Reviewing Seawriter’s Book: Vanished Houston Landmarks

 

This post turns the tables on Ricochet’s intrepid book reviewer, @seawriter, who is known to the outside world as Mark Lardas. He wrote an engaging, enjoyable book called “Vanished Houston Landmarks“, available for the Kindle, and it’s a skillful job that deserves your attention.

When I grew up, people didn’t hate Californians (yet). New Yorkers and Texans regularly topped polls of who our fellow Americans found most annoying, and despite vast differences between Gothamites and Texians, we have this in common: we are apt to boast a great deal. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve only passed through Texas and I ought to know more about its history, but I can understand the boasting: it really is a remarkable place with wonderful people.

Vanished Houston Landmarks covers these lost images and places with an entertaining focus on how Houstonians shaped the modern world. As grand as that sounds, Mark backs it up with anecdotes few of us have ever heard, such as how a Boris Yeltsin visit to Randall’s, a supermarket, helped inspire the end of Communism in the USSR. Familiar associations with Houston, such as the Astrodome and the space program, are well covered too. It’s hard for us to imagine that there was a time when big Texas ever had to fight to prove it belonged in the major leagues, literally and metaphorically.

Naturally, I skipped right to some of my own hobby interests, like the light rail interurban streetcars that once connected Houston and Galveston. Like everywhere else, Houston progressed by getting rid of the streetcars and then progressed by bringing them back. Funny how that works.

Maybe my favorite part of the book was (no surprise) about early television. Houston had the first educational TV station in the whole country, becoming the envied model for New York, L.A., and Washington. It’s still on the air.

Reading Mark’s book, I was reminded how much I like Texans. But don’t tell them; their heads are swelled enough! Remember, Vanished Houston Landmarks is available on Kindle. Do yourself a favor and buy it!

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There are 11 comments.

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  1. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Thanks Gary.

    • #1
  2. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Hey – it’s just about the same length of a typical Seawriter book review too.

    • #2
  3. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Gary McVey: Remember, Vanished Houston Landmarks is available on Kindle. Do yourself a favor and buy it!

    Done. Thanks for the review, Gary. Looking forward to reading the book. Had the privilege of living in Texas for a few years. Loved it – great state and great people. It really is best not to mess with Texas, though :-)

    • #3
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    I preferred Games People Play and Splashtown to Astroworld. But it was a real shame when the Astrodome became second fiddle. It’s the better stadium. 

    • #4
  5. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Thanks for saying his real name. He will always be Seawriter to me, but I went straight to Amazon with his real name and found some really interesting books to download to my Kindle. 

    • #5
  6. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I just went over to Amazon and searched under Mark’s name. Wow, I did not know Seawriter was so prolific. I’ll have to pick one of them up. The Houston book doesn’t grab me but some of the others do. Congratulations on another publication, Seawriter. 

    • #6
  7. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Manny (View Comment):

    I just went over to Amazon and searched under Mark’s name. Wow, I did not know Seawriter was so prolific. I’ll have to pick one of them up. The Houston book doesn’t grab me but some of the others do. Congratulations on another publication, Seawriter.

    I only get royalties for books published by Arcadia and History Press. All my Osprey works were work for hire, and I was paid up front. Not that that should deter anyone from getting something they want.

    • #7
  8. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I just went over to Amazon and searched under Mark’s name. Wow, I did not know Seawriter was so prolific. I’ll have to pick one of them up. The Houston book doesn’t grab me but some of the others do. Congratulations on another publication, Seawriter.

    I only get royalties for books published by Arcadia and History Press. All my Osprey works were work for hire, and I was paid up front. Not that that should deter anyone from getting something they want.

    I’ll keep that in mind. 

    • #8
  9. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Manny (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I just went over to Amazon and searched under Mark’s name. Wow, I did not know Seawriter was so prolific. I’ll have to pick one of them up. The Houston book doesn’t grab me but some of the others do. Congratulations on another publication, Seawriter.

    I only get royalties for books published by Arcadia and History Press. All my Osprey works were work for hire, and I was paid up front. Not that that should deter anyone from getting something they want.

    I’ll keep that in mind.

    Lots to choose from.

    • #9
  10. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I just went over to Amazon and searched under Mark’s name. Wow, I did not know Seawriter was so prolific. I’ll have to pick one of them up. The Houston book doesn’t grab me but some of the others do. Congratulations on another publication, Seawriter.

    I only get royalties for books published by Arcadia and History Press. All my Osprey works were work for hire, and I was paid up front. Not that that should deter anyone from getting something they want.

    Most of them were Osprey works Seawriter. I was really attracted to the Spanish versus English Galleon comparison. I went with that.

    • #10
  11. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Manny (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I just went over to Amazon and searched under Mark’s name. Wow, I did not know Seawriter was so prolific. I’ll have to pick one of them up. The Houston book doesn’t grab me but some of the others do. Congratulations on another publication, Seawriter.

    I only get royalties for books published by Arcadia and History Press. All my Osprey works were work for hire, and I was paid up front. Not that that should deter anyone from getting something they want.

    Most of them were Osprey works Seawriter. I was really attracted to the Spanish versus English Galleon comparison. I went with that.

    Well, give it a good review if you like it.

    • #11