In these weighty months following the wake of Hurricane Harvey, our beloved state has proved herself a heroine worthy of recognition. Underneath the cowboy hats, the big-talk about barbeque, and the glories of football season, Texas has demonstrated deep compassion, courage, and endurance, refusing to give up even in the wake of disaster.
The bottom line? Though tragic, the event and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey have grown into an opportunity for Texans to showcase the very heart, soul, and spirit of their vibrancy and resilience.
A prime example, our beloved Gulf Coast is surging forward with impressive levels of endurance, dynamism, and grit. Below, we’ve curated a list of stories and snapshots of how the area’s various spheres are humming with activity and regeneration.
Art & Culture
When natural disaster strikes, cultural institutions often shudder at the thought of losing vital pieces of history and culture. From artifacts to artwork, museums and archives will work tirelessly to ensure the survival of these valuable treasures…and the Gulf Coast is no exception! As Harvey raced closer to the coast, the internationally renowned traveling “Birds in Art” exhibit was well on its way to the Rockport Center for the Arts, a move that would almost undoubtedly result in damaged pieces. Thankfully, The Art Museum of South Texas intercepted the would-be disaster and diverted the collection to Corpus! Now available to view (until Nov 19), the prestigious show is a beautiful example of creative neighbors helping neighbors.
If you’re one of those Texans to whom “Fall” is merely another word for “Football Season,” you can likely imagine the devastating implications Harvey could have had on the heart and soul of Friday Night Lights in South Texas. But in Aransas Pass, a small town near Corpus Christi, Football is refusing to give up. Though the community experienced devastation and damage The Aransas Pass High School football coach and athletic director Ryan Knostman worked tirelessly to revive more than just the sports careers of his players and their families. (When one student’s family trailer was lost in the hurricane, the coach found housing for them.) Amazingly, The University Interscholastic League, the governing body for high school sports in Texas, passed an exception for Aransas Pass High School, allowing players displaced by Harvey to attend school elsewhere but still play for their hometown school until that school reopened.
Three weeks after Harvey, The Panthers played a remarkable game, leaving victorious in more ways than one.
Food & Drink
Perhaps one of the best (and tastiest) pictures of resilience is in the first local business in Port Aransas to open after Harvey. At Shorty’s Place, the famous “oldest and friendliest place in Port Aransas”, friends and neighbors gathered for a cold beer and a dose of Coastal Bend culture.
Leisure & Family Vacationing
In case you thought next year’s family vacation to Mustang Island was cancelled, The Port Royal Ocean Resort and Conference Center, a classic area family destination, has announced plans for an official grand re-opening in early June 2018. Assistant General Manager Stephan Noack announced that, “The idea is to re-open next year even better than before, to recommit ourselves to our mission of providing an excellent performance so that guests create memories to last a lifetime.”
One of the most iconic attractions in the Coastal Bend area is the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay, a World War II vintage aircraft carrier commissioned in 1943. As a vessel designed to withstand the elements (and serious battle), the Lexington and her caretakers were put to the test during Harvey’s torrent. Museum employees managed to secure the museum’s entire collection in a matter of hours, preserving the famous military gem and maintaining Corpus’s unique sense of culture. The museum is open once again, including a themed haunted house for the month of October!