Saturday, September 20, 2008

Galveston has been severely crippled by Hurricane Ike. The place was already a partial slum, but I, nevertheless, have many great memories of the island. It’s where I went to medical school and where my partner and I spent the first two years of our long journey. It was completely destroyed by the 1900 storm and has weathered many hurricanes since. Ike has wiped out many of the famous landmarks, but I hope most can be restored.

We go back for a visit every two or three years, just to reminisce. We drive by our old dwelling on 16th & Ball and usually eat at Gaido’s. It’s just fun to drive down Seawall Blvd. This year we spent three days there with three of the grandkids. The water is so grimy we just walked on the beach and picked up a few seashells. We spent most of the time touring Moody Gardens, which is for grandkids and seniors. The aquarium is fantastic and of course the rainforest is a great attraction.

Fortunately, Ike did minimal damage to Moody Gardens. The pyramids remained intact and they are apparently running with an emergency generator. The penguins almost died when the temperature rose to 58 degrees, which is just within two degrees of the maximum they can tolerate. A few cold-water fish died but the word is that most survived including the seals. The snakes and other critters are said to have made it because they were caged and remained above water.

Most humans didn’t fare as well as the Moody Garden animals. One group of folks who were on a cruise ship out of Galveston had their parked cars destroyed by the hurricane. My question is why does anyone go on a cruise in the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean during the middle of hurricane season? What do you expect? That’s like going hunting for Dracula at night. If you are going to hunt Dracula you should go in broad daylight and be home by the middle of the afternoon. It’s a little stupid to go on a cruise in the Gulf during August or September, which is right at the height of hurricane season.

More and more, the porch proves to be the safest place. It has even been a safe haven from the recent financial crisis where all I did was worry and listen to the news. During the financial meltdown we just stayed on the porch and ate soup trying to get in shape for the next Great Depression. Hopefully, this has been averted by the action of the Feds. I just hope my grandkids can afford a porch with the taxes they will have to pay for the current bailout. I also hope with the price of gasoline and high taxes in the future they will be able to make an occasional trip to Galveston, provided it is still there. If they do visit Galveston in the future, I would recommend June as the best month.


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