Matagorda Madness 2009

Photo by Brian McWeeney

Thursday morning bright and early our wonderful hostesses Carolyn McWeeney and Jeanette McClure prepared coffee, muffins and hot bagels to all that came and there were quite a few folks that decided to partake, also Lisa Rynearson and Pam Erikson opened up registration. At 9 o'clock an army of Madders hit the beach for cleanup. Unfortunately we did not collect the total number of trash bags that were filled by the beach trash combers. Around 11 AM Bob and Pat Harko began setting up shop on the ground floor of the LCRA Nature Center getting prepared to mix up and cook their Jambalaya. Promptly at 12:30 they served everyone and Verna Kropp, Sharian Dayton and Beverly Reynolds helped setup and coordinate the feast and post cleanup. At 2 PM those that chose to take advantage of the program provided by the nature centers Animals of the Gulf Coast Area convened to their class room and enjoyed the program. Around 4 PM folks started to march and drive to the beach to drop off and haul their wood down on the beach which was a 100 yard jaunt by foot to Ranger Duke's prepared location for his bonfire, it was great team work! After dinner the bonfire was enjoyed by many.

Friday morning Mary Rosin and Nina Dean was ready with hot coffee and goodies ready to go at 7:30. Lisa and Pam were manning their registration table by 8 AM and one hour later those that registered for the class Wings Over the Wetlands began their informative program. In the early afternoon Ranger Duke and Beverlee cranked up the grill and the jalapeños were flying. At 3:30 theAdventures in Beach Combing class convened without their usual move from the classroom to the beach because of the weather conditions. All agreed to finish their field instruction the next morning. At 6 PM everyone assembled at the Nature Center for the much anticipated pot luck dinner. Carolyn Youngmeyer brought and assembled all the center pieces for the tables this year. Carol Curtis, Sharon Stevenson, Sharian Dayton and many others helped setup and clean up our room afterwards. During our dinner Verna Kropp was presented a t-shirt with her 2009 Matagorda Madness artwork on the back. Jim and Kim Phillips were awarded the annual official State of Texas seashell the Lightning Whelk for driving the furthest to our gathering from Gilbertsville, KY. Ranger Duke's bonfire for Friday night was canceled due to the bad weather.

Saturday morning hostesses Beverlee Niskanen and Vicki Muller had more coffee, muffins and hot bagels ready to go bright and early at 7:30 AM. Pam and Lisa finished up registration. The Beach combing class continued their field trip to the beach at 9 AM crunching through the ice on the beach. The Leisurely Kayak Trip on the River Channel was canceled. At noon Pat Harko demonstrated and taught her Christmas Spiral Ornament Class. At 1 PM sharp one of the most enjoyable programs that the Nature Center provided us this year was an outdoor Matagorda history class setup with a mock encampment that was built authentic to the Texas Revolution War period complete with musket rifles and a cannon that the historians shot off for us. At 3 PM we all gathered in front of the Nature Center for our group photo done by Brian McWeeney. Between 5:30 and 6 PM most everyone drove to town and enjoyed some fresh Gulf seafood at the Waterfront Restaurant. Once everyone returned back to the RV Park Ranger Duke again had the beach bonfire stoked for everyone's warmth and pleasure to enjoy.

This year Matagorda Madness was a bunch of fun with weather conditions ranging from 55 degrees and sunny to 40 degrees and raining to flat out snowing on the Gulf for the better part of one day. We are so thankful that the Nature Center provided us a gathering room to get out of the weather. All together there were 61 registrants for the courses that were offered by the Nature Center and few dollars donated. The story around the bonfire was that Matagorda Madness lived up to its name sake just like its first year in 2006.

Sincere thanks to everyone that helped and attended.

Blair & Jeanette McClure