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Inside of every older person is a younger person asking,

“Where Did It Go?”

Vol 2 Nr 8 August 2010

Dog Days of Summer

A Fun and Informative Rag for Those Who Have Been Around the Block and Attended at Least One Rodeo

Rockport - Fulton - Port Aransas

ICE CREAM

by Roger Knapp

Rockport Harbor by Diane Lloyd We recently took a little minivacation down to the RockportFulton Beach area in the Coastal Bend of Texas. Interestingly, it is just another series of little seaside towns but somehow different from our little seaside towns and represented a change of scenery. There is something about Rockport that I don’t quite understand. Sunday afternoon, when Kemah and San Leon would be booming, Rockport was all but deserted and its businesses closed. Port Aransas is usually packed but I didn’t want to have to contend with the ferry wait so put it off a day. This was to be a few days of fishing, reading and perhaps a cold beverage or two. I broke off the tip of my fishing rod in the door and the temperature was such that the cold beverages took precedence. I did get in some reading but this turned into a bona fide pub crawl. We had some recommendations from a couple who spends more time down here and found a few spots on our own. Surrounded by the sparkling waters of Copano and Aransas Bays and bathed year-round by soothing Gulf breezes, nestled

among ancient, windswept oaks and steeped in a colorful community of cultures, Rockport is in a class of its own. Rockport and Fulton are two communities in Aransas County; one of the smallest counties, in terms of land, in Texas. The Rockport-Fulton area is ideally located on SH 35 just 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. Larger metropolitan cities of San Antonio, Austin, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley are within a three-hour drive. There are two downtown shopping areas with a myriad of shops from antiques, collectibles, fine art galleries, jewelry, clothing, sea shells shops, and more. Many prominent artists to make this area their home. As a result, the area boasts one of the best collection of art galleries you’ll find anywhere. The Rockport Center for the Arts is located on the Rockport Harbor and is a vibrant building with changing fine art exhibits and art instruction of all kinds. The seascape that attracts artists also attracts our most famous winter visitors, the great endangered Whooping Cranes. The Whooping Cranes are not the only avian visitor to our area as on

“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things bought and sold are legislators.” -- P. J. O’Rourke

any given day of the year, over 75 different species can be spotted in the marshes, wooded inland areas and along the sandy beaches. The area is known for its Speckled Trout and Redfishing but is also good for flounder. Offshore, marlin, sailfish and other big game species are available. Points of Interest abound with the Texas Maritime Museum, Fulton Mansion Historic Home, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, the Big Tree at Goose Island State Park, Aquarium at Rockport Harbor, Rockport Beach Park, Connie Hagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Copano Causeway State Pier, Rockport-Fulton-Port Aransas Memorial Park Walking and Jogging Trails, the Community Aquatic Park , Rockport and Fulton Harbors, Schoenstatt Shrine, Stella Maris Chapel, Windswept Oak Trees, Whooping Crane Birding Boat Excursions, Dolphin Excursions, Saltwater

Fulton Mansion CONTINUED, PG. 6

Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-yearold son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, “God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!” Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!” Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, “Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?” As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.” “Really?” my son asked. “Cross my heart,” the man replied. Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.” Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, “Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already.”


2  WHERE DID IT GO August 2010

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2. Duct tape won’t fix that.    3. Lisa Marie was lucky to catch Michael.    4. Come to think of it, I’ll have a Heineken.    5. We don’t keep firearms in this house.    6. Honey, do you think my sideburns are too long?    7. You can’t feed that to the dog.    8. I thought Graceland was tacky.    9. No kids in the back of the pickup, it’s just not safe.  10. Wrasslin’s fake.  11. Honey, did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?  12. We’re vegetarians.  13. Do you think my gut is too big?  14. I’ll have crepes instead of biscuits and gravy.  15. Honey, we don’t need another dog.  16. Who’s Richard Petty?  17. Give me the SMALL bag of pork rinds.  18. Too many deer heads detract from the decor.  19. Spittin is such a nasty habit.  20. I just couldn’t find a thing at Wal-Mart today.  21. Trim the fat off that steak.  22. Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.  23. The tires on that truck are too big.  24. I’ll have the arugula and radicchio salad.  25. I’ve got it all on the C drive.  26. Unsweetened tea tastes better.  27. Would you like your fish poached or broiled?  28. My fiancée, Bobbie Jo, is registered at Tiffany’s.  29. I’ve got two cases of Zima for the Super Bowl.  30. Little Debbie snack cakes have too many fat grams.  31. Checkmate.  32. She’s too young to be wearing a bikini.  33. Does the salad bar have bean sprouts?  34. Hey, here’s a episode of Hee Haw we haven’t seen.  35. I don’t have a favorite college team.  36. Be sure to put my salad dressing on the side.  37. I believe you cooked those green beans too long.  38. Those shorts ought to be a little longer, Darlin.  39. Nope, no more for me. I’m drivin tonight.  40. Elvis who?    But the absolute top of them all is:  I don’t think banjo sounds good with that song.


August 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 3

Is There an Epidemic of Missing Pets? by Connie Ekstrom

Several months ago, my lovely German Shepherd, Schultz, disappeared from my locked back yard. He was like a family member to me and I’ve tried just about everything I could think of to find him, my biggest concern being that he needed medications and whoever took him would not know that. I ran into Gene Rutt, a friend of mine and the editor of this newspaper, at an office supplies store where I was making “Missing Dog” flyers to distribute. He volunteered to run an ad for me, which he did in April and again in June, but to no avail. We talked about it on other occasions and while making the rounds of the various SPCA’s in the area it appeared to me that there were more and more signs about missing pets. On one hand it looked like some kind of epidemic was taking place and as I discussed it with Gene, we tried to establish if there was some sort of pattern or if this was just coincidental. Since the pets were both dogs and cats of all breeds, sizes and varieties, we couldn’t find a pattern or think of a reason, so I started calling some of the pet owners to find out more details. Did the animals just run off or were they in a yard and seemingly deliberately stolen like Schultz. While some did just run away and were possibly hit by a car, a relatively large number seemed to have disappeared from closed and locked yards. It feels a little looney to think there is some conspiracy that animals are being abducted for experimental or other purposes but they’re gone nevertheless, currently about 175 missing just in Galveston County. I can’t understand someone taking another’s animal when there are so many free or cheap ones around, unless it’s for a reward and in my case and a number of others I’ve talked to, there has been no claim. So essentially I’m writing to see if anyone has any ideas or information and perhaps more importantly, to warn and remind pet owners that something sinister might be going on and to take extra care to house their little furry friends more securely. You may address any comments to Gene at this paper: WDIG2009@gmail

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4  WHERE DID IT GO August 2010

Computer Tips Marlene Jones Owner - Friendly Computers

MORE MISCELLANEOUS TIPS GOOD TO KNOW * You can adjust the size and position of any window on your computer. Drag the top strip to move it; drag the lower-right crner(Mac) or any edge (Windows) to resize it. * When you’re searching for something on the Web using, say, Google, put quotes around phrases that must be searched together. For example, if you put quotes around “electric curtains,” Google won’t waste your time finding one set of Web pages containing the word “electric” and another set containing the word “curtains.” * You can use Google to do math for you. Just type the equation, like 23*7+15/3=, and hit Enter. * On the computer, * means “times” and / means “divided by.” * Google is also a units-of-measurement and currency converter. Type “teaspoons in 1.3 gallons,” for example, or “euros in 17 dollars.” Click Search to see the answer. * You can open the Start menu by tapping the key with the Windows logo on it. * You can switch from one open program to the next by pressing Alt+Tab (Windows) or Command-Tab (Mac). * Just putting something into the Trash or the Recycle Bin doesn’t actually delete it. You then have to *empty* the Trash or Recycle Bin periodically. * You don’t have to type “http://www” into your Web browser. Just type the remainder: “nytimes.com” or “dilbert.com,” for example.

“Public Notice” Bayshore Communities Park Master Plan Ideas Request A Galveston County Public Meeting on the Master Plan for Parks, Recreation, Open Space, Conservation and Natural Resources was held July 22 in Bacliff. Residents of our communities discussed ideas and options for the future park expansion, targeted for our area, and were invited to participate in conceptual planning input for the park. The Parks Master Plan appears to focus on larger Regional Parks rather than the smaller neighborhood or community parks. The preferred size suggested by Dennis Harris Director of Galveston County Department of Parks and Senior Services was between 50 to 100 acres with a Community Building of about 10,000 square feet +/-. The deadline for community input is September 30, 2010. If you are interested in participating, bring your ideas to the upcoming Bayshore Communities Park Initiative meeting. Or visit www.galvestonparksseniors.org to learn more and offer your input.

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Where Did It Go? P.O. Box 1460 Dickinson, TX 77539 PHONE: 832-265-5691 FAX: 281-385-9085

WDIG2009@gmail.com Editor/Publisher Gene Rutt Contributors Marlene Jones Phillip Kinslow Captain B.G. Willie Cover Photo - Diane Lloyd Account Rep Elizabeth Scott 832-454-1940 A Fun and Informative Rag for Those Who Have Been Around the Block and Attended at least One Rodeo. We are essentially targeting 15,000 40+ readers each month from San Leon to Pearland and all points in between but have enough fun for everybody no matter their age.

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August 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 5

Stuck in a Rutt

Letter from the Editor

Aahh! The dog days of summer and I can’t wait for my electric bill. Ever wonder where that expression “dog days” came from? In the summer, Sirius, the “dog star,” rises and sets with the sun. During late July, Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and the ancients believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather. They named this period of time, from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, “dog days” after the “dog star.” I did recently make a discovery that might help ease the heat and the electric bill. I had to climb up in the attic one hot afternoon and while there, curiously looked up at the ridge to see how the ridge vents on my new roof worked, except there didn’t seem to be any vents. No wonder my attic was so dang hot. I called John Scott at Best Roofing, one of our advertisers, and he came out and verified that there were no vents and is going to cut some holes in my roof to let the hot air out. I got my roof six months after Hurricane Ike and the state inspector said it was one of the best he had seen but he apparently did not notice that the vents had not been cut or assumed they would be before the plastic ridge vents were installed. If you got a roof after the storm, you might want to check on this problem. You might have it too. I’m hoping it will help with the electric bill. Speaking of Hurricane Ike, we’re going to do a two-year anniversary issue in September and if you would like to share an interesting story or picture with our readers we’d be glad to pass it on. Gene Rutt - Publisher/Editor

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

The WIT AND Wisdom of Will Rogers An ignorant person is someone who doesn’t Politics is applesauce. know what you have just found out. Take the diplomacy out of war and the thing An onion can make people cry, but there has would fall flat in a week. never been a vegetable invented to make them The best doctor in the world is the veterinarian. laugh. He can’t ask his patients what is the matter-he’s Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; got to just know. now what’s going to happen to us with both a The movies are the only business where you Senate and a House? can go out front and applaud yourself. Be thankful we’re not getting all the government The only time people dislike gossip is when you we’re paying for. gossip about them. Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ There ought to be one day-- just one-- when until you can find a rock. there is open season on senators Don’t gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you. sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it. Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets over if you just sit there. hold of a hammer. I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat. We are all here for a spell; get all the good I never expected to see the day when girls would laughs you can. get sunburned in the places they do today. We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to I was not a child prodigy, because a child sit on the curb and clap as they go by. prodigy is a child who knows as much when it We don’t know what we want, but we are ready is a child as it does when it grows up. to bite somebody to get it. I’m not a real movie star. I’ve still got the same wife I started out with twenty-eight years ago. Rumor travels faster, but it don’t stay put as long as truth. Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip. There is only one thing that can kill the Movies, and that is education. Nothing you can’t spell will ever work. The more you read and observe about this On account of being a democracy and run by Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is the people, we are the only nation in the world worse than the other. The one that’s out always that has to keep a government four years, no looks the best. matter what it does. The income tax has made more liars out of the Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and American people than golf has. U.S. Senators.

Turning to Prayer “Anyone with ‘needs’ to be prayed over, come forward, to the front at the altar,” the Preacher says. Charlie gets in line, and when it’s his turn, the preacher asks: “Charlie, what do you want me to pray about for you?” Charlie replies: “Preacher, I need you to pray for help with my hearing.” The preacher puts one finger in Charlie’s ear, and he places the other hand on top of Charlie’s head and prays and prays and prays, he prays a blue streak for Charlie. After a few minutes, the Preacher removes his hands, stands back and asks, “Charlie, how is your hearing now?” Charlie says, “I don’t know, Reverend, it ain’t ‘til next Wednesday.”


6  WHERE DID IT GO August 2010

Pool, Rockport Country Club and 18-hole Golf Course and so much more! Throughout the year enjoy such festivals as Gospel Festival in January, the Bountiful Bowl Pottery Fair and Clay Expo in February, Fulton Oysterfest in March, Rockport Festival of Wines Memorial Day Weekend, Rockport Art Festival in July, Patriotic Boat Parade and Wendell Fireworks Display on July 4th, Fiesta En La Playa on Labor Day Weekend, Hummer/ Bird Celebration in September, Rockport Seafair in October and Celebration of Lights and Lighted Boat Parade in December. Rockport Seafair is a seathemed fun festival 36 years young that features live entertainment, over 120 vendors, Gumbo CookOff, Seafood Cooking classes and demonstrations, a big carnival, education about the coast, a big parade and much more! October 8-10, 2010 with a Sea-A-Bration kick-off party on Wednesday night prior – more than 20,000 folks are coming - so join them! If history is what you like, Aransas County has many interesting items. General Zachary Taylor landed his troops in Aransas County during the Mexican war, which marked the beginning of statehood for Texas. The oak tree under

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which his troops supposedly camped still stands in Rockport’s Zachary Taylor Park. With over 35 historical markers at various places throughout the county, history will come to life just by reading a few. A driving tour of the county is available at the Chamber office. More historical information will come to life at the Texas Maritime Museum and the Fulton Mansion. Port Aransas is on the northern tip of Mustand Island and just a short (sometimes with a long wait) ferry ride across the channel from the mainland. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Gulf Coast. An English settler built a ranch house on site in 1855. It was later developed as popular fishing village. Spring and summer visitors swell the population by thousands. Lodging choices range from quaint cottages to resort condominiums and beach houses. Outstanding fresh seafood shops and restaurants offer a variety of cuisine and musical talent at evening nightspots. You can

catch a trolley to boutiques and art galleries filled with unique coastal treasures. A U.S. Coast Guard Station located here. A commentary on the Coastal Bend Pub Crawl: We stayed at a waterfront motel in Fulton with a long fishing pier out into the bay. This was the pier not used because of my equipment malfunction, as Janet Jackson might say. So our first choice was a little place I’d been before under a different name (the bar not me), the Sugar Shack. It was cool and dark but no view of the water. Had a sassy waitress named Karen which is always a plus for me. She assured me she’d nab me by the door if I tried to walk the check. Previously it was attached to a small restaurant which now appears to be a game room. At that time, our waitress told us that George Strait was dining in there. He wasn’t bothering me for an autograph so I extended him the same courtesy. Just down the Beach is Alice Faye’s Bar and Restaurant which I believe moved there from the current Sugar Shack location. Well drinks were only $2 each which is always a plus even though I’m primarily a beer drinker. We had another fun bartender, Kathy, and I had a chance to visit with a neighbor about kayak fishing. You could see the water but it was through the windows on the other side of the dining room. We returned Tuesday night for a couple of well drinks and some karaoke. On advice of my new fishing buddy we went across Copano Bay to Doc’s Bar & Grill for our evening meal and then returned to our motel for some swimming and reading. Doc’s had some very interesting “bottlecap” artwork on the walls and bathrooms. Next morning I enjoyed the free waffle and coffee at the motel and then we headed for Port A. Had only a short wait at the ferry and then did a driving tour of the island. It was early yet so we drove around, took some pictures, checked out the beach and developed a little thirst. We checked out a place called Lovett’s which is decorated with an eclectic mess of stuff mostly around a firefighter’s theme, which must be the day job of the owner. A couple on bicycles seemed to be loitering around the parking lot so we asked at what time the bar opened. They glanced at their watches and said they had no idea. So we headed over to the Salty Dog Saloon, the selfproclaimed coolest honky tonk in Port “A.” We had another nice

To Page 14


August 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 7

Libations for August Please Drink Responsibility

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8  WHERE DID IT GO August 2010

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Not available with any other discounts, offers or prior purchases. NPAD1187-00-EE-ST-SL 5/10 © 2010 Starkey Laboratories, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 2010 Starkey Clinical Trial

Many pelicans fish by swimming in cooperative groups. They may form a line or a “U” shape and drive fish into shallow water by beating their wings on the surface. When fish congregate in the shallows, the pelicans simply scoop them up. The brown pelican, on the other hand, dives on fish (usually a type of herring called menhaden) from above and snares them in its bill. Pelicans do not store fish in their pouch, but simply use it to catch them and then tip it back to drain out water and swallow the fish immediately. The American white pelican can hold some 3 gallons of water in its bill. Young pelicans feed by sticking their bills into their parents’ throats to retrieve food. The white pelican is migratory and usually shows up along the Gulf Coast from November to April. They can be seen locally along the pilings near the Clear Creek outlet into Galveston Bay, on Galveston’s waterfront and (in the past, at least) just off the Texas City Dike. Pelicans are found on many of the world’s coastlines and also along lakes and rivers. They are social birds and typically travel in flocks, often strung out in a line. They also breed in groups called colonies, which typically gather on islands. During the breeding season, both male and female pelicans develop a 3 inch by 3 inch bump on the top of their large beak. This conspicuous growth, which evidently indicates the bird’s interest in breeding, is shed by the end of the breeding season. In North America, the brown pelican was at one time considered endangered, but populations have recovered to some extent. The sea birds were believed to be devastated by chemical pesticides, such as DDT, which was said to damage the eggs of pelicans and many other species. It was later proven to not be true. Brown pelicans declined in Texas from a high of 5,000 birds in 1918 to a low of 200 in 1941, three years before the presence of DDT. This erroneous fact about the brown pelican and DDT, along with other fallacious evidence chronicled in Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” caused DDT to be banned worldwide resulting in the deaths of millions, perhaps billions of persons from malaria transmitted by mosquitoes in the third-world countries of Africa, Asia and South America. This is unfortunately another example of extreme environmentalism gone wrong. Even when the intention is good, such as saving pelicans and other wild birds, a full investigation into the possible consequences of such acts as banning DDT, need be conducted and not carried out based on hysteria.


August 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 9

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Gulf Oil Spill: Louisiana Fish And Shrimp Are Ready to Eat -- Rong-Gong Lin II in New Orleans

I

s Louisiana seafood safe to eat? U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on Friday heartily endorsed the decision of Louisiana fisheries officials to reopen wide swaths of state coastal waters to commercial fishing and shrimping. “We all feel very confident with the reopening of this water to the fishing of fin fish and shrimp,” she said at a news conference on New Orleans’ riverfront. “This is our first major opening of the state waters to commercial fishing, so it really is something to celebrate.” The reopened areas, about 2,400 square miles, are mostly east of New Orleans and the Mississippi River Delta. Areas south of the delta, including Terrebonne and Barataria bays, are still being slimed with oil and remain shut. About 84,000 square miles of federal fishing waters, farther offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, are still off limits to commercial fishing; any decision to reopen those waters is up to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is currently reassessing the danger. “FDA’s job is to promote and protect health, and our role has been to oversee the scientific testing of seafood samples ... and confirm that, in fact, they do not have levels of oil residue that could be harmful to human health,” Hamburg said. Harvests of crabs and oysters remain banned. Testing of crabmeat is more complex and takes longer. Oysters will probably be the last seafood to be approved for consumption, partly because they cannot move to cleaner waters and because harmful substances are more likely to accumulate in the body of the oysters. These have been trying times for New Orleans restaurants. Shrimp prices on menus have risen in recent weeks, and oysters are off the tables at many -- but not all -- eateries. The oyster ban has been especially distressing. Louisiana’s 1.6 million acres of public oyster beds, and more than half of its 400,000 privately leased acres, are off limits. Hundreds of oystermen have stopped fishing. Processors have shut down. Gulf restaurants have closed, and chains such as Red Lobster have yanked the briny morsels off their menus. What supplies remain have more than doubled in price, with some restaurateurs paying $200 for a 150-count case. For weeks, federal scientists have been painstakingly testing gulf seafood. In the early days of the spill, fish were contaminated with oil or dispersant, a chemical mixture applied to the slick that, like detergent, broke the oil into tiny, invisible particles. But with the leaking well snugly capped since July 15, visible signs of huge oil slicks have disappeared from large sections of the gulf. The initial testing for fish samples includes a sniff test for oil or dispersant. If a scientist’s nose detected oil or dispersant, the fish failed the test, and the fishing ban continued. But if the fish passed the test, the sample underwent extensive chemical analysis to confirm whether the fish was fit to eat. “The levels tested [for unhealthy contaminants] were extremely low. They were significantly below the threshold of concern,” Hamburg said. “I think the tests are very clear.” Hamburg said officials would keep an eye on sea life to see whether oil later presented a problem. “We always have to be vigilant,” she cautioned. “Just because the waters are safe for reopening fishing today doesn’t mean that something can’t change. But at the moment, this is good news. “These waters have been carefully examined, in terms of oil contamination and in terms of the safety of the seafood to be harvested from these waters. And we all feel very confident standing here today that the products that will be harvested from these waters will be safe, wholesome and delicious.” It will take at least several days, if not longer, for the fishing industry to reboot. Some fishermen are still working as BP contractors to assist in oil cleanup efforts. Logistical challenges, such as purchasing ice, must be overcome before fishing runs can resume.


10  WHERE DID IT GO August 2010

Kala Garcia, Realtor 832-721-7121 kalarealtor@gmail.com

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Billy Joe Shaver Honky Tonk Hero Billy Joe Shaver is not one of the best known country artists but among country artists he is one of the best known songwriters. Some of his best known songs are “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal” recorded by John Anderson and almost the entire album “Honky Tonk Heros” by Waylon Jennings which included ”Honky Tonk Heroes” – ”Old Five and Dimers Like Me” – ”Willy the Wandering Gypsy and Me” – ”You Asked Me To” - ”Ride Me Down Easy” – ”Ain’t No God in Mexico” – ”Black Rose.” Other artists, including Elvis Presley and Kris Kristofferson, also recorded Shaver’s music. This led to his own record deal. Unfortunately for Shaver, the first few recording companies he signed with soon folded. He was never able to gain widespread recognition as a singer, although he never stopped recording his own music. On his records, he has been accompanied by other major rock and country music musicians like Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, Chuck Leavell and Dickey Betts (of the Allman Brothers), Charlie Daniels, Flaco Jiménez, and Al Kooper. Billy Joe Shaver’s debut album was Old Five and Dimers Like Me (1973). Almost every song on the album has become a classic (particularly the title track, as well as “I Been to Georgia On a Fast Train” and “Willy The Wandering Gypsy and Me”), many being performed by other artists such as David Allan Coe. When I Get My Wings (1976) included “Aint No God In Mexico” (also a hit for Waylon Jennings). Gypsy Boy (1977) included “Honky Tonk Heroes”. Shaver is also known for his hit “Live Forever”, co-written by his son Eddy, which was also performed by The Highwaymen. Shaver also wrote numerous songs for artists such as Patty Loveless and Willie Nelson. Shaver continued to release records throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s; the most notable was the critically acclaimed Tramp On Your Street, released in 1993, which prominently featured the guitar playing of Eddy Shaver. Billy Joe Shaver’s most recent album, 2007’s country gospel style Everybody’s Brother was Grammy-nominated. Many of the songs are duets with artists such as Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Tanya Tucker. Musicians playing on the album included Randy Scruggs, Laura Cash and Marty Stuart. Shaver was raised by his mother, Victory Watson Shaver, after his father Virgil left the family before he was born. Until he was 12, he spent a great deal of time with his grandmother in Corsicana, Texas so that his mother could work in Waco. He sometimes accompanied his mother to her job at a local nightclub, where he began to be exposed to country music. Shaver’s mother remarried about the time that his grandmother died, so he and his older sister Patricia moved in with their mother and new stepfather. Shaver left school after the eighth grade to help his uncles pick cotton, but occasionally returned to school to play sports. Shaver joined the U.S. Navy on his seventeenth birthday. Upon his discharge, he worked a series of dead-end jobs, including trying to be a rodeo cowboy. About this time, Shaver met and married Brenda Joyce Tindell. They had one son, John Edwin, known as Eddy, who was born in 1962. The two divorced and remarried several times. Eddy, who played guitar with his dad, died from an overdose at age 38. In 1996, Shaver took a part in the movie The Apostle, playing opposite Robert Duvall. He had additional speaking roles in the Duvall film Secondhand Lions (2003) and in The Wendell Baker Story (2005). In 2004, a documentary of his life, A Portrait of Billy Joe was released. The documentary was directed by Luciana Pedraza. In 2008, he co-starred with Bill Engvall and Billy Ray Cyrus in the made for TV USA Network Movie, Bait Shop. In 2006, Shaver was charged with but later acquitted of shooting someone, claiming self defense. If nothing else, Billy Joe Shaver’s life has been a wild ride.


August 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 11

Tropicalattitude

“Celebrating the Waterfront Lifestyle” Jean Lafitte—Our Own Pirate

Look around a local marina and you’re sure to see a pirate flag flying off someone’s spreader halyard. My own boat carries one about the size of a Hummer’s hood to fly when captain and crew feel like it. Sailors (and power boaters) fly our Jolly Rogers, wear scull and bones T-shirts, sport earrings and head rags, tattoo ourselves, drink and raise hell. There are pirate websites, pirate stores, pirate parties, pirate brotherhoods, and pirate festivals such as the Lake Charles and Corpus Christi “Contraband Days” events. Why are we so fascinated by buccaneers? Pirates were real rebels, and all good Americans love the idea of being rebels. Being a pirate— playing a pirate—fulfills that innate urge. We love to rebel. Built our national reputation on it. Remember Marlon Brando’s scene from On the Waterfront? He’s asked, “What are you rebelling against?” His reply, “What do ya got?” Look at all the people you meet in your everyday life with piercings, tattoos, scarifications—somebody stop me! We are a folded, spindled, mutilated and rebelling society. Of course, piracy’s image has been cleaned up and romanticized. It doesn’t currently suffer from a linkage with violence and depravity in the popular mind. Modern-day pirates drink beer and wear flip-flops and lament their “lost shakers of salt.” The brotherhood (and, apparently, sisterhood) of buccaneers seems to exist everywhere. You’ll see skull-and-crossed-bones flying in marinas from Florida to California, Canada to Texas. Our love of pirates and our native dislike of authority are, no doubt, responsible for the popularity of the swaggering Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean and Treasure Island’s Long John Silver. Hey, you’ve got to teach your kids who to look up to now that sports figures are falling from grace. The real privateers and corsairs of Florida and the Antilles are well known, but

by Phillip Kinslow for Tropicalattitude Fall 2004 Texas had her own and folklore.) But this is simply one of the legends apparently started seagoing scoundrels, by Lafitte himself. the most famous We actually do know a little about Lafitte, but I’ll try not to spoil of which was Jean the story with a bunch of actual facts. Jean and his brother Pierre Lafitte. Take a drive simply show up in history. (By the way, though my dad pronounced down Galveston’s the name to rhyme with Gene, it is actually pronounced more like Harborside Dr. John, except that weird French accent makes it sound more like Jhaw’ towards UTMB, like a bug flew up your nose at the end. (NOTE TO THE FRENCH: and you’ll see the If you’re gonna use English letters to write with, at least learn to speak ruins of Maison them properly. Don’t make us come over there!) Anyway, lots of folks Rouge, his Galveston thought the brothers were Cajuns from right there in New Orleans, headquarters. If Jack since they knew their way around the bayous, swamps and marshes Sparrow is charming so well. Still others swore they were French noblemen on the run and savvy, Lafitte was from Napoleon. The only piece of evidence is that when Pierre got more so, as well as being more married in the parish church in New Orleans, he listed his birthplace as socially presentable. After all, it’s Bordeaux, France. Sure, this could be a lie, but, hey! it’s in Catholic hard to get into the cotillion with Church records—what are the odds? dirty fingernails and tattooed-on Wherever the brothers eyeliner. came from, they owned and ran a In May of 1820, Jean Lafitte blacksmith shop in New Orleans. sailed out of Galveston Bay The building is still there on and into oblivion. He’d lived Bourbon Street. Strangely enough in legend for most of his life, it’s named “Lafitte’s Blacksmith made so by the many stories Shop.” It’s really a bar nowadays, he passed of his own exploits and a good one. and history. Later writers and The Lafitte brothers, however, “historians” then embellished the were not well known for their Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop truths and fabrications for their smithing—it was a cover for their own purposes. Lafitte seemed black market operations. The to know early on that a man of Lafittes did sell Absinthe and other spirits from the shop—taken from his endeavor would need to give raided ships, no doubt—and this adds to the current aura of the French friends, customers, victims, and Quarter. accomplices a little truth and a The Lafitte gang not only sold contraband from the old lot of fiction on which to hang blacksmith shop, they also ran a lot of goods into the interior to sell their trust, their loyalty, their to the plantation owners there. The French didn’t pay much attention admiration, and their fear. to this part of their world. Valuable goods such as clothing and booze My own introduction to were frequently difficult to come by. Monsieur Lafitte was through the Then in 1803, Louis and Clark made their way to New Orleans to now out of print Texas History party for a couple of years. They had to write a fake report to President publications from Mobil Oil. Jefferson. They purported to have explored way north somewhere, so Lafitte was drawn as a smallish they could justify their expense accounts. When Jefferson found this man with a broad-brimmed hat, out, he slapped heavy tariffs on all goods coming into the port. This dark moustache, and a well- helped recoup the money he wasted on “The Expedition.” Most people tailored waistcoat. He was couldn’t afford to buy the stuff that came in legally. So with the motto, actually clean cut. Not much “WE RIP OFF THE OTHER GUY AND PASS THE SAVINGS like an actual pirate, of course, To Lafitte p 15 but the drawing was taken from a “portrait” done 50 or so years after his death. The portrait even shows him with buttons decorated with fouled anchors, looking more like an admiral than a pirate. Hey, what more could an 8 year old Texas farm-boy want? He was my pirate, a Texas pirate. Residential & Commercial Shoot, maybe one day I could Outdoor Kitchens move off the cotton farm, clean Bamboo & Concrete Work up and be a pirate myself. Lafitte Decks took prizes on the high seas— Tiki Accessories sure-- and he probably killed the people he robbed--uh huh--and FREE Quotes he sold contraband on the black 12 Years Experience market. Okay! But gimme a Many References break! He only did this to cripple the hated Spanish who’d caused 832-282-2740 the death of his beloved wife. (So www.gulfcoastpalapas.com beloved her name escapes history

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12  WHERE DID IT GO August 2010

What is The Tea Party Movement?

It is an American socio-political movement that spontaneously emerged in 2009 as a result of growing government deficits, fiscal mismanagement, public mistrust of Congress, and a presidential administration that began to advocate on behalf of an agenda that emphasized larger role of government in the lives of Americans. The movement was characterized by an outpouring of support from average Americans who believe in limited government, individual liberty, fiscal responsibility, economic freedom, and the rule of law. Many of the core values and priorities of those who identify with the Tea Party movement are spelled out in the Contract from America. Protests were sparked within the Tea Party movement in direct response to several Federal laws: the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Federal Reserve Transparency Act and a series of health care reform bills. The name “Tea Party” is a reference to the Boston Tea Party of 1773—a protest by American colonists against various acts by the British Government which, among other things, attempted to establish a monopoly on the importation of tea into the colonies by giving a cut on re-importation tax imposed on the East India Company. The colonists felt disenfranchised because of their lack of representation in the British Parliament, and resented the British government’s efforts to control them. Tea Party protests have invoked themes, images and slogans similar to those used during the prerevolutionary period in American history. Tea Party Agenda: Contract from America The Contract from America was the idea of Houston-based lawyer, Ryan Hecker. Hecker states that he developed the concept of creating a grassroots call for reform prior to the April 15, 2009 Tax Day Tea Party rallies. He solicited ideas from the American people to offer planks for the contract. The list was “created from the bottom up. It was not crafted in Washington with the help of pollsters.” Thousands of ideas were submitted and eventually narrowed down to the following 10 agenda items that it encourages congressional candidates to follow: 1. Identify constitutionality of every new law: Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does. 2. Reject emissions trading: Stop the “cap and trade” administrative approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. 3. Demand a balanced federal budget: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax modification. 4. Simplify the tax system: Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words -- the length of the original Constitution. 5. Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality: Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in an audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities. 6. Limit annual growth in federal spending: Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth. 7. Repeal the health care legislation passed on March 23, 2010: Defund, repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Policy: Authorize the exploration of additional energy reserves to reduce American dependence on foreign energy sources and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation. 9. Reduce Earmarks: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark. 10. Reduce Taxes: Permanently repeal all recent tax increases, and extend permanently the George W. Bush temporary reductions in income tax, capital gains tax and estate taxes, currently scheduled to end in 2011. It is a document created by the people and as a result, better reflects the priorities of Americans. In stark contrast to this open process of development, other efforts simply listed the priorities of their sponsors and benefactors. Editors Note: I have personally attended 4 or 5 Tea Party rallies in the Clear Lake and Houston area. I have friends and relatives who attend regularly around the country. None of us has ever witnessed any examples of racism or bad behavior on the parts of the participants. There have been Hispanic and/or African-American keynote speakers at each of these events. The message is simple and universal: “We do not need

an elite to govern us. We can govern ourselves.”

ON TO YOU!” Lafitte and the boys began helping the local economy. They raided ships in the Gulf, brought the goods back to New Orleans and sold them cheap. The customers didn’t care much about the method of acquisition as long as the price was right. The upright citizens of Louisiana preferred to ignore what they didn’t want to know about. This state of blissful ignorance ended after the wife of a local gentleman left New Orleans by ship never to be seen again. Her property was later put up for sale by the Lafitte crew. Before you knew it the local constables had Pierre and another dozen pirates in jail. The governor put a price on Jean’s head, and an architect was drawing up plans for a gallows. Lafitte put up posters offering double the price for the governor. It pays to have a sense of humor when dealing with government. Providence stepped in and allowed Lafitte to help Andrew Jackson defeat the British in the Battle of New Orleans. This was during the War of 1812—an election year. Madison’s opponents were calling for an international effort. They said the President wasn’t smart enough to conduct a war with the British, had no exit strategy, and no plan to fight the peace. They even said Madison was a greater threat to world peace than King George III. The British had pitched this internationalist idea to Jean Lafitte. They sat down with him and laid it out: “Look, the Americans aren’t ready for democracy. They are simply a collection of warring factions who will never learn to get along and govern themselves. They need the English, French, and Germans to tell them what to do.” Yeah, right! Lafitte had been to France. He didn’t fall for it. He knew the Germans would scare off the French, start and lose a war with the English, and the Americans would have to fight limeys someday anyway. He threw a thousand men into the fight and provided gunpowder and rifle flints to the Americans. Jackson’s men were out of flints, you see. After the battle was won, Jackson was able to lobby a full pardon for Lafitte and his men. In good American fashion, they immediately blew the pardon by taking up their old pirate ways. They then had to run like hell from their base in Barretaria and come to Galveston. Our fair island was called Snake Island at the time. Lafitte liked “Campeche” better, and that’s what he put on the welcome sign. Lafitte was tempted, of course, to come on up to Houston, but it was overrun with wild beasts and half-naked savages; and those were just the downtown lawyers and politicians. Best to avoid it. Also, by happy accident, there were some civic improvements on the island. A fellow pirate named Luis Aury had left his holdings here and headed south to help liberate Columbia. One mans trash is another mans Campeche: Lafitte took everything. Despite Lafitte’s claims that he was the mortal enemy of the Spanish, he actually agreed to act as a secret agent on their behalf during this time. You see, Aury had been fighting the Spanish and aiding the many revolutions sprouting up all over Central and South America during the early 19th century. Spain wanted him out of the scene and Lafitte cut a sweet deal to help them. When Aury showed up at Campeache again, members of the Lafitte Gun-and-Knife Club invited his crew to leave. Many deserted Aury. You see, for the crew of a ship like this there’s better pay in piracy than in liberating some backwater country from a dictator—unless there’s oil involved. Worried for his life and the safety of his ships, Aury sailed for Matagorda Bay where we think Lafitte later attacked his armada. Though several of his ships were sunk, Aury managed to escape to Florida. Spain was happy. Lafitte was happy. Lafitte’s alliance with the Spanish should be viewed with a jaundiced eye. He was a politician in an age before the internet and video, so he could get by with promising to work with the Spanish while at the same time raiding their ships and harboring French colonists. His lighthearted attitude about fidelity also allowed him during this time to ally with James Long, who invaded Texas during Lafitte’s sojourn. (Shoot, modern politicians should be so lucky. You can’t even throw away somebody else’s medals and claim they were your own any more.) Lafitte held on here for a while despite hurricanes, hostile Karankawa Indians, and losing sports franchises. He built his home/ fort, Maison and assembled a collection of other pirates around him. His problem was that, even back then, Texas was a prime destination not just for pirates but also for actual crooks and cutthroats. This ticked off the Americans and the Spanish. His plotting and double-dealing didn’t help much, either. So sometime in 1820, the USS Enterprise anchored in Galveston Bay. Lt. Larry Kearny came ashore and told Lafitte he had to leave. His habitation of the property constituted an improper use of a prime piece of real estate called Snake Island on everybody else’s charts. Lafitte stalled as long as he could: It’s not “Snake Island,” it’s Campeche. It’s hurricane season—can’t leave now. It’s bad luck to set sail on Friday. I’ve got a note from Spain that says they own this place and you can’t make me leave. Blah, blah, blah. To Lafitte p 13


August 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 13

More on

(not Moron)

Memory by Gene Rutt

Memorizing long numbers such as bank account numbers, drivers license or even social security numbers is extremely difficult for some people. But before we get there we have to learn a little more about the system and how it is easily expanded to 99. We have now learned the ten peg words representing the digits 1 to 0. These words have been used because of their sounds and associations which make them easy to remember. Now we present: The 100 basic peg words 0 – Sow 5 – Law 10 – Doze 15 – Dual 20 – Noose 25 – Nail 1 – Dye 6 – Shoe 11 – Dad 16 – Dash 21 – Net 26 – Notch 2 – Knee 7 – Cow 12 – Dune 17 – Duck 22 – Nun 27 – Neck 3 – Ma 8 – Fee 13 – Dim 18 – Dove 23 – Gnome 28 – Knife 4 – Row 9 – Bay 14 – Deer 19 – Dab 24 – Nero 29 – Nip 30 – Mice 35 – Mail 40 – Rose 45 – Rail 50 – Lassie 55 – Lily 31 – Mud 36 – Mash 41 – Rat 46 – Rush 51 – Loot 56 – Leech 32 – Moon 37 – Make 42 – Rain 47 – Wreck 52 – Lane 57 – Leak 33 – Mum 38 – Movie 43 – Ram 48 – Roof 53 – Lame 58 – Lava 34 – Mower 39 – Map 44 – Rear 49 – Rope 54 – Lure 59 – Lip 60 – Chess 65 – Chill 70 – Case 75 – Cool 80 – Fuss 85 – Fall 61 – Chat 66 – Cha cha 71 –Cat 76 – Cash 81 – Foot 86 – Fish 62 – Chin 67 – Chalk 72 – Can 77 – Coke 82 – Fan 87 – Fog 63 – Chime 68 – Chief 73 – Comb 78 –Cave 83 – Foam 88 – Fife 64 - Chair 69 – Chip 74 – Car 79 – Cub 84 – Fur 89 – Fab 90 – Bus 95 – Ball 91 – Bat 96 – Bush 92 – Bun 97 – Book 93 – Beam 98 – Beef 94 – Beer 99 – Bib You may have to spend an hour or so going through the above list, before you reach the point where you can hear a number and immediately think of the image that goes with it. Now for memorizing long numbers. Most of us know our Social Security number because we use it so much, but how about your bank account or credit card number? Pegging, unlike the number/rhyming system (outlined in chapter 6), may be used to memorise long-digit numbers. For example the number 624198031536497. Now the above number may seem to you (at first glance), to be a very difficult number to memorise. However using the peg system, all that is required is for you to link together just 8 words. These are 62 – chin, 41 – rat, 98 – beef, 0 – sow, 31 – mud, 53 – lame, 64 – chair and finally 97 – book. The above peg images may be linked together as follows. The first two numbers – 62 and 41, are represented by the images chin and rat. Now to remember these numbers, you could try imagining an enormous flat chin, with a rat scurrying around it. To link together the numbers 41 (rat) and 98 (beef), you could imagine a rat gnawing away at a large beef steak. The numbers 98 (beef) and 0 (sow) may be linked together by visualising a beef steak with thick stitches sowed into it. 0 (sow) and 31 (mud) may be associated by visualising a needle and thread sticking out of a pit of mud. To link together the numbers 31 (mud) and 53 (lame), you could imagine a lame man limping through a mud pit. The numbers 53 (lame) and 64 (chair) suggest the image of a chair with crutches instead of legs. However if you have an image that works better for you, then by all means use it. Finally, the numbers 64 (chair) and 97 (book) may be easily recalled by simply imagining a large chair, with an enormous, wobbling pile of books balanced precariously on top of it. By using the above images, you should have no problem remembering this particular 15-digit number.

HOT DOGS from page 14 later was discovered while working there and became the famous actress Clara Bow, the “It Girl” of the 1920’s silent films. The annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island has been held at the original Coney Island hot dog stand every Independence Day since 1916. Corn dogs, hot dogs in a fried cornmeal batter, were introduced at the Texas State Fair in 1942, created by Texan Neil Fletcher. There are a great number of varieties of hot dogs throughout the country and the world. Just a few are as follows: The basic hot dog is a wiener, boiled, roasted or grilled on a bun with mustard, maybe relish and onions. The chili dog is the addition of chili to the basic dog and is probably my favorite. Adding sauerkraut instead of chili creates a more Germanicflavored dog and is also quite tasty, if you like sauerkraut. A Chicago-style is a Vienna Beef hot dog topped with sliced/diced/ wedged tomatoes, both a dill pickle spear and sweet pickle relish (a particularly bright green style of relish, referred to as “nuclear green” relish), yellow mustard directly on the sausage, pickled sport peppers, and is finished with celery salt, and served on a steamed poppy seed bun. The Sonoran hot dog, found in Tucson, Metro Phoenix, and in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, is a hot dog grilled in a processor or on a griddle, wrapped in Mesquite-smoked bacon, topped with freshly chopped tomatoes, onions, shredded yellow or cotijo cheese, tomatillo salsa or red chili sauce, pinto beans, mayonnaise, ketchup and/or mustard, and served on bread. Rutt’s Hut (no relation to your editor) in Clifton, NJ features a deep fried wiener which splits as it is cooked and is known as a ripper. One of the most famous hot dogs in the world is the Hungarian hot dog, served at Packo’s in Toledo, Ohio and frequently mentioned by Corporal Klinger on MASH. It is a Hungarian sausage split and otherwise served in the traditional chili dog format. I sampled quite a few of those when in Toledo on business in the early 70’s. And that, folks, is probably more than you ever wanted to know about hot dogs!

An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it. Lafitte from page 12 In May of 1821, Lt. Kearny showed up with a war fleet and a message from President Madison: (1) the United States needs a place for college kids to raise hell and party during Spring Break, (2) the United States has warehouses full of crappy trinkets we need to sell to tourists from Ohio, and (3) our guns can punch more holes in your ships than you can punch in ours. “Listen, guys, we’ve got a treaty that says we’re friends as long as I stay down here. Go look it up. It’s in the National Archives for safekeeping.” “You may think that Mr. Lafitte, but Sandy Berger seems to have stuffed it into his pantaloons and accidentally destroyed it.” Lafitte saw the logic. Also, he already knew the surfing was better and the beer was cheaper in Mexico. That night the American sailors saw the night sky turn red. Not only were the flare stacks lit up in all the refineries, but Lafitte had set fire to his settlement. The pirate ships crossed the bar on the rising tide, their sails glowing red at first, then dimming and vanishing into the night. Lafitte was gone, swallowed by time. Texas was at last free to develop flourishing—and more embarrassing—Savings and Loans, energy trading companies, and land speculation enterprises. What happened to Monsieur Lafitte? Among all the fables, I favor the one that has him, rebellious to the last, raiding from his new headquarters in the Yucatan until a fever took him in 1836. Yet doesn’t part of him live on in those of us who view with misgiving upon encroaching civilization, who love the pull of the sail and promise of a distant horizon?


14  WHERE DID IT GO August 2010

waitress, Lisa, and owner Rhonda Shirey who had a big dog named Salty. Get it, Salty Dog.

HOT DOGS The All American Food

Glen, a gentleman sitting next to us said they made the best Bloody Mary’s in Port Aransas. He said his wife drank nine the day before to attest to that. They were excellent and compared favorably to some we consumed in New Orleans a few years ago in a Bloody Mary competition on Decatur Street. Our next stop was just down the street and we nearly passed it. I’m sorry to say I did not catch the name of the place and cannot find it online, but it was kind of open air with the breeze blowing through and a fish sign hanging outside. The bartender there mentioned that her brother was deaf and she sometimes had to deal with him when he was drunk. This story evolved into a hilarious sign language lesson in which we learned some appropriate signs and for which you’d have had to be there to enjoy it. The return was uneventful and we decided to get in some reading time. It’s nice when all the members of your party like to read. Our livers suggested we rest awhile as well. Paradise Key Island Grill

After catching our second wind, we decided to go over to the Paradise Key Island Grill at the marina on Key Allegro. We had a lot of fun everywhere we went but this open-air waterfront palapa bar was definitely the best view we had all week. We had another bright waitress which makes the experience more fun and of course, we were surrounded by yachts. I understand the food is good too. Next morning, after a fine chorizo and egg breakfast, we decided to explore some shops in Rockport. They are mostly souvenir shops, tee shirts and art galleries. Rusty, at Latitudes & Attitudes offered us a margarita but it was too early even for us. It was time to head home!

July was Hot Dog Month and we missed it. Not really though. We’d planned to do an article about hot dogs but already had the one prepared on Kobe beef. So let’s see, hot dogs or Kobe beef? Decisions, decisions! That is not, however, to diminish the pleasure of hot dogs and their role in history, particularly in the good old USA, along with baseball and apple pie. Also called frankfurters, frank, weenie, wienie, wiener, dog, and red hot. A cooked sausage that consists of a combination of beef and pork or all beef, which is cured, smoked, and cooked. Seasonings may include coriander, garlic, ground mustard, nutmeg, salt, sugar, and white pepper. They are fully cooked but are usually served hot. Sizes range from big dinner frankfurters to tiny cocktail size. Hot dogs are among America’s favorite foods. Every year, Americans consume on average 60 hot dogs! Hot dogs are primarily regarded as a fun, summertime food, and most are eaten between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The butcher’s guild in Frankfurt, Germany introduced a spiced and smoked sausage which was packed in a thin casing and they called it a “frankfurter” after their hometown. The sausage had a slightly curved shape supposedly due to the coaxing of a butcher who had a popular dachshund. The frankfurter was also known as a “dachshund sausage” and this name came with it to America. Also in doubt is who first served the first hot dog! Wieners and frankfurters don’t become hot dogs until someone puts them in a roll or a bun. There are several stories or legends as to how this first happened. As the cuisine of Germany relies heavily upon sausages of all shapes and sizes, it stands to reason that the German people would bring these sausages with them to America. German immigrants appear to have sold hot dogs, along with milk rolls and sauerkraut, from pushcarts in New York City’s Bowery during the 1860s. Charles Feltman (1841-1910), a German butcher, opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand in Brooklyn, New York. He sold 3,684 sausages in a roll during his first year in business. He is also credited with the idea of the warm

bun. The hard-working Feltman built a mini-empire with a hotel, beer gardens, restaurants, food stands, and various rides to amuse his customers. The Depression in the 1930’s began the decline of Feltman’s business. Visitors to Coney Island could barely afford the subway ride yet alone a sit down meal at Feltman’s. At his death in 1910, he left a business worth over one million dollars which all started with selling hot dogs. A German peddler, Antonoine Feuchtwanger, sold hot sausages in the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. He would supply white gloves with each purchase so that his customers would not burn their hands while eating the sausage. He saw his profits going down because the customers kept taking the gloves and walking off with them. His wife suggested that he put the sausages in a split bun instead. He reportedly asked his brother-in-law, a baker, for help. The baker improvised long soft rolls that fit the meat, thus inventing the hot dog bun. When he did that, the hot dog was born. He called them red hots. The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, also called the Columbian Exposition, brought thousands of visitors who consumed large quantities of sausage sold by vendors. People liked this food that was easy to eat, convenient, and inexpensive. Also in the same year, it is claimed that sausages became the standard fare at baseball parks. Some historians claim that Chris Von der Ahe (1851-1913), owner of a St. Louis Bar and the St. Louis Browns major league baseball team, introduced sausages to go with his already popular beer. He was a colorful character himself. A large man who wore loud, checkered clothing, Chris sat in a special box behind third base with a whistle and binoculars. He used the whistle to get the attention of players, for someone to get him a beer, or for special cops he employed for personal use and to keep tabs on his players. He bought the Browns in order to put himself in the limelight and to advertise his saloon business. Historians, to this day, have not found any research to back up the claim that hot dogs were sold at Sportsman’s Park. Another story is that the term “hog dog” was coined in 1902 during a Giants baseball game at the New York Polo grounds. On

a cold April day, concessionaire Harry Mozley Stevens (18551934) was losing money trying to sell ice cream and ice-cold sodas. He sent his salesmen out to buy up all the dachshund sausages they could find, and an equal number of rolls. In less than an hour, his vendors were hawking hot dogs from portable hot water tanks while yelling, “They’re red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they’re red hot!” An employee of Charles Feltman, Nathan Handwerker (1892-1974), broke away from Feltman in 1916 and, with his wife Ida, started Nathan’s Famous, Inc., which now calls itself the world’s greatest hot dog purveyor. He opened his stand in Coney Island near the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues and called it Nathan’s. Handwerker sold his hot dogs for five cents each. He used two spice suppliers to keep his hot dog recipe secret. To counteract the rumors of his cut-price hot dogs being less than palatable, he offered free hot dogs to the doctors and nurses at Coney Island Hospital. When questioned in later years about his love for his own food (hot dogs), Nathan bragged, “I’ll gladly wrassle anyone who’s been living on caviar and champagne for thirty-nine years.”

It is said that a local singing waiter, Eddie Cantor (18921964), comic actor and singer, and his prominent piano accompanist, Jimmy Durante (1893-1980), comedian, piano player, and singer, resented the fact that the prospering Charles Feltman had raised the price on his “franks” to a dime. They suggested to Nathan Handwerker that instead of working for Feltman, that he go into competition with him, selling franks for half the price. Some historians suggest that Nathan Handwerker borrowed $320 from entertainers Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante to start the business. To assist in serving his customers, Nathan hired a redheaded teenager, Clara Bowtiinelli (1905-1965), who Hot Dogs back to Page 13


August 2010  WHERE DID IT GO 15

AFT-TER THOUGHTS by Capt. B.G. Willie

A Dog Named Sex

www.judgesbarandgrill.com

Everybody I know who has a dog usually calls him “Rover” or “Spot”. I call mine Sex. Now, Sex has been very embarrassing to me. When I went to the City Hall to renew the dog’s license, I told the clerk that I would like a license for Sex. He said, “I would like to have one too!” Then I said, “But she is a dog!” He said he didn’t care what she looked like. I said, “You don’t understand. ... I have had Sex since I was nine years old.” He replied, “You must have been quite a strong boy.” When I decided to get married, I told the minister that I would like to have Sex at the wedding. He told me to wait until after the wedding was over. I said, “But Sex has played a big part in my life and my whole world revolves around Sex.” He said he didn’t want to hear about my personal life and would not marry us in his church. I told him everyone would enjoy having Sex at the wedding. The next day we were married at the Justice of the Peace. My family is barred from the church from then on. When my wife and I went on our honeymoon, I took the dog with me. When we checked into the motel, I told the clerk that I wanted a room for me and my wife and a special room for Sex. He said that every room in the motel is a place for sex. I said, “You don’t understand. ... Sex keeps me awake at night.” The clerk said, “Me too!”

One day I entered Sex in a contest. But before the competition began, the dog ran away. Another contestant asked me why I was just looking around. I told him that I was going to have Sex in the contest. He said that I should have sold my own tickets. “You don’t understand,” I said, “I hoped to have Sex on TV.” He called me a show off. When my wife and I separated, we went to court to fight for custody of the dog. I said, “Your Honor, I had Sex before I was married but Sex left me after I was married.” The Judge said, “Me too!” Last night Sex ran off again. I spent hours looking all over for her. A cop came over and asked me what I was doing in the alley at 4 o’clock in the morning. I said, “I’m looking for Sex.” -- My case comes up next Thursday. Well now I’ve been thrown in jail, been divorced and had more damn troubles with that dog than I ever foresaw. Why just the other day when I went for my first session with the psychiatrist, she asked me, “What seems to be the trouble?” I replied, “Sex has been my best friend all my life but now it has left me for ever. I couldn’t live any longer so lonely.” and the doctor said, “Look mister, you should understand that sex isn’t a man’s best friend, so get yourself a dog.”

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