THE END OF GALVESTON AS WE KNEW IT John Nova Lomax tours the unsung wreckage from Hurricane Ike: “In Galveston, the progress looks superficially impressive. Scaled-back and/or rescheduled editions of major tourist draws like Dickens on the Strand and the Lone Star Biker Rally went over fairly well. Things seem to be getting back to normal, and here in Houston, the second our power came back on, the lines dwindled at the corner gas station and the streetlights returned to working order, most of us ‘moved on.’ Hasn’t Galveston as well? In a word, no.” [Houston Press]
I truly feel Galveston would recover much quicker if Casino Gaming allowed. It worked wonders for the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The problem is that the politicians in Austin are bought and paid for by gambling lobbies from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma to not allow gaming here.
Often the religious groups get the TV time and blame for gambling being blocked in Texas. The reality is that they have very little influence. Money talks, and the casinos in two border states and the distant state of Mississippi spends a lot to stop legalized gambling here.
The sheers amount money going into the operations out of state are staggering. Even in these times they still are staggering.
I finally drove down to see Post-Ike Galveston the Sunday after Christmas. It was extremely sad. Stray boats still dot 61st Street. Many, if not most, places are still closed. The Strand, which should have been full of cash-wielding visitors on a Sunday afternoon, was all but bare of people. If you haven’t made the trip yet, do. And bring some money to have a meal or buy something from the few establishments that are sticking it out. On the bright side, many places had signs that said “Will reopen spring 2009.” I hope that happens.
I drove to Galveston the day after Christmas and while I saw that a lot of cleanup had occurred and that a lot of work is occurring, I saw that there was still a lot of work to be done. However, I came away seeing no reason that Galveston can’t come back. I only toured the areas behind the seawall (not west or east beaches) and for the most part all the buildings are still standing, thanks to the work after the 1900 storm to raise them. A lot of hard work, tenacity and a little faith and Galveston will be good to go.