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k5jri radio

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  1. Regarding the recent posting (11/20/2022 by sir_racha), the positive opinions he expressed about the Galveston novel and its author, Nic Pizzolatto, are similar to my own. As an aside: Nic Pizzolatto lived with his parents in Lake Charles LA from age 5 (circa 1980) until he left home to attend college at Louisiana State University (circa 1993). Lake Charles LA to Galveston TX is roughly a 2.75 hour drive, convenient for tourists from Louisiana to visit Galveston's beaches and other attractions. Conversely, its similarly convenient for tourists from Texas to visit and gamble at the various legal gambling casinos in the Lake Charles LA area. As most people probably know, casino gambling is illegal in Texas with the exception of some Native American (American Indian) reservations and tribal lands where the the principle of Tribal Sovereignty, as codified by federal (United States) law as the Indian Gaming Act of 1988, limits the ability of states (including Texas) to forbid gambling on Indian reservations and other tribal lands owned by Native American tribes.
  2. Looked online and learned that Circle K started out in El Paso TX circa 1951; its current headquarters are in Tempe AZ.

    Of possible interest to those who travel to Florida and other southeastern states for business or recreation purposes:

    There are lots of Circle K convenience store/gas stations located in Nassau, Duval, and St. Johns counties (FL). Some of them sell Exxon/Mobil fuel brands, the others sell Circle K fuel brand.

    WaWa is a Pennsylvania-based company that has opened a bunch of convenience store/gas station locations in Florida, many of them along Interstate 95 from Nassau County FL to Miami-Dade County FL.

    Gate is a Jacksonville FL-based company with convenience store/gas station locations in Duval County FL and a few other locations in St. Johns county FL.

    RaceTrac is an Atlanta GA-based company that operates many convenience store/gas stations mostly in the southeastern states, but also has locations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth TX area. Company owned stores are branded RaceTrac and franchise stores are branded RaceWay. 


  3. Dan H; Most Saturdays, I play pinball and console games at Anastasia Island's Arcade Museum located in St. Augustine Beach, FL. Usually, I pack food and drinks in a cooler, but when I don't, there's a modern, well maintained 7-11 store across the street from the pinball museum with a good selection of packaged sandwiches, drinks, etc., along with self-service gasoline pumps. Similar convenience store brands commonly seen around this part of FL are: Circle K, Gate, and WaWa. Likely you are more familiar with Circle K than with Gate or WaWa.
  4. Having a diner within walking distance must have been really convenient for the Ball High students who preferred not to eat at the school cafeteria and could afford to pay somewhat more for their lunch.
  5. For those of you who lived in, worked in, or visited Galveston during the 1970s, you might like to check out the recently-posted You Tube video: Galveston in the 70s.
  6. As far a I know, none of the postings pertaining to Mall of the Mainland, state that Baybrook Mall was the main causal factor for the decline of the Mall of the Mainland. The language in my own posting, "due in part to competition from the Baybrook Mall," clearly allows for the existence of other causal factors for the decline of the Mall of the Mainland. The statement about the Mall of the Mainland being "a place to be seen and to shop" is the opinion of one Galveston resident at the time explaining why he and others he knew (at the time) went there. Likewise, the contrasting statement about the Mall of the Mainland as "never the 'place to be be'" is the opinion of another Galveston resident at the time explaining why he and others he knew (at the time) went elsewhere. Causal relationships allow for reasonable inferences to be made, but the only way to establish actual cause and effect is a controlled experimental model. For example, if it were possible to create an alternate reality in which Baybrook Mall was never built, but all other variables were identified and left unchanged, then what happened to the Mall of the Mainland in this alternate reality would be likely to prove or disprove a causal relationship between the two malls (but only within this alternate reality).
  7. The topic of advertising (discussed in the Galveston SE Bike postings) led me to reflect on what gave me the idea of making a weekend, mid-September vacation trip to Galveston. Of course it was advertising. All the Shreveport (Louisiana) area TV stations, including the one I worked for, ran commercials advertising the advantages of off season (post Labor Day) travel to Galveston including: lower rates for motels with better choices of affordable rooms; and less crowding at the beaches, restaurants, museums, and other attractions. When I visited Galveston in mid-September, some of the smaller shops were closed, but the ones that were open tended to have price mark downs for casual clothing and related souvenir items. Great trip.
  8. National advertising, corporate sponsorship, inducements to attract pro riders, not to mention proximity to a very large community of amateur riders explain the success of the 2022 SE Bikes event. Looks like the promoters of this event "did their homework" with regard to making the 2022 SE Bike event a success.
  9. The first few times I visited Galveston Island, I made the incorrect assumption that the junction of Seawall Blvd and Ferry Road was no more than a half mile from the eastern end of Galveston Island. In fact, Seawall Blvd. and the Seawall itself continue another two miles past the junction of Seawall Blvd. and Ferry Road to the San Jacinto lookout point adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel.
  10. Regret not being there for the SE Bicycle events in Galveston during the Labor Day Weekend 2022. The proximity of Galveston to greater Houston (estimated population over 7 million) and its many suburbs makes it very convenient for Houston area residents. As I understand from what I read in related postings: [1] this event was the first, nationally promoted bicycle event of its kind to be held in Galveston, and [2] a previous bicycle event held in Galveston was similar, but did not have nationwide promotion. To some extent, the Galveston events may have been inspired by earlier bicycle events held in what were then partially developed suburban areas of Houston. Hope the 2022 SE Bicycle events become an annual, nationally promoted event in Galveston!
  11. Based on information posted by plumber2 on April 23, the hotel I stayed at during my first trip to Galveston in 1975 was probably the former Jack Tar Hotel, then known as the Islander Beach (Hotel). I remember its appearance (at the time I stayed there) being that of a once high quality hotel/motel that had seen better days. After all this time, I finally have a probable name for the hotel/motel I stayed at during my first trip to Galveston in 1975. Although I did not stay at what I now know to be the Islander Beach during subsequent trips to Galveston, it appeared to be still in business at least through the late 1970s tourist seasons. I never stayed there, but remember passing by several times a hotel building resembling the description of the Sea Horse motel. The most prominent Moody property I remember seeing was not a hotel, but an office building, One Moody Plaza, at that time, the tallest building in Galveston. Had I known the building had (at that time) an observation deck on the 20th floor, open to the public, it's likely I would have visited it on at least one of my trips. Due to liability and security concerns, the observation deck has been closed to the public since the 1990s. According to his obituary information, William Moody III (1894-1992), who built the Jack Tar Hotel, is interred in San Antonio TX.
  12. According to another Galvez Mall posting, prior to the opening of the Eibands department store in one of the anchor locations at the Galvez Mall, there was a Globe department store in the same location. Per online sources, Globe stores operated in Texas and other states in the southwest as a big box retail unit of Walgreens for much of its existence (1960-1999). The posting's author stated his recollection of shopping at the Globe store in Galvez Mall coincided with the time The Warriors movie was creating a lot of controversy. The Warriors was released on February 9, 1979 and grossed $22.5 million (approximately $91 million in 2022 dollars) against a $4 million production budget (approximately $16.5 million in 2022 dollars). The Warriors movie is currently available for streaming on ROKO, VUDU, and possibly other services. Also, The Warriors movie is available on DVD & Blu-Ray disc formats from Amazon.com.
  13. Compared to the somewhat run-down shopping strip shown in the first photo, a Whitewater Express Car Wash similar in appearance to what's shown in the second photo would be a significant upgrade. The 61st St. location (only a few blocks from I-45) would be very convenient for tourists and other travelers to wash and vacuum their vehicles, on the way out of town.
  14. Thus far, various members have posted four alternatives to leaving the trolleys at their usual storage area in the event of hurricane conditions at Galveston. [1] Connect the trolley tracks to the railroad tracks and operate the trolleys under their own power over the railroad connecting Galveston Island with the the mainland to a safer, inland location. The trolley tracks have the same gauge (56.5 in.) as the railroad tracks, but the trolleys do not meet the various legal requirements for their operation on railroad tracks. Proponents of this plan assume these requirements would be waived in the event of predicted landfall of a tropical storm. [2] Load the trolleys onto tractor-trailers, drive them over the highway to a safer, inland location, and either offload them or keep them loaded on their respective trailers. [3] Load the trolleys onto a barge and have a hired tugboat move the loaded barge to a safer, inland location. The trolleys could remain on the barge during the storm. [4] Move the trolleys under their own power to the portion of their track closest to the seawall, presumably the highest continuous area on Galveston Island. Their assumptions are [1] given its past performance during tropical storms, the seawall is unlikely to be breached or over topped; and [2] exposure to the high winds and wind-driven water will cause some damage to the trolleys, but not as severe as the damage caused by prolonged immersion in storm water.
  15. Regarding option #3, my assumption is that once the threat of a significant storm surge and or hurricane landfall is predicted, the city would hire (not buy) a tugboat with crew and otherwise make whatever arrangements are needed to move the barge loaded with the trolleys well in advanced of the anticipated landfall. Presumably the city could make prior arrangements to reserve tugboat service to move the loaded barge whenever tropical storm activity is predicted. If the trolleys could stay on the barge and ride out the storm while moored further up the channel, this would simplify the process and reduce the cost. With that in mind, option [3] would be less costly to implement. As you pointed out, in the event of an approaching hurricane, the city would need to act early to get the trolleys moved inland in advance of whatever customary standards for moving barges apply to commercial shipments. Because the trolley gauge (56.5") is the same as standard railroad gauge, it follows that a barge set up to transport standard rail cars would likely be suitable for transporting the trolleys in a safe manner.
  16. The various postings about about what to do with the Galveston trolleys when the next major hurricane makes landfall at or near Galveston Island offer a variety of alternatives to leaving them on the island during the hurricane. [1] Connecting the trolley rail line to the railroad line and moving the trolleys under their own power is doable since the trolley gauge (56.5 inches) is the same as the standard railroad gauge. The problem is the trolleys do not meet DOT and other agency requirements for operation on the railroad line. An application for permission to operate the trolleys on the railroad in the event of an imminent hurricane would likely take significant time to process, with no guarantee such permission would be granted. [2] Transporting the trolleys over the highway with purpose-designed tractor-trailers (the same way they were delivered to the island) would require one tractor-trailer for each trolley to be evacuated from the island. It's reasonable to assume there may not be enough time for multiple round trips between Galveston island and the inland area where the trolleys would be stored during the storm. [3] Transporting the trolleys by a purpose-designed barge, with capacity to accommodate most of the trolleys on a single trip, is doable if track connecting the trolley to the barge's docking area is already in place. Similar docking, unloading equipment, and track will be needed at the on shore destination. The barge would need a tugboat to propel and steer it to the on shore destination. Options [2] or [3] would be costly to implement and possibly difficult to justify.
  17. Moving the trolleys "off the island the same way they were delivered...on flatbed trailers, over the road" would be a viable method of transporting them off the island in advance of a major tropical storm. For this plan to work, flatbed tractor-trailers suitable for transporting the trolleys would have to be kept in reserve on the island, or readily available on very short notice from the mainland within the timeline of major tropical storm being predicted and its subsequent landfall at or near Galveston Island. Implementing such a plan would be costly, but past experience has shown what happens when the trolleys stay on the island during a major tropical storm event. The Brill replica trolleys operating in Tampa, FL cost $745,000 each in 2002 dollars. Their right of way (single track with passing sidings) cost approximately $13,700,000 per mile. The Tampa, FL Brill replica trolleys receive 600 volt DC power from trolley poles in contact with overhead wires. Although similar in appearance, the Galveston Brill replica trolleys have onboard electric power plants (diesel engine prime mover connected to DC generator). The additional cost of the onboard electric power plants installed in the Galveston trolleys is offset by the reduced expense of not having to install overhead wires along the trolley routes. According to online sources, Galveston has an average elevation of 7 ft., Tampa has an average elevation of 48 ft. These elevation statistics do not necessarily correlate to the likelihood of flooding during tropical storm events. Prolonged heavy rainfall may cause water to accumulate in areas faster than it can drain off, causing localized flooding until the rainfall subsides.
  18. Regarding public transportation between downtown Galveston (Strand area, etc.) and public beaches areas (Stewart Beach, etc.), my understanding is that conventional buses have provided reliable service and will continue to do so until all or most of the trolleys are repaired and able to resume service. One advantage of conventional buses is, in the event of a severe winds and/or flooding, they can be legally driven off the island via I-45 and other public highways and roads to a safer location until the weather conditions subside. The trolleys, as other members hove pointed out, do not meet current standards to operate lawfully on the railroad tracks connecting Galveston to the mainland. Lacking a prior commitment from the appropriate authorities that the trolleys would be allowed to operate on these tracks if there were an imminent hurricane of flooding event, it would be a mistake to assume in advance what action these appropriate authorities might take in this regard. In other words, a viable plan to get the trolleys off the island needs to be in place before the next disaster strikes.
  19. The comments about the Mall of the Mainland (Texas City, TX) during the early to mid 1990's being a place to "be seen and to shop" underscore the social aspects inherent in enclosed shopping malls and similar retail venues.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Interesting posting with photograph about the Mall of the Mainland located at Texas City TX, approximately 16 miles across the causeway from Galveston Island. In addition to being 23 years 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.). When Sears left the Galvez Mall (circa late 1991 or early 1992) and relocated to the Mall of the Mainland, the resultant loss of "foot traffic" in the Galvez Mall may have been a factor prompting another anchor store, Eibands, to vacate the Galvez Mall at the end of the summer in 1992. In March 1996, Beall's, the last remaining anchor store, closed its Galvez Mall store location. 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.
  24. To Dan H (and others who lived in or visited Galveston during the late 1970s): 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 (or other destinations in northwest 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. HAIF members and visitors might like to check out the recently posted You Tube video, "Galveston in the 70s," which shows photographs of two Hudson Oil gas stations, one of which is the 6600 Broadway Hudson Oil gas station Dan H's dad managed during that time period.
  25. Despite the coincidence of the same surname, I have not found evidence to show the respective Beall families in Florida and Texas were biologically related to one another or ever in business together. Bealls (Texas) was a continuously operating business entity under several corporate names until the bankruptcy of Stage Stores in 2020. Bealls (Florida) then purchased intellectual and real property from the bankrupt corporation. Bealls, Inc. continues to operate as a family owned corporation headed (since 2019) by CEO Matt Beall.
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