MY MEMORIES. . .
Playing at recess on the Tyrrell Elementary School
playground with Karen Crumpler, Karen Sue Hetherwick, Irene Valdez,
Donna Long, Dorothy Belisky...Janis
Joplin. Does anyone know where these people are? I lost track
of most of my "early years" classmates. Janis' death was a monumental
loss to all who knew her and loved her music.
Being taken to Mr. Spradley's (the principal) office
with five of my friends because we decided we didn't want recess to
end and we refused to go back to class...second grade, or was it the
Dancing for hours on end at the Beehive or at the
Pleasure Pier Ball Room...listening to greats like Fats Domino and "upstarts"
like Little Richard...Johnny and Edgar Winters...Janis...! Does anyone
know what happened to the Beehive?
Riding the old wooden roller coaster at the Pleasure
Driving through the refineries
on the way to Sabine Pass. The original Texas Co. (later Texaco, now
Star Enterprises) and Gulf Oil (now Clark) oil companies sit across
the street from each other in Port Arthur. They were founded shortly
after the first oil "gusher," Spindletop,
came in. The term "gusher" was coined at Spindletop!
Listening to my favorite disc jockey, Gordon
Baxter! I was listening the day he caught alot of flack for playing
"I Didn't Know The Gun Was Loaded" for all the pregnant women in Port
Arthur! Can you believe that offended some people? Must have been the
era! Gordon Baxter would also fly into the "eye" of any hurricane heading
toward the Gulf Coast and report the findings! He was one of the first
pilots I had heard of who would do this.
Watching Cowboy John, a local children's television
show, one morning when all the kids started giggling...Cowboy John went
up to one of the little girls and said, "What are you laughing at?"
The little girl, still giggling, said, "Leroy farted." Cowboy John,
embarrassed and caught off guard, quickly turned to the next child in
the line-up and said, "What's your name?" The little boy looked up at
Cowboy John and said, "Leroy!" This show was live and that night on
national television, Chet Huntley ended his news program by saying,
"And goodnight, Leroy, in Port Arthur!"
Parties and luncheons at Rose
Hill on Lake Shore Drive. R. H. Woodworth and his bride, Mary, hired
J. H. Baxter of the Griffing Lumber Company to construct this classical
revival mansion in 1906. Mr. Woodworth was an independent real estate
dealer. Later he entered the banking business and served as Port Arthur's
third mayor in 1902. Rose Hill was presented to Port Arthur in 1947
by Phebe Woodworth in accordance with her mother's wishes.
In the early 1900s, the owner of Pompeian
Villa, a beautiful home on Lake Shore Drive, traded the estate for
10% of the stock in the Texas Company. Pompeian Villa is now a museum.
Camp Waluta! (did I spell that right?)
Petticoats...many, many, many...all worn at once!
Our skirts stood straight out.
The excitement of watching black and white television
"all night long" while waiting for Hurricane Audrey to hit us the following
morning! In those days television was on the air from 7 a.m. until 11
p.m. Having it available all night long was a treat! Audrey turned in
the night and annihilated Cameron, Louisiana, a town across the lake
(Sabine) from us. This event has been reported as one of the country's
Watching ships move down the canal along Lakeshore
Drive on their way to offload cargo; and seeing huge sections of various
oil rigs enroute
to their designated drilling spots in the Gulf of Mexico.
Miles of giant Oleander bushes in full bloom creating
a wall down Lakeshore Drive. The Oleander's were white and pink...five
of each alternating...forming this beautiful living wall.
Watching JP "The
Big Bopper" Richardson D.J. at KPAC radio station on Proctor Street.
My cousin, Jack Yeager, took me to see to him.
Dowling Park in Sabine
Crabbin' at Pleasure Pier Island.
Shrimp boats...all the fried shrimp you could ever
eat! Unquestionably the "Best Fried Shrimp" in the world. Crawfish...gumbo!
The Village Theater's roof caved in one night after
a heavy rain. The film playing at the time and featured on the Marquee
in front of the theater...THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING.
At night, with all their lights, they look like huge cities! Of course,
you can smell them for miles and miles. When the wind blows just right,
however, the smell from the paper mill in Evadale will make you wish
the smell of the refineries would return.
Making the Drag...down Proctor
Street...on Sunday! What a parade of cars!
Hanging out at Drake's Drive-In...before and after
it relocated! Those were happy days, the days of carhops...great music!
Jane's Road...this is the place we would go late at night and talk
about the legend of Sarah Jane and her family's tragic deaths...we spent
hours there telling ghost stories and scaring ourselves to death.
McFadden's Beach...and tar all over us...
Riding the ferry boats to Galveston.
Candy Kane Lane...neighborhood Christmas Decorating
Halloween: Every year the Riggles (of Riggle &
Pittman) served all the neighborhood kids grilled hot dogs, another
neighbor handed out sodas, and Mr. Korf gave us a single-scoop ice cream
cone...then with dinner out of the way, we were off trick-or-treating!
The CavOILcade Parade...still happening? Their slogan:
We Oil The World!
The beautiful homes along Lakeshore Drive...Gates
Library...Woodrow Wilson Junior High School...all magnificant architecture!
The Yellow Jackets...Indians...Bulldogs...Bumblebees....some
great football! Port Arthur, and surrounding area, produced some great
athletes..."Babe" Zaharias, Jimmy
Johnson, Bum Phillips, Charles "Bubba" Smith, to name a few.
McQueen, in his younger years, long before stardom, worked in a
local brothel in Port Arthur as an errand boy.
The mothball fleet in Orange.
. . . more HISTORY . . . and interesting
Port Arthur, Texas
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1996-09 by Sherry Thorup. All rights reserved.