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Klesel Featured on the Cover

Archived in the category: General Info
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 15 Jan 15 - 0 Comments
   Donnie Klesel of Port O’Connor finds himself featured on the cover of an international magazine.

Donnie Klesel of Port O’Connor finds himself featured on the cover of an international magazine.

When local businessman Donnie Klesel received his December issue of Angling International he was surprised by the cover picture of himself featured as the custom rod builder for the yearly issue. Angling International is the world’s largest issue of the global angling trade stories and products on the current markets.

The magazine covers countries like New Zealand, Aspen, China, UK, Europe and of course USA. Donnie Klesel along with his wife and sons, who own a local sporting goods store in Port O’Connor, was chosen to represent the rod building market with an ad from the company “Mudhole” , the largest rod building supplier in the US.

Donnie has been building rods for almost eight years in Port O’Connor and has expanded the business from a rod shop to the business it is today as Port O’Connor Rod & Gun. The store features high quality products not found in larger box stores and personal service to help with all the fishing and hunting products, including service on equipment and, of course, custom fishing rods.


As I got into my old car, (my old car and me have a lot in common, we both were much nicer to look at in days gone by) – but, that’s life! – I drove away from the “little house on the prairie” where I live now and got on the Port O’Connor road to Seadrift. I passed by “Dead Man’s Mott” that took my mind way back in time.

I talk to Mabel on the phone and she tells me her dad, Mr. Strane, was a carpenter and he did build a “wooden coffin” for the Hobo that hitched a ride on the old steam locomotive train that came to Seadrift Depot, then went on to Port O’Connor many years ago.

This Hobo got off at the Seadrift Depot, but decided to walk on to Port O’Connor. It was a very cold day in January, just like today, New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2015.

The Hobo was very cold and gathered brush and built a nice, warm fire under “Dead Man’s Mott”. He did fall asleep too close to his warm fire and his clothes caught on fire and burned him so bad he died.

Mr. Strane built him a wooden coffin and the City of Seadrift buried him in “potters field” in the Seadrift Cemetery. His bones are there today.

I drove on toward town and as I passed the “old Seadrift Depot”, where it is today, my mind wandered back in time again to when the Dave Williams and Mary Alma Wooldridge family lived north of town on the “old Tom Dowda” place with their seven kinds: J.D., Geraldine, Wallace, David, Sugarfoot, Dennis and Donald.

We did not have a car, so when we went anywhere we walked down the railroad track to “tent picture shows” in town – “Rin Tin Tin, the Wonder Dog”, Hoot Gibson and Roy Rogers and his horse.

We passed the Depot where the freight wagons there had hobos sleeping on top of them. Seadrift was full of hobos looking for work for a handout of food. Most people did give them a small job to get some food to eat. They did get a few hens out of a chicken house now and then, but, no big deal. A few people, old timers, were not very well fed back in that day and time either.

Today “street people” around here are not called “hobos”; they are called “homeless people” and are given clothes and a place to sleep and food at the Salvation Army in Victoria.

The Salvation Army is a good place to donate money if you have any money to donate.

By the way, maybe the old Depot here could use a few donations also, so it can open and be useful to a few “old timers” that are left. They, like the hobos and old fishermen, are fast fading away.

The State of the Gulf: America’s Sea

Archived in the category: Announcements, Events, General Info
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 15 Jan 15 - 0 Comments

A Texas Parks & Wildlife Department video, opened the new “Your Area’s Knowledge” Winter Lecture Series with stunning photography, wide sweeping aerial footage of our beloved coast and covered an array of informative topics including the impact of historical and recent hurricanes, coastal fisheries monitoring & replenishing efforts, water quality & sampling and the projected impact of climate change to our natural resources here on the Gulf. A nice number of winter Texans as well as Port O’Connor residents braved the blustery north wind on Thursday, Jan 8th to attend the kick-off of the series and were rewarded with a warm welcome & lively discussion. The lecture series is provided through a collaborative effort of the Port O’Connor Chamber of Commerce, Texas Sea Grant and the Calhoun County Extension Office in the backroom of the Port O’Connor Community Center each Thursday at 1:00 pm through the end of February. We hope that you will join in on these fun and informative sessions. For those who missed the showing of The State of the Gulf: America’s Sea video you can view it in segments or in its entirety at

Your Area’s Knowledge Winter Lecture Series

Thursdays 1:00 pm POC Community Center Backroom

Jan 15: “Oysters”—Nicole Pringle, TPWD

Jan 22: “Local Watershed Information”—Stephanie Shelly, GBRA

Jan 29: “Why Water Matters to the Bay (inflows)”—Leslie Hartman, TPWD

Feb 5: TBD — Madeliene Cantu, NRCS

Feb 12: “Seagrasses”—Colt Cook, TPWD

Feb 19: “The Invasive Lionfish”—Leslie Hartman, TPWD

Feb 26: TBD — Aaron Adams & Andy Gosnell, TPWD

Seadrift Volunteer Fire Department Fundraiser

Archived in the category: Announcements, Events, General Info, Organizations
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 15 Jan 15 - 0 Comments

Seadrift Volunteer Fire Department Fundraiser

Saturday, January 31 – 6:00 p.m.

Seadrift Fire Station, 102 E. Dallas Ave.

Chili Dinner • Open House • Bake Sale

Chili Dinner tickets are $6.00. Tickets available for sale from your volunteer fire fighters or at the door.

This benefit is to help raise money to assist your fire department with maintenance, repairs and supplies to better serve you and our community.

Island Life… By Clint Bennetsen

Archived in the category: Featured Writers, General Info, Island Life
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 15 Jan 15 - 1 Comment
Clint & Barnacle

Clint & Barnacle

Heaven Now Enjoys My Island Companion

Greetings from the island everyone. Hope all of you are doing well and enjoyed a nice Christmas and New Years with family and friends.

For the first time since living on the island for nearly nine years, I spent Christmas without my first mate, best friend and island companion, my beloved boxer, Barnacle. An evil tumor took Barnacle on December 19 as I held him in my arms on the island, the only place he had lived since being a six week old puppy.

Barnacle truly was like a kid to me – we were together 24/7 for 8 1/2 years, and he loved riding in the boat and golf cart, and chasing cows on the island. He brought me happiness and joy, and always put a smile on my face. I will miss him more than words can describe, and he will forever hold a most special place in my heart, and will never be forgotten.

Thank you to everyone, fellow islanders and beyond, for the kind words and actions of support during this most difficult time. And a special Thank You to my friend, Louis Boldt, for building a wonderful custom resting box for Barnacle, Don Moses for the beautiful grave marker, and to James & Arlene Barnette for the generous donation to the Calhoun County Humane Society in their Memorial section, in remembrance of Barnacle.

My broken heart will eventually heal, and I’ll get another puppy to keep me company and have someone to talk to and spoil, I know that Barnacle would want that as he now watches over me from above. I love you, buddy, and I’ll certainly see you again one day, on the Rainbow Bridge.

At Times The Days Are Gloomy And The Sun Won’t Shine,
Without You Here Brings To Me Sorrow And Strife,
But Then I Remember You Are Only A Whisper Away,
And The Clouds Disappear And My Heart Is Again Full Of Life. . . .

Next month I’ll begin starting my tomato seeds for Spring planting, my favorite time of year. That’s it from the island for now, everyone take care and have a great day.


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