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22
Sep
2014

FRESH FROM THE BREWER: CONTEMPLATING GALVESTON

Written by Troy Brewer  |  Found in: Main Articles

Galveston Texas. You know Galveston, its that Coastal Town and Island that Glen Campbell used to sing about. 

Way before some say he dang near ruined True Grit with his disastrous acting skills, he was blowing people’s minds with his guitar playing and singing. Glen Campbell didn't actually write the song Galveston, a guy named Jimmy Webb did. I’ll get to him in just a minute, and I still want to talk about Galveston, but lets get back to Glen Campbell. 

During his 50 years in show business, Campbell has released more than 70 albums and sold more than 45 million records. The brother could jam! But did you know that before anybody really knew who he was as a singer and a performer, he was a studio musician who played on the albums of people like, Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra?

Did you know he was actually with The Beach Boys?

There wasn't much ‘ol Glen Campbell, The 7th son of a share cropper from Pike County Arkansas couldn't do musically. 

SQUIRREL!
Anyway, I was in Galveston last week. The air there smells like the terrible breath of Al Bundy and the ocean is the color of Lipton Ice Tea, from a can. I don’t mean to be critical of Galveston, especially of the oil refineries there but dang, they need to develop some kind of gigantic Scentsy Candle or every thing south of Houston. 

OK focus, Troy.

PROPHETIC DISASTER
On a much more serious note, In 1528, Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca and his crew were shipwrecked on what we now know as Galveston island. He wasn't just an explorer, he was also a self proclaimed faith healer and prophetic individual. This guy, disgusted with his ship wreck, prophetically called it "Isla de Malhado" ("Isle of Doom”).

He wandered about for years in abject poverty, spending many of those years as a slave of various Indian tribes. He eventually was one of only 4 survivors, from an original crew of 600 who wandered into Mexico City, completely naked, after years of living off the grid. 

It was later officially named Galveston after a Spanish Duke called Galvez. 

So in September of 1900, The Great Galveston Hurricane brought 145 mile an hour winds and a tidal surge that killed over 8000 people. The Island became famous world wide as the isle of doom. It was something beyond comprehension. The dead bodies were so numerous that burying all of them was impossible. Funeral pyres were set up on the beaches, or wherever dead bodies were found, and burned day and night for several weeks after the storm. The authorities passed out free whiskey to sustain the distraught men conscripted for the gruesome work of collecting and burning the dead. It was really, really bad. 

More people were killed in this single storm than the total of those killed in all the tropical cyclones that have struck the United States since. This count is greater than 300 hurricanes, The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 remains the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

REBURIAL 
I thought about this a lot last week. Out of all the terrible things that happened in De Vaca’s prophetic hurricane, there is one thing that really stands out to me. There were way too many people dead to bury, so they loaded up thousands of these bodies onto barges and dumped them out at sea. It made since until they woke up one morning and all those bodies had returned to the beach. The gulf currents washed them back to Galveston and they had to rebury thousands of people, mostly by fire.

I can not imagine the trauma the survivors must have been through. Its like something from a bad dream or a Stephen King Novel only this is for real and I couldn't help but think about it last week while looking at the beach in Galveston. 

THE DO-OVER
As a Christian, I find that sometimes I have things in my life that just need to be buried. Things that I assume are long gone, dead and buried you might say. Then suddenly those dead things show back up in my life, uninvited, unexpected and I have to deal with it all over again. 

Do you know what you do when those dead things that you have already dealt with, show back up in your life? You take a note from the brave people of Galveston Texas and you get to the ugly work of reburying that thing until it never comes back again. Sometimes you have to have multiple funerals to get something completely out of your life. It doesn't mean that you are a failure, it just means your not finished. It is not something that is just going to go away, it is something that has to be dealt with. -Even if you thought you were done dealing with it. Sooner or later those terrible things quit coming back. 

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
JAMES 4:7 

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