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Experiencing the 1950s Era in Calhoun County

The 1950s marked a significant era, especially in Calhoun County, holding a special place in my heart. Among the cherished recollections from that time is skiing at Magnolia Beach with my vessel, Mystic Blue. While the spirits of that period are now a distant memory, the nostalgia remains vivid.

Swimming at Magnolia Beach was a beloved pastime during my formative years, but it was the exhilarating moments spent skiing that stand out. A standout memory involves slaloming from Magnolia Beach to the causeway and back without pause at the age of 19. Despite the challenging waters, I adeptly navigated the course with my 85 horsepower Glastron and 17-foot Glastron A, reaching speeds of 45 to 48 miles per hour. However, the less glamorous aspect of boat ownership surfaced during cleaning sessions, which mysteriously coincided with the sudden disappearance of my companions!

Fishing naturally played a significant role in our aquatic adventures, with Point Comfort offering abundant opportunities. Our preferred method involved using dough bait and aluminum foil, resulting in memorable catches of alligator gars.

Beyond fishing, our recreational pursuits in the 1950s often veered into the realm of daring escapades, such as scaling the towering 300-foot cable TV structure. One particularly memorable Fourth of July involved a thrilling mishap with a Yellow Jacket firework, adding an unexpected spark to the festivities.

My college years at Texas A&I in Kingsville introduced me to the unmistakable scent permeating the region, courtesy of the numerous hog farms dotting the landscape—a fragrance not easily forgotten. Another enduring memory hails from the opulent flooring crafted from silver dollars adorning the main house entryway at the historic King Ranch.

During my tenure managing the Continental Trailways bus station in Kingsville, I had the honor of receiving regular telegrams from President Lyndon Johnson addressed to Bob and Ann Armstrong in Armstrong, Texas—a gesture that underscored Johnson’s thoughtful nature.

Reflecting on my time at A&I, the thrill of playing on the golf team is a standout memory. One particularly remarkable moment occurred during a match in Edinburg when I achieved a hole-in-one—a feat now etched in the annals of the Rio Grande Valley airport’s golf course.

Additional fond memories in Kingsville include visits to the Lantana Flower Shop, where a chance encounter with the owner revealed a surprising connection to my hometown of Port Lavaca, highlighting the small-world encounters that leave a lasting impact.

The Inner Ear, a unique club where patrons could anonymously share their thoughts on paper affixed to the wall for public viewing, provided a platform for candid expressions and reflections on diverse life experiences. The club’s distinct ambiance, characterized by a pungent blend of marijuana and cigarette smoke, added to its allure, leaving an indelible impression on a young man from Port Lavaca.