Feet start tapping and people are drawn to the dance floor by the upbeat polka sound of the accordion and the bajo sexto keeping rhythm. Men wearing tailored suits lead women in strappy sandals or black heels as the mid-calf hemlines of their dresses flow with every spin.
Pe-Te Johnson was born in Grand Taso, near Eunice, Louisiana. His ancestors are direct descendants of the Acadians expelled from Nova Scotia in the mid-eighteenth century. His last name, Johnson, is the Anglo version of his Acadian sir name, Jeansonne. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and was stationed in Chateauroux, France for two and a half years, having served as an interpreter when the military opened a new base there in 1953.
“For the Love of Live Music: A Sampling of Houston Music Venues, 1930s to 1970s” by Lindsay Scovil Dove will have you saying, “Oh, yeah, I remember going there!” Cutting across a broad swath of Houston music and entertainers, she recalls the Eldorado Ballroom, the Emerald Room at the Shamrock Hotel, the Pan-America Ballroom, the Catacombs, Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine, and Liberty Hall.
Omar Afra, the co-founder of Free Press Summer Festival, was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but has lived in Houston since the age of two. He attended Askew Elementary, Paul Revere Middle School, and Lee High School.
“I was nine years old . . . I prayed and I asked the Lord, ‘Please show me, direct me in a way to be able to help my mom and dad.’” Most kids that age today worry about what features the next iPhone will have, but not Jewel Brown.
A University of Houston tradition, Frontier Fiesta began seventy-three years ago as an amalgamation of musical and theatrical performances, cook-offs, carnival booths, and concessions. Each spring, Fiesta volunteers transform a piece of vacant land or a parking lot on campus into a western frontier-style town called Fiesta City to accommodate the festival, which has had three separate runs.
He then handed me The Art of War by Sun Tzu and told me that no community organizer or great warrior succeeded without reading this book.
By 1891, he electrified the streetcars which no longer needed horses to pull them along the rails. In addition to keeping the streets clean of horse droppings, the electric streetcars also made it more feasible for people to live farther away from where they worked in Houston’s downtown commercial district.