Bayfest North shoreline Late 1980s/Early 1980s
Bayfest. Where Interstate 37 starts/ends at Shoreline in Corpus Christi was Bayfest. I have a lot of good memories from going there even though only went to two of them. Really kid friendly festival loaded with games like dunking celebrities, toss football, lots of and lots of food booths lined west side of street. Even had choo choo train for people on wall next to steps. Shoreline is split here so whole area blocked off for festival all the way down to under Harbor Bridge. At the north end was the old Bayfront Convention Center. On the south, well the Bayfest sign stuck in ground where Shoreline curves to I-37 & beyond, so good stretch of split roads ad of course those wonderful tall palm trees and grassy median.
Several stages setup at intervals, some good music, some not so good music, and if you didn't care for the act, just wander down to next stage and see what is going on. I never went when sun was up, don't know hours of operation was always dark when I went. Sit on the steps, look over at spoil island, don't have to worry about seagulls crapping on you. Great view, could look over shoulder and harbor bridge quietly watching over her citizens like a silent sentinel. Boats from Captain Clark full of drunks, or Japanese & German tourists would slowly go by waving at whoever waved from shore. Nicely lit up boats, can't believe in all my time there never took the little tour. Maybe I need to if Captain Clark still around! It would mix in with all the sail boats between the jetties, spoil island and the steps, those people must have had the best view, could hear band, drink all they want, check out the scenery without actually getting involved in the crowds.
In 1979 I had just been divorced. Really tough stretch for me, not that living off Doss & Antelope dirt ass poor was a Corpus Christi Cathedral Cakewalk, but had moved from there in 1978 with wife to 'luxury' Lexington Manor off Kostorzy, and marriage fell apart. I had gotten fired from my Pizza Hut job at Baldwin & Staples but quickly found another job. Stayed friends with the crew over there, Holly Moffitt, Barbara Bennett, Mohammed (Moe) and Laura.
So was single, dazed & confused as the old story goes, lost wife, both kids.
Had new apartment at The Landing now. I asked Laura out for date, Laura (I don't remember her last name) was a beautiful lady who was studying to be a doctor. Long brown hair, deep brown teddy bear eyes, and well, seemed to smile a lot. We all looked goofy as hell in those Pizza Hut solid red uniforms with beret though no one escaped that fate. So I go to pick her up on Chamberlain street a few houses off Staples to go to Bayfest, in my 1970 AMC AMX. Was new to this dating stuff, had been with same girl since Ray. Knock on door, mom answers and I mention am there to pickup Laura for date. Mom gives me the evil eye, like moms (whoa, dads are way worse!) with their daughter. I just smile and tell her I worked a few months ago with Laura at the Pizza Hut up the street, trying to break the awkward silence and ice. Maybe it was the hair in pony tail, oh wait, that is what got me fired from Pizza Hut. Anyway, Laura eventually came to door, told mom she would be home later. We walked out to car, chatting, got in car, and her mom appeared like a bad Chucky movie BEHIND my car, taking photo of license plate. I told Laura 'uh...your momma is behind my car taking photo of my license plate' she laughed and said 'don't worry she does that'. I told her 'my mom does that with the prostitutes off Doss too then turns list over to police ha ha!' She really did had binoculars even. My dad used to joke that if there ever was a nuclear war momma would look like zebra looking thru venetian blinds.
So we went to Bayfest, it is a great place for dates. We had a few beers, munchies and listened to some of the bands, wandered around, sat on steps watching the boats, even held hands. It was really nice to hold her hand, as it soothed my restless soul and especially helped ease my mind of all the crap like divorce court had been going thru. So for a little while I could forget about that stuff. Anyone who has ever went thru a divorce, with kids, knows of the tumultuous time it is in your life. She sure did giggle a lot ha ha, had a really cute giggle. We were at the Bayfest about 3-4 hours before I gave her a ride home, looking all Secret Squirrel around thinking her mom would pop out of bushes to snap more photos. She didn't. Gave Laura a big hug, kiss goodnight and off my AMX rumbled down Staples to The Landing. Laura....if you still out there, thanks for being there, you were a sweet girl & hope your dream of being a doctor has been realized!
Another night I went to Bayfest alone, and listened to some bands. I dabbled in a band out of high school, we sucked, no, really, really sucked, was just noise with a beat. Some of the bands Bayfest had were Corpus Christi's premier garage bands. I and a rock & roller, so would walk past some of the country acts, damn how many times can they sing about old girlfriend, or truck, life on farm, all that depressing crap; rap was just in it's infancy,not for me, tejano I can tolerate, makes for happy feet although no clue what the heck they singing about although used to listen to grandma's Domingo Pena show, and cajun music, hell, don't understand what they saying either, but do like to see them drool when singing and that scratchy washboard thing, now that is cool. Jazz...eh ok if drunk. Hope some of these people & bands went on to stardom! Sure did like the arts & crtafts booths also at Bayfest, bought several cool things I thought was only available at the head shop Zapatas at Six Points. No, not THAT sutff, things like incense & candles.
Seems the crowds were best at night, and alone, sit, listen to the music, sip a cold beer on steps. The breeze, the Corpus Christi breez on the steps, wow. Really a lot of fun back then if any of you ever went. Last time I went was 1980, and a native told me that the Bayfest event had been discontinued sadly years ago. Hope it is revived one day!
Photos: #1 Bayfest! Get Ready!! Photo #2 With streets blocked off, tents & stages up, it won't be long before crowds gather. Note older hotels on right. Photo #3 Daytime photo of Bayfest with large crowds. This was only ONE SIDE, if you look closely on right, equally packed. Photo #4 Bayfest was kid friendly, some folks like me just enjoy sitting on the steps watching the people, and boats go by. Photo #5 Tickets...get your tickets! I don't remember this belly dancer's name but she was facinating to watch. With something called Tahia Tribe. Well, not when with Laura on date, but otherwise, there was about 6 of them captivating the crowd.