Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Uncle Buggies Gone



I drove to the bank today - I love putting money in the bank and I saw Captain Al Stewart putting money in the bank there too - and was watching for all these hideous, damaged T-shirt shops, of which I only found four. Four out of maybe hundred shops on Padre Boulevard. I was thinking that the Town Vision Gestapo was maybe getting a little carried away ... when all the sudden I noticed that the letters had fallen off the Uncle Buggies sign.

Nope, somebody had purposely taken the letters off the sign, shuttered the store, and put up a "For Rent" sign in the front door. The property was empty, clean as a whistle. Bummer!

It's just another casualty of history I suppose, like the Dolphin Cove Oyster Bar, Josephs, Kelly's and all kinds of time-hallowed places that made the island what it is. In fact I had listed it in my History Channel blog because it was a neat old building, possibly an old gasoline station. There's a really cool story about the young man who came here from California to set up shop, although he got sick a few years ago and died ... which I guess is why all the dune buggies are gone now, as the family didn't want to fool with it anymore.

R.I.P Uncle Buggies.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cant understand how the only dune buggy shop could not make it down there. We rented one there once, ouch, it was a whole weeks worth of groceries. Someone has got to open a buggy shop down there. Mabey insurance is to high or something. Oh well, it was a good ride while it lasted. Nother Possum.....wow you are single handly taking care of the big rat problem down there. Bag em Samo.

Sam said...

Yeah I was surprised at the rates for a dune buggy - I tell folks to rent a car and don't tell 'em where you're going ... just don't get stuck in the surf and drown the darn thang!

On and SPI Activity Rentals on Oleander has a few dune buggies, but I like them for a car shop for minor repairs. -sammie

Rob Nixon said...

Sam,

Actually Travis has been living out in California and when his Father passed away he tried to keep the place going but it was too much.

He has taken the dune buggies out to Cali and is incorporating them into all of his motorcross racing and stuff out there.

it is sad to see the place closed but it should be making the aesthetic snobs happy. Instead of a dune buggy place, they get an abandoned building with a pretty cool machine shop space in it.

Sam said...

Rob, is that the same young dude who was like the dune motocross champion in California before he came here to set up shop? I was asking Sharon at the Island Breeze about the details and she sounded busy ... anyway, it is a shame about losing that tradition. Yeah, another crocodile tear...

When you were a kid was that ever a gas station or is it my imagination?
sammie

Lucinda said...

Travis and the boyz helped keep my VW bug going for years after it should have died. Sorry to see another little bit of Padre Blvd. pass into the dustbin of history...

I'll second the plug for SPI Activity/Padre Auto. Antonio just put a radiator in my truck - it is really convenient having auto repair service just blocks from my house.

Sam said...

Antonio over at SPI Auto is great on minor jobs like that ... and is I believe the last business that rents dune buggies. He and his wife are VW freaks as well, and he services my wife's "second childhood" Bug. Nice folks ... they wanted to leave the Island and we told them "No!"
-s

Anonymous said...

would the last one to leave please turn off the lights..........

Anonymous said...

So what's the story with Kelly's? It's not going to reopen?

Rob Nixon said...

Thank God their done!

After Kelley got rid of it Fred and Ram turned into a dive. They damn near killed a local there after they had closed the bar.

They can stay in Brownsville and run the strip joint and their rip-off of an irish pub.

I'm sorry if I have offended anyone!

Sam said...

Naw I didn't hear much until I heard rumors and read the stories about how they beat up a man at Kelly's so bad he nearly died. My daughter said to stay away from there 'cause that was a serious coke bar and after midnight it got way too rough (her telling me?). The Coral Reef was nice and easy compared to that hell-hole.

Which is a shame because I remember the gals and the nice lady who cooked at Kelly's. Yeah, and sometimes we'd be there eating late lunch and having a drink and Wango was behind the bar - the best dressed gringo on the island, looking like the rock star Robert Palmer ('Sneaking Sally through the Alley', etc.). It was clean, good, straight up, and the restrooms were OK - a true compliment on this island. The high number of regulars and Winter Texans that never left were testament to its greatness.

I stopped going there about a year or two ago so I don't know much about this new Kelly's crew, other than I haven't seen Wango-Leno in the last six months. Dayum, I guess things went off. it would be cool if somebody would see the bucks, fix it, and reopen Kelly's.

Yeah, I remember Kelly's when they got a burger and sandwich shop next door, that was cool, like just a window at first. Lot's of memories from there including the worst hangover my wife and I ever had, lasted for two days! Never mix black and tan and drink too many, sistah and brah.

Sorry to go off but that's a sensitive subject, Kelly's, I guess.

-whams

island princess said...

Are there really only four? They make it sound like a vine that is choking the life out of the place. Poor Akmed.

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Rev.Pendergraft said...

To bad its closed, I wanted to rent one