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Posts published in “Day: October 9, 2001

Successful “Serendipity”

The premise in the movie “Serendipity,” that fate alone will bring two people back together, while strictly ridiculous, makes for a fine romantic comedy.

As ridiculous as “Serendipity” is, it is delightful escapism and sure to please the romantic in all of us, even if part of you goes … “Oh, please.” You’ll also go “Ah, sweet.”

Romantic comedies are judged like no other genre of film. If the couple seems right, if there’s a spark between the characters, as well as the audience, we will forgive the movie much. With “Serendipity” it’s not hard to forgive the illogical – like finding an address just by typing in a common name – because we really want them to be together.

Much is forgiven because the two main actors and the supporting cast are all appealing. The music is snappy and romantic and New York looks great (Maybe you can tell where the Twin Towers were digitally removed?). “Serendipity” is laugh-out-loud funny and crowd-pleasingly romantic.

John Cusack (“High Fidelity”, “Being John Malkovich”) and Kate Beckinsale (“Pearl Harbor”) meet cute as they both grab the same pair of gloves.

There is instant attraction, but they are both involved with other people and decide to go their separate ways. Fate, or in this case forgotten items, soon bring the two together again. They spend some more time together and Cusack can’t help but to pursue Beckinsale.

She is a strong believer in destiny and thinks that even if she does not tell him who she is, or her phone number, they will meet again if they are meant to be together.

For those of us who know how cruel fate can be, this seems very fool hardy. As it turns out, it is. Years later Cusack, still in New York, and Beckinsale, in San Francisco, have yet to meet again. Still, both often think of that great night spent ice skating, drinking coffee and talking. They remember, yet both are on the verge of getting married.

Cusack is days away from marrying a lovely lady who looks a little like Beckinsale. I felt a little sorry for his fiancée (Bridget Moynahan) because though she seemed sweet, I knew she was destined to have her heart broken.

On the other hand, Beckinsale’s guy, John Corbett (“Sex And The City,” “Northern Exposure”), is rather strange and somewhat self absorbed, so who cares about him.

The plot is sweet and predictable, even though there are moments when you might think that just maybe this is not going to have a perfectly happy ending – but it’s just for a few seconds.

Cusack, with his hound-dog face and expressive eyes, is as charming as he’s ever been. Beckinsale is lovely with her lilting British accent, but she lacks the girl-next-door aura that Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan and Sandra Bullock have down pat. But they can’t be in every romantic comedy, can they? No. So Beckinsale is perfectly fine.

Corbett is there to laugh at and it works. As usual, Jeremy Piven (“Rush Hour 2”) is also good for some laughs. Also memorable is the always funny Eugene Levy (“American Pie 2,” “Best In Show”).
Molly Shannon (“Superstar,” “Saturday Night Live”), Beckinsale’s best friend, actually acts mature and only has a few funny moments.

Rated-PG-13 for language and one sexual scene.


This week’s Crime Stoppers report involves the Aggravated Robbery of a man in Friendswood.

On Wednesday, March 28th at approximately 11:15 a.m. The victim in this case, a 25-year-old white male, was shot during a failed robbery attempt as he made a delivery in the 200 block of the East Heritage in Friendswood, Texas. The victim drove to the back of the business. He entered the back of his truck to begin the process of unloading the products to be delivered. The suspect who was armed with a blue steel revolver stood at the back doors to the truck and confronted the victim.

The suspect entered the truck and pointed his pistol at the victim. He then grabbed the victim by the arm and stated “This is a robbery, give me all your money”. The victim complied. He stepped out of the truck and reached into his pocket to give the suspect the money. The suspect stepped out of the truck and shot the victim one time in the leg. The victim fearing for his life ran inside the business. The suspect then fled the scene on foot. The victim was taken to a local hospital by ambulance where he was treated and expected to recover. Anyone with information in regards to this case or on the identity or location of the suspect is urged to call Crime Stoppers. Your identity will remain anonymous!

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, age 19 to 23, 5’4” – 5’5″, 150-170 lbs., short black hair with a mustache. Wearing a blue shirt and khaki pants.

Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $ 5,000 for information that results in the arrest and charging of a suspect or suspects in any felony crime.

Call Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.

Speech/Debate Students Garner Honors

Aldine Senior High School speech and debate 2001 graduates Jose Pineda and Delmicia Williams placed second in the National Forensic League (NFL) Barbara Jordan Debate Competition held in Oklahoma City last June.

Jose, now attending the University of Houston, and Delmicia, who attends the University of Texas-Austin, each received $3,000 in scholarship funds. Previously, each had earned $500 scholarships competing on the local level.

The Barbara Jordan debates are sponsored by the Kaiser Foundation.

Paul Alex Perales was a semifinalist and the highest-ranking Texas competitor in original oratory at the NFL tournament. He competed in 12 rounds of competition with his speech “World Wrestling Federation Champion.”

Aldine High’s Chad Williams participated in the NFL Congress as a senator from South Texas.

The Aldine Senior High speech and debate program is sponsored by Eloise Weisinger.

Aldine Senior High student council member Janesia Fleming represented Aldine Senior at the National Student Safety Program in Honolulu, Hawaii in July. At the conference, the Aldine Senior student council received an “Outstanding Chapter Award.”
Liz Wolf is the Aldine Senior High student council sponsor.

Aldine Homecoming set for Nov. 2-3

Aldine Senior High School will celebrate Homecoming 2001 on Nov. 2 and 3.

The homecoming game will be played at W. W. Thorne Stadium in a District 21-5A affair between the Mustangs and the MacArthur Generals on Friday night, Nov. 2. As in previous Aldine homecoming games, a standing-room-only crowd is expected.
On the next evening, Saturday, Nov. 3, the homecoming dance, sponsored by the Aldine Senior High student council, will take place at the Marriott Airport Hotel from 8-12 p. m. “The Days of Olympus” is the theme for this gala event.

Aldine ISD students celebrate an American legend

Students at Calvert Elementary School spent some time learning about Johnny Appleseed whose real name was John Chapman. Appleseed was an American pioneer from Massachusetts. He traveled westward planting apple seeds and spent his life planting and tending nurseries of apple seedlings over hundreds of square miles in what are now the states of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

Appleseed’s birthday is September 26. Calvert kindergarten students read books about Johnny Appleseed and other apple-themed books. They learned to sequence events, created prints of apples, and learned about the five senses-smell, touch, sound, taste, and sight-using apples. Pictured (l-r) are Natascha Labod’s students Wilber Amaya and ltzel Vasquez.

Dodging Storms and Shooting Teal

Near the end of the short teal season, I had driven in late one night after a two-day jaunt to Eagle Lake. The long days there had been filled with teal hunting, skeet shooting, and dove hunting; the nights had been much too short.

Before I left on this trip, long-time friend Tim Crawley of Waterfowl and Gamebird Outfitters (936-931-3727) had called. “We’re going to be hunting teal this Saturday morning,” he asked. “Can you make it?”

I told him about my tight schedule. He said if I could make it, to be there about 5:00 am. As additional encouragement, he added, “We’ve had some great teal hunts lately.”

When I got in from Eagle Lake, it was only a short few hours from the time I fell into my bed until 3:30 am when I had to get up again. I awoke with all the usual aches and stiff joints, plus a few extra ones I had not noticed before. But the words “great teal hunts” kept coming back to me. Those words provided the motivation to down some black coffee, load my gear, and head north to Waller, Texas.

On the way, my truck’s windshield wipers worked overtime keeping up with the heavy rain. The weatherman’s voice crackled over the radio about the severe weather that was moving through the area. As if he needed to tell me! It was too late for a change in plans. I was committed to a “great teal hunt.”

When I arrived, a group of camo-clad hunters milled around, watching the rain and watching the threatening skies.

“When it started raining, I figured you were on the way,” Crawley greeted me. “There’s something about you and rain. I think it follows you around. I’ll be sure to invite you the next time we have a drought up here,” he needled. It seems that the last few times Tim and I have hunted together we had gotten thoroughly soaked.

By the time we headed to the hunting fields, the water was still coming down in buckets. The lightening storm hit. When we pulled down the muddy roads into the pasture with several shallow ponds, Mother Nature was putting on a dazzling electrical display. The sky was filled with crooked, dancing streaks of lightening which would light up the landscape. These displays were followed by sharp cracks of thunder. We sat in the safety of our trucks, hoping the severe weather would move on through.

The spectacular lightening display finally subsided and the torrential downpours slacked up to just a steady rain. These conditions allowed us to wade to the hunting blind and set out a small spread of decoys.

Since it was almost legal shooting time by the time our groups got settled into the blinds, it took little time for the teal to hear our duck calls and find our decoys.

Two lone teal were the first to arrive, zipping just above the decoys. They were cleanly dropped and splashed into the spread.

In the dim light and drizzling rain, a small cluster of 6 or 8 birds surprised our group by buzzing in from the right. A chattering of shotgun blasts took out two of the flock.

I swung my Model 1100 on one of the trailing birds. I must confess the first shot was a clean miss. The little teal flared and was headed out of the spread at blazing speed. A second load of #6 steel shot folded him on the far side of the shallow pond. Tim’s big yellow Lab “Dixie” bounded through the decoys and across the marsh to retrieve my duck.

Because of the earlier unsettled weather and the lightening storm, the ducks were flying a little wilder than usual. As the morning wore on, I noticed that the larger groups of teal were more skittish, flying higher, and were more leery about coming into our spread.

Our group still had a good morning taking near limits, popping a single, doubles, and triples that were lured into the spread.

We gathered up our gear and decoys and sloshed back to our trucks. It occurred to me what a dedicated bunch waterfowl hunters are, enduring short nights, rain, mud, mosquitoes, and lightening to have a chance to shoot a few fast flying ducks on the wing.

As we were leaving, Crawley said, “We’re going to go have some breakfast. Why don’t you join us?” I declined his offer. “I’m headed south to try to find a hot shower, some hot coffee, and some dry clothes,” I answered. “I’ll also try to take all this rain back with me!”

I’m sure he was relieved.

It’s not easy, but life goes on as friends depart

I couldn’t believe what I heard early Tuesday morning. A friend called to inform me that Vic Mauldin has passed away. To be honest, I thought Vic would live forever. It’s going to be strange to drop off this column in the future and not see Vic standing there, waiting to share a barb or two with his “former editor.” It was Vic’s idea for me to write this column, back when I worked for him, and he was nice enough to allow me to continue to share my views on the sport I love after I left the News in 1998 to go to work for Aldine ISD.

There is no doubt that Vic will be missed by not only his family, but by those of us who knew him and worked with him over the past 25 years. Vic and Donna have always been willing to help out the North Houston community and I hope the community will continue to support the News in Vic’s absence.

Lately it seems, things happen to put life in proper perspective, but I know Vic would want it to be business as usual, so I’ll continue to submit this column, even if there’s an empty feeling this week.

Rest well Vic.

This week, a number of interesting games are on tap at all three levels. But before we take a look at them, let’s review last week’s results. An 8-4 mark brought the season record to 18-10 (64 percent). Now let’s see what this week has to offer.

Aldine vs. Eisenhower: This is one of the biggest games, not only in District 21-5A, but in the Houston area this week. Both teams enter with 2-0 league records, but you can throw out the records when these two rivals meet. The Eagles survived a scare from Nimitz two weeks ago (27-26) while the Mustangs rolled in their league opener, but don’t expect a blowout this week. As in the past, this will be another tough, hard-hitting affair and the team that turns the ball over the least will come out on top. My pick, Eisenhower 17, Aldine 16

Northbrook vs. MacArthur: The Generals need a win in the worst way and they should get one this weekend. The Generals offense has been hampered by injuries to key personnel, but look for them to come out with their sights set on putting up some big offensive numbers in this one. My pick, MacArthur 31, Northbrook 7

Nimitz vs. Stratford: The Cougars learned a lot about themselves two weeks ago against Eisenhower. Trailing 24-7 at halftime against state-ranked Eisenhower, the Cougars rallied in the second half and dropped a tough, 27-26 decision to the Eagles. But the comeback proved to this young team that they have the talent and perseverance to hang with the best in the state. That might serve this team well as the season progresses. My pick, Nimitz 28, Stratford 14

Now let’s take a look at the college scene, where a number of key Big 12 games are featured this weekend.

Kansas State at Texas Tech: The Wildcats proved to the nation that you can score on the Oklahoma defense, while the Red Raiders learned that they have a ways to go before they can contend with the big boys of the Big 12. KSU dropped a tough, 38-37 decision at OU two weeks ago, but it was a day when quarterback Ell Robinson III had his coming out party. Robinson rushed for three touchdowns and passed for another and proved he has the talent and ability to excel at this level. Tech, on the other hand, was handed a 42-7 whipping at the hands of the Texas Longhorns two weeks ago. Tech had better come prepared to play or the same could happen this weekend. Playing at home should help the Red Raiders, but what would really help would be for the defense to show up, which it didn’t against UT. If Tech wants to be considered for a prestigious bowl game, a win over the Wildcats would turn a few heads. My pick, Texas Tech 34, Kansas State 29

Texas A&M at Colorado: Boy, what a difference a big win over hapless Notre Dame will do for a program. Three weeks ago, the wolves were howling at R.C. Slocum’s door, now the welcome mat has been laid out. The Aggies did look impressive on both sides of the ball (former Eisenhower star Jarrod Penright was ABC’s player of the game) and they’ll need to keep that intensity up when they visit Boulder, CO this weekend. The Aggies haven’t fared well when they’ve ventured west and the Buffs are the type of team that can be tough to beat at home. Look for the Aggies to turn to the running game to control the clock and keep the Colorado offense off the field. Remember, the Buffs upset the Aggies in College Station a year ago, so it’s pay back time for A&M. My pick, Texas A&M 23, Colorado 20

Miami at Florida State: This game has lost a bit of its luster due to the fact that FSU isn’t its usual dominating self this year. Injuries have decimated Bobby Bowden’s team, but you won’t find the No. 1-ranked Hurricanes feeling sorry for their cross state rivals. I hate to admit it, but Miami is an awfully good (and solid) football team. There don’t appear to be any weaknesses, so look for them to try and take the Seminoles out of the game early. This year, the ‘Canes just have too many weapons for the ‘Noles, but remember, there’s always next year!!!! My pick, Miami 31, Florida State 20

Washington at UCLA: A huge game in the Pac 10. Both teams are undefeated and have outside shots of landing a spot in the BCS. UCLA is loaded on both sides of the ball and they’ve played a decent non conference schedule to prepare them for a run in the Pac 10. The Huskies are also a talented group and came of age the second week of the season when they upset a very good Michigan team. Look for plenty of points in this one, but the nod goes to the home team and t he veteran quarterback. My pick, UCLA 37, Washington 35

Now let’s look at the NFL, where again, a number of quality match-ups are on tap.

Oakland at Indianapolis: Which Colts team shows up, the one that manhandled its first two opponents or the one that was manhandled by the previously winless Patriots two weeks ago? You know the Raiders and their hard-hitting defense is going to show up this week, so the Colts had better bring their “A” game with them. With two weeks to prepare for this one, the Colts should be ready, but the Raiders basically had a bye last week considering they played the lowly Cowboys. This could turn into an offensive explosion as both teams have playmakers on offense. I give the edge to the Colts because of the better running game. If they get a lead, they can turn to Edgrin James to chew up yards and the clock. My pick, Indianapolis 38, Oakland 35

Baltimore at Green Bay: This should be a good one to watch. Both teams are playing exceptionally well and both will be coming off physical games from the week before (Baltimore hosted Tennessee while Green Bay visited Tampa Bay), so there might not be much offense in this one. Everyone knows about the Ravens defense, but the Packers have a pretty good defensive unit themselves. GB has allowed one touchdown (as of Oct. 1) all season and if quarterback Brett Favre continues to be hot, the Cheeseheads will be smiling when this one is over. My pick, Green Bay 24, Baltimore 16

NY Giants at St. Louis: The Rams super-charged offense gets another test this week when the Giants come calling. Two weeks ago, the Rams squared off against the Miami defense, considered one of the best in the game. When quarterback Kurt Warner and Co. got through with them, the Fish were sent back to South Florida after receiving a 42-10 pasting. I guess you could say the Rams’ offense is on again. That’s not good news for the Giants, or anyone else in the NFL. My pick, St. Louis 31, NY Giants 14

Tampa Bay at Tennessee: The Titans go from one tough game to another and if they don’t watch out, they might find themselves out of the playoff hunt before Halloween. It’s imperative that the Titans get running back Eddie George untracked and that’s a tall order against the TB defense, although the Vikings torched the Bucs for 402 yards of offense two weeks ago. Now that Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair is back, look for him to establish George early to set up the play action pass, which they hope will work for a big play or two. Both teams need this one, but the Titans need it worse, and playing at home will be huge for Jeff Fisher’s team. My pick, Tennessee 23, Tampa Bay 20

Washington at Dallas: Does anyone really care? I didn’t think so. My pick, Dallas 3, Washington 2.


PFC Frank Aguilar III, a graduate of MacArthur High School Class of 2000 is a medic in the 82nd Airborne Army stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He is now on alert and wants everyone to know that he will do the job for which the Army has trained him.
He sends his love to his parents Frank and Flora Aguilar family and friends.


Mr. And Mrs. C.E. Ward of Houston, Texas are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Miss Candice Denise Ward, to Mr. Harry Rax, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Rax, Sr., also of Houston, Texas.

Candice is a graduate of C.E. King High School and the University of Houston. Harry is a graduate of Lincoln High School, Florida and also a graduate of Tampa Bay University. He received his Master’s in political science. He also is a former U.S. Navy Seal.

On October 20, 2001, they will unite at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church. The ceremony will be followed by a private reception at Brady’s Landing.


March 6, 1928 – October 2, 2001

V.E. “Vic” Mauldin, founder and publisher of the Northeast News, passed away at his home on Tuesday, October 2.

Vic was born on March 6, 1928 in Austwell, Texas, the second of seven children of Floyd Asa and Theo Cuba Mauldin. He grew up in Bryan-College Station, enjoying the companionship of his four brothers, two sisters and numerous cousins.

He left school in 1946 to follow his older brother Floyd into the U.S. Navy where he served until honorably discharged in 1948.

Following his military service, he returned to Bryan where he began a life-long career in sales, working in many different fields, always with a great deal of success. Some of his fondest memories were of the time he spent with radio station WKLM in Wilmington, North Carolina. There, he was able to make full use of his talent for the theatrical, his buoyant public personality, and his boundless ability to turn even the most casual acquaintance into a life-long friend.

When he returned to Texas in 1965, he turned his talents to print media, working first at the Galveston Gazette and later (for 13 years) for Benson Publishing and the Northeast Sentinel.

In April 1977, he founded the Northeast News, which recently celebrated the anniversary of its 25th year of continuous publication.

Next to his children, Vic was most proud of the founding of the Northeast Houston Chamber of Commerce, in which he played a pivotal role, and the Northeast News. It was his life’s work and his only hobby, always his consuming passion. He cherished the friends he made in the community and sought always to make northeast Houston a better place to live, work and prosper.

Vic is survived by his wife Donna, sons Virgil “Bud” Jr. and Joshua; daughters Catherine Thornebury, Sarah Roark and husband Brett, and Rachel Serafine and husband Brian; brothers Floyd, Charlie, Dick and Larry; and one granddaughter, Samantha Mauldin. His parents and his two sisters, Kay Mauldin and Wilma Jean MaHaffey, preceded him in death.

Services were held on Thursday, October 4th at Brookside Funeral Home with Larry Reinecke of First Baptist Church, North Houston officiating.

For myself and all of Vic’s family and extended family, I would like to thank everyone in the community for their overwhelming expressions of sympathy and support.

The Northeast News will continue to serve the community he loved; he would want it no other way.
It will be impossible to fill the void left by his passing, but he would want us to go on and, with your continued support, we will.

Donna Mauldin