G.W. Bailey takes home a little piece of Port Arthur
After the Red Hussars posed with photos, I had my moment with G.W. Bailey. I offered him a little chip of the pink granite that makes up the Port Arthur sea wall, and the actor with plenty to say got quiet.
“If those rocks could talk,” Bailey said. He recalled his youth and good times on the waterfront.
Bailey caught up with classmates at the recent Thomas Jefferson’s Class of ’62 high school reunion dinner at Holiday Inn Park Central. Red Hussars, from the school’s famous drum and bugle corp., also enhanced the weekend that included a sock hop and visit to see Bailey’s exhibit at Museum of the Gulf Coast.
The actor has had roles in the “Police Academy” movie series and TV series “M*A*S*H,” “The Closer” and “Major Crimes.” He said he’d keep his “Port Arthur rock” next to the piece of the Berlin Wall a friend had given him.
Port Arthur Convention & Visitors Bureau supported the Class of ’62 in preparing for its reunion. Family and class reunions and convention groups with bookings at Port Arthur hotels are encouraged to work with the bureau for amenities including “goody bags,” tourism brochures, name tags, welcome banners and more.
For great positive news and images of what’s going on in Port Arthur, LIKE the Port Arthur Texas Visitors Bureau Facebook page. Call at (409) 985-7822 or contact the Bureau at www.visitportarthurtx.com.
Brandon Janes/ The News (Port Arthur News, April 29, 2012)
star and Thomas Jefferson High School Class of 1962 graduate G.W. Bailey
sits with his friend and former classmate Dianne Devoll at their 50 year
class reunion this weekend in Port Arthur.
Bailey and friends from the Thomas Jefferson High School Class of 1962 gathered this weekend for their 50th Class reunion, though many had known each other for more than 60 years. Friends of Bailey, like Spook Laird, told the News some of their boyish schemes to escape to the downtown Keyhole Club to play pool. “We’d tell our parents, ‘I’m going to the library,’ and they’d say, ‘ Oh that’s good. Don’t forget your chalk,” said Laird.
who is famous for portraying brusque police or military characters on
TV, did not grow up in a military household, although, years after the
Police Academy movies, his brother Tim Bailey, who lives in Nederland,
attended the local police academy and became a sheriff’s deputy in
Jefferson County. “I was the first pretend cop in the family. He was
the first real one,” Bailey told the News on Saturday.
Although he often plays them on TV, nobody ever made the mistake of thinking he was real police. “I don’t think anybody would watch the Police Academy movies and mistake me for a cop,” said Bailey.
Bailey has been playing a cop for the past seven years as Lt. Provenza on the hit cable TV show “The Closer,” but he said his role is more authentic than Captain Harris. He now stars in “Major Crimes,” a spin off of “The Closer.”
The actor described the Port Arthur of his youth as a bustling city with a rich downtown full of shops, movie theaters and department stores. “Everybody had a job. Either you worked for Texaco or you worked for Gulf,” said Bailey. “I was raised never ever to doubt that Texaco was the greatest institution in the world because they gave my grandfather a job during the depression.”
Although he described it as a time of mirth, he said the city had problems that he was not aware of because he grew up on the east side of the tracks. “We did live life behind a rose colored glass,” said Bailey, referring to the railroad tracks along Houston Street that divided the city between black and white.
Although the city has changed a lot over the past 50 years, nothing can change the history he has with his classmates, he said, even though their high school doesn’t exist anymore.
“You don’t keep those kinds of relationships if it’s not to celebrate you past and your friendships,” said Bailey. “All of us here, we had a great youth.”
Photo Sent in from the PA News
Class of ’62, this is Darragh Castillo of the visitors bureau and I had a great time at the registration booth of your reunion on Saturday. I’m hoping classmates will consider hitting LIKE for the Port Arthur Texas Visitors Bureau page on Facebook for positive PA postings. I’m loving sharing good news about events, beautiful sights in town and give aways. I had three postings on your reunion! Make sure you LIKE the page, because we are closing the similarly named friends page.
In fact, if you are a new LIKE by Monday, May 7, and e-mail me that you did, I’ll enter you in a random drawing for a free Port Arthur goody, so you can use it with Port Arthur Pride. Put TJ Class of ’62 LIKE in the subject line and get it to me at email@example.com. THANKS
Don Landry, Tommy Hunter
|Tommy, Lucille Miller Armintor, Spook Laird||
Spook, Tommy, Lucille
|Charles & Sharon Trenholm|
Jerry Serville, Renell d'Augereau Perron, Joyce Serville
Jerry Serville & Joyce
|Mary Ell Glass Ruffner||Mary Ell, Carol Johnson Cresswell, James Cassel|
|Carrie Hebert, Gracey Potter Weisbrod||With Spook Laird||Spook and GW reminisce||Harold Schroeder, Phillip Pampolina, Dianne Devoll Hotvedt||John Taylor|
|Jay Sims, Dan Johnston, GW, Buddy Jordan, Jim Ed Alleman, Jim Lee, Loron Truett in front - Eagle Scouts of the Class of 1962||Jay Sims, GW, Sue Stokes Greenman, Dale Saulsberry||
Carolyn Anawaty Akers