2 September 2016

Galveston

It is rare to receive holiday postcards these days. There was a time when sending postcards home was an obligatory feature of all weeks spent away. "Wish you were here" and all of that. Now with e-mails and the humdrum frequency of travel, holiday postcards almost seem anachronistic, belonging to a different time.

Nonetheless, yesterday, a postcard fell upon our doormat. It showed colourful fishing boats bobbing by a wharf and down in the bottom right hand corner the legend - "Galveston Island". I guessed immediately who it was from - my old university friend John and his wife, Helen.

We met up in June when they came down to Yorkshire from Bonny Scotland. I reminded John of  a late night notion we had shared back in the mid-seventies as we reflected on Glen Campbell's song "Galveston":-
Galveston, oh Galveston, 
I still hear your sea winds blowin'
I still see her dark eyes glowin'
She was 21 when I left Galveston

Galveston, oh Galveston, 
I still hear your sea waves crashing
While I watch the cannons flashing
I clean my gun and dream of Galveston

I still see her standing by the water
Standing there lookin' out to sea 
And is she waiting there for me? 
On the beach where we used to run 

Galveston, oh Galveston, 
I am so afraid of dying
Before I dry the tears she's crying
Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun
At Galveston, at Galveston

We said that one day we would go to Galveston, hear those sea waves crashing and walk upon the beach where Glen and his twenty one year old girl used to run. Though I haven't yet made it to Galveston, Texas John and Helen finally got there - a modern day Shangri-La complete with oil tankers and tacky seaside retailers and plush condominiums for weekenders from Houston and Dallas and of course, "seabirds flying in the sun".

This is what John wrote on the obverse side of the card...

"Dreams can come true if you make your wish strong 
enough Dorothy. Waiting for Glen Campbell to start 
singing on the juke box"

Looking at those fishing boats again, I notice that one of them is called "SHIRLEY B SHRIMPIN' ". This could be a sign. Perhaps one day soon a  Texan road trip is in order. It is something we have considered before. A dream of Galveston. I wonder if I will ever get there.

31 comments:

  1. It's funny what motivates us to make certain trips. As an American, I find it peculiar that someone would travel halfway around the planet to go to Galveston, of all places. But whatever floats your boat, as they say!

    I like that Glen Campbell song (as well as many old Glen Campbell songs). But I always associate Galveston with disaster, because of a legendary hurricane that destroyed the city in 1900 and killed 8,000 people. The deadliest hurricane in American history, reportedly!

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    1. Just wait till Hurricane Yorkshire gets there Steve.

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    2. No doubt you will be a storm to contend with!

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  2. One of our most enjoyable US holidays took in Houston ad Dallas - Texas is such a huge state and there is so much to see. Go on, YP, push the boat out and get your cowboy hat on.

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    1. My head is too big for a cowboy hat - even a ten gallon hat wouldn't fit. You have been to a lot of places Mrs Weaver. Nice memories to replay like a family video.

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  3. Jimmy Webb wrote some beautiful songs; and Glen Campbell sang them so well. I've also got a CD of Webb singing his own songs...and I love that CD. There's nothing quite like the songwriter singing his own songs.

    It's so sad that Glen Campbell is now in the unforgiving grip of Alzheimer's. He was so good...he will live on through the many songs he so generously shared with us.

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    1. I didn't know that The Big A had gripped him. How sad to end your days spiralling downwards like that.

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    2. You might find this site interesting, Yorkie. It is sad, but Glen Campbell performed on as long as he could...as long as it was possible for him to do so.

      http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/glen-campbell-in-final-stages-of-alzheimers-disease-20160308

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    3. I remember when his illness was announced. He was my first crush as a young woman when he was in True Grit.

      Memories. I hope his are the good ones and not the Tanya Tucker years

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  4. Texas is wonderful. Galveston, not so much. I lived in Houston for eleven years and spent much time in Galveston. Think you'd enjoy the east or west coast beaches more. Martha's Vineyard was beautiful. Carlsbad, CA or Coronado Beach, CA. Northwest US coast sublime. Galveston would probably come in last.

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    1. But Glen Campbell didn't sing about Martha's Vineyard Donna. It doesn't matter to me if Galveston and Galveston Island are third class places. We would only be there for a short while before perhaps travelling in a Texan circle, taking in Louisiana too.

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    2. Okay, but better carry a gun.

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  5. You should come to South Carolina instead. And North Carolina is nice, too.

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    1. If I come to South Carolina I shall visit your place of work and bawl out one or two of your co-workers. Don't worry Jennifer, I won't tell them that I know you through bloggery.

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    2. "Bloggery" sounds faintly dirty. Lol.

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    3. Bloggery is good honest fun between consenting adults.

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  6. Galveston, oh Galveston... I shall be singing this for days now.

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    1. "She was 21 when I left Bridlington..."

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  7. Great tune. I think there are many places I would visit before Galveston. Any songs about Sheffield?

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    1. No. No significant songs about Sheffield that I can recall. And songs about Red Deer?... It rhymes with beer.

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    2. Red Deer is 90 minutes down the road, and honestly not worth the trip!

      Sheffield? Home of Sean Bean?

      Yup, totally useless info

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  8. I think I remember you wrote about John and Helen visiting earlier this year.
    How nice to receive a postcard! I used to write so many when I was on holiday, but after there weren't hardly any back from those people I wrote to, gave up on it a few years ago.
    Now you could consider my blog posts as a sort of extended postcards, I suppose.

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    1. I know that if I am away on holiday and I make a blogpost, it is rather like sending a modern day postcard.

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  9. Don't dream, do it!
    I was a big fan of Glen Campbell and songs often motivate me to visit places - I would have added Galveston to my Texas visit in 2000, but time and money dictated otherwise.

    I was amused by Steve's comment, travel is such a personal choice, sometimes for reasons no one else can fathom.

    Alphie

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    1. We'll see. When Shirley retires from work I think we will return to New Zealand. Maybe we can fit Texas in too.

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  10. In answer to your question YP - suicide.

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  12. Thanks for this post - never been to Galveston, but like many others I was (still am) a big Glen Campbell fan. My sis surprised me with tickets to see him on one of his last tours here in Southern California - it was a bucket list item. He had several prompters to help him with lyrics and several of his kids who played there covered for him and took up some slack when needed.
    But yeah - probably many other vacation worthy spots to visit rather then Galveston.

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  13. Thanks for this post - never been to Galveston, but like many others I was (still am) a big Glen Campbell fan. My sis surprised me with tickets to see him on one of his last tours here in Southern California - it was a bucket list item. He had several prompters to help him with lyrics and several of his kids who played there covered for him and took up some slack when needed.
    But yeah - probably many other vacation worthy spots to visit rather then Galveston.

    ReplyDelete

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