Monday, March 21, 2005

The Neighborhood that Was

Saturday Julia and I went to the Baytown Nature Center. It's on a piece of land that kind of sticks out into Burnet, Scott and Crystal Bays on Baytown's west side. There used to be a neighborhood there -- about 400 really nice homes that belonged to Exxon execs. Turns out the neighborhood was slowly sinking and no one knew it. Hurricane Carla devastated the area in 1961, and Alicia washed away anything that was left in 1983. Now the local Wetlands Center is trying to encourage birds and other wildlife to move back in. It's been called "the neighborhood that nature took back." I wrote several stories for the newspaper about the neighborhood (called "Brownwood") a couple of years ago and I got to meet several families who lost homes out there.

Anyway, several concrete slabs are still out there. They are all that's left of Brownwood. Julia and I were walking around on one finding all kinds of pieces of tile and brick. It got her really interested -- wondering who had lived there, what the house must have been like. There are lots of other slabs we wanted to investigate, but the mosqitoes were getting pretty thick. We plan to go back soon, armed with repellent.

I think I'll be writing my column this week about how crazy my life is right now. Read all about it on Wednesday!


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