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gift ideas for mom & dad


Bolivar Peninsula: a perfect destination for your family this weekend


complimentary MAY/JUNE 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 hasn’t is the level of commitment to our customers. Visit or call us at 409.684.3345 to plan your next vacation.


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C r y s ta l B e a C h P l a z a . C o m







04 Editor’s Note


Local Cooking

08 Beach Vibes


There’s Always Next Year

Summer must haves

11 Outdoors



Local Business

RRR Fruit Stand in High Island is a farm-fresh tradition by Destiny Martin


May/June 2017

30 The Last Mayberry

The story behind our move to Port Bolivar by Heather McClelland



Family living on Bolivar Peninsula

Local Feature

Art is second nature at Galveston’s Third Coast Gallery by Julia Shields

Back To The Basics by Destiny Martin

40 Local Events Calendar

Raising the Design Bar


Cobb Home Builders elevate Gulf coast style by Destiny Martin

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by Xander Peters

Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast by Dave Roberts

A conversation with one of the peninsula’s longest running vacationers


Sea and Be Seen








B BE E AUM AUM ONT, ONT, T TE EX XA AS S 77706 77706


409. 409. 8 86 66 6 .. 3 31 17 71 1


Family fun WE'RE KICKING OFF summer with a tribute to FAMILY! When I was preparing for this issue of The Local, I realized there isn’t one of my memories of time spent at Crystal Beach that doesn’t trace back to my family. I can remember visiting every summer with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents; all of us bunked up in a tiny green fish camp with one window unit that offered just enough AC to keep us cool at night. Those were the days! Now, as a mom myself, I feel blessed that I get to share some of those same special experiences with my son at the very same place. Aside from its laid-back style and the natural beauty that surrounds it, one of the best things about Bolivar Peninsula is that it is a family-friendly destination. For generations, families from across Texas, Louisiana, and beyond have chosen our beach as the spot for their summer vacation. Like the Wallas, who have come to Crystal Beach every summer for the last forty-five years, and have rented from Swede’s Real Estate every year. Read more about their story on page 18. And what about families who live here? Since our move to the beach, we’ve met several sweet families who share our deep appreciation for the community. Thank you to the Willeys, Webers, and McClellands for sharing your personal experiences with our readers—they truly are a testament to what makes our small town so great! If you have a favorite family memory or photo from the beach, we invite you to share it with us on our Facebook page at The Bolivar Local. Don’t forget! There are lots of great things taking place in May and June, like the Texas Crab Festival, Jeep Weekend, and Texas Frog Fest. Turn to page 40 for a complete list of local events.

Wishing y’all a sunny and safe summer! Until next time, keep it local.


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May/June 2017

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EDITOR IN CHIEF Destiny Martin CONTRIBUTORS Heather McClelland Mark Nesmith Alexander Peters Dave Roberts Julia Shields PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS Joseph Drago Luke Mauldin Tom Osten Dave Roberts Donna Singer FOR ADVERTISING INFO 650 Media Group, LLC P.O. Box 1747 Crystal Beach, TX 77650 817.505.8208 The Local Magazine is produced by 650 Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved. The Local is not responsible for facts represented by its 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 Bolivar Local

Follow us on Issuu at for easy to navigate digital editions of every issue of your favorite community magazine

Come Join Me Living the Dream in Crystal Beach LUZ LUZ GRAY GRAY 409-457-6280 409-457-6280 As seen On HGTV Beach Front Bargain Hunt Beach Homes for all Budgets Land for Sale

For information about joining our mailing list, email us at

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May/June 2017

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mother’s day is MAY 14

MUST HAVES (and a few gift ideas for mom, too!)


Bring the outdoors in with a vibrant bouquet of varying colors and textures

OVERSIZED TISSUE WEIGHT T-SHIRT Great for casual wear or for throwing over your swimsuit; this one available from Sneaky Bacon Clothing on


A refreshing fragrance mist with hints of coconut and saltwater will have you feeling like your on eternal vacay.

editor’s pick


Feel foot loose and fancy fine in these cute flip flops from Hawaiian based company, Locals USA.

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May/June 2017


The safe and effective way to achieve a flawless tan, available at Sweat Fitness in Crystal Beach.

VA C AT I O N I N G W I T H C O B B Real Estate feels like your dream destination is well within reach. Whether you’re staying on the Bolivar Peninsula for a day, a week, or longer, our dedicated rental staff is ready to help you find a picture-perfect beach home that offers luxurious accommodations matched with unparalleled service. Call COBB to book your next stay. | 409.684.3790

EST 1955




photo courtesy of Dave Roberts


Summer has finally arrived here on the Texas coast, which means it’s time for a few fun outdoor activities. Families will start loading up and hitting the water to spend some quality time together. Whether yours enjoys fishing, crabbing, or lounging on the beach, now is the perfect time to get outside. Mother’s Day is just around the corner and is quickly followed up by Father’s Day. Shopping for your parents or spouse can be difficult, but no need to worry. If they are outdoor enthusiasts, then I have a few ideas that will help you choose just the right gift for Mom and Dad this year.

as seen on


Not long ago, there was a simple product that came out and ever since its debut on Shark Tank, its popularity has blown up. Line Cutterz is a fishing tool that recently hit the market and has become popular for good reason. It is an adjustable ring that cuts fishing lines with ease. The best thing about this product is the convenience of it. The adjustable tool is meant to be worn as a ring though it can also be attached to a fishing rod, kayak seat, or the steering wheel of your boat. I have seen it cut 100# monofilament line as well as various sizes of braided line. I gave one to my mom and she uses it for cutting crab string. It is a simple gift that will get used time and time again.


Another go-to gift idea is apparel; I mean, who doesn't like clothes? American Fishing Tackle Company has been around since the 1950s and is a world leader in fishing apparel. AFTCO offers performance fishing shirts, dress and casual shirts, shorts, swim trunks; you name it, they have it. I'm personally a fan of their 'Original Fishing Pants'. I purchased two pair and wish I would of bought enough for every day of the week. They are by far the most comfortable pair of pants I own and have lasted against the elements. AFTCO donates 10% of its sales to help with conservation of our oceans and wetlands, which is an outstanding contribution for a company to make.


Another item that you can never go wrong with is a good fishing pole. Fishing Tackle Unlimited makes a spectacular rod that is suitable for throwing topwaters in the surf for trout and spoons in the marsh for redfish. Their 'Green Rod' is American-made with 100% graphite and has titanium eyes that will never rust. This is one of my favorite rods to use and will always accompany me when I head to the coast.

Dave Roberts is an avid kayak fisherman, writer, and photographer who travels the Texas coast documenting his experiences along the way. Visit his blog, for more info.

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Exceptional Waterfront Properties on Galveston Bay

Laguna Harbor is Galveston Bay’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 | Visit our sales center Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm (or by appointment)



FARM FRESH TRADITION words and photos by destiny martin


ew things are sweeter than the taste of homegrown fruits and vegetables in summertime. Nestled under large oak trees just off Highway 124 in High Island, Texas sits a fresh-from-the-farm staple with a multitude of colorful jewels ripe for the picking. RRR Fruit Express, which has other locations throughout Southeast Texas, has been providing beach-goers with fresh produce for more than thirty years. Owner Raymond Romero of Moss Bluff, Louisiana says his family has always taken pride in the quality of the produce at their farm stands. Most items are locally harvested and what is not, is supplemented from the Houston Farmers Market. Nowadays, consumers are more conscientious about where their food comes from and how it grows; knowing these things can ultimately benefit our overall health. Bonita Segura has vacationed at Crystal Beach since her youth and says she stops at RRR Fruit Stand every time she passes through High Island, whether she’s coming or going. “They always greet me with a smile,” she says. “I like the variety they offer and the quality. My personal favorite is their cantaloupe.” Next time you drive by, stop at RRR Fruit Express for a delicious seasonal treat. They have everything from watermelons to tomatoes, new crop pecans to homemade jam, and berries so sweet you can smell them from the car! The stand is open seven days a week, 8 am til 8 pm, from Spring Break through Labor Day. Tell Ronnie The Local sent you! tL

Inspecting the crop, Ronnie prepares for the day's business at RRR Fruit Express in High Island, Texas

May/June 2017


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local. COOKING

SUMMER G A Z PA C H O It won’t be long before summer is in full swing. For our family, that usually means long days spent on the beach, which leads to a lack of meal preparation on my part, which generally leaves everyone asking, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” Fear not! This soup is a light meal that packs tons of nutrients from a variety of fresh vegetables that you probably already have on-hand. Gazpacho originated in Spain and is traditionally served cold. Wait, a recipe that calls for no cooking?! Amazing, I know. You’re welcome. The most time-consuming part is cutting up the veggies. Once you get them all diced, throw them in a blender, and voila! Gazpacho! I like to serve it up with Texas toast (or croutons if I’m in a hurry) and extra diced vegetables for garnish. words by destiny martin | recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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2 ½ 1 5 1 2 4 ¼

cloves of fresh garlic, minced red onion, diced large cucumber, diced with skin removed whole roma tomatoes, chopped large zucchini, diced stalks of celery, diced cups tomato juice such as V8 cup EVOO cup red wine vinegar 2 Tbsp. white sugar 6 drops Tabasco salt and pepper to taste

1. In a food processor or blender, add the garlic, half the amount of red onion, half the cucumber, half of the tomatoes, half zucchini, half celery, two cups of tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, Tabasco, and a dash of salt. 2. Pulse the ingredients until well blended. 3. Pour into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, reserving enough diced vegetables for garnish. Stir well and season to taste. 4. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the flavors to meld. When ready, prepare and garnish with fresh avocado, sour cream, and cilantro. Additionally, you may top with pan seared shrimp for a heartier meal option.

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March/April 2016

FUN THINGS TO DO THIS SUMMER WITH THE FAMILY Family-friendly activities and ideas to make your stay at the beach more memorable than ever before!

Ride the ferry to feed seagulls and watch for dolphins Beach comb for shells, shark teeth, and sea glass Plan a scavenger hunt Go to the Texas Crab Festival (May 12-14) Get a frozen treat at Ritas & Cream Fly a kite Visit Bigfoot at the Big Store on Saturdays Go crabbing Go to the water slide Eat and watch the barges at Steve's Landing Go to Texas Frog Fest (Memorial Weekend) Play miniature golf at the Gulf Range Kayak/paddle board (available for rent at A Shore Venture) Go fishing Build a sandcastle Sky dive at Blue Skies Skydiving (must be 18 or older) Grab dinner and watch the sunset at Stingaree Take a golf cart ride on the beach Visit the fruit stand in High Island Buy souvenirs to remember your stay Plan a picnic at Fort Travis Seashore Park Play on the jungle gym at Noble Carl Park Have a cookout/grill out Get sno cones from J-Birds Sno Cone Stand Roast s'mores on the beach Make homemade ice cream Look for sea turtles and other wildlife Play volleyball, frisbee, and washers Have an art party and paint shirts, rocks, or driftwood Go boogie boarding

May/June 2017


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A conversation with one of the peninsula’s longest running annual vacationers story by xander peters | photos courtesy of edye shuff

FORTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, when Edye Shuff and her family spent their very first summer getaway on Bolivar Peninsula, the Watergate scandal was in its early beginnings, the TV series M*A*S*H had only recently premiered, and Alice Cooper’s song “School’s Out” was the hottest single on the radio. A lot has changed over the years, she admits—minus their family’s vacation plans. Bolivar Local: Tell me, Edye: why Bolivar, and why the last four and a half decades and counting? Edye Shuff: [LAUGHS.] Well, my parents kind of started this with their relatives. I was a year old when they went down for a weekend and rented a cabin. It was my mom and dad and my dad’s brother and his family, and my mom’s sister and her family, and they all stayed in one cabin for the weekend. Grandparents came too. They liked it so much the next year everybody rented their own cabin. So they went from one cabin to three cabins and they stayed the whole week. It just kind of kept going from there—and we go the same week every year, usually the week after Fourth of July. Now that my parents are older, I’ve kind of taken over, and my sister, she rents a cabin, my brother is with us, and then an aunt and my other aunt. So we’ve got four cabins that we rent now. And we always rent from Swede’s. BL: How have you witnessed Bolivar change over the years? ES: Well, any cabin with air-conditioning used to be seldom. You couldn’t find air-conditioned cabins and now almost every cabin has it. That’s a big change. The hurricane, Hurricane Ike, changed everything up; I mean, drastically. 18 |


May/June 2017

5 years in

family The Walla


e4 Real Estat m Swede’s rented fro

a row

But we didn’t skip a year when that happened. We weren’t able to find our usual cabin because it was gone, but we found a different one to rent. But, you know, there’s not as many smaller cabins as there used to be. I think that’s the biggest change. BL: What would you say brings on the most nostalgia when you’re around town? ES: The [Point Bolivar] Lighthouse. We always go crabbing like the first day we’re there, always go near the lighthouse, so that’s always a given—a thing that’s always been there and still is. And we always have a seafood gumbo and crab night. You know, that kind of brings you back. BL: Besides the Lighthouse, does your family have any habitual hangout spots every year? ES: We kind of plan our vacation around food; I guess you could say. Each night we have a different menu, so we go to different cabins and everybody brings something. We pretty much stay at the beach, you know, and at the cabin. The water slide—you have to take the kids to the water slide at least once while you’re there. And we go ride the ferry because, you see, we come from Lake Charles; we don’t ride the ferry to get to the beach. We take the little ones to ride the ferry and feed the seagulls,

stuff like that. [LAUGHS.] My Texas-cousins are like, ‘Why are y’all going to ride that ferry?’ BL: Bolivar has grown in a lot of ways over the years. How has your family grown in the same? ES: It’s a family tradition and so it’s kind of a given that you’re always going to go. Some people say, ‘Why do you still go there? Don’t you get bored going to the same place every year?’ But it’s not because it’s a tradition. We’re not just going there because we’re going on vacation; we’re going there because it’s what we’ve always done. So, you know, families change over the years. We lost my dad last year… [EDYE’S VOICE CRACKS OVER THE LINE.] BL: Take your time. ES: [SNIFFLES.] He started it, so we just continue to go. Everybody loves it, and now this will be a fifth generation because my sister has older kids and they have children. So the little ones will be saying, “We’re going to my beach, my beach.” They’re two and three years old. So we’re just carrying it on. [LAUGHS.] BL: What would you say Bolivar means to y’all as a family? ES: [PAUSES.] Tradition. We look forward to it every year. One year it just rained the whole time we were there but we still had fun. We’re all together and I guess that’s what really matters. BL: Of course. So should we expect you and your family for 45 more? ES: Yeah, probably so. [LAUGHS.] 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

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olivar Peninsula is a special place, though it wasn’t until recently that I came to understand and respect the uniqueness of our little community. Like most people, I grew up visiting Crystal Beach during the summer and have many fond memories of days spent here with my family. After college, careers took my husband and me away from the area to experience a faster pace of life in the thriving metro cities of DFW and then Houston. Cody and I were both raised in small towns, so the idea of making a life in the Big City seemed appealing to our younger selves. When our son arrived in 2013, our perspective on life began to shift, as it does for most first-time parents. Suddenly, our hearts yearned to be nearer to the family and friends we had left, and we desired to raise Caleb in an environment where vestiges of our childhood remained intact. Relocating our growing family to Crystal Beach, we anticipated we would face some challenges. Like where would our son (who just turned 4) go to preschool, what would we do without a pediatrician nearby and the inevitable daily commute for my husband. It’s funny

though because those things that first appeared to be obstacles have seemingly turned into great opportunities for us. My son and I sing and chat on the way to his school in Winnie every morning, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for the view of the Intracoastal as I crest at the top of High Island Bridge. Talk about a change in scenery from I-10! Yes, living here means there is a different way of doing things. The pace of life is slow and easy. Folks stop to greet one another and genuinely watch out for their neighbors. I have met so many wonderful people since moving here, and a lot of families like ours who have a deep appreciation for the homegrown community that is Bolivar Peninsula. I’d like to share some of their stories with you on the following pages. And if your family lives here, or you just love our community, we invite you to share your comments and photos with us on our Facebook page at The Bolivar Local. words by DESTINY MARTIN photos by DONNA SINGER photo at left by LUKE MAULDIN

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MICHELLE AND MATT WITH THEIR CHILDREN MICHAEL, 5 AND MERRITT, 3 What does your family enjoy doing together on Bolivar Peninsula? We love fishing and taking boat rides. Our son loves crabbing. We enjoy eating the seafood we catch. Beach-combing is a favorite past time. To date, we found a total of one shark tooth, but we have found two intact sand dollars. Even Michael and Merritt love finding shells and sea glass, it is a treasure hunt each time we go. We like eating out at the area restaurants and visiting with our neighbors. Watching the sunsets together is another favorite. Michael and Merritt say, “surfing, building sand castles, swimming, looking for cool shells, sea glass, and hermit crabs” are some of their favorite activities we do together. They also love visiting the water slide, playground and mini golf course…and getting snow cones. What do you like best about our community? We love how friendly everyone is here and how much they love this place as much as we do. There is always something going on, great events to raise money for various charities. We took our children to the Halloween party at the Big Store and were blown away with what a nice event it was for the kids. The people of the peninsula really come together and make things happen. What do you hope your children will take away from spending time here? Matt and I hope they grow up with a respect for nature, and a respect for keeping things clean. We hope they have fond memories like we do of family time around the water, and many years of laughter and fun at our special place.

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COREY AND ANDREA WITH THEIR KIDS CHRISTIAN, 13, SAMUEL, 11, AND CASSIDY, 9 How long has your family lived on Bolivar Peninsula? We have lived in Crystal Beach for two and a half years. After vacationing here for a week while living in Beaumont, we found out we could rent a house here longterm. We moved to the beach two weeks later! What is your family’s favorite past time? Andrea and I enjoy taking the kids down to the beach where we look

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for sea glass and shark teeth. As a family we also like to kayak, fish, and build custom furniture for the community with our company, Weber’s Wood Works. What do you like best about the community? We love the small town atmosphere. We enjoy that feeling of being recognized as “locals” when we go to the Big Store and other places around town; everyone knows you by name.

What do you hope your children will take away from your time spent here? I hope they retain memories of our close proximity to the water where they can walk or ride their bikes to the beach whenever they want. The feeling of living in a small town and the relationships we have formed here with so many people. Our family may not get this opportunity again as we transfer with the US Coast Guard to larger cities and more populated areas. tL

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May/June 2017

Inspired beach retreats by Cobb Home Builders are redefining Gulf coast style. WORDS BY DESTINY MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOSEPH DRAGO


A sprawling ocean view becomes the main focal point in the living area of this beach front beauty. Homebuilder Tyler Coco of Cobb Home Builders frames the space with large single pane windows and neutral tones, allowing the landscape to flood the room. Rattan elements and natural wood textures complement the space. Under it all, Tyler uses Zip SystemÂŽ sheathing to create a built-in energy efficient barrier that keeps moisture out and reduces air leakage. Interior design by Alex Stillwell.

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hen homebuilder Tyler Coco takes on the task of building a vacation home for his clients, his first approach is always how to accentuate the natural beauty that surrounds the Bolivar Peninsula. “Many of the homes we design are beach front properties, so I take that into consideration when developing a master plan,” he explains. “In every room of the home—even its outdoor areas—Cobb Home Builders tries to take advantage of views of the Gulf coast by creating warm and inviting spaces where our clients can easily see themselves entertaining and relaxing.” With that idea in mind, Tyler begins his process with a thoughtful evaluation of how to continue raising the bar when it comes to designing his next beach home.



Styled by Julie Barrett Design

NOD OF SOUTHERN CHARM When a house sits beach front, Tyler says its common for the street-view of the property to become a secondary consideration in the design process. “I encourage my clients to approach the layout from a 360° perspective, ensuring that every angle of the home is just as dynamic as the next.” For this reason, many of Cobb’s homes feature large, airy porches on both the front and back of the house, which creates an equally inviting entrance on either side.

Styled by M James Design

DISCOVER more homes built by Cobb Home Builders Contact Tyler Coco at 409.651.6004 or follow them on Instagram @CobbHomeBuilders

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May/June 2017

local. HOME

For a subtle paint tone that adds volume to a room while still reflecting natural light, try Worldly Gray by Sherwin Williams.



Styled by Julie Barrett Design

Classic finishes such as shiplap walls, white subway tile, and wide wood plank flooring rise to new levels of sophistication when paired with stainless steel appliances and industrial fixtures. In the photo above, two champagne bronze cage pendant lights illuminate a cheerful corridor of the home. On the left, washed wood planks on the ceiling create visual interest while helping to distinguish the open space between the kitchen and all-white living area.


Featured products: 1) Quartz counter tops in Calacatta Classique 2) Bevolo French QuarterÂŽ Lantern on yoke bracket; 3) Slope arm chairs with nailhead detail; 4) E.F. Chapman Darlana 3-light foyer lanterns in Gilded Iron; May/June 2017


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T H E L A S T M AY B E R RY story by Heather McClelland


ur family moved to Bolivar because we were tired of the rat race and the keeping up with the Joneses. My husband and I found ourselves living in a big house we didn’t need and working for things we didn’t want. We had been in our home for six years and didn’t even know our neighbors. Sadly, we didn’t meet them until the for sale sign went up in our yard. We didn’t know life could be different because everywhere we had lived felt vaguely similar, but my husband and I knew we wanted different for our family. We wanted outside. We wanted sunshine and salt water and sand. We wanted our kids to grow up playing for real, not virtually. We were lucky to end up in Bolivar because initially, it is not what we thought we wanted: a house with an ocean view. It only took one look at our soon-to-be home in Port Bolivar, and we fell in love. Our Realtor referred to the community as the last Mayberry, and she couldn’t have been more right. She sold us, not on just the house, but the small town feel and the idea that our kids would be able to go outside and just be, well, kids. We didn’t have to worry about them not being safe and she assured us friends would always be nearby. It was just what we wanted but never knew how to express. Honestly, I didn’t think this kind of place existed anymore. It’s kind of like stepping back in time, and this community feels more like home than anyplace else ever has. It’s great to have neighbors far and wide that know your kids

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and watch out for them. We immediately felt welcome here, and the love and kindness the town has shown our family is overwhelming. We found that kids living in our suburban neighborhood were spending more and more time indoors. Most of our children’s friends didn’t live close enough by for an impromptu get-together, so they resulted to playing video games together online. Our old backyard offered a small place for entertainment, but my kids quickly got tired of playing in the confined area. After all, there is only so much fun you can pack into one tiny yard! Once their fun was spent, they’d retreat back inside to the video games that offered more “virtual adventure” than our backyard ever could. Growing up here though, means that all of Bolivar is their backyard. There are plenty of places to bike, lots of children around so they always have someone to play with, and a variety of fun things to do because of our proximity to the beach and bay. Parents get outside and

play with their kids here, too. Life is so relaxed, you have time to do spontaneous things. It’s completely normal to go on bike rides down to the beach or go to a friend’s house with my boys. We go beach combing for shark teeth, sea glass,

We didn't know life could be different because everywhere we had lived felt vaguely similar...

and driftwood. We have pickup games of baseball and kickball on weekends when the weather is nice (and it usually is). The canals near our home offer up another layer of fun! My boys enjoy crabbing, fishing, and swimming in them, or they sail their small sailboat, paddle board, and kayak. In the summertime, we can hardly keep them out of the water. Most days they would rather stay home and swim in the canal than go to the beach.

I would venture to guess there are not many small communities like ours left. Our family will never leave because living here has been a dream come true for us. My husband says we’re dying in this house, and not just because moving everything up the stairs was such a pain! Living here might pose difficult for some because modern-day amenities aren’t just around the corner, but anything that the peninsula doesn’t have is a short ferry ride away. I have heard people say they wish there was a bridge from Galveston to Bolivar, and while that would be convenient, I hope it never happens. The ferry keeps this little piece of paradise remote and peaceful, and that’s just the way I like it. 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. Follow her journey at or email for more information.

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local. FEATURE

ART IS S E C O N D N AT U R E AT T H I R D C OAST GALLERY story by julia shields


Sundrop by Mark Nesmith

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estled just off the Strand in the heart of downtown Galveston awaits a true treasure of the Texas Gulf Coast. Housed in the charming New Orleans style Hanretta building built in 1874, Third Coast Gallery boasts an airy and elegant exhibition space with more than 2,000 square feet of high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and polished concrete floors. In one form or another, Third Coast has been a cornerstone of the Galveston arts scene for decades. Founded by artist Jack Morris in 1985, the gallery, working with the Galveston Arts Center, Two Friends Gallery, and a few others helped originate the widely popular Galveston ArtWalk in the late eighties. In 2004, Morris left Galveston briefly for a stint in the corporate world, but his deep seated love of the island brought him back. With his younger son Charles as his new partner, Third Coast Gallery was reborn in 2013 at its current location between 24th and 25th streets on Mechanic. Jack’s paintings are vibrant, full of lush color, and beautifully express the character and atmosphere of Galveston and the Gulf Coast. After a successful career as an architect, Morris devoted himself full-time to oil painting. Citing Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and Edward Hopper as influences, Jack’s work has appeared in Architectural Digest and Southern Living magazines. His paintings are featured in collections around the world, and in 1994 his painting of Galveston’s Hendley Building was shown at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. His 40” X 30” oil painting Bolivar Yacht Basin is bathed in a warm glow of light and features intricate details that only come from an intimate familiarity with the subject. For more than a quarter of a century now, the Galveston ArtWalk has promoted the visual arts on the island. Taking place from 6 to 9 pm on a Saturday once every six weeks, the event has grown to include dozens of

Third Coast Gallery 2413 Mechanic St., Galveston 409.974.4661

Bolivar Yacht Basin by Jack Morris

Beats by Mark Nesmith

existing retail and non-profit art galleries as well as alternative spaces like restaurants, shops, and the Tremont Hotel. Each venue showcases rotating exhibits of original art. It’s one of the most successful and heavily attended free events in Galveston. Set against the sights and sounds of the Historic Strand District, the Galveston ArtWalk makes for a delightful evening stroll. With each ArtWalk, Third Coast Gallery presents a new exhibition and featured artist. The current exhibition titled “Second Nature” highlights work by Beaumont artist Mark Nesmith. Mark is no stranger to art lovers along the Gulf Coast. He exhibited at Third Coast Gallery in 2015 and at the Gallery by the Gulf in Crystal Beach in 2016. His painting Down Under the Sun graced the cover of The Local Magazine last winter for the November/December issue. Mark has exhibited at The Art Museum of Southeast Texas, the Dishman Museum, the Museum of East Texas, and numerous galleries across Texas and the South. His work appears in collections in almost twenty states in the US and overseas in Singapore. He has been included in American Art Collector Magazine, Professional Artist Magazine, VIP Magazine,

Empty Easel, the Austin Chronicle, the Beaumont Enterprise, and many other publications as well. Nesmith brings his characteristic love of expressive brush strokes, thick impastos of paint, and luminous color to his landscapes and narratives depicting the wildlife and scenery of Southeast Texas and the Gulf Coast. His paintings express the sublime beauty of the natural world and his reservations about the effects of modern society. Beats, a 30” X 40” oil painting on canvas, features a stern pelican looking on in disdain while a vivid Spoonbill jams out wearing a pair of Beats by Dre headphones. The two birds are set against the rippling waters of the Gulf and a brilliant yellow sky. Sundrop is a striking 30” X 15” vertical canvas full of intense color that radiates the warmth of a sunset at the coast. “Second Nature” features dozens of paintings ranging in size from diminutive canvases to oversized works. In addition to artwork by Jack Morris and Mark Nesmith, gallery manager Shanti Harrington will also be showing her latest creations. The exhibition opened on April 22 and will be on view through the end of May. tL May/June 2017


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May/June 2017

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 May/June 2017


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photo by Leslie Lowe

AFTER MORE THAN A YEAR in the making, Peninsula Sports Park dedicated their new baseball field in Port Bolivar on April 1. Opening ceremonies kicked off at high noon with raising the American Flag by US Coast Guard Petty Officer Corey Weber, our National Anthem sang by Haley Comeaux, a ribbon cutting hosted by the Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, and a blessing of the field from Deacon Doug Matthews. Large crowds came to show their support of the peninsula’s five organized baseball teams with players ranging in ages from 4-13. All teams played on Opening Day, including a double header for the Bolivar Red Sox who took on a team of Bolivar alums in an amusing game that resulted in a “tie!” To round out the day’s festivities, a spectacular fireworks display was sponsored by Randy Martin of Ray’s Fireworks. PSP would like to thank all of their generous sponsors who have knocked it out of the park to help bring baseball back to Bolivar. Follow the Peninsula Sports Park Facebook page for additional updates, game schedules, and fundraising events.

photo by Gerry Lang

words by destiny martin | photos courtesy of tom osten

Check us out

ONLINE or on Facebook at The Bolivar Local

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May/June 2017

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.

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jeep weekend may 20

FESTIVAL 32nd Annual Texas Crab Festival May 12-14 Gregory Park If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family Mother’s Day weekend, take a ride down to Crystal Beach for the 32nd Annual Texas Crab Festival. Fill up on crab gumbo and crab nachos to the sounds of great Gulf Coast music all weekend long. There are carnival rides for the kids, arts and crafts booths, fun events like the Crab Legs Contest and the Wiener Dog Races—even a 5K Run! Parking is free, adult admission is just $10 and kids under 12 are free. On Sunday, everyone gets in for free and all-day carnival ride wristbands are half off. So grab your mom, grab the kids, and get down to the Texas Crab Festival, May 12-14 in Crystal Beach. Just a ferry ride from Galveston Island or forty minutes from I-10 in Winnie to 124 to Hwy 87 to Gregory Park. All net proceeds go to support educational and job training programs for Bolivar Peninsula residents through Texas Crab Festival Charities. For more information find them on Facebook or visit

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May/June 2017

photo courtesy of Travis Yust

EVENT Go Topless Day/Jeep Weekend May 20 Bolivar Peninsula Hosted by Jeep Clubs of Texas, Crystal Beach is home to one of the largest Go Topless Day events in the US. Offroaders and Jeep enthusiasts come together to celebrate the return of warm weather and embrace sense of adventure that comes with owning a Jeep. Thousands of Jeeps are expected at this year’s event. *Bolivar

Beach Parking Sticker is required. Visit to see the complete list of participating clubs.

EVENT CCA Golden Triangle Chapter Annual Banquet May 25 Beaumont Civic Center Join the CCA Golden Triangle Chapter for a night of dinner, drinks, auctions, raffles, and good ol’ fashioned fundraising fun! The event will be held at the Beaumont Civic Center. To purchase

tickets or to become a sponsor, contact Drew Adams at 713-626-4222 or visit for more info.

FESTIVAL 4th Annual Texas Frog Fest May 27-28 Crystal Beach It takes place every Memorial Day weekend and has become the most patriotic entertainment venue at Crystal Beach. The Texas Frog Festival hosted by BRINT Construction is an event that raises funds to maintain the Lone Survivor retreat facility on Bolivar Peninsula. TXFF 2017 will take place May 27-28 at 1609 State Hwy 87. In addition to showcasing local and national musicians, this year’s event will also feature the Dirty Frog Obstacle Mud Run, an All American

Motorcycle Ride, and KILO 19: A Walk to Remember. To sign up for any of these events, purchase tickets, or to become a volunteer, please visit for more info.

ON-GOING Bonnie Blue Exhibit Throughout May Gallery by the Gulf

Day Houston, various news channels, as well as the David Letterman Show. Her two award-winning art cars, Women Rock and Zena the Mermaid, are an extension of her collection Art in Motion. Even her home studio has transformed into a body of work, and was featured in Houston’s Weird Homes tour. Bonnie’s work will be on display at Gallery by the Gulf in May.

Folk artist, portrait artist, and caricaturist, Bonnie Blue has done it all! She has made her career as a successful, fun, eclectic, one-of-a-kind artist who uses mostly recycled materials. Bonnie’s art is displayed in homes across America, and at least eight local homes display only art by Bonnie Blue. She has won awards, friends, and hearts everywhere. Bonnie’s work has been featured on the Ellen Show, Great

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be seen

Portuguese Man O'War at Shore Haven by John Rohrer

The Gathering Work by David Lambert

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May/June 2017

Jack's First Visit to the Beach by Caitlin Wilding

Share your LOCAL scene.

Swirls by Dannialle Clayton

Send us photos of your favorite places, people and past times on the peninsula. Submit high resolution (300 dpi) images to

Sunset From Crystal Beach by Bob Marek May/June 2017


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The Local May/June 2017  

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