Monday, December 10, 2012

Houston, Texas

Before mentioning Houston, I want to first comment on a hike which John and I took with my brother Jared and his wife Sherry in Texas City.  The walking path is in Anchor Park there, along the Galveston Bay.  The park has several memorials in recognition of a great disaster which took place there in 1947.  Several large freighters were in the bay, bound for Europe.  They were carrying cargo, such as ammonium nitrate fertilizer, to assist with the post war recovery effort.  One of the ships, the"Grandcamp" exploded and a second freighter, High Flyer" then caught fire.  Townspeople rushed to the harbor after hearing the first explosion, and many of them were subsequently killed.  The disaster resulted in the loss of life of 576 people, and injury to 5,000. 
Our trail through the park took us past a lagoon which is a highly valued bird habitat.  We saw numerous egrets, and pelicans in the water, as well as one rosetta spoonbill.
Saturday morning we drove into Houston to visit a friend.  Since the traffic seemed light around the downtown area we decided to turn off the expressway and wander through the heart of Houston.
We stopped at a park along the Buffalo Bayou to get a picture of the skyline.
I found it quite true what the AAA Texas Tour Book has to say about the Houston skyline, that there is more than one.  There has been no zoning ordinances and unrestricted development has consequently happened.  Also the architecture of the highrise buildings is very diverse and innovative, as you may note in the picture above.  I mentioned the Buffalo Bayou- the conversion of that  marshy winding body of water into the Houston Ship Chanel brought on rapid industrial growth for Houston.  It is now a major seaport.
Buffalo Bayou was one of the areas I hung out at with my brothers and sister in the mid 1950s.  One of our stops Saturday was at the school which I attended as a young child and where my Dad taught school.
Messiah Lutheran school, built in 1951,  is now only a preschool.  The area surrounding it has changed a lot in the past 60 years.  Where once there were small wood framed buildings there are now large brick multiple family dwellings as well as mansions.  A new church, which supports the preschool,  has been built in recent years and is located across the road from the school.   Time certainly moves on!

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