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Experience Counts

David Helms is a Port Isabel native who works as a reservation agent for Service 24 on South Padre Island.

His background in hotel work is impressive. “After I graduated from high school, I think I worked at one time or another in every hotel we had on the Island back then,” he said.

He has been night auditor at the Bahia Mar Resort, the Hilton/Radisson Resort South Padre Island, the Sheraton Fiesta South Padre Island Beach Resort & Condominiums and the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 20, 07 | 1:53 pm | Profile

Rocking Out

Geoff Clifton grew up in Newcastle, England, with one goal in mind—to be a rock ‘n’ roll star.

“I planned to move to America and be the next Buddy Holly,” he said. “I had no time for school. I’ve been playing music professionally since I was 12.”

His first gig, in the early ‘60s, had nothing to do with rock music. He was a pop singer in a dance hall.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 19, 07 | 3:07 pm | Profile

Brisk Business

Tom Goodman reached the age of 50 this year and said he has decided to try for 100.
“I’ve lived 18,578 days,” he said, “and I’ve got about 18,152 to go.”

He came to South Padre Island about 15 years ago to take over the reins of Coldwell Banker Goodman Associates. “My father moved here in 1978 or 1979 from Virginia, where I grew up,” he said.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 18, 07 | 2:19 pm | Profile

Love for catering

Four years ago, Karla Scimeca and her husband, Stephen, traded the hustle and bustle of Dallas for a more laid-back existence on South Padre Island. But that didn’t slow down the Manhattan native.

Her love for catering led her to open Karlas Katering two years ago, and she quickly became one of the top caterers on the Island. Of course, that meant more work and less time to enjoy the Island’s languid lifestyle.

“I walk the beach a lot, but often I don’t have the time to do it,” she said. “I have about two slow months, October and November,” but come December things get busier.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 13, 07 | 3:14 pm | Profile

Skate on

A skate board enthusiast is working to construct a skate park in Port Isabel.
After moving back to Port Isabel from California, Ismael Alaniz noticed there were no skateboard parks here.

“In California, skateboarding is a rite of passage,” he said. “Young people use them everywhere. And I notice on TV that even college kids wearing backpacks skateboard between classes.”

But the clincher came when his 12-year-old son, a skateboard enthusiast, complained there was no local place to skateboard in the Laguna Madre, he said.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 12, 07 | 3:01 pm | Profile

Community Champion

Her wedding anniversary falls on the same weekend as Sandcastle Days, but Mary K. Hancock takes it all in stride. She coordinates the event, and then celebrates her anniversary when it’s over.

“I met my husband at Sandcastle Days five years ago,” she said. “We got married a year later during Sandcastle Days.”

Hancock has been the events coordinator for the South Padre Island Convention and Tourist Bureau since 1998.

Before that she was the district director for the March of Dimes in Austin, she said.
Born and raised in Memphis, Tenn., she came to Texas 40 years ago. She studied fashion merchandising in Dallas for two years before her life led her in a different direction.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 11, 07 | 3:01 pm | Profile

Busy times

When duty calls, Janis Silveri is quick to respond.

“We have a responsibility to take care of nature,” she said. “Animals depend on us for their survival.”

After growing up in an Air Force family and then wearing the uniform herself for 31 years, Silveri is familiar with responsibility. She enlisted, moved up through the ranks and earned a commission. She worked primarily in the medical service and spent her last few years in administration.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 06, 07 | 5:24 pm | Profile

Pixel Perfect

Richard Schmidt and his family were in Germany when World War II broke out, and they were interned for the duration of the war, he said.

“It wasn’t too bad,” he said. “My father got a job right away working for Volkswagen.”

But it was after the war when the 10-year-old Schmidt was befriended by a British occupation soldier who was, in civilian life, a popular cartoonist.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 05, 07 | 1:23 pm | Profile

Added Touches

On the front cover of the 2007 South Padre Island-Port Isabel telephone directory is a painting of a young lady on the beach holding a nautilus shell in her hands.

“I did that painting from a photo I took of my son’s girl friend,” artist Tina Poucher said. “She didn’t have anything in her hand when I took the photo, but I thought the position of her hands begged for something to be held in them. So when I did the painting, I inserted my favorite seashell.”

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 04, 07 | 3:50 pm | Profile

Beach lover

Shelly Beauford works as a waitress at Blackbeard’s Restaurant on South Padre Island to help pay for her college education.

“Blackbeard’s is the only place I’ve done this kind of work,” she said. “I really enjoy it because people who come here are laidback and relaxed, very friendly with me and all the staff.”

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Sep 29, 07 | 2:53 pm | Profile

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