2009-02-19 / Island Life

ISLAND OBSERVER: TONY AMOS

Green bottles; Kody's on the beach

Tony Amos is a research fellow at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. Tony Amos is a research fellow at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. You've heard of a "red-letter day?"

Sunday was a "green-litter day" on the beach.

For the first time in months (maybe years) a host of green bottles adorned Mustang Island's Gulf of Mexico beach.

These green bottles have been littering our beaches for decades.

They are Mexican household bleach bottles and come in a variety of shapes and sizes and even colors - there's a blue bottle I call a green bottle (or to put it into a contemporary idiom, "blue, the new green").

In 1986 I arranged a typical variety of green bottles for a portrait with our own green bottle (Clorox) on the left for comparison.

Why do we get so many Mexican bleach bottles, yet little other household items from our neighbor country?

I believe the bleach bottles found on our beaches come from Mexican shrimp boats rather than from landbased sources.

Common brands are Clarasol and Cloralex.

There are even yellow green bottles.

And talking of yellow things, I noticed a large rusty yellow crane being transported out of Port Aransas a few weeks ago and something clicked in my brain.

COURTESY PHOTO Kody's on the beach Kody's Kabana Motel and Lounge once was situated on the beach, and had to be moved inland to escape the sea. COURTESY PHOTO Kody's on the beach Kody's Kabana Motel and Lounge once was situated on the beach, and had to be moved inland to escape the sea. "I've seen that thing before" my brain told me, "I'd better go and check it out."

It took me a while to do that because my brain often forgets these days, but today I saw that the vacant lot near the south end of 11th Street on the Gulf side no longer featured a huge ugly rusting yellow crane on wheels and some other large rusty things. You talk about "the bus" at the other end of 11th Street being an eyesore; this presented double that sore to this eye, and it had been there for years.

Can anyone tell me what it was, why it was there, and how long it had been abandoned?

Another large thing (a building) that was once somewhere but is now somewhere else languished on the west side of State Highway 361 for many years (it was Park Road 53 when the building arrived).

I'm talking about the old Kody's that has now been resurrected as a miniature golf course, a bar and restaurant (it is now open, but doesn't have a name as far as I can tell).

COURTESY PHOTO Green bottle days This photo of green bleach bottles from Mexico was taken in July 1986. The bottles possibly came from Mexican shrimp boats. COURTESY PHOTO Green bottle days This photo of green bleach bottles from Mexico was taken in July 1986. The bottles possibly came from Mexican shrimp boats. Kody's was on the beach for years as a motel and bar but was moved off the beach because it was too near the sea.

Kody's was the site of the start and finish of the legendary Barroom Bicycle Race of the 1970s and early 1980s.

I'll tell more about that in a later column.

Meanwhile if anyone remembers when Kody's was removed from the beach (and nearly lost to the sea in the process), I think I have photos.

A red-letter day I discovered while writing this is a day of special signifi- cance; its use dates back to medieval times when special scriptures were highlighted by rubrics (illuminated red initial letters) and later when calendars showed holy days in red letters.

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