcia

David and Annette Melass

Nancy Schoppe, Don White, Sharon Suggs-White

Don’t see your photo?

Go to thefacts.mycapture.com

Paul Anderson, Dennis Anderson, Evalyn Anderson-Corley

Photos by Kevin Jaime Rudene Roye Phinney, Jerry Roye

54 BRAZOSMONTHLY | JUNE 2018

Lisa Luna, Donna Peiser, Paul Bellard

Barbara and Gary Wilcox


100 Club of Brazoria County Banquet April 19, 2018 • Lake Jackson Civic Center

Cristy Park, Lake Jackson Police Chief Rick Park

Bo and Jeanna Stallman, Jackie and Joe King

Jay Grimes, Alisha Stark, Christine Kauffman, Carrie Kauffman, Billy Wehring, Justin Wehring, Kenny Hayes

Clute Police Chief James Fitch, Assistant Chief Dianne Turner and Judge Randy Smith

Deneane Lovett, Donnette Schrull, Brenda Petersen and Rose McDougal

Susie Thacker, Constable David Thacker

Brazosport ISD officer Mari Crittenden, Lindsey Nichols, BISD Police Chief Wade Nichols, Shelby Knopp, John Burmeier

Susan Golden, 100 Club director Mike Golden

Brian and Mary Ann Devine, Ruby and Freddie Brown, Cary and Larry Rosenbohm, JoAnn and Jimmy Brown

Don’t see your photo?

Go to thefacts.mycapture.com JUNE 2018 | BRAZOSMONTHLY 55


FINAL THOUGHT

Dusty

Trails

56 BRAZOSMONTHLY | JUNE 2018


The real dirt on floating particles is more fascinating than frightening

M

MOST OF US HAVE SPENT part of a lazy afternoon watching tiny traces of dust drift silently from nowhere to out of sight on a warm sunbeam moving slowly across the floor. But how long has the harmless fleck of happy fluff been floating before settling on our StairMaster? That unassuming speck might be the remnant of a dinosaur or part of our most toxic domesticated pet. Old wives’ tales suggest dust is about 75 percent dead human skin cells, which explains why old wives raise such sand about sanitation. Dust is nothing to sneeze at. In its best-known use, God made mankind from it, and science agrees we eventually return to it. Popular Science magazine maintains some current dust components might be from the Stone Age, between 2 million and 2.7 commentary by billion years ago, traveling the JOHN LOWMAN globe on wind, glaciers, the ocean, commerce and animals. Other sources suggest the dusty trail includes components from kids, crickets, burnt meteorites and maybe even a pterodactyl’s final flight. Bachelors and the non-OCD among us aren’t concerned with the content, allowing undisturbed drifts to neatly knit nature’s blanket on baseboards and exercise equipment. The good news is that protective coating is not 75 percent dead skin. It might hold a pinch here and there, but most cells chafe off when we shower or shave. Or sleep, which some surmise is the reason mattresses are heavier when we move out than in. Webster’s states dust is “fine, dry powder consisting of tiny particles of earth or waste matter lying on the ground or on surfaces or carried in the air.” Another recipe has hair,

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pet dander, feathers, dead dust mites, paper fibers and insulation. A website named Live Science states dust includes a mix of insect parts, dirt and flour. The American Chemical Society pads the potpourri with arsenic, lead and other substances, which can be “a special concern for children” since littles put pretty much everything in their mouths. Newer wives know once a kid starts chomping on clay, its name is mud. Along with anything from either end of any kind of cigarette, the American Lung Association says Tabby’s Toxoplasmosis is the most harmful component of indoor air, especially to children. Even a hypoallergenic cockatoo, cockapoo or

cockaroach dusts the pet owners among us with some degree of dandruff daubed with dried waste and saliva. Expert suggestions to minimize the toxoplasmosing of our offspring is to keep animals off furniture, especially beds. Or leave them outside, in their natural habitat, so their scruff can catch a glacier on the way to settling onto some future exercise equipment. As dirty as the reality is, at least dust in the wind isn’t 75 percent floating flecks of old wives, bachelors and the OCD among us. Although it might be kinda cool to know that years from now, part of us will spend a lazy afternoon drifting on a warm sunbeam moving slowly across someone else’s floor.

Dust prevention Minimize dust-gathering knickknacks, especially in rooms where you spend a lot of time, like living areas and bedrooms, microbiologist Mark Sneller says. Put heavy-duty, commercial-style doormats (tight weave, rubber backs) outside every door used to enter the house. Place fan-powered air purifiers in your most-used rooms to help suck up dust before it settles down. Keep the humidity level in your home between 40 and 50 percent to reduce static, advises Allen Rathey, founder of HousekeepingChannel.com. Cheap furnace/air-conditioning filters, like fiberglass ones, do little to prevent dust, says Aileen Gagney, an American Lung Association asthma and environmental health program specialist. Choose pleated filters with a higher MERV rating.

Source: Woman’s Day

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Brazos Monthly  

June 2018

Brazos Monthly  

June 2018