Sunday, September 25, 2011

Horses, haunted hay ride and more authors

Stable Spirit is playing with fire.
The local group promotes positive mental and physical health through interaction with horses. They’re working on some music and scary fun to raise funds. Food and music will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Port Neches Park Pavilion on Grigsby Avenue. Music will be from Acadian Junglists Artists
Lavish of Eunice, La., offering a “rough and tough Drum n Bass production.” “Junglist” refers to Jamacian residents. Other artists include BGenius of Eunice, with massive bass lines for the dance floor; Dj Sk8 of Beaumont and Breaks Fire Maiden From Outer Space of Tee Mamou, La. The Fire Maiden will bring Tribal Belly Dancing and Fire Poi. Sounds like a party.
For more information on this or the upcoming Haunted Hay Ride Festival, call Katie Durio at (409) 365-5277.
The fifth annual Haunted Hay Ride Festival, sponsored by Stable-Spirit and Tyrrell Park Stables, will be Fridays & Saturdays of Oct. 21, 22, 28, & 29, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Tyrrell Park Stables, 5595 Tyrrell Park Road, inside Tyrrell Park.

McBride finally did it
Mary Beth Stafford loaned me a book by someone I know to be a great writer. I actually know her personally, though when a writer shares her world with readers, it seems everyone is in on the details.
Jane McBride, longtime columnist for the Beaumont Enterprise, has compiled her works into “Grace, Gratitude and Generosity” A Family Portrait,” writings which offer personal experiences with everything from a Beatle infatuation and grandbaby love to worrying about a mother’s health. She writes short, sweet and worthy. That’s why readers can’t get enough.

Beaumont author’s got poetry
Beaumont author Dorothy Sells Clover's new book, “Cornucopia,” is dubbed “a delightful and intriguing hodge-podge of mind searching, thought provoking, and just plain whimsical poems.” Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at, or by visiting or
Clover is a single parent residing in Beaumont and has been employed with the Beaumont Independent School District for 20 years. She has worked as a librarian for the last three years. For more information, visit

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bruno, Mission’s Attic ready for the holidays

I spotted George Bruno, Port Arthur high school football great and wine maker at The Cabana at The Grill in Beaumont. Always genial, he told me Bruno & George winery in Sour Lake is set to appear on a “Texas Country Reporter” episode near the end of the year, to highlight his holiday wines. He said when Jimmy Johnson was in town for a reunion, his gang sipped a Yellow Jacket blend from the collection.

Christmas room all set up at Attic
A flashy, lighted new “open” sign was my first notion that The Mission’s Attic got a little facelift. What may have been considered the record room, to the back left, is now full, I mean full, of Christmas goodies. When I visited, there was music and a separate check-out for this popular new section that drew two shoppers from as far as Bridge City. Mae Terro, sales director of the resale shop that benefits United Board of Missions, said she visited the Texas Hill Country and noted shops that offer Christmas all year, so volunteers thought they might as well keep a seasonal room rotating with stock, instead of having to keep it stored off season. Terro said that even if they sold out of all the Christmas stuff displayed now, they have more to fill up the place.
“It’s a little bit of all seasons, all the time,” she said.
The store is across from Jefferson City Shopping Center.

Make it to the movie; the museum
Some of my readers know I love finding pennies, so I loved the penny story I found at the Museum of the Gulf Coast. It’s part of “WWI: Final Survivors,” a collection of David DeJonge’s photographs up through Sept. 18.
The bio that goes with one photo tells how a former soldier was sitting with a French girl who asked for a souvenir. He had none, so he thought, until he found an American penny, which he gave her. She gave him a lock of her hair, which he kept until he died.
Military posters, a vintage firearm and the disc-style dog tags of the day are also on exhibit.
DeJonge worked with Survivor Quest, his years-long project to locate, identify, interview and photograph the last surviving WWI veterans. The project clocked more than 130,000 miles of travel to every corner of the U.S. and England. These survivors are the final witnesses from the United States and England that served from 1914-1919. Group tours of the exhibition are available through Sept. 16. Groups of 10 or more may tour for $2 a person by scheduling in advance. Out of towners can book Port Arthur accommodations.
The exhibition has inspired a free Veteran Appreciation Film Series on Saturday afternoons at 2 p.m. There’s one more:
* Vietnam Sept. 17 – Bob Hope’s Salute to the Troops: The Vietnam Years
Film attendees may enjoy complimentary popcorn and free admission to the temporary WWI exhibition as well as the Museum’s permanent exhibits. The Museum is at 7000 Procter St. in downtown Port Arthur. For information, call 409-982-7000 or visit

Monday, September 5, 2011

Get Tray Chic at TAM
Shirley Peel McCraw’s fancy lady is called “Salute to Alphonse” and she could be serving you. Texas Artists Museum has asked businesses to support a decorated tray fund raiser called Tray Chic. Jody Domingue, board member, said patrons can vote on favorite trays at Kizmet Fine Arts Studio in Groves, at Chatzie’s and Dana’s Jewelry on Boston Avenue in Nederland. Domingue said the jewelry store blinged the provided tray with $350 worth of jewelry. See the trays at TAM Second Sunday, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at 3501 Cultural Center Drive. The Out of Control Trio will perform.

The ketchup incident
Artist Arnulfo Hernandez used to work in a ketchup factory, where boiling-hot product once splashed up to burn his ear. When he took a physical for RCA to make color TV parts, the doc asked him about the burn. Hernandez said it came from ketchup and the physician stopped him right there and proclaiming “I don’t want to know.”
Some of Hernandez’ life stories, such as a tour of Vietnam and Naval duties, are reflected in his art work, displayed at Texas Artists Museum in September.

Sandwich story
Author Bruce Branick saw my review of “Insanewiches,” a book that transform bread and fillings into fun, edible artworks, and sent in a memory:
“About 1955, I had a job as radio-electronics man at Ingall's Shipyard, in Pascagoula, Mississippi. I boarded and roomed in a huge house in Pascagoula, with about five other IBEW electricians, and the proprietor of the house was also an electrician. He and his wife were paying off the house, and we electrical people were paying for spare rooms and three meals a day.

The noon meal was a bag lunch, sandwiches. Lady of the house had the most vivid creativity I've ever seen, in my 90 years. For two and a half months, I never had the same sandwich for lunch. Believe it!

Ever had a bean sandwich? All of them were on brown or wheat bread, and all were tasty,” Branick writes.
Mr. B, I’m pretty sure my dad enjoyed some lima bean sandwiches on duty at Gulf States Utilities.