Some friends asked me if I would take a few pictures of their son during his senior year at Brazoswood. (If you looked in here around the middle of March, his photos were running on the sidebar from my Flickr site postings.)
Graydon Hill pitched for the Brazoswood High School Bucs until this summer when his doc pulled him and sent him to the showers. A medical condition eliminated pitching from the things he would be able to do during his senior year. Doc said he could still bat, run bases and play at first base occasionally.
So I went around town Wednesday with Graydon and his parents to take some shots. It was a cloudy, muggy day, the only time he had available due to tournament play and work during his spring break. I enjoyed taking pictures and he tolerated it pretty well. He gave me some great photos and I did my best to catch them.
Graydon was expected to be one of his team’s starting pitchers this year. But disappointment is a temporary condition when you are as able with the bat as he is. The role of DH seems to suit him well. The day after our photo shoot he was 3 for 4 with three RBIs. In one day he surpassed my lifetime stats in Jacinto City teen play.
Graydon had no intention of making a career of his beloved game. Sorry, Astros. He has been accepted into Texas A&M’s very competitive engineering program. So, no more Aggie jokes. They were smart enough to pull this kid in. They are doing a lot more than playing football and cultivating maroon veggies for H.E.B.
Graydon is one of our graduating seniors at Chapelwood this year. I understand that he has also graciously accepted the job of unofficial team chaplain. He must be doing a good job. They won their Thursday game 18-4.
So, you ask, what happened to my old favorite player? She graduated and went to University of South Carolina to play softball with the rest of the best. The two of them, Anna and Graydon, give me hope for the world we live in at a time when hopeful signs seem hard to come by.
It is time for another edition of the Elizabethan Madrigal Feast at the Brazosport Center for the Arts and Sciences in Clute. Performers are coming in from Angleton, Lake Jackson, Richwood, Freeport, all the communities West of the Brazos and beyond. The performers, stitchers, set designers and builders come from all around. It is probably too late for tickets but it can’t hurt to try. Online ticketing (if seats are still available) would be here.
This is no longer a strictly local event. You have to compete with people from all over the state for your tickets now. Good luck.
And of course, I have put together another book of photographs from the last performance in 2016. You may preview the book here. It is a 13×11 in hard cover edition with quality paper and beautiful color. Check it out. Maybe it would be a nice gift if you know a someone who performed in it. (I do it for the costumer.)
Now, here’s the problem. It’s a little pricey at $95. But all the profits go to the printer (Blurb.com) except for the $5 I add to the printer’s price to help me buy a lens now and then. (The slight surcharge also allows me to know if any of the books are being purchased. Otherwise, I have no idea. I will happily refund you the $5 but you have to look me up in order to collect.)
But, if you attend EMF 2018, you may use one of your raffle tickets to try to score one for a mere $20. Good luck with that, too.
If you are wondering what in the world there is to be thankful for in 2018, take a peek at the Elizabethan Madrigal Feast. If you can’t get a ticket, buy the book.
A friend from Chapelwood reminded me this morning that God still makes beautiful things. I try to take a few pictures and it’s more than I can keep up with. I am always thankful for that. Happy Thanksgiving South-of-Towners.
About a year ago I was going through some old family photos and slides picking out a few to scan for a digital collection. This one caught my eye because of its colorful depiction of a nice spring day in Lake Jackson when the local S&L flew a hot air balloon over town. When I saw that they were using the Shy Pond as a take off and landing area, I headed that way with my 35mm camera that was already loaded with Kodachrome, one of the best films ever made.
The photo also caught my eye because it is symbolic of the fate of S&Ls in America that was due to befall them over the next five years. Do you remember the savings and loan bubble and how quickly they fell from their high-flying, money-making ways and deflated for all the world to see? This S&L held the original mortgage on the home we bought in Lake Jackson in 1982. Rates were sky high but due to plunge like the pretty balloon in the picture.
Ours was one of American S&L’s good mortgages at 13%. So, of course, we refinanced it at our first opportunity as did most of their other borrowers. By spring of 1989, just five years later, American Savings and Loan was insolvent and its chairman was being charged with financial misdeeds which earned him a little time in jail.
I remember standing in line to withdraw a CD they were holding for our United Way. The ten per cent yield was a good deal, of course, but I have never trusted high interest rate offers since then. Outliers are sometimes outlying (or maybe out lying?) for a reason that ought to be easy enough to understand: they need your cash more than you need the security and return they are offering. Sometimes the return exceeds the security. It took something called the FSLIC to make that CD good. I’m glad I got there before the FSLIC went under, too.
I wonder who got the hot air balloon in their insolvency settlements?
Close to four hundred packed into the Freeport LNG Theater at The Center for the Arts and Sciences last night to see Brazosport Center Stages’ production of Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man.” Director Wes Copeland tried his hand at a summer musical for the first time and did himself proud.
There were the usual outstanding music and acting performances that you can always expect from Brazosport Center Stages’ productions. What pushed this one over the top was dance. Melodie Steiner took a few trained dancers and a lot of other people who seldom even try a two step on a Saturday night and brought the stage to life with the art that doesn’t get much mention in community theater productions. Of course, there were a few really good ones, dance majors who are off from college for the summer. But most of the folks on stage learned their steps during the last few weeks from Melodie, a local dancer and dance teacher. Now you should call her choreographer, too.
Of course, there was the music man himself, Tony Stewart, an Angleton ISD choir director. And would I ever be able to convince you that Angleton ISD librarian, Rachael Welsh, played the role of Marian, the librarian? They were exceptional.
And no report on this show would be complete without noting the comic talent of the Pick-a-Little Ladies and their own dance instructor, Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn, played by the inimitable Judi James. She was suitably imperious for her role as the First Lady of River City and plenty funny for the folks who came to see The Music Man do his magic with the children of River City.
Judi is second from left in the above photo. You won’t want to miss her performance.
There are five more shows: tonight at 7:30, a Sunday matinee (July 15), and another round of three performances next weekend.
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.
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.