Old Bricks Wednesday, Sep 17 2008 

Old Bricks

17 September 2008

This photo is of the side of our house in Arlington.  The bricks look old and worn, but not nearly so abused as most of the bricks in Galveston, Texas.  We continue to send our healing thoughts and prayers to folks in the Houston/Galveston area as they attempt to get their lives back on track after Hurricane Ike.  The Daily KRuMB continues to see an elevated number of hits each day, due to our Google ranking on searches about Ike and Galveston.   I thought it might be a good idea to include the text from the Houston Chronicle article that Starr found a couple of days ago.  This remains the most recent news we have about our beloved island and its Historical Landmarks.  What follows is quoted: 

Some 7,000 documented historic buildings are located on Galveston, an island that served as a gateway to Texas in the state’s early days. Of those, it is estimated as many as 1,500 of the structures sustained serious damage during Hurricane Ike.

An early assessment by the Galveston Historical Foundation shows the following conditions at historic sites.

U.S. CUSTOM HOUSE: Built in 1861, this structure serves as the headquarters for the Galveston Historical Foundation. It was flooded by as much as 8 feet of water, which damaged files, archives and equipment. An upstairs door is damaged. Roof damage, if any, is unknown.

 ASHTON VILLA: This 1859 Italianate mansion lost two to three windows on its second floor and had up to 18 inches of flooding that likely caused extensive first-floor furniture damage.

 BISHOP’S PALACE: This home, also known as the 1889 Gresham House, is the most visited historic building in Galveston. It appears to have sustained little damage, as was the case in the catastrophic 1900 hurricane. The home had as much as 3 feet of flooding on its bottom floor, which is slightly below ground level and is used for a ticket counter and offices. That floor is under renovation to become a visitors center.

 THE ELISSA: The famous 1877 tall ship, restored in 1982 by the foundation, lost several sails but otherwise seemed to ride out the hurricane well. The vessel is attached to the shore through large steel pipes driven into the harbor bottom.

TEXAS SEAPORT MUSEUM AT PIER 22: This is Elissa’s home berth. It suffered damage to the brick and wooden pier, with a suspected total loss to the wooden workshops used for maintenance of the ship. The museum itself, in the 1990 Jones Building, suffered little damage.

 THE SANTA MARIA: This 1937 restored wooden shrimp boat fared well in her slip near the Texas Seaport Museum with only minor damage.

 MICHEL B. MENARD HOUSE: Built in 1838, the city’s oldest residential house sustained little visible damage.

SAMUEL MAY WILLIAMS HOUSE: Constructed in 1839 and one of the oldest residential houses on the island, it appeared to sustain little damage.

 GARTEN VEREIN: An 1880 German dancing pavilion in Kempner Park managed by the foundation, Garten Verein appears to be undamaged.

 ST. JOSEPH’S CHURCH BUILDING: The state’s oldest German Catholic church building, the wooden St. Joseph’s building was built in 1859. It closed as a church in 1968. The building lost one window but otherwise appears undamaged.

 HISTORICAL FOUNDATION WAREHOUSE: This warehouse on Mechanic Street was inundated with at least 10 feet of water and sustained extensive damage. Much of its contents was destroyed, including equipment used during Dickens on the Strand, the popular holiday festival.

 GALVESTON COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM: Housed in the 1921 City National Bank Building, the museum is a joint project of the historical foundation and the Galveston County Commissioners Court. A floodwater line can be seen below the entrance to the first floor. Unless there is roof damage, the building is believed to be unharmed.

 Source: Galveston Historical Foundation.

End quote.

As you can see, the condition of the Tremont House Hotel, and the fate of the 2008 Dickens on the Strand Festival remain unknown.  

~MB

Addendum:  News Update on Historic Galveston.  Special thanks to Donna who found this:  http://www.click2houston.com/video/17485318/index.html

Frank Billingsley of Houston’s Channel 2, hosts a Walking Tour of Galveston Island, including visits to many of our well-loved landmarks.  It takes about thirty minutes to view the whole thing, but it’s well worth the time.  One small segment includes a quick interview with a representative from the Tremont who seems very positive about getting things back up and running—but no time frame is given.  He said the hotel damage is pretty much limited to the ground floor and a few windows.  One restaurant owner indicated his repairs and rebuilding would take “months.”  Of course, there isn’t much going on yet, in the way of clean-up and repair, because there is no power and no water.  Fisherman’s Wharf (our Saturday night dinner spot for many years), Rudy and Paco’s (our new favourite restaurant on the island), Willy G’s (our Sunday night dinner spot), and many, many other places we know well, all have extensive water and mud damage.  Furniture is tossed about like matchsticks.  Walls are already molding in the humidity, and first floors will probably need to be gutted completely.  Fisherman’s Wharf’s harborside deck seems to be completely destroyed (remember the spot where Clay stood to take our photo on the Elissa a few years ago?).   High water marks on the Strand are at about nine feet; on Post Office at about six feet, and on Broadway at about three feet.  Pretty much every retailer, every business for that matter,  in the area will have lost nearly everything they didn’t move to a spot higher than that.  The property damage is mind-boggling.  And, at this point, at least until services are restored, and work crews can begin, there’s no telling how long the recovery efforts will take.  So, still no certainty about Dickens on the Strand.  And, if there is a festival, where people will eat, shop, sleep, etc.

We’ll keep our Daily KruMB readers as updated as we are on all this.

Red, White, Black Wednesday, Sep 17 2008 

Red, White, Black

16 September 2008

Sometimes when I’ve been terribly wordy for too many days in a row, I try to give our readers a break from my journalistic diarrhea.  If you really want more to read, go back to my post called “Making Plans” and read all the comments!  Otherwise, here goes: spent the day dealing with the workshop.  Almost moved back in.  Finally eradicated all the mildew, I believe.  Most noteable thing about the day:  I spent the entire day with the house open to the outdoor air!  Temperature never topped eighty degrees!  Woo hoo!  Grilled Cheese sandwiches for dinner.  Ginger’s home safely from Sacramento.  Photo of fringe on a woven throw.

That’s all folks! 😉

~MB

Monday Night Soccer Wednesday, Sep 17 2008 

Possession!

15 September 2008

Further commentary on Hurricane Ike:  To correct my previous post, it actually seems that as many as 40 percent of Galveston Island residents disobeyed mandatory evacuation orders, and stayed through the storm.  Galveston is home to approximately 57,000 people.  So, that’s about 20,000 people who defied authority.  And that’s just on the island.  I don’t necessarily think that was smart, but to clarify my opinion—I do understand stubbornness! 🙂 I know, my friends are all now nodding their heads. 😉 I get it, that many people chose to stay based on personal preferences of one type or another.  Okay.  Those people made a choice and had to be living under a rock to not know what they were risking.  Many of them filled bathtubs, bought provisions, know how to use their generators safely, and are prepared to deal with the equivalent of living in a war zone—the stench, the continued health risks, the sense of feeling rather trapped, and the numerous other inconveniences and dangers that might arise, up to and sadly including death.  My frustration comes not from those folks, but rather from those who chose to ignore evac orders, and then wanted to be rescued barely 24 hours after landfall!  And worse, then want to blame the system or the government for their predicament.  <sigh>

One sad note:  for those who don’t follow Terrill’s blog, The Beautiful Tornado (a somewhat ironic title at the moment; the link is in the list to the left),  Ike took his family’s beloved Beach House.  The people had all moved to safety, and as we all know, that is the most important thing—no loss of life.  Just property.  Property full of belongings and of memories. Fortunately, memories continue to live in our hearts and minds.  We mourn with him the loss of this home, and rejoice with him that all of the family is safe.

**************

Monday saw more cleaning, more unpacking, more settling in.  I’m hoping to get far enough in this process this week, that I can be sewing again by the weekend.

Kyle had a soccer game tonight, and I remembered to have (and use) my camera!  My little camera doesn’t zoom very much, and I’m still learning to do panning shots.  But, I got a couple of decent pictures that show him hard at work on the field.  The team lost the game, but Kyle and his teammates played well.  (Don’t ask them about those “own-goals,” they’d rather not talk about it!) 😉

~MB