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k5jri radio

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  1. Doodlebugs: In addition to the various types of Intra urban Rail Cars, variously called trolleys or streetcars, Inter urban Rail Cars, commonly called Doodlebugs, were once in common use to transport passengers and freight between cities and towns not large enough to justify running a complete train. The Doodlebugs were Diesel-Electric or Gasoline-Electric powered Rail Cars that had knuckle couplers as well as standard rail trucks with air brakes and other features needed to operate on standard railroad tracks between cities and towns. Most of the Doodlebugs had separate sections for freight and passenger transport. According to online sources, a typical Doodlebug having a 400 hp Gasoline or Diesel engine (prime mover) connected to a DC generator could attain speeds up to 60 mph on level track, but seldom traveled that fast in regular service. Some, more elaborate Doodlebug designs had twin engine prime movers with 550 or more total hp. Twin engine prime movers offer redundancy in the event of failure of one of the engines.
  2. More on Trolleys; Shreveport LA: When I moved to Shreveport, the trolleys (electric powered buses) had been retired for approximately 10 years. Several of the trolleys were on static display at a public park. Most people who rode them as passengers had good things to say regarding the quality of public transportation they provided compared to the diesel-powered buses that replaced them. More on Trolleys; New Orleans LA: Although born in New Orleans, I do not live there. However, over the years, I have visited many times for business & entertainment purposes. The streetcars (technically trolleys due to the trolley poles drawing power from overhead electric cables, but commonly called "streetcars") have well planned routes and schedules that provide a quality experience. Many of the streetcar routes parallel existing streets, often in the median between divided streets. More on Trolleys; Galveston TX: In technical terminology, the Galveston Trolley Cars are Diesel-Electric Intra urban Rail Cars, but in local terminology, they are called "Trolleys". The Diesel engine (prime mover) burns Diesel fuel to rotate a generator that produces electric power to drive the electric motors that, in turn, rotate the wheels. This is a similar setup (albeit on a smaller scale) to what is used to power most railway locomotives. The Galveston Trolley on board electric power generation setup eliminates the need for overhead wiring along the route, but adds to the cost and complexity of each of the rail cars. In the event of a failure of the electric utility power, the Galveston Trolley Cars, thanks to on board power generation for each car, will keep on operating normally.
  3. Some Galveston TX residents and visitors refer to the local rail transit vehicles as "trolleys." Because they are powered by an internal diesel-electric power system (diesel engine turning an electric generator which delivers electricity to traction motors that rotate the wheels to move the vehicle), they are technically "streetcars." Conversely, New Orleans LA residents and visitors refer to the local rail transit vehicles as "streetcars." Because they draw electric power (600 Volts Direct Current) from overhead electric cables by means of trolley poles contacting the cables, they are technically "trolleys." From 1931 to 1965, Shreveport LA operated local transit vehicles with conventional rubber tires for street use, but received their power from overhead electric cables by means of trolley poles contacting the cables. Local residents referred to these vehicles as "trolleys", which is technically correct. Note 1: The metal wheels complete the electrical circuit for rail trolleys by their contact with the metal rails, which are at ground (zero volts) potential and pose no electrical hazard to passengers. Note 2: Rubber tired trolleys need a double section overhead trolley system: one section at operating voltage, the other section at ground (zero volts) potential to complete the electrical circuit.
  4. Interesting posting with photograph from member Dan H about the Mall of the Mainland located at Texas City TX, approximately 16 miles across the causeway from Galveston Island. In addition to being newer (opened in 1991) than the Galvez Mall (opened in 1968), the Mall of the Mainland had twice the enclosed area (800,000 sq.ft.) than the Galvez Mall (400,000 sq.ft.). Although it may be coincidental, the last owners of the Galvez Mall renamed it, The Island, giving it a geographical identification similar to the Mall of the Mainland. More research is needed to determine if the Galvez Mall renaming was deliberate or coincidental. Over time the Mall of the Mainland declined to approximately 65 percent occupancy (circa 2002) due in part to competition from Baybrook Mall in Houston (Friendswood mailing address, but within Houston city limits), approximately 10 miles north. The Mall of the Mainland had several changes in ownership until developer Jerome Karam bought the property in 2015. That same year he sold part of the property (the building formerly occupied by Dillard's) to First Baptist Church of Texas City and renamed the remainder of the property, Shops on the Mainland. After another renaming In 2020, the property is now named Mainland City Centre.
  5. To Dan H; The 6600 Broadway Hudson Oil service station would have been the optimal place to fill up before starting a fairly long trip north to Shreveport LA. Once out of the Houston area, most of the 4-hour trip north was through sparsely populated areas of east Texas. My preference for long trips, then and now, was to start out with a full tank and avoid (or at least minimize) having to stop for gasoline along the way.
  6. Despite the same surname, there is no evidence the respective Beall families in Florida and Texas were related or ever in business together. Bealls (Texas) was a continuously operating business entity under several corporate names until the bankruptcy of Stage Stores. Bealls (Florida) then purchased intellectual and real property from the bankrupt corporation.
  7. The March 1996 departure of Bealls, the last anchor store in Galvez Mall (along with the failure to find another comparable tenant), likely made the closure of the mall all but certain. Bealls (Florida) was founded in Bradenton, FL, in 1915 by Robert M. Beall, Sr. The Bealls stores operating in Texas and many other states were owned by another Beall family. As far a I know: the Florida Beall and the Texas Beall families [1] were not biologically related to one another, and [2] conducted their respective business activities separately. The Texas Beall family members later sold their real and intellectual property to Houston-based Stage Stores. Their motive for selling is not known. When Stage Stores filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020, Bealls Florida purchased their intellectual property and selected real property. Among other rights, Bealls Florida can use the Bealls brand name throughout the United States. Real property purchased by Bealls Florida include the storage and distribution facility located in Jacksonville TX.
  8. "Galvez Mall has been here for 18 years and we plan to be here for another 18 plus" Galvez Mall opened in 1968, fixing the year of this message in 1986 (1968+18=1986). Unfortunately, the "plan to be here for another 18 plus" (1986+18=2004) did not come to pass. The Galvez Mall declined steadily during the 1990s and was eventually demolished in 2000. A look at the photos (posted January 2019) depicting exterior views of the mall circa October 1996 show significant grass and weed overgrowth near the mall's entrances. According to its pastor, The Island Fellowship Church operated in the former Bealls location from the Summer of 1996 until June 1997 when "Fincher's tax abatement" ended.
  9. Some years ago when I attended college in Lafayette LA, there was a Hudson Oil gas station located in the south part of Lafayette. Because it was on the way to my part-time job, I bought gasoline there fairly often. During the times of my vacation trips from Shreveport LA to Galveston (circa late 1970s) I don't have a specific recollection of the Hudson Oil gas station that was located next to the mall, but it's likely I stopped and filled up at your (member Dan H) dad's Hudson Oil gas station at least once. With a full tank, my Pontiac Trans Am had more than enough fuel to make the 285 mile trip nonstop. If anything turns up on my end regarding photos, I'll post them.
  10. The integrity of sports competitions presupposes that the respective opponents put forth their best efforts to win, regardless of whatever incentives there are to do otherwise. The 1919 Black Sox Scandal is probably the best known example of doing otherwise.
  11. Unlike the city itself, the Houston Texans professional football team has a won/loss record that seems low on energy this season. However, their 30 to 16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday (12/19/2021) is a step in the right direction.
  12. In the original (1975) version of the movie, Rollerball, Houston was called "the energy city." That nickname always seemed appropriate. An Operating Company based in (you guessed it) Houston will soon turn on an oil and natural gas well they drilled on land my extended family owns. Haven't been to Houston recently, but hope to return for a visit in the near future.
  13. Fellow member Texasota makes a good point about those who accumulate things they don't have a use for now but keep them anyway. I knew an otherwise sensible person who rented three 10' x 20' storage units (he called the units FULL, FULLER, & FULLEST) to house the assortment of electronic parts and equipment he accumulated over the years at yard/garage sales and flea markets. At one point, he rented a booth at a local flea market, but seldom sold anything. Two quotes: [1] "If you hold out for an asking price you feel you have to get for any particular item, you will likely spend the rest of your life trying to sell it"; [2] "What something is worth is the amount an informed buyer is willing to pay."
  14. To pilotca86: Because you mention having many good memories, would it be correct to assume you sold your Papa G's restaurant before the severe economic recession took hold in Galveston and other cities within the greater Houston area?
  15. During my first trip to Galveston TX (circa July 1975), my then girlfriend and I stayed for 6 days at a motel located within walking distance of Stewart Beach Park, but I don't recall its name. Most of the motel's rooms (including the one we stayed in) were in a building elevated on concrete piers above the parking area. There were also three or four "cabana" rooms located in an adjacent building (or buildings) at ground level. The restaurant building was vacant. As this motel was not part of a chain with a toll-free reservation number, I had to contact the motel directly to reserve a room. Other than give my name, address, and home phone number, I don't remember anything else that was needed to reserve the room. Presumably the motel would have billed me had we been a "no-show". The following year (mid-August 1976), I telephoned the Holiday Inn toll-free reservation number, but was told "Galveston is not available." With the likelihood of most, possibly all of the Galveston motels not having vacancies during peak season, it seemed interesting to try a day trip. As documented in another posting, my day trip to Galveston worked out very well. The following month (mid-September 1976), my call to the Holiday Inn toll-free reservation number was successful. Because this was off-season, there was no problem getting a motel reservation in Galveston. After checking in and getting unpacked, my main activity that evening was taking a road trip to the western end of Galveston Island. Once out of the tourist area, it was mostly beachfront residential areas until the vicinity of San Luis Pass. Because the bridge across San Luis Pass required a toll payment, I opted to turn around and head back to the motel instead of crossing the bridge. According to my car's odometer, the trip was about 27 miles each way (54 miles round trip). The Holiday Inn I stayed at was probably the one located (at that time) near the Port Holiday Mall. After checking out of the motel the next morning, I spent most of the day at or near Stewart Beach Park, followed by an hour or so at the Galvez Mall before heading home.
  16. Urban Cowboy grossed nearly $50 million 1980 dollars (approx $165 million in 2021 dollars). With that in mind, the scene depicting southeast Texas with the San Gabriel Mountains visible in the background seems to be a significant error that should have been corrected during post production. There may have been budgetary constraints that limited the amount of time and money that could be spent on post production. After Urban Cowboy, John Travolta's career declined during the 1980s, but True Lies (1994) returned him to major star status. By contrast, his costar Debra Winger, became a major star during the 1980s, but her career declined in the 1990s.
  17. The reason for filming scenes depicting Galveston TX in New Orleans LA is likely due to the better tax incentives the state of Louisiana offers compared to those the state of Texas offers. This is also the likely reason scenes depicting Galveston TX in the 2018 movie, GALVESTON, were filmed in Tybee Island GA. For accounting purposes, tax incentives are treated as income; the better the tax incentives, the higher the income. Cost of production in Galveston TX is probably comparable to cost of production in New Orleans LA or Tybee Island GA. In summary, when the costs of production are comparable, it makes good economic sense to chose filming locations in states offering the best tax incentives. The downside of filming scenes depicting places in Texas in other states is the possibility that many Texans expect scenes depicting Texas to be filmed in Texas.
  18. In the days before online shopping, many families within reasonable driving distance made annual or semi-annual shopping trips to downtown New Orleans. When I was a kid, I remember going with my parents to several large department stores in or near the central business district including D. H. Holmes and Maison Blanche. Most of these shopping trips from New Iberia to New Orleans were combined with visits to relatives who lived in Thibodaux (approximately 80 miles east of New Iberia and 60 miles west of New Orleans). New Orleans was (and presumably still is) also a popular location for annual conventions. The conventions my parents attended typically lasted several days. The places I remember staying at (when I was a kid) are: Jung Hotel, Monteleone Hotel, and Tamanaca Downtown Motel. I also remember visiting the 33-storey International Trade Mart building at least once. It has since been repurposed with the new name, Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Orleans.
  19. As a long time visitor to Galveston TX, I look forward to the possibility of a YouTube video featuring the Galvez Mall. From my perspective, this mall was an integral part of the overall Galveston experience. Feel free to contact me at any time if you want explanation or elaboration of anything I have posted. Best regards,
  20. Been there, done that lots of times via Houston I-45 to Galveston. Always wanted to take the ferry from Bolivar Peninsula to Galveston Island. Starting from Beaumont TX, it's about 80 miles and 2 hours driving time via the Bolivar Peninsula. The 2.7 mile ferry ride takes 18 minutes + 9 minutes average loading time either direction. When there is a long line of vehicles waiting to board, there may be a longer waiting time, depending on how many ferries are in service. By contrast, it's about 120 miles and 2 hours driving time from Beaumont to Galveston via I-10 & I-45. The route via I-10 & I-45 is efficient and convenient provided you avoid arriving in Houston during weekday morning or evening rush hour traffic.
  21. Movie productions (theatrical or television) usually conform to accrual accounting methods that do not recognize incoming payment from a buyer (in this case the tax incentive) as income until the goods or services are delivered to the buyer at some point in the future. Tax incentives affect income but not cost.
  22. Although there were no nationwide economic recessions during most of the 1980s (1982 to 1990), the 1980s recession affecting the greater Houston TX area (including Galveston TX) is well documented online. In the mid-1980s, I was offered a transfer from the Jacksonville FL location to the Houston TX location of GE ICES (Instrumentation Communication Electronic Services) Calibration Lab. To the best of my recollection, nothing was said during the interview process about economic recession conditions or other problems with the Houston area economy. I decided not to take the transfer offer because it was lateral (no promotion) and did not offer financial assistance for moving expenses. Had the transfer offer included financial assistance for moving expenses, it is likely I would have taken the offer. In later years, GE ICES and many other GE manufacturing and technical service components went away as GE (General Electric Company) transitioned from being a leading manufacturing company with financial subsidiaries to a middling financial company with manufacturing subsidiaries.
  23. Tax incentives do not affect costs. Tax incentives are assets that are applied to revenue, once the product is completed and delivered. Assuming the respective costs of filming in Galveston TX and Tybee Island GA are comparable, Georgia offers more generous film production tax incentives, including the ability to aggregate tax incentives on several smaller projects. In addition, Georgia law allows unused tax incentives to be sold to other Georgia taxpayers. A typical selling price would be 90 percent of face value less brokerage fees, if any. Production companies, their owners, or their employees do not have to be Georgia residents or have bank accounts in Georgia.
  24. After watching the GALVESTON motion picture (2018) on Blu-Ray disc, then reading the GALVESTON novel (2010), it was interesting to watch the motion picture again. Nic Pizzolatto (credited as Jim Hammett) faced the initial challenge of adapting and condensing his 250 page novel into a suitable motion picture screenplay. Melanie Laurent (credited as director, not credited as screenwriter) was given broad authority to make changes to the screenplay during filming. In my opinion, the screenplay simplifies and clarifies events in the novel in a highly effective manner. Roy Cady (male lead character), is smart enough to anticipate and escape from the setup designed to eliminate him, but goes on to make several mistakes after leaving the New Orleans area: [1] contacting his former girlfriend (in person at her home) and thereby announcing his presence in southeast Texas, [2] telephoning the New Orleans physician who diagnosed his lung condition, & [3] telephoning his former boss and trying to extort money from him. The first mistake provided an eye witness with a motive for revealing his current whereabouts. The second mistake provides a telephone call that can be traced to his current location. The third mistake not only provides a way to trace his current location, but the attempt to extort money gives his former boss an even stronger motive to have him eliminated. The scene in the movie with a road sign indicating the distance between Beaumont (TX) and Galveston (TX) is approximately correct if the route taken is via the Bolivar Peninsula and the ferry connecting it to Galveston Island. The decision to film this movie at Savannah and Tybee Island GA was likely due to the tax incentive structure offered by the state of Georgia, compared to that offered by the state or Texas. Aesthetic considerations (the look and ambiance of Tybee Island GA versus the look and ambiance of Galveston TX) were less likely.
  25. As documented with text and photographs in earlier postings by various members, the interior and exterior of Galvez Mall (Galveston TX) was cosmetically renovated circa mid-1980s as part of a plan by the Rouse Company to convert it from a general purpose to a more upscale retail facility. Photographs (May 1976) show its exterior appearance at the approximate midpoint between its original opening (circa 1968) and its subsequent interior and exterior renovations. Photographs (July 1987) show its interior and exterior appearance after renovations. These renovations were (in my opinion) well executed, but ultimately ineffective for the stated goal of attracting tenants. The then general manager of Galvez Mall attributed this to a "terrible nationwide recession" he recalled taking place during 1986 & 1987. Although there were no nationwide economic recessions during this time period, there was an economic recession (two or more consecutive quarters of declining economic indicators) in the greater Houston area beginning in the early 1980s and bottoming out in 1987. The recession was due to the collapse of petroleum prices and the consequent high unemployment rate. The greater Houston economy did not recover to its pre-recession level until early 1990. To summarize: Galvez Mall opened in 1968 as a general purpose retail shopping mall with a mixture of large, medium, & small retail stores, and a triple-screen movie theater. In circa 1986 the mall was sold and cosmetically renovated (interior & exterior) to attract more upscale tenants. In late 1994, Houston-based developer Steve Fincher (dba Baxstep Investments) purchased the mall, renamed it THE ISLAND, and attempted (without success) to market it as an outlet mall for retailers who sold discontinued and overstocked merchandise. Some taxing authorities (but not Galveston County) provided a 5-year tax abatement to this developer. Beall's (the last major tenant) left the mall in March 1996 leaving only two smaller retail tenants, GNC and Ritz Camera. Non-retail tenants included: Galveston Model Railroad Club, which set up a working model train layout and held meetings inside the mall until circa 1995 and The Island Fellowship Church, which operated at the former Beall's location until mid 1997. Photographs (Oct 1996) show the mall's exterior appearance seven months after Beall's departed. The mall became derelict (probably during the latter months of 1997) until its demolition in 2000. The land where the mall once stood is now is now occupied by two large stores, Home Depot and Target (each with its own building), as well as several smaller stores arranged in a strip. Walmart is only 2.2 miles south at 6702 Seawall Blvd. The nearest multi-screen movie theater, Galveston Primetime, is approximately 3.8 miles away (from Home Depot & Target) at 8902 Seawall Blvd. According to a promotional excerpt from Galveston County The Daily News, island area real estate developer, Miguel Prida, recently purchased the theater. (Access to the full article requires an online or print subscription to the newspaper).
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