Three Handsome Gentlemen Tuesday, Dec 9 2008 

DOTS 08 - Three Handsome Gentlemen

7 December 2008

Sunday gave us another beautiful weather day in Galveston.  The only thing that could really have made my day better, was if the streets were paved in playground rubber!  I really wish I could find a pair of period-looking shoes that would be comfortable for two long days on concrete . . . but I don’t think they exist! 

We had a nice breakfast at the hotel, with an excellent server—our first good experience in that restaurant.  ‘Bout time, I guess.  Kyle and I got to the downtown zone just in time to get a phone call from our friend BJ telling us she was on the island, too!  Her company was a wonderful surprise, and we have to remember to make sure she joins us again next year. 

We did a lot of sitting still today; I’m not the only one who’s feet hurt! 🙂  While we were occupying one particular curb, we managed to pass off a couple of our cameras to a trustworthy passerby, and get this photo.    He also promised to email us the photo he took, so we’ll see . . . I’m very pleased with the photo I chose for the KRuMB today.  Kyle and Rod and George all three looked marvelous (despite the fact that Rod was really pretty sick all weekend) and they stood in one place all together for long enough for me to remember I had my camera! 

Our day ended a little earlier today—we really were tired and sore  . . . but we were happy.  Back to the hotel and a quick change of clothes, and out to dinner at Willie G’s!  Yep!  They re-opened on Friday, completely remodeled and re-menued and re-staffed.  The place is modern-looking now, and even though I preferred the old world feel from before Ike, the new look is lovely.  And, it’s symbolic of the changes that Galveston has to face in it’s post-Ike existence.  It’s a new world.

Our weekend draws to a close.  Sunday night means packing to go home.  <sigh>


Mickey and another Galveston Update Wednesday, Nov 19 2008 

Mickey on the Bed

18 November 2008

Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse!

Mickey turns 80 today!    I think that’s incredible, and it inspired me to shoot a colourful photo of the bed in our guest room—the room some of our guests have dubbed, “The Mouse Suite.”  Is it just me, or is this birthday being very overlooked?  I guess perhaps the powers that be at Disney, are saving their efforts for the big blowout that will happen in 2028!

On another subject entirely, here’s the latest article regarding Dickens on the Strand—scaled back, but still ON!

I sent a message out to the Yesteryear Enthusiasts Society group last night with some other update information.  Sparked by an email from Larry who was confused to have received a refund for his Galveston Historical Foundation Dickens Ball tickets, and needing to talk to her, anyway, I called the GHF offices and spoke with Molly late yesterday afternoon.

It seems that there were not enough advance ticket sales for the foundation to justify the expense of the event.  Our group alone, represented nearly half of what was presold.  The Galveston Historical Foundation Dickens Ball is cancelled for 2008.  And, Molly indicated it would seem logical to anticipate a much more intimate Dickens on the Strand, than we’ve seen in a very long time. 

To what can we attribute the presale of only 27 tickets to this event usually enjoyed by 150?  Are the usual Ball attendees Galvestonians who are too caught up in their own recovery efforts to be able to make time for Dickens?  Perhaps they’ve lost all their Victorian costuming in the flooding?  Are they too short on money?  Or, were they simply assuming the event was cancelled, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Kyle and I discussed it last night, and we are concerned that that does not bode well.  We are a bit fearful that the “average joe” who normally thinks about attending Dickens on the Strand, may not actually bother to find out that the event is on.  Certainly, I’ve tried to do my part to spread the word, and the Galveston Historical Foundation website has been very clear from the earliest point possible that the event is happening.  And, there have been a few mentions of it in the local news, there.  But, if people don’t pay attention, the assumption could be made that Galveston isn’t ready, and that the event can’t happen. 

What those people are forgetting is that Galveston can’t afford for the event NOT to happen!

Dickens on the Strand is the largest annual fundraiser for the GHF.  Its ticket sales, and vending proceeds help monetarily power all the important restoration efforts of the foundation.  Over the years since the festival started in the seventies, the Historical Foundation, and a few special philanthropists have put Galveston Island back on the map of tourist spots and places to visit.  Even in the decade and half that we’ve been attending the festival, we’ve seen amazing growth and renaissance efforts in the beautiful little downtown area.  Antique stores, banks, museums, boutiques, condos, restaurants, and even a few tasty little national chain stores (like Chico’s!) had come in and turned the once forgotten downtown zone into a bustling little business center.  And, now, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, the hands of the clock have been turned back, and once again this charming Victorian era city is struggling to survive and needs help.

Hopefully, the Dickens on the Strand Festival will provide some of that help. 

Progress is slow, but it is happening.  I got word yesterday that a couple of downtown businesses have reopened, including the Emporium.  In our early years of doing Dickens that was always a favourite stop.  Kyle has purchased many a beer from that fine establishment.  I can remember befriending employees and being invited to walk into the huge room-sized refrigerator on hot Dickens days.  I’m glad they’re back, but so far, they are among the very few. 

Bravely, the GHF pushes forward with festival preparations, despite the obstacles nature has placed in its path.  This cancellation of the ball is only the latest disappointment.  The first difficult decision was to scale back the festival borders.  Usually two blocks wide and four blocks long, comprising a large, ladder-shaped portion of downdown, this year’s event will take place entirely on The Strand itself.  Then, recently came the realization that the over 400 lanterns used in the annual Candlelight Parade could not be saved from the badly water-damaged warehouse, and so the sparkling parade and evening hours of the event would have to be pulled from the schedule.  And on a purely financial level, some things just aren’t possible.  For example, this year’s event will not include the usual “snow hill” that is such a crowd-pleaser in our southern land of non-white Christmases.  The financial cost was just more than the foundation could pay.

In fact, much of what is going on in Galveston right now, is really all about the money.  Our nation’s government has not yet come through with the millions of dollars needed to relieve Galveston after Hurricane Ike.  The GHF finally got to have a meeting with FEMA this week.  I read where the Meadows Foundation of Dallas (big SMU money) has given $100,000, to the GHF restoration efforts, but that’s only a drop in the bucket, and won’t go far.

Everyone who’s heard me speak or read my writings of the last couple of months is familiar with my mantra:  Galveston needs us.  The island needs us to visit.  The island needs us to attend Dickens on the Strand.  Galveston needs our love—but far more importantly, it needs our dollars.  I know the economic climate we live in doesn’t allow for us to be overly “spendy” or careless with our money.  But, if ever there was a worthwhile cause for a little frivolity, this is it.  Go to Galveston.  Pay for parking.  Buy tickets to gain entry to Dickens on the Strand.  Buy food and drinks and souvenirs from the vendors, there.  Do your holiday shopping there.  Fill up your gas tank on the island.  Have dinner in one of the many restaurants on the seawall.  Stay at the Galvez.  Treat yourself to a fun weekend and the satisfaction that you’re helping. 

Kyle and I will be proudly promenading The Strand on the 6th and 7th of December.  We’ll be proudly carrying our new Galveston Historical Foundation membership cards.  We’ll be with a group of at least a dozen or two of our dearest friends.  It is my sincerest hope that thousands of other folks have similar plans!


Galveston: A New Face After Ike Friday, Oct 31 2008 

A New Face After Ike

27 October 2008

Galveston Pilgrimage

What had begun as a germ of an idea on Friday night, had become a reality by Monday morning.  I had to go to Galveston. 

It wasn’t terribly responsible—I should have headed home and started in on this week’s sewing.  It wasn’t really going to be fun—it’s hard to think “fun” when surrounded by damage and destruction.  And, it certainly wasn’t profitable financially—an extra tank of gas, a “spendy” luncheon, and a lost day of work.  But it was food for my soul.  As difficult as it is to explain, I needed to go to Galveston.  And this was going to be my one chance between now and December.  Not necessarily wanting to go it alone, I suggested the adventure to Ginger and to Kelly (who had work responsibilities she simply could not shirk—good girl, Kelly) and learned that Laura had expressed exactly the desire to go to the shore, and see the Gulf of Mexico!  Laura is a native Canadian, and she and her husband Paul and son Ben currently live in Wisconsin.   She’s visiting Ginger this month and working for Faire Pair, and this was just the sort of thing she’d been hoping to do.  So, a little bit of logistic planning the night before, and off we went!

It was just about noon as we rounded the southwest corner of Beltway 8, and started to notice various signs of Hurricane Ike’s destruction.  The closer we got to the island, the more blue tarps we saw.  I was glad for Laura’s presence, because pointing out landmarks gave both Ginger and I something to focus on that wasn’t sad and negative.  It was as we approached the causeway that we saw our first boat alongside the road.  Then there was Tiki Island—looking a lot more empty of houses on stilts than I remembered it.  On the causeway itself, we were surprised to still see dozens of wrecked boats of all shapes and sizes.  We’d seen photos of that scene, but after six weeks I guess I thought they’d be gone.  But then, time moves slowly in the wake of a natural disaster.

Once on Galveston Island, it was impossible to turn our heads without seeing more damage.  All along the main road (I-45 becomes Broadway) we saw ruined buildings and piles of debris.  And brown.  Everywhere was brown.  I’d read where the island was struggling to save the 600-plus Live Oak trees that line Broadway.  But, I hadn’t stopped to think how brown everything would look.  Trees, shrubs, ground cover, flowers—all poisoned by the salt water, and dormant if not dead.  And the tall, proud palm trees were so horribly battered from the wind and water-tossed debris, that some looked like they’d been attacked by chainsaw. 

We had decided our first destination on the island would be the 1861 Custom House—the home of the Galveston Historical Foundation offices.  So, we followed Ginger’s GPS (hers works great!), made a couple of turns off of Broadway and found ourselves looking at Rudy and Paco’s.  Contrary to a news article I recently shared here on The Daily KRuMB, the building is still standing, and shows signs of continued renovation and recovery.  That was good news.

We found the Custom House, poked around a little, and climbed the stairs to the GHF offices.  I was hoping to meet Molly, my primary contact at the GHF, but she was at lunch and we chatted briefly with Judy, instead.  From there, we drove the short distance to Mechanic Street and parked right across from the Tremont House Hotel.  Seeing that was very near the top of our list for the day.  First we peered in the windows to our Gingerbread BallroomWow.  Then, around the corner, peering into each dirty window at naked studs and little else.  At the front doors of the Tremont, the extent of this recovery project became really evident.  Virtually all the walls have been removed.  The grand entryway is nearly unrecognizable.  A huge amount of work has already been done, but the project ahead is mammoth.  We actually learned that the current plan is to rearrange the whole floor plan, including moving the kitchen and restaurant to the opposite end of the lobby.  No wonder they need until after the first of the year to get it all done!

Having begun our tour of downtown at the Tremont, we were somewhat numbed to the rest of what we were going to see.  Across the street, the big ballroom lobby, The Strand Theatre, Fitzpatricks Pub, and the site of the late Midsummer Books—all stripped to studs and concrete slabs.  We soon realized that the spaces with brick or stone or concrete walls had a considerable advantage over anyplace that had had drywall walls.  But, at least the damaged walls all seem to be gone, now.  I’m sure that it must have been a very high priority of early recovery efforts to remove anything that would promote mold and mildew.

We walked down Mechanic Street, visiting the Galveston News Building to which I am so fondly attached.  On the way, we passed the building in my photo of the day—sporting a brand new coat of paint!  I was amazingly cheered by that simple green wall!  It was almost as if this building’s owner was thumbing his nose at Ike and saying, “Think you can bully the green off this island, do you? Ha!”  We walked over to the Strand and snooped around a bit, taking photos of high water marks and showing Laura specific sights. Amazed at how much time we so easily killed walking around and taking pictures, we finally had to give in to our hungry bellies, so we got back in the truck, and I pointed it toward the Hotel Galvez.

As I drove us down Seawall Boulevard, we were pleased to see a number of open restaurants and a fair amount of traffic.  We pulled into the Galvez, and in trying to decide where to park, were told that they weren’t busy, so we could just leave it there in the driveway with the valet.  They’d move it if necessary.  Lunch at Bernardo’s was very nice—the restaurant was technically closed (we got there just after two), but they obligingly served us anyway.  We had delicious burgers and sweet potato fries, and a delightful visit with the hotel’s concierge, Janet, who we instantly adored.  She was able to answer our questions about the island, and arranged for us to view rooms.  And, as icing on her cheerful cake, she engineered a meeting and introduced us to Mr. George Mitchell—the owner of Mitchell Properties, and much of historic Galveston, including the Tremont and the Galvez.  We were honoured and indeed rather charmed by Mr. Mitchell.  He was jovial, and seemed genuinely delighted to meet us and was very chatty about all the work being done to make Galveston whole again.  I was pleased to get to shake his hand and tell him how admired he is, and how much we appreciate all he does for Galveston.  It was pretty special.

We peeked at guest rooms and large meeting rooms (always thinking about future events!) and decided that the Hotel Galvez would be a fun change from our usual accommodations for Dickens.  Finished there, we drove on down the Seawall, and found the Memorial to the Great Storm of 1900.  And Laura found stairs down to the beach!  Ginger and I took photos and Laura put her toes in the Gulf of Mexico!  We were all happy!  By the time we were done there, the sun was low in the sky and we figured we’d missed the worst of the Houston traffic.  There hadn’t been time to tour the Elissa or Bishop’s Palace—things I had thought we might do—but it was a good, full day.  It was sad, but inspiring.  All around us was both destruction and hope.  I was content enough to leave, knowing, of course, it will only get better.  Even the green will grow back.

It was the longest drive home, ever.  I first took Ginger and Laura back to where we’d left Ginger’s truck, and that was a bit of an adventure in itself.  Then, food on the way to the highway and north.  But, the emotions of the day, and the shortage of sleep the night before conspired to make me too tired to finish the drive without a nap.  I slept for nearly three hours in a gas station parking lot in Centerville, and finally got home around three a.m.  One tired, but fulfilled, pilgrim.


Red Straw Hat Wednesday, Oct 22 2008 

Red Straw Hat

21 October 2008

I am currently very annoyed.  Somehow the post I just spent an hour preparing has disappeared.  I’m going to attempt to recreate it, but it won’t be the same, and I am a little  lot pissed off.

The day is winding down and Kyle tells me his photo of the day is of my truck’s back end.  It seems the “assignment” this week is “red.”  Not to be outdone by my own truck’s tailgate, I snapped this photo of my red straw cowboy hat. 

I got an interesting phone call today from the gentleman in charge of this year’s Galveston Historical Foundation Dickens Ball.  He is a member of the board of directors, and a volunteer.  He called me on his cell phone because, like most of the island of Galveston, he still has no telephone service via land line. 

The reason for his call seemed to be to let me know that they were really hoping our group would be attending the ball.  He was also following up on some questions I’d asked in an earlier email.  We chatted for quite some time, and I came away knowing the following:  1.  They still do not know if there will be shuttle service from the Galvez to the Strand during Dickens on the Strand.  2.  The GHF will be happy to work out something for our group where we end up with wristbands, rather than having to deal with hand-stamping.  3.  Over 70 vendors have already committed to set up at DOTS.   Local area retailers (most of whom cannot have their regular retail spaces ready in time for this event) have all been given the option of setting up a booth with no vendor fee.  4.  Much of the contents of the badly damaged warehouse have been “saved.”  Some drying out time, and some paint and tender loving care, and voila!  5.  Perhaps the most important news of the day, is that the Dickens on the Strand festival this year will be confined to just that—the Strand.  A few tendrils off on side streets, perhaps, but the festival will not include Ship’s Mechanic Row (or Mechanic Street, as many call it). 

In our conversation he said The Strand “looks like a ghost town,” which is something I’ve also read online.  He promised to keep in touch, and let me know if anything developed that would affect us or our attendance.

I’m off to bed, now.  Our evening was a wonderful, relaxing one, spent in the company of our friend Damaris.  She met us at No Frills where we joined Brett and Jill for some trivia and burgers and beer.  Then, after convincing Demaris that driving back to TRF tonight would have been a bad idea, we retired back to our house, where we talked of religion and politics and movies and sex and pets and renfaires, and . . . well, pretty much you name it —we touched on it!  We had a great visit, and now, she is safe and sound, and well-ensconsed in the Mouse Suite, and she’ll head to TRF’s Toon Town on the morrow.


Only The Cat is Real Tuesday, Sep 30 2008 

Only the Cat is Real

30 September 2008

Artemis loves stuffed animals.  I know that’s kinda weird, and I probably wouldn’t believe it myself if she didn’t provide so much proof.  Today, left to her own devices, this is where she chose to take her morning nap.

Kyle and I brought this stuffed plush border collie home from our last trip to Scotland.  I think I’ve written about it before, probably because it was in a photo with Artemis!  But, this is a new spot for him—and consequently, for her.  I am so amused.

Still sick, by the way.  But, I am down to just one little page of notes about what numbers my accountant still needs.  I just sent her off with another box of “stuff” and I feel pretty good about that. 

I did find a very happy article online at the Galveston Historical Foundation’s own website:

It tells beyond all shadow of a doubt, that this year’s Dickens on the Strand Festival is ON!


Obsolete? Saturday, Sep 27 2008 


26 September 20008

National Punctuation Day!

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.

‘Why?’ asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

‘Well, I’m a panda’, he says, at the door. ‘Look it up.’

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. ‘Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.’

Ba-dum-bum.   Also, a great book titled after the punchline of that joke, is Eats, Shoots and Leaves:  the Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.  Kyle and I both loved it!  A fun, educational read.

Yay!  Finally, a second source of information stating that Galveston will host its annual Dickens on the Strand Festival in December 2008!

I was beginning to get worried that the decision had been made too quickly and confidently, and that reality would be harsher.  But, it seems, at least, that the optimistic outlook is being shared with the media.  So, although I haven’t yet received the verification I personally requested via email, I’m going with the optimism!

Although not directly mentioning Dickens, this article is really well-written and seems to communicate better than any I’ve read, what’s really going on right now (or last week, at the time it was written).

The Y.E.S. Yahoo Group is growing nicely, and I’m hoping for a lively discussion on there regarding our attendance at Dickens on the Strand.

Today’s photo is of a handsome, but no-longer-useful pair of eyeglasses—Kyle’s.  He had his LASIK surgery today, and he is resting.  Each time he’s been awake throughout the evening, he seems to be feeling a little bit better.  He described feeling a lot more pain than we’d been led to believe he’s experience and the whites of his eyes are not white right now . . . they’re very red.  He said it felt like there was sand in his eyes.  We do have a follow-up appointment in the morning, so I will look forward to that.  Having the doctor look at him, and tell us all is well, will be what I need to be relaxed about it.  I was pretty stressed about the surgery today—but once we got there today, it was over so quickly that I didn’t really have time to worry.

Oh, and by the way, now I’m feeling a bit of a chest cold coming on—–grrrrr.


My First Off-Campus House is Now A Parking Lot—and Dickens is a Go! Saturday, Sep 20 2008 

My First Off-Campus House is Now A Parking Lot

19 September 2008

That’s right.  The house I moved into when I moved out of the dorm, is gone.  And the good news of the day is that we got official confirmation that the 2008 Dickens on the Strand Festival in Galveston, will go on!

I had an interesting morning involving an ice chest I’d forgotten to properly deal with upon arriving home.  Suffice it to say, it was unpleasant.  And it made me late to my breakfast date with Ronnie.  Fortunately, he was flexible, and after dealing with the business end of our meeting, we had lunch instead.  When I left his house, I got a wild hair to run through the TCU area.  I’d been thinking a good bit lately, about the little house on Frazier Avenue where Roger and I lived for so long.  I wanted to see if it was still standing, and I was curious about all the recent construction at TCU.  I enjoyed driving around, and the little house IS still there, as is the big tree in the front yard.  It looks a bit different—but behind the fence and the new hedge you can still see all the charm of the little 1911 railroad worker house.

The surprise came when I decided to look at the house I’d moved out of to move into that one.  Sadly, I don’t even remember the exact address of the house . . . three thousand-something, Cockrell Avenue.  I shared the house with a girlfriend and her fiance.  The year was 1983.  I had just taken my first full-time job, was taking eighteen hours at TCU and dancing on the drill team, and my daddy, 1500 miles away, had just had the first in a series of surgeries related to the cancer that took his life a few months later.  Oh, and my ex-boyfriend moved in two houses down the road! (That house is gone, too.)  I was crazy.  Any one of those things would have been enough stress to stop most people in their tracks.  I somehow managed to come through that period in my life with only a few scars.  However, I did withdraw from one class and take an incomplete in another, if I recall correctly. 

I guess the craziness was offset by the good times.  Independence.  A steady paycheck.  A place to live that allowed for owning a cat (I got away with it in the dorm for an entire semester!).  The beautiful, old, drafty house where my bedroom had two whole walls of windows.  The smell of Maria’s freshly baked bread every Saturday morning, and the sound of Andy picking at his guitar. 

What’s weird is that I hadn’t driven by there in years—I don’t know when the house went away.  But, I know that a parking lot exists now, where once stood an old house full of fun.  <sigh>  All in the name of progress.

About Dickens . . . In the past, I’ve spoken on the telephone with Molly Dannenmaier, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Galveston Historical Foundation.  She’s a delightful lady and I decided yesterday to send her an email. Within 24 hours she responded.  And I quote:

“Thank you so much for your message of concern. We have determined that we will hold Dickens on the Strand this year, even if it won’t be exactly the same as it would have been had Hurricane Ike not ripped through Galveston. We hope that you and your group will be able to participate as always.”

My email to her indicated that Kyle and I would like to help somehow.  This seems to be the time, I told her, when we should finally make our donation, and join the Galveston Historical Society.  Her response to that was:

” . . . there has been substantial damage to hundreds of properties in Galveston, including all our historic downtown properties and museums. We hope you might be able to make an online donation and encourage your friends to do so as well at”

So, we’ll be sending in our membership stuff, and I figured what better forum to encourage our friends to do the same, than The Daily KRuMB!

And Kelly . . . you were right to keep on sewing! 😉


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.  


Addendum:  News Update on Historic Galveston.  Special thanks to Donna who found this:

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.

Victorian Kiss Monday, Mar 24 2008 

20 March 2008
One of our first visits to Dickens on the Strand in Galveston, TX. Marita Beth made the clothing we’re both wearing. The photo was taken by our dear friend Ginger who subsequently also had it mounted and framed.
Victorian Kiss
The reflections are a little distracting, but I can’t put a polarizer on this camera.

~KR (Written on 24 March 2008)

Listening to:
Holy Water by Big & Rich
from Horse Of A Different Color

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.5 sec (1/2)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire