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Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories


"Bill Cherry's
Galveston Memories"

by Bill Cherry

Bill Cherry's websites:
TV pieces in Youtube
Bill Cherry


  • How the Rabbi's Son Learned to Cope with Life's Challenges 9-24-19

  • Rubbing Shoulders with a President By Brent Clanton 10-29-13
  • Praise for a Common Man By Mary Boner Creighton 9-21-13
  • How Photographer Drew Kapalach’s Camera Sees Galveston 8-22-13
    There is a photo taken by Mr. Kalapach that reminds me of a great George Mitchell story, one that’s completely different; one no one knew to tell.
  • Winifred Gordy, the Selma, and a Vaudeville Act Were in the Same Family 6-8-13
  • From Potential Lyrics for a Johnny Cash Loser Tune to A Turned Around Life 5-3-13
    Rev. Al Jandl
  • The Day Oscar Ekelund and I Met the Hotel’s New Manager 3-18-13
    Moments before, George Mitchell had finished up the stuff necessary for him to buy the long out of business flop house called the Belmont Hotel...
  • The English Gentleman and the Beer Joint 2-8-13
    Not one soul thinks he isn’t a better person from having known him. And everyone has his own story to tell with a smile in remembrance.
  • The Island’s Domestic Goddess 1-10-13
    It seems to be more generic to Galveston than any other place I know about. I’m talking about this special breed of people who seem to intuitively know how to make money, how to contribute to the whole, how to gain and keep self-esteem...

  • Francisco, Rudy, and Mr. Russell’s New Adventure 9-6-12
    "What’s the lesson? I’m not sure that I know. Perhaps it is that self-importance often isn’t as grand in the eyes of the public as it is in our own."
  • Joe Garcia’s Legacy Is a Lesson to All about Dyslexia 7-20-12
    I remember people who couldn’t write their names, who couldn’t read, who hadn’t gone to school at all, or who had left as early as the seventh grade...
  • Mayor, Radio Station Owner and Flagpole Sitter Brought Galvestonians to Houston 6-18-12
    When construction on an electric railway was begun March 28, 1910, to connect the two cities, Galveston had a population of about 40,000. Houston was just twice as big.
  • Six Generation Galvestonians Are Hard to Come By 5-23-12
    Because I have written so much about Galveston, her people and her past, most people assume I’m from a multi-generational island family...
  • Why Hasn't Dallas Placed a Historical Marker Here? 3-10-12
    There is a historic site in Dallas that isn’t noted on Google, and I couldn’t find any mention of the man who built from scratch what became an iconic and copied men’s barber shop.
  • The Night of January 16th 1-20-12
    Fifty-five years of January 16ths have come and gone since then, but the lesson taught on January 16, 1957 by Ball High School speech and drama teacher, Arthur Graham, at the old Galveston County Courthouse remain intact to this day with those who were there.

  • Glendon E. Johnson 12-10-11
    Glendon Johnson told his granddaughter, Erin Stewart, that “cowboys answer to two people: their God and their momma.”
  • A Lesson in the Sociology of Galveston Commerce 11-6-11
    A story of George and Magnolia Sealy's mansion The Open Gates, and Daniel Serrato's pushcart of freshly made hot tamales...
  • That I Played the Playboy Club Doesn’t Make Me Elderly 10-2-11
    CBS’s KMOX-AM in St. Louis called. As part of the public’s interest in the new TV show, “The Playboy Club,” they wanted to interview a musician who had played at the St. Louis club...
  • Cotton Gottlob and Coach Red Pierce Were a Heck of a Team 9-7-11
    "A baseball player from Galveston’s Ball High, Don “Cotton” Gottlob, talked Sam Houston State Teachers College’s coach, Paul “Red” Pierce, into letting him try out for quarterback..."
  • A Good Education Often Brings Remarkable Rewards 8-7-11
    If you were to ask educators why they picked teaching for their lifetime contribution to the world, you would primarily get one of two answers...
  • Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners 7-18-11
    "...The last numbers of the evening were "Since I Don't Have You" with "This I Swear" as the segue; both were by Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners. It occurred to me that no two tunes and no vocal group are more reflective of my teen years..."
  • The Willie Payne Family’s Famous Himalayan Singing Kitten Enterprise 6-6-11
    "Willie started wondering what common threads run among all of those business people who amass great fortunes. It turned out it wasn’t excessive education or family money or luck. The common thread was almost all had been child entrepreneurs..."
  • My Friend and His Chance New Friend Had Their Faiths Renewed in Little Rock 5-11-11
    Throughout his life, Lloyd W. Criss, Jr.'s faith and the personal directives he has received from God have led him down many spiritual paths that he knows he wouldn’t have chosen on his own. Here’s one of those stories.
  • Trinity Episcopal Church 22nd and Winnie, Galveston 4-8-11
    By the time the Korean Conflict was going strong in the early 1950's, Galveston’s Trinity Episcopal Church was 109 years old, and it and its congregation had been through a lot together...
  • UTMB Professor “Old Test Tube” Took the First X-Ray Ever Taken in Texas 3-4-11
    Everyone, students as well as the medical staff, got to calling him “Old Test Tube” rather than Dr. Morris. He apparently didn’t mind...
  • Daddy and His Buckeye 2-1-11
    “There’s only one thing that brings good luck. It’s the buckeye... And it’s even better if your buckeye was blessed by a voodoo priestess. Sister Veressa in the Des Ourses swamp of Louisiana has ‘extree’ power.”
  • Joe Pajucie, His Cheap Looking Girls and Macino Rapuchi, the International Continental Stylist 1-2-11
    Gigs for Italian singers had been terrible for a long time. But then out of nowhere came “That’s Amore,” “Mel Blu di Pinto di Blue,” and “Al di La.” And things got very good for them. And that’s when Macino Rapuchi, with his Maceo-esque billing, “the International Continental Stylist,” hit Galveston with his guitar and accordion...

  • Being Sent to the Abattoir Wasn’t Sam’s Lot in Life 10-13-10
    Mr. Sam, like his brothers, cousins and uncles, worked for the patriarch of the family, Jasper Tramonte. Mr. Jasper had a meat-packing business on Broadway, near 61st Street. It was called the High Grade Packing Co...
  • The Famous Portrait of the Little Girl Named Judy 9-17-10
    During the war years, Edolia (Ed) Rees and her daughter, Joyce Crainer, drove into downtown Houston for Miss Joyce’s appointment with the doctor. His office was there on Main Street above a very famous portrait photographer’s studio...
  • Lieutenant Richard H. Schiebel’s Last Flight 8-12-10
    Coach had flown many dangerous missions and had survived a lot of enemy fire...
  • No One Called Him Anything But Mr. Russell 8-5-10
    You’ve known people like that. It just doesn’t feel right calling them by anything other than Mr. or Miz So-and-so...
  • No One Could Out Negotiate Lincoln Dealer, Kyle Gillespie 7-1-10
  • How the 1943 Roof of Mike Gaido’s Drive In Helped Him Keep His Feet on the Ground 5-1-10
    Mike Gaido’s first business venture in Galveston was not a big and glorious seafood restaurant like it is today, but a drive-in...
  • Father John Caskey - Galveston's Pied Piper 3-21-10
  • All About Badgett, McCulley and Sis, the Belching Tractor 2-7-10
    If you know anything about Galveston’s past, you surely know that it’s always been the town’s hobby to cover up one body of water while opening up another...
  • If He Were to Write His Autobiography, Its Title Would be Dance Hall 1-1-10

  • Every Year at Christmas Time I Miss My Friend, Mel Torme 12-1-09
  • 1935 Professional Baseball Pitcher, R.S. Maceo, Sr., Says It’s All in the Olive Salad 11-15-09
  • There’s a Little Known Story at Haak’s Vineyard and Winery in Santa Fe 11-3-09
  • The Big Hurt 10-3-09
    Even though it had come out in 1959, seven years later it remained Number 1 on the Metropole Club Hit Parade, six plays in succession for a quarter. Its title was “The Big Hurt.”
  • The Purity Ice Cream Factory and the Ten O’Clock Valve 9-6-09
    Like Blue Bell ice cream, until it closed, Purity was so popular in Galveston County that few drugstore soda fountains or neighborhood grocery stores carried any other brand...
  • Johnny Garcia's Flagship 9-1-09
    The Twisted Ironies of the Brantly Harris Recreational Pier
  • There’s Got to Be More to His “Galveston” Than That Glen Campbell Sings It 7-3-09
    If you know singer Glen Campbell’s real relationship with the island...
  • The Billionaire Developer: George P. Mitchell 6-1-09
    George P. Mitchell was born on Galveston Island 90-years ago May 21st. And for all 90 of those years, he’s been making history, and with a good portion of that history he has made life better for other people and for future generations...
  • Play Misty For Me - A Reprise 5-4-09
    I saw the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie, “Play ‘Misty’ for Me” by accident... But I quickly knew that the tale had to have been conceived by a late-night disc jockey...
  • Milton’s Rosenberg Library 4-3-09
  • Leon Breeden 3-7-09
    The Man from Oklahoma and Jazz: They Brought Academic Notoriety to a Podunk Teachers College
  • The Island’s Terrain and Hurricanes 2-4-09
    Island visitors often comment on how close together the Victorian homes are in the East End Historic District. But it wasn’t always that way...

  • Balinese Room Had Two Last Hoorahs 11-1-08
  • Webb and Yankee Had Different Solutions to the Bank's Move 10-5-08
  • An Irony of Hurricane Ike 9-15-08
  • Churches Have Been Doing Their Best to Mask Financial Troubles 8-3-08
  • Baytown’s DJ of the ‘50s, Bill “Rascal” McCaskill, Conducts His “Night Train” Once More 4-10-08
  • The Oryoku Maru and Lieutenant Walter A. Kelso, Jr.'s Journey 2-18-08
  • No One Who Truly Knows the Mansion Would Ever Call It The Open Gates 1-23-08

  • Slick the Shoeshine Man, Sam Maceo and Christmas Eve 1949 12-21-07
  • Carolyn and Sammy, Her Daddy's '52 Ford and the Singer Roy Hamilton 11-2-07
  • Champ Did His Experiment at the State Theater and in the Name of The Enforcer 9-27-07
  • "Set 'em up, Bascigallupi!" 9-3-07
  • George Roy Clough Invents Call-in Radio 8-15-07
  • One Time a Kitten Named Elijah Came to the Passover Seder Table to Bring Wisdom 8-3-07
  • The Magnificent Montague 7-15-07
    He’s probably one of the most important contributors to American black culture that has ever lived...
  • At First Galveston's Stewart Beach Was Called the Riviera of the Gulf 6-30-07
  • The Strand: A Lingering Shadow of Riches Untold, Whispering Night Bay Breezes 6-16-07
    Now that the battle that made Texas a republic in 1836 had ended, the founders of Galveston were finally able to get down to the business of building the new city...
  • Jewish Immigrants Competed with Galveston's Former Slaves in the Beginning 6-4-07
    "When the Jews began temporarily settling in the Galveston, they were faced with a new problem, one that hadn't existed in New York and Baltimore and Boston and Philadelphia..."
  • The Korean War Hero Who Swung the Board of Education at Ball High 5-27-07
    Lt. Col. Richard H. Schiebel
    "Wanting to defend one's country, even if it cost you your life, was something his generation understood...."
  • Cartwright 5-14-07
    Mayor Herbie, His Time in Jail and the Big Downtown Parade that Followed
  • The Only Only 5-1-07
    He Was the World's Oldest Trapeze Artist and He Lived in Old No. 25
  • Stanley Marcus 4-2-07

  • Copyright William S. Cherry
    All rights reserved

    William Speakman Cherry

    He may not have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle, but his middle name proved to be prophetic.

    "Born on the island" of Galveston in 1940, Bill Cherry became a R & B disc jockey at the tender age of 14, using the nom d'air "Brokenhearted Bill." When he wasn't talking he was writing, and at 16 he sold his first feature story to a Houston paper. He has since written for Fortune Magazine, The Houston Business Journal and numerous other Texas newspapers including The Victoria Advocate, The Dallas Morning News, and The Galveston County Daily News.

    In the late '50s, Cherry was attending classes at New Orleans' Tulane University while working for AM radio station WWL. Broadcasting from behind a plate glass window of a French Quarter furniture store, Cherry was the tuxedo (and short pants) host of Music 'til Dawn. He also subbed as host for broadcasts from the famous Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel.

    In 1961, he married well-known St. Louis classical and jazz concert pianist and Vogue fashion model, Judy Fosher. They traveled as a team, each playing different venues. Cherry performed at the piano at such spots as the St. Louis Playboy Club, New York's Waldorf-Astoria, LA's Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Chicago's Blackstone Hotel and St. Louis' Chase-Park Plaza Hotel.

    Two years after their marriage, Judy died from a heart attack. She was just 24.

    In 1964, Bill returned to the University of North Texas for additional studies and briefly worked as the second manager of KNTU, the school's FM station.

    Cherry became a vice president at Houston's Guaranty Federal Savings and Loan and headed that company's real estate investment company before moving to Houston's Columbia Communities where he served as vice president of residential home building. In the mid 70's, Cherry, with partner Steven Jay Rudy, founded The Old House Company, a Real Estate company specializing in restoring historical housing and commercial buildings.

    For twenty years, Cherry was the historical real estate consultant for George and Cynthia Mitchell (who developed The Woodlands, Texas). The Mitchells restored and leased many of Galveston's 19th century cast-iron buildings in the historic district now widely-known as the Strand.

    Cherry taught finance, economics and investments at Houston's St. Thomas University and at Galveston College and even did a brief stint as a high school English composition and debate teacher at Dallas' Thomas Jefferson High.

    Cherry's childhood memories of life on Galveston Island was the basis for his popular column in the The Galveston County Daily News. The title Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories was used again when he assembled 60 of his best columns for his first book: The book's dedication is to his family, teachers and professors who had influenced him, and to his friend, commedian-musician Steve Allen, who died just before the book was published.

    Bill Cherry's Memories, also appeared as a series of television features in 2001, for News 24-Houston, where it was voted the station's most popular feature.

    Now living in Dallas with his wife (a former college sweetheart), Cherry is a Financial Management Coach for individuals, families and businesses. His web site is www.parkavenuewealthcoach.com

    He is a frequent speaker for business clubs, church groups and business conventions where he tells his Galveston Memories stories as well as talks on how to plan and manage finances.

    We are proud to include Mr. Cherry's Galveston Memories as a monthly feature in Texas Escapes. The abbreviated biography that appears here is paraphased from his Wikipedia entry.

    Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories



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