Inside of every older person is a younger person asking,
“Where Did It Go?”
Vol 2 Nr 1 January 2010
A Fun and Informative Rag for Those Who Have Been Around the Block and Attended at Least One Rodeo
The Galveston Bay Area
Twinkies and Root Beer (Anonymous)
The Space and Boating Capital of Texas by Gene Rutt
The Galveston Bay Area is the region that surrounds the Galveston Bay estuary of Southeast Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. Residents of Houston and surrounding areas typically call it simply the “Bay Area.” Normally the term refers to the mainland communities around the bay and excludes Galveston as well as most of Houston. Originally part of the pirate kingdom of Jean Lafitte, this area played a role in the early history of Texas having been the site of some early rebellions against Mexican rule and the site of the victory of the Texas army over the Mexican army during the Texas Revolution. Ranching interests became early economic drivers around the bay. As the nearby cities of Galveston and Houston developed as commercial centers, the Bay Area communities became part of a principal commercial corridor between the cities.
My first remembrance of the area was coming from Beaumont when I was in high school to Dickinson via the tunnel at Baytown, Seabrook and Webster to attend the drag races. This was long before the big track was built in Baytown. I particularly remember stopping for a soda pop at the little bait stand on the triangle at what was then FM528 and FM146 which has since been an attorney’s office, tax prep office and several other things. Despite being seen by some as a sleepy region of the Houston metro area, the area in fact has become a world leader in both manned space exploration and the petrochemical industry. The landscape around the bay features a mix of swamps, beaches, industrial facilities, tourist attractions, and historic sites. The area’s developing population is ethnically diverse with a growing international community. The communities host cultural events ranging from ballet and musical
“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” Samuel Adams, 1776
theater to fairs and rodeos. The bay itself supports a commercial fishing industry and features one of the highest concentrations of marinas in the nation and is considered the Boating Capital of Texas. On land the area holds numerous historic sites such as the San Jacinto Monument, and many parks such as the Armand Bayou Nature Center. The following communities lie on or near the shores of Galveston Bay (excluding those along the Gulf of Mexico): Anahuac, Bacliff, Baytown, Beach City, Kemah, LaMarque, La Porte, Morgan’s Point, San Leon, Seabrook, Shoreacres, Pasadena, Texas City, Clear Lake “superneighborhood” of Houston (which includes Clear Lake City and JSC), Clear Lake Shores, Deer Park, Dickinson, El Lago, Friendswood, League City, Nassau Bay, Taylor Lake Village and Webster. History Prior to European settlement the area around Galveston Bay was settled by the Karankawa and Atakapan tribes, who lived throughout the Gulf coast region. Spanish explorers such as the Continued, pg. 6
A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a sixpack of Root Beer and he started his journey. When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie. He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so pleasant that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer. Again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word. As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug. He gave him his biggest smile ever. When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy? “He replied, “I had lunch with God.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? God’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!” Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked,” Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?” He replied, “I ate Twinkies in the park with God.” However, before his son responded, he added, “You know, he’s much younger than I expected.” Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Embrace all equally! Share this with people who have touched your life in a special way. Let them know how important they are.
2 Where did it go December 2009
Cruising and Cruise Ships
Hits and Myths by Lynda Hall While I don’t consider myself a cruising expert, I have been on about six cruises on three different cruise lines so I do know a little about it and I love it. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but at least make sure you make your decisions based on good information, not myths and rumors.
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One concern is seasickness. The ships are so big and stable that sea sickness is not usually a problem, however, if you are prone to motion sickness you can buy across-the-counter remedies that do a fine job of preventing it. Be sure to consult with your pharmacist and get the kind that does not make you drowsy. I am not prone to motion sickness but I am inclined to being comfortable so I take a chewable Bonine tablet daily just in case and have never been ill. I don’t want to dine at assigned times and with people I might not like. Many cruise ships still feature traditional seating for dinner, with assigned times and tables. However, more and more cruise lines have open seating for dinner, which means you can dine when you like and at different tables. Since today’s cruise ships also include alternative dining venues, you can vary your restaurant choices along with your table mates. You will have to dress up for dinner. Most of the time you don’t have to be formally dressed for dinner in the main restaurant, although periodic formal nights are scheduled on some cruise lines. On my first cruise I didn’t bring any type of formal clothes for formal night and it was no problem. You can always eat at the buffet or grab something quick at the ship’s pizzeria. Also, room service is available, with a limited menu, for that day you have too much fun on your shore excursion, and no energy left to dress for dinner. You may want to have a cash tip available for the waiter who delivers to your door. Cruise ships are packed with old people. I’m getting older myself and don’t want to hang out with a bunch of old people either, at least not people who act old. Many cruisers are senior citizens, but nowadays many are not. Most of the seniors I have met are active, and sometimes have amazing stories to tell about their life experiences. Families will find terrific programs designed to keep
children of all ages entertained. There are areas aboard ship set up just for them, and ship personnel to lead activities that will insure the kids have fun and a special experience to remember. Cruising is boring. If you get bored on a cruise, it’s your own fault. These days they have a multitude of activities to keep you from being bored. It is not the sedentary past time it used to be, unless that’s what you choose to make of it. Every cruise ship publishes a daily newspaper and activity schedule to keep you busy and entertained while on
board. During the day you’ll find numerous activities such as Bingo, trivia games, lectures on topics such as art collecting, politics, world affairs and investing not to mention the ports you’ll be visiting and shopping; exercise classes, casinos, wine tastings, cooking classes, shuffleboard, card tournaments and good oldfashioned relaxing in the sun by the pool or catching up on all those first run movies or books you never have time for at home. Then there are other alternatives you’ll find on some ships such as golf simulators, miniature golf courses, putting greens, batting cages, basketball, skeet shooting, volleyball and tennis courts. Some ships even have rock climbing and ice skating. You can treat yourself to a day in the spa or in the ships’s onboard fitness center, massages, facials, hair and nail salons, a sauna or a session with a personal trainer on the state-ofthe-art exercise equipment. (But do watch out for spa activities that carry extra costs!). In the evenings you have all of the bars and lounges at your disposal for mixing, mingling, dancing or people watching. There are lavish production shows and cabaret acts, comedians and the late night disco to keep you going into the wee hours. And don’t forget how much your ports of call provide for Continued on Page 5
December, 2009 Where Did It Go 3
Letter from the Editor IGNORANCE MAY REALLY BE BLISS It seems like the more we learn from the daily news, the more upset we are. Of course we are upset and with good reason: the economy is going down the tubes; our elected officials are lying to us; we might be being targeted for another terrorist attack; some of our cabinet members are tax cheats at the same time our taxes are being raised; unemployment is increasing as are home foreclosures; rogue nations are getting nuclear weapons and a pandemic of swine flu may infect the world, killing millions of people. . . . . . . and that’s just today’s news. One has a duty to oneself and family to be well informed but I’m not sure it’s the healthiest thing we can do for ourselves. Since most of what we hear or read is negative, is that really what we need to be absorbing on a full time basis? When you read about these events, consider how bad news and other negative experiences, though not necessarily physical in themselves, cause serious and chronic physical problems with your body because of stress. Stress may seem like a mental condition but it manifests itself in many dangerous physical ways. Stress stems from the body’s physical response to outside negative stimuli, both physical and emotional. By avoiding the stimuli, you avoid the stress. So if you’re a news junkie, cut back on the volume of your input and try not to let yourself get upset by what you do hear. The Serenity Prayer, in particular, says, ”Accept the things you cannot change” because these are the primary things that cause the feelings of helplessness, frustration, negative attitudes, stress and the lack of happiness in our lives. Sounds like a good reason to, at least, not get overly informed. Listen or read enough to know what’s going on but don’t over immerse yourself.
Gene Rutt - Publisher/Editor
Those who want the Government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide to avoid assassination. Harry S. Truman
SOME CLEVER HOUSEHOLD IDEAS • Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. Leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster. • Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold! • Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 humps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking. • Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking. • To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up. • For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting. • Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic. • Reheating refrigerated bread. To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster. • Broken Glass. Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can’t see easily.
Dog Letters To God Dear God, Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another? Where are their priorities? Dear God, When we get to heaven can we sit on your couch? Or is it the same old story? Dear God, Why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, The colt, the stingray and the rabbit, but not ONE named for a dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around? We dogs love a nice ride! Would it be so hard to rename the Chrysler Eagle the Chrysler Beagle? Dear God, If a dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad dog? Dear God, If we come back as humans, is that good, or bad? Dear God, More meatballs, less spaghetti, please. Dear God, When we get to the Pearly Gates, do we have to shake hands to get in? Dear God, Are there dogs on other planets or are we alone? I have been howling at the moon and stars for a long time, but all I ever hear back is the Schnauzer across the street. Dear God, Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize? Dear God, We dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID’s, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand? Dear God, Let me give you a list of just some of the things I must remember to be a good dog: • I will not eat the cats’ food before they eat it or after they throw it up. • I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way they smell. • The diaper pail is not a cookie jar. • The sofa is not a face towel; neither are Mom and Dad’s laps. • The garbage collector is not stealing our stuff. • My head does not belong in the refrigerator. • I will not bite the officer’s hand when he reaches in for Mom’s driver’s license and registration. • I will not play tug-of-war with Dad’s underwear when he’s on the toilet. • Sticking my nose into someone’s crotch is not an acceptable way of saying ‘hello.’ • I do not need to suddenly stand straight up when I’m lying under the coffee table. • I must shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house. • The cat is not a squeaky toy; so when I play with him and he makes that noise, it’s usually not a good thing. And one last question: When I get to heaven can I get them back? BLUEGRASS Continued from Page 5 music on the popular music of this country. He is also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor. Bluegrass music is now performed and enjoyed around the world. The IBMA alone claims members in all 50 states and 30 countries. In addition to the classic style born in 1945 that is still performed widely, bluegrass bands today reflect influences from a variety of sources including traditional and fusion jazz, contemporary country music, Celtic music, rock & roll (“newgrass” or progressive bluegrass), old--time music and
Southern gospel music--in addition to lyrics translated to various languages. The Bay Area Bluegrass Association presents a free concert on the 3rd Saturday of every month at the League City Civic Center. www.bayareabluegrass.org
4 Where did it go December 2009
Computer Tips Marlene Jones Owner - Friendly Computers
EMAIL SECURITY Email is a popular way to spread viruses and attack personal data. Most everyone has received a “phishing” email. Phishing emails are those that request personal information from the user such as user names and passwords on websites or worse, they request login information for bank accounts and sensitive credit card information. Popular big-name scam emails come from hackers posing as eBay, Amazon, Paypal, various credit card companies and banks/financial institutions. If you receive an email from any of these sources asking you to click on a link to log into your personal accounts, they are a scam. At any time, you can go directly to those sites or call the service provider to verify if there is anything going on with your account. Remember, a bank or credit card company will NEVER ask you for your personal login ID, password, or account number through email. One way to combat spam and unwanted attachments in your email is to use Spamfighter (www.spamfighter.com). This spam filtering tool works with Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and on Servers. It is effective for both businesses and home users. It is important to also have good virus protection on your computer systems to help thwart potential threats. Most anti-virus programs help block bad websites and keep unwanted viruses and pop ups from getting onto your system. At Friendly Computers, we recommend AVG anti-virus protection and Spamfighter to help combat threats found in spam and phishing emails.
Received in a recent email: VARNING: MinnySoda Compewtr Virus Ve haf just sent you da NORVEGIAN VIRUS. Since ve do not haf any programming experience and do not know how to actually demage your computir, dis Virus verks on da honor system. Please forward dis Virus to eferyvone on your mailing list and den manually delete all of da files on your hard drive. Tank you for your cooperation, Sven and Ole
------------- Get Fit in 2010 ---------------
I don’t exercise at all. If God had wanted me to touch my toes He would have put them up higher on my body. ~~~~~ One of life’s mysteries is how a two-pound box of candy can make a woman gain five pounds. ~~~~~ I’m in shape. Round is a shape.
Where Did It Go? P.O. Box 1460 Dickinson, TX 77539 832-265-5691
Editor/Publisher Gene Rutt
Lynda Hall Marlene Jones Captain B.G. Willie
Account Rep Elizabeth Scott
A Fun and Informative Rag for Those Who Have Been Around the Block and Attended at least One Rodeo. We are essentially targeting the 40+ reader but plan to have enough fun for everybody no matter your age.
WHY ADVERTISE? To Reach New Customers. Your market changes constantly. New families in the area mean new customers to reach. People earn more money, which means changes in lifestyles and buying habits. YOUR AUDIENCE IS A MOVING TARGET HOW SHOULD YOU ADVERTISE? Continuously! Shoppers don’t have the store loyalty they once did. You must advertise to keep pace with your competition. The National Retail Merchants Association states: “Mobility and non-loyalty are rampant. Stores must promote to get former customers to return and to seek new ones. WHEN SHOULD YOU ADVERTISE? Always! Good times and bad you’re trying to sell your products and services no matter what is happening to the economy. Hard times are not the times to quit advertising. Advertising should be the last item cut from your budget. NO COMPANY CAN GET BY WITHOUT ADVERTISING
“If you wish to survive and grow, you must advertise. If you plan to have a truly entrepreneurial, first-rate growth company, advertising will speed you toward that goal.” -- Jay Abraham
INTRODUCING OUR NEW ACCOUNT REP
ELIZABETH SCOTT 832-454-1940
FOR YOUR ADVERTISING NEEDS
December, 2009 Where Did It Go 5
Cruising from Page 2 exciting diversions and discovery. You can trek off on your own or take one of the ship’s pre-arranged tours. Everyone gains weight on a cruise. You have the opportunity to gain weight but that doesn’t mean you have to. Cruises are known for having plenty of food available, but cruise lines are very aware of the healthy-eating lifestyles of a growing number of cruisers. Every meal offers healthy choices as part of their already extensive food selections prepared under the direction of some of the greatest chefs in the world. Plus, there are plenty of activities on board and off to help people burn away any extra calories during their vacations. Try to lose a few pounds before the cruise, then chow down and enjoy yourself. A cruise ship cabin is claustrophobic. An inside economy cabin does tend to be small and by definition lacks a window but, in actuality, people spend very little time in their cabin except to sleep. An outside cabin (ocean view) has a window or porthole, while a balcony (veranda) cabin has a glass door leading to a balcony usually equipped with a small table and chairs. Most ships feature larger suites for those who truly need more space. I’d rather spend my money on other things than a large cabin. Cruises are expensive. A cruise is actually one of the best travel values out there. Where else could you find a shiny, new and classy resort, on the ocean, with all meals and entertainment included for the price? Children’s programs also are generally included at no extra charge. A seven night cruise costs about 35% less than seven nights at a comparable resort. Cruise costs are all-inclusive. They aren’t. The cruise cost included main ‘dining room meals, buffets, most snack bars and all entertainment.’
Drinks, including non-alcoholic ones, are extra. If you are prone to consume lots of soft drinks, purchase a ‘Coke’ sticker upon arrival. They usually cost around $35 or so, and you are given a cup with it. Refills are free throughout the cruise. Shore excursions, which can add up for families, are extra. You will probably pay extra at most of the shops. Ship photographers are always ready with camera in hand, and the photos are extra. Continued on Page 10
BLUEGRASS MUSIC Courtesy of International Bluegrass Music Association
The various types of music brought with the people who began migrating to America in the early 1600s are considered to be the roots of bluegrass music---including dance music and ballads from Ireland, Scotland and England, as well as African American gospel music and blues. (In fact, slaves from Africa brought the design idea for the banjo--an instrument now integral to the bluegrass sound.) As the early Jamestown settlers began to spread out into the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky and the Virginias, they composed new songs about day-to-day life experiences in the new land. Since most of these people lived in rural areas, the songs reflected life on the farm or in the hills and this type of music was called “mountain music” or “country music.” The invention of the phonograph and the onset of the radio in the early 1900s brought this old-time music out of the rural Southern mountains to people all over the United States. Good singing became a more important part of country music. Singing stars like Jimmie Rodgers, family bands like the Carter family from Virginia and duet teams like the Monroe Brothers from Kentucky contributed greatly to the advancement of traditional country music. The Monroe Brothers were one of the most popular duet teams of the 1920s and into the 1930s. Charlie played the guitar, Bill played the mandolin and they sang duets in harmony. When the brothers split up as a team in 1938, both went on to form their own bands. Since Bill was a native of Kentucky, the Bluegrass State, he decided to call his band “Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys,” and this band sound birthed a new form of country music. “Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys” first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1939 and soon became one of the most popular touring bands out of Nashville’s WSM studios. Bill’s new band was different from other traditional country music bands of the time because of its hard driving and powerful sound, utilizing traditional acoustic instruments and featuring highly distinctive vocal harmonies. This music incorporated songs and rhythms from string band, gospel (black and white), work songs and “shouts” of black laborers, country and blues music repertoires. Vocal selections included duet, trio and quartet harmony singing in addition to Bill’s powerful “high lonesome” solo lead singing. After experimenting with various instrumental combinations, Bill settled on mandolin, banjo, fiddle, guitar and bass as the format for his
band. The guitar originally came from Spain. The mandolin, as well as the fiddle and acoustic bass (both from the violin family), originally came from Italy.
Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs While many fans of bluegrass music date the genre back to 1939, when Monroe formed his first Blue Grass Boys band, most believe that the classic bluegrass sound jelled in 1945, shortly after Earl Scruggs, a 21 year old banjo player from North Carolina, joined the band. Scruggs played an innovative three-finger picking style on the banjo that energized enthusiastic audiences, and has since come to be called simply, “Scruggs style” banjo. Equally influential in the classic 1945 line-up of the Blue Grass Boys were Lester Flatt, from Sparta, Tenn. on guitar and lead vocals against Monroe’s tenor; Chubby Wise, from Florida, on fiddle; and Howard Watts, also known by his comedian name, “Cedric Rainwater,” on acoustic bass. When first Earl Scruggs, and then Lester Flatt left Monroe’s band and eventually formed their own group, The Foggy Mountain Boys, they decided to include the resophonic guitar, or Dobro into their band format. The Dobro is often included in bluegrass band formats today as a result. Burkett H. “Uncle Josh” Graves, from Tellico Plains, Tenn., heard Scruggs’ three-finger style of picking in 1949 and adapted it to the then, almost obscure slide bar instrument. With Flatt & Scruggs from 1955-1969, Graves introduced his widely emulated, driving, bluesy style on the Dobro. The Dobro was invented in the United States by the Dopyera Brothers, immigrant musicians/inventors originally from the Slovak Republic. The brand name, “Dobro,” comes from DOpyera BROthers. From 1948-1969, Flatt & Scruggs were a major force in introducing bluegrass music to America through national television, at major universities and coliseums, and at schoolhouse appearances in numerous towns. Scruggs wrote and recorded one of bluegrass music’s most famous instrumentals, “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” which was used in the soundtrack for the film, Bonnie & Clyde. In 1969 he established an innovative
solo career with his three sons as “The Earl Scruggs Revue.” Scruggs still records and performs selected dates in groups that usually include his sons, Randy on guitar and Gary on bass. After parting with Scruggs in 1969, Lester Flatt continued successfully with his own group, “The Nashville Grass,” performing steadily until shortly before his death in 1979. By the 1950s, people began referring to this style of music as “bluegrass music.” Bluegrass bands began forming all over the country and Bill Monroe became the acknowledged “Father of Bluegrass Music. In the 1960s, the concept of the “bluegrass festival” was first introuced, featuring bands that had seemed to be in competition with each other for a relatively limited audience on the same bill at weekend festivals across the country. Carlton Haney, from Reidsville, N.C., is credited with envisioning and producing the first weekend-long bluegrass music festival, held at Fincastle, Va. in 1965. The increased availability of traditional music recordings, nationwide indoor and outdoor bluegrass festivals and movie, television and commercial soundtracks featuring bluegrass music have aided in bringing this music out of modern day obscurity. Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys achieved national prominence with tour sponsorship by Martha White Flour and for playing the soundtrack for the previously mentioned film, Bonnie and Clyde, as well as on a television show called The Beverly Hillbillies. The Deliverance movie soundtrack also featured bluegrass musicin particular, “Dueling Banjos,” performed by Eric Weissberg on banjo and Steve Mandel on guitar. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken triple LP set, released in 1972, introduced artists like Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Jimmy Martin, Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff and more to pop music fans--bringing the authentic sounds of bluegrass and traditional country music to new audiences. In 2001, the triple platinum selling soundtrack for the Coen Brothers movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou? again attracting wider audiences for bluegrass. Bill Monroe passed away on September 9, 1996, four days before his 85th birthday. In May 1997, Bill Monroe was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because of the profound influence of his Continued back on Page 3
6 Where did it go December 2009
From Galvestoon Bay Area page 1
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Rivas-Iriarte expedition and José Antonio de Evia charter the bay and gave it its name. The significant settlement was established in 1816 by the pirate Louis-Michel Aury who was soon succeeded by the pirate Jean Lafitte. Lafitte transformed Galveston and the bay into a pirate kingdom (notably his gang is known to have made a hide-out on the shores of Clear Lake). In 1821, however, the United States Navy ousted the pirate and the colony was largely abandoned. Following its declaration of independence from Spain the new nation of Mexico moved to colonize its northern territory of Texas by offering land grants to settlers both from within Mexico and from the nearby United States. To spur trade the Port of Galveston was established in 1825 and a permanent settlement created on the island. A few small settlements such as Lynchburg and San Jacinto were gradually established around the bay and in 1830 Mexican authorities created a customs and garrison post at Anahuac commanded by Juan Davis Bradburn. Conflicts between Bradburn and the settlers in the region led to the Anahuac Disturbances, a prelude to the larger Texas rebellion that was to come. Following a coup in the Mexican government many freedoms previously enjoyed by the Texans were revoked causing Texas to revolt and declare its independence in 1835. Following a number of battles the Texas army, under the leadership of General Sam Houston, finally defeated the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto, near modern Pasadena. The new Republic of Texas grew rapidly. The shores of the bay were initially mostly home to farms and ranches such as the famed Allen Ranch. New communities such as Goose Creek (modern Baytown) were established. Texas succeeded in its bid to join the United States in 1845 which helped launch the Mexican-American War. Texas’ annexation brough more people to Texas and Galveston remained Texas’ most important metropolis until Houston began developing. During the American Civil War, during which Texas seceded from the United States, the area served a limited role in the conflict as new fortifications were constructed to ward off a mainland invasion by Union forces and to protect supply routes to and from Galveston. The Bay Area sat in the middle of the conflict as the most important battles in Texas occurred at
Galveston with the conflict moving through the area on to Harrisburg and Houston after Galveston’s fall. In the aftermath of the war the Texas economy declined for a period. Nevertheless ranching interests became major economic drivers in the area spawning many other economic enterprises such as hide processing plants and shipping concerns. Some of these new communities would develop initially as stop-over points for travelers on the rail lines. Toward the end of the century, as ranching’s profitability declined, many communities turned increasingly to agriculture. The farming community of Pasadena was established during this time. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 devastated the city of Galveston and heavily damaged communities around the bay (according to some estimates the Bay Area death toll may have been as high as 2000). Bridges between Galveston and the mainland were destroyed. Communities along the shoreline declined for some time as economic growth moved inland and Houston became the dominant economic center in the region. The region received a population boost from some Galveston refugees who relocated to the mainland following the catastrophy. The sparsely populated Bay Area transformed during the 20th century. Following the hurricane, donations by the newly established Red Cross helped revive area farming communities. The newly established community of Texas City opened its port and railroad junctions shipping cotton and grain. Commercial fishing, particularly for oysters and shrimp, grew as a significant area industry. In 1908 the Bay Area had its first large oil strike at Goose Creek launching the oil boom in the Bay Area. Soon after refineries opened in Texas City, Baytown and Pasadena. The Humble Oil refinery in Baytown became the largest in the Houston area. The wealth brought on by the boom transformed the region and population surged. Manufacturing and refining expanded rapidly. During the Roaring 20s, tourism and resort communities developed around Clear Lake and the bay shoreline in communities such as Morgan’s Point, Seabrook, and Kemah. The World Wars created new manufacturing opportunities for factories around the bay and the area’s population grew even faster than Houston. Ellington Air Force Base was built becoming a major air field and flight training center during the wars. After the war area economic diversification brought on by the war effort helped in the transition Continued on Page 9
Libations for January
December, 2009 Where Did It Go 7
Tailwaggers Pet Resort Dog
“We love them when you leave them.”
Please Drink Responsibility
Most information on hangover prevention talks about “drinking less,” or “drinking water in-between drinks,” or other “random advice” that’s never going to happen. Realistically, hangovers are inevitable; it’s just a matter of how much it hurts. If you aren’t willing to take hangover prevention advice, you might as well consume drinks that help lessen hangovers. Clear Alcohols with Water Based Mixers: Clear alcohols (Vodka, Gin, Light Rum, etc.) have less hangover causing Congeners, and water based mixers will lessen dehydration. Although some warn that the “hair of the dog” (more alcohol) is not a good hangover treatment, it is always going to be attempted by some folks, so here are some favorites: ---------------------------
Here’s the classic Bloody Mary recipe. Enjoy! 1 1/2 ounces (1 jigger) vodka 1/2 cup tomato juice 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice Worcestershire sauce to taste Tabasco to taste 1 celery stick for garnish 1 lemon wedge for garnish
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Combine the vodka, the tomato juice, the lemon juice, the Worcestershire sauce, the Tabasco, 1 cup ice cubes, and salt and pepper to taste, shake the mixture well, and strain it into a tall glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish the Bloody Mary with the celery stick and the lemon wedge. ------------------------------Drinks that Contain Vitamin B6: Bananas contain Vitamin B6 and B12, which are known to help reduce hangovers. Bananas are also high in Potassium, which is depleted from alcohol consumption
Ingredients • 2 ripe bananas, mashed • 4 fluid ounces cream of coconut • 6 fluid ounces rum • 4 fluid ounces banana liqueur • 3 cups crushed ice Directions In a blender, combine bananas, cream of coconut, rum, banana liqueur and ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.
Cars are smarter than dogs. No matter what you do, you will never get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.
Mon-Fri 11-7 $2.50 Well $1.75 Domestic Longnecks $1.25 Domestic Draft Tues & Wed $2 Ritas Sun $2 Well Vodka (from 12 noon - 7pm)
The Michelada is a refreshing summer twist on the standard Bloody Mary. Try it with a light Mexican Beer. You can’t go wrong with the Michelada! 4 drops of Tabasco Sauce 1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce Dashes of Salt and Ground Pepper Juice of 1 Lime wedge 1 Bottle of Mexican Beer Combine above ingredients in a glass and pour beer to top. Serve with wedge of lime in a salted glass.
Live Music 6 Nights a Week - NO COVER See our musical line up at:
January Bands The Groove Kings, James Reese Band, The Danglers, The Mighty Orq, The House Rockers, Brad Absher, Tony Vega, Slide Effect, Benny Brasket Band, Tommy Dardar, JJ Dynomite, Luther & The Healers, Scott McGill & Old Dog Mac
’Exceptional music in an intimate setting’
315 Grand Ave * Bacliff, TX * Phone: (281) 559-3773
8 Where did it go December 2009
YOU’RE INVITED Hearing Health Care Event at Affordable Hearing Care in LaPorte - Lamarque
SPECIAL HEARING AID EXPERT Meet nationally known Hearing Aid Expert, Rob Hall, from America’s largest hearing aid manufacturer who will be available for our special event - AT NO CHARGE! See how you can improve your hearing. DURING THIS SPECIAL EVENT RECEIVE THE FOLLOWING:
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Two Chances to Attend this Special Hearing Workshop at Affordable Hearing Care. Call for reservation 281-470-4722 or 1-800-966-1989 La Marque Weds-Fri Jan 13-15 9am- 5pm 2600 FM 1764 Ste 140B La Porte Mon-Weds Jan 18-20 9am- 5pm 401 W. Fairmont Pkwy Ste E-2
Kick Start The New Year
Even if you’ve never kept your New Years Resolutions, don’t let that stop you from making them again this year. But along with your quitting smoking, losing weight and reading more books, resolve to improve your attitude. That in itself will make just about everything else in your life easier to accomplish. “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” ~William James
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Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. Brooks Atkinson Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to. Bill Vaughan The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year’s Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you’re married to. P. J. O’Rourke Now there are more overweight people in America than averageweight people. So overweight people are now average… which means, you have met your New Year’s resolution. Jay Leno New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time. James Agate Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle. Eric Zorn
LaMarque * Bay Park Shopping Center 2600 FM 1764, Suite 140-B LaMarque, TX, 77568 409-986-8094
LaPorte * 401 West Fairmont Pkwy Suite E-2 LaPorte, TX 77571 281-470-4722
Funny New Year Quotes
Laugh Your Way Into the New Year With These Funny New Year Quotes. What better way to start a New Year than with a hearty laugh?
An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. Bill Vaughan New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday. Charles Lamb Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right. Oprah Winfrey New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Mark Twain Happiness is too many things these days for anyone to wish it on anyone lightly. So let’s just wish each other a bile-less New Year and leave it at that. Judith Crist Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits. Anonymous May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions! Joey Adams I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. Anais Nin Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account. Oscar Wilde I’m a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little bit rounder, but still none the wiser. Robert Paul A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other. Anonymous From New Year’s on the outlook brightens; good humor lost in a mood of failure returns. I resolve to stop complaining. Leonard Bernstein
December, 2009 Where Did It Go 9
A QUOTE FROM STERLING HAYDEN’S BOOK, “WANDERER” To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... “cruising” it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. “I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life? Sterling Hayden to a peacetime economy. NASA’s Johnson Space Center was established in 1963 helping to spur explosive growth in the mid 20th century, especially the 1970s and 80s. The remainder of the communities on the southwestern shore urbanized and development connected the area to Houston. Tourism and recreation re-emerged and blossomed particularly around the Clear Lake area and the nearby shoreline. Hurricane Ike struck the Bay Area in 2008 causing substantial damage both environmentally and economically, the most destructive event since 1900. As of 2009 a proposal to build a levee system, the Ike Dike, to protect the bay is under discussion. Galveston Bay is an estuary along the Texas Gulf Coast.The bay as a whole is composed of four major sub-bays: Galveston Bay proper, Trinity Bay, East Bay, and West Bay . Other smaller bays and lakes connecting to this complex of waterways in the Bay Area include San Jacinto Bay, Burnet Bay, Scott Bay, Crystal Bay, Goose Lake, Clear Lake, Dickinson Bay, and Moses Lake. Galveston Bay is mostly shallow with an average depth of 7–9 feet. It is fed by the Trinity River and the San Jacinto River, numerous local bayous and incoming tides from the Gulf of Mexico. This unique and complex mixing of waters
from different sources supports many types of marine life including crabs, shrimp, oysters, and many varieties of fish thereby supporting a substantial fishing industry. Additionally the system of bayous, rivers, and marshes that ring the Bay support their own ecosystems allowing for diverse wildlife and enabling freshwater farming of crawfish. The bay receives the fourth highest level of toxic chemicals in the state from bayside industrial discharge, in addition to pollutants washing in from the Houston Ship Channel. Although contaminants from the major industrial complexes along the bay contribute substantially to bay pollution, most is the result of storm run-off from various commercial, agricultural, and residential sources. In recent decades, conservation efforts have been enacted which have improved water quality in the bay. Economy The Bay Area has a diverse economy with much of it built around aerospace, petrochemicals, and high tech industries. In 2005, the median household income for the Clear Lake area was $62,061 compared to $50,868 for the Houston area as whole and $45,472 for all of Texas. The most widespread economic activities in the area revolve around petroleum and petrochemicals, Continued on page 11
IKE AND THE DIKE
The world’s longest manmade fishing pier, the Texas City Dike extended five miles into Galveston Bay with a 600 foot lighted wooden pier beyond the tip of dike, like a finger that pointed southeast into Bolivar Roads, the shipping lane entry to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel. Probably the most favored pastime on the dike was fishing. The dike is part of Texas City’s flood control system as well as a haven for local fishermen, boaters, and water enthusiasts. Visitors also find beach, boat launching, and service facilities, bait, camping, and motel accommodations. The dike is a popular birding site and is part of the Great Texas Birding Trail. However, the dike was shut down by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and has not yet reopened. This is of great concern to area sportsmen and businesses who relied on the dike for their recreation and income. There is a lot more to the issue than meets the eye and as usual it comes down to money. According to Galveston County Commissioner, Ken Clark, the actual dike is only part of the problem. The entire flood control system has to be considered and this also consists of the levees around Texas City and LaMarque. Also, the road going out the dike is partially washed away and even though the entire surface has to be repaved, FEMA does not want to pay to repair the undamaged portions of the roadway. Another major issue is the consideration of six Texas counties to band together to form a storm surge suppression zone. In effect, this would empower the counties — Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Orange, Chambers and Jefferson — to seek state and federal funding and identify the best system of dikes, gates and seawalls to protect coastal communities — including the city of Houston and its Ship Channel industries — from devastating surges.
“We would like the counties to work together to study the potential of protective measures, whether it’s a levee system, a dike, an offshore barrier or something else,” said former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, who chaired the Ike committee. Such a project is estimated to cost three billion dollars but since over 25 billion dollars in damage was done during Ike it may be a worthy investment. A lot of the damage was from wind rather than the storm surge so this is not necessarily the final or only solution. Additionally, many environmentalists and scientists believe that more coastal development — which a dike could encourage — is not the best public policy. In June the Houston Endowment gave $1.25 million to Rice University’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters center, in part to study coastal development and storm surges. The money will allow environmental attorney and coastal expert Jim Blackburn and others to explore alternative visions to simply hardening the coast as part of a report due in two years. Blackburn says dike alternatives include turning much of Bolivar Peninsula into a national seashore and expanding wildlife refuges in Chambers and Jefferson counties. “Perhaps the coast should just be a place to visit,” Blackburn suggested. “Everyone who goes there wants to move in. I understand that, but maybe unfettered development right on the beach is not the best public policy.” Meanwhile, why not post “ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK” signs at the entry to the Texas City Dike, allowing people to go fishing without getting ticketed like they could at any other undeveloped roadway.
10 Where did it go December 2009
by Capt. B.G. Willie
Kala Garcia, Realtor 832-721-7121 firstname.lastname@example.org
4/2 Double-wide on 2 1/2 lots (built in 2002). Looks like new inside and out. Ask about owner finance $69,000.
League City Waterfront Condo 2/1 , Open, high ceilings, bamboo floors, all appliances, elevator, pool, workout room. Boat slips available. (Davis Rd) $107,000
COMMERCIAL - RESIDENTIAL Waterview
Bacliff - 4000 Sq. ft Metal Building, 3 bay doors and very nice 2/1 apartment $175,000 . (Possible owner finance. ) 15% down.
Highland Bayou Waterview 4/3/1. Pretty laminate and tile floors, big kitchen, large lots, corner property. $127,000. Possible owner finance.
RENTALS San Leon Waterfront 2/1-1/2 $1100
Dickinson Dove Meadow 3/2/2 $1350
Gulf Coast Realtors
312 FM 517 W 281-534-GULF (4853)
Dickinson, Texas 77539 www.gulfcoastrealtors.ne
HOW IS NORMA? A sweet grandmother telephoned St. Joseph ‘s Hospital. She timidly asked, “Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?” The operator said, “I’ll be glad to help, dear. What’s the name and room number of the patient?” The grandmother, in her weak, tremulous voice, said “Norma Findlay, Room 302.” The operator replied, “Let me put you on hold while I check with the nurse’s station for that room.” After a few minutes the operator returned to the phone and said, “I have good news. Her nurse just told me that Norma is doing well. Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back normal and her physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged tomorrow.”
Some of my best friends are Cajuns. I’ve spent a lot of time fishing and gator hunting in Louisiana. One day, Boudreaux, a friend of mine had a little problem with the game warden.This Louisiana game
warden had been keeping an eye on the fishing docks, when after about a week he noticed that Boudreaux had been coming back every day with a boat full of fish. One day he starts to talk to Boudreaux as he’s pulling his boat in. The warden says,’Boudreaux, I been watchin you. I notice every day dat you been comin’ in wid a full load of fish. You must be havin some good luck? Eh?” Boudreaux answers, “May yah, dem fish is easy to catch.” The game warden replies, “Well listen. I got me a day off comin’ next Saturday. I was wondring, maybe I could go an fish wid you?” Boudreaux replies, “May dat be no problem. Jus make shore you be here at dat 6 a.m. sharp. Cause I gonna leave dis dock wid or widout you.” “May I’ll be here, don’t chu worry none about dat” answers the warden. Saturday comes and the game warden is waiting at the dock when Boudreaux pulls up
I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
The grandmother said “Thank you. That’s wonderful. I was so worried. God bless you for the good news.” The operator replied, “You’re more than welcome. Is Norma your daughter?” The grandmother said, “No, I’m Norma Findlay in Room 302. No one tells me squat.”
“The road to tyranny, we must never forget, begins with the destruction of the truth” -- Bill Clinton
and puts his boat in the water. The game warden gets in and Boudreaux proceeds to drive the boat out to the middle of the lake. At this point, Boudreaux shuts off the engine and lets the boat glide to a stop. The game warden, who’d been curious anyway, says to Boudreaux, “May Boudreaux, I been lookin aroun dis boat, and I notice dat all you don brought was dis here ice-chest and dat little brown paper bag under your seat. May, you don’t even got no fishin pole.” Boudreaux answers, “May, dat be because dats all I need” And he proceeds to pull a stick of dynamite out of the brown paper bag, lights it, thows it in the water and watches it go boooom! All the fish in the area, being stunned, float to the top of the water. The warden, by this time, can’t believe his eyes. Half yelling, he says to Boudreaux, “May Boudreaux, I know we been knowin each udder for a long time, but man, you can’t be doing dat, especially wid me being a game warden n all. May, dat’s agin de law in a big way dat is.” Boudreaux, without say a word, calmly reaches down into the bag (with the warden still rattling off), pulls out a stick, lights it, hands it to the warden and says, “You gonna talk, or you gonna fish?”
Cruising from Page 3 Most cruise lines have trashed the old empty envelope system for tips and switched to automatic service charges. These charges are about the only extras about which you don’t have a choice. Going Ashore. These excursions can cost from a little to a lot but you can also just browse around the port towns. There are always shops, bars, restaurants and other fun things to do. If you are unfamiliar with a port, booking your excursions thru the cruise ship may be the best choice. Tour operators value the cruise ship business, so are inclined to provide a good value, and if something should happen that the tour was late getting back, the cruise ship does wait for those it booked.
December, 2009 Where Did It Go 11
The Advantages of Living Past 40! Kidnappers are not very interested in you. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first. No one expects you to run--anywhere. People call at 9 pm and ask,”did I wake you?” People no longer view you as a hypochondriac. There is nothing left to learn the hard way. Things you buy now won’t wear out. You can eat supper at 4 pm .
Waterfront Dining Spectacular View Of Galveston Bay
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You can live without sex but not your glasses. You get into heated arguments about pension plans. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.
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You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room. You sing along with elevator music. Your eyes won’t get much worse. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size. You can’t remember who sent you this list. And you notice these are all in Big Print for your convenience. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night. Bay Area from Page 9 largely centered in Baytown, Pasadena, and Texas City. These industries in Houston and the Bay Area account for nearly half of the U.S. petrochemical manufacturing and approximately one third of the U.S. petroleum refining capacity. The Bay Area is home to the largest refineries and petrochemical complexes in the Greater Houston area and to the majority of the processing capacity. NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) is an important pillar of the Bay Area economy. Businesses around this core include a broad range of high-tech development enterprises from aerospace engineering to software and electronics. The tourism industry attracts
millions of visitors each year with attractions ranging from Space Center Houston to the bay itself. Ecotourism, in particular, is a growing sector with destinations such as the Armand Bayou Nature Center. Commercial fishing is one the older industries in the region and is still a significant economic sector. Some outlying areas around the bay remain semi-rural. Cattle ranching and agriculture remain staples of some local economies as well as shrimp fishing and oyster farming.
First Time Home Buyer Loan $8000 Tax Credit! has been extended to April 30, 2010 Pending government availability and buyer qualifications.
$8000 Tax Credit for First Time Buyers!
Thanks to the new economic stimulus package just passed, first time buyers will get up to an $8,000 tax credit by purchasing a house by April 30, 2010.
What is a First Time Buyer Loan?
Many people dream of owning a home but the home loan process can be confusing for many first time home buyers. Mortgage lenders offer first time buyers with many home loan options and assist the buyer in finding the best home loan for them. First time home buyer programs can offer lower interest rates, low down payments, or reduced taxes.
Give us a call and see if you qualify? Charles: 281-235-4615
THE TOPWATER GRILL WILL ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY BE RE-OPENING SOON
12 Where did it go December 2009
312 W 516 Dickinson, Tex-
Dickinson – Bayou Lakes,5 Bdrm, 3 1/2 Bath, 2 Car Garage - Lennar Home Built in 2006. Huge Lot, Beautiful Home. $200,000
Gulf Coast Realtors 312 FM 517 W Dickinson, TX 77539 281-534-GULF (4853)
2000 Loop 197 Suite 111 Texas City, TX 77590 409-945-7653
Seabrook - Clear Lake Forest Large 3 +bedroom home. Gameroom, Lg patio and pool. 2 car detached. Seller started renovating and did not complete. Just reduced. $137,900
Dickinson 3/2/2 - 2 large living areas, fpl,huge yard, mature trees. Located in one of Dickinsons popular neighborhoods. (Longshadow)$129,900
Dickinson – Like New. in Bayou Lakes 5 bdrm,2 1/2 Bath,2 car garage.Gameroom up. Granite countertops. Built in 2006. Nice large backyard for your enjoyment. $209,000
Formal Dining area
View of Marina from balcony
Pool and backyard
Back view of house
Stunning Palazzo Waterfront Custom home on Clear Lake. Gourmet Island Kitchen w/Granite Countertops. Perfect for entertaining. Pool/jacuzzi. 3-4 bedrooms, theater room. Elevator. $788,900
League City - South Shore Harbor 5/4/2 fireplace, Huge gameroom. Spacious island kitchen w/corian countertops. Energy Star Home. Built in 2002. Perfect home for the growing family. (Rippling Springs) $210,192
Kemah/League City - Glen Cove 3/2/2 Updated interior paint and roof. Huge gameroom. This home is very clean and ready for buyer to just move-in. CCISD. (Redwood) $118,000
Dickinson - 3bdrm, 1-1/2 bath, 1 car garage on large corner lot-room for garden or extra parking, workshop for possible business location - no city taxes $95,900
Galveston - Pirate’s Cove - 3/2 1/2/2. Built in 2005 - covered decks for a spectular nature preserve view, granite countertop, So many Extras. Fabulous. Walk to the Water. (Windless) $262,900
Over 100 years agent experience serving Galveston County