Ever been to Jones Hall for a concert or seen The Nutcracker at Christmastime there? Its namesake, Jesse Jones, while not a native Texan, arrived in the Lone Star State at age 24 and left an imprint on Houston like no other citizen before or since. Instrumental in building the Houston Ship Channel, surrounding wharves and piers to create an international port, ownership of the Houston Chronicle, and the city’s largest radio stations, Jones sculpted Houston’s industry and skyline and enlivened and funded its art institutions, universities, and health care centers, not as a tycoon, but more of a grandfather to the city of Houston. He gave almost everything to Houston Endowment, a foundation instrumental in helping improve the lives of the people of greater Houston. Most notably, he went to Washington as an appointed official and provided the pragmatic leadership that salvaged capitalism during the Great Depression and militarized industry in time to fight and win World War II.
The Eddie, as mentioned on page 8, is an annual surf contest on the North Shore; very famous. Eddie Aikau was a lifeguard and legendary Hawaiian surfer who saved over 500 lives. He was lost paddling from a leaking canoe originally headed to Molokai, but he tried paddling on his surfboard, sans lifevest to make better time, to Lanai to get help for the rest of the boat crew. Everyone was rescued, but Eddie was never found. His heroics then and as a lifeguard spawned a phrase, Eddie Would Go, because he wouldn’t hesitate to venture into any kind of situation to help someone.
Did you know the only item inside the Gold Ball Atop a Flagpole is the bolt that attaches the ball to the rest of the pole? No razor blade, pistol, ammunition, matches, or pennies, but the myths and stories endure, fiercely defended.
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