Kudos to Jennifer St. Julian Wooden who had the foresight to bring blues legend Kenny Neal to The Bender a couple Friday nights ago. At this point, I would list all the locals I spotted in the plush Bender seats but, frankly, it was a packed Bender and packed with newbies – Kenny Neal fans who traveled far and wide to enjoy his Louisiana swamp blues. As Jennifer took to the stage to introduce Kenny, she called out to the crowd asking how far they’d traveled to get to The Bender. Most were an hour or more but at least one man yelled back, “Four hours!” Yes, Kenny Neal fans travel quite far to see their guy. I did spot two Humble City Council members, Allan Steagall and Norman Funderburk, who rarely miss any Bender performance. Richard Mintz was at his usual seat in the hall, and I spied two of our favorite “Bonnies” in the crowd as well, Bonnie Longnion and Bonnie Gardner. Bonnie L. joined local Realtor Deborah Rose Miller who reserved practically a whole row for her fellow Kenny Neal fans. Bonnie G. was with her son, Thomas, who used to run a local club along Loop 494 that featured an up-and-coming performer named Kenny Neal. The Tribune was well-represented by Tom Broad and John Denton who brought along Armando and Diane Morales, driving all the way from Tomball for their first visit to The Bender. After an incredible night of sing-along and foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’ blues, Kenny and crew found their way to the Green Oaks Tavern in Historic Downtown Humble for an amazing after show. If you’re a Beatles fan, then you might want to go ahead and get tickets for June 22 at The Bender with The Fab 5, a Houston-based Beatles Tribute Band that should put you in the mood for a Friday night British Invasion.
Those of you who have never had a poke bowl are missing out. Sushi in a bowl! What’s not to like? Between Little Ginger at Town Center and the Teahouse across the street in the Randall’s shopping center, we now have two places in Kingwood to indulge in this Hawaiian classic. I have accepted Mark Linabury’s challenge and am eating as much poke as I can to find my favorite. But I keep getting distracted by the Spicy Tuna Tacos at Little Ginger. Then today, I walked into Kroger and what is it that I find? They now also serve poke bowls. I just Googled “Kingwood+poke” and 838 Sushi over on West Lake Houston also popped up. I’m going to have to try them all, darn it.
The project manager responsible for dredging the west fork of the San Jacinto River estimates the Army Corps of Engineers will be finished by next spring. Eduardo Irigoyen told Lake Houston Chamber members at their June meeting that the San Jacinto is not a federal channel so the Army Corp will not be able to maintain the fast-track project, but the Army Corp will let us know what needs to be done in the future. Hydraulic Engineer Michael Garske said he was looking at the San Jacinto prior to Harvey since that is their charge and will propose improvements needed but not part of their scope. Rice University Professor Lester King has a plan in cooperation with the chamber. Too many familiar faces in the crowd to mention them all but among those attending were Delbert Dawes, Ken Theis, Jason Stuebe, Erica Johnston, Adam Garner, Katherine Persson, Bridget Johnston, Bruce and Carolyn Wise, Jamey Smith, Jessica Beemer, Sam Schrade, Mitzi Vaughn, Tom Broad, Kim Brode, Scott Brady, Devon Alexander, Marley Morris, Philippe Cras, Danny Sullivan, Tony Austin and Chris Johnson.
The “Hot Pinks,” the collective name for this year’s In the Pink of Health Committee chairs, have been busy planning all this year’s events and last Tuesday was Pinktini day at Tosca Americana, where a signature cocktail that tasted of strawberries and vodka (yum) was unveiled. Chef Eddie also prepared half-priced appetizers for Happy Hour for everyone who came in to support the cause. The special will last all summer up until the upcoming October luncheon. I picked up my mother, visiting from Vancouver for the summer and an 11-year survivor of breast cancer, from the airport, swung by to pick up Denise Krieger, and headed straight for Tosca to enjoy some of those Pinktinis as well as some stuffed mushrooms, truffle fries and strawberry shortcakes. It was a pink sort of fun afternoon with Executive Chairs Cynthia Calvert and Cristi Cardenas, Gina Remmes, C.J. Johnson, Gary Rabelaix, Carol Prince, Brooke Baugh, Pam McNair and a few other merry Pink-ers. Don’t forget to watch this space for more fun Pink events coming up and I’ll see you all Out and About!