My new friend, Peter, loves museums. I thought, me, not so much, but we happened upon the Freeport Museum and it was closed. We peeked in the window and there were some really nice folks in there.

They invited us in and we had our own personal tour, and for me growing up mostly here, I was told and shown places I had totally forgotten about. Or I was too young to know about them at the time. It went back to families heading out into unknown country in wagon trains to find new land to settle on. They have a big room devoted to children that is a good place for kids to be. The old Fort Velasco was recreated by my old childhood friend Dan Kessner.

I could go on and on about this museum, but it’s something you have to go see for yourself. You will be surprised by all you see, especially if you were raised here and have totally forgotten or never knew. I won’t spoil it for you by telling you some of the facts that Mr. Nat Hickey told me. It was really special to have this man who is so very proud of the museum give me and Peter a personal tour and tell us all about it.

I do have to tell you of two events that are going to take place at the museum in July. Well, it seems it’s now July. Here is one I want to see: the Deep Water shark exhibit. It runs through July 26. The other one is Kidfest, a Hawaiian luau party, at 5 p.m. July 27 at Freeport Memorial Park. Here’s the best part: it’s free! That should really be lots of fun for the kids, and big kids too.

Hours the museum is open are 10 to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Please go and be as surprised as I was. I am so proud to have such a high level museum in our area. It’s still a work in progress, so it will be bigger and even better as the work progresses. I’m so glad Peter wanted to see the museum.

This information isn’t just about the museum, but also what’s in your own city. Do yourself a favor and go to your local museum and see all who came before you and how they made the way for us.

n n n

If you read last Wednesday’s column, you know it was all about mashed potatoes. Well here is a note from our own Linda Sharlow in Padre Island.

“For those of us who don’t eat potatoes, substitute lightly steamed cauliflower which you have cut into cubes. Whether traditional or German, it is absolutely delicious.

I still love your column best of all the emails I get!

— Linda.”

n n n

I am so sorry, if you are not a four-legged baby lover you will have to put up with this. Maybe you will change your mind. I hope, anyway.

Linda is a four-legged baby lover like I am. She got a call to rescue this puppy. It is a breed I can’t remember off the top of my “downhill, middle aged mind” at the moment. But they are white and small, and Linda loves them.

Now to get to the point. Here is what she wrote to me when she sent in the cauliflower solution for those of you who do not eat potatoes. I thought it was so sweet and wanted to share it with you.

“Duncan came to the ranch for the first time. He loves romping in the wildflowers/weeds. But … there are little burrs that attach to the hair. I put him on the freezer — the only thing tall enough that he might not jump — and started picking the little burs out. Well he just laid down and went to sleep while I picked. How’s that for content? I am loving a puppy. I had forgotten how much fun they are despite the work!”

I have a mental picture of that. I felt the same way about Bentley. However, we still have our romp over his skunk every morning. He brings it to me, but of course won’t let me have it and so it goes.

I know there are lots of folks out there that don’t care for animals, and that’s OK, but let me tell you they really fill a void if you are lonely. And if you want a practically job-free job, get a cat. They are loyal, but are really pretty much maintenance-free.

We had our cat declawed because he was going to be strictly a house cat and could not climb the fence when he wanted to go outside or claw our furniture. He was litter box-broken. When he wanted a pet he let us know. Other than that, he was content pestering the four-legged babies. Unconditional love is what they give us.

How someone can mistreat an animal that all it wants to do is make us happy? I don’t understand it. I takes all kinds of people I guess.

One more thing about pets: please do not share them with them with your neighbors. If they wanted a pet they would get one. By that I mean, keep yours in your own yard and house!

If you have recipes or tips to share, or a request, send to Conversations with Gin, P.O. Box 334, Clute TX 77531 or email

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