In 1983 Bill Poer came by and said he had just retired from Brown and Root Construction Co and wanted to buy a greenhouse business. He came along at the same time Charlotte and I felt a little overloaded with all our commitments, and I was anxious to concentrate on the cattle business and the land business. I had a hard time making any big money with the nursery. Charlotte was happy as long as the greenhouse was smaller, but when she had to depend on others to care for the plants, she had become discouraged and frustrated. They would over water and then under water and just do a poor job of caring for the plants. I negotiated with Bill over a two-week period and finally struck a deal with him. He did not know much about growing plants but wanted to learn. I decided to convert the operation to a ground cover nursery for him, which would be much simpler to handle. We began to convert to growing Asian Jasmine first and then we added Liriope and English ivy. The Jasmine did best so we enlarged that part of the business. We bought a machine that would pot up 5000 pots a day with a crew of five.
I agreed to stay with him one year to get him started. The business was good. Every morning we had several landscaper trucks waiting to buy Jasmine when I opened the gate. The houses were 30’ X 90’ and we grew about 20,000 4” plants per house. We had ten houses so we were growing 200,000 4” jasmine at a time. We grew about three crops a year. After a year I turned it over to Bill.
This was the year Susie and Bruce decided to move to Seattle. Bruce left with a U-Haul truck, and we made one more trip to south Padre Island to stay at Tom and Pam’s place at their Margaritaville condo. We had a wonderful vacation but a real scare. Susie and I were sitting at one end of the pool and 3 year old Elisha was running around the pool having a great time. I heard a splash and looked to see her go into a large whirlpool at the far end of the swimming pool. I took off like a bullet with Sus right behind me. When I reached the pool, Elisha was lying at the bottom of the pool looking up with those big eyes; she was flat on her back. I jumped in and pulled her out and she was ok. I don’t think anything ever scared me more and I will never forget it.
South Padre CondosPhoto of South Padre Island condos found here.
Photo of South Padre Island beach found here.