Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fun Day With My Brother

(Dickinson, TX) Hi 76 Lo 68 – My brother Johnny came about 10:15 this morning to spend the day with us. He lives in Wilmington, NC but has been here in Texas for the past year working for a company that’s contracted to renovate and make structural repairs to parts of the battleship USS Texas. The Texas was launched in 1912 and saw action in both world wars. When she was commissioned in 1914 she was considered the most powerful weapon in the world. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

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The ship is on display in LaPorte, TX on the Houston ship channel adjacent to the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. The company Johnny works for, Taylor Marine, is the main contractor on a multi-million dollar renovation project. Johnny took us through the “back door” so to speak, on the opposite side of the ship from the public entrance, for a personalized tour of the work area where they’re making repairs.

He led us down five decks all throughout the engine room to see some of the new steel that’s replacing rusted out areas. It was very interesting to see this hundred year old ship from the inside, and we were amazed at how such a structure was built considering the limited technology of the day. It was a tight squeeze with narrow stairways (“ladders” in Navy speak) and very cramped. And EVERYTHING is made of steel, so if you hit it, bump it, or scrape it, it hurts!

Johnny and Dee.

After our tour below decks we took some time to check out some of the public areas of the ship.

Brother Johnny and Me. It sure is nice to see him, it’s been awhile since we’ve had some time to spend with each other.

When we were done looking over this magnificent old ship, we drove about a mile away to the San Jacinto Battleground Monument.

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The monument is dedicated to the "Heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto and all others who contributed to the independence of Texas." With a height of 570 feet It’s the tallest stone column monument in the world (15 feet taller than the Washington Monument).

We rode the elevator up to the observation deck at the top.

The view from the top was spectacular! Here’s the USS. Texas where we just left.

And here’s the Houston skyline, barely visible in the haze way off in the distance.

There are many oil refineries all around this area.


After stopping for a bite of lunch at Quizno’s, we made a stop to pick up dinner for tonight. Johnny directed us to the Seabrook Waterfront District, where there are many seafood dealers. We love fresh fish, so we stopped at Rose’s Seafood.

They have quite an operation, and you can get just about anything that grows in the sea, including octopus and squd.

We picked up some flounder, catfish, speckled trout, and for dinner tonight some nice red snapper fillets. Johnny is going to show me how to cook fish on my grill. I’ve always been hesitant to try it because I didn’t want to risk ruining some good (and pricey) fish by screwing it up. Tonight if it gets screwed up I can blame my brother, just like I blamed him for everything when we were kids. Smile

We came back to the park and chilled for a couple of hours before dinner. We’ll give a report on our grilled red snapper dinner in tomorrow’s post. See you then!


Alberta Walter said...

It's so good to see my two boys together. You all have a wonderful good time. Love ya'll.

Speedy said...

We love that area down there. We were at the ship and the monument just last March when we went down to see my sister. We had planned to go there next June but we have decided to head further east this time.

Laurel Owen said...

How cool that he was able to take you where the public isn't allowed. That must have been great for Jim (and Dee!) to see!

Bob and Vicky said...

You'll love Red Snapper! We live in Mission, TX during the winter and go out in the gulf Snapper Fishing a couple times - always a fun day and always the best meal to finish it off.

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

15 feet taller than the Washington Monument? Just goes to show that everything is bigger in Texas! :cD

Dizzy-Dick said...

It was the opposite with me. I live in Texas and worked a project for two and a half years at GE Nuclear in Wilmington, N.C.

Bob and Jo said...

Way behind reading blogs, added USS Texas to our list.