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Showing posts from 2010

Guitarist, Singer 'Mean' Gene Kelton Killed in School Bus Crash

HOUSTON - FOX 26 News has learned the person killed in a wreck involving a Crosby ISD school bus was Houston-based singer-songwriter "Mean" Gene Kelton.

The wreck happened on FM 2100 around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Kelton was the only fatality in the crash, but 11 people on the school bus were transported to the hospital as a precaution.

Friends and fans paid their respects on Kelton's Facebook page after a 'status update' announced his death.
"To my friends and fans of Mean Gene Kelton: Gene was involved in an accident in Crosby late Tuesday evening, and did not survive. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, especially his children and his mother, Helen."
According to Kelton's website, he was one of the top blues guitarists in Texas. Along with his regular performances across Texas, Kelton also spent time as an actor and author. Kelton was scheduled to perform a New Year's Eve show at the Rowdy Bucks Saloon in Crosby. In early December, he open…

The 33 Rules of Geocachingland by Baytown Bert

1. Cardio (you will need it)

2. The Double Tap (bring redundant data)

3. Beware of Bathrooms (don't use PI for TP)

4. Wear Seat Belts (it's the law)

5. No Attachments (check for ticks)

6. The “Skillet” (remember granola bars)

7. Travel Light (you may be out late)

8. Get a Trusted Partner (self-explanitory)

9. With your Bare Hands (bring band-aids)

10. Don’t Swing Low (barbwire in the back)

11. Use Your Foot (see number 10)

12. Bounty Paper Towels (see number 3)

13. Shake it Off (ladies, see number 12)

14. Bring Change of underwear (in case you forget number 12)

15. Bowling Ball (if all else fails, crawl under it)

16. Opportunity Knocks (FTF!)

17. Don’t be a hero (occasionally let someone else be FTF)

18. Limber Up (3 push-ups will usually qualify)

19. Break it Up (be the first to say "break is over")

20. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, unless it’s a sprint, then sprint (see number 16)

21. Avoid Strip Clubs (avoid skirt-lifting as often as possible)

22. When in doubt…

Hazelwood Benefits extended to Vets Kids!

. Many times veterans from all era's never hear of earned benefits they have in Texas. Many of our Baytown Veterans of Veterans Of Foreign Wars Post 912 and Vietnam Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter 922 mission is to make sure we educate our area Veterans about earned benefits. Many web sites have been set up to help all veterans and families look up or apply for State and Federal benefits. Today I want Veterans to know that many State Representatives and many Veterans in Texas have made it possible now for Texas

Veterans to have their Hazelwood Act for educational funds go to their children under 25 as per procedures set up by State of Texas.

This is a awesome benefit for a Veteran's children and here is where to get information

Also I hope all eligible Veterans join us and become members at VFW or VVA in Baytown,TX. Our mission is to help other Veterans and families and our community. If you need any veteran type information we m…

My Observations Entering the New Year 2011

- The BP oil spill was over-blown by the media creating a giant panic and millions of wasted tax dollars. The reason I say this is based on observation of the multitude of news programs, news articles, an extensive understanding of the industry and two eye witnesses who covered the spill from Texas to Florida. The first was my Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) instructor this year. This fellow spent 3 months working the coast line and never saw oil other than one time when he saw a light sheen in one small area. No oily birds, no blobs of oil – nada. The second is an independent film maker friend of mine who, on the government dime, documented…nothing and this for 2 months.

- Garry Brumback leaving Baytown may be very bad for Baytown. Mr. Brumback has been very good for Baytown and I am basing this on my personal observation and personal communication between him and myself. Whenever I brought up a concern, he was quick to address it and as just one…

Take THAT Comcast!

If you were affected by this outage, by all means call your Comcast rep and get a credit.  They don't mind hammering you for every little cent, so make that call.

Eleven Intrepid Geocachers Take on TEXAS Series

Yesterday, 11 intrepid geocachers tackled the 47-cache series dubbed TEXAS in George Bush park.  We logged 11.5 foot miles in 82 degree heat, briars galore, and no trail to speak of.  Texas Dreamcacher wrote a poem to commemorate the effort:

'Twas the Winter Solstice
with our apologies to
Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston
By Texas DreamCacher

'Twas the Winter Solstice in George Bush Park
And cachers began to gather - even though it was dark;

Packs were loaded and batteries checked
While GPSR's were hung 'round their necks;

The gate was still chained and padlocked,
But Baytown Bert said, “It's time... says my clock.”

“On geogeex, Team Trogladyte and AaronBarbee,
Z_Malloc, ggmorton and Nebulous703....

Move Nov64, agtitan, GreatBirds... ya hear?
We'll let slo-poke, TDW bring up the rear!”
And so it began long before daylight,
11 brave cachers sallied forth, unaware of their plight;

The morning sky was cloudy and gray,
Looked it 'twould be a perfect caching day;

Down the p…

The Eagles Have Landed…Again!

In the slim chance that you haven’t heard, the eagles are back on Tri City Beach Road adjacent to Evergreen Golf Course. American bald eagles, that is and our country’s symbol of freedom. From morning to dark, observers line the road to watch, learn and photograph this great raptor.

A couple of evenings ago, I was on Evergreen road and cruised over in my snazzy KIA Rio 5 to have a gander for myself. Already assembled were a dozen or so folks, most of which were sporting expensive cameras with giant lenses and sturdy tri-pods. Everyone was bundled up against the wind and 40 degree weather – and there were no eagles present.

Passing amongst them, I asked if anyone was a member of the Baytown Photo Club only to learn none were from here. Two were from San Antonio, one from Beaumont, three from College Station and on and on. All were standing in the hard-packed dirt along the no-shoulder road waiting a chance to see the birds.

Since it was near dusk, it was a logical conclusion that all o…

A Date Which SHOULD Live in Infamy

After polling a number of my younger coworkers yesterday about the American significance of December 7th and finding they had no reference point, I brought out breakfast, cooked it, and presented it to them, to call to remembrance a "date which will live in infamy".

The day we forget our own history, is the day we are doomed to repeat it.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

"The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent Amer…

Houston Geocaching Society Featured Cacher Nov 2010

HGCS: What got you interested in caching?

BaytownBert: Back in 2003, I was introduced to the idea of geocaching by the famous Sam Morrow (UsMorrows). Sam was the Lab Super and since we are both computer nerds, we would share and compare each morning while I was passing by on my rounds. I found about 40 caches before I came to the conclusion my bride was not interested and since I had numerous other hobbies, I decided to drop geocaching in favor of continuing mutual interests. Now years later, I decided it was time I get back to hiking and well, geocaching gives me a reason to be on the trail, plus it’s a reward for the labor.

HGCS: How did you decide on your caching name?

BaytownBert: I’ve been BaytownBert online (300 bps) before Al Gore invented the Internet. I moved to Baytown in 1974 and put down roots. I do my best to promote the city and surrounding area on a daily basis and folks recognize my name for the proactive work I do here and my columns in the Baytown Sun and my blog.


Local Artist helps Wheelers for the Wounded Project

Posted: Sunday, November 21, 2010 12:05 am   The Baytown Sun - Jane Howard Lee
*Photo Nicki Evans

What Baytown resident Jim McDonnel can do with pencils is pretty amazing.

What the pencils have done for him is perhaps more amazing still.

The walls of the home that McDonnel shares with wife Cindy are covered with art and much of it is his work.

A self-trained artist, he works in pen and ink and in acrylics, but his favorite medium is pencil.

Born in Alice, Texas, McDonnel spent his earliest years in south Texas, but moved to Barbers Hill when he was in high school. He graduated from Barbers Hill High School in 1974.

Life led him to work in a chemical plant. He was employed by Dow Chemical in Freeport for 23 years while he and Cindy raised a daughter. When he retired, they moved to Baytown, but retirement didn’t suit him for long. He soon went back to work full time in a Baytown chemical plant and works there still.

"I guess I started really drawing in junior high," McDonnel …

Prints for Sale -Wheelers for the Wounded

One of Kind prints available. These prints were drawn by fellow Wheeler and artist Jim McDonnel. They are numbered 1-150 and are signed by Jim. This print was given to Wheelers for the Wounded and all proceeds will go to help fund the 2011 main event. This is a quality print, not a copy. It is done a quality 100# paper. It is suitable for framing and should last many lifetimes. It would make a great gift for any soldier. Jim has expressed an interested in doing a series, every year. This would make it very collectible.
The price is $25 per print and $5 for shipping and handling. I can ship up to 5 prints for that price. For example, if you wanted 3 prints the price would be $75 plus $5 for shipping. Below is a picture of the print.
Contact info: Bodanno at

WWII War Hero Passes Quietly - Lindsey "Zeb" Wilcox

On November 18th, 2010, one week after Veterans Day, Mr. Lindsey “Zeb” Wilcox made his final goodbyes and passed on to Davy Jones’ locker to join his lost USS Indianapolis shipmates, albeit via DeQuincy, Louisiana - his birth place. I like to think Baytown, Texas was his hometown though.

On November 17, the evening before, I sat in the parlor at Navarre’s funeral home and watched the procession of family friends, Masons, his fellow Lion’s Club members, and church folks form a line to condole their prayers, support, and warmth on Mr. Wilcox’s daughter and grandson, his lone survivors.
I was in no hurry, so I sat for about an hour and simply watched the line grow.

This was a man who was loved and I know why. He was a good man.

As his Pastor reminisced about his life and her personal experiences with him, I couldn’t help but smile. I do not claim to have known him well. Rev. Carol Turner talked about folks knowing him as “Zeb” and “Lindsey”, but I simply knew him as Mr. Wilcox. We tal…

American Fighting Man Code of Conduct

I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no written statements disloyal to my country and its a…

Bark Park Plans For Trail Upgrades

Letter to the Parks Department 10-27-10:  I notice there are numerous piles of material for raising the level of the trail, just outside of the park.  Can you give us a time-line for pouring the material before the rains begin again please?  Thank you.  All of our parks show your dedication to Baytown and I am in many of them each week geocaching or walking with my wife and dogs.

Response:  We are currently making a round mowing the parks, by doing this it will give us a little break with the winter months mowing. Once we are complete with this round of mowing it will free up our operators to be able to do the work out at Jenkins with the dog park. The dog park work is scheduled for next week as long as everything goes to plan with the mowing. Thank you for being a regular visitor to our parks and let us know if you see any other issues that might arise in the future.

Update from Deadhorse Alaska 10-20-10

Right now, according to, it is one degree Fahrenheit and with the wind chill factor, it is negative 12. The wind is 8 mph and it is foggy.

Yesterday, we had steady snow until late evening. I cleared about 8 inches of the stuff off my truck while it was warming (questionable) up, and about ½ inch of ice had to be broken and scraped off my headlights. Being rather short, getting enough off the front top of the windshield is a herculean effort for me, but I did a satisfactory job. In the process, I got a substantial amount of snow in my boots and on my jeans. I’m really looking forward to the arrival of those boots from Cabella’s. I have mittens and a really warm, fur-lined, Scandinavian-style hat coming, too.

This morning, what little snow fell on my truck last night had been blown away and I was happy that I didn’t have to do any cleanup before getting on the road. It seemed much warmer than when I went home yesterday, so I was surprised to find out that the temperature wa…

Writings of Nick Marshall - Friday, August 22, 2008

Writings of Nick Marshall - Friday, August 22, 2008

Current mood:  confused
Category: News and Politics

I look back upon my Iraq experience with pride and misunderstanding.  I was proud to serve my country but as the time goes by and the killed tally continues to climb without results, I wondered what the hell is going on.  I wouldn't trade my war experience for anything…but to deny that we were mislead into the Iraq war would not only be ignorant, but extremely stupid.  Did we need to get rid of Saddam Hussein?  Of course we did….by letting him die of old age, and once he was deceased his son, Qusay, (a psychopath with a love for cocaine and fast cars) would have ascended to power.  If his extremist rule was not stopped by his own Generals, the U.N. would have backed a multi-nation Army (that would have included Islamic nations) to go in and re-align the government. This would allow for the U.S. to take control, as it had done in Desert Storm, without becoming the 'bad …

An update from my sister in Deadhorse, Alaska

This morning was the most uncomfortable weather I have experienced since I’ve been in Alaska. The temperature wasn’t bad; 22 degrees, but the wind is blowing steady at 40 mph and gusting to 52. This causes the dry, very fine snow to blow like needles across the tundra and into your skin if you are facing into it. The wind is blowing straight out of the north, into the door leading  out of my camp. It took two of us to open the door this morning. When I finally made it to my truck, the wind caught the truck door and I’m grateful I wasn’t injured. Once in, I had a tough time getting the door closed. For a minute, I thought the door hinge was sprung.

This morning was the first time I had to depend on the markers alongside the road to guide me. For about 3 miles of my trip, I was unable to see the road. The markers are reflective and spaced roughly every 25 feet on either side of the road. At best, I could see three, sometimes two. It was a little unnerving, but certainly nothing compared…

Branan Towers Resident Chased Pancho Villa in 1916

This is the transcript of the 1982 Atlanta Journal article about my paternal Grandfather, Thomas Franklin Marshall

Branan Towers Resident Chased Pancho Villa in 1916

      Tom Marshall, tall and erect at 85, still remembers in vivid detail being dispatched from the University of Kentucky to the Texas-Mexican border in 1916.

      He was part of an organized signal company as a student. The whole company was sent to the border when President Wilson responded to a raid by Pancho Villa, the Mexican bandit and revolutionary who crossed the U.S. border in March 1916 with 400 men, raiding and burning Columbus, New Mexico, killing 16 citizens.

      “Black Jack Pershing was sent down to go into Mexico and apprehend Pancho Villa,” Mr. Marshall recalled in his Branan Towers Apartment. “Pershing took a lot of the national guard troops with him. They were all mounted, including our Signal Corps outfit.”

      There was a remount station at Ft. Bliss, Texas where the soldiers drew their horses…

Geocaching the Alphabet Soup Series GC253NY

Well folks, Nebulus703 and I did all the Alphabet Soup series, plus 14 more yesterday in 7 hours.  We started at the Pond park and finished on the west end at GC194VC (Come one come all).  I goofed up and didn't load GC253px (Eager...), but we detoured way too far north and found Heme the Hunter, so we got the 40 we were after.

The weeds were even worse than described and I say that w/o exaggeration, with pollen plumes exploding around us to the point that my arms and face were yellow. There are at least 4 levels of thorns close tot he woods and the path to each cache takes you side to side to experience them, then there is an evil weed which wraps around your feet, necessitating a lift of the knee straight up repeatedly, or you will fall face first to the ground.

The bayou had at least 3 good crossing points and we took the one closest to GC252F0 (The point of no return).  I filmed Nebulus703 crossing after I made it across.  Crossing the second half of the bayou, the log broke a…

Vote Against Prop 1 - Rebuttal

AB: In response to your well received argument in favor of removing the red light cameras, I want to post a rebuttal and some suggestions.

1. “Innocent people are being ticketed, harassed, and forced to pay fines for something they didn't do just because the vehicle is in their name.” Loaning your car to people who run red lights or don't come to a complete stop before turning on a red light will result in THEM paying the fine(s). However, YOU will have to be the one to enforce that.  The bottom line is to tell them when you loan the car that they have to obey traffic laws.

2. “We are exporting over $100,000 a MONTH out-of-state. Well over a million dollars a year." Based on these numbers and the amount of money the city receives for each violation, there are an average of 20-30 cars every day of the week in violation of either running a red light, or not coming to a complete stop on the streets which have red light cameras, which incidentally are installed at the expense…

Vote against Prop 1 in Baytown!

Back on September 10th, 2007, I stood as the spokesman for the Baytown Concerned Citizens group and spoke to the police department, our concerned citizens, city council, and with the media and pleaded with them to address the speeding and traffic violations as a top priority.My exact phrasing was "stop it by hook or crook".
The red light cameras are a direct result of this. Thus I am voting against Prop 1. I want to keep the red light cameras.
The reason people are running red lights and taking rolling turns on red lights is because they are not paying attention, distracted, and careless drivers, plus they are endangering everyone, especially children (I had to throw that in, as that is always the trump card, but true none the less).
The BCC as a whole, which it appears is not exactly the same as it was 3 years ago, is still and should be a logical approach to crime, but to some, the red light cameras are viewed much the same way a stop sign was, back in the day when they first…

Gilbert S. Marshall Obituary

Gilbert Stivers Marshall, 82, of Dayton, Texas, known as Gil and better known by his close friends and family as “Fishy”, because of his love of the water and fishing, passed away silently and painlessly September 24, 2010 after a lengthy illness, surrounded by his wife and loving family.

Gilbert was born 24 August 1928 in Irvine, Kentucky at home to Thomas and Nell Marshall.  Gil from early childhood dreamed of travel and lived the life of a pathfinder throughout much of his life.  Serving honorably in the US Navy as a Machinist Mate and during and following WWII he traveled across North Africa, the Middle East and Europe and was a walking encyclopedia of information on geography and many other subjects.

Always the pioneer visionary, he shunned commercialized amusement and instead took his family on adventures like panning for gold in the Rockies, hiking the trails of the American ranges and forests, hunting and fishing the choicest of lakes, ponds, and streams, searching rock quarri…

The Bayland Guards Historical Marker project

I finally had time to put all of this together!  If anyone has photos of the event, please send them my way and I'll add them to the pages.  In this photo, the Bayland Honor Guard - Living history actors salute the marker with an old cannon.

One American is Evidently Worth 8 Iranians!

.Ahmadinejad Wants Release of Iranians Held in U.S.
Published: September 19, 2010
"One of the three American hikers held in Iran for 13 months on spying charges arrived in the United States on Sunday as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the United States, as "a humanitarian gesture," should now release eight Iranians whom he said were illegally arrested."

Here's my take and you can call it Redneck Texan, if you want: Now that is some fancy math, President Ahmadinejad.  When I saw this headline, I couldn't see how many he wanted us to release for it to be considered a fair exchange, but somehow, I already knew the answer... it would be ridiculous. 

I'll answer for President Obama "Okay, here's one Iranian.  Got any more Americans, cause I got more Iranians"?

Evidently, one American has the same value as eight of his own countrymen.  Don't call me a hater - he said it, I didn't.

Bayland Guards Marker Installed Today!

This in from Larry Houston:  Bert was instrumental in arranging funding for a new historical marker in Baytown, commemorating the Bayland Guards. The unveiling was this morning.
Top 2 photos by Larry Houston.  The man in the red shirt is Darrell Bailey - Total Petrochemicals Manager.  The lady in the aqua blouse is Harris County Historical Commission's Trevia Wooster Beverly.

The marker on the right is one of Bert's earlier efforts.
Wybra Wooster Holland sent these 2 photos in: