Seabreeze Park in La Porte, Texas

(Above photo:  Black-crowned Night-Heron)

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Is Sylvan Beach Park crowded? Bee bop on over to Seabreeze Park instead (sorry, no beach though but it’s a great little La Porte, Texas park!)
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You get that nice breeze and it’s a tranquil little park.
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Seemed like a good fishing day out there too as I witnessed a few good catches!

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Battleship Texas – Part II (Ben Affleck filmed here for the movie Pearl Harbor)

(Above Photo:  Mr. Verlon Anderson) (For Part I of The Battleship Texas click here)

After beginning this post, I learned of Seaman Mr. Verlon Anderson.  He proudly served our great country in WWII.  Mr. Anderson had an interesting connection to the Battleship Texas!!!  Seaman Anderson escorted the only non military arrival ever to the Battleship Texas….Mr. Verlon Anderson brought the young reporter, Walter Cronkite onto the ship during the North African Invasion of WWII! (Thank you Mr. Craig E. Ferrell, Jr. and Mrs. Pamela Ferrell for sharing this wonderful story!  Mr. Anderson was Mrs. Ferrell’s Uncle!).  I’d also like to take a moment to thank all of our veterans – both past and present – my absolute gratitude for your service!!!

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Above Photo:  Dan Gallo, Volunteer Guide (2nd from Left) with visitors Don and Toni Pharis and Susan and Russell Gifford

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The Battleship Texas – A True Legend!

The Battleship Texas is huge first of all!! But did you know it was in both World War I and II? The ship was launched on May 18, 1912 and commissioned on March 12, 1914.  BB-35 was the most powerful military weapon in the world at the time.  The ship was the first US Battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns and first to control the gunfire with directors and range keepers that greatly assisted with firing accuracy. The Battleship also was one of the first to get radars in the US Navy in 1939. She helped protect the personnel on the ship and the US citizens.  Then on April 21, 1948, 36 years after her launch, she was decommissioned and became a memorial ship for Texas.

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You’ll find these murals about the San Jacinto Battle along the Independence Pkwy. S., in La Porte, TX on the way to see the USS Texas Battleship

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The Fred Hartman Bridge – “Presidential Award” Winner!

I have a confession….I LOVE bridges! Hearing about the Fred Hartman Bridge from traffic reports, etc. and never having seen it..why not take a few snaps since I was already close by?! 

The bridge connects La Porte to Baytown, Texas

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Cost…over $100 million to construct in the mid ’90’s – Opening day was September 27, 1995 and George W. Bush was there.  

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Sylvan Beach Park in La Porte, Texas

Sylvan Beach Park in La Porte, Texas was a pleasant surprise …sort of…

Having had some other things to do in La Porte, Texas, I decided to check out Sylvan Beach for the first time.  Well, good news/bad news…of course I just “happened” to go when they were getting ready for a huge firework show and event with Clay Walker singing, etc. so the beach was closed! However, good news is that I was allowed to hurry and snap a few quick photos as a favor and will likely return soon 🙂 ! It seemed nice, quite and pretty.  Just not sure if that was due to it being closed or not…stay tuned on that part 🙂 

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What a clean and pretty little beach – it’s located at 636 N Bayshore Dr., La Porte, TX 77571
Hours:  Mon-Sun: 7:00am to 10:00pm
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Ruddy Turnstone – The oldest recorded Ruddy Turnstone was a male, and at least 16 years, 11 months old, when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in New Jersey in 2012. He had been banded in Delaware in 2001 (Source:  AllAboutBirds.org)

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City of La Porte 125th Anniversary Car & Air Show

Above Photo:  Miss Sylvan Beach 2017, Savannah Stein

May 13th was the City of La Porte’s 125th Anniversary Car and Air Show so off I went to see what it was all about 🙂 the vintage planes and cars were a blast to see!

Do I know much about cars or airplanes? Nope…but they sure were pretty! Enjoy! Somewhat of a trip down memory lane with some of the cars 🙂 

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Ian, Angie, Major, Marshall and Landon all came out for the show! Look at the tiny truck!!

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Most of these cars were like this…polished and impeccable!

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All I can tell you is it’s a Nova and sleek!

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LAST CHANCE FOREVER; Birds Of Prey Is Our Feature of Today!

Today’s post is all about Birds of Prey! While at the San Jacinto Day festival, I was privileged to witness a demonstration on Birds of Prey graciously put on by the San Antonio based, nonprofit organization –  Last Chance Forever.  They are “dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned birds of prey, scientific investigation, and also just as importantly, the education of the public” (source: LastChanceForever.org).  

The show was definitely *****5 Stars worthy!!!! 20170422-IMG_6937

Photo:  Ms. Kelly Rayner, Program Coordinator-Last Chance Forever, San Antonio,TX (Holding a Northern Crested Caracara).  You can really see the huge talons and wing strength!
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Photo:  Northern Crested Caracara – What a truly beautiful bird!  According to Rapture Technician, Mr. Ian Joplin, (and lifesaver for this article!), the Caracara’s are very intelligent birds that can hunt and eat carrion, sometimes incorrectly referred to as a Mexican Eagle.

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The trust level these birds have for both Ms. Rayner and Mr. Schmid is amazing as they showed us the bird’s release and immediate return back to both handlers.

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Photo:  Ms. Kelly Rayner (Left)(Holding a A juvenile Bay-winged Hawk or Harris’ Hawk, both names are accepted) and Mr. Robert Schmid, Volunteer for Last Chance Forever (Right) 
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Photo:  Here we a close up of the stunning juvenile Bay-winged Hawk/Harris’ Hawk

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This is a hybrid falcon, a cross between a Sakar Lanner and a Lanner Falcon20170422-IMG_6915
Photo:  This hybrid falcon, a cross between a Sakar Lanner and a Lanner Falconlitte was too cute!

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I wanted to give you a perspective on the size of this Barred Owl

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What a truly remarkable and stunning bird!!! Isn’t it just magnificent!!!!

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This Barred Owl was just so captivating to look at I HAD to get a close up!

Bird Number Two

This red phase Eastern Screech Owl, (the red is a recessive trait to more common gray phase) was the cutest little thing ever!!!

Bird Number One

Look at the HUGE size of this magnificent Golden Eagle!

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Gorgeous isn’t it? What a rare opportunity for those of us in the audience to see such a bird!

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The Golden Eagle (above)

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Stunning isn’t it!

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So glad I was able to see this unbelievable demonstration!! I was sad to say goodbye to the Golden Eagle!

Note:  If you would like to donate to this worthy cause or volunteer in some capacity, please contact info@LastChanceForever.org or visit their website at www.LastChanceForever.Org.  Here’s an interesting article if you’d like to read more.

HUGE shout out of thanks to Mr. Ian Joplin, Rapture Technician, who helped make sure I was labeling the birds of prey photos correctly!

Thanks for your feedback! Max and I always love to hear your thoughts!

Elizabeth and Max

 

 

Mariachi Mensajeros De Mi Tierra in Houston, Texas

Above Photo:  (Left to Right)  Jose Castro (Owner and First Trumpet), Armando Sanchez (Singer and Violin), Javier Hernandez (Guitarron or Big Guitar), and Oswaldo Garcia (Vihuela).

If you live in Houston, most likely you know a thing or two about Mariachi bands! Mariachi Mensajeros De Mi Tierra performed at the San Jacinto Day Festival and opened with one of my all time favorites, “cielito lindo” and they did a fantastic job! You will typically see the mariachi bands sporting their “charros” attire, as they are here – which basically translates to traditional horseman outfits 🙂 . 

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Photo:  Jose Castro (Owner and First Trumpet), Armando Sanchez (Signer and Violin), Javier Hernandez (Guitarron or Big Guitar)

Within seconds of opening – the Mariachi Mensajeros De Mi Tierra had the crowd singing along to Cielito Lindo, (myself included and attempting – I’m certain unsuccessfullyto sing the correct Spanish words 🙂 )

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Photo Source:   Generously provided by Mariachi Mensajeros de mi Tierra 

Names: Elmer Benavides (Second Trumpet,) Jose Castro (First Trumpet,) Armando Sanchez (Violin,) Javier Hernandez (Guitarron or Big Guitar,) Oswaldo Garcia (Vihuela,) Bryan Quinteros (Guitar,) and Manuel Perez (Guitar.)  

Note:  A special thank you to Ms. Patino for her assistance!

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Photo:  Armando Sanchez (Singer & Violin)

You could just listen to this gentleman belt it out and feel how much he loves playing for the crowd and singing! He was great! 

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Photo:  (Left to Right) Jose Castro (Owner and First Trumpet), Armando Sanchez (Singer & Violin), Javier Hernandez (Guitarron or Big Guitar).

I didn’t have a video camera with me so here is one of their YouTube videos below! Enjoy!

Source:  YouTube Busca mas de Mariachi Mensajeros de mi Tierra 

If you would like to book Mariachi Mensajeros De Mi Tierra for your next event, please contact them at Phone Number:  832-718-2440

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Photo Source:   Generously provided by Mariachi Mensajeros de mi Tierra

In case you are curious, here are the words to “Cielito Lindo” in Spanish and English as I never bothered to know the words to the Spanish song I like so much, I thought I’d share 🙂  “what I learned today” just like my friend over at Colors Of My Life

Source:  Wikipedia
Spanish Literal English translation
De la Sierra Morena,
cielito lindo, vienen bajando,
Un par de ojitos negros,
cielito lindo, de contrabando.Estribillo:Ay, ay, ay, ay,
Canta y no llores,
Porque cantando se alegran,
cielito lindo, los corazones.

Pájaro que abandona,
cielito lindo, su primer nido,
Si lo encuentra ocupado,
cielito lindo, bien merecido.

(Estribillo)

Ese lunar que tienes,
cielito lindo, junto a la boca,
No se lo des a nadie,
cielito lindo, que a mí me toca.

(Estribillo)

Una flecha en el aire,
cielito lindo, lanzó Cupido,
si la tiró jugando,
cielito lindo, a mí me ha herido.

(Estribillo)

From Sierra Morena,
Pretty darling, coming down are
A pair of little black eyes,
Pretty darling, sneaking by.Refrain:Ah, ah, ah, ah,
Sing and don’t cry,
Because sing they get happy,
Pretty darling, the hearts.

A bird that abandons,
Pretty darling, his first nest,
If he finds it occupied,
Pretty darling, well deserved.

(Refrain)

That mole that you have
Pretty darling, next to your mouth,
Don’t give it to anyone,
Pretty darling, for it is my turn.

(Refrain)

An arrow in the air
Pretty darling, Cupid launched
If he shot it playing,
Pretty little heaven, he has hurt me.

(Refrain)

Thanks for stopping by! You are appreciated greatly!

Elizabeth and Max

San Jacinto Battle Reenactment and Ozzy Osbourne?!

We’re coming to a close on my San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment series…today we see the reenactment of the Battle of San Jacinto…CHARGE!!! (ok, that was for dramatic effect!!) – (of course “CHARGE” could also be something I could do if the man in my life wants to buy me a new camera lens and wants to hand over his credit card)…humm think I’m onto something here! Ok, well anyway….

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I loved seeing the crowds heading to see the reenactment of the Battle of San Jacinto – this little boy was just the cutest ever!

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Before the reenactment took place you were able to visit the camps of both sides of the battle.

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These people are all volunteers so a big thank you to them all!

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The Mexican Army is gearing up for the battle!

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You can see the massive crowds in the background starting to gather and the cannon the Mexican Army would soon fire!

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The Texan’s were leaving and crying out “The Mexican’s Are Coming!”

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But it wouldn’t be long before the Texian Army regained their footing and kicked booty!

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“Don’t Mess With Texas!” 🙂 The Texian Army was getting ready to attack while the Mexican Army had their afternoon siesta.

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General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s Mexican army would soon be in a battle that lasted just 18 minutes – think about it…I can put together an entire Hamburger Helper meal in 18 minutes and make muffins! (yes, I am quite the cook…NOT!)

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The Mexican Army just was not prepared for the Texian Army! (That’s why there’s a slogan “Texas Tough”!)

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The Texian Army might have been a rather unorganized crew but they pulled it off!

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The Texian Army of about 800 would charge and defeat the Mexican Army of around 1,500 shouting “Remember the Alamo!” (Note:  Do you know that Ozzy Ozbourne once urinated on the Alamo? ..actually he peed on the Alamo Cenotaph which is nearby – I AM here to tell you about our fascinating history after all! 🙂 – oh, that was in 1982 by the way and the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836 (peeing in public was probably ok back then but not there!!)

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Based on Sam Houston’s reporting, 630 Mexican Army members were killed and 730 taken prisoner. The Texian Army lost just nine.  (Above is the Mexican Army trying to defend themselves against the Texians). 

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General Antonio López de Santa Anna would later be captured and taken prisoner as the Texian Army won.  In exchange for Santa Anna’s freedom he signed a treaty recognizing Texas’ independence. So there ya have it – Texas History! 🙂 

Source:  YouTube posted by NYCYankInTexas

Thanks so very much for all of your comments/feedback, etc. as me and Max really appreciate it!!!

Elizabeth and Max

The Living History Foundation

I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Allen Mack, Founder of The Living History Foundation during my recent visit to the San Jacinto Day Festival.  Mr. Mack, there on behalf of the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Buffalo Soldiers Heritage and Outreach Department.  What a master storyteller, effortlessly holding the interest of the festival visitor’s attention by staying in character as a Buffalo Soldier back in that time period. Mr. Mack managed to teach us so much about the Buffalo Soldiers history and lives in a fun and engaging manner – obviously, I became quite interested!

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Photo:  Mr. Allen Mack

In to speaking more with Mr. Mack, I discovered his passion for history and his creation of The Living History Foundation.  The goal of the foundation is to inspire children and adults alike to learn about the accomplishments people of color made in the building of this great nation.”

“Our history is a mixture of many things with ancestors who did things right and those who made mistakes just as we do today. We should be proud of who we are, proud of the ancestors we descended from and the heritage we have to pass on to our children and their children. One by one, our grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters and friends are moving out of our lives, they take with them the very history and knowledge we seek to preserve. We believe there is nothing more important than to approach history with a purpose and portray it as true and close to real life as possible. Without your support none of this would be possible; our sincerest hope is that you see the value in what we do and join us in representing those people and times who came before us. To find out how you can help make a difference by either volunteering or make a donation contact the Living History Foundation at (512) 578-6267.”

(Source:  The Living History Foundation – Facebook@livinghistoryfoundation)

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Photo:  Nina Simone (Left), Leon Spinks (Right)  Source: Facebook@livinghistoryfoundaton

Mr. Mack will teach you things about all kinds of people from Nina Simone and her autobiography quote of “If I had to be called something, it should have been a folk singer because there was more folk and blues than jazz in my playing” – to Leon Spinks, the Light Heavyweight Olympic Gold medal winner of the 1976 Olympics – to the history of the Buffalo Soldiers. 
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Photo:  Mr. Allen Mack, (Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Buffalo Soldiers Heritage and Outreach Department) during The San Jacinto Day Festival and Reenactment

I asked Mr. Mack if he would be kind enough to answer a few questions…

Houston Photo Journey:  I really loved your various demonstrations of how coffee would have been made back then and other stories and appreciated how you stayed in character depicting life as a Buffalo Soldier.  What led to your involvement with The Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Buffalo Soldiers Heritage and Outreach Department and The Living History Foundation?

Mr. Mack:  When in school I liked history but I didn’t love history, I couldn’t relate because when I looked in the history book to a larger extent, I didn’t see people like me in it. And once I found out we did play a big part in the founding of this country and world, it opened a flood gate, I wanted to know more. Now I just want to share what I have learned with whoever will listen.  

Houston Photo Journey:  What influenced your decision to begin The Living History Foundation and what are your hopes for its future? 

Mr. Mack:  I believe everyone has a calling and when I look back at what I have done in my life it has been leading me to this point. I founded this origination to inspire our youth and the young at heart to start to think about themselves and the world differently.

I end most of my programs with this, “what I see when I’m standing in front of a group of students are Buffalo Soldiers and it doesn’t matter if you are black or if you are male. What I see are young Buffalo Soldiers looking at where they can be (standing where I am) 10 to 15 years from now talking to the next group of young Buffalo Soldiers telling them where they can be (standing where I am) 10 to 15 years from them.”

None of this will happen without your support, between Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Living History Foundation we have close to a hundred programs scheduled for this year. All we ask is help however you can, contact me at 512 578-6267 or allen_mack909@yahoo.com and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/livinghistoryfoundation.

Houston Photo Journey:  Would you like to add anything else?

Mr. Mack:  We are also in the process of forming an Honor Guard to honor our fallen veterans, follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/lhfhonorguard. Keep an eye out our website will be up soon.

Preparing the Child. . .Preserving a Legacy

The Living History Foundation.  

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read – hope you enjoyed learning about some of the interesting people you’ll always meet in the Houston area!

Elizabeth and Max (Max wanted to share his soldier picture)