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“As a kid, I really enjoyed drawing. And I remember hearing my parents always say, ‘Oh, here’s our little architect.’ So I guess that stuck with me. Because when it was time to decide what I wanted to pursue I thought, let me try it out and see if it works. And it did. I’ve been an architect for 20-plus years now. … “Putting a set of drawings together and watching things get built is a pretty satisfying experience. Right now, my company mostly works on retail centers. In fact, we’re doing a few on Garth Road here in town. While those are fine, I especially have enjoyed working on school projects. Taking the schools from design all the way through construction is a really interesting process. Plus, in the end, you see the positive impact those facilities have on the students. That really makes all the long hours and hard work worthwhile.” — Jesse Garcia
#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #architecture #architect #drawing

“When I was a little kid, I went to church all the time. As I got older, I began asking questions like, ‘What’s the aim of human life? Why are we here?’ And they had no answers. They just told me, ‘You need to read your Bible more.’ I was into martial arts as a teenager, and one of them said that was a false religion. I was told that I needed to make my choice of whether I wanted to do that or follow Jesus. So I said, ‘Bye. See you later.’ ... So what have you followed in life? “I’m a devotee of a yogi from northern India. In his country, they called him Balyogeshwar. It means the born lord of yogis. He became an American citizen about 40 years ago. I’ve met him many times. I followed him around once for about a month. He would do these festivals, and thousands of people would come to hear him. He would speak on God realization and truth. He showed me what I was looking for. He showed me knowledge of the soul. He gave me wisdom, truth. ... “They say the musk deer runs through the forest, he smells this beautiful musk, and he doesn’t realize that it comes from his own navel. Still, he runs around the woods looking for it. Similarly, all the people of the world, we’re constantly running through life looking for something — satisfaction, peace of mind, whatever you want to call it. But it’s not in all these material things we have. It’s really inside all of us. It’s really simple. Truth has been in front of our eyes all our lives.” — John Bounds

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #religion #church #God #truth

"My dream? To take a ride in Scooby-Doo's Mystery Machine van. Can you make that happen?” — Mystery … Besides having a pretty cool name, this 10-month-old also is a great cuddle buddy. When she's not taking long naps, she'll be happy to give you a few loving head butts. If you'd like to add this colorful cat with a big personality to your family, please complete an adoption application with A Life to Live. www.adopttosave.org/cats

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #ALifeToLive #AdoptToSave #cats

“Believe it or not, I never wanted to have children. Honestly, I felt like the world was a little too cruel, and I didn’t really want to subject him to that. But I also hadn’t met the person that I wanted to have a kid with yet, either. I love my husband. And when I actually got married to him, I knew I wanted to have kids with him. That was the deciding factor. And my mom, of course. I got a little pressure from the grandparents. ‘Just one, Sonya. I just want one grandchild from you.’” ... Now that your son is 4, how do you feel about the world? “It’s pretty much the same place I thought it was. I’m a very leery person. I shouldn’t say non-trusting, because I do trust a little bit. But I really do have to trust before I let it go or let him go. I’ve seen a lot of things and dealt with a lot of things in my life. It can be cruel out there. But I also see that there’s kindness in the world. One of the reasons I think I’m feeling a little better about everything is because there is goodness. And while I try to see the best, I still have that little guarded feeling sometimes of, ‘I don’t know about this.’ I still think you need to have that.” — Sonya Stombaugh

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #children #parenting #parenthood #trust #Batman

“We used to have a farm in Ashdown, Arkansas, this little, bitty town about 20 miles north of Texarkana. It was really inexpensive to live there. We had a small home on a dead-end road. I liked the open space and the quiet. But I was not crazy about raising cows. To be honest, I didn’t like taking care of them because I was afraid of them. My neighbors would laugh. I would put the hay and bag of feed on the back of the tractor, start that thing up and try to beat the cows down to the troughs. Then I would dump the feed, throw the hay out, jump back on the tractor and get out the gate before they showed up. When they see food, they come running like a herd, now, I’m telling you. That’s all they’re interested in. It gets pretty crazy around those troughs.” — Sandy Barbee … To read more of her farm life memories, check out the story on The Baytown Project website at thebaytownproject.com. Click the link on our profile.

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #farm #farmlife #cow #Arkansas

"The ladies think I'm a pretty good kisser.” — Miguel … Prepare to be licked by Miguel when you meet him. He has a playful heart. He runs with his siblings, and he likes to lick your face. Overall, he's very sweet and calm. If you're looking for a great puppy to add to your family, please consider adopting Miguel. To get things started, fill out an application with A Life to Live. www.adopttosave.org/dogs
#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #ALifeToLive #AdoptToSave #dogs

It was going to be a difficult trip. Rebecca Crenshaw was flying home to San Diego to say goodbye to her grandmother. But in no way was she prepared for what would actually happen. Read the full story on The Baytown Project website at thebaytownproject.com. Click the link on our profile.
#BaytownProject #grandmother #suicide #tattoo

The family that paints together stays together. “This is my wife. She used to work at Church’s Chicken. But after Hurricane Harvey, we got lots of calls for jobs. So she said, it’s time to work together. And I said, yes, it is. So it’s me, my wife, my brother and my brother-in-law here today. In our other group, I’ve got my son and two nephews. It’s really nice working together with family. We try to have a little fun out here. We like to laugh. It helps make the day go better.” — Jesus Loera ... The crew recently painted the parking lots at Baytown’s three public high schools. Read the rest of their story on The Baytown Project website at thebaytownproject.com. Click the link on our profile.

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #family #painters #husbandandwife

When you’re homeless, you’re grateful for things that most people take for granted. ... “As long as you can take a shower or bath somewhere at least once a week, you feel kind of normal. When we can scrape together enough money, we get a motel room for a day. We get the room as soon as they’ll let us check in, which is right at 11 o’clock, and we keep it until 11 the next morning. We get a hot shower. We get a nice place to sleep. And it’s cool. Believe it or not, it makes you feel so much better. That one day of being in AC, being able to watch TV, not being harassed, and not having the mosquitoes trying to eat you alive, it makes all the difference in the world.” — Pat, with Kenneth

On The Baytown Project website at thebaytownproject.com, read more about the challenges these friends face living on the streets of Baytown. Also, in a clip from our audio interview, Pat describes how she lost her job. Click the link on our profile. #BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #homeless #friends

"I'm just a purr machine.” — Jerry … Quite the affectionate cat, Jerry loves petting and having his head scratched. And he's fine with being picked up and loved on, too. Jerry is looking for a forever home. If you'd like to adopt this playful 2-year-old, please fill out an application with A Life to Live. www.adopttosave.org/cats

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #ALifeToLive #AdoptToSave #cats

Music was always welcome in the Rodriguez home. Jesus Rodriguez Sr. made sure of it. Guitars, trumpets and other instruments were lying around. And if Jesus wasn’t playing, his four children would see what sounds they could coax from them.

The youngest of the kids, Jesus “Chuy” Rodriguez Jr., was the most intrigued. Maybe it was because his dad and musician friends would treat him to mariachi performances on his first few birthdays. “One time, the guys were over at the house for a party or something, and there was this trumpet. I’m told that I grabbed it and started making funny noises with it. I think that really got my attention. I guess it was a sign of things to come.” When Chuy was 4, his mother brought him and his sisters to a restaurant where his dad was playing with his mariachi band. “My dad set me up on a table and I sang one of Selena’s songs. That was my first gig.” Now 25, with countless performances and lots of hard work and planning to his credit, Chuy is on the verge of realizing a dream.

Read Chuy’s full story on The Baytown Project at thebaytownproject.com. Click the link on our profile.

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #chuyrodriguezoficial #music #singer #mariachi #livingthedream #portraits #portraitphotography

“Brown and Root recruited me right out of high school down in Bishop, Texas, where I grew up. In 1972 when OSHA came into play, they had to get serious about their safety programs. So I was one of the guys they pulled out of the construction field and sent to school for training. It was pretty cool. I was barely 20 years old. They gave me a brand new Crown Victoria company car and paid me $1,000 a month. I was sitting in high cotton back then. I thought, how lucky I am. There is a God.” — Richard, 68

There is much more to Richard’s story, including traveling all over the world and helping to save lives on and off the job. Check out his full story on The Baytown Project website at thebaytownproject.com. Click the link on our profile.

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #safety #OSHA #CrownVictoria #portraits #portraitphotography

We’re excited to announce the launch of The Baytown Project website at thebaytownproject.com. More than 1,000 stories posted on our social media pages over the past four years come together in one central location. We’ll continue to post short stories here, and the website will feature additional content that won’t be found anywhere else. Subscribe on the site to receive occasional emails alerting you to all the new stories. Click the website link on our profile page.

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #storytelling #people

"Yeah, I've had a tough childhood. But things are looking up for me.” — Pepita … This terrier/pit bull mix had the fight of his life when he was diagnosed with puppy strangles at just 6 weeks old. Already severely malnourished from losing his mother for a week, Pepita had a difficult time fighting off the strange infection. Fortunately, A Life to Live's support community came together to save him. Today Pepita is a thriving, healthy 5-month-old puppy. He loves snuggles and being loved on by his humans. And he's ready for adoption. If you would like to add him to your family, fill out an adoption application. www.adopttosave.org/dogs
#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #ALifeToLive #AdoptToSave #dogs

THE BP FILE: “Years ago, I had just started cutting hair when this lady came in and showed me a photo of what she wanted. I did the best that I could, but she wasn’t happy and began complaining. What she really wanted, nobody could do. She wanted to look like the model in the photo. The problem was, she was a big lady and she wanted to look slim. She went out the door with a free haircut. I was upset and crying a little, but my friend who worked there told me it wasn’t my fault. She said you’ve got to watch people and be ready for them when they come in, because some are going to test you. That’s the only real bad experience I’ve ever had cutting hair.” The BP File is an occasional feature of The Baytown Project. This post originally appeared on March 3, 2015.

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #hair #haircut #hairstylist

A few years ago we visited briefly with Micah Cheatham after a performance at Bicentennial Park. His dream was to make it big in the country music business. It's nice to see that dream is still alive, as he recently released a new EP. Check him out at micahcheathamtx.

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #music #singer #countrymusic

“Probably from the time I entered high school, I started feeling this wave of … You know how when you have a bottle full of water and it’s narrowing down into a very small canal? I kind of felt like that’s how my life was going. There was so much pressure involved with graduating high school, thinking about what I want to do for the rest of my life, what figure of money I want to be making. And since I’m an only child, there's this feeling of additional expectations placed on you. Maybe they're not really there, but you have this feeling of needing to do something important with your life. So you want to make sure you’re doing the right thing and making the right decisions. But that’s not always easy to know. Sometimes that can lead to feeling really overwhelmed.” — Michael Cenac … Right now, Michael is feeling pretty good about graduating from Lee College with an associate’s degree in social sciences. He plans to attend University of Houston in the fall to study journalism.
#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #LeeCollege #pressure #overwhelmed #onlychild #portraits #portraitphotography

“I’m working on my tan.” — Nola … Since Nola was rescued from the Baytown Animal Shelter, life has been so much nicer for her. She traded a scary environment for a loving foster home, where she has blossomed. Nola enjoys meeting people and shows off her smarts, like sitting and staying. She also walks nicely on a leash and can stay in a kennel quietly. You can learn more about Nola and apply to adopt her through A Life to Live. www.adopttosave.org/dogs.

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #ALifeToLive #AdoptToSave #dogs

THE BP FILE: “As a dad, I’m just trying to make sure they’ve got everything they need. Try to raise them right, you know. For instance, about two years ago this one (left) grabbed a Dr Pepper one day, opened it up and said, ‘Aah, Bud Light.’ From that day on, I haven’t taken another drink. They watch me, everything I do. So I try to set a good example for them.” — Larry with sons Donathon and Joey, and dog Benji … The BP File is an occasional feature of The Baytown Project. This post originally appeared on Aug. 13, 2015.

#BaytownProject #BaytownTexas #dad #father #rolemodel #skateboard #BudLight #DrPepper

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