Tag Archives: Houston

Prayers for Houston

31 Aug

Almost exactly six months after I wrote a blog post titled “Houston, We Have a Problem” about my sports teams’ struggles there, Hurricane Harvey and the resulting floods have devastated the Texas city.

As easy as sports can be a distraction from reality, the latter can quickly and mightily enforce perspective on the former.

The losses in Houston are unfathomable. Perhaps the only comfort comes from the thoughts and images of people helping people: a man extricating a woman from her flooded house via jet ski, a group of citizens forming a human chain to save an elderly man from a strong current and a black man carrying two white children above the rising water to safety.

Sending prayers to the city of my childhood!

[PLEASE consider sending a donation to help those working so valiantly on the front lines for rescue and recovery in Houston.]

Houston Flood_map

Our old house on Cloud Swept Lane in northwest Houston appears to be one of the lucky ones.

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Houston, We Have a Problem

28 Feb

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including sports disappointment for me recently. Consider the following heartbreak in Houston, where I lived as a kid:

  • College Cup: Following a scoreless draw with defending champ Stanford in the mid-December NCAA soccer title match, my Wake Forest Demon Deacons had a penalty kick opportunity to take home the trophy, but were denied on two straight attempts as the Cardinal, which did not score a goal during the entire Final Four weekend, successfully defended its crown.
  • Super Bowl: Less than two months later in NRG Stadium in Houston, my Atlanta Falcons somehow relinquished a 28-3 second half lead to the hated Patriots to also lose in overtime. The emotional and psychic wounds from this debacle will hurt for a long, long time. My therapist says I’m doing a lot better though: down to only three to five Big Game what-ifs per day now.
  • NCAA Baseball: As if to confirm the horrid luck in Houston, my baseball Deacs were swept by the University of Houston Cougars to open their season a couple weeks after the Super Bowl.

There is a bright side at least: I’ve gotten five Texas magazine freelance assignments in that stretch. All work and no play make Brian a full boy?

Take It Easy

26 Feb

GlennFrey_vintageThe passing of Eagles founding member Glenn Frey last month hit me hard as a fan. Combine the power of music with the very special talent and fusion of the greatest American band, mix in the accompanying memories from youth and I was definitely going to stop and feel the loss.

Frey and the Eagles pumped you up, but could also slow you down and make you think. (For me, “Take It To the Limit,” which was co-written by Frey, will forever be connected to Houston, Texas, a city my family left when I was but 4 years old.) Their unique yet relatable formula, coupled with the “great harmony,” as my musician father-in-law noted, captured folks’ attention across generations.

Eagles lyrics 1

The Eagles’ music seemed to appeal to everybody. An opinionated, image-conscious 16-year-old could gladly agree with his 40-something father on their CD selection. No questions asked…

That brings me to my dad. The Eagles not only were a key part of the soundtrack of my life thanks to him, but their songs, in large part, also seem to embody the down-to-earth style and attitude of the hardworking man, who also knows how to relax: Seven Bridges Road; Peaceful, Easy Feeling and Take It Easy (!).

Eagles lyrics 2Funny though the answer when I asked my father for his favorite Eagles song: “Every time I hear [‘Lyin’ Eyes’] I start singing at the top of my lungs,” said dad, two years Frey’s senior.

Country radio’s not doing a whole lot right these days – no lyin’ there – but I gotta be extra thankful for the Nashville artists of the ‘90s. Their three-time platinum “Common Thread” Eagles tribute album, which came out in 1993 just when I was beginning to embrace commercial country, is largely credited for getting the band back together, and perhaps introducing another generation to the group’s unique talents.

“I am always amazed by [Don Henley’s] ability to sing and play drums at the same time,” said my father-in-law, a drummer himself.  “The original group was good, but I think they became better as Henley sang more leads and when Joe Walsh joined them,” added Rick, who started beating the drums in his first band years before the Eagles were founded.

The Eagles announced the passing of their legendary bandmate with his poignant lyrics from the “Long Road Out of Eden” album. It’s our world now, but a much better one because of the artist’s wonderful contributions. Thank you, Glenn Frey!

It’s your world now
Use well the time
Be part of something good
Leave something good behind
The curtain falls
I take my bow
That’s how it’s meant to be
It’s your world now.