In the late 1950s I picked up my grandmother and we headed for Galveston. Back in those days the two of us regularly made spur of the moment trips together.
When we arrived on the island I decided to turn on Stewart Road and head for west beach. At this time there were no developments on the west end of Galveston so after I turned off of 61st Street we quickly left civilization behind.
This was quite a few years before the bridge across San Luis Pass was built and my goal that day was to get as close to the pass as possible and hopefully be able to see the treacherous currents that flow between the Gulf of Mexico and West Galveston Bay.
Now it wasn’t the world’s best maintained road and as we drove further west it got somewhat worse. Finally I turned off onto a sandy track that led to the gulf. Once on the beach the sand was firm and after traveling a mile or so I could see water in front of us so I knew we were close to the pass.
Suddenly the firm packed sand became deep and loose. I slammed on the brakes but not quite soon enough. I put the car into reverse and tried to back out. No luck. We were stuck. We got out and looked. Fortunately, when I had realized we were in loose sand and couldn’t back out of it, I had quit trying so we weren’t in very deep and it wasn’t far to where the beach was firm.
I looked around and found a couple of planks that had washed up during high tide. I scooped out the sand behind the tires all the way back to the firm beach. Then I jammed the planks under the back tires.
I asked my grandmother to stand over on the beach near the water where she wouldn’t be in any danger. She told me if I got the car moving to keep going until it was well away from the deep sand.
I got in and started the car. I put it in reverse and let out the clutch a little. When I felt the back tires bite into the planks I hit the gas and popped the clutch. Sand went everywhere and I practically flew out of there.
My grandmother hurried over, got in the car, and suggested we find a paved road to drive on. I totally agreed.