Miss Bee’s Bolivar Buzz

By Shannon Williams
Bolivar is one of those places that always has new people moving here or making it their home after it being their favorite get away for years. It is also a place where many have strong and deep roots going back several generations. It is great mix and a mix that works. When I first came here to live (about 8 years ago) I felt welcome by just almost everyone I encountered. It was not long before I was asked to help with a few things and to be part of some things. I know it was pretty clear, that I really did not know much about the coast or coastal life, having lived all of my life in West Texas and not having a clue on how to live on the Gulf Coast.

I had always been a “beach person” and felt like I had to get to the ocean at least once a year, and knew that when I was at the beach I felt a peace and joy I did not feel anywhere else. I had spent time on South Padre Island and Padre Island, but had never even been to Galveston, let alone Crystal Beach until the first time I came to visit my now husband when we were dating. I had already been to many of the islands in the Caribbean and up and down the West Coast. But none of that really taught me anything about living on the coast and living in a community such as Crystal Beach.

I really did not think that everything would rust, no matter what you treated it with or where you stored it. I knew nothing of eating the many different kinds of fish you have or how to prepare them. The first time I had to “head a shrimp” I thought I would die, but give me five pounds now and I will have them headed and ready to cook. I did not eat gumbo or crawfish, let alone cook them, but can hold my own with my gumbo and eat pounds of crawfish anytime!!!!
The weather was the biggest learning curve, I dealt with dust and dust and wind and more dust. I put up all my “cold clothes” as my snow days were over, or so I thought. Snow and Ice are colder down here, the wind just cuts right though you. Needless to say I dug out the two remaining pairs of long underwear and they have been my best friend these past few days! Seeing snow and a palm tree still does not seem right, but it is life on the Gulf coast!

One of the best learning lessons was Mardi Gras. I attended a church that would hold a “Shove Tuesday” pancake supper and we would do a small little Mardi Gras party. But that was my only experience with Mardi Gras. I have been able to take part in Crystal Beach Mardi Gras, in several ways, watching the parade, watch parties, riding on a float and just jumping in on all the fun. I now have a Mardi Gras box that has all my treasures in it, so each year, I can be part of the fun. I have shared this grand event with a few of my co workers from California over the years and they just cannot believe that a little town can have that much fun!!! You can not explain it, you just have to be a part of it all.

I have included a picture of my son in 1994 when he won first place in our little Mardi Gras church parade. I have come a long way in how Mardi Gras has a place in my life and my heart. So, stay warm on Fat Tuesday and lets enjoy the cold as much as we can, I we will all gripe about the heat very soon.


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