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MICHAEL HUNTER IS STEPPING OUT OF HIS FATHER'S SHADOW

STUDENTS shine THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT IN THE COASTAL BEND

THE DRISCOLL MIRACLE: HOW IT ALL HAPPENED


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Contents AUGUST 2016 | Back to School Issue

Features

Monthly | Departments

Around the Bend 18 Currents 20 Conversation 24 5 Best 26 Giving Back

Destinations 30 Quick Trip 32 Local Discovery

Health

62 Be Well 64 Fitness 66 Health Spotlight

35

Home & Garden 70 Open House 74 Spaces 76 Gardening

Students Who Shine

Out & About Driscoll Miracle

54

80 Arts & Culture 82 Celebration 84 Date Book 88 Social Hour

Cuisine

48 8 The Bend

94 Farm to Table 97 The Dish 98 The Dining Guide 102 The Drink

Michael Hunter

Column 106 Looking Back

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Furniture, GiFts and accessories

1027 US Hwy 181 Portland,78374 | 361-413-0090 Add us on Facebook -Decor Furniture

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Discover why over 17 million homeowners trust us. Mark Silva, Agent 5515 Saratoga Blvd, Suite A Corpus Christi, TX 78413 Bus: 361-992-3341 www.marksilvainsurance.com

With your new home comes new responsibilities – like protecting your new investment with the right amount of homeowners insurance. That’s where I can help. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® CALL ME TODAY.

PUBLISHER: Jordan Regas ART DIRECTOR: Julio Studios PRODUCTION DIRECTOR: Kaley Regas BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Chris Knapick MANAGING EDITOR: Whitney Noble AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT: Stefanie DeWaters ADVERTISING COORDINATOR: Rosana Sargent

0907507TX.1

State Farm Lloyds, Dallas, TX

VIDEOGRAPHER: Joey Puterbaugh Films CONTRIBUTORS: Justin & Kayla Butts Sharla Wilkins Cissy Tabor Kateri Reyes Jeff King Dayna Worchel Jimmy Wilden Robert Breedlove Frances Bandas JoAnne Howell

MARKETING DESIGN: Ensemble Group LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER: Rachel Durrent PHOTOGRAPHY: Dustin Ashcraft Jason Page Kateri Reyes Gabe Mancha DISTRIBUTION: Produce Couriers Renée C. Gage Kevin Kusenberger INTERNS: Juan Farias and Frances Bandas EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS: jordan@thebendmag.com

ADVERTISING: chris@thebendmag.com

THE BEND OFFICE: 309 N. Water Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Phone: 361.792.3606

SUBSCRIPTIONS: THEBENDMAG.COM

Copyright © 2016 Gemstone Media, LLC. The Bend: Coastal Life Magazine is published by Gemstone Media, LLC. No portion may be reproduced without express written consent. Editorial or advertising does not constitute advice, but is rather considered informative. Expressed opinions are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ownership.

MICHAEL HUNTER

IS STEPPING OUT

OF HIS FATHER'S

SHADOW

On the Cover

Caroline Wetz found herself enthralled by the fish in the tank in the kid's court upstairs at La Palmera Mall. Photo by: Jason Page

10 The Bend

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STUDshiENTS ne

THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT IN THE COASTAL BEND

THE DRISCOLL MIRACLE: HOW IT ALL HAPPENED


Serving South Texas Since 1947

Chad Allen, DDS, MS Dr. Chad Allen has the ability to care for all of your dental needs and at one location! He takes his time to get to know you personally and determine your fears and expectations. He strives to make your time in the dental chair as comfortable as possible. Call his office today to enhance your dental experience!

Services: · Comprehensive Care · Veneers · Dental Implants · Crowns · Teeth Whitening

General Dentists: Prosthodontist: Sarah Medina, DDS Chad Allen, DDS, MS William Tinnell, DDS Alex Vial-Nadeau, DMD Nancy Coll, DMD Charles Allen, DDS

Corpus Christi: (361) 854-7999 525 Doddridge Corpus Christi (361) 992-8900 6200 Saratoga Blvd #102, Corpus Christi

Portland: (361) 643-0416 101 Cox Drive, Portland, TX allendentalgroup.co

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August | Meet The Staff

Meet the Staff

Juan Farias & Frances Bandas FRANNIE

Summer Interns

Frances Bandas, known affectionately as Frannie, is a 21-one- year-old student at the University of Virginia and a Corpus Christi native. Though she fled to a four-season climate for her college career, where she studies English and Media Studies as a rising senior, Frannie is overjoyed to be back in Corpus Christi for the summer with her coastal family and friends. She has suffered many a sunburn playing tennis in the hot Texas sun, and was once nipped by a seagull at a Cole Park picnic, but her affection for the Coastal Bend persists. She has a sense of fashion that all envy, a mix between preppy and vintage, and she is all class. She has an infectious smile and laugh that makes all who meet her feel immediately at ease. Frannie gets this from her mom, her best friend. As a lover of costume jewelry, proper punctuation, and long afternoon naps, you can also catch her snacking in the office at The Bend this summer!

12 The Bend

JUAN

Summer Interns

Juan Farias is currently attending our very own ​Texas A&M University -­Corpus Christi. Originally from Alice, Juan moved to Corpus his freshman year of high school. He’s played baseball for nearly his entire life, even for the university, before he stopped to focus on school. After graduation, Juan wants to attend a joint graduate/law school and attain a Master’s in Applied Mathematics with an emphasis in Financial Markets. He is happiest spending time with his girlfriend and family, doing research, math, reading, working out, and then…doing more math. His parents and sister are his greatest inspirations and says he models his actions and perspective on life from theirs. When Juan isn’t working on math problems, watching Mad Men, or playing the guitar, he’s undoubtedly eating his favorite sandwich, PB&J.

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August | Letter From The Publisher

The Places They Will Go

M

y daughter starts preschool this month. It’s just two days a week, but I’m scared to death. A few months back, my wife and I got our hearts set on her going to one particular school in town. It turns out that getting into the right preschool these days can feel just as challenging as getting into the right college. When the day of open enrollment approached, no one knew how many spots were available. It was first come, first serve. The doors opened at 7:30 am, and word on the street was by 4 am, the line was interminable. The night before the big day, I tossed a book, some bug spray, and a lawn chair into the back of my car and set the alarm for 2:30 am. I knew I would be exhausted at work, but I felt good about the school and knew it would be worth it if Gemma got in. The next morning, I was the first parent to arrive. I felt a little sense of pride and had one of those rare moments when I consider myself Super Dad. I set up camp by the door. Sitting there in the silence under the stars with nothing but the sound of bugs to keep me company, I couldn’t help but think about my daughter, her future, and how there is nothing on earth I wouldn’t do to give her every opportunity to reach her full potential. I think most parents can relate. We want our kids to be the best at what they do. Eventually, we have to cut the apron strings, but even as a grown man, it’s nice to go to my parents for help or advice. They have both made sacrifices for me and my siblings to help us get where we are today. For the last two years, August has been labeled our “Back to School” issue. There is only one “school” related feature this month, but a connection between all three features is obvious. The Driscoll Miracle tells the story of how one doctor rallied a group of 12 other doctors to give two conjoined twins a chance at life. In Students Who Shine, we highlight seven outstanding local students with inspiring stories. Lastly, we meet a young City Councilman who is following in his father’s footsteps. Regardless of where our kids go to preschool or college, it’s up to us as parents, coaches, teachers, doctors, bosses, and mentors to invest in the next generation and model the way. I see this happening all around the Coastal Bend, and it makes me believe that our future is bright.

Favorite Page This month, I want to give some credit to one of the newest members of our team on a job well done. Gabe Mancha is not only a talented, up-and-coming photographer in the Coastal Bend, he is an all around great guy. Every time we send him out on a shoot or to a local event, people talk about how professional he is and enjoyable to have around. He had his first opportunity to shoot a feature for the magazine this month and he knocked it out of the park. He took some beautiful photos for our profile on City Councilman Michael Hunter. I especially loved this particular photo that I felt tells a story. A picture truly is worth a thousand words.

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16 The Bend

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Around the Bend AUGUST 2016

CURRENTS 18 CONVERSATION 20 5 BEST 24 GIVING BACK 26

What’s Inside Entrepreneurship runs in the veins of Corpus Christians. Ideas even come in the form of cup art! Put-In-Cups, an incredibly successful local business, is helping schools and businesses all over the country and other parts of the world, turn their chain link fences into art to envy.

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Around the Bend | Currents

Currents New Alamo License Plate Now available to all Texans! With each purchase, $22 of the license tag price will go directly to the Alamo to pay for preservation efforts and historical educational programs. As Texans, many take pride in our heritage and credit the Alamo for our independence. This plate allows Texans to embrace our state, show spirit, and aid in supporting the restoration of the Alamo for future generations.

Chick-fil-A Expansion As Chick-fil-A continues its expansion, Corpus Christi now has a new location! This restaurant will bring 80 new jobs to the area. Local franchise owner, Macy Agnew, is transferring from La Palmera Mall to her very first free standing restaurant. Assorted chicken sandwiches and fresh salads plus signature waffle potato fries and freshly squeezed lemonade are offered from the originator of the boneless breast of chicken sandwich. Eat mor chikin!

Mr. Rigaroo’s Shaved Ice #getashave at Mr. Rigaroo’s snow cone truck in Portland! Testing out new flavors and want the customer’s input! Stop by to see what you can taste, from sweet to sour to tangy to a little kick! They also offer sugar-free flavors, and always have fun names. Ask about their Sour Spray! Drive by today to support a new local and family-owned business, located at the corner of Hwy 181 & Wildcat in the grass next to First Community Bank! Plus, if you pop by on T-Shirt Thursday wearing one of their shirts, you’ll receive a free small cone, or $3 off your purchase. Shaved ice served with a smile!

18 The Bend

Del Mar College Plan A master plan for building a new Del Mar College campus on the Southside of Corpus Christi was recently approved by the board of regents. The plan was developed by Gensler Architects in San Francisco and cost $1.8 million. The money used to develop the plan, which calls for three stages of construction on the 96-acre plot, will be at the corner of Rodd Field Road and Yorktown Blvd. and is expected to become home to the college’s signature programs in architecture, engineering, biotechnology and culinary arts. Developed with input from students and the public at large, the master plan includes physical fitness facilities and a community center. After the three stages of build-out are complete, the campus should be able to serve up to 20,000 students. It's only a plan at this point, however, no budget or timeline has been released.

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䌀⸀ 䐀愀氀攀 䔀甀戀愀渀欀Ⰰ 䴀䐀

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㌀㘀㄀ⴀ㤀 㘀ⴀ㄀㄀㄀㈀

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䌀愀氀氀 䰀椀猀愀 刀漀戀攀爀猀漀渀Ⰰ 刀一

琀漀 猀挀栀攀搀甀氀攀 礀漀甀爀 䘀刀䔀䔀 挀漀渀猀甀氀琀愀琀椀漀渀

㌀㘀㄀ⴀ㤀 㘀ⴀ㄀㄀㄀㈀

眀眀眀⸀眀攀椀最栀琀氀漀猀猀挀漀爀瀀甀猀挀栀爀椀猀琀椀⸀挀漀洀

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Around the Bend | Person of Interest

logo to take place of the Spurs Logo on the Sky Bridge. So now, thousands of people see my artwork every day.

Do you see this as art?

Conversation with

Randall Hunt Mr. and Mrs. Cups are creating art all over the country using 3 simple tools – cups, chain link fences, and spirit. By: Whitney Noble Photo: Rachel Durrent

What sparked the idea to create chain link fence art?

I passed by a school and saw kids sticking foam cups into the fence to spell out a message. After a day or so, the foam cups would blow out and litter the area. So, I thought to myself, someone should make something better with more colors that would actually stay in place. After several barley pops, Voilà! The idea of Put-In-Cups came to me.

What was your very first order?

My first order was an RV Sales Business by my house in Weatherford, Texas. After the job was done, the owner of the company told me I was going to be a millionaire…But he never did say when!

How many different states are Put-In-Cups in now? Any other countries?

Put-In-Cups are in all 50 states including three US territories: Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. We have also created designs for foreign countries: Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Estonia, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.

20 The Bend

How do the schools, organizations, and companies that use your services get involved?

With each order, the customer gets an easy-to-follow template for their design, and they are able to follow the instructions and install Put-In-Cups to create their design or messages on their fence. Some schools have sent us photos of students coming together to install the cups.

What would you say is the most complex or inspiring order you’ve ever received and completed?

The design for the San Antonio Spurs. It was both complex and inspiring. It was complex because it was one of my first very big designs. And it was going to be displayed at two different locations. They wanted “Go Spurs Go” to be displayed at the AT&T Center as well as at the Incarnate Word Sky Bridge that is about 50 feet up in the air above the busy 281 Freeway. It was inspiring because at the time, I was happy to be working with schools and businesses from around the state. But when the San Antonio Spurs call you about your product, it’s very humbling. When basketball season was over that year, the University of the Incarnate Word asked for their

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Yes, it is Chain Link Fence Art, and people are buying my work. It takes time, patience, and passion to recreate a design or design a new one with the design program I have created. My art is helping others advertise, show spirit, and be creative. That’s what we strive for.

What brought your business to Corpus Christi, and what is your favorite thing about operating this unique business? I followed my soulmate (Laura, AKA Mrs. Cups) to Corpus Christi from Weatherford, Texas, when she accepted a job here. After about two years, I got so busy that I convinced her to quit her job and help me full-time. She has been instrumental in helping me handle the growth of the business. Besides driving across the country and seeing my cups on fences everywhere, my other favorite thing about my business is being able to work with my soulmate, my wife, every day.

Is it true you were asked to be on Shark Tank? Yes, but I kindly declined. That’s a whole other story!

If they made a movie about Put-In-Cups, who would you want to play Mr Cups? Larry the Cable Guy. They would start calling him Larry the Cup Guy.


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August 5-7

From glasses to gadgets. Shop more than 130 of the finest names in back to school.

Tax Free Weekend

5488 S. Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi lapalmera.com

1700 STATE HIGHWAY 361, SUITE E ∙ PORT ARANSAS ∙ 361.749.1881 ∙ WWW.COASTALCLOSETPA.COM Show Me Your Mumu ∙ Joie ∙ Trina Turk ∙ Southern Tide ∙ Splendid ∙ Ella Moss ∙ Claridge & King ∙ Helen John ∙ Sea Folly Swim Johnny O. ∙ Brackish ∙ Rowdy Gentleman ∙ Filson ∙ Michaels ∙ Kendra Scott ∙ Hazel Smyth ∙ Dian Malouf ∙ Julie Vos ∙ Gigi Bags The Beaufort Bonnet Company ∙ Prodoh ∙ Magnificent Baby ∙ Mini Melissa ∙ Ipanema ∙ Kickee Pants ∙ Tiger Joe ∙ Johnny O. Boys

22 The Bend

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5

Around the Bend | 5 Best

Best

Locations for Music Lessons

1

Piano Gallery

Children can learn to tickle the ivories during their weekly 50-minute lessons at the Piano Gallery. Lessons are offered during the school year, Mondays through Thursdays, in the afternoons and evenings. Pricing is discounted for two or more children in a family and is charged one month at a time. 4432 S. Padre Island Dr. (361) 851-0400

2

Musician’s Academy

Musician’s Academy offers lessons for multiple instruments, as well as voice lessons. Weekly 30-minute lessons are tailored to the student’s level and needs, and the facility features an open-door policy with three different ways for a parent to observe their student. Sunrise Mall 5858 S. Padre Island Dr. #37C (361) 993-3428

3

Chicas Rock

The core focus of this all female musical program is to grow self-esteem in girls through the development of a cohesive band. Band members may select to learn an instrument

24 The Bend

Musical Education Station With school fast approaching, expand your kid’s horizons with music lessons! You could be raising the next Buddy Holly! By: Sharla Wilkins Photo: Rachel Durrent

or choose to sing. The group is open to musicians of all talents and genres, with newbie musicians also welcome. 4724 Holly Rd. (361) 947-7625 www.chicasrock.org

4

South Texas Music Mart

This music facility offers beginner lessons on-site for several different instruments, including piano, guitar, trumpet, and low brass. They also have a list of a multitude of local teachers who instruct on a wide variety of instruments as well as voice and are located all around the Coastal Bend. 5253 S. Staples St. (361) 993-7866

5

Clawson's Music

Private 30-minute lessons are offered on all instruments at this locally-owned music store. Parents are invited to sit in with their child during the instruction. Lessons are scheduled four-at-a-time and are offered all days except for Sundays. 2701 S. Padre Island Dr. (361) 854-5894 [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

How to help your children succeed in their music lessons: 1. Let the student select which instrument they wish to play. 2. Set aside time each day in a quiet location specifically for practicing. 3. Have an instrument at home set up for practice. 4. Find an instructor who ‘clicks’ with your child.


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Around the Bend | Giving Back

The Odyssey After School Enrichment Program Shaping Our Community One Child at a Time By: Jessica Picarazzi Photos: Courtesy The Odyssey After School Enrichment Program

What are you doing from 3 to 6 pm every day after school? For over 120 children in Aransas County, the answer to that question is simple! They know they are going to be learning, having fun, and that they will be safe, at The Odyssey After School Enrichment Program in Rockport, Texas.

26 The Bend

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he Odyssey program originated in 2003 after a survey showed more than half of first through sixth grade children in Aransas County were going home to empty houses after school. Odyssey began with a small group of students and a few adult volunteers and has since grown to include nine full classes, each with extensive waiting lists. The program has served well over 1,000 children in Aransas County since its inception. Odyssey’s mission is to strengthen and enhance the academic, physical, and psychological development of its students in a safe and nurturing environment.​Striving to provide a safe, community-based after-school program for children in Aransas County, they aim to enhance children’s academic achievements, to support positive social development and relationships, and to facilitate and strengthen the interaction between schools, families and community. They’re able to accomplish these goals through the wonderful support of many community organizations and the local school district, Aransas County ISD. An afternoon at Odyssey is full of opportunity! Each afternoon begins with a healthy snack, and they mean “healthy!” Children enjoy salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy sources of protein. Coastal Bend Health Foods in Rockport


helps to ensure the food served to the kids is as fresh as possible, not overly processed, and never loaded with added sugars, chemicals, or preservatives. Odyssey is the only organization in all of South Texas to receive a Healthier CACFP Award from the Texas Department of Agriculture, recognizing their efforts to provide children with healthy foods and to teach them healthy lifestyle choices. Next on the agenda is homework time. Odyssey instructors work diligently to ensure each child can complete their homework. That way, their evening time at home can be spent with their family. Children are also provided individualized tutoring, and some participate in a mentoring program with Odyssey volunteers. The remainder of each afternoon is devoted to enrichment activities. Odyssey provides students with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to experience. Activities include poetry writing, swim lessons, engineering challenges, yoga, cooking and nutrition classes, pottery, painting, drawing, chemistry experiments, tennis lessons, water polo, book publishing, 4H, gardening, soccer, team building, sewing classes, basketball, Jr. Achievement, lessons in world cultures, community service projects, field trips to all our community landmarks, museums, activity centers, theater, music instruction, a family 5K, and so much more! Instructors at Odyssey feel it is a true honor to have such an impact on their students' lives and work tirelessly to provide engaging, unique, and worthwhile activities. Two out of three students enrolled in Odyssey have been identified as “at-risk,” and only pay $25 a month to attend. Even the “full pay” students pay less than half of what it actually costs Odyssey to have a child in the program. They depend on the support and generosity of grants and donations from foundations and people in our community, just like you! Recently, Odyssey was honored to become a part of the Coastal Bend Day of Giving, a day in November when the public can make a donation to their favorite Coastal Bend nonprofit and have it instantly doubled! As a result of the 2015 Day of Giving, Odyssey was able to add an additional class to the program, providing space for 16 children from our waiting list. And the family grows.

This year’s Coastal Bend Day of Giving is November 15th. Please consider a gift to Odyssey and to any of the other participating nonprofits!

To learn more about Odyssey, contact Jessica Picarazzi, Executive Director odysseyafterschool@yahoo.com 361-790-2320 odysseyafterschool.org

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Destinations AUGUST 2016

The Frio River most likely received it's name from the Spanish word frĂ­o, meaning cold. This river stays cool due to it being fed by springs.

QUICK TRIP 32 LOCAL DISCOVERY 34

What’s Inside Worried that your Frio River float trip may be more of a rock crawl? In the dry years, the river can be too low to tube comfortably. Don't wait to see for yourself, check the Frio River flow rate on the internet! Be sure to focus on the recorded discharge rate in cubic feet per second (CFS).

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Kick back and relax on the Frio River, then kick those heels up for some nighttime two-stepping! There’s more to do here than float.

Destinations | Quick Trip

Concan was settled around 1840 in the rugged hills of north Uvalde County. Situated on U.S. 83 in the scenic Frio River Canyon, it’s a popular destination for river floating and family retreats. Birdwatch during the day, then head to the caves for some bat watching at night! Where to Shop:

Can You Do The Concan By: Whitney Noble Photos: Courtesy Visit Uvalde County

Where to Stay:

How to Explore:

Many may opt to camp out in Concan, but for the glamping type, choose the Cowboy Cantina. Sleep 18 of your closest friends and family in this rustic yet glamorous home with private pool. This retreat has everything you and your loved ones could imagine – down to a waffle maker.

Horseback Riding at Elm Creek Stables is a fun experience. They have trail rides for all levels of experience and even guided pony rides for children and a petting zoo. The animals are all rescue animals and the owners could not be more friendly.

Hang by the fire pit, horseshoe pits, and volleyball court. The Cowboy Cantina is located in the gateway to the Golf Club of Texas, where you can walk to your tee-off or simply take in the same views of the surrounding hills.

(888) 926-6226, friocountry.com

Where to Eat and Drink: The House Pasture Cattle Company is a full-service private club where you can eat and drink and see some of country music’s biggest stars! This Concan icon, known as the original Texas Country Music Venue, features exciting concerts on the weekends, helicopter rides during the day, karaoke nights and great food! With strong spirits, and fun times, do not forget your camera or you might miss a photo op with Willie Nelson! For Friday and Saturday night concerts, they now serve food from their own Food Trailer boasting a special menu.

(830) 232-6580, housepasture.com

(830) 232-6300, friosdryfifty.com

(830) 232-5356

Where to Play: The distinctive Texas-based golf design team of Roy Bechtol and Randy Russell designed The Golf Club of Texas – Concan, nestled in the scenic Frio River Texas Hill Country. This is a par 72, 18 hole, 7,333 yard, championship course. Try not to miss the ball as you’re sure to be enthralled by the panoramic views that surround you, along with the premium Zoysia grass that covers the ground. It all makes this a top-notch and must-play course. Don’t forget to visit the Pro Shop and snack at the Grille.

(830) 232-4471, clubatconcan.com

What to See: The Frio Bat Flight is not to be missed! It’s the 2nd largest bat population in the world that is open to the public, and every night at sundown 10-20 million Mexican free-tailed bats leave the Frio Bat Cave and soar over your head out for the night. For a once-in-a-lifetime show, watch these nocturnal mammals make their ascent into the evening sky where they head out in search of food. We thank them for keeping the bug population to a minimum in Concan!

(830) 966-2320, friobatflight.com

Where to Get Grounded: Garner State Park is the 1,420 acre state park and is known for its exceptional scenery and family-oriented recreational park. It features accommodations for 2 to 6 people in comfortable stone and timber cabins. The camping area provides shaded sites for tents, trailers, and screened shelters. The park assures you are always entertained by offering pedal boats, a miniature golf course, swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, and nature study. Forgot something? There is a grocery store for supplies. Get outside!

(830) 232-6132, tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/garner

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Frio’s Dry Fifty - the “can’t miss shopping stop” for Concan visitors. With the coolest name-brand clothing, gifts, jewelry, handbags, hats, sunglasses, and flip flops, Frio’s Dry Fifty is also known for its memorable t-shirts with witty sayings, such as “Concan, not Cancun.” Their snack shack with Real Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Bluebell Ice Cream makes for a nice rest stop as well.

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Fun Facts! • Neal's Dining Hall in Concan is featured in a 2012 episode of the syndicated television series Texas Country Reporter hosted by Bob Phillips. • Concan was supposedly named for "Conquian," a Mexican gambling game played with cards and two or more people. • The Garner State Park’s rock formations were created in the Cretaceous age, which ended around 65 million years ago.


Destinations | Local Discovery

Idle in Ingleside with the Irvings Husband and wife team, Gary Irving and Jane Lown Irving, embrace local heritage and share their love for the Coastal Bend at Our Place on the Bay. Out of the many B&Bs on the Texas Riviera, none embrace the culture and tradition of the The Bend quite like this enchanted getaway. By: Robert Breedlove Photos: Rachel Durrent

T

his Bed and Breakfast with a view allows those adventure lovers or fireside readers to escape their everyday stresses, even if only for a weekend.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” co-owner Jane Lown Irving said while the front part of their 9,550 square foot building was being given a cosmetic facelift in June. Irving takes that mantra quite literally. Each room is themed around a specific aspect of South Texas coastal culture, each with their own collection of books to reflect their theme. Pick your favorite and steep yourself in the playful, antiquated, and sometimes biographically themed rooms. The Estes Flat loft room takes on a seafishing identity straight out of an Ernest Hemmingway novel. Here you can find various fishing guides and even a valuable collection of Horatio Hornblower reads. Naturally, outside lies a pier, perfect for bay fishing. A commercial shrimp boat is even docked on the property. The USS Lexington Room reflects the Coastal Bend’s strong Naval ties with its porthole windows, nautical detailing, and the military history and officer handbooks that line its shelf. Before the Irvings converted the building in 1997, and before the BRAC shut down Naval Station Ingleside, they housed a few young sailors waiting for the barracks to be built on base. “I was pretty much a momma to those young men, cooking and cleaning up their messes,” Jane recalls. The other rooms honor the cultural contributions of various people in South Texas history. The Karankawa sunroom is named after a tribe of Native Americans who roamed the coast for fish and shellfish until the 1850s. The room is accented with Native American designs inspired by tribes from all over, with histories of those tribes on the book shelf. It also features a queen-sized bed and

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pinewood furnishings, perfect for couples who may be retreating for a romantic getaway. The McGloin Bluff room takes its namesake from Irish Impresario James McGloin, one of the first non-native, non-Hispanic settlers in the Coastal Bend. Ingleside was built on McGloin Bluff, and the room reflects his heritage with various Celtic touches and a collection of Scottish and Irish history books.

Heron Hut (currently occupied by an engineer who enjoys windsurfing). Our Place has always served as a multipurpose space ever since the Irvings acquired it in the '80s using it as both their residence and offices for Gary’s electrical contracting business. After retirement just a few years ago and becoming empty nesters, the Irvings can now put all their energy into Our Place. A former teacher, Jane now wears the hat of a hostess, accountant, and sometimes a maid. But no hat fits better than

her and her husband’s love for the community and its heritage. You don’t have to leave the Coastal Bend to learn, relax, and play – all at Our Place on the Bay.

Contact: 1233 Bayshore Drive, Ingleside on the Bay, Texas 78362 361-776-6484 ourplaceonthebay.net

Likewise, the Aranzazu Pass room reflects South Texas’ Hispanic heritage with a model Spanish galleon that sits upon the cherry wood furnishings. The design conjures up the image of a sunrise and sunset over Corpus Christi Bay. Finally, the Our Lady room offers a “spiritual reflection” for any visitor. The room takes its cues from the rich Christian heritage of the area and from Victorian design. It offers a more meditative experience, and the books are themed around spirituality and famous women. The Irvings offer more than the B&B at Our Place. They also house a meeting room that can hold up to 80 people and hosts town hall meetings and even a book club that meets on the 3rd Thursday of every non-summer month. Outside, they rent out the

Coverage for all the things you care for. • Automobile Insurance • Homeowners Insurance • Life Insurance

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Call 361.232.4717 today for Auto, Home, Life and Business. [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

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Get to Know Sara: • Beliefs: I believe kids have the power of imagination, they make things more interesting. • Best advice to others? To be respectful and confident. • Who is your role model: To me, my dad is the greatest person alive.

Sara would teach the world to “See good in every situation, no matter what.”

Sara is high fashion for high school in her colorful print dress from Dillard’s, strappy leather shoes from Charming Charlie and her stylish bag from Michael Kors.

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“Doing something that you aren’t enjoying isn’t worth doing.”

Dillon & Sara Humpal Ages: Dillon 17, Sara 15 School: London ISD

Considering Sara and Dillon’s accomplishments, it seems the Humpal name is synonymous with triumph and teamwork. At the UIL Tennis Championships in College Station, the Humpal siblings each took home the state title in their divisions. The unique siblings take-all win was a momentous event for both their family and the community. Dillon, a rising senior at London ISD, has won the state tournament an astounding three times: his freshman, sophomore, and junior year. He aims to win a fourth time as a senior, but is insistent that he won’t slack off in his school work, and will continue to stay focused and challenge himself with difficult classes. Sara, a sophomore at London ISD, also enjoys playing volleyball, and has an interest in fashion and design. These two don’t let any grass grow under their feet, as they both love to travel and see the world. In fact, the family just returned from a trip to London where they watched the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, and enjoyed a full schedule of sight-seeing. Dad, Scott Humpal, could not be more proud of his two children, especially since their career goals are closely aligned with his job as a physical therapist. Dillon’s goal is to someday work as an orthopedic surgeon, and Sara is perhaps interested in the field of physical therapy. The fighting spirit of these two athletes in life and on the court is truly motivating.

Get to Know Dillon • How do you relax and have fun? Dillon is looking I unwind through sports, hanging good in his sporty, out with friends and family, and casual clothing, helping people. including the backpack and classic • One word to describe you? style shoes, all availFocused. able at Vans. • Your biggest influence? My father. He is always caring for our family and always knows what to do.

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Get to Know Owen: • What is your toy of choice? Legos, because I can make new creations and build whatever I want. • Who do you consider your biggest inspiration/influence? My dad - he goes to work, and earns money for our family, and he loves to play with me. He's an engineer, and really good at building things. • What do you like about being a kid? That it's really fun, and you get to do fun things like go to play places and Old McDonald's for ice cream, and go all over the world, like Wisconsin. • What powers do you think kids have that adults do not have? Playing power, and dressing-up power.

Owen Pettijohn

• Age: 6 • School: Montessori School of Corpus Christi This Lego-aficionado once constructed a Lego spaceship with functional rocket launchers, and wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. But, could you have guessed that this inventive, freckle-faced 6-year-old is also a muffin man? Owen, a kindergartener at The Montessori School of Corpus Christi, recently came up with an idea to raise money for his school by selling his favorite treat, muffins, at a family garage sale. Not only was he hands-on in the baking, alongside his mom, Bekah Pettijohn, but he channeled his gift of gab into a personal sales pitch for everyone who walked up his driveway. Owen’s charming motivation and catchy tagline, “Muffins for Montessori,” turned this garage-sale muffin venture into a lucrative affair. His sales earned a whopping $315, which he proudly turned over to his school in the form of a donation. Bekah and her husband, Michael, are in awe of their son’s outgoing personality and generosity. “Very few garage-salers had the heart to turn down his excited and eager offer. I think that his enthusiasm and confidence will aid in giving him a bright future,” says Mom.

38 The Bend

Owen is ready to “GO” with his Pikachu Pokemon backpack from Journey’s Kids and his polo, khakis and sporty shoes, available at The Children’s Place. [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


Get to Know Caroline • Who do you feel has influenced Caroline most in life? It’s a compilation of lots of people in her life. A dad with a sense of humor, a grandmother who shows enormous love and understanding, strong women who show her she can be anything she wants, and parents who try to instill how gratifying it can be to be kind to, and help, others. • What are you most proud of as a parent? Dad was incredibly proud when Caroline told them she wanted to receive food items instead of presents for her birthday so that she could donate the food. She did this without any prodding. • What are Caroline’s most important awards and recognition? She’s an honor roll student and has been involved in a Destination Imagination team, “The Feisty Marshmallows,” that won second place at regional competition this year. She was also a member of the Computer Science team at Windsor that won a national competition this year. • If Caroline could teach the world one thing, what would it be? To be kind to each other…no wars.

What advice would you give to other kids? “Just be yourself and don’t worry about being perfect.”

Caroline Wetz Age: 9 School: Windsor Park

Caroline is “Finding Fashion” with her head-to-toe classic outfit, including a navy blue dress and blouse, headband from The Children‘s Place.

Generous Caroline Wetz has celebrated nine birthdays, but this last one was special. Her party invitation requested that guests think of others less fortunate by bringing food donations instead of gifts. As a loyal supporter of the Corpus Christi Food Bank, it was with great pride that she delivered her collected goods to the charity, just in time for Thanksgiving. Caroline hopes that she can lead by example through this selfless

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act. Standing a mere four feet tall, this creative Windsor Park 4th grader exudes a maturity beyond her youth. She loves to draw, read (her favorite book is The Land of Stories), ride horses, and dance jazz. Inspired by watching HGTV with her mom, particularly “Fixer Upper,” Caroline has mapped out a future in interior design, and already, at such a young age, has her heart set on the Savannah School of Art & Design in Georgia. Caroline is definitely one to watch, already thinking well beyond her years, and living life with a heart of gold. It’s safe to say, Caroline is a charitable force to be reckoned with.

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Get to Know Ella Rose • What drives Ella? She is never satisfied until she gets it right. It’s this drive in her that will help her succeed in life. • What makes Ella’s parents proud? She is a kind hearted person who sees the good in people. She believes in the importance of being good to one another.

What advice does Ella give to other kids? “Don’t give up.”

• What are key factors for Ella’s success? Whether at school or at home, maintaining structure, consistency and expectations in her life are key factors.

Ella Rose Martinez

Age: 10 School: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy

Ella Rose Martinez lights up when discussing the lofty goals she has set for herself, pink braces peeking through her shy smile. So far, she is checking these goals off the list one by one. If you ask her parents, Mack and Yvonne, they would agree that the best word to describe their 10-year-old daughter is “driven.” Ella, a soon-to-be 5th grader at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy, has earned the highest grade point average in her class every single year since first grade. She wants to inspire other kids her age to study hard and listen intently to the teachers and coaches in their lives. While her parents have high expectations for their daughter, no one pushes Ella harder than herself. She aspires to be a veterinarian when she grows up, which lines up perfectly with her passion for animals (especially her three dogs, Vincent, Winston, and Beau) and her fondness of science. But, Ella might detour slightly from her career path with a stint as an Olympic gymnast. She has a passion for gymnastics, including beam, uneven bars, floor, and vault, but is able to balance both studies and sports with diligence. Her father brags that he is “most proud of her tenacity, always wanting to do better than the last time.” In her mother’s eyes, Ella is “blossoming into a beautiful, determined individual. She is a kind-hearted person who always sees the good in others and believes in the importance of being good to one another.” 40 The Bend

Shoes definitely make an outfit, and Ella is all about color coordination in this ensemble from The Children’s Place.

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Landon Thomas Moore

Age: 12 School: Gregory-Portland Junior High At the ripe age of 12, Landon Thomas Moore has perhaps reached more people and touched more hearts than most do in a lifetime. Though Landon was born without his right hand, he has never let that stop him in his endeavors. In fact, this attribute has been the very thing that has connected him to so many and taught him early on to reach out to others who share similar struggles. As a student approaching 7th grade at Gregory-Portland Junior High, Landon is both wellloved and well-known for his leadership and his voice. As a leader, he has demonstrated his ability to influence his peers through positive mentorship in a Christian campus club, and a seat on the Student Council. His vocal talents have kept him active in choir, and landed him solo roles in many school theatrical features. Some of Landon’s deepest connections, however, have been made through his involvement with the Wounded Warrior’s Project. He and his dad, Gary Moore, have put together several charitable events for the Wounded Warrior’s Project to benefit wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Landon has also had the privilege of serving as bat boy for the Wounded Warriors softball charity tournament in Sulfur, Louisiana. Landon’s glowing dad shares that he is “most proud of the person [Landon] is. He is so inspiring to me because of how he deals with daily struggles that most of us have never had to deal with. His level of kindness, and cheerful demeanor would make any parent proud.” His mother, Ariel Young, agrees, “I have never met a child so compassionate, determined, and intelligent. Landon’s hurdles in life have not, and will not stop him from achieving his dreams. It’s actually made him stronger and has allowed him to be a role model for many children and adults out there.” Landon’s future is bright because of his eagerness, drive, and unwavering desire to help others.

Get to Know Landon: • What is his favorite thing to do? My favorite thing to do is play football, because it's fun and can be challenging. • What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a lawyer so that I can help other people when they need me. • What powers do kids have? Persuasion. • What advice would you give to other kids? Be smart about your actions because what you do can affect your whole life.

Everybody’s crazy about a sharpdressed man, and Landon’s got the look with his button down and khakis from Dillard’s, trendy backpack from Journey’s, and shoes from Vans.


Happy Kids Happy Parents

Pediatric Dentistry

paulkennedydds.com

361-992-9500

Saratoga Office:

6200 Saratoga Blvd., Bldg. 1 Corpus Christi, TX 78414

Orthodontics Alameda Office:

3435 S. Alameda, Ste. A Corpus Christi, TX 78411

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Oral Surgery Calallen Office:

13725 Northwest Blvd., Ste. 270 Corpus Christi, TX 78410

Enclave Office:

5525 S. Staples, Ste. A4 Corpus Christi, TX 78411

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Get to Know Saherish • What is your favorite thing to do? Read! It allows me to delve into a world of different imaginations and immerse myself in something other than the chaos of the real world. • One word to describe you: Determined. • Advice to other kids? Always be true to yourself, and only engage in activities in which you are truly passionate. • How do you find yourself helping others? My favorite way to help people is to encourage them and inspire them to accomplish their goals and achieve their dreams, whether it be revising their essays or helping them fill out applications.

Saherish’s award-winning look is sure to turn heads with her comfy outfit and pop-of-color scarf from Lane Bryant along with trendy flats from Michael Kors.


“I like having the ability to set standards that break being the norm of what a child can do, and going above and beyond.” Every Viking has an epic story of sacrifice, passion, and triumph. Would you share with us how Del Mar College changed your life?

Saherish Surani Age: 17 School: Veterans Memorial High School At only 17, the experiences on Saherish’s résumé could rival 70 years of living. This Veterans Memorial High School senior is on a path to changing the world. Saherish, a delightfully humble young woman, is incredibly focused in her studies, and serves as the current valedictorian of her 2017 graduating class. Laughing, she shares that her favorite school subject is “English… and math, and science, and history.” Outside of school, she is also an accomplished pianist of 12 years who has performed twice at Carnegie Hall. Saherish’s accolades are too numerous to list in full, but her tireless work has gained both local and national attention. She has most recently been recognized as a Disney Friend for Change by Disney and YSA, The Hometown Hero by The Beach 96.5, and has been chosen by the NCAM to be Texas's one, and only, ambassador at the summit in Washington, D.C. She has even found achievement internationally, landing speaking engagements across the world. Her favorite international trip was to Madrid for a CHEST World Congress presentation, where she was able to explore the city, and discover her new favorite dish, paella! Perhaps Saherish’s most profound impact to date, however, is in spearheading the iConquer program to combat childhood obesity and diabetes in our own community. Saherish and her two sisters co-founded the program and have raised over $103,000 in project funding thus far. Saherish wants other kids to learn from her own life, preaching that, “If you truly believe in something and set your mind to it, you will be able to achieve it.” Nothing slows this teen down!

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CHRISTUS Spohn Health System’s first da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system is pictured with Dr. Laura Shelton at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-South. A second da Vinci Xi system is now available at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Shoreline for thoracic, colorectal and general surgery procedures.

Giving Back

CHRISTUS Spohn Expands Surgical Robotic Program New da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical System Debuts at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Shoreline The technology of tomorrow is here today providing new horizons for thoracic, urologic and colorectal surgery candidates in South Texas. CHRISTUS Spohn Health System debuts its second da Vinci Xi, a revolutionary robotic surgical system at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – Shoreline. Just last year CHRISTUS Spohn Health System invested in its minimally invasive robotic surgical program by obtaining the da Vinci Xi for its South campus. The minimally-invasive da Vinci Xi offers three dimensional, high-definition visualization allowing for greater precision and control for surgeons. It is cutting-edge technology with a range of applications for thoracic, colorectal and urologic procedures at CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline. “We are excited to continue to bring state-ofthe-art technology and equipment to our hospital campus and further enhance the programs and services that we offer as the region’s Tertiary Referral Center,” said CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline President Kelly Elkins.

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The da Vinci System is operated by a surgeon sitting a few feet away from the patient at a console. Using a high-powered camera, the surgeon guides the robot’s four arms - which hold surgical tools that are inserted into the patient through small, keyhole-sized incisions.  The da Vinci’s highly-accurate instruments allow the surgeon to move her or his own hands - and the robot’s – to conduct precise movements with extraordinary control and precision.  In addition, the da Vinci’s video monitoring system provides a three-dimensional view of the surgery with magnification ten times that of the naked eye. Eight years ago, CHRISTUS Spohn became the first hospital in South Texas to offer the original da Vinci computer-enhanced surgical system. This is the second da Vinci Xi to join the health system; CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-South debuted the enhanced system last fall for OBGYN and Colorectal procedures. “The da Vinci Xi system allows our physicians to perform procedures and operations unlike ever before.” Elkins added. “It’s an exciting addition

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to the level of care we can provide our patients.” For physicians, the benefits of the Xi include improved vision, improved mechanics, and the ability to place the camera into any of the robotic port sites, providing a different look at the operative field. For patients, the da Vinci’s smaller incisions mean a shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery time, minimal scarring, fewer complications and less of a need for pain medication. For more information, patients should inquire with their primary physician whether they are a candidate for this breakthrough technology.

For more information, please visit: www.christusspohn.org/davincixi CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is the region’s largest hospital system in South Texas, consisting of six hospital campuses throughout the Coastal bend. The health system is consistently ranked as a healthcare leader in the area and has received national recognition for several pioneering programs, including trauma, cardiac care, clinical excellence and oncology. For 110 years, CHRISTUS Spohn has been distinguished by its high caliber staff and affiliated physicians, its comprehensive and innovative services, and its long history of responding to the needs of the community it serves. For additional information, visit our website at www.christusspohn.org


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㈀ ㌀  唀匀 䠀圀夀 ㄀㠀㄀ 匀琀攀 䄀 倀漀爀琀氀愀渀搀 吀堀 ㌀㘀㄀⸀㘀㐀㌀⸀ 㔀  

Located in Portland’s Exclusive Northshore Community...

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OUT OF HIS FATHER'S SHADOW “WE HAVE A LOT MORE OPPORTUNITY THAN PEOPLE THINK."

By: Jordan Regas Photos: Gabe Mancha

48 The Bend

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]


CORPUS CHRISTI’S YOUNGEST CITY COUNCILMAN SPEAKS OUT ON HIS FIRST 90 DAYS IN OFFICE, WHAT HE LEARNED FROM HIS FATHER, AND WHY ALL OF US ARE CHAMPIONS. one of the more vocal parents in the bleachers.

IT’S ALL IN A HANDSHAKE On a Wednesday afternoon in early June, Michael Hunter’s phone blared out the kind of peppy tune you might hear before the beginning of an athletic event. It was a little after 5 pm as he cruised home down Ocean Drive to change into a suit and tie – not his natural state. “There is nothing better than a t-shirt, basketball shorts, and running shoes,” said Hunter. Ironically, a basketball sat in the back seat of his black Mercedes Benz, nestled up to a pile of folders and papers stacked at least a foot high. The phone rang again. It’s not the first time the young but able City Councilman had double booked himself during his first 90 days in office. He had an hour before needing to make an appearance at Katz 21 for a Young Business Professionals event where he would kick off his first campaign for City Council. The son of Texas State Representative, Todd Hunter, has felt the outside pressure to enter the political realm for a while. And only minutes after Lillian Riojas’ resignation from City Council earlier this year, Hunter received the call that quickly threw him in the game. Hunter, 28, was born and raised in Corpus Christi and got his first taste of politics at an early age. “Our family would go out to dinner a lot [or more often] than other families. I really didn’t understand why until I got into college and dad started running for office again,” said Hunter. However, politics was never the topic of discussion around the dinner table. “Dad was always more concerned with what we cared about,” said Hunter. But he explains that when you go out to dinner, people see you. “I would have to shake about 20 hands before sitting down to eat.” Perhaps it’s here he developed the firm and sincere handshake that he now carries.

A BORN CHAMPION As a self-proclaimed giant child, 6ft 2in in the 8th grade to be exact, politics was far from view as a kid. As a natural athlete, Hunter lettered in baseball, basketball, football and track at King High School. He even received All-South Texas honors in football and basketball and All-State as a baseball pitcher. Despite his father’s busy political schedule, he was always in the stands and

Entering his senior season, the King High School baseball team was considered one of the worst teams in the district. No one would give them any credit, especially with Moody coming off a State Championship and ranked as one of the best teams in the country. Hunter didn’t believe it. Most of Hunter’s teammates had played together since childhood, and he knew what they were capable of. He challenged and rallied the team to two wins over Moody that season and a district championship that year. Unfortunately, the championship was taken away when it was later discovered that one of the players who acted as a pinch runner was not eligible due to some unfiled paperwork. According to Hunter, the outcome would have remained the same, but the title was lost in the record books. “Even though we were not the champions, I started calling everyone champion,” said Hunter. “People like it; it makes them feel better about themselves.” People loved it when he called them champion. It was something that stuck with him when he briefly left Corpus Christi to attend college and play baseball for Trinity University. While at Trinity, he would often receive blank stares when he mentioned where he was from. Most of his out-of-state friends had never even heard of Corpus Christi. “They would ask, ‘What is Corpus Christi?’ not where,” said Hunter. “When I left Trinity, people from outside Texas knew where Corpus Christi was. I made sure everyone remembered where Corpus Christi was. This is God’s country and the best city in the world.” Hunter was clear that he doesn’t call everyone champion, but he does call everyone in Corpus champion, because he truly believes they are. “We are underdogs here, and we always have to fight. It just never seems like things go the way we want it to…People look over us,” said Hunter.

FROM CELL PHONE TO CITY COUNCIL Hunter’s home is the quintessential bachelor pad, featuring two big screened televisions aligned with gaming system in tow. According to Hunter, he has always exceled in computer games since the launch of the original War Craft, but he doesn’t get much

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THE IMPORTANCE OF THICK SKIN

“I HAVE RECEIVED A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF SUPPORT FROM CITY COUNCIL. IT CAN GET LONELY OUT THERE.” free time these days. Even after a long week, it’s not uncommon for Hunter to be far from his phone on a Sunday, while trying to decompress. It’s always ringing. The morning Hunter got the call about the vacant seat, running for City Council was not even on the radar. People had been asking for the past three years, but Hunter wanted to apply for the Airport Board around that time. He was actively involved with serving the community through multiple nonprofits and organizations, such as the Young Business Professionals of the Coastal Bend and the Texas State Aquarium. “I wanted what was best for the city,” said Hunter. “I had no idea what I would have to do going into this.” When Hunter received unanimous support from City Council to fill the at-large seat, his youthful perspective was one of the many reasons his supporters were excited to have him on board. For the past year and a half, Uber, the popular ride

50 The Bend

sharing phone app, was a hot topic for the council members. Shortly before Hunter was sworn in, the vote took place that led to Uber ceasing operations in Corpus Christi. Although a second vote took place, Hunter sees the whole debate differently in hindsight. “We wasted too much time on Uber...everybody. We should have just made a quick decision, because guess what happens right after – the water boil. The only thing more important than roads and our safety, is water. You can’t run a city without it. I think all the council members would agree that we got sucked into Uber and spent too much time on it,” said Hunter. He fixed his tie and threw on his suit jacket before hopping back into the car to make his way back downtown where the photographer was waiting. Time was running low and his phone continued ringing.

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Former City Manager Ron Olson told him that Corpus Christi is one of the most involved cities he has ever been a part of. Hunter has seen it all from watching and working with his dad. People will make up lies and spread them online. Early on, his dad taught him the importance of developing thick skin. “It’s hard to get under my skin,” said Hunter. “You see that puddle of water out on the beach,” said Hunter as he entered downtown, “someone will probably complain about that. We get complaints all the time. Most I agree with; we just get to them when we can.” Another light brings Hunter to an abrupt stop, causing him to subconsciously complain under his breath about the design of the stoplight system downtown. “I knew it would be hard. I just didn’t know it would be as hard as it is. The easiest part is doing your homework – the hardest part is having to sit there and disappoint someone. Most of the time [City Council] is faced with four right answers. I used to work for my dad in Austin. State government is different from the city government. Every decision can be personal.” In his first few months, he has received a tremendous amount of support and help from the other council members. “I think that is the best thing about being a part of council – seeing that you have a team behind you, especially during trying times. It can get lonely out there sometimes. Even if there


are nine of us, it gets pretty lonely,” says Hunter.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY In general, he believes that people in Corpus Christi are nice and respectful to politicians, because they realize how much they have to sacrifice. For Hunter, the sacrifice is worth it. “The thing that surprised me the most was how much of a difference I could make the first day I was appointed as a city council member. I can really do a lot of good,” said Hunter. When Corpus Christi faced its third water boil in ten months, Hunter recalled something called a Special Session at the state level from interning with his dad in Austin. He brought it up and called for the meeting, because he thought it was something that needed to happen. “I thought we should have one down here. They said, ‘Yes, but you can’t have one today because you have to call it an emergency meeting,’” said Hunter. Emergency meetings are held for natural disasters like hurricanes, and this didn’t classify as an emergency. For a special meeting, City Council must wait 72 hours for the media and the public to prepare.

PASSION FOR CORPUS CHRISTI’S POTENTIAL Hunter parked downtown and hopped in the back seat of the photographer’s car. He made a quick joke about it being illegal to pay any money for the ride. As the car pulled up toward the entrance to the closed City Hall building, Hunter realized he left his key in his car. He waved down a staff member heading out the door and tried to explain the situation and that he was on City Council, but she didn’t recognize him. Lucky for everyone, the door was still unlocked and his new friend followed him in. To prove himself, he pointed to a row of pictures of each Council Member lined near the council chambers.

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“You look very different,” said the staff member. “I think I have lost more hair,” joked Hunter. Maybe someday more people will recognize him around City Hall; however, it’s not his primary goal or why he signed up in the first place. “Basically, all I want is to be known as one of the guys, one of the people who finally took Corpus to its potential. That’s all. I don’t care if I get the credit. I just want to be a part of the squad that made it happen. That’s the whole reason I joined City Council,” said Hunter. Hunter is optimistic about the future of Corpus Christi, especially with the recent economic surge surrounding the Port of Corpus Christi. “We have a lot more opportunity than people think,” said Hunter. In other words – Corpus Christi is full of champions.

DID YOU KNOW: • He has completed three man vs. food challenges around Texas.

• His nickname in High School was “Papa Grande.”

• His photo hangs in the Texas State Capital along with his older brother and younger sister from when they were kids.

•He was a boxer for one year in college. • He was the first baseball player from Corpus Christi to play on the Junior Olympic team.

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Special Promotion

MEET THE DOCTORS Jered B. King, DMD

Why Choose  an Endodontist?

E

ndodontists are specialists in saving teeth! They are committed to helping you maintain your natural smile for a lifetime. Endodontists have acquired at least two years of additional education to become experts in performing root canal treatment and diagnosing and treating tooth pain. Your dentist might refer you to see an endodontist or you can choose to visit on your own. Below are a few reasons to visit South Texas Endodontics if you ever experience tooth pain:

EXPERIENCE

Endodontists are dental specialists with an additional two or more years of specialized training beyond dental school. The average endodontist completes 25 root canal treatments a week, while the average general dentists complete two root canals a week.

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Because they limit their practice solely to endodontic treatment, endodontists are efficient and precise. This equates to a better overall positive experience.

52 The Bend

AVAILABILITY

South Texas Endodontics offers tremendous flexibility in accommodating emergency cases, so delays in treatment are kept to a minimum and patients can be relieved of dental pain quickly.

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY

Here at South Texas Endodontics we use state-of-the-art technology, such as operating microscopes, digital imaging, ultrasonic instrumentation and fiber optics, to treat patients quickly and comfortably. Also provided are Nitrous, oral and IV sedation for the anxious patient. Endodontists are valuable members of your general dentist’s team of trusted caregivers. Your dentist may consult with or refer you to an endodontist because of concerns about your dental and medical conditions or treatment preferences. Your dental team works together to relieve pain, save teeth and provide you with optimal, quality care.

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Dr. King has a strong background in sedation for the anxious patient and dental surgeries. Dr. King graduated from Nova Southeastern University, Ft Lauderdale, Florida (with honors) in 2005. He completed a 1-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry at Mike O’Callahan Federal hospital in Las Vegas. He served as a general dentist in Valdosta Georgia at Moody AFB for two years. He went on to complete his Endodontic Residency at Louisiana State University and Keesler Medical Center where he graduated top of his class. He was also inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon dental honor society. Dr King is also actively involved with the local Nueces Valley District Dental Society. He enjoys to go fishing, diving and loves spending time with his beautiful wife and 2 kids. Dr King is the only Board Certified Endodontist in the Costal Bend. He looks forward to meeting you and taking care of your dental endodontic needs.

Donald R. Anthony, DDS Dr. Anthony has a great love for treating patients. His constant reminder is that we are treating a patient with a tooth problem not simply a tooth. Dr. Anthony was born and raised in Texas. He attended the University of Texas in Austin and obtained his general dentistry degree at the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston. After completion of dental school Dr. Anthony served in the USAF Dental Corp for two years. In the fall of 1972 he and his family moved to Corpus Christi and set up his general dentistry practice. In 1979, Dr. Anthony decided to pursue his love of endodontics and attended the University of Texas Dental School San Antonio obtaining his endodontic specialty degree.

South Texas Endodontics You can visit our website at www.southtexasendo.com 737 Everhart Road, Corpus Christi,  TX 78411  Phone: 361-992- 7871   Fax: 361-992- 6341


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THE

DRISCOLL

MIRACLE HOW DR. HAROON PATEL GATHERED A TEAM, PERFORMED A 12 HOUR MIRACLE OPERATION, AND SHOOK THE MEDICAL WORLD WITH THE SEPARATION OF TWO CONJOINED GIRLS. By: Dayna Worchel Photos: Rachel Durrent

54 The Bend

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“People didn’t have to have a particular faith to know that this was a big deal, and there had to be some kind of super power involved. I looked at myself as a tool to get the kids through this,”

Dr. Haroon Patel is in his 13th year with the Driscoll Children’s Hospital. Both his mother and grandmother encouraged him to be a pediatrician, saying he had a way with kids.

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Dr. Haroon Patel felt his phone buzz. The Pediatric Surgeon had just returned to visit family in his native home of South Africa. The message on his phone came from Dr. Ryan Loftin, a maternal-fetal health doctor who specializes in treating high-risk pregnancies at Bay Area Hospital. He hadn't the slightest clue that this simple text message would set him on a path of forever changing his life and the lives of two baby girls. “I got a text with an ultrasound picture showing two conjoined babies with one word - Interested?” Of course, Patel was interested; however, there would be many challenges. The girls’ parents, Silvia Hernandez and Raul Torres of Brownsville, were expecting identical triplet girls, Ximena, Scarlett and Catalina Torres. But two of the girls, Ximena Jackeline and Scarlett Juliet, were joined from the hip down. Patel had never performed separation surgery before. It had also never been done at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. “The girls were joined from the hips down. They each had a bladder and they shared a single colon, but the blood supply for the colon came from both of them,” Patel said. There was a single rectum, and they each had their own set of small intestines. But the two sets of intestines combined and fed into a single colon. The girls shared some female organs. Each had a double uterus, meaning a uterus in two halves, and it was the same situation with the ovaries, Patel said. Their pelvis was fused and their legs were split apart. Patel, along with other members of the surgical team, met with both parents well before the babies were born and laid it all on the table. “If you’re a spiritual person, we had to do it. We had to have an honest discussion with parents,” he said.

STACKED AGAINST THE ODDS He told the couple he had never done a surgery of this type before, and that no one else on the Driscoll staff had experience either. The odds of the babies surviving were not good. Patel said the incidence of a triplet birth involving conjoined twins is believed to be about 1 in 50 million. Conjoined twins occur once in every 200,000 live births. Approximately 40 to 60 percent of conjoined twins arrive stillborn, and about 35 percent survive one day. The overall survival rate is between 5 and 25 percent, according to statistics from the University of Maryland Medical Center. “We do lots of complex congenital surgery here, and everyone here had done it on some level, but no one else had ever operated on conjoined twins before,” Patel said. But he felt confident that Driscoll had the

56 The Bend

resources and could do the job. Both parents agreed and consented to the surgery. “I can say now, we have an excellent team of nurses and doctors. There were so many people involved in this whole story,” Patel said.

PRAYER, PREPARATION, AND TEAMWORK “We wanted to do right by them. The parents had trusted us with their kids,” he said. Also, the girls would need lifelong care and follow-up surgeries throughout their lives. “It’s not like a drive-by surgery where we operate and then they are gone,” Patel said. It took a combination of technical skill and faith with all of the staff at Driscoll. Everyone in the entire hospital was involved in planning for the big day, from the security guards to the social workers, the nurses and housekeeping, he said. “People didn’t have to have a particular faith to know that this was a big deal, and there had to be some kind of super power involved. I looked at myself as a tool to get the kids through this,” Patel said. “There were lots of people praying who had never prayed before,” he said. After the girls were born prematurely at Corpus Christi Medical Center – Bay Area Hospital on May 16, 2015, they were transported shortly

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after their birth to Driscoll, where they spent the next 11 months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. All of the planning and rehearsals began for the big day almost as soon as the babies arrived. All of the doctors, nurses and staff members who were going to be involved met once every other week. The surgery took place on April 12.

HERDING CATS “There were so many moving parts. You put nine surgeons together, and you’re dealing with different egos and personalities,” he said. Patel compared the process to herding cats. A company in California worked with hospital staff, using x-rays and scans of the babies while they were still joined, and made a three dimensional model of the two babies with all of their internal organs in the same place as the real life babies. This way, the Driscoll staff could practice the surgery on the model. The same company provided virtual images showing the babies’ bones so doctors would know exactly how and where to make the incisions, Patel said. The doctors all shared a computer drive with all of the material from publications written about the surgical separation of conjoined twins. They did lots of dry runs, practicing every aspect of the surgery. “Nothing was left to chance, and we prepared for things that might happen, such


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Terri Durst, Jenny White, Jessica Bates, Becca Spenst

匀琀愀琀攀 漀昀 琀栀攀 䄀爀琀 䘀甀攀氀椀渀最 匀礀猀琀攀洀 䈀愀琀栀 䠀漀甀猀攀 ☀ 䈀爀漀欀攀爀 伀昀ǻ挀攀 匀栀椀瀀 匀琀漀爀攀 愀渀搀 䴀愀爀椀渀愀 伀昀ǻ挀攀

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眀眀眀⸀欀攀礀愀氀氀攀最爀漀洀愀爀椀渀愀⸀挀漀洀

䬀攀礀 䄀氀氀攀最爀漀 䴀愀爀椀渀愀   ㌀㜀 䴀愀稀愀琀氀愀渀   刀漀挀欀瀀漀爀琀Ⰰ 吀攀砀愀猀 㜀㠀㌀㠀㈀

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The Driscoll Dream as blood loss. We had blood banks on standby,” Patel said. Luckily, the babies had no blood loss and there was no need for a transfusion. But the doctors were prepared for any curveball that could have been thrown. Before the actual surgery began, a team of surgeons, social workers and a hospital chaplain met with Torres and Hernandez to make sure they understood the risks. The parents were told they didn’t have to stay at Driscoll to have the surgery performed. Dr. Kevin Hopkins and Dr. Vanessa Dimas were the two plastic surgeons who operated on the girls immediately after their separation. They explained that they had put tissue expanders in place about four to five months prior to the surgery so that the children could grow extra skin to close over the wounds on the abdomen and groin where they were separated. “We really had to plan the incisions carefully. We used a special camera and injected a dye so we could see which circulation belonged to which twin,” Hopkins said. Hopkins and Dimas said they used pig dermis to cover the areas over the girls’ intestines, because they needed the skin to be extra thick in this area. “It was a real team effort,” Dimas said. "There is no single surgical Mecca for such separation surgeries," he said, adding that the parents could have gone to any institution in the world for it. But because Driscoll has had a presence in the Valley for about 60 years, there is trust in that community for the hospital and

58 The Bend

the physicians, Patel said. “We had a very frank discussion with the family and told them it could possibly be the last time they might see their children,” Patel said, adding that hospital staff had developed a good rapport with the parents. “The parents cried, and we all cried. It put things in perspective again. We had those conversations right up to the day of surgery,” he said.

SEPARATION TO RECONSTRUCTION TO RECOVERY

“Improve the health of adults and you give them back their health … Improve the health of children and you give them their life.” This is the mission statement of Driscoll Children’s Hospital, where hope and healing are offered in an environment of trust, compassion and care. Through the vision and generosity of its founder, Clara Driscoll, Driscoll Children’s Hospital opened in 1953, becoming the first free-standing children’s hospital in South Texas.

Patel was there for the entire 12-hour procedure, where the surgery went smoothly. “I didn’t leave until I knew everyone was okay and things went amazingly well,” he said.

Driscoll Children’s Hospital is a 189bed pediatric tertiary care center with pediatric specialists representing 32 medical and 13 surgical specialties offering care throughout South Texas, including Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Valley, Victoria, and Laredo.

The babies were relaxing in the PICU, because there was so much vested in their care, he said. They received one-on-one nursing. But after 2½ weeks, the girls were moved to a regular hospital room where they could continue their recovery, because they were doing so well after surgery.

In 2015, Driscoll had more than 159,000 patient visits, including nearly 40,000 patients seen at South Texas’ first emergency room created specifically for pediatrics.

“Visitation is very limited in an intensive care unit and Mom wanted to get the family together,” he said. The only problem came about when the girls caught a respiratory infection from Mom. But they recovered quickly. Patel said the girls were about 11 months behind on their typical milestones and will continue to have physical therapy to strengthen their abdom-

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Clara Driscoll’s business sense and leadership skills made her strong, but it was her compassion, spirit and generosity that made her great. Even today, her gift is continuing to save lives and provide state-of-the-art healthcare to the children of South Texas.


inal muscles and upper bodies. They must also learn how to walk, and they will need several procedures as they grow.

“She wanted to get the attention. She was the showboat one,” Maher said of Scarlett with a chuckle.

“They will need an upgrade so to speak. They will need orthopedic care, and they have urologic needs. They’ll wear colostomy bags for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Maher also commented on the special emotional connection the triplets share. One evening, while they were still in the PICU, Scarlett and Ximena had grown fussy at the hospital and started to cry. “Grandma was with Catalina, who began to cry at home at the same time the other two began to cry at the hospital,” he said.

Dr. Karl Maher, Director of Driscoll’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where the girls recovered after their surgery, said he and his staff prepared intensively for their arrival. “We had to figure things out logistically. We are on the same floor as the operating room, and we had to place the beds together side by side in the PICU,” Maher said. He attended the last third of the staff planning and preparation meetings with surgeons. Extra nursing staff was on hand that day, and Maher’s partner in the PICU came in to share the post surgical duties, he said. Maher watched the surgery on a live feed within the hospital that day. It took three hours to separate the babies and another nine hours for the plastic surgeons and orthopedists to work their magic. “The interesting part was their anatomy, because it was so complex. We had to bring in the 3D models to keep their kidneys and body parts separate,” Maher said. He remembered an emotional moment with Hernandez after she learned there were some complications with Ximena’s single kidney. The baby had stopped urinating, and doctors came in the middle of the night to see what was wrong.

Hernandez would visit her babies often in the hospital with their triplet sister, Catalina, who was born without any medical issues. Days before they were released from the hospital, staff threw a special first birthday celebration for all three girls in May, complete with special cakes and decorations from the Disney movie “Frozen.” Physicians and nurses who had taken care of the babies during their stay all came to have cake and wish them well. Dr. Stephen Almond, another pediatric surgeon who helped separate the girls, was there to help celebrate their first birthday. He said the atmosphere in the operating room was very calm and exciting and optimistic at the same time.

THE GIFT OF LIFE

“She wanted to give the baby her kidney. She was crying,” Maher said of Hernandez, adding that she was an amazing and positive person. “We said no, save it for the future,” Maher said. The issue with the kidney was corrected, he said.

“It was like opening a Christmas present. There was an anticipation and a great sense of relief when we were done,” Almond said. “And there was a great sense of accomplishment when we were finished.”

GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS

The separation surgery has put Driscoll on the map for such procedures. The recognition this has brought to the Coastal Bend and our surgeons is well-deserved. But they remain humble. “Life goes on,” Patel said. And life he does give.

Maher especially enjoyed seeing the girls’ different personalities and watching them interact with each other. Ximena was more reserved and Scarlett was more flirtatious.

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60 The Bend

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Health AUGUST 2016

FITNESS 62 BE WELL 64 HEALTH SPOTLIGHT 66

What’s Inside Post-law school, Jeff Miller was looking for some healthy ways to deal with stress and improve his fitness. He ran 2 marathons in the mid-2000s and then ran his first ultra marathon in 2009. This marathoner is an ambassador for Altra, Feetures!, Julbo, Victory Sportdesign, Bearded Brothers, Tailwind, and Corpus Christi Roadrunners.

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Health | Be Well

“What looks to some people like just fitness, or health, or running, is actually making me a better person.�

100

Mile Man

Hundred mile runs are no sweat for this local lawyer.

To the untrained eye, Jeff Miller appears calm and nonchalant, a friendly fellow with a penchant for Ocean Drive jogs. Beneath this cool exterior, however, lies a champion endurance athlete in wait. By: Frances Bandas Photos: Dustin Ashcraft and Courtesy Jeff Miller

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Fun Facts • In 2013, Miller ran "Rim2Rim2Rim.” The rims in question? Those of the sprawling Grand Canyon National Park. The one-day race stretches from the south edge to the north edge of the Grand Canyon, and back. It was “one of the most amazing and humbling experiences,” according to Miller. • What's next on Miller's bucket list? He hopes to someday race the Western States 100, a 100-mile ultra in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a 166-kilometer ultra through the Alps of France, Italy, and Switzerland, which is widely regarded as one of the most difficult foot races in Europe. • Ultras Run: 100 mile races – 8 100 km races – 3 50 mile races – 9 60 km races - 7 50 km races - 7 • His pre-race meal superstition is salmon, pasta, and red wine the night before a race, and a strong cup of black coffee, a bowl of oatmeal, and a Bearded Brothers bar in the morning.

O

n top of a full-time legal and U.S. Coast Guard reserve career, Jeff Miller has successfully completed 34 ultramarathons in the past 8 years.

An “ultramarathon,” by definition, is any race above the standard marathon length of 26.2 miles. While completing a marathon is a feat in itself, ultras can reach up to 50 or even 100 miles, the two lengths that Miller has preferred to concentrate on since he ran his first 50-miler in 2009. A longtime victor in the making, Miller has evolved from running the 400-meter dash with his elementary school track team to breaking national record race times. In the Brazos Bend 100, one of his proudest accomplishments to date, Miller not only set a new personal best, but won the race overall. His training and tenacity paid off, resulting in a competitive 100-mile time of 15 hours, 42 minutes, and 35 seconds. Though his résumé is certainly bolstered by natural athleticism and grit, Miller spends a generous amount of time training to complete a race. After careful consideration of factors such as distance, temperature, and change in elevation,

Miller crafts a training plan appropriate for the elements. For example, if the race involves an increase in elevation, he explains, he can adjust his training regimen by dragging a tire, climbing the Stairmaster with a weight vest, or cranking up the incline on the treadmill. He abides by the mantra “Train Hard, Race Easy.” Yet, not one to intimidate, Miller insists that anyone can get started running. He suggests finding a local running group, like the Corpus Christi Roadrunners, or visiting a local running store, like Fleet Feet, to get involved. Often, he says, those organizations have running groups for all ages, sizes, and skill levels. With the encouragement of a community behind you, it’s considerably less daunting to ease into a running routine. Miller himself sports a jersey for the Trail Racing Over Texas team, a Houston-based racing group of approximately 13 runners residing primarily in Texas. “People always ask: are you running from something or to something?” Miller muses. “The answer I normally give to them is that after running for 50 or 100 miles, after you’ve been

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out there for 8 hours or maybe 20 hours running, it strips down some of those walls that we’re able to put up, and it forces you to really see yourself in the rawest form. It’s hard to lie to yourself after you’ve been running for 20 hours. Whatever is on your mind at that point in time, you’re forced to face it, confront it, and be true and honest to yourself.” As a layperson, it’s easy to brush off an ultramathon as a super-human feat. But, according to Miller, at the start of a race, “I always think the same thought to myself: run my own race, be present in the moment, and be patient and take what the day gives me. And those things are as true in running as they are in life. What looks to some people like just fitness, or health, or running, is actually making me a better person.” As a driven athlete and a thoughtful individual, Miller could not embrace humanity more. Follow him! facebook.com/jeffreyscottmiller twitter.com/jeff_s_miller instagram.com/jsm0880

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Health | Be Well

Some Serious Ballers Be at the top of your game with the science of soccer! At Giraldo Elite Fùtbol, South Texas soccer players are getting elite, professional training that allows them to play at the highest levels of the game. By: Sharla Wilkins Photos: Rachel Durrent

E

lite athlete development, which delves into how athletes develop both physically and psychologically, is the goal at Giraldo Elite Fù tbol (GEF). Founded by two brothers from Columbia, where soccer is a passion and learned by playing in the streets for hours on end, they embrace diverse backgrounds, dissimilar soccer styles, and different cultures. These contrasts have helped contribute to strong and well-rounded soccer players, who strive to play at the top levels of the game. The brothers, who have been professional soccer trainers since approximately age seventeen, were familiar with Corpus Christi from attending high school here. They wanted to bring professional soccer training to the area to help improve soccer development and produce top-level players from the Coastal Bend. Three premier soccer players, Cesar Garcia, Seth Korenek, and Karo Azali, have trained together at GEF for approximately five years. All three teammates play in the Olympic Development Program for the US, with Korenek serving as Captain of Region 3. Their goal: to play soccer for the United States in the Olympics. “I think all of us are looking to play at the highest levels of the game,” says Korenek, “and I think that GEF definitely benefits us in helping us achieve those goals. Their high level of training, as well as their support in helping strive to achieve those goals, really helps us.” More than just a team, the friends, who are all planning on going pro and who are all being heavily recruited by colleges, credit their solidarity for contribut-

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ing to their success. “We’ve grown as a unit,” Azali explains, of playing with his friends over the years. Describing training through GEF, Azali says, “I think it’s just a great environment overall to develop in. There’s no pressure. It is intense training, but you always feel support, and you always feel like you are getting better with the training. Every time you step out on the pitch with GEF training, you feel like you are becoming a better soccer player.” The style of training at GEF is different from traditional soccer leagues. It is based on what is developmentally and academically appropriate, allows players freedom and unstructured time, lets players play different positions, and is researched-based. As co-owner Sebastian Giraldo explains it, “We’re looking to develop elite soccer players who can play at the highest levels available here in the US.” Here to ASSIST in soccer GOALS.

Contacts: giraldoelitefutbol@gmail.com 361-442-1923 giraldoelitefutbol.com

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Health | Health Spotlight

August Health

Editor’s Pick

Zumbathon

Yoga on the Beach

August 6th

August 13th @ 8:00am

YMCA of the Coastal Bend ymca-cc.org

Next to the Horace Caldwell Pier at the end of Beach St. cityofportaransas.org Nancy with Fit by Choice teaches Yoga on the Beach the 2nd Saturday of each month at 8am. This is a FREE event sponsored by the Port Aransas Parks and Recreation Department. The class meets at the Horace Caldwell Pier located at the end of Beach Street. Bring a beach towel, straw mat or just get sandy! Class will be moved indoors in inclement weather.

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Sunday Yoga August 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th @ 3:00pm Texas Surf Museum texassurfmuseum.org

Yoga on the Beach in Port Aransas August 13th @ 8:00am Next to the Horace Caldwell Pier at the end of Beach St. cityofportaransas.org

Bill Dodge Memorial Bay Run 15K, 5K, and 2 Mile Dog Walk September 10th @ 7:00am www.corpusroadrunners.com

DA$H 4 CA$H 5K and 5-mile Trail Run August 13th @ 8:00am Oso Creek Park (Behind Bill Witt Park) corpusroadrunners.com

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Home & Garden AUGUST 2016

OPEN HOUSE 70 SPACES 74 GARDENING 76

What’s Inside Not only is Corpus Christ blessed to have such a beautiful Country Club steeped in tradition and class, but many homes also call the breathtaking golf course their backyard!

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Home and Garden | Open House

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Greenbriar Beautifier Located on the 9th fairway of Corpus Christi Country Club’s golf course, the grass is green on both sides of the fence. By: Whitney Noble Photos: Jason Page

It’s raining golf balls! A few times a week, the Nolans will find golf balls in their yard and pool. Occasionally, the balls have even hit the roof, causing them to replace the particular tile that was damaged. The roof, which looks like slate, is actually concrete tiles. Twelve years ago, the Nolan’s stumbled across a home on Greenbriar, for sale by owner. The home, owned by a couple who had moved only a few homes down, had gutted the home due to mold issues. Patrick and Amy Nolan, owners of Advantage Construction, saw this as the perfect personal project. And so it was to become their family home. But it came at a cost, a little sweat, and a lot of pure imagination. From the front, you’re greeted with lush landscaping, a trickling water fountain, and a 5 archway plantation-style entry. The near 15-foot tall double doors perhaps look new, but the ornate glass inset inside the stately wood doors is from the original owner’s grandmother’s home. They were incorporated into the wood of the new, grandeur doors, and then the beautiful transom above was custom made to match the original glass. Once inside, a mix of Tuscan and tradition blend to create a space so grand yet intimate and warm that only true professionals could materialize in such a dignified space. And that they had – Patrick and Amy not only worked of course with their own team of contractors to renovate, but they also worked with the splendid and talented team of Julie and Cora at Buddy Walker Home Furnishings to pull together their interior decorating. The Nolan’s wanted to keep the home traditional, yet maintain some aspects of the '60s charm. The comforting living room with gracious fireplace and plush oversized leather couches are accompanied by touches of the past that were left intact. Take for instance, the wooden beam work on the ceiling, the giant wooden shutters that divide the room from its counterpart sunroom, and the Basilio Bachor (the late Corpus Christi furniture builder) built-in cabinetry to the right of the fireplace.

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The outdoor living space has been redone a total of three times! Each time it got a little bit bigger and a bit more durable, using less wood and more weather resistant materials.

The Nolan’s own a condo in Las Vegas that was built by the mobsters back before the strip even existed. Their condo overlooks the entire strip in the center, the airport to the left, and the city to the right. They have also redone that space, and it’s been featured in magazines. It, however, has an incredibly contemporary flare. Prior to the strip, the opposite side of the building was the desired side, as it faced the mountains and had afternoon shade. With the strip, the desired side has now changed.

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Many rooms were opened up, namely the kitchen, that now opens to the sunroom. This Saltillo tiled sunny space expands the length of the entire home, offering 4 sets of windows and doors that allow you to view the sparkling pool, blooming flowers, and the occasional golf cart. The kitchen, previously closed up entirely from this room so that back in the 60s “the help” wouldn’t be seen, was opened up so that full entertaining could occur – as parties are a plenty in the Nolan household. Crown molding was added all around this space to pump up the traditional factor, and if you look closely, you’ll discover fun pieces such as the sailfish fan that hangs in the far left corner of the room, that Amy saw at B.L. Guess Lighting in Corpus Christi, and just had to have. To the left of this special fan are doors that lead you to the outdoor dining and kitchen area. This space, Amy admits, has been redone 3 times over the course of their 12 years in the home. Originally, they had a lot of wood out there, it was half the size, and boasted a giant island for entertaining. Over the years, they’ve expanded it, revamped so

that no wood is around (it proves not well in our climate) and more people can be seated. With all the entertaining that revolves around the first floor, and the pool just steps away, the home has played host to many parties. Notably, each year, the Nolan’s host their company Christmas party of roughly 50 people. With the weather still nice, sometimes the pool is open! Custom built by Wayne at Certified Pools and Spa, the Nolans wanted a free-form pool. Amy battled with the idea of a diving board, as she wanted the pool to be deep on one side. So instead of that, Wayne built them a beautiful waterfall that is situated over the 7.5 foot deep side, and made it sturdy enough for people to sit on and jump off of. It was the perfect solution. On the opposite side of the pool, where it is about 3 feet, there is a tanning ledge. This bubbling underwater platform is about ankle deep and has three small fountains that give the pool that fancy flare of effervescence. Although the pool is heated so the Nolans can spend the entire year enjoying its prominence, the ever-popular 8 person spill-over [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

hot tub is a real crowd pleaser. Surrounded by flag stone, 5 leisurely loungers, and a fully-furnished outdoor living room, it’s no wonder the family spends so much of their time splish splashing around. Amy laughs and reveals, “We didn’t put the pool in until after the kids had left home." The other half of the backyard is still lawn and flower beds, where two enormous trees offer friendly shade to the family, one Mesquite and one Oak. It’s believed that the Mesquite tree is one of the largest in the entire county.Love is all around - weddings are occasionally known to take shape in the yard, and many family photos have taken form around these trees – say cheese!

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Home and Garden | Spaces

Working from Home By: JoAnne Howell Photos: Rachel Durrent

Do you work from home? Perhaps you’re going back to school? Help your home office or desk work for you! Finding the perfect spot for your home office is hard enough. Some prefer to be far away from distractions, while others may work best in the middle of the action. We all have different preferences and tricks for staying focused. A built-in desk or free-standing desk works just the same. Making yourself comfortable is key. A functional yet stylish and comfortable chair will keep you wanting to stay at your desk. 74 The Bend

Working from home can be difficult if you do not have the tools to keep you on track. Starting with your desk-top space, only put supplies that need to be within hands reach. Computer, important file folders, and your calendar are perfect examples. From there you can build around your needs. Adding in pens, pencils, and lovely inspiration that can keep you motivated.

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Staying organized is rule No. 1 to be productive. If there are too many items in your way, you may become distracted. I like to keep a main desk with an off flow table. That is where I can get “messy� fielding papers and the like flowing off with projects ideas, sketches and such. Contain yourself by keeping small bits and pieces (like paper clips) organized in containers. Be creative in finding jars or dishes that can add to your eye candy. Make your home office area come alive with a beautiful plant or bouquet

of flowers. Studies have shown fresh flowers can produce productivity and improve concentration. Let the light shine. Lamps and ample lighting will help keep you focused. Windows are wonderful and will allow for short periods of day dreams while desk lamps and floor lamps keep the midnight oil burning. Desk or home offices can be a productive place. Keeping it simple and clearing the clutter is key. Your work area should keep you inspired and productive. Make it personal and keep inspiration flowing. [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Tablescape and design JoAnne Howell Oh Goodie Designs+Events Patio and furniture provided by Becky Jackson Mathis, Rockport Placemats, trays, and props provided by The Bay Window, Rockport

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• Tomatoes are native to the cool climate of the Andes Mountains. Cortez took tomato plants from the Aztecs and sent them home to Spain, and they soon spread around the world.

Home and Garden | Gardening

• The smaller the tomato variety, such as cherry or grape, the easier they are to grow. • Try planting heat-tolerant tomato varieties, such as Solar Fire and Heatwave. These varieties will keep producing even in the blistering heat. • Ask your neighbors to drop off their bags of raked-up leaves at your house, and you will have all the mulch you need for the summer without doing any work at all.

A Farmer’s Secret to August Tomatoes The best place to find August tomatoes is in your own garden! By: Justin and Kayla Butts Photos: Rachel Durrent

T

omatoes are the most popular vegetable in The Bend, but it is nearly impossible to find good, homegrown tomatoes in August. That’s because most tomato plants in South Texas shut down in the high heat of summer. But you can grow beautiful tomatoes in your own garden all summer long if you know how the heat affects your plants—and what you can do about it.

Nighttime Soil Temperature It is not daytime heat that causes tomato plants to stop producing. Tomatoes can tolerate hundred-plus degree heat during the day. It is nighttime soil temperature that matters. For tomato plants to set fruit, the nighttime soil temperature must stay between 55 and 70 degrees. If the soil gets too hot at night, your plants will stop producing this luscious fruit. The Gardener’s Secret Weapon: Native Leaf Mulch Native leaf mulch is the ideal material to insulate your soil from the sun and to prevent the

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delicate topsoil from drying out in the relentless Gulf wind. Apply native leaf mulch around the base of your plants until it is twelve inches thick. This ultra-thick layer of leaf mulch will regulate soil temperature and retain soil moisture. The soil outside your garden will bake like a clay oven in the August sun, but the soil beneath your leaf mulch will stay nice and cool, even on the hottest days and nights. Watering with Drip Irrigation

of pastured poultry manure around the base of your tomato plants. Mix in several handfuls of homemade wood ash (from native trees only, such as live oak or mesquite) for a boost of potassium to strengthen your plants. Good homegrown tomatoes are hard to find in The Bend in August. But with these techniques, the best tomatoes in town will be in your own garden.

Except for a good rain, drip irrigation is the best way to water plants. High-quality dripline (not soaker hoses, which are unreliable) will deliver a controlled flow to the root system of the plants without wasting water. Lay the drip line beneath the ultra-thick leaf mulch in direct contact with the soil to achieve even and efficient watering. Water your tomatoes as deeply and infrequently as possible, maybe two or three times per week during August. If using a garden hose, water the soil at the feet of the plants—tomatoes don’t like wet leaves. If possible, water your tomato plants at dusk. A late evening watering helps cool the soil from the heat of day and increases soil moisture during the critical night hours. The Health of Your Soil The health of your soil is the most important factor in the production of your plants. Healthy soil grows strong plants that can take the heat of summer and still deliver excellent yields of sweet-tasting fruit. Poor soil, on the other hand, grows weak and sickly plants that shut down quickly in the heat. To immediately improve soil health in your garden, add several pounds

A GREAT VODKA FOR A GREAT NATION. WB LIQUORS TAKES PRIDE IN ITS GREAT SELECTION OF LIQUOR, WINE, AND BEER.

STOP BY YOUR NEAREST WB LIQUORS TODAY!

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Out & About AUGUST 2016

ARTS & CULTURE 80 CELEBRATION 82 DATE BOOK 84 SOCIAL HOUR 88

What’s Inside Themed parties are popping up all around. They're the new way to spice up your average birthday party. Themes make for more excited guests and an excuse to dress up and let loose!

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Out and About | Arts & Culture

Corpus Christi 7-Day Film Project By: Jimmy Willden Photos: Contributed by filmmakers

Founded in 2007, the Corpus Christi 7-Day Film Project, affectionately known as CC7D to past participants, has grown into the premier film event in our city - inviting aspiring movie-makers of all ages to try their hand at creating, writing, shooting, and editing a movie in seven days. Needless to say, I was intrigued and ready to be a part of that art form when I returned from Austin in 2011. While a little nervous and slightly intimidated by my film-making peers, I eagerly signed up for that summer’s competition. “Don’t be intimidated,” said Stephanie Garcia,

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current Chair of CC7D - regarding first-time filmmaker jitters. “It doesn’t matter the type of equipment you have, or the experience you have - it’s really about creativity.” I persevered, assembled my cast and crew, attended the CC7D launch, and with our elements in hand, our team set out to make a movie in seven days of hardships only a filmmaker understands. After enduring the blistering July sun, torrential downpours while filming our most crucial scenes, and sporadic equipment malfunctions


Past CC7D Grand Jury Winners: 2015 - “Anonymous Anonymous”- Sleight Films, Jimmy Willden - Director 2014 - “A Life Lost” - Sleight Films,

as if the CC7D gods were testing us, our team successfully turned in The Rogue.

2013 - "Dude’s A Writer" - C4 Films,

After a month slowly ticked by, the day of the CC7D screening at the Harbor Playhouse, and the Awards Ceremony that was to follow later that night at the House of Rock, had finally arrived.

Christopher James Thompson - Director Reagan Johnson & Matt McClung, Director(s)

2012 - “Abide” - AMFM Studios, Christopher James Thompson - Director 2011 - “The Rogue” - Born Ready Films, Jimmy Willden - Director 2010 - “Sin Ayuda” - Knightstorm, Hector Zertuche - Director 2009 - “Seize The Day” - C4 Digital Films,

Reagan Johnson - Director

2008 - “Blindsighted” - C4 Digital Films, Reagan Johnson - Director 2007 - “Mason’s Midget”

- Omar Becerra, Director

“I think, for us, that day is super hectic, it’s super long and a little exhausting, but it’s so rewarding,” said Garcia of the Screening and Ceremony. “Everything we do works toward that day, and once it’s over - as tiring and as long as it is - it’s really worth it.” The air in the theater full of an electric excitement, I began to perspire - and again, those first-time film-making jitters returned, with a vengeance. I began to squirm in my seat as each new film screened, the program inching ever closer to our own. Then, The Rogue appeared on the screen. The theater fell completely silent. With my heart pounding out of my chest, my sweaty hands grasping my chair so tight, the tips of my fingers were turning white - I closed my eyes, and just waited.

Six-and-a-half minutes later, I heard the final line of our film, delivered by the great Kelly Kimball, “Good men don’t run.” The theater remained quiet, and then erupted into an all-out roar. Slowly, my fingers loosened their grip on my chair. Five years later, at the time of your reading this - I will have just participated in my sixth and final competition. While this is my last year participating in CC7D, I want to stress how important this event is for our community - fostering, educating and offering a platform for us aspiring filmmakers to showcase budding talents. Now, as I settle into that ever-familiar wait for the 10th CC7D Screenings and Awards (to be held on Saturday, August 13) may I offer just a single word of advice for anyone looking to enter into the fray next year Persevere.

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Out and About | Celebration

What Happens In Vegas.

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ringing Vegas home was the idea. Guests were invited by an oversized custom designed playing card printed with party details all boxed up in a glossy black box with mailing label. The box was filled with personalized poker chips for the party.

As guests arrived, they were greeted with cocktails and appetizers while Elvis worked the crowd keeping them entertained until the birthday boy arrived. Once word hit that his limo was on the block, the guests took their places on the stairwell and entryway, and as he opened the door, everyone shouted SURPRISE! And boy was he! With Elvis singing Happy Birthday as the guests shot confetti cannons, the party was on! Guests made their way to gambling tables for a night of Vegas-style games. Elvis continued the entertainment with song and dance, and there was a whole lot a shakin’ goin’ on! Vegas-style bars were stocked inside and out. The patio pergola was up lit with colored lights that brought the growing greenery to life. Cocktail tables were set with striped black and white linens and red floral arrangements with vases filled with poker chips. The acrylic bar outside was dressed with slot machine wording and tall orchids added to the lavish scene. Extra landscaping and outdoor lighting was done to ensure an extravagant Vegas feel and slick patio chairs were matched with life-sized dice and poker chips next to the pool.

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Create a Event!

Specializing in Event Rentals: Guests were served an array of Vegas luxe dishes including tomato bisque cocktails, hand carved filet, truffle mac-n-cheese, and seared scallops. The entertainment was not contained indoors, as the family's pool was covered with acrylic and transformed into a dance floor. The DJ and dance floor lights gave the club Vegas vibe, and the dancing was endless. With every beat, the lights flashed and changed colors as the guests danced and the beat moved on. Elvis made his way to the dance floor for a fun performance, showgirls and boas included! It was a happy birthday as cake was served and the fun lasted late into the night! As guests left, they took home custom printed playing cards and poker chips boxed with Vegas Spade designed label.

• • • • • • • • • •

Tents Tables & Chairs Linens LED Lighting Staging & Dance Floors China*Glassware*Flatware Catering Equipment Custom Props Draping Lounge Furniture

Rental * Design * Décor For all your life Celebrations!

It was too much fun as Elvis and his hair worked the party! It was a definite surprise and good time for this 30th birthday celebration! Event Design and Coordinating: JoAnne Howell Oh Goodie Designs+Events Catering: Kristoffer Busk of Shoreline Sandwich Co.

Cake: Cakes to Dye 4 Photography: Russell Selman

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Boutique Showroom! 5826 Wooldridge Rd.

www.ButlerSignatureEvents.com

361.992.9813 thebendmag.com

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Out & About | Date Book

August Mark Your Calendar

FESTIVAL

COMMUNITY

Comida Aug. 5th

Harbor BridgeWalk Aug. 7th

Join Omar Arellano to celebrate the release of his photo journal, “Comida Radio,” at this free art show. In addition to enjoying a fun night out, you’ll be supporting local artists, musicians, and chefs by attending!

Every Sunday, following the monthly First Friday ArtWalk, locals and visitors alike get together and take in breathtaking views from atop the Harbor Bridge. Enjoy this bird’s-eye perspective from one of Corpus Christi’s most iconic structures, with uninterrupted aerial views of the USS LEXINGTON, Texas State Aquarium and the Downtown skyline. The event begins at Heritage Park and the walk begins at 8:30 am. Join this Corpus Christi

House of Rock, (361) 882-7625, texashouseofrock.com

COMMUNITY Rialto Theater’s Downtown ArtWalk Aug. 6th

tradition! Heritage Park, (361)882-2363, marinaarts.com

COMMUNITY

Meet up with fellow art lovers at the Rialto Theater for a tour of the downtown Aransas Pass Arts Spots. Enjoy drinks, music, and gallery receptions while you browse the art selections. If you’re lucky, you might even score an opportunity to chat with one of the present local artists about their craft!

Sunset Sounds Aug. 12th Venture out to Port A’s Patsy Jones Amphitheater to hear “Port of No Return” play at this free sunset concert series. Don’t forget to BYOB, and BYOlawn chairs! Patsy Jones Amphitheater in Roberts Point Park, (361) 749-4158, cityofportaransas.

Rialto Theater,(361) 758-0383, rialtotheater.org

COMMUNITY Rockin’ Rockport Youth Regatta Aug. 13th-14th The Rockin’ Rockport Regatta is a new 2016 addition to the Texas Sailing Association Circuit. Ten races will take place over the course of two days. Young racers from all over Texas are expected to participate. The race officials will set three courses. Two in Aransas Bay and the third (for novice sailors) inside the calmer breakwaters. Rockport Yacht Club, rockportyouthregatta2016@gmail. com, txsail.org

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BENEFIT A Night in Vegas Aug. 20th

Editor’s Pick

You don’t have to leave the Coastal Bend to experience the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas nightlife. Check out “A Night in Vegas,” benefitting Charlie’s Place Recovery Center! Come watch Elvis and aerial artists, try your hand at casino gambling, and place a bid in the silent auction. American Bank Center, (361) 826-5371, charliesplaceonline.com

FAMILY Parrot Talk Aug. 29th – Dec. 31st On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 pm, stop by the Tropical Garden to visit the Botanical Garden’s in-house parrots and their trainers. With both informational and interactive portions of the demonstration, you and your little ones are sure to learn to love these colorful creatures. You can even snap a picture with the birds on your way out! South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center, (361) 852-2100, stxbot.org

BENEFIT Casa de Amor Sept. 1st

FESTIVAL Corpus Christi Wine Festival Aug. 20th This unique event - which is the first of its kind for Corpus Christi - elegantly intertwines wine tasting, shopping, food and entertainment throughout the grounds of beautiful Heritage Park (think Catalina Wine Mixer meets Country Peddler Show meets Concert in the Park). Visitors will have the luxury of selecting from more than one hundred wines and eating from 20+ on-site food trucks as they shop around 100 vendor booths offering everything from jewelry to home decor to metal and leather products. Throughout the day, live bands will be performing on the Plaza Stage in the center circle of Heritage Park. You’re welcome to bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the music as you sip your wine or enjoy a cold beer! Heritage Park, (361) 271-4223, ccwinefestival.com

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Corpus Christi is hosting its 14th Annual Gala, Casa de Amor. This year’s featured speaker is Tony Parker, Point guard for the San Antonio SPURS. Meet and Greet with Photo Op will be available for VIP sponsors. Silent and live auctions prior to presentation. Ortiz International Center, (361) 854-4073, corpuschristirmhc.org

COMMUNITY Arts Alive! Sept. 3rd – 4th See Art, Make Art, Learn Art, Buy Art, Talk Art—It’s Arts Alive! There will be plenty of music, art, and dance to observe at the Art Center of Corpus Christi. Food trucks on-site, plus our favorite restaurant, Citrus. This will be an interactive, all-week-end event, through Saturday and Sunday, so bring your friends! Cost per adult will be $5.00, children under twelve FREE! Art Center of Corpus Christi, (361) 884-6406, artcentercc.org

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Special Promotion

Building Community “Grit”

R

ecently, a graduate student named Angela Duckworth, pursuing a degree in psychology, identified a key component to a person’s success in life, school and career. She called it “grit,” and defined it as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” When I read this, it seemed profound, yet obvious, as Aristotle declared such tenacity a virtue, thousands of years ago. “Grit” is what made America great. For over two hundred years, thousands of immigrants have made their way to our shores, leaving behind everything they knew to start a new life, risking life and limb to get here, and to begin a new life, in a new country. They came here even though they didn’t speak the language, had little money nor a place to call home. That’s Grit. Those folks, entrepreneurs in their own right, became the backbone of what has made the United States the leaders of the Free World. That tradition continues today- we see a reflection of it in the families who move to our area, to buy one of our homes, and start a new life, confident in a bright future

for themselves and their children in the Coastal Bend. We see it in our own Braselton Homes family, where for three generations Braseltons have been at the forefront of homebuilding innovation, continuing to push the envelope to improve your New Home. My grandfather, Guy Braselton, was at the forefront of slab foundation technology, an innovator recognized worldwide for advances in building practices. My father and mother, Fred and Vanessa Braselton, took the company, which was building a few custom homes a year, and built it into the largest homebuilder in the United States, south of San Antonio. Now, I am proud to have continued the tradition, and have worked to make our company an innovator in Green Building, to help protect the future, for our children and grandchildren. This is hard work, but it is worth it, and it is being recognized on national, as well as local levels -- this year we were, again, honored by Professional Builder Magazine, as well as Builder Magazine, as one of the largest homebuilders in the United States, and we

won 13 award, out of 17 categories, at the Coastal Bend’s Parade of Homes. And, I am most proud of our award from the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries organization, which recognized Braselton as a pioneer in environmental protection, for our Coastal Bend Green Built Eco – Homes. Knowing that “gritty” entrepreneurs are the backbone of a great future for our city, our state, and nation, the Braselton Homes family was honored to recently to fund a $50,000 endowed scholarship, at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi Business School, for students studying Entrepreneurship. As kids around The Bend make their way back into the classrooms this year, including those who live in BraseltonBuilt homes and have access to the best schools our region has to offer, as well as those in our program at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, we are confident that they are fostering the determination and “grit” they need to be the next innovators, and leaders, in The Bend. See you in the neighborhood, Bart Braselton

Bart Braselton is the Executive Vice President of Braselton Homes, the Coastal Bend’s oldest and largest Homebuilder and Neighborhood Developer. Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Bart is the third generation of Braseltons building in the Bay Area. Returning to Corpus Christi after earning a BBA in Finance, as well as a second BBA in Real Estate, from the University of Texas, at Austin, Braselton began working in the family business as a construction superintendent. Since then, Braselton Homes has won numerous local,state, and national awards, including the Fasterst Growing Builders in the U.S., and has grown into one of the Nation’s Largest Homebuilders, earning consistent rankings in the annual lists compiled by both Professional Builder, and Builder Magazine. Bart, a graduate of Leadership Corpus Christi Class 18, has served on numerous local community and business boards. Presently, he serves on the Board of the Community Development Corporation, as well as the Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he serves as Chairman of the Coastal Bend GreenBuilt Council, and President of the Board of the Corpus Christi Business and Job Development Corporation. Braselton and his wife, Michelle, have 5 children, and are active church members at Corpus Christi’s Church Unlimited.

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Out & About | Social Hour

The Local's List Photos by: Rachel Durrent

1. Elena Flores, Gary Lopez & Gerald Flores 2. Julie Wendl, Frank Arriaga & Brittany Wendl 3. Michelle Martinez & Amanda Chavira 4. Sarah Whetstone, Jane Caffrey, Lexis Greene & Debbie Greene

1.

5. Ashley Kenney, Alyssa Shepare, Trish Frazier, Leslie Fiscus & Bryan Fiscus 6. Deanna Rhynes & Amanda Clemons 7. Geena Sendejar, Hannah Shaw, Elise Becquet, Alex Husby & Bradley Strayer

2.

3.

8. Sandra Garza & Holly Emery 9. Meg Bandas & Jullian Brown

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5. 6.

7.

8. 89 The Bend

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Out & About | Social Hour

1.

2.

ArtRageous Photos by: Gabriel Mancha

1. Dan & Ashley Dick 2. Dr. Cesar Marquez & Dr. Laura Petican 3. Stephanie Kusy, Meredith Morrill & Sofia Pacurar 4. John & Jess Farinacci 5. Haley Bennett & Jordan Anderson 6. Cristina Cochado, Edith Gonzรกlez, & Joe Gรกmez

3. 4.

5.

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Subscribe to The Bend Magazine SUMMER SPECIAL 1 Year - $9.95 Never miss an issue! Subscribe at thebendmag.com or call (361) 792-3606

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92 The Bend

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Cuisine AUGUST 2016

FARM TO TABLE 102 THE DISH 105 DINING GUIDE 106 THE DRINK 110

What’s Inside Teaching the kids to fish at a young age is both a bonding experience and teaches valuable lessons about self sufficiency. Give a man a fish, he can eat for a day...teach a man to fish, he'll eat for life. Cast on!

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Cuisine | Farm to Table

Skillet-Fried Sunfish with Campfire Biscuits, Skewered Okra, and Fire Roasted Corn Roughing it doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor! By: Justin & Kayla Butts Photos: Rachel Durrent

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O

f all the beautiful meals you prepare for your family, the ones they remember best are cooked over a campfire.

Cooking over a fire is the oldest and most interesting way to prepare a meal. Unfortunately, too many home chefs lack confidence in their camp cooking prowess, so they compromise with hot dogs and other processed junk food at the campsite. But, with a little advanced preparation, you can serve gourmet meals deep in the wilderness. Best of all, everyone in the family, no matter how big or small, will have fun helping. This camp meal is designed to get the whole family involved. If you want your children to love their camp dinner, let them catch the main course. We featured the humble sunfish in this recipe, because they are so

easy for the little ones to catch. You can find sunfish in streams, rivers, lakes, and in the pounding waves of the Gulf, so no matter where you pitch your tent, even the smallest angler will be proud to bring you a fish. We love this simple, reliable, and versatile skillet-fried fish recipe. We have cooked whole rainbow trout many times with this recipe next to a mountain stream. If your taste is for bigger game fish, cut them down into pan-size filets. We have used this recipe for salmon, steelhead, redfish, and even shark steaks, depending on whether the campsite was at altitude or down at sea level. These campfire biscuits are the crowning achievement of this meal. They are so delicious and so easy to make, you may go camping again just for the biscuits! Mix the dry ingredients in a zip lock bag at home and simply add water and a little oil at the

Skillet-Fried Sunfish Serves 4 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook time: 15-20 minutes Ingredients: 3 tbsp canola oil 4 whole fish, gutted and scaled (perch, trout, etc.) 1 medium onion, sliced 1 red bell pepper, sliced 1 lemon, sliced 6 sprigs fresh dill Salt and pepper Directions: Place a 12” skillet on larger support logs bordering your established campfire. Add oil to skillet and heat for 1-2 minutes. Distribute fish, pepper, and onion on preheated skillet. Place one lemon slice on each fish, along with sprigs of dill. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and squeeze fresh lemon on each fish. Serve with sautéed onions and peppers.

Campfire Biscuits Serves 4 Prep Time: 7 minutes Cook Time: 12 minutes Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tbsp sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt ½ cup canola oil ½ cup water or milk Directions: Place cast iron skillet on an open fire whose

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campsite, then put your biscuits on for a short bake to perfection. We first roasted okra over a fire while trekking in the Himalayas. You will not believe how much okra your kids will eat if you let them roast it with their own sticks (to be used later for marshmallows, of course). A light application of oil helps the okra achieve a golden, crisp exterior. To roast the corn, simply ring it around the fire still in its protective husk. The corn will cook while you prepare the rest of the meal and be steamy and hot when you are ready for it. You will never camp without fresh corn again. With these simple recipes, your kids will catch the main course, help cook the meal, and have a lot of fun in the process. This is a family dinner your children will remember for a long time to come.

coals or wood has turned to ash. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add oil and water (or milk), and stir until combined, taking care not to overmix. Divide dough into four, and flatten each piece into a 1/2” disk. Place biscuit dough on preheated skillet and cook for six minutes. Flip biscuits and cook for another 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Skewered Okra Serves 4 Prep time: 3 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 1 lb fresh okra Canola oil Salt and pepper Directions: Drizzle okra with oil and season with salt and pepper. Prepare a sturdy stick by removing the smaller twigs near the end. In the thickest part of each okra, skewer with prepared stick. Roast okra over the fire for ten minutes on each side, or until okra begins to turn golden brown and is heated through.

Fire-Roasted Corn Serves 4 Cook Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 4 fresh cobs of corn with husk on Salt and Pepper Directions: Place corn at the edge of the campfire. Roast corn 15 minutes. Rotate corn and continue to roast for 15 additional minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

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Foodies of Snoopy’s

Cuisine | The Dish

By: Whitney Noble Photos: Rachel Durrent

Driving over the JFK Causeway, iconic Snoopy’s is one of the first things to welcome you to The Island.

I

f there is one restaurant on the Island that all locals and tourists know, it is Snoopy's Pier. Some head straight there before even going home or checking into their vacation rental. It’s almost like a right of passage. This long-standing and successfully tasty restaurant has a history and certainly decades of Snoopy’s Groupies. Originally billed as John Bean fishing pier, this spot was popular for many years as a gathering place. The restaurant as it stands was born out of the Redfish Wars, where in the late '70s, redfish numbers began to decline due to overfishing. A battle ensued over commercial fishing rights in the waterways and bay systems of Texas. Threats, vandalism, and arson resulted in the legislative showdown that became Texas House Bill 1000. Signed into law in 1981, this bill turned redfish into "game fish," and illegal to sell if harvested from Texas waters. As with many commercial fishermen in the late '70s and early '80s, owners Ernie and Corliss Butler realized The Wars signaled the beginning of the end of the commercial fishing industry in our waters. The Butler’s were operating the pier at the time, and when the owner decided to sell in 1980, they were there to buy! Corliss says, “It was on a whim!” But Snoopy’s didn’t go from pier to notable restaurant overnight. The Butler’s began by moving the

pier more inland at first, and then after about 5 years, they just did away with the pier all together. Ernie, now cooking the seafood as opposed to fishing for it, had family and friends pitch in their favorite recipes, and the menu was born. Proud to serve local harvested and quality seafood at affordable prices, it’s no wonder the masses flock with the seagulls to Snoopy’s. Their on-site fish house and shrimp breading facility allows the owners and chefs to monitor and control the quality and freshness of the coveted seafood.

Best Sellers Known for their comfort dishes, locals have been eating Snoopy's fish and chips, fried shrimp and fried oysters for decades. As a matter of fact, they’ve used the same batter recipes since opening. Many recipes have come from friends and relatives in the area. Fun fact! Their fried fish recipe was given to them by Dr. Risser, a late Corpus Christi veterinarian.

If you haven’t already, treat yourself to the fish tacos. Way back when, a high schooler worked at the family establishment, went on to college, and would find himself back at Snoopy’s managing customer service. He decided to give culinary school a shot, and once again, migrated back to Snoopy’s for his apprenticeship. For the program’s final, they had to develop a dish using items already in the kitchen. Wala! The famous fish tacos were born. They’ll typically use whatever the catch of the day is, which has been Mahi Mahi for a while now. From failed fishery to the fry pan, there’s nothing but waterfront goodness at Snoopy’s Pier. “We started out with what it was and grew with it,” Corliss says. Although the pier is gone, the restaurant remains an important pillar to the community.

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Dining Guide Corpus Christi Padre Island Port Aransas Rockport Outdoor dining Live music

$ = Under $10 $$ = Mostly $10 - $20 $$$ = $20 and up The Bend Magazine Dining Guide is a select list of restaurants around the Coastal Bend. Implicitly, the magazine’s editors recommend all of these restaurants and they are not advertisements. Listings are updated monthly and appear based on space availability. Reviews and articles are written by our editors as a service to readers.

Restaurant owners: If you have news about your restaurant or a correction to our listing, we’re all ears! Send an email to editor@thebendmag.com or call (361) 792-3606

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Cuisine | Dining Guide

American 8te $ A shabby chic interior feel with classic comfort dishes that have a simple twist. They have it all breakfast, lunch, and dinner! 1220 Airline #250, (361) 723-0261, Facebook.com/8tecctx Andy’s Country Kitchen $ You will feel right at home just like eat’n in mom’s kitchen. Great southern comfort food that gets back to the basics! 5802 S Staples St, (361) 993-0251, Andyskitchen.com Atomic Omelette& Grill $ Omelettes are just the beginning here! Comfortable atmosphere, with a flavor for casual dining and handmade family recipes. 6313 Wooldridge Rd #10, (361) 334-3942, Atomicomelette.com Citrus Bayfront Bistro $ Enjoy everything homemade, even down to the pie crusts with a gorgeous view of the marina. 100 N Shoreline Blvd, (361) 882-2047, Citrusbistro.com Irie’s Island Food $ With bold purpose and flavor craving taste buds, they set forth a new twist on local fare and many culinary delights from islands around the globe. 503 N Alister St, (361) 749-2310, Iriesislandfood.com Liberty Hall Inferno $$ Herbs and vegetables grown on site, your dining experience will be unforgettable! 106 E. Cotter, Port Aransas, TX 78373, (361) 749-4888 MacDaddy's Family Kitchen $$ Serves BBQ, Fried Chicken & Seafood. Big tables for big groups, they'll also deliver! 118 Beach Street Port Aransas, Texas 78373, (361) 749-2271, acdaddysfamilykitchen.com The Grille $ Ensures you’ll always have the variety that is the spice of life! With ingredients sourced from Texas, Burger patties and soups are all made from scratch. 3063 Main St, (361) 775-1000, Facebook.com/thegrillingleside The Groove $$ A little something for every discriminating craving with an eclectic dining experience. Nothing is ever frozen or put in a fryer! 2001 N Hwy 35, (361) 729-3663, Thegrooverockport.com

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The Post $$ Enjoy this pub in a communal setting with dishes that are meant to be shared, all alongside a cocktail or beer of course! 3850 S Alameda, (361)452-0907, Facebook.com/postcc Town & Country Café $ Down-to-earth this diner next door serves the best in homestyle American comfort food for breakfast and lunch. 4228 S Alameda St, (361) 992-0360, Facebook.com/town-country-cafe

Asian Aka Sushi $$ Creative and daring rolls that work well together. The authentic Asian cuisine made with the Chef’s homemade recipe will be sure to surprise you. 415 N Water St, (361) 882-8885 Sang’s Imperial Café $$ Culturally dynamic décor brings an international ambiance to the atmosphere. Their commitment to the healthiest and freshest food shows through from the dishes to the sushi bar. 4650 Corona Dr, (361) 8088881, Facebook.com/imperialcafe TakeNiwa $$$ Sit in Hibachi and watch their talented chefs prepare your dinner. Or dine yourself to juicy steak and full sushi bar, your choice! 5216 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 356-6888, takeniwa.com

Café BonnA-Petit $ Chef Sophie will always make you feel warmly welcomed, just as her gourmet dishes do. And don’t forget to grab a to-go dinner! 4301 S Alameda St, (361) 334-2579, Bonna-petit.com Daily Grind $ A coffee bar with personality, they offer the finest in gourmet, rustic, or straight-up coffee favorites. Hungry? Stick around for their daily quiche specials, scones, and sandwiches. 302 S Austin St, (361) 790-8745, Rockportdailygrind.com Hester’s Café and Coffee Bar $ Looking for a true family experience where love is the number one ingredient, along with the simple but important concept of quality and the healing powers of good food 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd, (361) 885-0151, 1714 S Alameda St, (361) 885-0558, 3812 S Alameda St, (361) 855-1892, Hesterscafe.com


Striving for your

Best Smile Family | Restorative | Cosmetic The experience you can trust!

5756 S. Staples Ste. I, Corpus Christi, TX 78413 | 361.991.7791


Cuisine | Dining Guide

Barbeque Hoegemeyer’s BBQ $$ Smoked freshbarbecue on a strong German heritage background and a satisfaction for something unique. South Texas barbecue that comes from the heart. 711 Concrete St, (361) 884-4227, Hoegemeyers.com

French Bleu Bistro $$$ True playful twists to classic French bistro dishes. The chef’s commitment to the use of fresh, local, peak of the season products is evident in the quality of each dish. 500 N Water St, (361) 887-2121, Bleubistrocc.com Dragonfly $$$ A fine multitude of international backgrounds to the cuisine prepared entirely from scratch daily by the owner and culinary artist. The menu is full of unforgettable flavor profiles to satisfy any craving. 14701 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-2224, Facebook.com/dragonfly-restaurant Grill

Bar & Grill Brewster Street Ice House $$ Who says that you can’t have 4-Star food in a casual environment? Not the Brewster Street Grill! Bring your kids or stay for concert, they have it all. 1724 N Tancahua, (361) 884-2739, Brewsterstreet.net

Executive Surf Club $$ The perfect casual family dining spot. All the while supplying the most beer on tap in the city. 309 N Water St, (361) 884-7873, Waterstreetmarketcc. com/executive-surf-club FINS Grill and Icehouse $$ For the past 11 years, they've featured fresh seafood, 1/2 lb Angus beef burgers & chicken. Full full bar and you "You Hook 'Em, We Cook 'Em" for the fisherman. 420 West Cotter, Port Aransas 78373, (361) 749-8646, finsgrillandicehouse.com

Stingray’s Taphouse and Grill $$ Anindustrial-chic elite sports bar that provides you ‘raving fans’ a unique dining and entertaining experience, right around the corner from the beach! 401 Beach St, (361)749-2287, Stingraystaphouse.com

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The Brewery $$ Brick Oven Pizza, Pub food & Burgers sound good? How about a fresh brewed-in-house beer? 429 Alister Street, Port Aransas, Texas 78373, (361) 749- 2739, portaransasbrewery.com

Italian Authentic New York Pizza $$ True, authentic New York Pizza right in your hands in Corpus Christi, complete with red-checkered tablecloths. 5838 S Staples St, (361) 986-1151, Eatmorepizza.cc Bellino’s $$ Comfortable and welcoming with a trattoria style authentic cuisine. You won’t find these dishes anywhere else in Corpus Christi! 3815 S Alameda St, (361) 814-8998, 523 S. Fulton Beach Rd, (361) 729-9003, Bellinotexas.com Brooklyn Pie Co. $ Enjoy a slice or indulge a whole “pie” of their delicious secret pizza tradition. 15326 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-1100, Brooklynpie.com Grimaldi’s Pizzeria $$ Distinctive and authentic pizza baked to perfection in a signature coal burning oven you can see right from your seat, offers a unique crisp flavor. 5488 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 980-8600, Grimaldispizzeria.com House of Rock $ Great pizza and appetizers, cold beer, and live entertainment! Does it get any better? $$ 511 Starr St, (361) 882-7625, Texashouseofrock.ticketfly.com Mamma Mia’s $$$ Warm and cozy mom and pop Italian experience will make you feel like family. Entrees are delicious Italian culture on a plate. 128 N Mesquite St, (361) 8833773, Facebook.com/mamma-mias Mesquite St. Pizza and Pasta Co. $$ Their 60 year old pizza oven brought in straight from Brooklyn New York, makes for the perfect pizza, as well asall the crusts and sauces are made in house. 617 Mesquite St, (361) 882-7499, Eatpizzadowntown.com Panjo’s Pizza & Pasta $ Ditch the pomp and circumstance, and eat the way your Italian Grandma intended. Fuss free and real, classic, and a true local secret! 2744 Highway 35 N, (361) 729-1411

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Russo’s Coal Fired Italian Kitchen $$ Brick-oven-fired Italian entrees and New York style pizza down south. The simplicity of a causal Pizzeria with the freshness of a fine Italian restaurant. 6418 S Staples St, (361) 986-0620, Nypizzeria.com Venetian Hot Plate $$$ Quality cuisine and a quaint, yet energetic atmosphere, giving a real touch of Italy. 232 Beach St, (361) 749-7617, Venetianhotplate.com Bella Luna Downtown $$ Authentic gourmet Italian cuisine always made fresh to order in the heart of The Marina Arts District. 429 Schatzell St, (361) 887-4777, Bellalunadowntown.com Port “A” Pizzeria $$ Bring the kids, as this family-friendly pizzeria offers an all-day buffet, video games and draft beer. Or, order straight off the menu! 407 E Avenue G, (361) 749-5226, Portapizzeria.com,

Mediterranean Ginger Café and Grill $$ Eastern hospitality and authentic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, there’s so much to love about these Persian, Turkish, Lebanese, and IndoPakistani specialties. 7009 S Staples, 103, (361) 946-9834, Gingercafecc.com

Mexican Molé $$ The vision lies in freshness, tradition and distinction; Mole’ is where true Central Mexican Cuisine can be enjoyed. 6042 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 334-6081, Molerestaurant.com

Per uvian Costa Sur Wok & Ceviche Bar $$ This cevicheria is a true Peruvian party on your palette. The dishes are fresh takes on traditional originals from Peru. 15113 S Padre Island Dr #101, (361) 945-8303, Costasurcc.com

Seafood Black Marlin Bar & Grill $$$ Sit indoors, sit outdoors, see the Gulf Coast from any seat in the house while diving into top-quality coastal cuisine, live music and the best views around. 258 Snapdragon, (361) 749-4653, Blackmarlinbarandgrill.com


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Cuisine | The Drink

Brrrrew By: Whitney Noble Photo: Rachel Durrent

The Cold Brews are Irresistibly Icy at Island Joes Coffee & Gallery

I

ndustrial and chic, surrounded by a gallery of artwork and photos by owner Bryan Tumlinson, the expansive menu of coffees, teas, smoothies, lemonades, and fun specialty drinks attracts a crowd all day long. But there’s something special about a cold brew, especially in the summer months. Their cold brew coffee is on tap, right at the counter. What makes The Joe’s cold brew so delicious is the extra time and care they put into the process. Although the same beans are used for the hot espresso, when cold brewing, they put them into a toddy (special brewing system) for a full 24 hours at room temperature. This ensures that the beans are not “shocked.” After 24 hours, this distinctive espresso is smoother, with less bitterness and acidity. Include it in your drink, or take it straight, from a shot glass that is! Get out to Joes and enjoy a cold brew espresso, like the Iced Joe with cream. Top it with their homemade Mexican vanilla whipped cream. It’s a treat that will keep you motivated throughout the day. Come in and experience not only great coffee, a friendly staff, and chat with other locals, but they’ve also implemented a fun new element to your experience at The Joes! Look out for the “Guess the Movie Quote” section on their board, new every day. If you can guess what movie the quote is from, you’ll get a free syrup in your drink order. Sip a smooth espresso, and shop the inspiring wall art. Essentially, all good days begin little retail therapy and something from a tap. 13919 S. Padre Island Dr. Corpus Christi, TX 78418 (361) 867-1276

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Don’t forget to pick up one of their free “drink local” Island Joes bracelets and you can receive 5% off your order any day of the week. Save even further by asking for a Customer Loyalty Card where after 9 drinks, the

10th is free! Good for one 16 oz. espresso drink with one syrup. List of homemade syrups: Mexican Vanilla, Hazelnut, Almond, Pecan, Coconut, Cinnamon, Raspberry, Cherry, Mango, Orange,

[the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

Pineapple, Rose*, Hibiscus*, and Lavendar* *All floral syrups are extracted using the actual flowers


Cuisine | Dining Guide Black Sheep Bistro $$ A unique, trendy atmosphere that transcends age and style with a menu full of foods rich, colorful, and full of flavor. 15201 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-4819, Blacksheepbistro.net Doc’s Seafood and Steaks $$ Lively and enjoyable selection for surf ‘n’ turf in an open-air setting overlooking the water, plus live music. 13309 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-6744, Docseafoodandsteaks.com Glow $$ From a renovated boathouse, offers a simply cooked bistro fare using the best local seafood and produce. Bright, relaxed atmosphere with white-washed ship lap wood walls and a full bar. 1815 Broadway St, (361) 727-2644, Glowrockport.com Harrison’s Landing $$ Tavern on the Bay at Harrison’s Landing is Corpus Christi’s newest outdoor restaurant & bar located in the heart of the city’s marina, and is the only place in town with a floating bar! 108 Peoples St, (361) 881-8503, Harrisonslanding.net Island Time Sushi Bar and Seafood Grill $$ Stop in for fresh and inventive sushi, seafood, appetizers and desserts! Check out the weekday specials! 14225 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-3046, Facebook.com/islandtimesushi Latitude 28˚02’ $$$ Contemporary dining experience specializing in tasty fresh, local seafood. Eye-catching walls that serve as a gallery space, holding colorful works by local artists. 105 N Austin St, (361) 727-9009, Latituderockport.com Lisabella’s Bistro $$$ Casually coastal elegance yet, family-friendly setting. Remarkable gourmet twist to the lunch fare, a poolside eatery, and a full bar that goes beyond just ordinary. 5009 Hwy 361, (361) 749-4222, Cinnamonshore. com Rock & Rolls Sushi Lounge $$ At Rock & Roll, they’re dishing out the most delectable and delicate fish from islands all over the world. Delight in a “sound check” or cold appetizer, an “opening act” or hot appetizer, then “plug in” for some rolls and sashimi! 15121 S Padre Island Dr #101, (361) 949-1110, Rockandrollssushi.com

luxury. Historic background gives a unique sense of its famous visitors. 200 E Cotter Ave, (361)749-1540, Rooseveltsatthetarponinn.com

Summer’s Here!

Saltwater Grill $$ Unique family atmosphere with fresh and tasty seafood that will leave you coming back for more. 2401 Cimarron Blvd, (361) 993-7258, Saltwatergrillcc.com Scuttlebutt’s Bar & Grill $$ Extensive menu, makes sure to have something for everyone. Foods made from scratch from the dressings to the burger patties14254 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-6769, Scuttlebuttsbarandgrill.com Seafood & Spaghetti Works $$ A unique dining experience, you’ll find the very best in seafood, steak, Italian dishes, pizza, soups, and desserts all made from scratch. 901 S Alister St, (361) 7495666, Seafoodandspaghetti.com Shells $$ Warm, inviting neighborhood restaurant offers a creative and far ranging menu that reflects a variety of world cuisines. Shakes off the old and tired and gets down to real good food. 522 E Avenue G, (361) 749-7621, Eatatshells.com Shempy’s Grill $$ Laid back setting with a variety of delightfully cooked fish will turn anyone into a seafood lover. 3913 Highway 35 S, (361) 727-0019, Facebook.com/Shempys Snoopy’s Pier $$ Outdoor dining experience and Local harvested quality with an on-site fish house and shrimp breading facility that enables the freshness. 13313 S Padre Island Dr, (361) 949-8815, Snoopyspier.com The Boiling Pot $$ Roll up your sleeves and take manners to a new level for a great Cajun experience. 201 S Fulton Beach Rd, (361) 729-6972 The Pheonix $$ This international bistro/nouveau American fine-quality cuisine is prepared daily using many ingredients from the Corpus Christi Farmer’s Market creating a constantly eclectic seasonal menu, where guests can choose to sit indoor and outdoor. 337 N Alister St, (361) 749-9277, Facebook.com/The-Phoenix-Restaurant-and-Bar

Roosevelt’s at the Tarpon Inn $$$ Gourmet dining at its finest in a beautiful Louisiana style home that sets the perfect tone for a taste of

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Cuisine | Dining Guide Trout Street Bar & Grill $$$ Cajun-inspired seafood in an airy environs is a wondrous way to enjoy food and cocktails inside the nautical themed restaurant or on the outdoor deck offering marina views. 104 West Cotter, (361) 749-7800, Tsbag.com Water Street Oyster Bar $$ Long-standing, well-known Corpus Christi landmark operation serving oysters, sushi rolls & Gulf seafood in a historic, brick-walled space. 309 N Water St, (361) 881-9448, Waterstreetmarketcc.com Water Street Seafood Company $$$ Locally owned and operated and voted “Best of the Best” seafood. Fish is fresh never frozen, while sauces and dressings are all made in house from scratch. 309 N Water St, (361) 882-8683, Waterstreetmarketcc.com Yardarm $$$ Savory seafood dishes with great bay view seating. Family owned gives off a special ambiance in the atmosphere as well as the entrees. 4310 Ocean Dr, (361) 855-8157

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Steakhouse Katz 21 $$$ Sets the standard for premier fine dining experience. Prime steakhouse specializes in dry-aged prime beef and fresh gulf coast seafood. 5702 Spohn Dr, (361) 884-1221, Katz21.com Niko’s Steakhouse $$$ Committed to the motto “Great food, Great times, Great experience.” Casual and elegant atmosphere that will exceed any steak lover’s expectations. 5409 Saratoga Blvd, (361) 992-2333, Nikossteakhouse.com Republic of Texas $$$$ One of the top dining destinations. A multi-level steakhouse offers diners beautiful panoramic views of the CC Bay. All the ingredients for the perfect experience! 900 N Shoreline Blvd, (361) 887-1600, Omnihotels.com

Thai Thai Cottage $$ Unique and refreshing, Thai curries meet teriyaki and Chinese dishes in a cozy red cottage. 5830 McArdle Rd, (361) 993-0777, Thai-cottage.com

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Vietnamese Vietnam Restaurant $$$ Local fine dining with an extensive menu and eye catching Vietnamese culture spread throughout the dining area. 701 N Water St, (361) 853-2682, Vietnam-restaurant.com


YOU NEED THE BEST TRAINED AND EQUIPPED HOME INSPECTOR TO SPOT MOISTURE PROBLEMS.

Moisture does more damage each year to homes in the US than everything else combined. What your inspector can’t see can hurt you. At Signature Inspection Services we are trained and equipped to spot expensive potential problems, including moisture problems, from top to bottom, that other inspectors can’t “see”.

Nifty Lift. While other inspection services may be content to use binoculars from across

Infrared Camera spots moisture problems invisible to the naked eye. We are trained on and deploy a state-of-the-art infrared camera on all inspections. We routinely spot moisture intrusion issues around windows, doors, flashing and plumbing using this special camera. The sooner moisture issues are discovered the easier they are to repair.

the street to “inspect” your roof, we deploy our lift to get “up close and personal” with every roof we can’t safely walk. Moisture problems often start at to top and work their way down.

Invisible Moisture Problems with Siding. Any type of home

siding, from stucco to brick, can allow significant structural damage if not properly installed. We have the training and equipment to provide certified stucco and siding inspections that discover hidden problems from moisture. The photos show some of the damage we’ve discovered that was invisible until revealed by our testing and inspection. Left un repaired, moisture problems with siding can, and have, turned beautiful and expensive homes in to “tear-downs”.

Signature inspection Services is ready to help ensure that your home purchase doesn’t come with expensive, undiscovered moisture problems. Call for your moisture scan home inspection or our more in-depth moisture analysis inspection.

INSPECTION SERVICES TREC License # 10330 Call Anytime 361-230-2312 www.signaturehomeinspectors.com [the lifestyle magazine of the coastal bend]

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Preserving a History of Education By: Jeff King Photo: Rachel Durrent

E

The Nuecestown Schoolhouse of 1892 is one of the few surviving structures of Nuecestown.

ager children scurry down a dusty dirt road to the west side of a growing South Texas settlement, well before the need to look for cars as they cross the road. The school bell, dangling on the front porch of the new schoolhouse, will ring soon, and the children know that there will be discipline if they are late for class. After the anxious students file into the schoolhouse and settle into their seats, instruction begins: the teacher embarks on the lessons of the day, imparting reading, writing, and arithmetic to students of different grade levels, all sitting straight in small wooden chairs in that one room.

Christi. The town was poised for growth, claiming one of the largest schools in the county by 1893 with thirty-two students. It continued its rise until a critical railway bypassed the town in 1905.

The hipped roof, one-room schoolhouse, built in 1892 after the first two schoolhouses burned to the ground, belonged to the once hopeful settlement of Nuecestown, founded by Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney in 1850. Nuecestown sat about thirteen miles northwest of a trading post that became known as Corpus

Today, thanks to the efforts of Nueces County, the 1892 Nuecestown schoolhouse still stands on the property of the Hilltop Community Center at 11425 Leopard St. As the new school year begins, take the opportunity to step back into the Nuecestown schoolhouse scene, and see how far our education system has come over the last century.

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Just as those railcars of commerce would roar a few miles away without stopping, progress would pass the settlement by and lead to Nuecestown’s demise. In 1913, students of the Nuecestown schoolhouse were transferred to the Bonnyview school in Calallen, and in turn, the district closed the Nuecestown school for good.

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108 The Bend

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August 2016  
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