Those Places Thursday: Record Snowfall in Houston, February 1960

Today is “Those Places Thursday” and this blogging prompt gives me a chance to reminiscence about how and where my family lived and to write about “those places” via stories and/or photos. Ask anyone what is the first word that comes to mind when they hear the words Houston, Texas and I guarantee the word “snow” isn’t one of them. Well believe it or not, it does snow in Houston, Texas (record snowfall in fact) from time to time and I have proof — LOL!

According to the Examiner.com’s December 4, 2009 article by Marie Brannon, “Some historic snowfalls in Houston, Texas,” on Valentine’s Day in 1895, “a whopping twenty-inches of snow” covered the city of Houston making it the “all time” highest amount of snow to fall upon the Bayou city. [1]

The next heaviest snowfall recorded for Houston came 65 years later when 4.5 inches of snow fell on February 12, 1960! I was just 5 months old and missed out on all the fun when this special winter-wonderland blanketed the city. But some of my favorite photos of my brothers are of them enjoying this rare winter treat!

Snowfall, February 1960

Jon (left) and Elgin (right) are seeing snow for the very first time outside of our home at 4314 Stonewall Street, Greater 5th Ward, Houston, TX.

Playing in the Snow, February 1960

Elgin (left) and Jon (right) trying to keep warm as they figure out what they’ll do next in the snow!

Snowman, February 1960

So what did they do next? They did what all kids do when they have that much snow all around — build a snowman and placed a snazzy chapeau upon his head!

Snowball Fight, February 1960

A snowball fight with neighborhood friends (Carrie Ann Flakes and her friend) was a perfect ending to a wonderful day in the snow!

Winter Wonderland, February 1960

Mr. Snowman is left to stand watch as the evening sun goes down on a wonderful day of fun in Houston’s rare snow!

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Source Citation:

1. Brannon, M. (2009, December 09). Some historic snowfall in Houston, Texas. Examiner.com. Retrieved February 14, 2013, from http://www.examiner.com/article/some-historic-snowfalls-houston-texas

Wordless Wednesday: Spending Time With Our Oldest Living Family Member

Well almost wordless . . .

The Chapple~Smith Family Dinner my brothers and I hosted on 2 December 2012 was a HUGE success! It was wonderful seeing cousins (along with their adult children who have children of their own) I had not seen in many years. But what made this afternoon such a special one for all the descendants was spending time with their oldest “living” Chapple ~ Smith family member — my Mom, Carrie Chapple Taylor! So below are a few photos of mom –who celebrated her 84th birthday this past October– with family members who arrived early for our dinner event!

Bowie Family

Mom with her oldest great-granddaughter, which happens to be my “mini-me” (Bowie Family)!

McLemore Family

Mom with another one of her beautiful great-granddaughters (McLemore Family)!

Armstrong Family

Mom with her great-nephew, Bernard, and great-niece, LaJuana (Armstrong & Jean Families)

Armstrong and Jean Family Members

The Armstrong and Jean Families

Marshall Family

Mom with her nephew, Ralph and niece, Bettye (Marshall Family)

Wordless Wednesday: Remembering Cousin Carolyn (1945-1975)

Carolyn at age 9, 1954

Carolyn with her 2 daughters (Kim & Elke) and Ray Bryant, Kashmere Garden Church of Christ, Houston, TX

Not sure when this photo was taken, but Carolyn and Ray Bryant were married in 1970 and divorced in 1974. A year later, she was killed.

Wordless Wednesday: Taylor Siblings Enjoy Christmas 1959

Well, almost wordless . . .

Christmastime was a special time of the year in my home. The Taylor siblings enjoyed Christmas and these photos from 1959 reflect just that!

Mom said if she ever needed to find one of us in the house during the holidays,  all she had to do was go into the living room to find us playing, sitting, or laying down under the Christmas tree — LOL!

Elgin & Liv
Elgin & Liv lying under the Christmas tree, 1959.
This was my very first Christmas and as you can tell the lights fascinated me.

 

Jon
Jon all smiles while sitting near the Christmas tree, 1959

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Santa Claus

Visit with Santa 1957

Elgin & Jon visits Santa in 1957

It’s Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2011 and today’s featured topic is – Santa Claus! Did you ever send a letter to Santa? Did you ever visit Santa and “make a list?” Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

The concept of Santa Claus was a very BIG DEAL in my home during Christmas time. I had the pleasure of asking my brothers what they remember about Santa Claus, and this is what they had to say:

Elgin: I didn’t ever send Santa a letter, but I did enjoy visiting him when he came to town at our local department store. I truly believe it was the surprise element surrounding him that made believing in him a lot of fun. No, I don’t still believe in Santa today; I stopped believing in him at age 10.

Jon: No I didn’t write any letters or make any wish lists to Santa. I simply waited until I was able to sit on his lap and tell him what I wanted up close and personal. I really tried my best to stay awake to catch him in action, but whenever I would dose off for what felt like minutes, he would slip in and out of our home in record time. No, I no longer believe in Santa. I stopped believing in him when I turned 10.

Visit with Santa 1961

Liv visits Santa in 1961

For me just the thought that Santa was making a list , checking it twice to find out if I had been naughty or nice (yes I could be quite naughty at times) was probably enough to keep me on my best behavior  the whole month of December — LOL!! Like my brothers, I don’t recall sending letters to Santa either. And if truth be told, I wasn’t all that pleased to tell him anything I wanted for Christmas the first time I met him in 1961 – ROFL!!!

But it wasn’t long before the concept of Santa Claus began to stay with me and the thought of sitting on his lap telling him what I wanted for Christmas wasn’t so bad after all for me by 1962! I remember always staying up to see the 10 o’clock news report on Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas eve. Once they reported  when he was to arrive in the Houston area, I would hurry to bed because I couldn’t wait to see what goodies he would bring me on Christmas day . . . woo-hoo!

Visit with Satnat 1962

Liv visits Santa 1962

It seems one thing my brothers and I have in common is that we came to the realization that there was no Santa by the age of 10. Was I disappointed to learn there was no Santa? I was at first, but my disappointment didn’t last very long because the real reason for the season – the birth of Jesus Christ – became my family’s focus with our giving and celebrating Christmas with family and friends each and every year!