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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Past

Here are a few photos of Christmas in old Sugar Land. Click on the image below to view the album.

Click here to view a short video of riding the fire engine with Santa at the Sugar Land Shopping Center in the mid 1950s.  My thanks to Tommy Laird (DHS '67) for digitizing the Laird home movie collection.

Monday, December 22, 2014

More People of Old Sugar Land

I have a couple of sad news items to report.  First, Reagan Meredith Walters, daughter of Marilyn Milam Rawson (SLHS '59), died in a motorcycle accident recently.  Click here to view an obituary.

Many of you may already know that Majorie Bidwell Rozelle died last week.  Click here to view an obituary.
My sincerest sympathy to the Rawson-Walters family and the extended Rozelle family.

I found this article on a native son, Wayne Gandy (DHS '69), and his family of football coaches.  They have quite a collective career, as you'll read in this article.  Congratulations to Wayne, Cindy and their boys.

My aunt, Mayme Rachuig Haus (SLHS '48) on her first Thanksgiving in 1930.

I think this is Clifford White with her 4th grade class in 1949.  I think that's Pam Helmcamp Clark 2nd from the left.
Bob Bass and Janice Jenkins Girard (DHS '68) as toddlers.  Bob is my cousin and is married to Scotty Hightower (DHS '66).

The Old Sugar Land Water Tower

Johnson Development has been refurbishing the 1925 Sugar Land water tower over the last couple of months.  I've taken some photos, so those of you who don't live in your old home town can see what's happening.  

I've also thrown in a few photos of work Southern Pacific has done on the rail line running through town.  They've prepared the rail bed for a second track, which they will begin installing next year.

As you watch the video you'll notice the old Power Plant (later the Union Hall) near the tower.  It's the two-story, cream-colored building, which was built in 1920.  I think it is now the oldest non-residential building in Sugar Land.

I talked with an old timer a few months back about young dare devils who climbed the tower.  There was a graduate from Sugar Land High School in the late 1940s who was a notorious prankster.  He climbed the tower and told the old timer, a young under-class man at the time, about his experience.  The old timer asked, "Was there anything up there?"  The climber said, "All I found up there was a peregrine falcon's nest and about a hundred duck bills."  

Other old timers may remember the climber as the fellow who closed down the Sugar Land school on Lakeview.  He got some skunk juice and soaked cotton balls with it.  He poked them through the key holes in the doors of each classroom.  He did this on a Friday night, so the aroma had a long time to saturate the class rooms.  Apparently, the janitors needed several days to air out the school before classes could resume.

Dulles Junior High and Dulles Senior High Photos

I should have asked Bill Fisher (DHS '71) if I could borrow these Facebook photos, but he's let me share some of his items before, so I took the liberty of showing these.  I'll thank him in advance for them.

The 1966 Dulles Junior High 8th grade football team when Class of 1971 were 8th graders.

The 1966 Dulles Junior High Choir when the Class of '71 were 8th graders. 
"Hands Across The Waters" (one-act play) with Bill Fisher, Jeanie Morse Fisher, Mary Louise Ruffeno, Reagan Davis, Dolores Durdin Brooks, Bill Suhr, and Craig Brooks.

"Hands Across The Waters" (one-act play) with Bill Fisher, Jeanie Morse Fisher, Mary Louise Ruffeno, Reagan Davis, Dolores Durdin Brooks, Bill Suhr, and Craig Brooks.

My thanks to Linda Cruse Wilson for the next photo, also borrowed from Facebook.

The Viking Shield staff (1963/4): Connie Quinton Nugent, Becky Cutia, Linda Cruse Wilson, Patsy Keller Friend, and Ann Long.

My thanks to Janice Jenkins Girard (DHS '68) for this photo.

Ray Valdez (DHS '68) and Janice Jenkins Girard (DHS '68) before the Dulles Prom in 1968.

My thanks go to Linda Hagler Mosk (DHS '68) for the following article about the Dulles Band finishing in 3rd place at the 1964 Bluebonnet Bowl Band Contest.

A 1964 newspaper article about the Dulles Band.

A Few More Photos from the 1961/2 Viking Log

[My thanks go to Rick Kirkpatrick (DHS '67) for letting me scan these photos from the 1962 Viking Log, Sugar Land Junior High's annual.]

A Couple of Items of Texas History

I took a trip to Huntsville last month to visit the Sam Houston Museum and the Texas Prison Museum.  Both make a pleasant and educational day-trip.  The Sam Houston Museum includes outdoor exhibits of historic buildings as well as convention indoor museum displays.

I didn't see this next item at the Sam Houston Museum, but I thought you might like to see it.  It's a 'letter' or, more accurately, a pre-battle memorandum stating the Texian Army's circumstances and conditions as it prepared to cross Buffalo Bayou and turn east toward the Lynchburg Ferry Landing and confront Santa Anna's Mexican Army.  

I've included a transcription below to make reading it easier.

Sam Houston’s notes before the Battle of San Jacinto. This was written on April 19, 1836. Here is the text. Houston's spelling is preserved:

Camp at Harrisburgh
19th April 1836

This morning we are in preparation to meet Sant Ana [Santa Anna]. It is the only chance of saving Texas. From time to time I have looked for re-inforcements in vain. The Convention adjourning to Harrisburgh struck panic throughout the country. Texas could have started at least 4000 men; we will only have about 700 to march with beside the Camp Guard. We go to conquer. It is wisdom growing out of necessity to meet and fight the enemy now. Every consideration enforces it. No previous occasion would justify it. The troops are in fine spirits, and now is the time for action.

My Adjt Genl Wharton, Inspr Genl Hockley
Aid [sic] de Camp Horton
 “           “   “       W.H. Patton
 “           “   “       Collingsworth
Volunteer Aid [sic] Perry
                “           Perry
Maj. Cook Asst Inspr Genl will be with me.

We will use our best efforts to fight the enemy to such advantage, as will insure [sic] victory, tho’ the odds is greatly against us. I leave the result in the hands of a wise God and rely upon his Providence.

My country will do justice to those who serve her. The rights for which we fight will be secured, and Texas Free.

Sam Houston
Comr in Chief

Col. Rusk is in the field.

I also found this photo of the interior of the Alamo's chapel, taken in 1944.

Then and Now Images from WWII

I want to thank BJ Binford Pitts (DHS '61) for sending me this link.  I really like the technique of showing then-and-now images of a location.  I think it has a lot of potential in museum exhibits.  I hope the Sugar Land Museum can do similar things.

You can view these scenes in two ways.  You can left-click on each image to invoke an automatic transition, or you left-click and drag your mouse across the image and control the pace of the transition.