ADORABLE VENOMOUS CATERPILLARS BACK ON THE CRAWL FROM SEABROOK TO WEST U ‘Tis the season for stinging asps, notes Kaitlin McCulley while recounting a Seabrook resident’s recent encounter with one of the critters (also known as the puss caterpillar or, on occasion, the “toxic toupee”). The woolly caterpillars, whose delicate venomous spines are known to cause reactions in children such as 5-hour screaming fits and to necessitate the occasional emergency room visit in adults, are up in numbers for the fall as per usual, though their population and season varies from year to year depending on weather and food conditions. Over in West University, a sign currently hanging on the gate of Weir Park notes that the city’s parks folks will be putting out diatomaceous earth to kill the asps they’d spotted; the caterpillars have also been sighted (or felt) lately near the Harbach-Ripley Neighborhood Center in Golfcrest and in Lost Creek Park in Sugar Land. [ABC13] Photo of puss caterpillar warning sign in Weir Park, 3012 Nottingham St.: Swamplot inbox
Something caught the eye of occasional construction scrutinizer Tuco Ramirez yesterday at the corner of McHenry and Carothers streets (and not just the site’s elaborate and colorful vinyl construction fencing): what appeared to be 2 workers on the job in the middle of the downpour and accompanying lightning. Upon slowing down to take a closer look, Ramirez realized the figures “were standing still — turns out they weren’t working at all.”
Above are some close-ups of the mannequins snapped after the rain slowed down; while both do appear to be making an effort to model some level of appropriate protective gear, each still lacks a few of the basics, from safety goggles to pants. “Have to admit, if it wasn’t pouring cats and dogs at the time, I would never have noticed they were fake,” continues Ramirez. “I got out of my truck to snap these shots from a good perspective, but I assure you they look very convincing from the street view.”
Here’s the rest of the scene:
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Props in Golfcrest
On the corner of McHenry and Carothers streets in Golfcrest, a reader notes both ongoing construction and its increasingly complex backdrop: “They’ve put up walls around [the site], probably for security, but they’ve been dressing up these walls . . . I’m pretty sure that pink door trim is made of vinyl.” County records show that the property (west of Telephone Rd. and south of the South Loop) was sold in February of last year; permits have since been issued related to a remodel and add-on to the 1941 home.
Photo: Tuco Ramirez
Now in Technicolor
Telephone Road south of I-45 has changed forever, declares John Nova Lomax:
Gone is the Mexican Catholic blue-collar neighborhood to the north around Queen of Peace church, its place taken by a string of hot sheet motels, clip joints, massage parlors and other such venues of vice. This is what’s left of the Telephone Road Mark May, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Culturcide and others have written songs about.
But it’s all impossibly sadder. The Telephone Road that Earle and Crowell sang about in the rollicking songs of that name is long gone. Crowell’s version is set in the ’50s and early ’60s, and Earle’s in the early ’70s. Today’s Telephone Road far better fits Earle’s “The Other Side of Town.”
There’s more street-level reporting in Lomax and David Beebe’s latest narrated and well-lubricated walking tour, which starts Downtown and heads east along Leeland, through a neighborhood called Edmondson Addition:
Boarded-up hovels line some streets, awaiting inevitable transformation into the (mostly shoddy) condos that are springing up like dandelions here. Other streets reminded us of some of Galveston’s less opulent older districts – one and two-story wood frame houses standing on bricks, interspersed with brick warehouses and workshops.
The story includes Lomax’s encounters with Golfcrest’s underground shopping-cart economy and his retelling of a Telephone Rd. crack-and-hookers tale too uh . . . racy to fit into a song lyric.
After the jump, a very different portrait of Telephone Rd. from an earlier era.
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