Jack Pool with son Andy and daughter Sherry and
my cousin, Rainy c.1962 or 1963 in
Rockport, Texas. My hat is the worst!
In the last 18 months I wrote about family and Rockport on WWN in stories like “Won’t You Hurry Home,” “Come June In Rockport,” and “The Wheel In The Tree.” My father was born in Bloomington, Texas near Victoria where his father owned the Pool Land Company. The family moved when Daddy was a child to Abilene and later he moved to San Antonio, but he never lost his love for the coastal area. He went fishing and duck hunting in the 1930’s-1950’s in St. Charles Bay and Rockport area. From our home south of San Antonio, it was easy to go to Rockport on weekends or for annual week vacations in the summer. Often my cousin visited during the time we were preparing to leave on vacation to the coast. Those times were happy times when she went with us! I recall the evening before one trip and how excited we were about leaving as a severe thunderstorm hammered Bexar county. We hardly slept that night and years before glittery nail polish could be found in stores we decided to polish our nails and sprinkle on our own glitter instead of sleeping. My younger brother was such a good sport to put up with us two girls!
Crossing the old narrow Copano bridge was always a thrill for us kids. I have crossed many bridges in the world and the Golden Gate Bridge stands out as special, but I still feel very happy, excited, and at peace whenever I have crossed Copano Bay. As young children, playing on the wildflower strewn playground of Palm Village between the cottages and the shore line was fun as was swimming at the mid point of the long pier. Daddy would wake us early in the morning to swim before it got too hot and we were allowed to swim shortly before the evening meal which usually consisted of very fresh seafood…mainly platters of fried shrimp. There were not as many restaurants back then as there are now but we could always count on going to Mary’s Malts (drive-in hamburger place) or on a hot afternoon going to the drugstore downtown for malts or milkshakes at the soda fountain. The first time I ever tasted a pineapple milkshake was in downtown Rockport! The only entertainment available and certainly all we really needed in the 50’s and 60’s was the miniature golf course, swimming, fishing, sightseeing (including visiting Big Tree), playing, talking, and just relaxing! I loved dolphins from an early age...listening for their breathing as they would swim by the pier at night. Once my mom, brother, cousin, and I were swimming near the pier and in the distance we saw a dorsal fin. We all were scared that it was a shark. Mom started leading us out of the water to climb the steps to the pier. My younger brother and I hastily got out of the water but my older cousin just froze and we had to drag her out! It was most likely not a shark but rather a friendly dolphin that we saw. To this day, as we reminisced on our recent visit to Rockport, my cousin nor I have not forgotten how my little brother pushed her off the pier and she scraped the skin on her foot from those pesky barnacles!
|left: Loraine Udashen Cline, right: Sherrill Pool Elizondo, |
Sherry's and Rainy’s 2014 trip to Fulton/Rockport
Not only was it a trip down memory lane but we learned more about each other’s life and how, in many ways, we were more alike than different. We stayed at a lovely hotel on the Fulton Beach Road that was nice and quiet during the week and before the summer season would begin. We, also, missed the influx of thousands of women for the fishing tournament! We ate out and walked to the sentimental favorite restaurant the first night but sampled a couple of newer restaurants too. Doughnuts and coffee at a place where my Dad used to go long ago was a given for breakfast one morning. One night we walked on the pier in Fulton and stared at a magnificently beautiful full moon shining on the bay. That, in itself, made the trip worthwhile. We shopped more than we should have for ourselves, children, and grandchildren but what fun we had going into all the stores! We were a little disappointed that the old shell shop was closed but both of us, at least, had been in there in recent years with friends or family. We shall return to go inside again though! We drove to Key Allegro where we played in the sand as kids before homes were built and took pictures of Big Blue Crab in Rockport! We paid our respects to Big Tree and noted the new beautiful fence that surrounds that venerable Oak. We drove to many places in Fulton, Rockport, and Lamar looking at old homes that were there when we were just children and drove by homes in new developments. During the many years of visiting Rockport I do not recall ever stopping at the Schoenstatt Shrine. I am glad that we stopped, got out of the car, and walked around. The shrine was open and my cousin and I sat inside for a short while. The shrine and surrounding area was so lovely and peaceful on this spring like day. Strange that the first morning we were in Rockport, a late cool front had blown in. I do not remember a front ever coming in so late and so it was not hot or humid on all of our wanderings. I do hope to go back to Schoenstatt someday. Translated from the German it means beautiful place and it certainly is that.
My cousin commentated on how nice it was to actually return to a place that had not changed in so many ways. Change is a given in my observations of most places though...even Rockport. I found myself visualizing landmarks and people from long ago in the Rockport area. My heart ached a little each time we stopped at the stop sign where we used to turn to go to my parents’ vacation home. There is no more soda fountain in the souvenir shop downtown, or Mary’s Malts, or the miniature golf course, or even Peg Leg walking along the road near Palm Village…there is no Palm Village and the pink cottages have not been there in more years than I can remember! Memories sometimes live in ones’ heart forever. My Rockport home away from home will always be a very special place for me even with a few changes. I know that my cousin feels the same way and I am very happy that we made that sentimental journey “home!"