Photography, Community Theater, Politics, Religion, etc.
Author: Lake Jackson Citizen
I volunteer as a photographer for our local community theater. I have opinions about politics and believe it should be every American's duty to become informed and participate in the discussion of issues. I began this blog to be able to stay in touch in ways I used to on Facebook. I deleted that account recently and hope to be able to share photographs and information relating to cultural and political events in our community. I am retired after a career in social work and post-secondary education.
Fifteen miles southeast of Lake Jackson is a little town on the Gulf of Mexico called Surfside Beach. We like to go down to Surfside occasionally to dine at the Red Snapper Inn and then take a walk on the jetty where the Brazos River enters the Gulf.
It was windy on Sunday and threatening to rain when we finished our dinner at the Red Snapper. Fathers’ Day drew a fair sized crowd to Surfside Beach. We walked on the jetty and snapped a few photos. You can see them here in the album on Flickr.
A few people were fishing but more were walking on the jetty as we were.
A few were even surfing. I have only seen a few people ever seriously trying to surf there but there were many this day. The guy in the photo here seemed quite skilled at the sport. It was fun to watch, if a little breathtaking. Surfing looks like a dangerous way to get a thrill, with or without sharks.
The Guardian published an article this morning giving fairly specific location information regarding forecasts of U.S. properties at risk of flooding from rising sea levels within the next thirty years. The maps were prepared by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a group not known as a fake news source unless you read more fake news than real. You can access their maps by clicking on site below:
There are a couple of maps in particular that should interest Lake Jackson residents. One map shows the Lake Jackson area within the zone predicted for significant property losses within the period of a typical thirty-year home loan suggesting a loss of property values right away. Another map shows the areas that could be affected positively if action is taken by nations having advanced developed economies.
They knew from the very first
this would be a job
only a woman would do.
Standing through the seasons
in this harbor over a hundred years
offering what we French call hospitalité.
This wasn’t for haute cuisine and wine.
I was put here, an immigrant myself,
to welcome refugees
from famine and oppression,
asking only that they do their part
to protect the ideals and way of life
that moved always
in the direction of freedom.
Sometimes my presence
served to remind this
congregation of immigrants
that only a few can call
this their native land – and they never
owned the land so much as respected it
and kept it friendly to all creatures.
History knit us together in community
when natives and newcomers rose up,
fought together and died to remove
dictators from power –
declared enemies of liberty.
I don’t know if I can bear
this flame much longer.
He makes his home here now,
and would build a wall,
cage the children who would
give us the next generation of freedom.
For all I have seen from here,
watching the towers in flames,
seeing the bodies falling –
none of it drove me to fits of crying.
But lately, seeing the dream of democracy
reduced to a cruel
farce staged by and for one vain man –
I am so alone out here.
I went out with the camera today to grab some shots of a couple of LJ sites that townies need to know about if they are coming to LJ for a visit. One is Shy Pond on That Way Street. Passing by on That Way you see some playground equipment, a large pond and a fountain spraying water into the air in the middle of the pond. But if you park and get a little closer you can get a view like this one.
If you continue south on That Way you will enter the old downtown area of Lake Jackson. And there you will come across a restaurant called The Local. It operates in the finest tradition of an American neighborhood dining place. The owner, Gaye Linford, maintains high standards of quality and service. She has made it part of her mission to provide employment opportunities for young people on their way to college. Under her leadership, they receive some excellent guidance in how to provide good customer service and, even better, how to be good citizens.
This is the place you will be looking for in downtown LJ.
There is also a patio for outdoor dining when the weather and temperature permits. The area is shaded and cooled by fans. Granted, most days in July and August you will want to go inside and enjoy the air conditioning and neighborhood ambience.
So come on down and enjoy the slightly slower, healthier pace of life in the exurbs. And if you go to The Local, be sure and try their Riverside Burger with the grilled chicken option, topped with bleu cheese, grilled onions and a little mayo. Very good and good for you. They pretty well know to make it when they see me coming.
The still and heavy heat of Texas grows
like mythic rivers sent to drown out life.
But life won’t stop – nor laughing, so it goes.
We celebrate the summer as if strife
were far from towns that dot our coastal plain,
ignoring warnings recommending flight
from angry winds, and days of constant rain
with rising floods and lost electric light.
We fish; we swim; we bathe in cancerous rays.
We mow the lawn and slather barbecue
with sweetened sauces, then slug IPAs
until we see a storm come into view.
Then off we go with Grandpa in the back.
We head for Austin far from Harvey’s track.
David Brooks taught me a new word, or at least a new usage, yesterday: woke.
I do a terrible job keeping up with popular culture and modern usages that spring from it. I have seen the word “woke” popping up a lot lately but haven’t paid it much attention. I get along fine without comprehending most popular culture. It doesn’t bother me that I have seen none of the “best of” television series or movies. I take in a good one now and then but generally assume the worst about them and don’t tune in. Is that a form of wokeness?
Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. But I know with certainty that I am woke to Donald Trump. I don’t try to understand or tolerate him. It should be clear to any observer that everything he does is in his own and not the nation’s interest. Plus, he is rude, given to alternate realities, tasteless, not very smart, lies a lot and is far too materialistic for my value system. I could go on.
Brooks says there is a problem with my attitude and I yield to his wisdom. Brooks sums up the problem with wokeness in this way:
The greatest danger of extreme wokeness is that it makes it harder to practice the necessary skill of public life, the ability to see two contradictory truths at the same time.
And I don’t think he means alternative facts in the way DJT’s minions have attempted to cloak his lies. He gives the example of racism. Our dominant society was built on it and continues to be deep into it. At the same time, we have made some progress in learning to make a racist culture a little kinder to everyone since the days of legal slavery, total denial of citizen rights, and the open veneration of seditious defenders of – I yield to the cause as they prefer to describe it – states’ rights. We have done it by making some uncomfortable compromises along the way.
So what are we to do about this woke old southern white man who is a member of the very demographic that is credited with putting Trump in office? How should I deal with my wokeness problem?
The summer musical is always the big event for Brazosport Center Stages. This year it is Meredith Willson’s The Music Man and tickets are now available to members and the general public for the July 13 opening in the Freeport LNG venue in Clute.
Brazosport Center Stages last presented The Music Man in 1990. Director Wes Copeland thought it was time to do it again and proposed it to the Center Stages season committee and they agreed. It is now in rehearsal.
The Music Man is one of America’s favorite musicals with lots of kids, marching bands, patriotic tableaus and colorful costumes. Six performances are scheduled in the Freeport LNG large theater venue:
Friday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 14, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 15, 2:30 p.m. (matinee)
Friday, July 20, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 21, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 22, 2:30 p.m. (matinee)
I suggest getting your reservations as soon as you can. Summer shows at BCS typically sell out and this show has a lot of kids on stage which means lots of grandparents in the audience. ACT NOW.
If you come from Houston, head south on Highway 288 and take the Oyster Creek exit in Lake Jackson. Turn left (east) and proceed three miles on Oyster Creek (which becomes College Drive) and The Center will be on the left in front of the Brazosport College campus.
My son played Tommy Djilas in 1990. He is now 46 with three kids of his own. His oldest son could play Tommy Djilas now. Cheryl costumed the show for director Maureen Denver and is assisting Tina Gray in costuming the current edition. Those costumes have been carefully stored and preserved from 1990 and are ready to use again – if anyone will fit them.