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by Tumbleweed Smith

We had been to Palacios before on a brief interview trip when we did a report on the Luther Hotel. Charlie Luther had a picture of his wedding and the ring bearer was LBJ. This time we had time to get acquainted with the town. I did the chamber speech on a Thursday night. We got there a day before to do some interviews. Palacios is one of the most beautiful cities on the Texas coast. It has a population of five thousand people and has the largest fleet of shrimp boats in the state. Companies there make barges and shrimp nets among other things.

We stayed at the Main Inn, a place owned by Nick and Kathy Nichols, who arrived in Palacios by sailboat one day and decided to stay there. Nick is one handy man and they bought a Bed and Breakfast and made it into a true home away from home. We considered buying property there until we realized that the Main Inn was just what we needed if we ever decided to bring the family down. Nick is a retired Navy man and plays guitar, mandolin and harmonica. He has written songs that he and Kathy sing. He has also written a book, "SEA STORIES AND FAIRY TALES" and is working on another. Nick has performed at several venues in Palacios, but nowadays plays with some other musicians on the Main Innís back porch. The Main Inn has also been a place where poets gather and recite their work, often times on the same theme.

Palacios is pronounced PUH-LASH-US. Legend says some sailors were swimming toward shore after a shipwreck and thought they saw three palaces (tres palacios in Spanish) but when they arrived on land they were gone. A nearby stream is named Tres Palacios. The city is located on a bay. A barrier reef stands between Palacios and the Gulf of Mexico.

I enjoyed listening to the seagulls and the gentle sound of waves reaching the shore and feeling the soft sea breezes that swish through the palm trees. This city by the sea is indeed a paradise of sun and fun. It ha s a perfect climate. Itís a place where you see and hear more birds than anywhere else in the US. The cityís seawall has a mile and a half sidewalk on it. Itís a perfect place to stroll along and see the sun come up or go down. Small beaches, boat ramps and lighted piers make the area inviting for all sorts of water activities: sail boating, kayaking, windsurfing and fishing.

Palacios was built on legendary cattleman Shanghai Pierceís bull pasture in the early nineteen hundreds and the city grew quick. Ranching and farming developed and churches and schools were established. A large pavilion was built on a dock that extends out into the bay. Settlers liked the pace of the city, the dolphins, pelicans and its pristine wilderness. Palacios is called the most relaxing city on the Texas Coast.

Itís a place where a French explorerís ship was taken up from the bottom of the bay where it had been for three hundred years. During World War Two, more than fifteen thousand people were stationed at Camp Hulen in Palacios. I met dozens of people, all friendly, talented and ready to volunteer in the city they love.

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