theLOCAL BOLIVAR PENINSULA'S MAGAZINE
explore our great outdoors A beginnerâ€™s guide to Birding on the peninsula Kayak fishing offers the best of both worlds Weekend project: how to install a sand shower Wildflowers in bloom on the Texas Coast
Beach Road has a long history
complimentary MARCH/APRIL 2017
The legacy you know. The name you trust. SWEDES REAL ESTATE is pleased to introduce a new face of our business. For over 60 years, our company has helped make memories for generations of families on the Bolivar Peninsula and while our looks may have changed, one thing that hasnâ€™t is the level of commitment to our customers. Visit swedesrealestate.com or call us at 409.684.3345 to plan your next vacation.
SALES VACATION RENTALS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
2840 H IG H WAY 87 | C RYS TAL B EAC H , TE X A S 7 76 5 0 | 4 0 9 . 6 84 . 3 34 5 | SW E D E S R E A L E S TATE . c o m
E X C L U S I V E R E TA I L & O F F I C E S U I T E S ADVANCED ELECTRONICS 409.898.3626
CRYSTAL BEACH CLUB PROPERTIES 409.684.1184
KELLER WILLIAMS OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS 409.684.1200
MINWEST HOME BUILDERS 409.684.7233
I LOVE NAILS
RICELAND FAMILY CLINIC
SOUTH LAND TITLE 409.684.3233
C r y s ta l B e a c h P l a z a . c o m
contents SPRING EDITION
05 Editor’s Note
08 Beach Vibes
Beginner’s guide to navigating one of the nation’s top birder destinations
The peninsula offers the best of both worlds by Dave Roberts
Birding On Bolivar by Nicholas Lund
Incorporating beach native flowers in your landscape
30 In The Community
Stations of the cross: an interactive walk with Jesus this Easter
by Destiny Martin
Bigfoot finds his way to the beach by Cody and Destiny Martin
Blooms of Bolivar
How to install an outdoor sand shower
by Rev. Valerie Hudson
by Heather McClelland
Cruising the coastal way with Golf Car Connection by Destiny Martin
38 Sea and Be Seen
Beach Road has a long history by Judith W. Linsley
Local Events Calendar
C obb Real Estate
strives to maintain a
quiet family atmosphere for the enjoyment of our guests and neighbors. Enjoy breathtaking sunrises over the Texas Gulf Coast and picture perfect evenings on the bay. Visit our website for convenient 24-hour online booking or call to speak with one of our Vacation Rental Experts. Call or click today to
Luxury Vacation Home s
plan your next vacation.
Bolivar Peninsul a
D O WN LOAD OU R FREE MO B ILE APP
C o b b R e a l E s tat e . c o m 2290 Hwy 87 | Crystal Beach, Texas
ask about our
24 months interest-free financing
Get the look Visit our newly expanded showroom to learn more about our professional design services Weâ€™re open 7 days a week!
living rooms | dining rooms bedrooms | home accessories lighting | rugs | & more
4002 Broadway, Galveston | @baysidechicgalveston Mon-Fri 9-5:30, Sat 10-5, Sun 11-5
F R EE D E L I V E RY AND S ET- UP AVAILABLE
The big question is whether you’re going to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
Step outside SINCE LAUNCHING my business, one of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that going after your goals in life takes tenacity; it requires a step (or more than a few steps) outside of your comfort zone. That has always been a lot easier said than done, but in my experience, the end result is usually worth it. I’m reminded of an adventure I shared with my husband very early on in our marriage: an extreme zip line tour of the Mexican jungle. We honeymooned in Puerto Vallarta, and while we were there he suggested the excursion. Admittedly, it sounded like more work than I cared to subject myself to while on vacation, but I wanted to show him I was up for the challenge—no matter how extreme! In the first few minutes of our tour, the guide explained that each of us would be riding on a donkey to the top of the mountain, then rappel down a 50-foot waterfall, only to deliver us to the canopy where we would zip line across sprawling ranges of trees and vegetation. Okay, way more than I bargained for! I don’t think the butterflies left my stomach until my feet were back on solid ground, but I
had the best time! The views were breathtaking and I was proud of myself for pushing past what I thought were my limits. The fact that I got to share it all with my husband was just a bonus. We walked away with a memory we both still cherish. The pages of this issue are full of fun activities to do outdoors. From birding to kayak fishing, and DIY projects, we hope that you’ll be inspired to embrace the great outdoors this spring, try something new, and step outside your comfort zone! DESTINY MARTIN, EDITOR
On the cover Weather along the Texas coast has been so unpredictable lately, so when we finally got a break from the rain and sea fog, The Local took an opportunity to dig our toes in the sand and soak up some warm sunshine! This photo captures the breathtaking beauty of Bolivar Peninsula in spring. It may be a rare occasion that our water is this clear, but it is a happy reminder of how blessed we are to experience days like these. Enjoy!
BOLIVAR PENINSULA’S MAGAZINE
EDITOR IN CHIEF Destiny Martin CONTRIBUTORS Rev. Valerie Hudson Judith W. Linsley Nick Lund Cody Martin Heather McClelland Dave Roberts
AUTHORIZED DEALER Whenever there is a power outage, trust our reliable standby generators to protect your home or business. With local representation on the Texas Gulf Coast, we offer efficient backup power solutions that keep your lights and AC on, your fridge cool, and your business running smoothly.
PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS Elsie Devers Paul Noland Dave Roberts Rosenberg Library FOR ADVERTISING INFO 650 Media Group, LLC P.O. Box 1747 Crystal Beach, TX 77650 817.505.8208 firstname.lastname@example.org The Local Bolivar Peninsula’s Magazine is produced by 650 Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved. The Local is not responsible for facts represented by authors or advertisers. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without written consent of the editor.
Join the conversation on Facebook @ The Local Magazine
Follow us on Issuu at www.issuu.com/TheBolivarLocal for easy to navigate digital editions of every issue of your favorite community magazine
For information about joining our mailing list, email us at email@example.com
Seregen Series 8-60kW Generators ®
ü Free delivery and 5-year warranty ü 1-4 year maintenance packages ü Will beat competitor’s pricing ü Free estimates, no obligation ü Installed by local plumbers & electricians
MASTER SERVICE COMPANY
Licensed & Insured email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Ruud Generators by Briggs & Stratton Twitter: @WilliamMinyard
“Service is what we are all about”
SERVING BEAUMONT | PORT ARTHUR | PORT NECHES | CRYSTAL BEACH | PORT BOLIVAR | GALVESTON | HOUSTON
Exceptional Waterfront Properties on Galveston Bay
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
local. BEACH VIBES
Do you believe? Bigfoot finds his way to the beach story by CODY & DESTINY MARTIN
CRYSTAL BEACH, TEXAS—Local resident claims he recently spotted a dark figure resembling Bigfoot on Goat Island. Commercial fisherman Delino Comeaux says he was out checking his crab traps on the foggy morning of February 10 when he witnessed what appeared to be a hairy, uprightstanding figure near the water’s edge of Elmgrove Point. “I had just got done pulling my last trap into the boat, and I spotted some movement out of the corner of my eye. At first glance, it looked like a big hog, but then it stood up on two legs.” Comeaux says at that point the creature retreated back into the overgrown vegetation of the island. Late last year, a photographer from Galveston, who wishes to remain anonymous, reported seeing a similar being near the Point Bolivar Lighthouse. “I came to capture some of Bolivar’s beauty at dusk and saw what I thought to be a large, ape-like animal through the lens of my camera. When I looked with my naked eye, it was gone. Just like that!” Sightings of Sasquatch, as he is known in the South, are a fairly common occurrence, though there have never been
reports of the unproven creature being seen on the Bolivar Peninsula until now, according to the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy. Resident believers have theorized that the misunderstood monster may have been seeking warmer climates due to global cooling and receding ocean levels, and found himself in the vicinity of the timbered area of Anahuac during the time of Hurricane Ike in 2008. Following the storm, he was most likely caught on a raft of pine trees that became lodged on Goat Island, and as a result has been living there ever since. It is also purported that the primate survives on crabs, oysters, and shrimp. Assumedly, he is a pescetarian. But after years in hiding, Bigfoot is ready to embrace the boundless experiences Bolivar Peninsula has to offer. From Spring Break to Labor Day, and every weekend in between, catch him enjoying the sights, sounds, and local events that make Crystal Beach so unique. Photo ops will be available every Saturday through the summer at the Big Store. Follow their Facebook page @TheBigStore for more details. tL
GIGLIO DISTRIBUTING COMPANY Wholesale Beverage Distributor EST 1955
Proudly serving the Bolivar Peninsula
GIGLIODISTRIBUTING.COM | 409.838.1654
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE. Over forty years of building exceptional homes on Bolivar Peninsula. NEW CONSTRUCTION • REMODELING • PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONTACT TYLER COCO AT 409.651.6004 2290 HIGHWAY 87 | CRYSTAL BEACH, TEXAS 77650
NATURAL, CASUAL AND ALWAYS PRACTICAL.
BLIND FACTO R Y SHUTTERS ROLLER SHADES ROMAN SHADES WOVEN WOODS BLINDS
409.866.4055 Toll Free: 877.281.9717 7396 College St. | Beaumont, TX 77707 10 |
Your home comfort specialists Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Refrigeration Full Home Services Available 24 Hours 7 Days a Week No Overtime Charge Between 7am–7pm Special Attention to Builders’ Market No Extra Charge to Bolivar Peninsula
4445 Westpark Ave. Beaumont, TX 77705 409-842-3737 phone | 409-842-3738 fax
ON ALL SERVICE-RELATED NEEDS
when you mention The Local Magazine OFFER GOOD THROUGH DECEMBER 2017
Galveston Furniture & Flooring Specializing in furniture, flooring, remodels, window treatments and coastal accessories.
Galveston Furniture & Flooring Bassett / Lane / Broyhill / Ashley / Hunter Douglas
Islands largest supplier of 100% recycled plastic outdoor furniture. 4214largest Broadway, Galveston GalvestonFurniture.com | 409.762.5244 | Islandâ€™s supplier of| 100% recycled plastic outdoor furniture. 4214 Broadway, Galveston | GalvestonFurniture.com | 409.762.5244 |
GOOD TO KNOW
Back to Nature Research shows there are numerous benefits to spending prolonged amounts of time outdoors including: vitamin D, improved eye sight (think less time staring at a screen), fresh air, earthing (a process that occurs when bare skin comes in contact with natural elements such as sand or grass), and increased levels of saratonin. The following pages are filled with activities to get you outside this spring and encourage you to feel your best.
A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BIRDING | KAYAK FISHING THE PENINSULA BLOOMS OF BOLIVAR | DIY PROJECT: OUTDOOR SAND SHOWER March/April 2017
NNER'S GUI I G DE BE : A
BIRDING ON BOLIVAR story by NICHOLAS LUND
BIRDERS DREAM OF BOLIVAR. Did you know that? Right now, snow-bound birders across the country are wishing they were at High Island during spring migration, or at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge watching a flock of Roseate Spoonbills fly over. More species of birds have been recorded on the Bolivar Peninsula than just about anywhere else in America and as a result, it’s one of the nation’s top destinations for birders. The reason is geography. Depending on the season, the Texas coast is either the first or last stop for millions of songbirds making a long migration to the Yucatan Peninsula over the Gulf of Mexico. In spring, the forested areas of High Island provide the first opportunity to rest and refuel for tiny birds exhausted from the non-stop 600-mile flight from Mexico. In the fall, it’s their last chance to prepare up before making the flight south.
The outcome is the same in both seasons: hundreds of thousands of birds along the Texas coast. With so much excitement happening in your neighborhood, why miss out on the fun? Here are a few tips on getting started as a birder, even if right now you can’t tell the difference between a hawk and a hummingbird. u FIGURE OUT WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT I believe that the biggest hurdle for non-birders is simply figuring out what the point of birding is. Are you looking for the most colorful birds? The biggest? Those are fun, but in reality, most birders are trying to find as many different species as they can. More than 500 species of birds are seen in Texas in any given year, and birders want to find them all. The trick is that the birds don’t just perch there for you, though.
They make it tough. They hide in the bushes, or only come out at night, or look similar to one another. Birding, then, becomes a big cross-state scavenger hunt, where birders are constantly challenged to seek out and then correctly identify the different birds. It’s a game that never ends but is always fun. v GET YOURSELF SOME GEAR Now that you know what to do, figure out how to do it. Birding, thankfully, is a lowcost hobby that doesn’t require much gear. At a minimum, you need only two things: a bird guide and some binoculars. The guide—I prefer The Sibley Guide to Birds—is your bible. It shows all the different species in their different plumages and has range maps letting you know where each species will be at each time of year. Get a guide, and study it. Binoculars are necessary, too. The experience of seeing a bird is immeasurably better when you can actually get a good look at it, and so some kind of magnification is key. Binoculars can get expensive, but you can easily find a pair for under $100 that will do just fine. w GET OUT THERE Once you’ve got some binoculars and know what a few of the birds are, it’s time to get outside and start exploring. I think the best way to start is to pick an interesting-looking species out of that guide you bought and go seek it out. There are resources online, like the great citizen science website eBird.org, that can help you figure out exactly where to go. Have you always wanted to see a Roseate Spoonbill or a Bald Eagle? Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge is your best bet. Have you ever seen a bird with a schnozz as big as the Long-billed Curlew? Go see for yourself at the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary. Want to see some of those beautiful migrant
I believe that the biggest hurdle for non-birders is simply figuring out what the point of birding is.
songbirds? Head to Boy Scout Woods or the Smith Island Sanctuary at High Island in April and May. The more you explore and the more you learn about where to find birds and how to identify them, the more fun you’ll have. Before you know it, you’ll be one of those birders who come from around the world to chase rare birds all over the Bolivar Peninsula. tL
Nick Lund lives in D.C. and writes about birds and birding for Audubon, Slate, The Washington Post, and others. Find him on Twitter @TheBirdist and check out his blog www.thebirdist.com.
KAYAK FISHING THE PENINSULA
story & photo by DAVE ROBERTS
that the Bolivar Peninsula attracts a large crowd of anglers every year and rightfully so. This stretch of land along the Texas Gulf Coast provides an ideal place for a wide variety of fishermen who on any given day can be found fishing the bank at Rollover Pass or skimming along the flats in East Bay. However, the peninsula largely caters to another group of anglers, and these are kayakers. Bolivar Peninsula is one of my favorite places to kayak because it gives you the best of both worlds. Along the Intracoastal, kayakers can chase trout, redfish, and flounder and on the Gulf side, larger fish such as bull reds and multiple species of shark can be targeted. Whatever style of fishing you prefer or species you like to fish for, all can be found on one side or the other of the peninsula. Another convenience for kayakers is great access to multiple launches. There are several roads that lead down to the ship channel with easy access to marsh drains into the channel. Of course, too we have IT'S NO SECRET
our beloved Stingaree Marina, Rollover Pass and a few other public ramps along the way. Also for the “Beyond the Breaker” (BTB) types, in the great State of Texas, you can drive on our beaches, pick a spot to set up, and launch. Access to this many launch points makes kayaking the area easy and accessible to kayakers of all skill levels. If you are an inshore fisherman, stick to the north shore of the peninsula. If you want to chase redfish and flounder than Stingaree Marina is a great place to launch. The marsh drains along the Intracoastal are a quick, easy paddle and can be very productive on any given day. If you are up for a longer paddle and more of a challenge, head into East Bay and work your way into Big Pasture. Throwing Gulp plastics under a popping cork is a very productive method for redfish and a Chickenboy lure on a 1/4 ounce lead head is the perfect option for finding flounder at the mouth of drains and bayous. If trout is what’s on the menu, Rollover Pass provides for a quick and easy place to dump the kayaks. Throwing a top water at sunrise or sunset across the scattered reefs on the flats is a great way to get a quick limit. For those who like to go BTB, Bolivar is unique in its own way. While we can’t paddle a mile or two out and catch snapper or troll for kingfish in our surf,
I honestly believe that we have the best bull red fishing in Texas. There are days in the surf that an individual can catch 10, 20 or even 30+ redfish. Along with bull reds, our beach is home to several species of sharks, including the common blacktip, bull shark and bonnethead, to name a few. Shark anglers themselves are another breed of fishermen. These guys eat, sleep and breathe it, and do it right here on our beaches. Without a doubt, Bolivar Peninsula is a diverse place for kayakers. Whether you are an inshore fisherman or a Beyond the Breakers kind of angler, no worries, both options are within mere miles of each other. In fact, both can be done on the same day thanks to the ease of access to places to launch, which is what makes our area so great. Whether you are chasing bull reds in the Gulf at sunrise or looking for top water trout at sunset, Bolivar Peninsula is the place to be for kayak fishing. 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 www.texaskayakchronicles.com, or email him at email@example.com.
64 3 0 P H E L A N B O U L E VA R D
BEAUMONT, TEXA S 7 7 7 0 6
4 0 9 .866.3171
Blooms of Bolivar
that thrive on the Bolivar Peninsula provide some of the most striking features of our coastal landscape. Several of these indigenous plants that bloom this time of year can be spotted in and around the dunes or along the edge of an old road. Have you ever wondered how they got there, or better yet, how you could incorporate them in your own yard? Highlighting spring, The Local visited with Master Gardener Brenda Beust Smith and Master Naturalist Angela Busceme-Scheibel to learn about the benefits of adding the blooms of Bolivar into your landscape in this season.ď€´ WILDFLOWERS
WHY NATIVE PLANTS ARE BEST Since natives have adapted to our climate and soils over a long period of time, they are generally heartier plants that require littleto-no extra watering. This means: less maintenance, less replanting, and less use of toxic fertilizers and pesticides. The result is a cost-effective solution that adds color and texture to your yard or deck.
Coreopsis: shade; less than 1 ft.
Texas Bluebells: full sun; 1-3 ft.
Indian Blanket: partial sun; 1-2 ft.
Get ready to grow Before you decide to add natives to your yard, consider your gardening goals. Do you want to host a habitat for butterflies, hummingbirds, and other wildlife? Are you looking to simplify your landscape? There are many benefits of creating naturally grown beds, but the key to any successful garden is preparation. First, evaluate your space. Whether you plan to incorporate natives into an existing bed or you’re starting with a blank slate, allow location, sunlight, and surroundings to determine which plants will work best for you. Brenda Beust Smith adds, “Not all native plants are suitable for cultivated landscapes. Some can become invasive; others are beautiful only in mass plantings, or have unattractive down sides. Investigate first!”
Beach Morning Glories: full sun; vine up to 30 ft.
Evening Primrose/ Buttercups: full sun; 1-2 ft. Rudbeckia/Black-eyed Susans: full sun; 1-3 ft.
Attract & conserve wildlife Native flowers produce nectar, a sugary liquid that helps attract wildlife such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. These species can be fun to watch as they pollinate your yard. Nectar is essential to the succession of several types of wildlife, including the monarch butterfly, but due to a widespread use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers, natural nectar sources have declined. The result is an endangered species of monarchs. Angela Busceme-Scheibel helped to establish a certified Monarch Waystation at Noble Carl Park, and she recommends at least five milkweed plants in a 10-12 foot area. This will supply monarchs a natural habitat and protect the species. For more info about how to harvest your own waystation, visit monarchwatch.com.
Keep Bolivar Beautiful Monarch Waystation at Noble Carl Park
STORY OF THE PURPLE PASSIONFLOWER OR PASSION VINE This unusual flower is widely distributed in the Southeast, especially from Florida to Texas. The plants were given the name Passionflower or Passion vine because the floral parts were once said to represent aspects of the Christian crucifixion story, sometimes referred to as the Passion. The 10 petal-like parts represents the disciples of Jesus, excluding Peter and Judas; the five stamens the wounds Jesus received; the knob-like stigmas the nails; the fringe the crown of thorns. The name Maypop comes from the hollow, yellow fruits that pop loudly when crushed. â€” www.wildflower.org
Ease of maintenance Because natives are susceptible to our climate and soils, maintaining a natural landscape is a relatively simple task. However, it is important to note that when starting with native plants some up-front work is required. Find starter kits and seeds at a local nursery, or harvest your own. Since you will be growing from the seedling, weed and water the area regularly in the first few months to ensure seedlings have the opportunity to break through the soil and grow. The end result will be a beautiful nature scape that doesnâ€™t require much extra watering, chemicals, or pruning. tL
Wildflowers of Bolivar place mat available for $10 each. Contact Brenda Buest Smith at 713.208.6445 (proceeds benefit the Jane Long Society and Bolivar Peninsula Cultural Foundation). Passion Vine: sun, partial shade; 3-6 ft.
Weekend project: How to install an outdoor sand shower story by HEATHER MCCLELLAND
ny coastal home needs an outdoor shower, right? I think so anyway. When we first moved to Bolivar about 18 months ago, we were pretty set on building a house, mostly because I’m picky, and a sand shower was definitely on the must-have list. Fast forward, and after nine months of our family of four living in an Airstream, an existing house without a sand shower didn't seem so terrible. Our home is on the bayside, so I didn’t think the absence of an outdoor shower would be a problem. Because we aren’t very close to the beach, the sand would probably fall off in my car (my personal favorite part of living here!), and we may not use it much.
What you'll need: 2 in x 4 in x 8 ft louver kit 2 in x 2 in x 8 ft louver brace 5/4 in x 6 in x 8 ft deck board screw driver measuring tape power saw
paint or stain painting supplies shower kit misc. hardware such as screws, hook and eye latch, hinges, boat cleat
I was wrong. The local kids were here all the time last summer swimming in the less than clear canal water. You definitely need a shower after that! I think the visibility of that water is maybe an inch. No telling what’s lurking below, but boys will be boys and they don’t seem to mind. So our brainstorming began for where to put an outdoor sand shower. Our home really had no logical place to put one. We finally settled on this strange, seemingly unusable area under the stairs. The concrete slab is slanted toward the water for drainage there, so it would have to be leveled to be able to comfortably shower there. My husband built a frame to support the floor platform and ran the plumbing from the existing water spigot we have nearby. We had a local carpenter enclose the shower. We weren’t exactly sure how to build the louvered walls, but they ended up being super easy. If you’re considering starting a similar project, definitely do it yourself. The side rails are precut for the louver slats, so all you do is cut the rails to the height you want and cut the slats to the needed width and slip them in. After it was all built, my husband enclosed under the floor to make it look more finished. In case we ever need access to it, one side has a latched access door. I had Weber Woodworks cut out the whale latch for me; I had seen one on Pinterest and knew I wanted something like it. This is my favorite part of the
whole shower! I love that it’s both cute and functional! Inside the shower is pretty basic, just louvered walls, a hand-held shower head, and foot sprayer. I also opted to hang a shower soap dispenser on the wall so I don’t have bottles cluttering up the floor. I actually have this in all our showers and they make life easy when it comes time to clean. No bottles to pick up and wipe under. The hand-held shower is nice to have for bathing dogs and I love that it will be ready to rinse off any mess the boys find themselves in this summer! Now, painting this took way longer than it did to build it. Painting louvers is tedious and time-consuming. I applied two coats, but I’m pretty sure it needed three. I guess it will get the third when we repaint down the line. I am definitely never painting louvers again! I love the transformation the shower has made to the aesthetic of our home. Most of all, I love how it looks like it was meant to be there all along—a perfect solution for turning an awkward area under our beach home into a useful amenity that we will enjoy for many years to come. tL
Heather McClelland and her family recently made Bolivar Peninsula their home. To occupy her spare time, and so she doesn’t binge-watch Netflix, she writes a blog about living on the Texas coast. For more information, visit www.breathofsaltair.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Relax. We’ve got you covered. 6454 Concord Rd. Beaumont, TX 77708
409-898-2693 ext. 202
@Gabourel Insurance Agency
Gabourel Insurance is an independent insurance agency, which means we represent many diﬀerent companies so we can ﬁnd the coverage that’s right for you. We’ll shop your insurance for you instead of you having to call around to ﬁnd the best rate. Our goal is to provide you with the insurance you want at the lowest possible price. Give us a call today to see how we can help you protect the life you love.
DLY SERV I OU
STO N CO U
HOMEOWNERS • FLOOD • WINDSTORM AUTO • GOLF CARTS • BOATS BUILDER’S RISK • RENTERS
Trusted provider of Beach Home Insurance in Galveston County for over 15 years.
Take the guesswork out of financing with a mortgage loan from Texas First Bank.
Text "Apply" to 21777 or call 281-338-9300 texasfirstmortgage.net Supplying Bolivar Peninsula with everything under the sun! GROCERIES • GIFTS • HARDWARE • AND MORE 2385 Hwy 87 | Crystal Beach, TX 77650 Sun-Thurs 7 AM - 9 PM | Fri-Sat 7 AM - 9:30 PM March/April 2017
n u j a c
cuisine 26 |
CRAWFISH SEASON IS OFFICIALLY HERE AND WE’RE EXCITED TO SHARE THIS FAMILY-FAVORITE RECIPE WITH YOU. For this dish, you can use cleaned crawfish tails left over from a boil or purchased frozen from the store. Either way, the result is a creamy, Cajun-inspired dish that is sure to please a crowd!
FETTUCCINE 12 1 1 8 2 2 1 ½ ¼ ¼
oz. package fettuccine noodles lb. peeled crawfish tails cup half and half oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed bunches green onion, chopped jalapeños, seeded and chopped bell pepper, chopped stick butter cup parsley, chopped grated parmesan cheese
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, and crawfish tails and saute until the vegetables soften, approximately 5-7 minutes. 2. While the vegetables and tails cook down, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the fettuccine noodles and cook until al dente. Drain well. 3. At this point, add cheese and half-and-half to the saucepan with tails. Continue cooking until the cheese is completely melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 4. Add cooked fettuccine noodles to the cheese sauce. Stir until well mixed. Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
KITCHEN NOTES You may substitute the crawfish tails for 1 lb. head-off shrimp. Wine pairing suggestion: Serve with a crisp white wine, such as an unoaked Chardonnay with light floral notes.
story by JUDITH W. LINSLEY
ong before the stretch of highway between Sabine Pass and Port Bolivar became part of Highway 87, people traveled it. Nomadic Attakapas Indians left behind arrowheads, spear points, and pottery in their wanderings. Jean Lafitte’s men used it in the early 1800s when the famous pirate had his headquarters on Galveston Island. The Beach Road (as early settlers named it) followed a natural ridge above the high tide line, actually higher than the marsh behind it. Old-time stockmen in what are now Jefferson, Chambers, and Galveston counties utilized this relatively high ground to drive cattle east to the New Orleans market. 28 |
With statehood for Texas in 1845, the Beach Road became an important postal route serving Sabine Pass, Point Bolivar, and Galveston. It remained unimproved, however, until the coming of the automobile. In 1923 the road from Port Arthur through Sabine Pass to the Gulf of Mexico was ditched, graded, and shelled using the natural deposits on the beach ridge. Traffic on McFaddin Beach (between Sabine Pass and High Island) greatly increased. In June 1924, a refinery workers’ picnic drew an estimated 25,000 cars carrying people bound for swimming, dancing, races, games, fireworks, and a “bathing girls revue.”
In the spring of 1930, Jefferson County completed Beach Road improvements from Sabine Pass to High Island, coinciding with the opening of a BolivarGalveston ferry for automobiles and pedestrians (previously only for trains). The ferry provided the final link in the Port Arthur - Sabine Pass - High Island Bolivar - Galveston road. The road became an important route for trucks hauling crude from the High Island oil field and for Bolivar Peninsula farmers taking produce to market. It also served the “summer colonies,” of beach houses of Beaumonters and Port Arthurians. In February 1931 the Beach Road officially became part of Texas State
COURTESY OF SPECIAL COLLECTION 250 ROSENBERG LIBRARY, GALVESTON
Highway 87, and by 1934 the Sabine Pass to High Island stretch was paved with asphalt. The Beach Road became a link in Texas’ “Hug-the-Coast” highway from Orange to the Rio Grande Valley, which opened in 1940. During World War II, Beach Road was guarded by U.S. Coast Guardsmen, otherwise nicknamed “Coast Guard Cowboys” because they complied with wartime blackouts by riding horses at night rather than driving vehicles. Beginning in the early 1940s, Beach Road suffered damage from hurricanes, including Carla in 1961, Allen in 1980, Alicia in 1983, and Chantal and Jerry in 1989. Ironically, hurricane damage was
made worse because of the tons of shell, gravel, and sand removed earlier from the road ridge to build the highway. The state eventually closed the highway from High Island to Sea Rim State Park meaning that citizens of Sabine Pass headed to Galveston had to go via Highway 73 through Port Arthur and Winnie, a detour that added 90 minutes to their trip. On November 17, 2007, Beach Road took its place in Texas history, when it received a Texas State Historical Marker. Like so many other things, it will be gonebut-not forgotten. tL
High Island teenagers enjoyed beach days at the intersection of Highways 124 and 87, circa 1940s. Photo courtesy of Elsie Devers.
Judith W. Linsley is the curator of interpretation and education at the McFaddin-Ward House Museum, where she has worked for 29 years. She has co-authored several books including the prize-winning Giant Under the Hill: A History of Spindletop Oil Discovery at Beaumont, Texas in 1901. Her work has also appeared in regional publications. This article was originally published in 2012, www.sfasu.com/heritagecenter.
START HERE q
S T A T I O N S O F
T H E
C R O S S Experience an interactive walk with Jesus this Easter story by REV. VALERIE HUDSON
What does it mean to walk with Jesus? Living a life in Christian faith is often referred to as a journey. The Bible tells the story of how Jesus’ disciples literally walked with him and learned his ways, and how we can make a spiritual journey which transforms us into faithful followers of Christ.
hrist invites all people to hear his story, then believe in him, and then continually grow in faith that is expressed through our love for God and one another. One question that has always popped up in the church is about how that story is best remembered and told. One answer: Stations of the Cross. This is a spiritual pilgrimage in which Christian believers remember how Jesus walked the Via Dolorosa, The Way of Suffering, in Jerusalem, from his arrest, to his trial, to his death on the cross. Historically, Christian pilgrims began making pilgrimages to Jerusalem to actually walk along the very same path Jesus walked. This practice is recorded as early as the fifth century, and over time the church developed an organized method of walking those streets, and then pausing to pray at each “station” that focused on one part of Jesus’ walk to the cross. To accommodate Christians who were unable to travel that far, the church later built shrines in monasteries and churches, giving believers a localized way to make that remembrance of Jesus. It eventually became an act of penitence practiced in the Roman Catholic Church during the season of Lent, in preparation for the joy of Easter. I remember first discovering how this Lenten practice was becoming more popular in Protestant churches. In 2005, my daughter told me about an innercity church that was using art to create a Protestant version of Stations of the Cross, and when I looked at their stations, it was very moving. So I shared that with my
church and we used it as a way to have a deeper experience of walking with the Lord. I’ve walked the stations at both Catholic and Protestant churches, and though a few stations are different, the message is the same: that Jesus gave his all for me and for everyone. It brings a
renewed understanding of God’s love and grace to the joy of Easter. Bay Vue United Methodist Church will be sharing just such an opportunity with the Bolivar community during Lent— the 40 days preceding Easter this year. The public is invited to come to Bay Vue UMC for a self-guided pilgrimage where you’ll walk through 14 stations that wind through the church building, ending in the sanctuary for a time of quiet prayer and meditation. Each station informs the pilgrim about the Biblical context of that specific
moment in Jesus’ walk to the cross. Each station is created by an artist who shares visual and tangible descriptions to represent the scripture, as well as offering thoughts and questions for the pilgrim to meditate on and ponder, before moving to the next station. For me, this spiritual practice refreshes my appreciation of God’s grace and the celebration of Easter. That is why we want to share this experience with others. Everyone is invited to come to walk the stations at Bay Vue United Methodist Church on Monday and Tuesday, April 10 and 11, from 10 am till 2 pm, and Wednesday, April 12, from 5 to 7:30 pm. This Lenten practice will lead to a Maundy Thursday service held at Bay Vue’s sister church, St. Matthew’s UMC in High Island at 7 pm on April 13th. Maundy Thursday includes Holy Communion and remembering how Jesus said, “Remember me” when they gathered together. Bay Vue will then host a Good Friday Tenebrae service at 7 pm April 14th, and an Easter morning service at 9 am. Easter morning worship will use drama and dance to tell the story of finding Jesus’ tomb empty, and learning that Jesus rose from the dead, promising believers eternal life. From Lenten practices to the celebration of Easter, Bay Vue UMC invites you to come as you are, and leave transformed. tL Rev. Valerie Hudson pastors Bolivar Peninsula's three United Methodist Churches. She is a sixth generation Texan who enjoys beachcombing, travel, music, and time with her grandson. Her email address is Rev.ValerieH@gmail.com.
Inset photo: artwork depicting the injustice of Jesus being arrested and tried before the Pharisees. March/April 2017
In southeast Texas, summer is always right around the corner, and what is better than cruising down the beach in a golf car? Learn more about your rental and buying options from the area's largest source of new and pre-owned golf cars, and ride around this summer in style.
Cruising the coastal way Q&A with local business owner Jay Weeks, Golf Car Connection Q: How has the golf car industry evolved over the last 10-15 years? Golf cars, as I like to call them, aren’t just for golf anymore. What we’ve seen since beginning our business in 1990 is that golf cars have become a personal expression of their owners. As it pertains to the beach, everybody prefers to have a lift, tires, wheels, custom paint and seats, tops, lights, stereo, you name it, they want to be individuals. We sell more than just golf cars though. Our inventory includes both new and used cars, OEM products, and we work with American-made manufacturers to provide some of the finest customizable features.
Q: What makes your business unique? We are a company concentrated on service, service, service. As an authorized dealer for Club Cars, we carry parts for everything, including EZ-Go parts. This environment is rough, so when we pick up your car for service, we check to make sure everything is working as it should be, and we take that same approach with our leasing division. All rental units undergo a thorough inspection before we deliver them to you. Our 32 |
rental fleet in Crystal Beach offers 4- and 6-passenger options and all are in excellent condition. Two-day and weekly rates are available, and delivery is free on the Bolivar Peninsula.
Q: How does Golf Car Connection cater to the high volume of customers in the peak season? I always say the best thing you can do is call ahead. We are busy, no doubt, in the summer and during all the major holidays, but we are very responsive. Honestly, if we had 300 cars in our lease fleet it wouldn’t be enough. Call ahead, leave a message, and we will call you back. The Golf Car Connection dearly appreciates all our repeat customers, and we try our best to keep their business.
Golf Car Connection is located at 1746 Hwy 87 in Crystal Beach. Visit their website at www.thegolfcarconnection.com or call 409-963-7725 for more information.
for the rest of the year!
Because it's the next best thing to actually being local. Email us today at email@example.com to sign up and youâ€™ll receive our next five issues by mail, plus a digital version delivered right to your inbox. March/April 2017
March/April Check out spring’s local happenings on the Bolivar Peninsula
COURTESY OF SKYHOUNDZ FACEBOOK PAGE
CRYSTAL BEACH DISC DOG COMPETITION
April 29-30 Gregory Park
Come out and support our fourlegged friends at the Crystal Beach Disc Dog Event during the last weekend in April at Gregory Park. This year the format is expanded to include the Ashley Whippet Invitational (AWI), in addition to the Skyhoundz Disc Dogathon Qualifier and some extra Fun in the Sun events. On Saturday April 29, watch these amazing Whippet dog-and-owner teams compete in various recreational 34 |
and open throw/catch events. The top four finalists at the AWI Open Qualifiers in the US will receive an invitation to the Ashley Whippet Invitational World Championship. Following the AWI competitions, our Fun in the Sun events include Puppy Toss and Fetch, and Micro Dog Toss and Catch. On Sunday April 30, the Skyhoundz Disc Dogathon World Qualifier will be take place with events in Bullseye, Freestyle, Pairs Distance/Accuracy, Spot Landing, and Time Trial. An invitation to the Skyhoundz Disc Dogathon World Championships will be extended to
the first place competitor in the Open category for each of the five events. The Fun in the Sun event on Sunday will be People’s Choice Freestyle–“Dancing with the Paws.” We will have the spectators judge this event for the best “WOW” performance. These events are open to the public. Proceeds from the events benefit SANBO (Spay and Neuter Beach Outreach) for the Bolivar Peninsula. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information and to become a sponsor, visit crystalbeachdiscdogs.com
COURTESY OF PORT BOLIVAR VFD FACEBOOK PAGE
PORT BOLIVAR VFD 47TH ANNUAL OYSTER FRY
March 11 Port Bolivar Volunteer Fire Department The Port Bolivar Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting their 47th annual all-you-can-eat Oyster Fry on Saturday, March 11 from noon till 8 pm. This is a highly anticipated event with proceeds benefiting our local volunteer firefighters who work hard to make the Bolivar Peninsula a safer place. The public is invited to come and show your support with a $25 donation. If you've ever attended you
know there is usually a large crowd, but a serving window was installed at the fire house last year by Curtis Comeaux and Billy Bouse in order to help expedite service and get people fed as quickly as possible. Fire Chief Malcom Comeaux says, “Our sponsors and volunteers never cease to amaze me. They put in so many hours to help us get ready and make every year’s fundraising event better than the last.” Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are available. Those interested can inquire at the Port Bolivar Volunteer Fire Station located at 1806 Loop 108 or by calling (409) 771-7026. Follow the PBVFD Facebook page for more detailed information.
Opportunity Fair Port Bolivar
Rain Barrel Workshop Galveston
Al White @ Down Under Crystal Beach
Port Bolivar VFD Oyster Supper Port Bolivar
The Line Up @ Down Under Crystal Beach
DJ Kel @ Down Under Crystal Beach
Jerry Diaz and Hannah's Reef @ Down Under Crystal Beach
BP Chamber of Commerce Members' Meeting Crystal Beach
BOLIVAR RV RESORT
WHERE MEMORIES ARE MADE
Premier RVing Destination SKY POOL 26’ above sea level Adults-only SERENITY DECK
Commanding views of the Intracoastal and Gulf Private beach access Community garden and fire pit 36 concrete pad sites with full hook-ups Storage facilities available on-site Free Wi-Fi
BOLIVAR RV RESORT & THE RESERVE
731 Hwy. 87 Gilchrist, TX 77617 409.974.0064 | www.BolivarRVResort.com
t It’s alsl waebou eate! cr the memorie
BP Chamber of Commerce Casino Night Crystal Beach
Drop Dead Dangerous @ Down Under Crystal Beach
Stations of the Cross, Bay Vue UMC Crystal Beach
Easter Sunrise Service Crystal Beach @ West Lane & the beach
Adopt-A-Beach Spring Cleanup Crystal Beach
BP Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet Crystal Beach
Crystal Beach Disc Dog Event Crystal Beach
Stingaree Saltwater Slam Fishing Tournament Crystal Beach
Holtzclaw Foundation Kids Hardhead Tournament Crystal Beach
Area Information Live Webcams Local Events Business Directory Beach Rentals Fishing Reports
LocalNe ws.com March/April 2017
Winter Sunset by Jeff Austin Jr.
Guide At Work by Jeff Austin Jr.
Crystal Beach Sunset by Barbara Nelson
Share your LOCAL scene.
Beachcombing At Barrel 57 by Mike LeBlanc
Send us photos of your favorite places, people and past times on the peninsula. Submit high resolution (300 dpi) images to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Days Not Forgotten by David Lambert March/April 2017
Sunset From Steve's Landing with Barge by Paul Noland
Dune Flowers by Karen Anderson
Bolivar Birdhouses by Destiny Martin
TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY MARCH 2 • ST. PATRICK'S DAY MARCH 17 • EASTER SUNDAY APRIL 16 • TAX DAY APRIL 18
Mary Ellen Smith is a Broker Associate for Cobb Real Estate specializing in Buyer Representation. Mary Ellen focuses on every aspect of her clients’ needs, from initial property search to closing, and with more than 35 years of business experience on the peninsula, she’s sure to help you find the home of your dreams.
MARY ELLEN SMITH
ABR®,ePRO®, GRI, SFR®, SRES®
REPRESENTING BUYER’S INTERESTS
p. (409) 457-1070 • e. CrystalBeachBroker@att.net www.CrystalBeachResortProperties.com
A Family Owned and Operated Company Since 1986 2290 Hwy 87 • Crystal Beach, TX 77650 409.684.3790
LUXURY BEACHFRONT LIVING ON BOLIVAR PENINSULA
Published on Feb 28, 2017
Explore the Great Outdoors Features: A beginner's guide to birding on Bolivar | Kayak fishing | How to install an outdoor shower | Wil...