On my way to the office late in the day, I drive past a small house with a front porch full of laughing children, teens focused on their smartphones, one adult seeming to ride herd on the  chaos…and peeking through the gaggle of activity, I spot something white. I am soon to discover, this is one Mrs. Florence Hatcher.
I was driving slowly, listening carefully to one of the many podcasts we will be offering through our website Listen n learn Guide. The name of the podcast is “Found” a fascinating look at individual journeys of discovery brought about by something or someone they “found”. I was about to begin my own journey.
The pull of a family enjoying the evening breeze, sitting on the front porch, visiting as the children played, was too much. I stopped introduced myself, and asked if we could talk a while.Turns out this family originates from Galveston and like most families, time and circumstance has spread them from one end of this great country to the other. Before me were Florence Hatcher, 80, her daughter Carolyn, and numerous children, grandchildren, and a neighbor, Lance Wshington; with a smile you can see from 6 blocks away. But this story is about finding Florence and Asia, Mia, Josiah, Carolyn and her children; and all the Hatchers unmet – those still here and those passed from meeting but represented in force by those sitting on that porch.
Florence is the youngest of 12 from a mother she cared for in her declining years; a mother who could neither read nor write but was able to raise a daughter with a sense of responsibility, respect for family and self who would raise five boys and two girls herself. I was surrounded by children with manners; well spoken, look you right in the eye to answer your questions. One fetched me a chair; unasked, so I could sit as we talked. Not to say this family did not have its own heartaches and trajedies but the promise of these children was unmistakeable. Florence lost two of her sons; one to AIDS one to bone cancer and yet her peace with their passing seems otherworldly. Her strength of purpose is reflected  in her smile; in the wisdom an joy  her daughter Carolyn exudes and in the kindness and willingness of her fsmily to share their story with a stranger. As each member of her clan hugged me goodbye I felt so blessed to have found this family and to spend an evening on their front porch enjoying the company of new friends and the evening breeze.
I pause here to admit some of the specifics in this tale may be inaccurate. I spent almost two hours with Florence and Carolyn and Lance and must admit as the story carried me along, I neglected my reporter obligations and did not write a single word. I hope to visit this family many times in the future and pray they forgive my shortcomings and allow corrections as needed.
My point with all this is simply that we all have a story. Each of us carries heartache, triumph, humility and grace. As we travel through all the stops On The Mainland, our hope is that a stronger sense of community will come from sharing the stories of our many and varied communities and their people and bring us closer together with a bond strengthened by understanding and shared experience. Be sure to follow us online as well as, beginning in June, On The Mainland expands on the stories you see here in our humble community news.

Following the May election, the City Of Hitchcock sees two familiar faces returning to the council; while also welcoming a new member.
Fard Abdullah, far left, was approved as district one commissioner, while Monica Cantrell was approved as district two commissioner and Anthony Matranga, far right, will be returning as mayor. – Photo courtesy Donna Carter

Dog of the week
Meet Tessa, A007868, she’s a female, Labrador mix that is short in stature, but just bursting with personality. She has lots of character from her beautiful colored coat to her mighty frame. Don’t miss a chance to view this beauty in person.


Cat of the week
Cooper (A007856), a Domestic Short Hair Brown Tabby, is the GCARC Cat of the Week. Cooper is friendly, laid back and enjoys hanging out with his buddies in the Man Cave. Notice the thoughtful and pensive look on his handsome face. Cooper is about two and half years old, neutered and current on his rabies vaccination. Come to meet him soon – he likes company and attention.
Adoption details

Tessa and Cooper are available for adoption May 23-27, 2017 at the special rate of $42.50.

Pet-of-the-week costs
Adoptions include rabies vaccination, neutering and microchipping. Senior citizens can adopt a senior pet for only $20.

To adopt, call 409-948-2485 or go online to These and other pets are available at the Galveston County animal resource center, 3412 Loop 197 North, Texas City.

Theron Waddell, professor of Government and History at Galveston College, received a Liberty Bell award, last month, by the Galveston County Young Lawyer’s Association. The award is bestowed upon people who have contributed positively to their community. Waddell has been a part of Galveston College for 48 years and—along with being professor—has served as Social Sciences department chair, special assistant to the president for policy research and director of Arts and Humanities in that time. Pictured is Waddell, left, with Michael Hughes, Galveston College regent and member of the Galveston County Bar Association. – Photo courtesy Galveston College

Norma Medina, third from right in the back row, of League City joins the other graduating members of Collaborating In The Academic Success For All at University Of Houston-Clear Lake to celebrate their accomplishments. This project, known as CASA, is funded by the Department Of Education and aims to improve instruction in the classroom for English language learners, with an emphasis on science and math. Also pictured in the back row are Mark Shermis, dean of the college of education, far left, William Staples, UHCL president, fourth from right and professors of bilingual and multicultural education Laurie Weaver, second from right and Judith Marquez, far right. Photo courtesy UHCL