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theLOCAL

CONTENTS MAY/JUNE 2016

16

22

36

In the Community

Man On a Mission

Weekend Planner

What does the future hold for local residents? Thanks to Texas Crab Festival Charities, educational and career opportunites are brighter than ever.

U.S. veteran Ken Meyer sets out on a personal mission to raise awareness about Post Traumatic Stress and plans for a triumphant finish at Crystal Beach.

Gulf Coast food, festivals, and fun. Take a look at what's happening on the Bolivar Peninsula next weekend... you should be here!

12

8 Editor's Note | 10 Beach Vibes | 12 Lost Art of The Spoon 14 Get Cooking | 16 In the Community | 19 By the Sea 22 Man On A Mission | 28 Beyond the Battlefield: The Lone Survivor Foundation 32 Saluting Our Veterans: The Texas Frog Festival | 34 Peninsula Properties 36 Local Events | 42 Sea and Be Seen

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May/June 2016


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BOLIVAR PENINSULA’S MAGAZINE

EDITOR IN CHIEF Destiny Martin CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Melanie Wallace Dave Roberts PHOTOGRAPHY & ART CONTRIBUTORS Cody Bess Photography Crystal Beach Local News Dave Roberts Josie Drenner Photography Travis Yust FOR ADVERTISING INFO 650 Media Group, LLC P.O. Box 1747 Crystal Beach, TX 77650 817.505.8208 info@thebolivarlocal.com The LOCAL, Bolivar Peninsula’s Magazine is produced by 650 Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved. The LOCAL is not responsible for facts represented by authors or advertisers. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without written consent of the editor.

On the Cover When The Local magazine learned about Ken Meyer’s mission to raise awareness for PTSD, we knew we wanted to help multiply his efforts by sharing his story. Many thanks to Cody Bess Photography for so eloquently capturing the determination of a man who will Never Quit.

STAY CONNECTED Like us on Facebook @ The Local Magazine Follow us on issuu.com/TheBolivarLocal

For information about joining our mailing list, email us at info@thebolivarlocal.com

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Editor’s Note

Ready for Summer Welcome Summer 2016! How are you planning to spend the hotter days ahead? The season’s biggest and best festivities are kicking off and we promise there won’t be a shortage of FUN. On Mother’s Day weekend, the Texas Crab Festival offers up boatloads of Gulf Coast-style music, art, and of course, crabs! Turn to page 16 to learn how your support of this annual event helps benefit the residents of Bolivar Peninsula. Then, make plans to attend the Third Annual Texas Frog Fest, a weekend-long entertainment venue held every Memorial Weekend that helps fund the Lone Survivor Foundation Retreat Center in Crystal Beach. (No, we don’t eat a bunch of frog legs, though we are in the South! In this case, the term frog refers to Frogmen, or military combat divers like Marcus Luttrell, the Lone Survivor.) This year’s TXFF is set to be the most patriotic event to date as U.S. Veteran Ken Meyer concludes his six-week walk across Texas raising awareness about Post Traumatic Stress, a silent epidemic that claims the lives of 22 veterans every day. To read more about Ken’s mission, go to page 22. For information about other local events, check out our Weekend Planner on page 36. However you plan to spend the first few weeks of summer, we hope that you’ll take advantage of all our great community has to offer! Until next time, keep it local.

Destiny Martin

destiny@thebolivarlocal.com

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Improvements to include information kiosk, pavilion, ADA accessibility, and new signage

CENTRAL HORSESHOE MARSH TRAIL

Observation platform and deck, shaded overlook, raised walkways and trails, designated parking area and new signage

YACHT BASIN ROAD & BOAT RAMP

Plans for Bolivar Peninsula Nature Trail

A group of Bolivar residents, organizations, and local landowners has recently proposed the development of a designated nature trail to link the peninsula’s many nature tourism and outdoor recreation sites. The project plans to provide clear, cohesive signage, as well as improvements, at key destinations across the Bolivar Peninsula. These improvements are projected to enhance visitors’ experiences, increase visibility and awareness of the peninsula’s natural resources, and ultimately have a positive economic impact on our local community. www.crystalbeachlocalnews.com/bolivar-peninsula-nature-trail

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Kayak launch site, improvements to existing boat ramp, trash collection, fish cleaning station, and new signage

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Outdoors with Dave Roberts

LOST ART OF THE SPOON words & photos by

DAVE ROBERTS/TEXAS KAYAK CHRONICLES

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I

f you could pick one lure to fish with for the rest of your life, what would it be? When talking fishing, this question always seems to get brought up in conversation between anglers. The younger generation of fishermen will often select a diverse assortment of lures; an array of colorful soft plastics and top waters would be considered before selecting just one. However, if you were to present this question to the older generation, or Old Salt’s, I can almost guarantee that the lure of choice would be a Johnson Spoon. The legendary spoon was created in 1920 by Louis Johnson out of Chicago. Like most fisherman, his ingenious idea came out of necessity when fishing a lake that had more grass than fish in it. He took a household table spoon, cut the handle off and soldered a hook onto the concave underside. The rest is history and nearly 100 years later, his design has had minimum alterations and it is still as productive as it was the day he created it. Not long ago, I was having a conversation with an old timer about one of my recent trips to the marsh. I made mention that I found fish on the flats but I could not entice a bite. After gathering a little more information about my tactics and tackle, he began to scold me—and my generation—for never tying on a golden spoon and swore up and down the spoon could replace every lure in my bag. Now in the past, I have made some casts here and there with a spoon, without much luck. After a few attempts, it would always end up back on the lonely bottom shelf of

my tackle box. After my visit with the The Johnson Spoon is used in the Old Salt, I recently made it a point to northern states to catch pike and consistently throw a Johnson Spoon musky and on the Gulf Coast to reel throughout the day to see if the proin trout and reds. It is very simple to claimed lure would live up to the use, effective and rugged, making it hype. Little did I know, I was about one of the most versatile lures in the to receive an old school lesson that world. So effective in fact, that it was would drastically change reportedly packed into my views on catching fish. the survival kits of 1940s After arriving to a era paratroopers. After Little did I know, I was marsh flat, I began to blind researching the lure and about to cast the area to cover as testing it out on the water, receive an old much water as possible. It the spoon has become one school lesson was not too long and a of my favorite lures to use that would fish began to push a wake and rightfully so. To circle drastically and exploded on the back, if the time comes change my dancing spoon, much when I have to choose views on like a submarine on the one lure for the rest of my catching fish. verge of surfacing, and life, the Johnson Spoon is the fight was on! I continued fishing coming with me! throughout the day replaying the same scenario over and over and the Dave Roberts is an avid kayak fisherJohnson Spoon proved worthy. Since man, writer and photographer who that day, I have made several trips to travels the Texas Coast documenting evaluate its productivity and needless his experiences along the way. For to say, the Johnson Spoon has made it more information, visit his blog at to my starting line-up when I head to www.texaskayakchronicles.com. the water. May/June 2016

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Get Cooking

Best Crab Nachos

Take home the taste of Texas Crab Festival. L A P L A Y I T A’ S A WA R D - W I N N I N G C R A B N A C H O S Serves 4 INGREDIENTS 8 oz. Velveeta Cheese 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles 16 oz. lump crab meat 1 stick of butter 1 tsp. garlic powder Tony Chachere’s seasoning (to taste) tortilla chips jalapeno slices TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes PREP: 10 minutes

Tips from the Chef • For the best quality, use locally caught fresh Gulf blue crabs.

PREPARE THE QUESO In a saucepan, melt the Velveeta over medium heat. Add Rotel and stir until well combined. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring occasionally, as not to burn. SAUTÉ THE CRAB MEAT In a separate skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once it begins to bubble, add in the crab meat and seasonings. Stir well to combine. ASSEMBLE Arrange the tortilla chips on a plate or serving dish and top with queso. Next, add the sautéed crab meat. Go ahead, add a little more queso! GARNISH At the Texas Crab Festival, La Playita serves up their award-winning crab nachos with jalapeno slices, but anything goes when it comes to nachos! Try fresh cilantro or pico de gallo for more authentic flavor.

• Dark meat, or the meat derived from the claws, is sweeter than the meat from the back fin. • Try steaming instead of boiling the crabs before cleaning. This helps to retain the natural flavor.

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March/April May/June 2016 2016

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In the Community

Upon completion of their GED course, seven Bolivar students received tablets from Texas Crab Festival Charities to use in their educational pursuits. Front Row, Iris Gutierrez, Enedena Garcia, Kaitlyn O’Rourke, Sid Jackson (TCFC Board Member), Calley Sledge, Pedro Hernandez and Jeanette Camacho. Back Row, Tom Osten and Don Kimbro (TCFC Board Members), Instructor Robinlyn Wright, and Gerry Lang (TCFC Board Member). Not pictured, Emily LaRue.

Turning the Tide for a Brighter Future Proceeds from the annual Texas Crab Festival benefit residents of Bolivar Peninsula, providing new educational and career opportunites. words by DESTINY MARTIN photos courtesy of CRYSTAL BEACH LOCAL NEWS

BOLIVAR PENINSULA, Texas – An unexpected generation of students is occupying the desks at Crenshaw School in pursuit of higher education. Texas Crab Festival Charities in coalition with College of the Mainland recently launched a new program for residents of Bolivar Peninsula, providing free GED and ESL courses at Crenshaw School in Crystal Beach. Seven students participated in the pilot course offered last September. This year nearly 40 more students have enrolled in the 10-weeklong classes hoping to become better prepared to take the GED exam or learn English as a second language. Tom 16 |

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Osten, President of the Texas Crab Festival Charities (TCFC) says, “Our mission is to increase educational and career opportunities for local residents, no matter their stage of life.” Those who have benefitted from the newly instituted program are grateful for the opportunity. As a busy mom of three, Emily LaRue says, “Obtaining my GED has been difficult. I truly appreciate [Texas Crab Festival Charities] for making it possible.” But students aren’t the only ones optimistic about support from the nonprofit organization. Dr. Robinlyn Wright adds, “This unique population of


In recent months, TCFC sponsored its first Opportunity Fair to present residents with information about earning a living within the local economy. The inaugural event was a success and the Board says they plan to host additional fairs in the future. Josh Hayes, Director of Adult Education at College of the Mainland, helped to organize the fair and has played a key role in implementing the GED and ESL programs now available. “We’re finding creative ways to deliver services to an area where systemic resources are limited,” he explains.

Currently, the community can make a difference by attending and supporting the annual Texas Crab Festival. Every dollar raised is given back through programs that encourage local residents both young and old to confidently pursue their dreams. Committee member Gerry Lang adds, “It’s a beautiful outreach that will have an impact for many generations to come.” tL For more information, visit www.TCFcharities.org P.O. Box 2002 Crystal Beach, TX 77650

students rarely believe the impact their success can make on the lives of others. TCFC has helped [the students] and myself know we are not alone.” Wright comes to the peninsula from Texas City two nights a week to teach. Texas Crab Festival Charities is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves to improve the lives of those who call the Bolivar Peninsula home. Though continuing education is a primary goal, their efforts extend far beyond the halls of Academia. Since its creation three years ago, TCFC has gifted over $160,000 to help support local organizations and residents. All proceeds from the annual Texas Crab Festival—now in its 31st year—are reinvested in the community and help to fund youth scholarships and camps, local schools and volunteer fire departments, and various outreach initiatives. The charity’s ongoing donations include the Youth Christmas Bike Drive, grants for teachers’ continuing education, and fully funded First Aid Training and CPR courses, just to name a few. May/June 2016

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Just a click away from the beach.


By the Sea

Beach Reads Dive into a good book this summer. words by MELANIE WALLACE, ED.D.

T

he year was 1975 and the place was far from our beloved Crystal Beach (though I consider “all the seas to be one sea”). Jaws was all the rage. The movie came out that summer, encouraging even more people to pick up the best-selling book. I was no different. Mack and I planned our wedding for late that summer, a couple of weeks before the new college semester would start, so that we could continue living with our respective parents most of the summer and save money before school started up again. We were treated to a Honeymoon in Hawaii by Mack’s aunt who was in the travel industry. We were 20 years old. The whirlwind of the days leading up to the wedding had worn us both out and we were anxious to hit the

powdery white sand on the beaches of Kauai. Of course, I had packed a couple of new bathing suits, sunglasses, and my suntan lotion (baby oil and iodine back then–remember, it was the 70s). At the last minute, I had thrown in a paperback to read…Jaws. That may have been a mistake! That first morning on Kauai, I spread my beach towel out on the powdery sand, slathered on my baby oil and iodine mixture and kicked back, ready to enjoy a few minutes of reading before hitting the water. Well, let’s just say…I never got in the water during that entire two weeks! I started reading Jaws, and never could bring myself to enter the surf (though as a Pisces, I am always drawn to the ocean). Countless folks stopped by to comment on my questionable reading material. Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water… May/June 2016

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MELANIE’S TOP 5 BEACH READS

My personal favorites: Pat Conroy's Beach Music and The Prince of Tides

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd, who also wrote Secret Life of Bees

Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck and I wish I had written it, because I do too, (feel bad about my neck, that is!)

A Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is truly a gift that keeps on giving. This book rests at my bedside and has since it was given to me by my dear friend when we first moved to Crystal Beach. I gift a copy to each of our beach house guests.

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19

I am a reader. A shy and nerdy kid who changed schools frequently, I found companionship and escape in books. As Ernest Hemingway said, “There’s no friend as loyal as a book.” Still a little nerdy (but no longer shy) to this day, l love a good book and find the greatest pleasure in becoming lost in a wonderful story. There is no better place than the beach to indulge in this past-time. Choosing just the right book is the first step to a great, relaxing afternoon of reading on the beach. (Unless you have a really quirky sense of humor, I don’t recommend Jaws!). I asked several friends, all of whom are voracious readers, for suggestions of favorite reads and how they choose a book for carefree beach reading. Most of them depend on recommendations from friends. My sister loves to spend Sunday afternoons in a bookstore, browsing the shelves for intriguing titles and inviting covers. Nowadays, I get some of my best reading suggestions from Facebook friends who post mini-reviews when they finish a great book. I immediately put those suggestions on my wish list, so I’m never without a good read. However you choose your beach reading material, the soundtrack of the waves is the perfect background for an afternoon of reading. The breeze from the Gulf and the squawking of the seagulls offer just enough noise to help focus on the story. My pal Linda is one of the greatest readers I know. She reads widely from all genres and I have never had a bad recommendation from her. One reason I think that we are BFFs is that she, too lost herself in books throughout her

childhood. A career educator, she loves history and is drawn to historical fiction. She tells the tale of coming to Bolivar as a young teenager and haunting Faggard’s Store, where a revolving wire rack held a variety of paperbacks. She spent hours perusing that wire rack, then roasting in the summer sun on Gilchrist Beach while reading her selections. Faggard’s is where she found The Gadfly by Ethel Voynich. A work of historical fiction, the book is set in 1840s Italy during a time of revolution. The Gadfly is reported to have been Eleanor Roosevelt’s favorite book. (For the sake of historical accuracy, I must report that there may have been a boy involved in the Faggard’s Store situation). The beach and romance novels go together…well, like a wink and a smile. When else can we feel perfectly entitled to a steamy love story? And, if the story is set on a beach, all the better! Several of my pals recommended books by Elin Hilderbrand. Her books are set on and around Nantucket Island. The sand and the surf and the laid-back lifestyle of a beach setting are familiar no matter which beach we are enjoying. The Blue Bistro by Hildebrand came highly recommended. It is a book set on Nantucket Island, with the additional intrigue of the main character working in a restaurant – tapping in to the interest that many of us have in cooking (or at least eating!). Mysteries are always a good beach choice. Alexander McCall Smith’s series, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency can’t be beat. In this series, lady detective, Mma Ramotswe and her redoubtable


secretary Mma Makutsi (who scored 97% at the Botswana Secretarial College) solve mysteries large and small in Gaborone, Botswana. I love reading these books on the beach and have actually read them all aloud to Mack while we travel in the car. Oh, I could go on and on. I will give one last piece of advice though, concerning beach reading. It is advice that I failed to take for 35 summers. Back in 1976, newly graduated from college and in my short-lived “intellectual” phase, I decided that I needed to read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I bought a hard-backed volume – covered in turquoise cloth and containing 1,088 pages of a very tiny font. I have reread the first three chapters every summer for 35 years. The thin pages of those first three chapters and the expensive cloth cover are stained with baby oil and iodine. The remaining 1,021 pages survive in pristine condition. I finally gave up. A word to the wise – don’t waste your precious beach time on books that you don’t love. There are plenty out there to keep you busy all the summers of your life without having to worry about “Who is John Galt.” tL

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May/June 2016

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Cover Feature

man on a MISSION U.S. veteran Ken Meyer sets out on a personal mission to raise awareness about Post Traumatic Stress and plans for a triumphant finish at Crystal Beach. words by DESTINY MARTIN photos by CODY BESS

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Cover Feature

every day 22 military veterans lose their battle to pts. a staggering statistic that can;not be ignored.

K

en Meyer of Conroe, Texas is honoring veterans and helping raise awareness about Post Traumatic Stress by marching 628 miles across Texas. On April 16, Meyer and his service dog Hope, began a six-week journey, hiking 19 to 22 miles per day, to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Red Wings in 2005. The final leg of Meyer’s Never Quit March, code named KILO 19: A Walk to Remember, will take place on May 28 as he and his supporters march from the Bolivar Ferry Landing into the gates of the

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3rd annual Texas Frog Fest in Crystal Beach. “It’s going to be an emotionally charged display of patriotism,” says Michael Langley, Promotions Director for Cumulus Radio in Beaumont and former Marine. Langley, along with countless others, has been helping to plan and promote the local event since March. Along his journey Meyer will be visiting family members of Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson, two U.S. Navy Seals who were killed in the line of duty during Operation Red Wings. His route will go as far north as Midlothian, Texas to include the Chris Kyle Memorial

Highway, where Meyer will walk with Kyle’s loved ones in honor of the fallen ‘American Sniper.’ What started out as a personal mission has grown into a highly anticipated event as communities statewide show their support for Meyer’s mission to speak out against Post Traumatic Stress, or PTS, an epidemic that claims the lives of 22 veterans every day.

Waging Wars Inside PTS (often diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event. Today, one in five service members returning from


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how pts affects the brain

Three regions of the human brain collectively impact the stress response mechanism and play a role in triggering symptoms in PTS victims. Hippocampus (the area of the brain responsible for memory functions); Prefrontal Cortex (the region of the brain that regulates emotional response, specifically negative emotions that occur when confronted with specific stimuli); and Amygdala (connected to impulse control and fear response).

their overseas deployments and military combat action will be diagnosed with PTS. Psychologically debilitating symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, isolation, hyperemotional reactions, sleeplessness, and depression can set in days or months after the trauma, at times making it difficult to detect. If left untreated the effects of PTS can have a very negative impact on wounded service members and their families. As a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Meyer—who prefers not to use the word ‘disorder’—understands first-hand the feelings of despair associated with PTS. After his military service he worked as an emergency responder for the U.S. Occupational and Safety Administration (OSHA) where he was exposed to extreme devastation after the World Trade Center attacks, hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and 26 |

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on-the-job fatality investigations. To add, in 2007 Meyer was attacked by a grizzly bear in Montana. The culmination of disturbing and life-threating events sent him over the edge. “The human brain can only handle so much trauma,” he says. “My glass got too full and I retreated to a dark place.” Thankfully, Meyer got help before it was too late. He sought counseling to learn how to cope with his symptoms and once again live a meaningful life. During his recovery process, Meyer began volunteering for the Lone Survivor Foundation and attended a fully funded healing retreat at their Crystal Beach facility earlier this year. Four days of therapeutic activities provided him with tools to deal with the things that cause him problems on a daily basis. “Prior to the retreat I felt as though I was running on empty, but I came away refueled with positive energy,” he says.


Ken Meyer is now an advocate for the Lone Survivor Foundation and hopes that this event will help to save even one life. All proceeds from the Never Quit March will be donated to the Foundation to support their mission to restore, empower, and renew hope for our wounded service members. Executive Director of the Lone Survivor Foundation Terry Jung says, “We are incredibly proud of Ken and his efforts, not only in raising awareness for Post Traumatic Stress and fundraising for Lone Survivor, but in his personal accomplishments of working through the invisible wounds of war. 628 miles is no small feat and we will be cheering him on the entire way.” tL For more information about Ken Meyer’s Never Quit March or to make a donation, visit www.neverquitmarch.com.

significance in the

numbers

628

June 28, 2005 the date of Operation Red Wings

Suffering from every symptom of PTS including dissociation, Ken found Hope, his service dog and full-time companion. The Labrador is trained to sense the on-set of his anxiety attacks and alerts by licking Ken’s hand or face, effectively preventing his symptoms from worsening.

19

the number of service members killed during Operation Red Wings

22

the number of veterans who lose the battle to PTS every day

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A PLACE TO HEAL Horses used during the Lone Survivor Foundation’s Healing Retreats graze in their new arena located along State Hwy 87. LSF utilizes Equine Assisted Learning through the EAGALA method to introduce veterans to metaphors for their combat and civilian life experiences. Horses help to provide a non-judgemental relationship where participants can reflect on what may be the source of their invisible wounds.

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LOCAL Update

Beyond the Battlefield How the Lone Survivor Foundation is Renewing Hope for Wounded Veterans and their Families words and photos by DESTINY MARTIN

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PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GARZA FAMILY

T

he Lone Survivor Foundation is a HEALING RETREATS nonprofit organization based out of The Foundation’s healing retreats provide a safe Houston, Texas committed to providing and relaxing environment where wounded service support to service members and veterans members can work through the consequences of struggling with invisible injuries of war such as war by connecting with others. Rehabilitation combat trauma stress, mild traumatic brain injury, for both individuals and family members is chronic pain, and military sexual trauma. Injuries addressed through psychoeducational groups, that may not be apparent on the outside, but can one-on-one counseling sessions, and therapeutic nonetheless wreak havoc inside the minds and lives outdoor activities like Equine Assisted Learning of those affected. Lone Survivor Foundation (LSF) (EAL), where horses play an integral role in the seeks to restore, empower, and renew hope for healing process. Studies have shown that retreat these wounded service members and their families attendees come away with an increased sense of through health, wellness and therapeutic retreats. wellbeing, reduced levels of stress, and are better Last year, our community was an integral force equipped to manage the day-to-day struggles of in the fundraising, donating, and building of their invisible wounds. the Lone Survivor Foundation’s first Foundation-owned retreat facility TESTIMONIES here on Crystal Beach. The Bolivar Last October, LSF hosted a couples’ Retreat Center has enabled LSF to The number retreat at its Bolivar Retreat Center. conduct more retreats, introduce new one thing the Of those in attendance were Mike, a programs, and ultimately help more Lone Survivor veteran of the United States Marine veterans and their families adjust to Foundation Corps, and his wife Claudia. A couple the effects of their wartime experiences. that for more than a decade had been gave us is Since its establishment in 2010, battling the debilitating effects of hope. Lone Survivor Foundation has hosted his PTSD. “It was like living a nighthundreds of fully funded therapeutic mare,” he says. “I couldn’t control it.” retreats across the country with an emphasis on Once very active and involved, Mike quit his job, service members and veterans from Operation resorted to drinking as a coping mechanism, and Iraqi Freedom. This year, LSF is expanding to secluded himself from his family altogether. His now include Pre-9/11 and Care Partner Retreats, wife Claudia recalls it having a very negative in addition to their already established individual, impact on their family, especially their oldest couples, and family retreats. LSF’s Marketing and son. “At that point I knew something had to Events Manager Jen Brown says, “Although we change,” she says. may be seeing a declining number of troops in In 2015, Mike was introduced to LSF and combat roles, the number of veterans reaching attended an individual healing retreat in Florida. out for help is increasing exponentially as the Claudia received pictures of Mike while he was number of service members separating from the away and says she couldn’t believe what she saw. military continues to climb. We are grateful for The despondent man she had come to know was the opening of our Bolivar Retreat Center which canoeing. “I just started crying. There was life has allowed LSF to expand our program to rise back in my husband!” up and meet the ever growing need for our When Claudia joined Mike at the couples’ services – and we intend to continue doing so.” retreat, she too experienced the restoration that


LSF provided him just a few months earlier. Without any distractions or expectations the couple was able to reconnect and meet other couples facing similar circumstances. “It helped me to realize we’re not alone,” she says. Now Mike and Claudia are advocates for the Lone Survivor Foundation and are boldly sharing their story to encourage others like them. The couple attests that since their involvement with LSF they have experienced the best year of their marriage and are optimistic about continued healing for their family. Grateful for the outcome, they conclude, “The #1 thing Lone Survivor Foundation gave us is hope.” tL January/February May/June 2016

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It takes place every Memorial Day weekend and has become the most patriotic entertainment venue at the beach. The Texas Frog Festival hosted by BRINT Construction is an annual event that raises funds to maintain the Lone Survivor retreat facility on Bolivar Peninsula. TXFF 2016 will take place May 28-29 at 1609 State Hwy 87 in Crystal Beach. Showcasing local and national artists, special guest appearances, and fun activities for the kids, this year’s festival is shaping up to be the best one yet!

saluting our

VETERANS

THIS MEMORIAL WEEKEND 2016 Texas Frog Fest: Summer’s Live Music Event Amps Up 32 |

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May/June 2016


PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOSIE DRENNER PHOTOGRAPHY

The 2016 Texas Frog Fest will take place Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29. Gates are open from 1 pm to midnight both days and tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the gate the day of the event.

Cody Johnson

Jamie Talbert & The Band of Demons

Tracy Byrd

Scooter Brown Band

“Texas Frog Fest brings together the Southeast Texas community to rally behind our nation’s troops over one of America’s most patriotic holidays—Memorial Weekend— for some of our state’s greatest music,” says Jen Brown, Marketing and Events Director for the Lone Survivor Foundation. Among the performers featured at this year’s festival is an array of Texas Country artists including Aubry Lynn England, Jamie Talbert & The Band of Demons, Katie Whitney & The Draw, the Pete Scobell Band, and the Scooter Brown Band. Headlining on Saturday night is premier party band, Bag of Donuts followed by Texas Country chart-topper Cody Johnson. Headlining Sunday is singer-songwriter Zane Williams followed by local favorite, Tracy Byrd. The musical lineup is a major draw, but the muchanticipated highlight of this year’s TXFF will be during the opening ceremonies on Saturday as U.S. veteran Ken Meyer arrives at the event, concluding his 628-mile hike across Texas. Meyer has been walking since April 16 to raise awareness for PTS and has been carrying a personal memento with him the entire way–the American Flag given to him when his grandfather (who served in the Korean War) died. The Flag will be raised and on display for the duration of the festival.

Bag of Donuts

Pete Scobell Band

For complete information about TXFF, including the full lineup, event highlights and sponsors, to buy tickets, how to become a volunteer, and more details about the Lone Survivor Foundation, visit www.texasfrogfest.com or call (409) 791-4131.

Zane Williams May/June 2016

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Peninsula Properties

Find your beach home Offering 27 miles of expansive beach and bay play, the Bolivar Peninsula is the ideal place to purchase your next home away from home.

EXTRAORDINARY ESCAPE • 680 VILLA DRIVE $1,890,000

Exquisite beachfront oasis located in Rancho Carribe. Professionally decorated and fully furnished with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Perfect for entertaining with upscale appliances, custom cabinetry, granite, bar, subzero wine fridge, and high end finishes throughout. Floorplan features two master suites plus two guestrooms, office, game room, and theater. On over 1 acre with 166' beach frontage! Amazing views of the ocean from indoors, or out on the 3,000 SF deck. Agent: Libby Mitchell, Regency Real Estate Professionals (409) 718-1933

RANCHO RETREAT • 813 SENDERO

BEACHFRONT BEAUTY • 440 ATKINSON

$499,000

$570,000

Outstanding 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath split-level design with incredible Gulf views and deck access from each room. The open concept kitchen, dining, and living area is perfect for entertaining family and friends. Kitchen offers stainless steel appliances and dumb waiter and the spacious top floor features a game or bunk room with private balcony overlooking the landscaped extra lot. Fireplace and bamboo flooring throughout. Enjoy your day at the beach or golfing at Rancho Carribe Golf Course, adjacent the property. Agent: Debby Kahla, Re/MAX On the Water (409) 502-7702

Glorious from inside elevator to growing dunes. Custom built, one-owner home. Features 3/3.5 with comfort in every room. Amenities include designer kitchen, fireplace, storm shutters, security system, mosquito repelling system, and custom cabinets that offer lots of storage. Outdoor shower, garage, fish cleaning station, and built-in deck furniture. Conveniently located 30 minutes from Winnie and 7 miles from Ferry Landing, plus close to public boat launch, shopping/restaurants. Agent: Suzy H. Chapman, Hamilton Real Estate (409) 795-9130

! ED

UC

D RE ST JU

FISHERMAN’S PARADISE • 1240 ISLAND BOULEVARD $429,000

Great home for a fishing family or the family of a fisherman. 3 bedrooms and 2 baths on the main level with a flex or bedroom loft. Enjoy high-end Kitchenaid appliances and Moen and Koehler plumbing fixtures in this beautifully appointed custom built home. Large landscaped lot on concrete bulkhead canal with boat house and dock, combined with a large downstairs entertainment area, is perfect for gatherings. The best of canal living—both inside and out! Agent: Mary Ellen Smith, Cobb Real Estate (409) 684-3790

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CHARLES MICHAEL CUSTOM HOMES 2950 Highway 87 Crystal Beach, TX 77650

409-684-1001       

Full Service Home Builder Your Lot or Ours Financing Options Available Custom Home Design Top Quality Construction Features to Fit Your Budget Over 40 Years Experience

Contact Us Today About Your New Home

BUILDING FOR GENERATIONS

www.CharlesMichaelHome.com May/June 2016

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LOCAL EVENTS

SS PL E O T GO P DAY JEE

MAY

14

EPS 00 JE D 0 , 2 E R OVE EXPECT ARE S YEAR! THI

WEEKEND

PLANNER GULF COAST FOOD, FESTIVALS & FUN

What are you doing next weekend?

At the beach, you don't have to go far to have a good time. Here’s a look at what’s happening locally this summer.

words by DESTINY MARTIN

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May/June 2016


PHOTO COURTESY OF TRAVIS YUST

March/April 2016

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On Food Network's Eating America, Anthony Anderson visits the Texas Crab Festival.

FESTIVAL

31st Annual Texas Crab Festival May 6-8 Held every Mother’s Day weekend, the annual Texas Crab Festival is a familyfriendly event featuring Gulf Coast-style food, music, art and entertainment. Growing in popularity since its debut on Food Network and Cooking Channel, last year’s attendance reached over 8,000 people. USA Today names it one of the “Top 10 Food Festivals to Dive Into,” and with vendors offering unique crab and seafood dishes, we can understand why! This year's attractions include a Texas 2-Step Dance contest, Wiener 38 |

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May/June 2016

Dog races, 5K-1K Run/Walk, Gumbo Cookoff, Washers Tournament, and Youth Art Contest. This year’s musical lineup featuring Wayne Toups, Mark Chesnutt, and Jerry Diaz & Hanna’s Reef, among others, will keep festival-goers dancing throughout the day and night. www.texascrabfestival.com

EVENT

embrace sense of adventure that comes with owning a Jeep. Over 2,000 Jeeps are expected at this year’s event. Make your plans now to meet at Tiki Beach Bar & Grill on Saturday, May 14 at 10 am for the group photo and beach parade. *Bolivar Beach Parking Sticker is required. www.allthingsjeep.com

EVENT

Go Topless Day/ Jeep Weekend May 14

CCA Golden Triangle Chapter Banquet/ May 26

Hosted by Jeep Clubs of Texas, Crystal Beach is home to one of the largest Go Topless Day events in the US. Offroaders and Jeep enthusiasts come together to celebrate the return of warm weather and

CCA Golden Triangle Chapter is hosting its 36th Annual Banquet/Crawfish Boil on Thursday, May 26 at the Beaumont Civic Center. www.ccatexas.org


LOCAL EVENTS

HOLIDAY

Memorial Weekend May 28-30 Remembering the people who died while serving in the United States armed forces.

FESTIVAL

3rd Annual Texas Frog Fest May 28-29 It takes place every Memorial Day weekend and has become the most patriotic entertainment venue at the beach. The Texas Frog Festival hosted by BRINT Construction is an annual event

that raises funds to maintain the Lone Survivor retreat facility on the Bolivar Peninsula. TXFF 2016 will take place May 28-29 at 1609 State Hwy 87 in Crystal Beach. Showcasing local and national artists like Bag of Donuts and Tracy Byrd, special guest appearances, and fun activities for the kids, this year’s festival is shaping up to be the best one yet! www.texasfrogfest.com

ONGOING

Houston Audubon First Saturdays Beach Ramble Hosted by the Houston Audubon Society, come explore Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary and see what the forces of

nature have left behind as Conservation Specialist Pete Deichmann dictates. Use spotting scopes to look for birds, shells, animal tracks, and anything that has washed ashore. It’s a naturalist walk suitable for all ages. First Saturdays Beach Rambles meet the first Saturday of each month at 10 am at the vehicular barrier on the beach located about 3/4 mile west of Rettilon Road. www.houstonaudubon.org May/June 2016

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o t n i ing

r REFRESHMENT p S Margaritas and Daiquiris also available to go (

made from 100% fruit puree.

-

RITAS & CREAM soft serve ice cream shakes floats malts Hawaiian Shaved Ice sno cones (spiked or traditional) flavored Margaritas & daiquiris beer wine wings $2 shots! jello shots!

1945 Hwy 87 Crystal Beach

409.539.9660

“TASTY TREATS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!”

!)


ADVERTISEMENT

1945 Highway 87 Crystal Beach, TX

Your Destination for Fun in the Sun Ritas & Cream

When the heat is up this season, cool down at Ritas & Cream, your ultimate destination at the beach for tasty treats and eats. Our extensive menu includes flavored margaritas and daiquiris (also available to-go), Hawaiian shaved ice, Flavor Burst soft serve ice cream, coffees, pizza, and more. Visit our Facebook page for hours and specials.

Ocean Property Corporation & Design

Ocean Property Corporation and Design is a rental home management service offering the finest vacation experience at Crystal Beach. All of our properties are well maintained, luxuriously furnished, and come equipped with amenities to make your vacation worry free and enjoyable. Contact Faith at 832.714.2524 to plan your next trip.

Manley Builders

Family owned and operated. We design and build custom homes on time and within your budget. • We make it easy and affordable • Fast completion times • Unmatched level of attention to details • Quality and customer satisfaction Contact John at 409.540.6116 for more information.


sea

be seen

Peaceful Easy Feeling by Angela Burton

Sun Setting on the Beach by B Bailey

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May/June 2016


Stringers by Jake Jordan

Share your #LOCAL scene. Send us photos of your favorite places, people

and past times on the peninsula and your image could be featured in an upcoming issue of our

magazine. Submit high resolution (300 dpi) images to info@thebolivarlocal.com. Please include your name, contact info and the title of the image.

Bolivar's Beauty by Debra Deckard

Good Morning from Lafitte's by Bill Voigtman


THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE. Over forty years of building exceptional homes on Bolivar Peninsula. NEW CONSTRUCTION • REMODELING • PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONTACT TYLER COCO AT 409.651.6004 2290 HIGHWAY 87 | CRYSTAL BEACH, TEXAS 77650

44 |

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May/June 2016


Mary Ellen Smith is a Broker Associate for Cobb Real Estate specializing in Buyer Representation. Mary Ellen focuses on every aspect of her clients’ needs, from initial property search to closing, and with more than 35 years of business experience on the peninsula, she’s sure to help you find the home of your dreams.

MARY ELLEN SMITH

ePRO®, GRI, SFR®, SRES®

REPRESENTING BUYER’S INTERESTS

p. (409) 457-1070 • e. CrystalBeachBroker@att.net www.CrystalBeachResortProperties.com

A Family Owned and Operated Company Since 1986 2290 Hwy 87 • Crystal Beach, TX 77650 409.684.3790

CobbRealEstate.com


Redefining

BEACHFRONT LIVING on the Texas coast Discover the affordable luxury of Bolivar Peninsula’s exclusive new development

SEAGRASS BEACH.COM

Profile for The Bolivar Local

The LOCAL May/June 2016  

The LOCAL May/June 2016  

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