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Seas Greetings and

Wintertime Trophies Fine Texas Wine Small towns, Big Love Local Volunteers


Grandma’s best Banana Nut Bread

complimentary NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017


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



06 Editor’s Note 08 Outdoors

Wintertime Trophies


17 18

by Dave Roberts

by Seth Beaugh

Grandma’s banana nut bread


Local Business

Q&A with esthetician Alle Pace of Paradise Lash & Skin


November/December 2017

Where Volunteers Make a Difference A closer look at the Second Going Resale Shop by Vince Brach, Ph.D.

Winnie winery offers a unique experience of Texas fine wines

by Destiny Martin

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Vine 2 Wine by Destiny Martin

12 Small towns, big love

Local author writes romance on the Texas coast

Local Cooking



Local Events


Sea and Be Seen


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November/December 2017

PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS Jackson Kayak Fishing Team Luke Mauldin Tom Osten Dave Roberts FOR ADVERTISING INFO 650 Media Group, LLC P.O. Box 1747 Crystal Beach, TX 77650 817.505.8208


Like us on Facebook @TheBolivarLocal

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when you mention The Local Magazine OFFER GOOD THROUGH DECEMBER 2017


Pay it forward AS WE ENTER INTO the busy holiday season, I want to tell you that goodwill is contagious, and lately, you don’t have to look far to find it. Just the other day, I was in “town” running errands and drove through Chickfil-a to pick up a quick bite to eat. When I pulled up to the window, two smiling attendants greeted me and said my meal had been paid for by the lady in front of me. “Are you serious?” I asked them. Both girls just smiled and stated, “it happens all the time.”

A simple act of kindness, yes. In that split moment, I immediately said, “well then, I’ll pay for the woman’s meal behind me!” As I drove away, I wondered how long the chain reaction might last. And it all started with one good deed. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with all its many distractions, remembering to extend goodwill to others can sometimes be a challenge. We get preoccupied with our schedules, our phones, and other day-to-day demands, but during this time of year, I’d like to encourage you to pay it forward. Sometimes the best place to start is right within the walls of our own home or community.

Seas Greetings and

Wintertime Trophies Fine Texas Wine Small towns, Big Love Local Volunteers


Grandma’s best Banana Nut Bread

complimentary NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

ON OUR COVER This edition’s cover is a simply stated vignette reminiscent of a holiday spent by the sea (lantern from Hobby Lobby, $15). If you’re looking to deck your halls with inspirations from the coast, check out Bayside Chic in Galveston. They offer a wide selection of beach-themed ornaments, gifts, and chic home decor.

If you’re looking for ways to give back this season, let us introduce you to the Second Going Thrift Store in Crystal Beach which regularly welcomes drop-in volunteers. You can read more about this popular shopping spot on page 24. And Texas Crab Festival Charities is gearing up for their annual Christmas Bike Drive, an initiative that started 19 years ago and provides local children with bicycles at Christmastime (page 33). In between preparing holiday meals, making your list, and checking it twice, don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the simple things. Maybe it’s a good book from a local author (page 12) or a locally-crafted bottle of wine (page 18). No matter how you choose to spend your time this season, we hope that you’ll be filled with joy that spreads and lasts all year through. Happy holidays from The Local!


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November/December 2017

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WINTERTIME TROPHIES story by dave roberts | photos courtesy of jackson kayak fishing team


s an outdoorsman, wintertime is the only season that will truly test your endurance and commitment while sticking to the task at hand. Mother Nature is not nice this time of the year; she is fierce, bitter, and just downright mean. It takes a particular type of person who wants to go outside and face the harshest of elements. But why would anyone willingly subject themselves to such conditions? Whether you’re an angler or a hunter, or maybe you’re both, winter is the time to go after your trophy of a lifetime. Most people head to the water or woods looking to haul in meat for their freezer, but for others, catching a limit or shooting a cull buck simply will not suffice. No, these select few seek quality over quantity. They sit for hours in freezing temperatures waiting for the split second to take their opportunity. Here on the Texas coast, a majority of anglers hang up their rods for the duration of the winter. But trophy trout season is just kicking off, and bass fishing is good this time of year as well. Fishermen who are committed to catching a wall hanger will opt instead to put on their waders. These select few are not out looking for a limit of fish;

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they are there to catch one fish, the fish! Many will stand chest deep making long, slow casts, dragging a Corky over scattered shell reefs waiting for just one bite. Despite the harshness of the wind and cold water, it’s prime-time to hook into your personal best fish. When it comes to the woods, hunters are loading up their gear to begin their quest as well. For some, the hard work is done; the feeders are full, their shooting lanes are trimmed, and their stands are in a promising spot. For many, the deer lease will become more of a social hour, a place to escape the city, to relax and have a few cold ones and spend a few hours each morning and evening in the field. Others are different. They will be in the stand an hour before daylight and spend all day in the blind waiting for that trophy of a lifetime to step out and present a shot. In addition to the elements, patience will become a significant factor that will test any hunter’s willpower. Wintertime anglers and deer hunters are committed, but when it comes to battling the freezing elements, waterfowl hunters are no exception. They wake up at 3 a.m. or earlier, drive a boat or 4-wheeler in the dark to their pond to set out their spread before sunrise. More often than not, these

hunters will spend several mornings in a duck blind hoping and waiting for that opportunity at bagging a Greenhead Mallard, a Bull Sprig (Drake Pintail) or even a very lucky few will get one which is banded. So why would someone willingly throw themselves into numbing conditions? Because to us, it is a passionate game. It is a challenge. It is about outsmarting your opponent. It is about being one step ahead and when it comes to a double-digit fish or a 10-point buck, let’s just say they did not get that big by slipping up and getting caught. You may spend hours or days searching for a trophy and likely, may never get a shot at one. But if the time does come and that deer steps out, or that monster fish breaks the surface of the water, that is the moment when you forget about frozen toes and fingers, the early morning and the days of coming home emptyhanded. The rush alone is enough to keep you warm, and that is what keeps us coming back. 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

Because to the avid outdoorsmen, it is a passionate game. It is about outsmarting your opponent. It is about being one step ahead...

November/December 2017


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November/December 2017

Bolivar brands to support local commerce story by destiny martin


he Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce recently announced the launch of their new campaign Discover Bolivar, a strategic marketing effort initiated earlier this summer. With hopes of driving more traffic, and ultimately more commerce to our vacation destination, the Chamber is confident that the campaign will align Crystal Beach and Bolivar Peninsula with other popular beach communities along the Texas Gulf Coast. Spearheaded by the award-winning ad agency, Moorehead, Dotts, and Rybak out of Corpus Christi, Texas, the fresh new brand speaks to the idea of discovery and

exploration. “Bolivar Peninsula is a place that means different things to different people. For some, it’s a familiar place they’ve known for years. Maybe others haven’t considered it a destination worth exploring, or they believe it’s still in shambles from Ike. But when visitors ‘Rediscover Bolivar,’ they’re going to experience something entirely new. While the vital parts of Bolivar are unchanged—the beauty, the nature—there is a whole new side that’s rebuilt, renewed and refreshed.” “Our objective is to redefine Bolivar as a family-oriented destination with boundless natural amenities,” says PR

Committee Chairperson Brad Ballard. The campaign seeks to not only generate tourism but also serves to educate surrounding markets of the peninsula’s resources, area attractions, affordability, and accessibility. “Bolivar is the perfect weekend getaway, conveniently located a mere 55 miles from one of Texas’ largest cities. With this campaign, we hope to put the peninsula—and our local businesses—on the map,” he adds. Now, after the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, the Chamber board is pushing the Discover Bolivar campaign to the next level by advertising in larger markets like Dallas/Fort

Worth, North Louisiana, and parts of East Texas. “We want to let everyone know that we’re still here and open for business,” says Anne Willis, Chamber of Commerce Vice President and long-time business owner. In addition to supporting the local businesses of Bolivar Peninsula, the Chamber also plans to make a $2,500 donation to the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce to help aid in the area’s hurricane relief efforts. To become a member of the Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, or to learn more about how we work to serve our community, contact us at (409) 684-5490.


Bolivar Peninsula

t h i s i s b o li var lik e you’ve ne ve r s een. Those who know Bolivar know it’s no ordinary destination. Nestled just east of Galveston, Bolivar Peninsula is its own Texas treasure. A national refuge for coastal birds and fishing, the area has become a vacation destination for families and tourists across the state. With beautiful vacation homes, peaceful beaches and endless local fun— some say it’s Texas’ best kept secret.

November/December 2017


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local. FEATURE

Local author writes romance on the Texas coast

Small towns, big love story by seth beaugh | photos courtesy of sharla lovelace

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ne doesn’t normally equate the small, quiet towns of Southeast Texas with “romance.” The flat, marshy fields and refineries dotting the landscape aren’t likely to remind anyone of the epic Civil War love story of Gone with the Wind or Titanic’s tragic coupling of Jack and Rose. To local contemporary romance author Sharla Lovelace, however, that’s not the case. “I just love reading small town stories,” she said when we spoke over the phone to discuss her writing career. “There’s always the quirky funny things that go on in small towns.” Lovelace, who was born, raised, and currently lives in Port Neches, published her first book, The Reason is You, in 2012, and in just five years, she has gone on to release eleven more books. Her productivity is a result of a regimen of discipline and consistency where, after working full-time during the week, she returns home, to a private cottage her husband built for her in their backyard, to write for a couple more hours in the evenings and on weekend mornings. But it’s a labor of love: “I call writing my career, and then my job pays the bills,” she said with a chuckle. The road to a publishing career wasn’t exactly simple, though. Growing up, Sharla had always written something, from poetry to short stories, and was an avid reader, devouring book after book checked out through the local library’s summer reader program. It wasn’t until she owned a bookstore that she caught the “bug,” joining an online writing group and working on her craft there. “As I got more serious about it, I thought, ‘I’ll try to write a book,’ and so I wrote this big monster book, awful thing, that will never see the light of day. But I learned from it,” Lovelace recounted. Eight months later, she finished writing another book that would be her first published work, but it took two years before she could find an agent, and another two months before securing a book deal with a publisher. “It took a couple of years to actually figure out what I was doing, and there’s a lot of rejections when you start out,” she advised. “You just have to take that and roll with it and get better and…hopefully, eventually, then you get a yes.” Her persistence paid off, as her books have garnered multiple awards and her readership continues to grow with each new release. Part of the appeal of her stories is undoubtedly because of their being set in Texas. After some urging by her agent to emphasize the Texan aspects of one of her books, the setting stuck. But, to Sharla, her Texas is not the same as what most people think of when they read about the Lone Star State. “I will say my Texas is not the twangy November/December 2017


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Texas that some people look for. A lot of people will pick up a Texas romance thinking it’s cowboys and horses set on a ranch,” she says. But being from Southeast Texas, “I don’t see that. I can’t relate to it, because that’s not my Texas.” The influence of the Gulf Coast is hard to miss in her work, and Lovelace, who used to vacation at Crystal Beach when she was younger, illustrates the experience of living a life by the murky Gulf of Mexico through her stories. In her novella Just One Day, the protagonist, Andie, is brought to a yacht party in Baytown by her boyfriend to celebrate their anniversary, though the setting isn’t exactly her style. “To me,’ Andie says, ‘a boat was something you went fishing in. Possibly skied behind. I spent most of my childhood in my dad’s boat, strapped in poofy orange life vests with a fishing pole or a crab line in my hand.” What Southeast Texas kid hasn’t been in this scenario at least once during their childhood? When I asked about other possible influences, Sharla reflected on her reading habits through the years. “Now I read a lot of the books I write. I read a lot of contemporary romance.” But, she claims, mystery was probably her favorite genre growing up, with stories of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys filling her reading lists. “I went through a horror phase with Dean Koontz and Stephen King, and…then I got kind of hung on women’s fiction and the more literary stuff.” Dean Koontz and Stephen King novels aren’t exactly the things of romance, and when I asked if she would ever consider writing a horror story, she was resolute in her answer. “Horror, I couldn’t go there. I have to be happy at the end of the day. I don’t think I could go there.” The supernatural, however, has crept into her work. Emily Lockwood, the protagonist of Lovelace’s second novel Before and Ever Since, begins to see visions from her past after moving back into her childhood home. In her Charmed in Texas

se Add the to your gift list!

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September/October 2016

series, the little town of Charmed, Texas is only two hours away from the Louisiana border and vibrates with a slight sense of magic. “There’s a little something magical about this town, but I don’t delve too deeply. It’s just this thing in the background. I do enjoy that.” But if there’s one thread that connects all of her books, it’s a powerful love story at their core. Starting out, she never intended to write contemporary romance, but after finishing her first book, Lovelace realized that her stories would be filled with romance whether she intended it or not. “I love the dance of it and the tease and the fun and the whole everything of two people falling in love and the culmination of love.” And if there’s another trait that all of her novels have in common, it’s humor. With comedic dialogue abounding and protagonists with charismatic narration, Lovelace’s stories are never short of fun, but they’re not romantic comedy, per se. “It’s not that quirky,” she clarified. “I write about small towns and everyday people, and normally there are some dysfunctions, and some kind of shenanigans happen of some sort. There’s always humor and snark in my stories because I can’t help myself.” Currently at work on her fourteenth book in her fifth year as a published author, Sharla shows no signs of slowing down. When I asked what her ideal writing life would be, she said she dreams of writing full-time as her day job. “That would be the perfect scenario.” Until then, she’ll be writing in her cottage every day after work, working on her next big love story. tL Visit for more information about her books, events, and upcoming releases.

SETH BEAUGH is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas whose work has been featured in various publications and blogs. He enjoys writing about culture, movies, and Texas history, and grew up visiting Bolivar Peninsula with his family. His email is

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local. COOKING

Savor the season This banana nut bread recipe has circulated in my family for years and has become a holiday favorite. Every time I make it, its warm, buttery aroma fills the house, reminding me of some of my fondest memories of baking with my mom and grandma. Make a loaf for your family, and give one as a gift. Either way, it’s sure to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. Enjoy! —Destiny

GRANDMA’S BANANA NUT BREAD 1¼ 1 2 3-4 ½ 1 2½ 1 1 1

cup sugar stick (½ cup) butter, softened eggs ripe bananas, mashed cup buttermilk tsp pure vanilla extract cups flour tsp baking soda tsp salt cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 2. Prepare two 8-inch loaf pans by coating with cooking spray, then dusting with flour. Set aside. 3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, butter, eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Mix on a low speed for one minute, or until well combined. 4. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, all but the walnuts, stirring to incorporate.

5. Gradually add the bowl of dry ingredients to the larger bowl of wet ingredients, stirring in a little at a time. Stir in walnuts. Batter will be slightly lumpy. 6. Pour even amounts of the batter into the prepared loaf pans. 7. Bake for one hour or until loaf tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing.

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photo courtesy vine 2 wine

Vine 2 Wine

Winnie winery offers a unique experience of Texas fine wines story by destiny martin | photos by luke mauldin


estled among sprawling rice fields and pastures of slow grazing cattle, the small town of Winnie, Texas might be the last place you’d expect to find yourself wandering rows of harvested grape vines while enjoying a glass of wine. But here, in this vineyard, wine enthusiasts from across Southeast Texas find themselves feeling almost transported as they tour the grounds of Vine 2 Wine, a boutique winery and tasting room that is putting Winnie on the map for more than just its staple grain. Owners Stacy and Clay Rollins founded their home-grown winery in 2014, though the vibrant couple first started dabbling with winemaking a few years prior. “We love to travel, and every

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November/December 2017

place we went had great wine to offer. We thought, ‘why should Winnie be any different?” It was this vision that inspired Stacy and Clay to convert their private property and begin planting grapes with hopes of one day turning it into a legitimate business. Now, nearly four years later, the Rollins manage an estate of nine wines, and their vineyard regularly draws large crowds of those eager to experience their product. At their vineyard, the Rollins grow two varietals of grapes popular to our region: Blanc du Bois and Lenoir (or Black Spanish), both of which are American hybrids cultivated to protect the vines from the ever-invading Sharpshooter bug that persists across Texas. Though the couple

local. FEATURE


14773 Coon Rd. Winnie, TX 409.719.8781

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November/December 2017

has successfully harvested over an acre-and-a-half of these favored grapes on their own land, Stacy tells me it’s not nearly enough to keep up with their growing production needs. As is the case for most wineries, Vine 2 Wine works directly with other Texas vineyards to supplement their grapes. “This year, we’re excited to partner with an award-winning winemaker from Nacogdoches who has helped us improve our process and quality,” she adds. “We’ve got lots of new stuff coming that is very good.” It’s clear the Rollins are winemakers committed to quality. The nearly year-long production process begins using whole grapes in their purest form. Stacy explains that by growing and buying grapes direct, then crushing the grapes themselves (as opposed to starting with processed grapes in their juice state), she and Clay can better maintain the integrity of their wines. As the label reads, Vine 2 Wine is not just a catchy name; it’s the way this couple approaches their craft. “People are more conscious than ever about where things they buy and consume come from,” she says. “It’s important to us to make a product we believe in from start to finish. After all, our face is the wine.” The Vine 2 Wine estate offers a wide variety of wines—from whites to Rosé to their highly requested Red Velvet Infusion—each is unique in their process and flavor profile. Their Viognier offers a delicate balance of floral notes such as honeysuckle or jasmine, as well as crisp pears and peaches with a hint of baking spice. The 2015 Tempranillo is a full-bodied red wine that is fruit forward with flavors of black cherry, pomegranate, and blackberry, and aromas of cocoa,

As the label reads, Vine 2 Wine is not just a catchy name; it’s the way this couple approaches their craft.

coffee, and black pepper. Or maybe you’d like to try their Montepulciano Rosé packed with delightful hints of red fruit flavors and subtle notes of violet and dried herbs. If you simply can’t decide though, order a flight and enjoy a sample of each as Stacy educates you on the tasting notes of all of their house wines. When she isn’t busy crushing grapes, Stacy actively works to keep her customers returning season after season. She hosts several events at the tasting room throughout the year, like her Annual Jingle Mingle (coming up November 25) where guests are invited to sip a glass (or two!) of wine while shopping 25 locally curated vendors. “It’s one of our biggest events,” Stacy tells me. “We look forward to it every year!” Vine 2 Wine released their first professional bottles of wine in 2013 and opened their tasting room the following year. Since then, the winery has grown steadily. “We’ve taken our time to learn the art of good winemaking,” Stacy tells me. And as is the case with any fine wine, all good things come in time. “We’re taking baby steps, but we’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.” In addition to enjoying private wine tastings and seasonal events, guests can sign up to become part of the Vine 2 Wine Club. The winery is located south of Highway 73 in Winnie, with the tasting room open Thursdays through Sundays. For more information, visit their website at tL

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Area Information Live Webcams Local Events Business Directory Beach Rentals Fishing Reports

LocalNe 22 |


November/December 2017


Good skin is in story by destiny martin


difficult, especially during the busy holiday season. But one semi-permanent resident and licensed esthetician, Alle Pace of the newly opened Paradise Lash and Skin in Crystal Beach, is here to remind us that taking care of our skin is essential to our well-being. The Local is proud to introduce Alle and her blossoming business—plus provide you with a few insider tips that will keep you looking your best this season. What motivated you to start a branch of your business in Crystal Beach?

Our family has had a second home here since the '80s, so I grew up coming to the beach often. Now as a licensed esthetician, I saw an opportunity to keep the peninsula thriving by offering modern-day conveniences, like my beauty and skincare services, to locals, weekenders, and visitors. I want to be here for the people of the peninsula. What are your most popular treatments?

I would have to say custom facials. Since everyone’s skin is different, I like to first do a skincare analysis to determine my client’s personal needs. This can vary from season to season. In the cooler months, chemical peels combined with an dermaplane treatment are very popular because they are effective at exfoliating and renewing skin cells to reveal your healthiest skin. I always tell my clients that a good skincare regimen is like working out: if you’re determined to get healthy skin, regular professional treatments are essential, as well as daily home care. In your experience, what is the biggest skinrelated concern for your clients?

Aging. Most people don’t know they need routine facials to keep their skin renewed and healthy. I’ve learned that hydrated skin functions healthfully and looks more youthful. The number one thing you can do to combat an aging appearance is see a licensed esthetician and protect your skin. You can achieve this with antioxidants, vitamins A, E, and C, and a good sunscreen.

Visit Alle at Maven’s Clothing & Salon Mon-Tue and Fri-Sat, or by appointment


PRO TIP: For glowing skin this holiday season, exfoliate and protect. Alle

recommends using a chemical exfoliant with an alpha hydroxy for daily use. Follow it up with an antioxidant—she likes the Vitamin C/Green Tea Serum or Retinaldehyde Serum from Skin Script—and a daily SPF to achieve a radiant complexion right at home. Get


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November/December 2017

Professional skincare product lines recommended by Alle


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local. FEATURE


make the difference A closer look at the Second Going Resale Shop story by vince brach, ph.d.

Many of us have had the experience of running into a restaurant, attraction, or store that was truly unique. The Second Going Resale Shop, located a few blocks north of the Highway 87 at 1050 Bay Vue Road in Crystal Beach, must surely be such a place. What makes it so distinctive is its volunteers. Non-profit resale stores exist for worthy causes, usually to provide funds for particular charities. When significant salaries must be paid, small, single-location resale stores have difficulty making an impact. But this is not the case with Second Going. Coordinated by a three-member board from Bolivar’s Bay Vue Methodist Church, about six volunteers per week (with some “regulars”) successfully manage the tiny store and provide high quality, carefully-screened used goods to the public at fabulous prices. While medical items such as crutches, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs are given away free to needy Bolivar residents, proceeds from the store go to provide free food to over 500 distressed residents and homeless persons up and down the peninsula. The store itself is open for business and donations on Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Its single food truck makes deliveries at four locations (Port Bolivar, Crystal Beach, Gilchrist, and High Island) every Monday. The dedication and care of Second Going’s volunteer staff are evident by the attention given to the store’s sharp appearance and ever-changing stock. In addition to manning the cash register, board member Dennis Stafford provides behind-the-scenes help with what might be called “CPA stuff.” Jane Loose, whose home is called “The Loose Joint” since its battering by Ike in 2008, enjoys sorting through donations along with

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Volunteers Pat Fitzgerald, Jane Loose, Fran Griffin, Dennis Stafford, and Timmy Armond

the other volunteers. Ms. Loose told me that even the volunteers who man the non-profit’s food truck love to have a chance to help in the sorting. By concentrating on certain classes of items and rejecting others, the Second Going store can maintain a high profile among discriminating shoppers. You won’t see old sofas and mattresses at Second Going. You will see pretested electronics, small appliances, lamps, kitchenware, entertainment items such as DVDs and books, chic bric-a-brac and decor, and many racks of gently-used clothes. Bonnie Norris, a beachcomber who loves to search for shark teeth along Crystal Beach, told me that the combination of variety, quality, and affordability of ladies’ summer wear at Second Going is hard to beat. Due to the constant movement of goods in and out of the Second Going, shoppers never know what they’ll find. In the spring of 2016, I found an almost-new book by Chef Martin Yan on wok cookery that re-ignited my interest in Chinese dishes. This summer, as if designed to complement last year’s find, I picked up a beautiful, topgrade wok in great condition at Second Going! Fran Griffin—General Manager, Second Going Site Coordinator, and enthusiastic booster—told me that to increase the store’s attractiveness its goods change with the seasons. This strategy is made possible by seasonal and quarterly “clean-out sales” where most items are marked down to 25 cents. When I am vacationing on Bolivar, I never miss one of these sales. Shoppers with fond memories of browsing at the Second Going saw to a quick recovery after Hurricane Ike devastated Bolivar. Van loads of donations, some from as far away as Iowa, came in simply through wordof-mouth. Today, the Second Going has a much bigger presence owing to Facebook and other websites. However, word-of-mouth “advertising” from regular shoppers and vacationers stopping by for the first time still means a lot. As Jane Loose tells me, “It’s not just that Second Going is the only resale shop on the peninsula, it’s that shopping here is truly a unique experience.” tL

...volunteers successfully manage the tiny store and provide high quality, carefully-screened goods to the public.

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

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Gated beachfront community LOTS NOW AVAILABLE

making a difference EVERY MONDAY, this large group of volunteers gather at Noble Carl Park in Crystal Beach, waiting to receive the weekly food truck from Galveston County Food Bank that delivers fresh produce, meats, and groceries across four locations on Bolivar Peninsula. The group's organization and willingness to help is inspiring. From signing in nearly 80 food recipients to unloading the truck and distributing the food, the seamless production takes less than 30 minutes as everyone works together to get goods into the hands of those who need it most, and they all do it with a smile! Thank you, volunteers, for serving our community in a big way.


Private Road • Gated Subdivision FEMA & TWIA Insurable


Located at Boyt Road and Hwy 87 CRYSTAL BEACH, TX 77650

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A legacy lives on Celebrating the life and contribution of Greg Cobb Sr. (1924 - 2017)


urrounded by his beloved family, James Gregory Cobb Sr. passed away on August 15, 2017, but his legacy is one that will perpetuate in the Crystal Beach community for generations to come. Greg Cobb Sr. was a Beaumont native who in his early 20s served our country as a proud member of the U.S. Marine Corps during the time of World War II. After his military service, he returned home from the war and went on to become a dedicated businessman, founding his first company Cobb Air Conditioning in 1947. Mr. Cobb and his wife owned and operated it for forty years, and it is still in business today. With an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep love for the beach, Mr. Cobb established Cobb Construction in 1972 and began building homes in Crystal Beach. Bolivar Peninsula showed great opportunity at that time as it offered large tracts of undeveloped land and highway frontage along the Texas Gulf Coast. Mr. Cobb is known as one of the early developers of our area who played an instrumental role in shaping Crystal Beach into what it is today. Cobb Construction is now

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a third-generation homebuilder known for their experience and commitment to quality. Over the course of his lifetime, Greg Cobb Sr. developed nine subdivisions and built close to 500 homes. Many local neighborhoods and streets are a testament to his devotion to his family, like Aleene Street in Cobb’s Cove, lovingly named after his wife of 68 years. In 1985, Mr. Cobb made another fantastic contribution to the Crystal Beach community, donating a 10-acre parcel of land in the heart of its “downtown” area. Known as Gregory Park, it has been home to the annual Texas Crab Festival for more than three decades, an event that aides the residents of Bolivar Peninsula in many ways. A year later, Mr. Cobb encouraged his son Greg to launch a second branch of the family business. Together the two founded Cobb Real Estate which hit a milestone in 2016, celebrating 30 years of business in Crystal Beach. Though he will be missed, the impact of Mr. Cobb’s work ethic, unwavering dedication, and generosity will resonate in the lives of us all for many years to come. tL

photo courtesy cobb family / rhea photography




Building exceptional homes on Bolivar Peninsula since 1972.



Scholarship Golf Tournament BOLIVAR PENINSULA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE photos by tom osten / crystal beach local news

On September 30, the Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Scholarship Golf Tournament. This year’s fundraising event raised over $4,000 which will go towards helping support Bolivar students in achieving their future goals of continued education. The Chamber would like to thank all the participants, sponsors, and donors; because of your generosity Bolivar Peninsula continues to be a great place to live, work, and play.

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Recycling on Bolivar

Christmas Bike Drive Continuing an 19-year tradition, Texas Crab Festival Charities is gearing up for their annual Christmas Bike Drive which provides new bicycles for the children of Bolivar Peninsula at Christmastime. Bikes are purchased with donations from generous community individuals and sponsors. Thank you to all who make this time of year magical for our area youth. If you or your business would like to help put a smile on a child’s face, please send donations to Texas Crab Festival Charities, P.O. Box 2002, Crystal Beach, TX 77650. Texas Crab Festival Charities is a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to increase educational and career opportunities for Bolivar Peninsula residents of all ages, and to support local organizations that further the goal of improving the lives of the residents of Bolivar Peninsula.

Come Join Me Living the Dream in Crystal Beach

Thanks to David Harris with Bolivar Tourism, Bolivar Peninsula now offers a recycling program available at five area businesses in Crystal Beach: Sweat Fitness, Latitude’s, Maven’s Clothing & Salon, Bay Vue United Methodist Church, and Crystal Beach Community Church. The effort is being facilitated by Casey Winslow of Beaumont, Texas who has agreed to pick up and deliver the locally recycled plastic to Waste Management’s Beaumont facility. Recyclable items include water bottles, plastic milk and juice containers, and plastic packaging, though items must be washed and rinsed before recycling. The newly-instituted program is now seeking additional volunteers who regularly travel to Beaumont to help deliver the recycled waste. To learn more or to contribute to the eco-friendly effort, contact Charlotte Stirling at (409) 673-0536.

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 Rental Properties for Sale Free Sunsets November/December 2017


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local. EVENTS LONE STAR RALLY November 2-5 Galveston

What’s happening SAVE THE DATE FOR THESE LOCAL EVENTS Send upcoming events to

Motorcycle enthusiasts rev your engines; the legendary Lone Star Rally is coming up November 2-5 in Galveston, Texas. This action-packed weekend offers rally-goers four days of concerts, bike shows, parades, and vendors from across the nation all while enjoying a scenic ride along the Gulf of Mexico. Visit for more information.

JINGLE MINGLE November 25 Vine 2 Wine, Winnie

Why go to the mall when you can enjoy a glass of wine, live music, and still get your holiday shopping done?! Head over to Vine 2 Wine the Saturday after Thanksgiving from 4-9 p.m. for their fourth annual Jingle Mingle Wine Mixer, an event boasting local boutique vendors, festive music, appetizers, locally made wine, and plenty of holiday cheer! Visit their Facebook page @Vine 2 Wine Vineyard and Winery for more details.

DICKENS ON THE STRAND December 1-3 Galveston

With a nod to the ghost of Dickens past and an eye towards the future, Galveston’s world famous Victorian holiday festival returns to Galveston Island December 1-3. The annual holiday street festival, based on 19thcentury Victorian London, features parades, non-stop entertainment on six stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and a host of other entertainers. Costumed vendors peddle their wares from street stalls and rolling carts laden with holiday food and drink, Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations and gift items. Visit for more information.

CRYSTALAND PARADE December 9 Crystal Beach

Hosted by the Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, enter your decorated trailer, vehicle, golf cart, business or home in this year's Crystaland Lighted Christmas Parade. The parade route begins at the Courthouse Annex building, heading toward the beach. Afterwards, Santa Claus will greet all the children with a gift! Come get your picture taken with him at the Crystal Beach Fire Station at 930 Noble Carl Drive. Hot dogs, cookies, and drinks will be served. To register, contact the Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce at (409) 684-5940.

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE December 24 Bay Vue United Methodist Church

Mark your calendar for a special service at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve at Bay Vue United Methodist Church as we recount the telling of Christ's birth set to candlelight and moving music. All are welcome, so invite your family and friends to join us.

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be seen

Winter Sunrise by Melody Romero

Pelican Skimming Intracoastal by Paul Noland

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Untitled by Doug Romero

Decoys Ready for Action by Jeff Austin Jr.

Beach Alien by Lillian Strobel

Share your LOCAL scene.

Send us photos of your favorite places, people and

past times on the peninsula. Submit high resolution (300 dpi) images to for

a chance to be featured in an upcoming Sea & Be Seen feature. Wedding on the Beach by Jeff Austin Jr.

Untitled by Kimber Huber

Untitled by Belinda Bailey

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Fresh Pro

duce & M

er & Wine

Groceries • Be

Santa Claus is coming to Crystal Beach!

Offering everything you need to make your vacation spectacular! If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.


Household Items & Hardw

2385 Highway 87 (Across from Driftwood Subdivision) • Crystal Beach, TX Sun through Thurs 7 am - 9 pm | Fri and Sat 7 am - 10 pm

409.684.2400 36 |


November/December 2017


Merry Christmas ce and Joy, Love, & Pea in 2018


Thank you to all my clients, customers, friends, colleagues and business associates, past, present and future. The past was a blast, the present has been a gift, and the future will be what we make it. Let’s make it fantastic! Today and in the future, if you need a hand with your real estate needs on Bolivar, please call, text or email me.



p. (409) 457-1070 • e.

A Family Owned and Operated Company Since 1986 2290 Hwy 87 • Crystal Beach, TX 77650 409.684.3790

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Beach home for the holidays. Wishing you the joy and warmth this season brings. Happy Holidays from all of us at


The Local Magazine Nov/Dec 2017