There is no doubt about it: Summer is here! The “island near the United States” has experienced some record-breaking temperatures during the past few weeks and, if predictions are correct, there is more to come.
Along with the intense heat this year has come days and nights filled with very high humidity levels — the kind that keep you sweaty and longing to be inside near a fan or air conditioner. Mix all of this with some occasional rains and you have the makings of a hot and sultry summer along the Texas Gulf Coast.
There are those that jokingly say the humidity “keeps our skin in great shape here on the Island.” That just may be the case, as there are a lot of “smooth-skinned” Galvestonians strolling around the sand box!
Back in 1965, the Temptations released the song “My Girl” and it was a huge hit. The song written by the great Smokey Robinson and Ronald White (members of The Miracles) was an instant success and has become an iconic entry in the American repertoire of music. Just a few first notes and everyone instantly recognizes the song. “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day….”
How can that song and the warm lyrics not make you smile? There may be cloudy days now and then in Galvetraz, but there is always sunshine and a smile.
During the hot days and nights of summer, it is easy to get caught up in play or other activities and forget a few common sense rules that help to ensure a fun and safe adventure on the Island: lots of hydration (though alcohol is fun, water is better), sun screen and shade, hats, bug spray if out and about at night, moderation in most things and, if you are a pet owner, plenty of fresh water for your furry family members. With heat in excess of 100 degrees, it does not take long for a dog or cat to get overheated and possibly suffer a stroke or even death.
Another thing to consider when bringing Fifi to the beach and strolling along the Seawall is the hot cement. Prolonged exposure can quickly blister the paws and pads of critters not used to walking on the hot surface.
Finally, if you’re in the water, pay attention to signs and lifeguards (if present), as summer brings many rip currents, jellyfish and other harmful things. It is best to be wise and aware.
There is nothing more relaxing than a few beers or drinks at the beach, but don’t overdo it and compromise your safety in and around the water.
So summer is here and so are the tourist and visitors. There are a lot of activities on the Island to keep everyone happy and busy. Traffic is a monster and navigating the Seawall can be quite a stressful task.
The new red-lighted crosswalks on the Seawall are causing quite a stir amongst locals and some visitors. Letters in the Daily News have reflected some aggravation with “Tillman’s Cross Walks” located along the Boulevard. The main thing is to be careful and observant for pedestrians heading to and from the beach. Kids are excited and parents are excited, not always paying attention to traffic and when to walk.
Thanks to a group of LGBTQ citizens and supporters, the crosswalks in front of City Hall were painted with the rainbow flag colors. This was a wonderful gesture and truly showed how welcoming and diverse the Island can be. Galveston has always been a gathering spot for “edge dwellers” and free thinkers. From pirates and prostitutes to bootleggers and gamblers, the Island has welcomed all since the beginning in 1830s.
As would be expected, there were a few letters and negative comments sent to the newspaper about the colorful crosswalks and, despite those comments filled with twisted logic and misinformation, the rainbow walks were a welcome addition to Galveston’s Gay Pride, or Pride Galveston.
It is important to note that the project was privately funded and developed; no city or county monies were used in the endeavor.
Huge kudos to the organizers of the crosswalks. City Councilman David Collins and City Manager Brain Maxwell were on hand at the presentation on City Hall steps to welcome supporters that came out to honor Galveston’s large LGBTQ community and diverse citizens.
On July 7, a great Galvestonian and patriarchal figure within the LGBTQ community turned 90! A huge celebration took place at the beautiful home of Arthur Kennedy on Avenue O. Life partner Jesse Flores put together a fabulous gathering complete with food, drink, music, and love. Kennedy has lived on the Island for many years and is a much-loved figure in the community. With more energy than a 30-year-old, 90-year-old Arthur is always seen walking his dog, gatherings, parties, civic events, and social venues as well as hosting one hell of a Mardi Gras party in his palatial home. Arthur is an island treasure and reminds all that you are only as young as you feel! Happy Birthday, Arthur Kennedy. Stay safe, be kind to one another, and spread love. After all, in the end, it is the only thing that really matters.