Sign returned

Fulton Mayor Kelli Cole holds a sign that was posted at the Fulton Pier prior to Hurricane Harvey. Renda Priest, a Rockport resident who loved walking weekly on the pier before Hurricane Harvey, found the sign in a pile of debris after the storm.

So much was knocked down or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.

Some things were found.

Prior to Aug. 25, 2017, the day Harvey made landfall in Aransas County, Ms. Renda Priest enjoyed walking down the Fulton Pier.

With the pier’s reopening, she can return to it for her peaceful strolls.

She has lived in Aransas County for more than five years. Her mother, who passed away in December 2020, lived here for more than 35 years.

Priest evacuated to Houston prior to Harvey, and returned five weeks later. Her Oak Bay condo wasn’t heavily damaged, so her transition back home wasn’t difficult.

“When I got back I walked around to see the places I enjoyed before the storm,” said Priest. “I was saddened when I saw the pier was gone.

“I walked it at least once a week after eating at Captain Benny’s.”

Neither the pier, nor Captain Benny’s, survived Harvey.

Former Fulton Mayor Jimmy Kendrick, who drove around Fulton during the eye of the storm, said the pier was still intact at that time. The backside of Harvey, however, destroyed it.

“When I came back home I just started visiting places in and around Rockport and Fulton,” said Priest.

During one of those walks, she discovered a hand-painted sign that, unbeknownst to her, had been attached to the pier’s concession stand in pre-Harvey days.

“The sign was under some rubble piled up along the Fulton shoreline,” said Priest. “I wanted to keep it in safekeeping. I figured it was from the pier, and it might be something someone would want later on. I didn’t want to see it get hauled off in the debris.”

Her plan all along was to keep the sign until construction of the new Fulton Pier was completed, and then figure out what to do with it.

It recently reopened, and Priest called Rockport Pilot Editor & Publisher Mike Probst and asked him if he knew of someone to contact regarding the recovered sign.

“I wanted to get it to the right place,” said Priest.

Probst picked up the sign at Priest’s condo, called Fulton Mayor Kelli Cole, and met the mayor at the pier.

“This is pretty neat,” said Cole. “We’ll do something with it at city hall, or put it back at the pier once the concession stand is built.”

Priest said, “It doesn’t belong to me, and it never did. It’s a gift back to us.”

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