As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

Bolivar, I Hardly Recognize You

It’s been so long since I posted anything, that’s probably what you’re saying to yourself. It’s a phrase that’s been bouncing around in my head a lot lately – guess that means there’s plenty of empty space for it to bounce in. So much in life seems to have changed since Hurricane Ike came through our part of Texas – much of it having very little to do with Ike. Just that’s sort of a time line that most folks around here gauge things by. You know how Texans are…. Well, maybe you don’t but most of my life I’ve heard things compared to mutually known places, events, people. Like when I first got into EMS in rural Bandera County many many years ago, often you’d get directions to a patient’s location in “next to” or “just past” so-and-so’s ranch, or where the barn burned down last summer, or across the road from such and such…. The final parrallel was often drawn at the Lone Star Ice House – it’d been there for more years that I had been, and after whoever was giving me directions realized I was (in Maine terms) from “Away,” they’d break down and use that as a landmark.

That’s the reason it was a bit of a shock, this weekend, to drive down to the Bolivar Peninsula, in search of closure, I suppose… To see what Ike did, or didn’t do to the things, places, people that we held dear, if only in our memories… Swede’s Store was at the end of the road to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. They lived near the Intercoastal Canal – close to the north side of the Peninsula. Here’s what’s left of Swede’s Store:

Swede's Store - Crystal Beach, TX

Swede's Store - Crystal Beach, TX

After seeing Swede’s, I was a little nervous about what to expect to see when we got up Crystal Beach Rd, after all, we’d already passed miles of almost total destruction.  This is a view of one area, near what was Gilchrest, on the Gulf side of Hwy 87:

South of Hwy 87, East of Rollover Pass

Gulf side of Hwy 87, East of Rollover Pass

As we continued west, there wasn’t much on the north side of Hwy 87 either. Sure there were some houses, or pieces of houses still standing, but by and large, a lot of the area looked like this:

North of Hwy 87, east of Rollover Pass

North of Hwy 87, east of Rollover Pass

As we waited for our turn to cross the single lane bridge that remains over Rollover Pass, we noticed there were people fishing – just like it was a “normal” Saturday afternoon.
People fishing at Rollover Pass 2 months Post-Ike

People fishing at Rollover Pass 2 months Post-Ike

Well, this post is getting really long, so I’m going to save the rest for another post. Let me end this one with a reassurance that many many businesses had painted on the sides “We WILL be back!” And all along the peninsula, Old Glory still flew in the breeze, some a little wind-blown, along with the Lone Star flag, on poles, where houses once stood.
Tho' torn and tattered, Texans and Americans WILL persevere!!

Tho' battered, we will persevere!

 If you wish to see more pictures from our road-trip down the Bolivar, you can check out this album, or wait for me to blog more.



November 16, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. this made me sad, in a bitter sweet sort of way. pretty.

    Comment by gambypants | November 19, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks for remembering, many have forgot.
    The biggest obstacle those folks face will be the State of Texas and the Federal Government. Best of luck to everybody on the peninsula, may the regulators cut you some slack.

    Please pardon this abrupt intrusion; you are the only person I know that sews:

    I want an inexpensive sewing machine, <$200, that will sew, ah, like a denim seam. I found a thing called Euro-Pro 7100 they say it sews 7 layers but could not even find the manufacturer.

    I’m not interested in 18 different stitches, something sturdy, just want to sew a seam without breaking the machine or a needle or a rats nest bobbin.

    I called the sew-vac shop and he wants me to spend 5 or better, ha, “hey dude I want to stick some cloth together, not go into business”


    Comment by NAT PIERCE | November 20, 2008 | Reply

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