Wednesday, August 15, 2012


My birthday was once New Year's Day, but Julius Caesar changed it when he added a couple weeks to the calendar. Don't ask me why.

When Texas was still a Republic and Sam Houston was president Mexico tried to take back a port near Corpus Christi.  So, A bunch of Mexican soldiers sent some supplies north to an area of vast grazing land and wildlife and sand dunes on the beach on an area near an intracoastal lagoon. Houston sent volunteer soldiers south to kick the Mexicans out of the Republic but by the time they got there the Mexicans had already left, abandoning their supplies and part of a steam engine. I figure it was the heat and wind that drove them away.
So, the Texas soldiers sorted through the supplies and all they found was barrels of flour, probably for tortillas. I like flour tortillas but when you get Carne Asada or Puerco Al Pastor on two corn tortillas you really can't beat it. Anyway, the soldiers took the flour and then decided to call the area of land where they found it "Flour Bluff"
That's the town I work in now and the trailer park is on the north end near the NAS-CC, (Naval Air Station) which was the original Top Gun fighter pilot academy before Miramar in San Diego came along in 1969. In one of those quirks of history, the NAS here on Flour Bluff graduated the first pilots, including George Bush Sr. and John Glenn a few weeks before Pearl Harbor. Someone anticipated the demand and the timing was perfect. Otherwise the next piece of trivia might never have happened.

German POWs from WWII were sent to Flour Bluff in 1944 and they stayed through 1946 in POW camps they built. They were paid 8 cents an hour for their labor but most of it was withheld until they were sent overseas. They worked 48 hours a week for two years repairing the airfield and creating a golf course. The POWs then went to England where they were farm laborers for 2 more years. So, sometime around 1948 or 1949 a bunch of German soldiers who were probably captured in 1943 finally got back to Germany and by that time it had been split in two and was in shambles. AND THEY WERE THE LUCKY SURVIVORS OF THE WAR. So, don't give me your tired complaints about hard times.
Much more trivial is the fact that the movie The Legend of Billy Jean from 1985 has a scene that was filmed in a run down classic 1980s mall in Corpus Christi. I don't have pictures but there's a scene where the star is running around the mall. Well, that mall still exists and it's a museum of nostalgia. I have to admit I only watched that movie because the star was cute and blonde and dressed provocatively (and had a boyish hair cut that reminded me of Darcy Devins who was my biggest crush in 1988) so I don't recall the scene in the mall. I went there with a buddy's family to watch The Hunger Games. It is at the Dollar Cinema and since it was a matinee we only paid 75 cents. That was about what that movie is worth. Legend of Billy Jean should be required to play at that movie theater all day every day.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.