ODE TO EAST TEXAS
I swam the Trinity River at flood just for fun. I played varsity football for the glory of Hull-Daisetta at 140 pounds against Monsters who could swallow me whole. I fought communists in Korea and saw sights from Inchon to Hungnam. I dove for Japanese pearls in frigid waters, kissed Geishas in Tokyo even patted the Buddha’s belly in Kamakura.
I’ve seen Diamond Head in moonlight visited Midway and Guam and tried to learn “Eskimo” in Kodiak. I dove for abalone in Mexican waters, surfed North Beach and rode a buffalo on Catalina Island. I paddled a kayak down the Colorado River from Hover Dam to Lake Havasu City, picked up a college degree along the way and directed community centers in the ghettos of Los Angeles. I survived serving as a Navy Frogman for 4 years and can you believe it? – I’m still hearty and in one piece.
I’ve loved it lord, but nothing can compare – To deep East Texas with daisies in her hair.
Since retiring as Supervisor of Aquatics for the City of Los Angeles in ’84 Phil has vigorously researched East Texas history, folklore, legends and myths. He has been a “Texas Legends” columnist for a number of East Texas newspapers and is a feature writer for a number of Military magazines.
He has had 5 books published that chronicles East Texas and East Texans the way it WUZ - and is currently the “Texas Tales” columnist for the Liberty Vindicator.
Phil has served both as vice president and president for the Hull-Daisetta Golden Oldies alumni organization and still serves on the board for the scholarship foundation. Also, he is a long time member of the Historical Society of East Liberty County.
Phil is a member of the national VFW Chapter, the Fifties Frogs (Naval Frogmen) Association and the Naval Special Forces Association.
One of Liberty County’s decorated naval heroes, he was decorated while serving with the famous Naval Underwater Demolition Teams in Korea.
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