Friday, August 1, 2014

The Party Goes On Forever! Happy 90th Birthday Aunt Joy!

Over the decades, the Cushman family has had many golden days on the West End of Galveston Island, and the most recent reunion was a long needed blast from the past- for me at least.

Joy and a few of her many "children." Photos courtesy Donalee Cushman!
A warm gathering to celebrate the 90th birthday of our beloved Aunt Joy began to appear a day or so before the party, with relatives coming from all over Texas. This time we were camping at the Harper’s newly renovated beach house in Bay Harbor.

Aunt Joy Cushman, a legendary synchronized swimming coach, was always the one to take charge of us kids when we came to the beach house, and she always showed us a great time. She had put up a cozy beach house in the 70’s when we lost our first cabins to Hurricane Carla, and after it was rolled into a ball by Alicia, she has sponsored several beach house rentals over the years, always making sure we had a place to get sand in our toes. There was no better place to celebrate her and her life and her 90th birthday.

Timeless scene of another generation of Cushmans (and their kin) discovering the ocean.

In typical form, Joy was on a plane headed to Mexico in less than a week. She has several families in Mexico convinced that she is a member of their families as well. She has spent many a holiday with them over the years, long since overcoming the cultural and language barriers and becoming quite the darling of the Pardos and others who love her dearly. Thanks to my younger brother Reynolds who has gone with her to make sure all goes well. The party goes on forever!

Cousin Robert and my brother Reynolds showing off Robert's swift handiwork with a gig.

ANYWAY, we had a great time, grilled some burgers, caught some fish, and Sunday morning ate at a great place near the Galveston Strand called The Sunflower Bakery & Café

OH MY GOSH! The food was over-the-top excellent and delicious, and I tried something off of almost everyone’s plate; crabcakes, shrimp omelets, blueberry pancakes, French toast, Belgian waffles, sweet rolls, (awesome variety of pastries),  ALL GREAT! And what a magnetic gift shop adjacent to the café! Sunflower is a MUST STOP WHENEVER YOU ARE IN GALVESTON.

We ended our pilgrimage to Galveston touring the old residential district, checking out a collection of a dozen or so interesting sculptures carved from trees killed in the various residential yards by hurricane floods. 

Leave it to artists to make beauty out of disaster. Some of them are quite beautiful… and some charming… and some “special”…there is something for everybody… especially dog lovers.

There is no place like home Toto, but Galveston looked great, in fact, it has never looked better. And after refreshing so many memories and catching so many flounder and eating such excellent food, I know my family is going back sooner than later!

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