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Monday, August 15, 2016


A few months ago, I got a note from Lawrence Farias, who attend Sugar Land High School in the 1950s, but didn't graduate here. He asked about a friend and classmate, Donald Hoke. I said both Donald and Mildred Jordy Hoke had passed away.

Here is part of his message:

. . . I'm very sorry to hear that he passed away. May they both rest in peace. And I did forgave both him and the teacher. (CK: He mentioned in an earlier message that Donald had got him in trouble with a math teacher, which led to a memorable paddling.) What brought that incident to mind, was the picture of a paddle someone posted that another teacher used. It looked exactly the same. Anyhow, thanks for the update. Looking forward to seeing more news about the good old times.
I have done some research and tried to determine who the math teacher was. My best guess is Paul Parker, shown here in the 1953 Gator yearbook. No offense intended, but he seems like the kind of fellow who wouldn't hesitate application of paddle to rear end if he thought it was necessary.  

Also note Mrs. Gladys Pierce, long-time librarian in SLISD and FBISD. I remember Mrs. Pierce from my days at Dulles High School in the 1960s.

This is trivia item that caught my eye in a 1919 issue of the Texas Commercial News printed in Sugar Land. The article points out that 'gunnite' was invented during WWI. (Gunnite is/was the material whose wide-spread use was construction of home swimming pools.) I had no idea it was created that far back.

Here is a transcript of the article.
"Cement Guns" Are of Great Value in Quick Construction
The use of guns for construction rather than destruction is a recent development in building that helped materially in creating the structures that went up so rapidly during the war. These weapons of peace are the "cement guns" that shoot stucco with great speed and volume against steel or timber framework covered with wire network. The cement, appropriately called "gunnite," sticks to all framework, hardens, and a new wall comes into being. In the building of the army warehouses at Norfolk, Va., a "battery" of twelve or more cement guns bombarded the framework of the growing walls. As a matter of fact, however, it is questionable, except for the war, whether it would have occurred to anybody to name the new engine of construction a "gun." The apparatus is much more like a hose squirting a semi-liquid fluid mixture, and the terminology of the method would probably have related itself to the fire department, says the Christian Science Monitor. Under its operation a wall goes up almost as rapidly as a fire goes out.

Two final items from 1919.  A September issue of the Texas Commercial News contained an article indicating the roads around Sugar Land in those days turned into impassable mud bogs.  The same issue also said that the new project to build a power plant and electrify the town was well underway.  The power plant referred to in the article was the structure between Oyster Creek and Main St. across from the water tower.  The building was razed last year.

Here are transcripts of the articles to save you from straining your eyes.
Got Stuck In The Mud
W. T. Eldridge, Jr. and family, accompanied by Miss Ivy Eldridge, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Blum, Paul Richardson and Herbert Kempner of Galveston motored to Sugar Land from Galveston Sunday night. The trip was delightful till the car got stuck in the mud this side of Stafford where the party got out and went off for a team to pull them out.
Town Wiring And Building On Power Plant Progresses

Work on the big power plant is progressing rapidly now. Material is being unloaded in large quantities at the site. A pile driver has been erected and the foundation will soon be going in. Big poles are being set over town and new wiring installed. The system is to be much larger in all respects than the present equipment which the town as entirely out grown.