Port Aransas news and 'OLD ISLAND' stories. 'Island Legends'. Stories that effect your life. News that effects your future.
Americans who have been laid off from their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic have been able to collect an additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits on top of what they get from their state. That extra relief was part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package known as the CARES Act.
But next month, Americans who are out of work will see that $600 a week disappear from their unemployment checks.
The supplemental $600 Americans receive has been controversial, especially given that two-thirds of laid-off workers receive more money from their unemployment benefits than they did from their jobs.
Then we will see the Unemployment numbers dramatically adjusted as Americans scramble to secure the best jobs available.
Could be that many will be left out in the cold as better candidates are accepted into the work force.
Might be time to make the cut and go for the better jobs now.
Reporting for Port A News,
This is Jackie Bales.
Many new changes to Island Legends Online Store.
This is the new FaceBook group where you can see some fun stuff and then click to view the store. It cost nothing to have a look-see and you might find some really good bargains on items you like.
Get a 20% discount on anything in the store.
USE PROMO CODE PA at checkout.
Island Legends Online Store is an online marketing company that sell popular and hard to find items for the whole family.
I have added a lot of new fun things to our new website,
Island Legends Port Aransas, Texas. Read the history and old stories. View old and new photographs with links to other pages. Photography & video Services
OLD HEARTS HURT TOO
By Jackie Bales
Sitting on the beach, watching the stars in the sky
What you told me came as such a surprise
You said that you loved me, I had no reason to doubt you
Now that you told me, I’ll learn to live without you
The old man came walking up, leaning on his cane
“My boy”, he said, “I can see you are in pain.”
“If you don’t mind, I’d like to sit for a spell
I wish there was something that I could do.
All I can tell you is, old hearts hurt too.”
“Ma got her heart broke, back in 1943
Pa went to war to keep our country free
Broke her heart when he never came back
She spent her life putting food on the table and clothes on our back.
This ol’ heart has been beating longer but this ol’ heart beats true
All I can tell you is, old hearts hurt too
Just remember, when you’re lonely, you’re not the first it’s happened too
Old harts have been bleeding since the days of Adam and Eve
Keep your eye on that star in the sky.”
Old hearts hurt too.
“The Lord took my wife in the springtime of her life
Giving birth to my son, the Lord took him too.”
This ol’ heart has been beating longer
But, this ol’ heart is true
Just remember, when you’re lonely, you’re not the first it’s happened too.
Old hearts have been bleeding since the days of Adam and Eve
Keep your eye on that star in the sky.”
OLD HEARTS HURT TOO
Today when something happens in the world, we know all about it within hours, thanks to news channels and the internet. But things were much different in 1836.
It was a time before the telegraph, when newsmen would interrogate ships' passengers for details of what was happening where they were coming from. That's how news of the Texas Revolution slowly (and at times erroneously) crawled across the continent.
One man saw an opportunity in Americans' curiosity about what had happened in Texas. He would go there and get the truth about the events straight from the mouths of the men who were involved in them.
His name was Chester Newell and that's exactly what he did. A South Carolina native, Yale man and Navy chaplain, Newell had a gift for getting people to talk to him.
Twelve months after the Battle of San Jacinto, he was sitting in the clapboard capitol, interviewing Houston, Lamar, Rusk, Wharton, and the rest. He filled his notebooks with their words. He was even given unfettered access to the documents of the War Department.
The result was his History of the Texas Revolution, and it's a very special book. It's the earliest book on the events of 1835 and '36, as well as one of the first to give details about how the new republic was taking shape.
Historians love it for all its quotations from the participants, but one area where it can really fill gaps in your knowledge is its excellent summary of Mexican history from 1821 to 1835. The Texas Revolution did not take place in a vacuum, though many writers have treated it that way. Newell gives you the context.
Another thing (among many, many other things) he gives you is the earliest account of the capture of Santa Anna from someone who was there.
He also tells you all about the dictator's meeting with Sam Houston, as related by Houston himself.
Newell's History of the Texas Revolution, is a foundational volume for any Texas history collection.
A wonderful story of life on a barrier island in Texas.
Hope you enjoy. Read it now.
A novel by Jackie Bales
I have decided to publish this book here for all my friends.
Part one of an interview with one of Port Aransas' first residents.
Stay tuned for part two.
Katie Mircovich Interview
March 10, 1982
UIF is unidentified female believed to be Mircovich’s granddaughter.
UIM is unidentified male conducting interview.
UIF: Grandma this is hot. Hot hot
Mircovich: You didn’t tell you was going to take pictures.
UIF: I didn’t know. You look fine.
Mircovich: Seventy-nine years old.
UIM: Basically what we are doing Mrs. Mircovich is to ask you about some of the people who have lived on the Island all their lives and you know there aren’t too many of you around. Just asking you a few questions about what life used to be on the Island. And in particular how life was different back when you were a child and a young lady growing up on the Island.
Mircovich: Well, I spent all my life except for twenty years, I’ve spent fifty-nine years here. I was born here in 1903. My earliest recollection of my life was when my brothers tried to teach me how to ride. Now I was about five years old. My brother had an old donkey that they called Salty. So he put me on that. He had a rope on it and led me all around the house while I learned to ride. Then I was promoted to the old nag, she had a great big swayback. They put me on her. By the time I was seven I could ride well and I had my own horse, a good horse. But all the children on the Island, that’s what we did. There were no bicycles, there were no cars and we rode horses.
My little sister, she was five when she died. I remember her, one instance and just before the summer months come in people owned sheep on the Island and they had this old, we called it the wool shed and all the mothers on the Island, they cooked the food to take to the men. My father owned no sheep but he did help to shear the sheep and my little sister was, grass spurs, there was nothing on the Island when I was a child but grass spurs, sunflowers, and sand hills and cow trails. That’s what it was when I was a child. And she picked me up cause I got in the grass spurs and I was just a crying so she picked me up and carried me across to where uncle Jed Brundrett. Now uncle. Jed Brundrett and Mrs. Lillian Brundrett was, they had a large family but I don’t remember when they came there, I don’t remember that. But he was more or less kinda like veterinarian. Some animals on the Island who became ill he would help. And he would always, he would also would help, we had no doctor and everybody, people, had their own remedies.
The first thing you did when you went to school was you got a bag of asphidity around your neck. That was the first thing. That was to ward all the diseases off. Then when the spring came you got molasses and sulfur. My mother would mix it up and every morning you got a teaspoon of molasses and sulfur. Then if you had trouble going to the, I told my granddaughter that I don’t know what to call this a lot of people called it privies but we didn’t. We had to call it closets. If we didn’t go there we had to take that castor oil. When you got a bad cold and it was in your chest they made flax seed poultice. They cut the flax seed down and my mother would tear up and keep them in a nice sterilized box for things. You got that on to break the cold up. Then if you stepped on a nail, boys were always stepping on nails. We all went barefooted. We had shoes but that was for Sunday. We had school shoes. If you stepped on a nail to got your foot put down in coal oil, soaked in coal oil and then they took old octagon soap, it was yellow and square like this. You would take part of that soap and a little sugar and they’d mix it all up and then just a drop of coal oil and they put that on you foot. You can believe it or not but you never had no trouble with it. Then that was some of our remedies that we used.
And there was no, nothing no such a thing as crime on the Island, nothing like that. We had no law, but we didn’t need no law. I remember of a family, now they call this the Coast Guard Station but they called it the Life Saving Station when I was a child. If anyone became seriously ill they had a doctor in Rockport by the name of Dr. McMullen. The Coast Guard Station, Life Saving Station, would take ever who that was to Rockport to the doctor. My parents came here, I can’t, I have no record of it but my little sister was born in 1901 and she was born in Tarpon, Texas and I was born in Tarpon, Texas. I don’t know when they changed the name from Tarpon to Port Aransas, I don’t remember that. And then of course the Coast Guard Station, I mean the Life Saving Station there was the Bromleys, Uncle Sam Bromley was one, there was a White, there was a Gilliam, there was a Court,
UIM: These were people in the Life Saving Corp or whatever?
Mircovich: Yeah. They were at the Life Saving Station. And I can’t remember the rest of them but I was familiar with their families because I played with their children. That was around, of course I lived here until the 1919 hurricane. I was fifteen years old when that happened. And we had gone to Aransas Pass and we didn’t stay on the Island. And when it was over with my mother would not come back. So we went to Galveston and we lived in Galveston and I got married in 23, 25.
For entertainment, the boys, that is the older boys, they would hunt and fish and play marbles. And I was an expert at it. I didn’t take much to playing with the girls I liked to play with the boys. I was raised with four brothers. I was tough and oh god I would fight. It’d make no difference how big they were I would attempt it. Momma used to get awful mad at me for that. They played marbles and us girls most of when we played, but we all had chores to do. The boys had to cut the wood, the kindling. And on the Island there was no sewer or anything like that. We had a well and an old hand pump. We pumped the water. The boys had to pump the water, get it in.
I had to help momma, I don’t know, I couldn’t have been very old and my brother Charlie was a baby. And my momma, the women left. They didn’t have such a thing as a baby sitter. When they went anywhere they took their children with them, the parents did. I had a little red rocking chair. She tied me in the rocking chair and she tied the baby in my arms while she scrubbed her floors. We didn’t have high polished floors. We had wooden floors and he was the first baby I started out with, to help take care of. And then from then on I helped her raise the others, Elmo and Johnny. There was eleven of us in the family and there is only two of us left.
And then, the girls, after we were through with the chores we could play. We played drop the handkerchief, wood tag, London Bridge is falling down, and hiding go seek. Now on these big hills, oh they were enormous hills. I remember at night if my brothers went I could go. We’d all go to these big sand hills and would play hiding go seek. Now the morale was very low. There was no such thing as being in the house for night, you know. But the kids in my day we were raised that way. All the children on the Island was. We’d go out there and play hiding go seek and oh, we would have a ball. And once in a great while, I only remember one time, they called it a tent show. They came in with their own players and they had a stage made and they had live players and they would play maybe three or four days and we got to go to the tent show. I think it cost you ten cents for children and fifteen cents for grown people
Let’s get back to the marbles. My brother Lawrence was through with his chores and I was home taking care of one of the babies. Momma was working. And the only commodity we used, say once a week, once a month one of the men would take their sail boat and the different people on the Island would make their order, what they needed, because we did not have a grocery store with a lot of stuff in it. They would stock up on teaberry coffee, green coffee that my mother Parkstone coffee, sacks of flour, sacks of sugar. We raised everything else. We raised it, raised gardens and we had our own pigs and that’s how people had to live. And two men would go to Corpus and they’d bring this back to us and everybody had their own payout with the ____? Then later on there were two boats that would come in here. One was the Saponica. I’m sure some of the interviewers remembered her and one was the Gypsy. The Gypsy carried, we had a little grocery store.
Miss Emma and Mr. Will Roberts put in a grocery store. It was on high steps, you went up there (drawing diagram on table top with her finger) and over here you bought your groceries and over here was the post office in this place. You had boxes you went there. They had these great big old showcases with solid glass with the candy in it and on a corner and when I’d get my mail I would pick one of them and she saw me. She said “Katie, Katie what have you got?” I said I’d put it back. She said no you’re going to keep it. She took me home, with that candy, to my mother and god I was in trouble. Got a spanking and I never touched it again. I never liked her any more for telling on me for one little old piece of candy.
UIM: Was this store at? Where was it at?
Corpus Christi Caller-Times
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has revoked its permission for a Lydia Ann Channel barge mooring facility near Port Aransas. The owners must remove about 80 mooring structures along 8,000 feet of the channel.
Read the latest on the barge fleeting facility across from the light house at Lydia Ann Channel.
Friends of Lydia Ann Channel was formed to protect the historic recreational use and ecological importance of Lydia Ann Channel near Port Aransas.
I am producing a movie formatted for a 30 minute television program (with two network and two barter breaks). I would like
to share the RAW footage.
Come fly with us. This may be the best view of Port Aransas you will ever see. This is RAW footage for the upcoming movie, "PORT ARANSAS BY AIR" Fasten your ...
Barges at Lydia Ann Channel
By Jackie Bales
A recap of the controversial fleeting facility at Lydia Ann Channel
The buzz around town and on social media has been the issue about the barge fleeting facility at Saint Jo Island. To find details about the facility I first contacted the office of George P. Bush, newly and duly elected Texas Land Commissioner. Mr. Bush was unavailable for comment however, I spoke with Tony Williams of his office. I was answered by Jim Suydam with this press release for the Island Moon.
Tony Williams passed your questions along to me; the responses are below.
Q: Is the beach on the back side of St. Jose Island protected under state law?
A: The Texas Open Beaches Act is not applicable to the beach on the backside of San Jose Island.
Q: Has the impact of storage of hazardous material adjacent to recreational areas been evaluated?
A: Yes. This lease provides better protection to recreational areas by providing a secure mooring point for barge traffic that was previously pushed up onto the beach and unsecured. Storage of hazardous materials is prohibited on this lease. This lease area is for temporary mooring only.
Q: Has the impact of denying access to the beach and recreational areas been considered?
A: Yes. This lease provides better beach and recreational area access by keeping barges securely moored in 12-feet of water. Previously, barge traffic was pushed up onto the beach while waiting to enter the Port of Corpus Christi.
Q: Is the storage of hazardous material in compliance with Coast Guard rule CG ENG-5?
A: That's a question for the U.S. Coast Guard. Their Corpus Christi public affairs office is at (361) 438-0176.
Q: Is this storage facility an effort to go around the federal storage facility requirements, and the 3rd party response?
A: That's a question for the U.S. Coast Guard. Their Corpus Christi public affairs office is at (361) 438-0176.
Q: Does the lease require a hazardous material response plan?
A: No. Each barge is required to have an emergency response plan.
Q: What is the evacuation plan for Port Aransas if there is a release of hazardous gases?
A: That is a question for local emergency management officials, who may be reached at 361-749-4111.
Q: What is the plan to keep hazardous material out of the adjacent habitat if there is a spill?
A: Each barge traveling the Intracoastal Waterway is required to have an emergency response plan. Additionally, there is an Area Contingency Plan maintained by the South Texas Coastal Zone Area Committee. The point of contact for this committee is with the U.S. Coast Guards Corpus Christi public affairs office at (361) 438-0176.
Barges have been moored outside the lease area (not a question, but he expects a response).
A: GLO Field staff inspectors report that no barges are currently moored outside the lease area.
I contacted Doctor Brian Gulley, CEO of Lydia Ann Channel Moorings, LLC (GLO surface lease number: SL20140032). Dr. Gulley had these corrigible and candid comments:
“I am a Port Aransas business owner and longtime resident of the area. I saw a situation that needed addressing and developed our plan to moor these barges off the shoreline in twelve feet of water rather than have them push up and damage the beach and destroy the bottom with their prop wash. I consider that we are doing the public a service by making the beach more accessible now that the barges are away from the beach in 12 feet of water or more. This provides better access to the beach for boating and fishing. Before applying for the permit, I personally scuba dived on the bottom of this entire 65 acer lease to insure that there were no ship wrecks or items of historical interest. While applying for the permit we received approval from all federal, state and interested parties including the Historical Society. I do not understand why people would be upset now. I saw a petition being circulated and it has many falsehoods and much of it is laughable.
I asked Dr. Gully about federal rules pertinent to USCG Hazardous Materials Division (CG-ENG-5 and if his facility, because it is a temporary holding area, in anyway circumvents these federal rules. He had this reply;
“The Coast Guard and all other authorities have ‘signed off’ on this and found it be in compliance. And I don’t consider this a facility, it is only a dock”.
The petition mentioned is to lengthy to be included here but may be viewed at
I contacted Commander Jalyn Stineman of the US Coast Guard in Corpus Christi for her opinion. She responded with this press release letter for the Island Moon;
Good Morning Mr. Bales,
Again, it was nice to speak with you this morning. My name and title are at the bottom of this e-mail.
With regards to your questions and inquiries concerning the Lydia Ann Channel Barge Fleeting Facility...
Barge Fleeting Facilities are specifically defined in the regulations under 33 CFR 101.105. In part it reads: "Barge Fleeting Facility means a commercial area, subject to permitting by the Army Corps of Engineers, the purpose of which is for the making up, breaking down, or staging of barge tows."
In very general terms, it is an organized parking lot for barges. Based on the plan provided to us, this Coast Guard office did provide a statement of no objection for the barge fleeting facility since it did not impede the navigation or negatively affect the safety of navigation in the area.
Each barge carrying any type of hazardous materials or petroleum products is inspected by the Coast Guard and is required to maintain its own pollution response plan. Because the barge fleeting facility is not transferring cargo, it is not required to have a pollution response plan.
It is, however, required to have a security plan in accordance with 33 CFR 105(a) (6). That security plan has already been reviewed and approved by this office. We will make an onsite visit, scheduled for the very near future, to ensure the barge fleeting facility is in compliance with and implementing the measures of the security plan.
Barge fleeting facilities serve many purposes. For example, they are a designated, organized area for barges and tows to wait out heavy weather instead of taking their chances of being pushed on the bank or grounding in the ship channel or ICW. It also allows for a safe and secure location for the tugs to change crews or take on stores.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
CDR Jalyn Stineman
Prevention Department Head
USCG Sector Corpus Christi
555 N. Carancahua St., Suite 500
Corpus Christi, TX 78414
Port Aransas City Manager, David Parsons, returned my call with a timely, reasonable and kind response. I asked Mr. Pearson if the city had a HazMat plan in the eventuality of a gas, petrochemical or petroleum release. He had this to say;
“The facility is outside of our city limits and jurisdiction. There is so much ship and barge traffic coming through port Aransas that we could not possibly know what all is on them. It is beyond the scoop of our city charter so we depend on state and federal authorities to advise us in the event of such an accident. We will act according to their directions”.
I contacted local business for some opinions starting with, Sir Thomas, Keeper of Hooligans at Red Dragon Pirate Adventure Cruise. When asked how the barges affects his business he had this to say;
“We don’t mind it at all and it actually improves the quality of our cruise. We pull up and fire our cannons, shake our fist and the children run around shaking their plastic swords. We trade pirate insults and shake our fist. The men on the barges return the insults in a playful manner”.
Billy Gaskin, owner/operator of the Island Queen fishing, dolphin and sightseeing tours had this to say;
“So far it hasn’t affected the fishing part of my business. We fish mostly at the end of the jetties. But it has destroyed much of my dolphin and sightseeing tours. We can no longer go down Lydia Ann and let our customers see this ugly industrial facility where it used to be serine and pretty”. He continued, “I personally hate to see this. This is a place where we would always go fishing and boating and played on the beach with our families. This is the worst place they could put this and I just wonder where it will all end”.
Glenn Martin of Woody’s said, “I don’t think it hurts our business at all and it’s better than what it was with them pushing up on the beach. And the ferries run faster”.
Captain Billy Trimble, Bay charter fisherman, voiced his opinion sighting concerns about pollution and the effects it has on the sensitive fishing areas behind the light house. His main concern is that the permit was granted without input from the public that owns the property as common area.
Captain James Fox shares a common opinion and adds “This area is where I would take my charter when the southeast wind got up. It is a protected area where the fish would go too. Now it is ruined for sport fishing charters. This was the most scenic and beautiful place we could take our customers. It is less than one half mile from the largest Brown Pelican breeding and nesting area on the coast. And there are families of Whooping Cranes on the island just behind these barges. This is the worst place for such a facility”.
(This is a fact that this reporter verified with a video that was sent to me obviously I cannot show you the video here).
“Chuck Naiser adds; “I have fished these waters for years and to me it makes about as much sense as putting a concession stand in the middle of a runway at the airport”.
All of the charter boatman, that I spoke to, share these common opinions. They are to numerous and lengthy to include here.
I was also contacted by Attorney At Law, M. Aldo Dyer. Mr. Dyer is a long time resident of the area and is the grandson of Al Mora of Port Aransas. I could write a book on what he told me but can only include a couple of comments here. He is a co-author of the petition being circulated at -- https://www.change.org/organizations/friends_of_port_aransas.
“Lydia Ann Channel is a unique area very popular with both local and visiting fishermen and boaters. On any summer weekend the shoreline is packed with anchored boats, fishermen and swimmers. It's a special place to me and most other people who grew up on these waters. Almost all the water moving north and west from the pass into the Lighthouse Lakes and Aransas Bay funnels through Lydia Ann. Tidal flow is very strong. Constructing a fleeting area for 100 petroleum tank barges is simply an incompatible and irresponsible use for this area. The Texas General Land Office and US Army Corps of Engineers have allowed this to happen."
"From an environmental risk standpoint," Mr. Dyer continued, " this is an extremely careless choice for the location of any facility with potential for spill or discharge. No countermeasure could timely control a major spill before irreparable damage is done, and the inevitable runoff from an aggregation of 100 barges will run directly into sensitive areas”.
Finally I will include some comments from concerned citizens. With literally hundreds, we can only include a few of the ones who came forward to go on record. The petition has 1,426 supporters right now according to the count on their web site.
Although it overwhelming against the facility, a few are for it.
Jay Honek, Port Aransas resident, businessman and pilot. “I, for one, am thankful that they are no longer beaching those barges over there. In order to keep them beached, the tugs would have to sit there for hours or days with the props turning. Far better to have them tied up”.
Tammy Rogers King, "There is right and wrong. This is just wrong in so many ways. The Lydia Ann Channel is the cleanest body of water accessible to millions of Texans from Port Aransas. We come here to enjoy sunsets, fishing, boating, swimming, birding and watching Dolphins. The Lydia Ann channel is the core protected body of water we use. Businesses, tourism depend on it. It belongs to the citizens of Texas. The State agencies are entrusted to protect our natural resources and recreational areas. Our public officials violated our trust and failed to give us a voice. I feel hopeless to ever seeing the pristine back side of St Jo Island ever again without the iron curtain of toxic barges. Please make this right!"
Stoney McGerald, “Natural habitat and Recreational boating are important and needs to take precedence over business interests. This project is also setting this area up for a disaster which will affect the people of PA. It could also affect the health of the citizens. I want to go on record as being against the Lydia Ann Mooring site. This is an area used by recreational boaters”.
John Mckinney, Yes, for me this barge facility could not be in a worse spot, considering I have been anchoring at the same swimming hole 650 feet from the new facilty for 27 years, it is my favorite place to take my family to escape the crowds here on the Island during the summer months.
The Friends of Lydia Ann Channel (“FLAC”) drafted a 60-Day Notice of Intent To Bring a Citizen Suit Under the Endangered SpeciesAct . The letter of notification was sent to:
The Honorable John M. McHugh Secretary of the Army 101 Army Pentagon Washington, DC.
Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick Commanding General and Chief of Engineers United States Army Corps of Engineers.
Colonel Richard P. Pannell United States Army Corps of Engineers District Engineer and Commanding Officer GalvestonDistrict.
The Honorable George P. Bush Commissioner Texas General Land Office.
We will leave it at that for now. I hope there will be a final solution that will be suitable for all.
For Port Aransas News, Jackie Bales reporting.
Port Aransas, TX
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I am inviting you to visit the store with a 20% discount on your first purchase. Just use PROMO CODE - PA at checkout. No purchase or signup required to have a look-see.
We have a new website for Island Legends which includes SHUTTER BUG, ISLAND LEGENDS and PORT A NEWS and other cool sites. You may visit the community service website, ISLAND LEGENDS PORT ARANSAS, at ; https://portsaransasnews.com/
Now we have a store where we can shop for hard to find items at very discounted prices. I am able to pass on savings up to 75% and add items that are cool and hard to find. Proceeds from the store go to keep these COMMUNITY pages alive so we may all contribute and enjoy together. If you have an Item that you would like me to add to the store (because you can’t afford it elsewhere) just let me know and I will list it.
Visit the store to have a look around. It cost nothing to look and you don’t have to sign up. https://island-legends-online.myshopify.com/ YA’LL COME SEE US.
Love ALL, Jackie Bales