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Posts published in “Day: April 10, 2008

The Fab Five

By Kristan Hoffman

For Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend did not buy me chocolates or flowers. He also didn’t take me out to dinner. He didn’t give me a giant teddy bear, or a mix tape, or any of the usual romantic Hallmark-y things. No, for Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend drove me from Cincinnati to Chicago — for the Spice Girls concert. If enduring a whole weekend of Girl Power doesn’t demonstrate his love, I’m not sure what could. (Nevermind the fact that for Valentine’s Day, I made my boyfriend endure a whole weekend of Girl Power…)

In fairness, both of us agree that regardless of your age, gender, sexuality, or musical taste, those were two of the most entertaining hours you could imagine. The “Fab Five” designed a spectacular show that used their music to illustrate their professional and personal journey as a group. I must confess that I don’t remember much about their first tour in the 90s — except the heartbreak of Ginger Spice quitting just before they came to the States — ut I am quite certain that I will never forget their Reunion.

It began with a slew of their biggest hits (“Spice Up Your Life,” “Stop,” and “Who Do U Think U Are” to name a few) as well as elaborate silver costumes designed by Roberto Cavalli. There were about seven video screens, twenty male dancers, and a whole lot of screaming fans. My voice had gone hoarse by the fourth or fifth song, but of course I had no intention of stopping.

For the rest of the night, Scary, Baby, Ginger, Posh, and Sporty tore through elaborate themed sets and costumes: giant feathers and pink heart-shaped dressing room doors; red flamenco capes; dominatrix black leather, whips, and chains; and more. Each also performed solo, some electing to cover classic hits (like Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy”) while others sang their own songs (like Melanie C’s “I Turn to You”). This is when much of the crowd went silent and I began to feel like a superior fan, because I knew all the words to their solo works and their third album, i.e., I stuck by them even after they’d faded in popularity.

Then Andy rolled his eyes and said, “Don’t be a stuck-up Spice fan. That’s worse than not being a fan at all.”


One of the most popular performances of the night was “Mama,” in which the Spice Children joined the Spice Girls on stage (with protective earphones the size of their heads). A video of the Spice Mothers played on the background screen, giving the audience three generations of Spice. Tasty!

The night ended with their first #1 hit, the one that brought Girl Power to the whole world: “Wannabe.” It’s never been my favorite song of theirs, but there’s something to be said for being the start of it all, and I think that’s why they chose to come full circle and end the night with it.

If you wannabe my lover, you gotta get with my friends.

So it may not have been a conventional Valentine’s Day, but by indulging me in this, Andy “got with my friends” Mel C, Mel B, Emma, Victoria, and Geri, and definitely made me zig-a-zig-ah.

Rotary Club receives Sampson Lodge Community Builder Award

HIGHLANDS– Sampson Lodge 231 of the Masons gives an award each year, the Community Builder Award, to a person or group that has contributed to the growth and overall welfare of the community. This year the award went to the Rotary Club.
Presentation remarks were made by Travis Major, and Kenneth Fielder. They also pointed out that the lodge will celebrate its 150th anniversary next year, and is the 6th oldest masonic lodge in Texas.
Previous recipients of the Community Builder Award include Gilbert Hoffman, Harvey Little, Joe Hausberger, Maurice and Jenny Robbins, Wanda Asbeck, Highlands Volunteer Fire Department, Pilot Club, Raymond Gonzalez, and the Henderson Cooking team.

Crosby Sports opens big

CROSBY – The thrill of a beautiful day, the fabric of American character and the gleam of self actualization in the eyes of youngsters made last Saturday seem more of an opera than just the start of games but it was baseball and softball.
The games loom large here, not only because Justin Towles (a local youngster that started on these same fields now playing for the Houston Astros) hit two home runs last weekend.
“I think baseball is absolutely the greatest sport a young person can play,” said Judge Tony Polumbo before throwing out the first pitch, “Little League is the thing I remember most fondly about growing up. The wholesomeness, the families taking time to put on something for their children. This is what America is really all about. Making it better for the generation that comes after us.”
Teams squared off to play showing good sportsmanship in six fields.
This year, the best raffle sellers were James Tutor, Cody Riendreau and Zachary Taylor.
This year winning floats were Wee Ball 1st place Gators, 2nd place Longhorns. Tee-Ball was won byThe Crosby Cowboys. The Pirates were in second place. The Sweeties were best represented by the Lady Bugs, followed by the Pink Panthers. The Darlings were proudest of the Lady Longhorns then the Red Hots. The Angles found the Dirt Surfers most celestrial and the Bayou Bells as second. The P-Wee found rough estimate from the Warriors aand the BabCats next. The Minors found the Longhornns in first followed by the Tigers.

Crosby, Goose Creek’s UIL schedules feel impact of North Forest high school consolidation

The consolidation of the Forest Brook and Smiley High Schools has not only impacted its own students but has caused a ripple effect across District 22-4A.
Earlier this year the UIL (University Interscholastic League) conducted is biennial redrawing of district boundaries. District 22-4A district found itself increasing from eight to nine teams.
Staying in the old 22-4A was to be Smiley and Forest Brook as well as Crosby, Galena Park, Barbers Hill and C.E. King. Leaving the district were New Caney, which moved up to 5A size and Hargrave which moved down to 3A. Dayton, which was in the district two years ago and newcomer Kingwood Park from Humble ISD replaced the schools. Goose Creek Memorial High, which will open in Baytown this fall, also joins the district.
At least that is what the UIL planned.
With the consolidation of the schools, the district fell back to eight teams. The immediate impact was that coaches, especially football coaches, suddenly found themselves with a dilemma. They could fill the extra non-district slot with another game or have two weeks off during the season.

This was easier said than done, as Barbers Hill Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Don Price found out. “When we starting looking for another team we found that that most of the local schools had already filled up their calendar so we had to start looking outside the area to make up that game.”
Barbers Hill was able to schedule a team from Longview. Because of the distance (about 200 miles or a four and half-hour bus ride), Price said he was hoping that the two schools could find a neutral site.
Al Richard, principal of Goose Creek Memorial, said that they were even looking at some schools in Western Louisiana to play. However, he said, thankfully they were able to make an arrangement with 3A Bellaire Episcopal.
Before the UIL made their final decision, there were rumors that 22-4A would become a nine-team district. Crosby AD and Head Football Coach Kevin Flanagan said that he believed UIL knew that that the consolidation was coming. “They (UIL) had to suspect something,” he said. “Otherwise they wouldn’t have made a nine-team, district. It is a lot easier to go from nine teams to eight teams than it is eight teams to seven.”
Seeing this as a possibility, Flanagan said that he drew up two schedules so he would have a backup plan. The backup plan involves Crosby playing Bay City in week 10 of the season.
Flanagan also notes that adjustments had to be made on the subvarsity level as the new high school will probably have enough students to create two ninth grade as well as a sophomore and JV squads.
The exact lineup has yet to be determined. North Forest Spokesperson Nakisha Myles said that the district is still working on a plan to consolidate the athletic departments. She said that as early this week they could know which teams they will field and what facilities will be used. Once a new head coach is selected, the district will know the fate of its assistant coaches from both schools.
What is known is that with a larger student pool to draw from North Forest will have a stronger product on the field.
“The two schools (Smiley and Forest Brook) have never lacked for talent,” Price said. “I think that if they get them going in the right direction they are going to be very competitive.”
Flanagan shared his opinion. “We were the only team to beat Smiley (varsity football) last year, making us co-district champs,” he said. “And one of Forest Brook’s tailbacks (Michael Sigers) is the fastest kid in the district. They are going to be tough.”

The King lives, and drives a Rolls

About two weeks ago we headed out of Crosby back to the hills and mountains of West Virginia. As we drove north through Mississippi and neared the Tennessee border, son, Dave, suggested we stop at Graceland for a visit. I’m sure you all know it is in Memphis and the home of Elvis (need I say Presley?)
We have passed through Memphis more than a dozen times, maybe close to two dozen and have never given much thought of stopping. For the most part the Springer’s are not great Elvis fans and this writer is not a fan of rock and roll. However we go right through exit 5 and it is less than a mile from Graceland. We decided to stop.
Our daughter-in-law, Marta, is a great Elvis fan and since she has been a valued member of the Springer family for a dozen years or so we decided we owed her a present from Graceland. It was a weekday morning and we wondered if it would be open. As we turned the corner to the parking lot I was amazed. We should not have worried about it being open. There were cars, cars, and more cars, parked in neat rows at $8 each. The first 10 cars I saw had license plates other than Tennessee.

Next to the parking lot was “Heart Break (two words ?) Hotel, a large gift shop and several other things to see and do about Elvis and family. Each has a separate price tag. Dave and I headed for the gift shop for a Marta purchase. I was again amazed. Crowds were buying Elvis memorabilia as fast as the cash registers would ring in the $$$$$.
I was about 10th in line at the register and heard the clerk ask for $80, $90, and more than $100 in my short time there. I paid my bill, found Dave, and we headed back to the car. We said goodbye to “the King” and headed back to the interstate.
When we got home and saw Marta we gave her our shopping bag full of Elvis stuff, including a cute bear Dave bought for her. She was pleased we had stopped, liked the gifts and we both got a big hug! It is nice to make other people happy.
Oh, another thing! I know you have all heard the debate of Presley’s death. It has been going on for years and I am now ready to put it all to rest.
As I was heading back to the car I noticed a beautiful Rolls-Royce in another lane and someone seeming to be hiding in front of it. Thinking it might be someone up to no good I stepped around the car and what do you suppose I saw. Believe it, it was the King himself. “Elvis,” I said with a startled expression, “Is that you!”
“Yes,” came the reply, “I was hoping you wouldn’t see me as I’m trying to stay out of the public eye. I got so tired of always facing the public. I can’t handle it any more. You are one of the few people, outside of my inter-family, that has seen me.”
I could hardly believe what was in front of me. The King of Rock and Roll himself. We passed pleasantries for a few minutes during which time he said he may do another public tour, and then I headed on my way. When I looked back he was still trying to get that Rolls started.
As we headed north I thought, “I should have gotten a photo of the two of us. No one will believe me!” But you do believe me don’t you?” Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my West Virginia home!

Barbers Hill sweeps district track meet

MONT BELVIEU—The Barbers Hill High Boys and Girls Track and Field teams swept the District 22-4A meet winning first place in both divisions last week.
The boys scored 126 points, outpacing second place Forest Brook’s 112 points. The girls blew out Forest Brook 187-88.
Individual Boys Events
Placing individually for the boys were: Andrew Little, 1st in shot put and 1st in discus; Jeremy Neff, 4th in discus; Carter Smith, sixth in triple jump, 3rd in 100M dash, 5th in 200M dash; Richard Ibarra, 3rd in pole vault, Zachary Ybarra, 4th in pole vault.
Also, Tim Ramsey, 2nd in 3200M run and 4th in 1600M run; Jess Williams, 1st in 800M run, 1st in 1600M run; Austin Cain, 2nd in 800M run, Matthew Viverette, 3rd in 110M high hurdles and 5th in 300M intermediate hurdles, Kevin Johnson, 5th in 110M high hurdles and 2nd in 300M intermediate hurdles, Kyle Brown, 3rd in intermediate hurdles, and Jordan Stelly, 5th in 400M dash.

Boys Relays Results
In relay events, the team of Stelly, Miller, Jordan and Smith won 6th in 4x100M. Land, Wright, Johnson and Rojas came in 6th in 4x200M and the team of Stelly, Miller, Cain and Williams placed 3rd in the 4×400 relay.
Individual Girls Events
Placing individually for the girls were: Latasha Carrington, 1st in shot put and 1st in discus; Kaitlyn King, 5th in shot put; Shannon Mudd, 5th in discus, 3rd in high jump and 1st in 800M run and Tameka Dixon, 4th in long jump.
Also, Erica Williams, 4th in triple jump and 6th in 200M dash; Macy Moore, 5th in triple jump and 4th in 300M low hurdles; Meghan McCoy, 5th in high jump and 2nd in 300M low hurdles, Samantha Rhodes, 1st in pole vault, 6th in 1600M run and 3rd in 800M run.
Also, Amber Watson, 5th in 3200M run; Shelby Johnston, 6th in 3200M run; Larissa Rios, 2nd in 800M run and 4th in 1600M run; Hillary Poole, 1st in 100M intermediate hurdles and 1st in 300M low hurdles, Jessica Griffin, 3rd in pole vault, Corissa Shipley, 5th in 100M intermediate hurdles; Lauren File; 6th in 100M dash; Molly Easterling, 3rd in 400M dash and Rachel Dean, 5th in 400M dash.
Girls Relays Results
In relay events, the team of Dixon, Griffin, Dearing and Williams came in second in the 4x100M. Dixon, File, Dearing and Williams placed third in 4x200M relay. In the 4x400M relay the team of Cain, McCoy, Easterling and Poole placed second.

Mont Belvieu goes Postal

MONT BELVIEU—It’s official, Mont Belvieu now exists. According to the U.S. Postal Service, that is.
This week West Chambers County Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board Guido Persiani said that the postal service has agreed to repeated requests for a ZIP code for street addresses within the city.
“The new Zip Code has been approved and will go into effect July 1, 2008,” said Persiani, who is also mayor of Beach City. “The USPS will release information regarding the new Zip Code beginning May 15, 2008 through a mailer to all addresses affected by the change.”
The post service will also post information at the local post offices.
Mont Belvieu’s ZIP code is being kept secret until the official notification date to insure their systems are set up to process the new code properly, he added.
While Mont Belvieu residents can rest a postal box and receive the 77580 ZIP code, street delivery is another matter. Currently those businesses and residents who live on Highway 146 are assigned a Baytown ZIP code. There is no street delivery outside the Baytown ZIP Code.

Waterborne Education Center receives $23K grant

ANAHUAC – The Waterborne Education Center (WEC) was awarded a grant, valued at close to $23,000, from the Galveston Bay Estuary Program (GBEP), a program of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), to fund the outreach projects promoting WEC activities in 2008 and 2009.
Federal funding for the grant was provided through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
WEC’s outreach director Amy Hill said these funds will be used to support promotion of the on-the-water field lab program through events such as information booth at local and statewide science teacher conferences, such as the recent Mini-Conference for the Advancement of Science Teachers in Orange and the Texas Gator Fest in Anahuac.
Funds will also support a teacher workshop and two VIP field labs, website renovations, a year of WEC newsletters and related outreach supplies.

“Without this program, many potential passengers might never know of this great educational opportunity,” Hill said. “With the help of GBEP, we will be able to reach out to more Texans to spread the word about the great things going on in Anahuac and the Galveston Bay System.”
WEC programming implements the GBEP Public Participation and Education Action Plan. Like GBEP, the WEC works “to establish effective, ongoing public involvement with Galveston Bay resource management efforts at all levels; to improve future stewardship through education of students and the adult public concerning the bay ecosystem; and to invoke the public commitment and political will necessary to achieve effective comprehensive management.”
The Galveston Bay Plan states, “In an era of severe constraints on both governmental and private sector funding, an educated and motivated public can provide much of the needed expertise, time, effort, and leadership to protect and monitor the bay.” The WEC agrees, and seeks to provide the education the public requires to serve the needs of the bay.
This program introduces coastal residents, many for the first time, to the coastal resources they are expected to protect.
The WEC’s mission is to foster appreciation and stewardship of coastal resources, heritage and culture by providing hands-on waterborne education services.
The WEC provides custom field labs for groups interested in area ecology, wetlands and wildlife observation, Texas history, nature art and any other topic the group believes can be addressed through WEC services. This program provides a bridge between classroom facts and real world applications of coastal resources’ functions and values, and fosters environmental stewardship. It is an ideal middle and high school science field trip. TAKS-aligned curriculum is available for 8th grade science classes.
To schedule a WEC field lab, contact Jo Ann Baird at (409) 267-3547 or For more information about the WEC, visit the website: