HA RDHE ADS B O L I VA R R I G R U N :
CELEBRATING OPEN OCEAN SAILING Plus A LOOK INSIDE SEAGRASS BEACH THIS PLACE: THE SHIPâ€™S WHEEL
complimentary JULY/AUGUST 2017
PULLED PORK TACOS PAGE 10
ED UR AT NG FE LISTI
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C r y s ta l B e a C h P l a z a . C o m
contents SUMMER II EDITION
BOLIVAR RIG RUN SEPT. 3
06 Editor’s Note
08 Hardheads Bolivar Rig Run
Seashells by the Seashore
A panoramic event that celebrates the gusto of open ocean sailing
by Vince Brach
Pulled pork tacos – enough to feed a crowd
Summertime safety for fishermen by Dave Roberts
Ship’s Wheel: An ode to Bolivar Peninsula’s favorite watering hole by Xander Peters
The Best of Beachfront Living An look inside Seagrass Beach
A Beaumont-based couple’s handmade signs stand the test of time by Destiny Martin
Shelling on the peninsula
by Destiny Martin
10 Local Cooking
Local Events Calendar
Sea and Be Seen
THE COAST IS
Vacationing with COBB Real Estate feels like your dream destination is well within reach. Whether youâ€™re staying for a day, a week, or longer, our dedicated rental staff is ready to help you find a beach home on Bolivar Peninsula that offers some of the finest accommodations matched with unparalleled service.
REAL ESTATE CRYSTAL BEACH, TEXAS
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theLOCAL BOLIVAR PENINSULA’S MAGAZINE
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER Destiny Martin CONTRIBUTORS Vince Brach, Ph.D. Whitney Eshelman Alexander Peters Dave Roberts PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS Jim Denys Joseph Drago Luke Mauldin Dave Roberts FOR ADVERTISING INFO 650 Media Group, LLC P.O. Box 1747 Crystal Beach, TX 77650 817.505.8208 email@example.com
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when you mention The Local Magazine OFFER GOOD THROUGH DECEMBER 2017
Live it out WELCOME READERS, to the July/August edition
of The Local Magazine. This issue marks our second anniversary, and looking back I could not be more proud of where this journey has brought me. Some pivotal things have happened over the course of two years; some good, some challenging, but all inevitably necessary to get me to where I am today. I have to say that I am truly blessed to have the support of my husband, my family, and my community—it is my goal to continue working hard for each one of you! To our advertisers and contributors, I owe my greatest appreciation. The Local would not be what it is without you—thank you! While writing this letter, I think about the wonderful people I was able to get to know in the process of this edition to share their stories with you on these pages. Individuals who are courageously pursuing their dreams to build a business, share a vision, and grow a community. People like Jim Denys who founded the Bolivar Yacht Club and is hosting an annual event in September to celebrate sailing on the Texas coast (page 8). Or Brad Ballard, Developer of NewCoast Properties who is building the beautiful, family-oriented community Seagrass Beach. Turn to page 28 for a look inside the first completed showcase home.
Then there’s the Hubers, a couple from Beaumont who crafts handmade glass signage and hopes to one day live at the beach full time. You can read more about their cool Glass Tattoo products on page 34. And I would not miss an opportunity to recognize Millie Murphy, owner of the Ship’s Wheel since 1993. Turn to our Local Business feature on page 22 to read our tribute to the Wheel—Bolivar Peninsula’s favorite watering hole. Have a sunny and safe rest of your summer, and until next time, keep it local!
DESTINY MARTIN, EDITOR
On the cover A colorful regatta lines up along the shores of Bolivar Peninsula at last year’s HARDHEADS Bolivar Rig Run, an event established by the Bolivar Yacht Club in 2015 to celebrate the excitement that sailing creates. Make plans to attend this year’s event on Sunday, September 3 during Labor Day Weekend. Photo courtesy of Jim Denys.
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BOLIVAR RIG RUN A panoramic event that celebrates the gusto of open ocean sailing story by destiny martin | photos courtesy of jim denys
othing quite says coast like a boat chartering open waters — robust ocean wind filling her sails, the smell of salt air, and sea spray awakening your senses to the heart-pounding thrill of sailing. For Jim Denys, it’s his dream to share the experience with as many people as he can. Denys is Founder of the Bolivar Yacht Club (BYC), who along with premier sponsor HARDHEADS Ice House of Crystal Beach, will be hosting their third annual Bolivar Rig Run on Labor Day Weekend. The event celebrates sailing on the upper Texas coast where conditions are typically favorable for the world-class sport. Catamarans of every size, shape, and color will line up between barrels 54-56 on the beach Sunday, September 3 and the race will promptly begin at noon. Denys says it is a spectacle not to be missed as the colorful regatta makes their way to the offshore oil rig located approximately three miles south of Bolivar Peninsula. “The first year, we had four boats in the race, then last year when we partnered with HARDHEADS, we had seven boats participate,” he tells me. “This year, we’re planning for an even bigger and better event. Whether you’re a sailor or a spectator, we encourage everyone to come and experience the excitement sailing creates.”
The owner of HARDHEADS, Andrea Kaptchinskie, says she is proud to support BYC’s efforts to bring visibility to the sport of sailing on Bolivar Peninsula. “Our passion is driven directly by the passion of our customers,” Kaptchinskie says of the relationships she and her husband Jason have formed with the community since opening their ice house in 2015. Together Jim and HARDHEADS is just one of the many reasons Bolivar is a great place to live, work and play. “I could immediately see and feel Jim’s excitement to sail,” she recalls of the first conversation the two shared about the event. “His commitment is so deep I knew we had to do what we could to help his dream come true. After all, he is part of our beach family, and I would do anything for family.” tL
To register for the 2017 HARDHEADS Bolivar Rig Run, contact Jim Denys at 281.541.0114 or by email at email@example.com for more information.
INGREDIENTS 4-5 1 ½ 2 1 2 1 1
lbs pork shoulder/pork butt tbsp olive oil cup freshly squeezed orange juice tbsp lime juice tsp liquid smoke bay leaves onion, chopped jalapeño, deveined, seeded and chopped salt and pepper
WET SPICE RUB 3 2 1 ¼ 1 2 1 ½
tbsp olive oil tbsp sauce from canned Adobo chiles in sauce tbsp soy sauce cup dark brown sugar, packed tbsp ground cumin tsp dried oregano tsp each chili, garlic, and onion powders tsp smoked paprika
1. Rinse pork shoulder and pat dry. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan. Season meat generously with salt and pepper, applying extra salt to bone and fatty areas. Sear pork on all sides until browned. Transfer to a cutting board until cool enough to handle. 2. Whisk together all of the wet rub ingredients in a bowl. When pork is cool enough, message the rub evenly all over then transfer to a slow cooker. Add orange juice, lime juice, liquid smoke, and bay leaves. Top with diced onions and jalapeño. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 6 hours, or until meat is fork tender. 3. Remove pork from slow cooker and transfer to a cutting board. Shred meat and return to slow cooker, allowing the shredded pork to absorb the liquid. Continue to cook on low for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450° F and line a baking sheet with foil. 4. After 20 minutes, remove desired amount of pork (do not discard remaining juices) to the baking sheet. Drizzle with some of the remaining cooking liquid and heat in oven for 15 minutes. Broil for an additional 5-10 minutes longer, or until desired crispiness, careful not to allow the shredded pork to burn. 5. Heat 2-3 tortillas at a time in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Assemble tacos with shredded pork and desired toppings such as fresh cilantro, onions, diced tomatoes, and jalapeño slices. Enjoy!
recipe adapted from carlsbadcravings.com / photo by destiny martin
SAFETY words & photos by dave roberts / TEXAS KAYAK CHRONICLES
Summer has finally made its way to Texas, and there is no finer time to head to the coast. With each passing day, the fishing is getting better, no matter your style. Whether you’re a bank fisherman, boater, kayaker or wader, the next few months of fishing should be exceptional. Regardless of your style, we all face the same risks while enjoying the sport we love. I want to share a few tips to ensure that you, your family, and your friends have a safe summer on the water. Before we begin, I will be the first to say that I am guilty of most of this, but throughout the years, have learned that accidents do happen and I am not invincible. My biggest pet peeve, especially with kayakers, is to see someone not wearing their PFD. It has become a regular occurrence to turn on the news and see headlines that read, “Kayaker Missing” or “Search and Rescue looking for Fisherman.” There is no good excuse not to wear one when kayaking or while running your boat. Lots of companies have designed PFDs specifically for paddlers and boaters. Please buy a good one and wear it. The sun is another factor that affects anglers, and in the south, we are no exception. Exposure to the sun is something I believe we often overlook, but it can be deadly. In
America, 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime with 90% of cases caused by harmful UV rays from the sun. To prevent yourself from becoming part of the statistic, use sunscreen and try to cover up any exposed skin. Whenever I hit the water, I’m always in fishing pants, a long sleeve shirt, and cover my face with a hat and face buff. Another aspect that we tend to forget about is how critical it is to communicate our whereabouts. Trust me, as an avid angler I know you don’t want to give away your secret spots, but in any event, your loved ones will know where you are. Typically when I go fishing alone, I call my Pops or my tournament partner and let them know where I am. I also tell them to expect to hear back from me by a designated time that way if they don’t, they know to come looking for me. We have all been in a situation where we were out on the water for longer than anticipated because of boat trouble or bad weather, but it is always good for someone to know where you are. These hazards all pose a potential threat, no matter if you’re a veteran fisherman or a firsttimer. Enjoy your time outdoors this summer, but be mindful and use your judgment before going out on the water. Wear your PFD, dress accordingly, and communicate! I hope everyone has a fun and safe summer. tL
DAVE ROBERTS is an avid kayak fisherman, writer, and photographer who travels the Texas coast documenting his experiences along the way. For more information, visit his blog at texaskayak chronicles.com
SAFETY TIPS FOR FISHERMEN
WEAR YOUR (PFD) PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM HARMFUL UV RAYS
COMMUNICATION IS KEY â€” TELL SOMEONE WHERE THEY CAN FIND YOU
local. BEACH VIBES
Sea turtle sighting OUR STATE SEA TURTLE, the Kemp’s ridley, nests on Texas beaches from April through mid-July. This species of turtle is the smallest and most critically endangered of the sea turtle species. Unlike other sea turtles, the Kemp’s ridley typically nest during the day and will lay about 100 eggs in each nest. Increases in the turtles’ nesting success is in large part due to the ongoing efforts of local patrols, residents, and visitors to protect the turtles. Anyone spotting a nesting sea turtle should immediately call 866-TURTLE5/866-887-8535 to report the turtle.
Pollution reporting made easy Avoid the rip Rip currents are a dangerous reality of the ocean. Before you go out into the water this summer, make sure you 1. know how to spot a rip, and 2. how to avoid it. Rips are powerful currents of water rushing away from shore, and can be spotted where there is a gap in the ridge of breaking waves. If you happen to find yourself stuck in a rip current, remain calm; it will not pull you under, it will only pull you away from shore. Do not attempt to swim directly back to the beach, instead swim parallel to the shoreline to escape the current. For more safety information about rip currents, visit www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov 14 |
GALVESTON BAY FOUNDATION
(GBF) has put the power of protecting Galveston Bay in the community’s hands. GBF recently launched the Galveston Bay Action Network as a downloadable mobile app for iPhone and Android. This app allows users to report any land or water pollution within minutes. Reports are automatically sent to the proper authority, resulting in the quickest response to get the pollution cleaned up. The app is a tool for those in the Houston-Galveston area, and can be used as far north as Spring-Cypress and as far east as Anahuac. Ultimately, GBF hopes people will use this app to ensure that both their local communities and Galveston Bay are safe and free from illegal pollution. Download the Galveston Bay Action Network app for iPhone and Android at www.itunes.apple.com or www.play.google.com.
Over forty years of building exceptional homes on Bolivar Peninsula.
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SHUTTERS | RO LLER SHADES | ROMAN SHADES | WOVEN WOODS | BLINDS Call: 409.866.4055 Toll Free: 877.281.9717 Address: 7396 College St. Beaumont, TX 77707 July/August 2017
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Laguna Harbor is Galveston Bayâ€™s premier waterfront community with immediate access to the Gulf of Mexico. Commanding views of the Intracoastal Waterway provide the backdrop for 120 home sites including concrete bulkheads. Canal lots starting at $75,000. 1703 Nelson Avenue, Port Bolivar | 409.684.9500 | www.LagunaHarbor.com Visit our sales center Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm (or by appointment)
ON BOLIVAR PENINSULA
I can’t think of a better introduction to the WORLD OF NATURE than shell collecting. —Vince Brach, Ph.D.
seashells by the seashore SHELLING ON THE PENINSULA words by vince brach, ph.d.
ew things make more evocative seashore souvenirs than seashells. Found nowhere else, seashells somehow capture the beauty and strangeness of the ocean in ways that we can’t resist. Their value has always been appreciated by humans, who have used them for food, money, tools, and ornament before written language existed. So don’t be surprised if on your next trip to Bolivar, you find yourself putting a few shells in your pocket. But watch out: shell collecting, or “shelling”, is addictive! The first time, you could find yourself taking home a few odd specimens that you picked up while strolling along Caplen’s lonely beaches. Next summer, you might actually plan to do a little beachcombing to add to your collection, coming home with a shoebox full of shells. In no time, your windowsills and shelves will have shells everywhere. You may even have picked up an identification guide to help you name your prizes. This is getting serious! Seashells are the external skeletons of marine mollusks. The mollusks are the second-largest major group of animals in the world, numbering about 100,000 living species. About 900 occur on the Texas coast, mostly south of the Bolivar Peninsula. However, the peninsula still provides shell seekers with plenty of beautiful specimens. The commonest types you will find belong to the snails, or gastropods, and clams, or bivalves. Unlike many types of natural objects, cleaned seashells are relatively indestructible. Providing that the animal that made the shell (or that took it over, as do hermit crabs) is removed, seashells are also odorless. If given a thin coating of mineral oil and kept out of direct sunlight, shells will keep their lovely appearance and colors for centuries. Just what will you need to begin shelling on the peninsula? I recommend starting with nothing more than old clothes and a pair of sturdy
canvas shoes. You will want some sort of container such as a basket or mesh laundry bag to carry your prizes. I always carry some tissue paper and a coffee can to protect delicate and tiny specimens. A magnifying glass is helpful for examining small shells. Stop at a local market such as the Big Store to get one and a free tide table, which will allow you to find the best low tides for collecting. I like to collect on a falling tide, since new shells will be uncovered as you retrace your steps along the beach. The surf side of the peninsula is best for the beginner. Shells tend to settle along the strand line, which is the line of flotsam and jetsam highest up the damp beach. Investigate any barriers, such as pieces of driftwood and seaweed. These often conceal a shell beneath or alongside their length. Examine any lighter shell-fragment-colored eddies and pockets in the sand near the water, as these often concentrate tiny shells. What can you expect to find? There are hundreds of possibilities, but I will only mention a few of the shells you are likely to encounter in good condition. One of the commonest Texas sea snails is the Shark’s Eye Moon Snail, an almost perfectly round, light brown shell that can be as large as a tennis ball. These snails are active predators on small clams, which they attack by boring out a perfectly round, countersunk hole at the top. If you find a clam shell that has such a hole (perfect for stringing to make a shell necklace!), it was done by this snail. Another great find is the Lightning Whelk, the Texas state shell. This lovely shell has distinctive brown “lightning” markings along its cream-colored sides. Curiously, it opens to the left, rather than to the right as do most snails. One of the prettiest snail shells to be found on Bolivar’s beaches is the hefty Hays’ Rocksnail. u
get to know your
Use this quick reference to help you identify your finds
a. Giant Atlantic Cockle
b. Shark's Eye Moon Snail
c. Lightning Whelk
e. Hays' Rocksnail
f. Incongruous Ark
d. Disk Dosinia
RECOMMENDED GUIDES Seashells of North America, a Golden Field Guide (1968) R. TUCKER ABBOTT
Inexpensive and very useful for the common species, but a bit dated. The summary of mollusk biology, collecting techniques, and storage at the beginning is exceptionally good. A Field Guide to Shells of the Texas Coast (1992) JEAN ANDREWS
A key reference. 20 |
A Field Guide to Shells of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and the West Indies (1973 and later) PERCY A. MORRIS
A Peterson Field Guide, very thorough. Beachcomberâ€™s Guide to Gulf Coast Marine Life (2004) SUSAN B. ROTHSCHILD
Packed with useful information.
Choice specimens sport a salmon-pink interior and a sculpturing of finely-chiseled ridges. This snail shell (and most others) washed up on the beach commonly contain hermit crabs, which can be made to leave the shells by soaking them in fresh water with a little dishwashing liquid for a day or so. Live specimens cling tightly to jetties and offshore oyster reefs where they live next to their prey of oysters and mussels, so they are rarely washed ashore. Several common bivalves such as the Incongruous Ark Shell, the Disk Dosinia, and the Giant Atlantic Cockle are often found washed up as single shells, or valves, rarely with both valves together. As the name implies, the Incongruous Ark’s valves are “incongruous”, one overlapping the other like a bad overbite when closed. The shiny shells of Disk Dosinias are common after spring storms and are almost always still together. The Giant Atlantic Cockle, one of our largest clams, can be as big as a fist and is beautifully patterned in browns, reds, and a hint of lavender. What should you do with your shells once you get them home? After cleaning off the sand under a hose and ridding them of any crab “hitch hikers”, you may want to identify them. Beyond the simple fold-out guides available at the market, you might consider enriching your shelling experience with any of the recommended guides listed below. As a beginner you will simply browse through a book, looking at pictures until you find one that looks like your specimen. Looking up shell images on the internet may also aid in narrowing down your choices. You will get better and better as you practice. Doubtful specimens can be saved for identification by an expert (easily found at shell clubs, both in person and online). I can’t think of a better introduction to the world of nature than shell collecting. The whole family can be involved. Your subjects don’t try to run away. Once collected and processed, your specimens will last virtually forever. And every time you see them, you’ll be reminded of the Bolivar Peninsula and the mysteries of the great Gulf of Mexico beyond! tL VINCE BRACH is a teacher, naturalist, and writer from Tyler. His articles feature in dozens of publications including Texas Highways, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and Highlights for Children. He has vacationed on Bolivar Peninsula for over 30 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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STILL STEERING THE WHEEL words by xander peters | photos by luke mauldin
FOR MANY, THIS IS HOME—this bar, this smoky room. It’s an inebriated haven all in its own. It’s where friendships are made, where drunken oversight tends to be mistaken for love at first sight. It’s where arguments are hashed out over cold beer and strong liquor, and where laughs are born deep in the belly, where people find an excuse to cry and laugh, sometimes taking turns doing both. It’s where first kisses have come aplenty, and even a few scuffles, too. It’s the sort of place that brings folks together, whether stranger, friend, or foe. To say the least, life has happened here—between these four walls, atop these worn bar stools, on the dance-floor—from funeral wakes to weddings, birthday parties to divorce parties. And when it comes to the Ship’s Wheel as we know it, the bar many locals and vacation-goers have come to love for the last 24 years, Millie Murphy has been the one steering the wheel. “Free drinks for all!” a lady shouts at Millie from across the bar, as she picks up on the owner’s mention of next year’s blowout 25th anniversary bash. “Now, when have you ever known me to give out free drinks?” Millie replies with a laugh. “We’re not starting at 25 years.” She runs a tight ship. That’s a hard-lined truth. But what’s so special about u
Millie Murphy (center) is the owner of Shipâ€™s Wheel, where she once worked as a bartender before purchasing the bar from Buck and Earlene Jones in 1993. Here she is photographed with three of her long-tenured employees, Amanda, Jamie, and Renee (from left to right).
...this place has an aura. You can’t buy it. You can’t build it into a place.
this place—what maintains that oh so charming downhome aesthetic—is the fact that it’s never changed, or at least no more than necessary. Not a hurricane could make it do so, more or less (if you don’t count a little inevitable remodeling). Not the gradual shift of the peninsula’s culture over the years, the slow drift away from the fishing village most people can still recall. Not even time. Hell, even the bartenders—that array of blonde beauties, the women whom many have flirted with only to fail, and fail again—even refuse to change, as in they seemingly never age. They’re the ones who keep the most loyal of loyalists coming back for more—Renee, Amanda, and Jamie. But the product of the Ship’s Wheels goes beyond their beauty, what’s akin to fine wine. This place is a product of wit and goodtime humor, where, as the old cliché may have it, everybody knows your name. And your drink of choice as well, that is. This is a place that’s made for the customers, the folks who make it possible to keep the lights on seven days a week, what Millie learned to be all the more true the day she reopened the Wheel post-Hurricane Ike, when the old regulars began showing up like the last few months had never even happened. That’s faith. That’s just the Ship’s Wheel. It could be said that on the way to honky tonk heaven, the road runs straight through this place, this bar. It could also be said that this is where the hard knocks of yesterday are better left at the bottom of an empty bottle. Still the only thing truly worth saying is: like it or not, this place isn’t going anywhere. “I’ve been here a long time, right here,” Millie tells me. “Memories, the people, oh my gawd—it’s the Wheel. You know, it’s the biggest part of my life. It’s a way of life for me. … This place has an aura. You can’t buy it. You can’t build it into a place.” “People love this place, and I’m part of that. This is home. There’s no other way to really put it—this is just home.” tL
XANDER PETERS is a writer formerly based in New York and Austin. His work has appeared in publications like Outside, The Texas Observer, Texas Monthly, Austin Monthly, and San Antonio Magazine. With a family beach home in Crystal Beach, Xander calls himself an almost native Peninsulan. His email address is email@example.com
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THE BEST OF BEACHFRONT LIVING SEAGRASS BEACH
From soaring ceilings and hardwood floors to quartz counter tops and stainless steel appliances, the homes exemplify the attention to detail and posh standards of the community.
estled just beyond the dunes on a quiet stretch of the Bolivar Peninsula sits Seagrass Beach, a private beachfront community that recently completed its first home on the developmentâ€™s sprawling 33-acre site. Inspired by Floridaâ€™s popular 30A destinations like Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, and Seaside, developer Brad Ballard of NewCoast Properties seeks to bring luxury homes and a family-oriented environment to the Texas Gulf Coast. Seagrass Beach offers homebuyers the opportunity to own an exclusive piece of beachfront property with features and amenities unlike the area has ever seen. Here, superior construction meets distinct curb appeal inspired by architectural details of the West Indies. Thoughtfully designed by ARCON Architects of Seabrook, Texas, Seagrass Beach u
A grand entrance to the resort-style pool at Seagrass Beach where just a few steps beyond the dunes awaits the glistening Gulf of Mexico
elevates beachfront living with state-of-the-art amenities that include a resort-style pool with poolside cabanas and expansive communal lawns. Controlled access points and security gates add extra privacy for the community and its visitors. The beautifully manicured grounds are just the beginning. What sets the homes in Seagrass Beach apart from every other home on the Bolivar Peninsula, is the level of engineering that goes into each home. All homes in Seagrass Beach are being constructed with extraordinary quality, luxury, and personalized touches to reflect the homebuyer’s lifestyle, and are engineered to meet the IBHS, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, FORTIFIED Home™ Gold Level. “We are designing and constructing every home to be not only beautiful but to be very tough as well,” says Brad Ballard, Principal of NewCoast Properties. “This gives homeowners peace of mind knowing their home is fortified to be more disaster resilient against Mother Nature,” he adds. “I tell people our homes are built like YETI ice chests, and they get it.” Life at Seagrass Beach is nothing short of the ultimate relaxation experience. Spacious lots with an abundance of surrounding green space provide the benefit of privacy,
extra outdoor living area, and room enough for the kids to roam in a family-friendly atmosphere. “I have two rambunctious little boys who love exploring,” Brad says. “The layout of our community is designed largely in part to emphasize the natural beauty of Bolivar Peninsula, and all of the outdoor activities families can enjoy doing together while here, like fishing, roasting s’mores at the beachside firepit, or grilling by the pool and watching the sun set.” Only 35 homesites are platted for the development, ensuring that every home in Seagrass Beach, no matter its location, is provided an unobstructed, forever view of the Gulf of Mexico. Higher standards of safety and engineering coupled with luxurious amenities make Seagrass Beach a community set apart. “We are working hard to exceed the expectations of buyers,” Brad says in closing. “Seagrass Beach will soon be the most sought after family-oriented place to own a beach home on the Bolivar Peninsula.” tL Discover more at SeagrassBeach.com or call (409) 5150089 to schedule your private tour today. photos by JOSEPH DRAGO
GLASS TATS A Beaumont-based couple makes handmade signs that stand the test of time story and photos by destiny martin
IT’S AN EARLY SATURDAY morning as Monica Huber prepares for her shift at Gallery By The Gulf, a co-op art space in Crystal Beach where she sells her handmade glass tattoos. Yes, you read that right. Monica and her husband David own the Glass Tattoo Company, a spin-off of Beaumont Leaded Glass, and produce customizable address signs that are designed to withstand the harsh elements of the coast. Theirs is a process that took several years to develop, but the result is a practical, personalized work of art that adorns many of the homes in our beach community. As awareness of the “Glass Tattoo” continues to grow, the Hubers—and their weatherproof house signs—are increasingly becoming a staple at the beach. “We’re here almost every weekend fulfilling orders and taking new ones. It’s exciting,” Monica tells me. The product is unique. But to understand it, I knew I had to get a firsthand look at how to make it. So I visited the Hubers’ studio where they showed me step-by-step how they take their Glass Tattoos from concept to completion. It’s a surprisingly creative process that fuses centuries-old glass techniques with modern day technology.
First, Monica and David start by helping their customers design the look of their custom signage. Choose from their library of images (most are hand painted by Monica using Photoshop), or tell them what you want. By explanation of some of the signs they show me, the possibilities are virtually limitless. Next, choose your mosaic colors to accent your design. From there, Monica digitally customizes the artwork on a computer. Now here is where it gets interesting! Tech-savvy David has modified their printer to print fine particles of glass called frit, instead of ink. Frit is a raw glass material that is ground into a sand-like consistency and is the same product glassmakers use to paint church windows. Using this special printer, Monica
...fusing centuriesold glass techniques with modern day technology. then prints her designs out on paper. The next step is called a â€œwater slideâ€? where the house numbers and custom art become transferred to the glass plate, or substrate. So now we have fine glass particles positioned perfectly on top of the glass substrate. Weâ€™re ready to fire! Monica then places her creations in a kiln where the product gets heated to u
1400 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing the glass frit and the glass substrate to fuse together. David tells me, “this is the real strength of our product because we’re essentially melting glass into glass.” Including the cool-down time, it is the lengthiest step in the entire process, but once the plates come out, the result is scratch-proof, weather resistant tiles that are ready for assembling. David cuts planks of Hardie board, and Monica then adheres all of the design elements to the sustainable material with polymer cement. “No matter how bad the elements get, it’s not going anywhere,” she assures me. From
here, the product sets for a time and is ready to deliver. All Glass Tattoos come ready to install with stainless steel screws and washers. Between Crystal Beach and their studio in Beaumont, the Hubers are working around the clock to brand Southeast Texas with their indelible Glass Tats. “We figure everyone has an address,” David chuckles. “Some people have two!” “We’d like to take our product on Shark Tank one day,” Monica says, “but until then we hope to continue to leave a lasting impression on the hearts and homes of our customers.” tL
For more information about the Glass Tattoo Company, go to their website at glasstat.com or visit their booth at Gallery by the Gulf, 1980 Hwy 87 in Crystal Beach.
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Jerry Diaz & Friends Full Moon Party July 7 On the beach @ Gulf Shores Drive Join Jerry Diaz & Friends for their 4th annual summertime Full Moon Party. This is a family event that hosts live music from Jerry Diaz & Little Reef, as well as other musical guests. Performances begin at 7:30 pm and will last until around 10 pm. All are invited and admission is free, but be sure to bring your own chairs! For more information visit the event Facebook page at Full Moon Party.
5th Annual Ladies Casting for Conservation Fishing Tournament July 22 Stingaree Marina
Calling all lady anglers! Hosted by Galveston Bay Foundation, the Ladies Casting for Conservation is a women’s one-day fishing tournament held in Crystal Beach. This unique event brings together fishing enthusiasts and helps protect Galveston Bay’s natural resources. Now in its fifth year, the tournament has drawn interest from anglers throughout the state. It’s a day of fun and an opportunity to learn about Galveston Bay. Both guided teams and non-guided teams are eligible. Visit www. galvbay.org/fishingtournament to register today!
Chamber of Commerce General Meeting July 18 Joe Faggard Community Building The Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce will host a General Members Meeting on Tuesday, July 18 at 6 pm. The Chamber has made extensive progress this year with its rebranding efforts and would like to take the opportunity to share these changes with you. “It is an exciting time to be involved with the Bolivar Chamber of Commerce,” says Membership Chairperson Andrea Kaptchinskie. “With continued support, together we are building Bolivar to be a great place to live, work and play!”
Ron Venable Exhibit Through July Gallery By The Gulf Born with a Cajun spoon in his mouth, Ron Venable is blending his creole upbringing with his Galveston Island life to create artwork that inspires relaxation, fun, and memories. Ron’s work is created on historic salvaged items from Galveston County. See how Bolivar Peninsula inspires his pieces. They will be on display through July. Gallery By The Gulf is located at 1980 Hwy 87 (upstairs) in Crystal Beach.
Bolivar Peninsula Lions Club 5th Annual Golf Cart Poker Run August 5 Coconuts/Bamboo Bar
The 5th annual Lions Club Golf Cart Poker Run will be held on Saturday, August 5. Golf carts line up at 10 am at Coconuts/Bamboo Bar, then will proceed to Tiki Beach Bar & Grill, The Eagles, Steve’s Landing Restaurant, and end at Stingaree Down Under. Awards given for Best Hand, Best Decorated cart and Traveled The Longest Distance to participate, as well as a live auction! Proceeds benefit Crenshaw and High Island schools and help to provide supplies for students. Visit bplions.org for more information.
CPR Classes On-going CPR Classes free to Bolivar residents and property owners. Locations vary. To register, call (409) 684-2005 Monday through Friday, 9 am to 2 pm.
HARDHEADS Bolivar Rig Run September 3 On the beach A panoramic event that celebrates the gusto of open ocean sailing on Bolivar Peninsula. See page 8 for more details. To register, contact Jim Denys at (281) 541-0114. 42 |
Port Bolivar Volunteer Fire Department BBQ Cook-off August 25-26 Port Bolivar Fire Station
Port Bolivar Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting their 19th annual BBQ Cook-off on Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26. Tag in starts Friday at 7 pm. Entry fees include: Brisket, $75 donation per team; Ribs, $25 donation per team; Chicken, $25 per team; and Beans, $10 per team. All four categories $125 donation per team. And they’ll be serving up some extra fun for the competitive cooks with a Fajita Cook-off Friday night ($20 entry). Pot split, 50 (1st), 30 (2nd), and 20 (3rd). Turn in 9:00 pm Friday night. Bloody Mary Contest (open to anyone) on Saturday morning, $10 per entry. Judging held at 10 am Saturday morning, winner takes all. Teams wanted! For more information, contact Malcolm Comeaux (409) 771-7026 or BJ Jewell at (409) 599-7815.
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Featuring: Hardheads Bolivar Rig Run | A Look Inside Seagrass Beach | This Place: The Ship's Wheel | Glass Tattoo Company | Summerti...