As my first sortie into the blogosphere (at least on this website), and with the statute of limitations now safely expired (for the most part), and since “transparency” is my middle name (well, not actually, since technically I don’t have a middle name, except for my maiden name, which I embraced to fill that void when I married), I think it only fair at the outset to come clean with you, dear reader, and reveal my criminal past.
I’m a serial trespasser.
There, I said it.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should also confess that I have been known to make the not-infrequent illegal U‑turn (I was once told by a dear loved one that I drive like a real estate agent), out of sheer laziness occasionally jaywalk, and also tend to have something of a heavy foot when blasting up I‑45 (although never around town, mind you). More abstractly, I must also admit to a sometimes tiresome overuse of the parenthetical (but you haven’t noticed, have you?) and have elevated the run‑on sentence to a new art form (she beams with pride), although to the best of my knowledge neither of these last two infractions is currently a jailable offense. Otherwise and for the most part, however, I’m a good, law-abiding citizen. Truly.
But back to the instant offense.
Notwithstanding my penchant for unlawful stealth entry, rest assured, valued reader, that you will never discover me in your front parlor one morning idly sipping a steaming cup of espresso nor in your backyard of a sunny afternoon playing fetch with the family dog. On the contrary, my trespass transgressions have never risen, and will never rise, to the level of actual home (or yard) invasion, and I hereby solemnly pledge never to make entry to your sacred premises except by proper invitation (to which I would no doubt respond with a lovely gift of sparkling rosé or perhaps a fresh bouquet of seasonal flowers).
Indeed, and let me be clear, any unauthorized intrusion committed by me is entirely limited to obviously unoccupied, apparently abandoned, and usually derelict quasi-public properties of historical significance (as adjudged by me) and is always motivated by a single, noble purpose: the pursuit of historical investigation. (Of course, considering the number of vintage residences in old Galvez Town, it might follow that the random East End Victorian, Denver Court Colonial, or even Midtown Craftsman might nevertheless qualify as tantalizing targets, but see my ironclad pledge above.)
By the way, and just for the record, let me further state that I cannot, and would not, pick a lock, cut through a fence, or otherwise attempt to thwart any security measure designed to bar intruders. That said, I have happily proceeded through an open gate upon which was posted a “No Trespassing” sign and even hopped a barbed-wire fence after first ensuring the slim likelihood of snagging my pants.
But to unravel the mysteries of history sometimes demands a first-hand verification of the facts on site, and to that end, the occasional requirement for historical sleuthing (as I like to call it) supersedes all personal considerations, including the risk of potential incarceration and the threat of torn capris. These crimes I commit for the greater good. These crimes I commit for you.
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Well, I was fully intending to end with that last bit of hyperbolic flourish but just remembered there’s one more disclosure I need to make. As the safety of a lone female roaming about in the wee darkness (and even in broad daylight in certain areas, or so I’ve been cautioned) is perhaps not the most prudent way to proceed, I often solicit the help of an intrepid and similarly minded male accomplice, who, for legal reasons and to protect his identity, shall remain anonymous here.
Okay, his name is Gordon Blocker (phone number, shoe size, and SSN to follow).
My new BFF and cohort in crime, Gordo (a fond but not descriptive nickname) is a recently returned BOI from an illustrious Galveston family who has proven himself to be a like-minded, equally rabid yet delightfully entertaining history sleuth and whose added value lies in his impressive network of local contacts (which just might come in handy in the event we need a get-out-of-jail-free card). He’s an indefatigable storyteller (I mean that literally), a gifted filmmaker, and an all-around fun and swell guy whose infectious enthusiasm for the I Love Old Galveston project keeps me pounding the keyboard late into the night. Many thanks to Gordo for his unquenchable curiosity and spontaneous sense of adventure (not to mention his iPhone with 4K video). Look for some creative contributions from Gordon to enhance this project in the near future.
So sit back, faithful reader, safe and snug on your comfortable sofa, and get ready to reap the rewards as the ultimate beneficiary of our clandestine missions of historical discovery.
And now, to the hunt!