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9 "The Wheel in the Tree" by Sherrill Pool Elizondo

Key Allegro, Rockport 8/16/2006 source
I do not live in the Rockport/Fulton community and so therefore not considered a resident. Still I have ties to that area. I tell most people that, even if I was born and raised in San Antonio, I consider Rockport my second home. Strange how we think of certain places as home. Some of these places become just a place in one's heart. I have lived in the Houston area for close to 40 years but the area has never come close to the feeling of home that I experienced in San Antonio or Rockport. I guess I could call San Marcos a home for a short while I attended college or even Austin for a few years when my husband was finishing his degree at U.T. and where our first child was born.

Those places were lovely but never really home, though we hated to leave Austin. (the Austin of the 70s that is) When it is said "you can never go home" I often wonder if that is true. It is most likely true in the sense that people and places never stay exactly the same as you remember them. Some of the changes are for the good and some changes perhaps are not. I have not yet returned to a place where I once called home to actually live so I cannot be a true judge. Return visits to towns and communities sometimes are bitter sweet and some changes in those places have made me contemplate if I could ever live happily there again.

My parents bought a weekend/vacation home in Fulton, Texas in 1966 or 1967 and it remained in the family for about 30 years when it needed to be sold due to some medical issues with my mother and other problems. It was an unfortunate thing to happen but I will not dwell on that subject here. In recent years, when I have had the few opportunities to visit Rockport/Fulton again, I am amazed with the changes. It is still a very beautiful community. However, when I read more and more online and in magazines certain descriptions of the area, it is with mixed emotions. Recently I read in the Houstonia Magazine some informative suggestions about where to stay or eat. What was briefly written about the artists colony (with no history given) and the shopping were things I already knew. This page about Rockport was included in the edition about Texas Beaches. I am quite aware of the building boom of homes and more that has occurred in recent decades because I have seen it. Key Allegro was a new area when my father bought the older home off the Fulton Beach Road and, of course, I still remember the area of Key Allegro as a desolate beach where I played as a child when my family stayed at Palm Village. The Snow Birds have returned yearly which is a "given" but I was amazed at all of the new gated communities and more when I have visited in recent years. That is progress I suppose and good for the economy of the area.

It is with mixed feelings however when I read that it is a popular destination for wealthy Texans to retire as I read in that magazine. I suppose that could be true and wonder at the changes that must bring. I guess I never imagined too that some of us baby boomers who vacationed there as kids would be going back there in large numbers. The article also alluded to the idea that Rockport was more status conscious than Port Aransas. That is something I absolutely don't need if I were to ever return to Rockport to live. There is enough of that in the larger cities. However, it was stated that Rockport was still a beach community at heart and for that I am very glad! If I should ever buy a home to vacation there or permanently live, I am hoping that I would still be able to see, hear, and experience some of the local flavor...fishing and weather reports, warm hospitality, happy vacationers...and yes, the laid back feel that Rockport once had for me. I long to talk with some old timers in Rockport, which means that I am getting closer to that designation of age sooner than I want I suppose though I know there must be many residents (native or transplanted) even older than I am who could tell me much of the history or reminisce with me about earlier years in Rockport. My brother was a better history student than I was and I know he absorbed more of what our father shared with us about Rockport and the nearby coastal area. Instead of calling him and asking, perhaps one of you could share with me something I have forgotten or at least have forgotten the details. My Dad used to drive us by a house in Fulton where a wheel (I don't even remember what kind of wheel) was lodged in the branches of one of those big old oak trees. A storm had blown it there Dad said and I do not recall what year the storm was nor do I remember the street it was on where the wheel is wedged in the branches of that tree. I am assuming that the wheel in the tree is still there. It would be nice to know that it remains there.



Windmill in a tree in Rockport, TX. Believed to have blown there from the Fulton Mansion during a hurricane in 1919.



I'll bet she is talking about the windmill in the tree blown in by the 1919 storm. It is still there and can be seen clearly from the deck of the History and Education Center of the Fulton Mansion.


We don't fall into the category of wealthy but Rockport is our retirement destination. We bought a second home there in an older, lovely area. For now it is our personal retreat and someday our forever home. Rockport has long been a draw for us and we are happy to be part of this wonderful community.


Thank You for sending the link for the Windmill in the tree. I just looked at the picture. Awesome! Sherry Elizondo


Thank you for letting me know where it can be seen so clearly! I just remember driving by and thought it was in someone's front yard. Long time ago so I may be mistaken. I would like to know the general location in case I am in Rockport and can drive by to see for myself. Thanks to you and Herbie I now know the date/history of when it was blown there. Sherry Elizondo


Thank you, Margaret. I do love Rockport and there are wonderful people there. I can see why so many have chosen to retire there and maybe some day I will call the area home again. Sherry Elizondo


Sherrill -- It's a scary prospect down here. There is a real estate sign on just about every corner. I'm not exaggerating. Soon this area will be truly overrun with even more people (mostly from the Gas/Fracking boom) and the Rockport you remember from your youth will be no more. I am very frustrated by the lack of planning on the part of our city government. And the fervor the chamber always seems to have to try and make this area the next Houston or at least Gavelston. Doesn't seem like us senior locals have much say in the matter. Scary.


Interesting comment. When I was very young, there was only ONE real estate agent in Rockport. One thing I have learned in life is that nothing stays the same! Change is a part of the world we live in. When we moved to a wooded suburban area of Harris County 33 years ago I could cross streets without looking. That is no longer the case, as people speed by at 50-60 mph. The future belongs to a younger generation who will have to address issues of growth and development of an area. SE


Typically I would agree with you, but Rockport is run by the senior population...That's not going to change in the next few years anyways...we all better get a clue, or there won't be anything to 'hand off' worth anything.

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