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Harbor Oaks Newsletter

June 2020 Mid-Month

Remember to check out the Harbor Oaks Rockport website!  We are still looking for submissions for the monthly newsletter and the website!  We'd love to see some great fishing pictures and we especially need recipe submissions!
Roadrunner with a lizard in a resident's driveway

📸Paden Rogers

Wendell Family Fireworks - July 4th at Dark!
If you’ve ever been in Aransas County on the Fourth of July, chances are very good you have watched in awe the Wendell Family Fireworks show.  It is a tradition started by the late Jerry and Jan Wendell back in 1965.  Jerry passed away in January 2001. When Jan died in May 2011, the Wendell family went to work behind the scenes to ensure the future of the annual fireworks display. 

In May 2012 the Wendell Family Fireworks Fund was incorporated under Texas State Law as a nonprofit corporation, under the new name Wendell Family Fund. The IRS approved its 501(c)3 designation in July 2013. 

Excess funds collected by the Wendell Family Fund (above that which is deemed necessary as carryover for the following year) can be distributed to other non-profit organizations.

Click here to learn more or make a donation!
The first Wendell fireworks were shot off on July 4, 1965 when Jerry and Jan were entertaining a group of family and friends at their new home on East Linden. 

The next year they did it again, but on a larger scale. So large, in fact, the display attracted onlookers who parked along the road to watch them. The Wendells then made the decision to secure a place in Rockport to shoot off the fireworks so the entire community could view them. 

The first public display was based on a vacant lot on Key Allegro. That lot, owned by the late Ed Harper and Bill Christian, faced Little Bay. It drew a large crowd of people lining the roads to watch.

It became apparent the event was something the residents of Rockport appreciated.

 Jerry’s next move was to get pyrotechnic certification and to begin using professional-grade fireworks to make the show much more spectacular.  When his sons Wayde and Shawn were old enough, they too became certified pyrotechnicians and participated in the launching of the fireworks. The display grew more and more sophisticated, using larger mortars and more spectacular fireworks. 

The fireworks display began to draw such large crowds Jerry approached the late Bobby Landrum of the Aransas County Navigation District, requesting permission to launch the fireworks from Rockport Beach Park, over little Bay. That action also had to be approved by the City of Rockport, as well as the State of Texas. 

Once the location change was made, the show began to generate even larger crowds. Jerry and his sons started to increase the size and quality of the fireworks. 

In the 1970s, Key Allegro developer Carl Krueger asked Jerry’s permission to send letters to the residents of Key Allegro, and to local businesses, soliciting donations to help defer expenses.  Jerry was reluctant at first, but after much persistence by Krueger, he relented.
 The response was overwhelming. The generous support for residents, the business community, and visitors allowed the Wendell fireworks tradition to evolve into an outstanding display, celebrating our most treasured American holiday – the Fourth of July.

With the formation of the nonprofit Wendell Family Fund, and the continued financial support of the community, the annual Wendell family fireworks display will continue to create memories for residents and visitors.

Wayde, Shawn, Jill and extended family member George (Jorge) More are continuing the Wendell Family Fireworks tradition, generation after generation in honor of their parents Jerry & Jan Wendell who started this tradition in 1965.  With gratitude to the community and donors from around the State and beyond for their generous support which has allowed this show to continue in celebration of Independence Day. 

Over the years, the show has grown tremendously as a privately funded event due to your continued support.  We hope that you will again consider being one of our donors. We would also like to remind you that we are a 501 ( c ) 3 public charity and your donation is fully tax deductible.
Learn more or make a donation

Fishing Report From Captain Robert Hamilton with Aransas Bay Fishing Charters

Captain Robert Hamilton has been fishing Texas coastal waters for 40 years, and has been a Coast Guard licensed guide in Rockport, TX since 1987. He primarily fishes in the Rockport area in Aransas, Carlos, Redfish, Copano, Corpus Christi, Nueces, Mesquite, and San Antonio Bay’s.  Guess what?  He's also a long-time Harbor Oaks Resident!  He will provide some fishing tips and reports for our monthly newsletter and blog! 

Early in June Robert wrote a blog about Fishing with Shad

Find out more about Capt. Robert Hamilton on his website: .

Click here to read Robert's latest Fishing Report>>>

14 of 51

There is a list of 51 things to do in Rockport-Fulton, we will feature one item right here in each email.  Not every place on the list is open, but watching the sunset certainly is! 

Windswept Oak Trees
See these live oak trees permanently leaning due to the prevailing winds of the southeast.  At the corner of Fulton Beach Road and Maple St.  Check out the birds nesting in the tree tops!

Image credit  Crafty's Beach Retreat

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The Harbor Oaks Community Newsletter is only as good as its contributions, if you'd like to contribute a recipe, a tip, or a photo of that huge redfish you caught send it to

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