How many times have you gone to get your vehicle inspected and you are told you need a new something. Those days may be over. Oh, well.
Not really. When you get an oil change, they always hit you up for something.
Commentary is always wanting to learn something. This morning I learned something about my hometown of Baytown. I was reading this in today’s Chron (See the featured photo):
Growing up, Michael Hurd never heard of Friday Night Lights for one simple reason: that hallowed corner of Texas high school lore did not extend to Black players. As he writes in his 2017 book, “Thursday Night Lights: The Story of Black High School Football in Texas,” for him, the action was on Thursday nights; sometimes Wednesdays.
When school let out on those days, Hurd and his friends at Worthing High School would pile into their vehicles or line the streets of Sunnyside, preparing for the crosstown pilgrimage to the old Jeppesen Stadium. They hitchhiked if they had to.
“It seemed just about every able body in Sunnyside was Third Ward-bound, and most of the cars and their passengers — hitchhikers, too — were adorned with some kind of green-and-gold trinket,” he writes.
Worthing, and nearly 100 other high schools like it, once belonged to the Prairie View Interscholastic League, the organization in charge of Black high school athletics in Jim Crow Texas between 1920 and 1970. Now open through July 2 at Galveston’s Bryan Museum, a new exhibit based on Hurd’s book (and sharing its title) examines the complicated legacy of Texas high school football’s most unsung — and fascinating — chapter.
“Thursday Night Lights” squeezes a wealth of material into the Bryan’s upstairs exhibition hall: a photo of three players from Hopewell, (near Paris) circa 1930; a leather helmet from 1949; a case full of cleats; team pictures of state champions Austin Anderson, Baytown Carver and Beaumont Hebert; jerseys, sweaters and letter jackets from Houston Independent School District stalwarts Kashmere and Yates as well as the long-closed Galveston Central, Conroe Washington and La Marque Lincoln; and photos of legendary coaches like Anderson’s Ray Timmons, Yates’ “Pat” Patterson — who helped organized the PVIL’s playoff system, which launched in 1940 — and Conroe Washington’s Charles Brown, whose wife laundered and mended her husband’s players’ uniforms because the school district wouldn’t provide the team with a washing machine.
Here is the entire read: ‘Thursday Night Lights’ exhibit showcases Black high school football (houstonchronicle.com).
The year I finally reached high school in Baytown, they closed George Washington Carver High School and integrated the schools.
This is from the historical marker where Carver High was located:
The first public school for African American children of this area was Goose Creek School for Coloreds. Founded in 1921 as a grade school, it served the children of the Baytown area, as well as those in La Porte, Cedar Bayou, and McNair. Classes were also held in Mt. Rose Baptist Church. The school’s first principal, Anna B. Edwards, was paid $90 per month. A frame school building constructed at the northwest corner of Carver St. and Oak St. (now Martin Luther King Dr.) opened in the fall of 1924; a brick addition in 1927 expanded it to the ninth grade. The school’s name was changed to honor scientist, educator, inventor and botanist George Washington Carver by June 1940, and it was accredited as a four-year high school in 1941. In 1948, a larger, modern campus was opened four blocks east at Carver St. and Lee Dr., and the old building became an elementary school.
Carver High was consistently ranked as one of the top segregated schools in the state, and students excelled in both academics and athletics. Carver won nine state band competitions and eight state sports championships in the Prairie View Interscholastic League. There were just five principals in 46 years: Ernest A. Archia, William M. Davis, Clyde J. Messiah, Edward F. Green and George Perkins.
The high school closed after the 1966-1967 school year as a result of desegregation. Carver Elementary School was then located here from 1967 until 1995, when a former oil storage pit was discovered on the property. The buildings were demolished in 2002 and a new Carver Elementary was dedicated at a nearby site. Carver School, which originally laid the educational foundation for area black children, continues to educate the Baytown community.
I never knew Carver won state championships. Nobody ever told me. A belated congratulations. How about that?
105 years ago today, former H-Town City Council Member Frank Mancuso was born. In the 1940s, Mancuso played four seasons in MLB with the St. Louis Browns and Washington Senators. The Browns are now B’More and the Senators are now the Twins. Frank was on city council from the 1960s to 1993. I think Frank is the only MLBer to serve on the H-Town city council. Frank left us in 2007.
Ricky Gutierrez is 53 today. Gutierrez played shortstop with us from 1995-1999. We went to the playoffs in 1997, 98 and 99. He wore the number 12 as an Astro. He played in MLB for 12 seasons. Happy Birthday, Ricky!
Kirk Saarloos is 44 today. Kirk played for us in 2002 and 2003. He was part of the six-pitcher no-no against the Yankees in old Yankee Stadium in 2003. Commentary was there. Saarloos wore the 50 and 23 as an Astro. He now is the head coach of the TCU baseball team. Happy Birthday, Kirk!
Eight game winning streak. 11 out of the last 12. Nice.