A Swinging Soiree

A Swinging Soiree

I don’t remember my grandmother Tommy Izora, she died when I was 4. All I know of her is from family photos and stories handed down over time. I was surprised to see her in a 1960 issue of the Hiltonitems—a magazine issued by the Hilton Hotels Corporation. I just recently found out she had […]

Every Hour is Happy Hour

Every Hour is Happy Hour

I remember so well the story my mother [Pat Sweet] told me as a child about her time spent as an elevator operator for the Shamrock Hilton Hotel in Houston. From what I can discern, it seems to have been a time when employees with outstanding social graces where highly prized, and mom surely fit the […]

A Colorful Life—Louise Valdez

A Colorful Life—Louise Valdez

I’ve always believed that any individual could be taught to be artistic. For lack of a better homogenous definition, I will use the term “artistic” to refer to any creative form of self-expression—be it painting, writing, singing and such. I thought it was simply a matter of learning how to use the tools of a particular craft, coupled with continued practice […]

Blue-Collar Man

Blue-Collar Man

As historians seek to preserve Houston’s history from an architectural standpoint through the documentation of many influential and visionary architects and financiers who are responsible for the iconic buildings and structures that dot Houston’s skyline, let us not forget the blue-collar worker and his/her significant role in bringing their vision to fruition. Countless masons, electricians, […]

Wheel Within A Wheel

Wheel Within A Wheel

Round, like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, Never ending or beginning on an ever-spinning reel, A circle in a spiral, a wheel within a wheel, Never ending or beginning, on an ever-spinning reel, As the images unwind, like the circles that you find, In the windmills of your mind.” […]

Tools Of The Trade

Tools Of The Trade

If only we knew what Tifford Denton Cocker saw through this vintage magnifier. My father-in-law Herman Garrett at one time carefully packed it away with tissue in a Gerber baby food jar for safe keeping. Herman must have hoped that future generations could gain some insight into who Tifford had been. The magnifier’s provenance is […]

The Things We Treasure

The Things We Treasure

All I know of Henry Leroy Garrett is contained in an old metal safety box, dented and labeled with a sharpie marker. Multiple pairs of eyeglasses, personal documents, musty leather wallets once lovingly repaired with needle and thread, and a social security card are among the box’s modest contents. I wonder why we treasure old […]

Doctor in the House

Doctor in the House

While conducting research and flipping through old pictures and documents from mom’s house, I came across a copy of what appears to be an old newspaper clipping of unknown origin, whose content I have transcribed below. I was excited to see is was a story about my great-great-grandfather—James Jacob Facundus. While I find the document […]

Oldest Living Person in North Texas

Oldest Living Person in North Texas

The following is an entry in its entirety found on Find a Grave.com “Note: The following two newspaper articles are repetitious in some paragraphs but one contains different information than the other.” GRANDMA DOCKERY She lived in Three Centuries and Expects to Attend the Confederate Reunion The Dallas Morning News, January 17, 1902 Special to the […]