Countdown To Hurricane Carla
New School Year Was Major Local Concern In August '61
(Second In Series Of Articles)
BY BERT C. WEST
In the month before Hurricane Carla would ravish the Palacios area, most of the concern in the "City by the Sea" was centered on getting ready for the 1961-62 school year. Such stores as Brandon's, Cooper's, K. Wolen's and Oldham's were advertising back-to-school clothing and/or school supplies.
Cooper's Ben Franklin also had its eye on Christmas, advertising it had a large selection of dolls and inviting "lay-aways for Christmas."
Other news gleaned from the Palacios Beacon during the month of August, 1961, included the following:
Several hundred Baptist preachers and laymen were in town for the 15th annual Brotherhood Encampment on Aug. 4-5.
Lorraine Basford was writing her weekly Grassy Point Fishing News column for the Beacon, telling about the success the fishermen were enjoying.
Police Chief Tom Hill reported local police handled 32 cases in July, including 13 for drunkenness and 12 for traffic offenses.
The Beacon was publishing pictures of local and area children who had their pictures taken at Paxton's Studio.
Construction got underway on the new City State Bank building at the corner of Fifth and Main. Bank president M.M. Brooking said he had "hopes for a first of year opening" of the new facility.
John C. Richards was elected new president of the Palacios Little League, with W.R. (Bob) Stewart, vice president; and Myra Brhlik, secretary-treasurer.
Texaco brought in two new oil wells in the Blessing area.
Head Coach Toney Carr and assistants, Charles Shreve and Harry Treybig, welcomed the largest turnout ever of prospects for football when 41 candidates showed up for the first day of fall practice on Aug. 14. Returning lettermen for the Sharks were reported as Carl Barrett, Ralph Bowers, Robert Dillard, Bruce Erekson, Terry Oglesby, Jack Seaquist, Terry Shelton and Kenneth Smith.
Coach Roy Wauson had 26 boys reporting for the start of practice for the Junior High School Hornets.
The PHS cheerleaders and band were also getting set for the football season. The cheerleaders were Ann Cooper, Rita Rogers, Susan Sanford and Dolly Leadford. For the Shark band, Janice Oglesby was drum major. Twirlers were Carolyn Maddox, Ginger Shearer, Sue Brotemarkle and Shirley Hogg.
On Aug. 24, County Agent Rayford Ray reported 7% of the county's 39,240 acres of rice had been harvested. "Everything points toward a bumper crop‹ if the weather cooperates," he said.
Also on the 24th, a back-to-school teen-age dance was held on the Palacios Pavilion, music by "The Moods."
September rolled onto the scene with the sounding of school bells for the first day of classes on Friday, Sept. 1. Supt. Ralph Newsom reported a record 1,498 students enrolled in the five PISD schools on opening day. The schools, principals and enrollment totals were as follows:
- High School, J.G. Smith, Jr., principal, 191 students
- Junior High, George D. Holst, principal, 330 students
- East Side, V. J. Kahlich, principal, 423 students
- Central, Miss Elizabeth Sission, principal, 487 students
- Negro School, G.H. Sanford, principal, 67 students
On Saturday, Sept. 2, the Palacios Chamber of Commerce opened its Labor Day Weekend Celebration with a dance on the pavilion, featuring the music of Babe Garcia and his orchestra.
On Sunday, Sept. 3, grand opening of the new Cecil Lee American Legion Post home at Blessing was held. Post Commander was Lee M. Pierce. Emcee for the ceremonies was State Senator Culp Krueger of El Campo.
Sept. 3 also brought the birth of Hurricane Carla!
Next Week: Part 3The final eight days to Carla and the first reports to the nation.
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Click HERE For 3rd Article In Series.