Saturday, March 28, 2015

A interesting trip to Port Aransas

Me an' my dog Sadie Mae took us a trip to Port Aransas yesterday. A 45 minute wait in the ferry line an' we was in paradise. That's what we used to call Port A many years ago before a gob of "do gooders" decided to turn it into a CITY. It's no longer the little fishing village it was back in it's earlier days.

I remember the first time I visited Port Aransas. It was back in 1964 while I was finish'n up my time in the US Navy. One more year to go Yeee haa....an' I got extended due to Viet Nam. Hospital time caused me to miss my ride to over there. I was restationed on another ship an' gave 30 days leave. Where to go? Hey I know, I ain't see my dad in bout 8 or10 years an' he lives in Port Aransas, Texas. I jump in the old 1956 Ford an' hit the road west in the direction of Texas somewheres west.

I got me a bunch of road maps but all them maps ain't no help to find Port Aransas. I don't know where the hell Port Aransas is at. Far as I know, it's close to El Paso.....or maybe Dallas. I don't know. At that time, Port Aransas was not populated enough to be on a map. By the time I reach Beaumont, Texas, I figger it's bout time to be ask'n directions. Nobody knowed neither. All they tell me is "it's gotta be somewheres west of Beaumont". But where?

Then I let my "sailor" mind kick in. A port, as in Port Aransas, in usually on the water an' the only water where ya can drive a ship, is the Gulf of Mexico.....that's south an' I end up in Galveston. I ask directions again at a Texaco gas station an' some old timer tells me it's down close to Corpus Christi. A new Texaco map reveals a tiny little fishing village out on a freak'n island....Mustang island by name. A barrier island. I still got me a couple hunnert miles to go. I had a flat tire an' two cops help me change it. One keeps ask'n for my driver license. For 10 minutes he keep ask'n me....an' I delay him with "wait a minute". When the first cop finish tighten the lug nuts, he says...."have a safe trip"....an' I'm out of there lickity split. The other cop is scratch'n his head...he didn't see my driver license. Thank god.

Follow'n the map directions, I pulls up to a little ferry boat. Pays my $1 an' drive up on that thing for a slow trip across the Corpus Christi ship channel. There's only two paved roads in Port Aransas, I follow one of 'em. That paved road leads me to a bunch of neon lit up beer signs in winders. Hmmmmm, I can get me a cold one an' ask if'n anybody know where to find my dad. Before I place my order, I hear this little band play'n in the back corner an' some drunk try'n to sing Hank Snow. Guess who THAT was? I spend the next 3 weeks in Port Aransas before I head back to the ship in Charleston, S. Carolina. I meet all my dad's drink'n buddies, I knows every bar maid on the island by name. I knowed where every poker game was go'n on. I knowed who has wanted posters by the law. I knowed both the local law enforcement officers.This was my dads way of entertain'n his long lost son.....Grrrrrrrr.   

Later I was stationed on another ship out of Galveston. A officer train'n ship. Terrible terrible duty....always out to sea do'n silly shit to train them officers how to scream an' chew ass of enlisted sailors. Many trips was made to Port Aransas on week ends. I met "yo mama" an' we was hitched. I watched the population of Port Aransas increase from bout 400 to 800 in the next couple years. 2012 population 3778....????. Discharged from the Navy in 1966, we finally moved to Port Aransas in 1968 or 69..."Paradise" on the Texas gulf coast.....Yeee haw!

For MsB....I was discharged from the Navy with good conduct honors. Three ribbons for my service. Git'n drunk an' do'n silly stuff ain't grounds for a bad conduct discharge. I think ya gotta punch somebody for that to happen. Ha....did I ever tell ya bout the time...I threatened a office I would push him overboard if'n I caught him on deck at night. I was only josh'n but he thought I mean it. At Captains mast, I was only restricted to ship for 30 days. Me an' Captain, we was tight. 

Back to yesterdays trip. I stop by Walmart to drop off my empty med thingys. "I'll pick 'em up on my way back". After the long wait for the ferrys, I heads to the 2 liquor stores. Pick up me some smokes....10 cartons. At $12.47 a carton for little cigars, I ain't out much. Ha, much much less than if'n I was a Marlboro man at something like $55 a carton. Jesus, I would quit before I pay that much.

I goes by my mail service place an' pick up my mail. Mistake #1 was, I didn't thumb through my mail. Cruised around the island a bit an' headed back to the ferry line, board an' we off the island. Sadie Mae has got to pee. So's we make a stop, let Sadie Mae out to do her business an' sniff all the plants. I sit in the "billy jeep" an' thumb through my mail. YIKES.....what's this??? A post office box rental fee notice. My box rent is due by Feb. 28th. I begin to stress....is my PO box closed. Have I lost all my recent mail? How comes my box rent ain't been paid? I ain't got no phone to call the post office. Ain't got no phone to call my mail service people. My blood pressure goes up. It's 3:15 an' the ferry line is 1 hour wait time long. The post office will be closed.

I'm got myself so stressed out that I done forget all bout my meds at Walmart. I'm go'n a hunnert mile a hour to get back to "da house" an' my phone before the post office shuts down for the day. Ha, I'm 5 minutes late...it's 4:05 an' them suckers don't answer the the freak'n ring'n phone. I calls the mail service people. The nice little girl tells me...."I don't know if we paid the fee or not". I'm bout to puke...I'm too freak'n old for this kind of stuff.

So's I get online. I did this one time before an' pay my box rent. What could be so hard? Well, let me tell ya bout the changes. You have to join some USPS personal account thingy. User names, passwords, name an' address....stuff like that. Well, I ain't got a address. Ain't had one in 12 years. All I got is a PO box number.
Anyhows, I finally give the City Marina address where my sailboat was at. It worked, I'm a registered member of the post office. I'm still stressed. I finally get to my PO box rental fee page an' guess what.....my rent ain't due until Feb 2016. Man....I wipes me some sweat off'n my brows.....sit back an' relax....take me some deep breaths. Light up a smoke an' down a mug of coffee.


  1. Your life sounds like mine. I hate getting old. I'm losing it! Go to town for 10 reasons; come home and realize I forgot 6 of them. Feels good though when you finally realize you made a mistake in your thinking i.e. PO rental. I forget words too often Only maybe can remember the first letter of a word. Bad, bad, bad.

    Good to learn your swollen feet have receded. Few year ago I had this problem - taking certain BP meds. I quit that $ship quickly. Swelling of the lower extremities is sign of a serious problem; years ago they would call it "Dropsy" of the heart. Tight socks about my ankles cause swelling often now.

    Enjoyed tremendously reading this post. You've had quite many experiences or should we call them 'fiascos'? Ha,ha, ha.

    1. I turn the top of my socks over one fold, and then push the entire sock down as far as I can go. Then they aren't too tight above my ankles which makes them swell.

    2. 'm speaking of those nasty "nylonee" ones. Learned to cut the top band off and it helped greatly. Do you wear those tight socks, Billy Bob. Not thinking you do.

  2. "For MsB....I was discharged from the Navy with good conduct honors. Three ribbons for my service. Git'n drunk an' do'n silly stuff ain't grounds for a bad conduct discharge."

    Thanks for clearing that up :D

    I enjoyed your post and could identify with not thumbing through the mail while I was in town and could actually take care of business then and there.

  3. I remember going to Port Aransas in the 60's with my parents. It must of been a holiday or perhaps summer (you know CRS) and as we pulled up to a motel an angry guy yelled at the manager "You want how much? You must be crazy unless the color TV comes home with me"

    I think the rate was either $25 or $30 dollars...my how times have changed! We moved along too...

  4. I know where Galveston is and I can find El Paso on a map but I don't have any idea about Port Aransas or Corpus Christi. Better go look at my wall map in my camping equipment room!

  5. Good post Billy Bob, but now I bet you have cramps in your hands from typing all that.

    Some day I will have to head down that way. I have been all over Texas; the pan handle, the Davis Mts., Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texarkana, Dayton and Liberty. . . but never further south than just a few miles past Mud Island and Christmas Bay.

  6. Just love that area of Port Aransas, but is getting more touristy all the time. Glad you got the mail box sorted out.

  7. Here's one old gal that knows nothing of Port Aransas. Feeling like a stranger at the door of new neighbors. Sounds nice. I've never been in Texas. I love ocean waters, don't live near (reside in mountains) and now physically immobile, unable to see it again walk the sand and wade the tides. So I truly enjoy reading others' experiences. I wonder, can I find the port area on Google?