17.The Little Field. Corner of Antelope & Port SE side
Unkept and sort of unclaimed, like rest of this neighborhood Corpus Christi forgotten. Never had a For Sale sign, any development. If you don't count the tree in back of Ordner's car lot next to their lean to garage thing, it had 3 trees. One of the trees was a yellow flower tree like we had in front of house on 2009 Antelope. Pretty, little yellow flowers that attracted big, black bumblebees and smaller honey bees. Also had thorns.
We had some superstitious people in the neighborhood who said there were bodies buried there, don't cut thru. But us kids more worried about black kids from the cut hiding in there, or snakes that jump out like coil springs and winos and drunks, like The Wino Behind Beils who frequented the are and looked like one of the Duck Dynasty guys, but you could smell him block away. So first time I ventured thru there in the day was about 6 years old, headed to HEB (#15 on the big map) with some change to go buy comic books.
Scared? Oh hell yea. It was a small thin trail rubbed down by Coca Cola employees cars & people walking from The Cut, a sort of "S" shaped trail that adventure or murder was behind every wild bush. The bushes here seldom got about 3-4 feet and no one that I recall ever maintained this property or cut grass & weeds. So you on your own. The black folks those coming from HEB would push carts along Port, then Antelope, on way home, could not push grocery cart thru there... so stayed on street. Coca Cola employees would also park cars back there which I find odd, in the big map photos looks like 5 cars back in 'the little field' parked, and even odder is two cars parked against Coca Cola building 2A, that would have been a tight squeeze for the choo choo train coming thru, but guess it made it fine.
On the Antelope side next to rail road tracks sort of open like a funnel, smattering of weeds, oyster shell and gravel, and small bushes. For about 30 yards it got smaller, smaller and restrictive in middle as the bushes closed in on you, snakes, winos, and such just waiting to jump out at you take your comic book change. At the far end it turned into a Y shaped funnel again. So you could come out on Port directly across from Devine Printing Company (#14 on the map & that is the crazy lady who slapped shit out of my serving mass at Cathedral when I was altar boy) but wide open behind Hasty Tasty, you were face to face with their grease pit which smelled wonderful. And their dumpster too, also great smelling to a hungry kid, will leave it at that.
About only incident I had in the 'little field' was with yellow & black spiders. These were big as hand. And had large webs too. There were large red ants that had mounts here, like the one mound we could never kill in front of house at 723 Doss. These big red ants if they bit you, scratch, red, and itch for days. Painful. So step on damned thing first, then pick them up, toss in web, send them to hell where they belonged.After we got tossed out of 642 Naples and family found ourselves back in stone age 723 Doss in about 1973/74, I STILL feared going thru 'the little field' and would ride bike extra fast thru there. About 1975 there was activity and lots of trucks. So a number of us hood rats, went over to watch and someone started putting up a oil rig there! First time ever something there. Run over all the bushes, the small trees cut down, winos, black kids with snakes that looked like springs all running down Leopard. Actually, there was now a fence there. The oil well derrick towered maybe 30 feet up, lit up like Christmas Tree. My dad could not figure out why put oil well there. Even with Coca Cola buildings as out block you could still hear noise from the place 24 hours a day.
Then one day...it was gone from the little field. A Christmas Tree or pump like thing there, small fence around it, ground all nasty, smelly, and Coca Cola employees started parking there again, but the "trail" was altered, and near the small well, it had meters and a constant Hisssssssss.... to it. So they hit something, but no longer disturbance in the force in the 'little field' Never saw another big spider in there either. After I moved from Corpus Christi in 1983 a small motel built there which remains to this day. I never stayed there when coming down to visit my parents until mom died in 1988 from cancer, simply because my dad said 'it is where truckers take whores, they rent rooms by the hour'. Yikes no, would stay at Sand & Sea on Bayfront I-37 & Shoreline even though that place falling apart, still better than hourly rooms. And one more thing. Horney Toads used to be everywhere when I was a kid in 1960s, and found two of them in The Little Field.
PHOTOS: Photo #1 Between the Missouri Pacific railroad tracks & Port Avenue in SE corner of Port & Antelope was The Little Field. And you just walked faster thru here, and rode bike full tilt. Never know what might jump out from behind tall weeds and grass. Nothing ever did but imagination.
Photo #2. My late dad Homer T Stakes is STANDING in high uncut grass across from our house on Antelope, note "The Sign" which always seemed to be in our pictures, looming up hill. The grass at Little Field often got this high but due to Coca Cola people driving thru there, at least we had trail.
Photo #3. On the left is remainder of Coca Cola company on Lester, facing South towards Leopard this is building #2A on the map. The green hump is old Missouri Pacific railroad tracks. I am standing on Antelope street. To the right is new motel and where little field used to be. Ironic took over 50 years of my life to see something BUILT there! No more spiders, no more horney toads.
Photo #4. Standing on The Hill of Death or what is left of it as new freeway built...looking SW towards The Little Field. The horizontal line is where Missouri Pacific train tracks were, and the arrow points at The Little Field. The intersection right there is Antelope & Port.
Photo #5. Grapefruit sized yellow spiders nothing worse than trying to haul ass thru The Little Field on bike and hit invisible web with one of these monsters in it. Caused quite a few wipeouts. Never got bit, I don't know if they bite either, but scare the hell out of you factor off charts. They are about 3-4 inches long and in Houston 1/2 century later I coexist with them as they eat LOTS of bugs, I just don't ride bike thru web at high speed.