The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall, Houston

#haveboomboxwilltravel takes us to #Houston #Texas this week to catch up with a local favorite of many a graduation or engagement photo crowd; The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park. This multi-story sculptural fountain pumps nearly 79,000 gallons of recycled water every 3 hours and 20 minutes. Frankly, amid a concrete jungle, this fountain is the closest thing I can compare to my idea of an urban waterfall. It’s vast in it’s U shaped design and towers over it’s visitors. On a hot summer day, this is a wet and cool oasis from the heat. In the winter, it’s still a great piece to behold, as you can also stroll along the many oak tree’s spread around the area.

Pro tip: if you are worried about getting a little soaked from the mist at the bottom of the fountain, you can always bring a rain jacket and boots.

The track this week is Oasis’ “Wonderwall”, a fitting tribute to this landmark of a Water wall. The song was released around the time that I was entering Middle School. The local youth ministry program at my Mother’s church hired the hip and preppy charismatic program director who played djembe and guitar and was to role model what the future forbes 500 list makers attending could count on in a religious setting. Routinely, as a way to really “reach the youth of today” the band would throw in a secular song or two so that we could all associate a relevant message to that catchy pop tune which we already knew. Most of it by my recollection fostered a community standard of a lukewarm “Jesus is my Boyfriend” kind of feel. I am sure there was something authentic there, but as a self described outsider of a popular crowd in that place, I still have a hard time identifying that.

Otherwise, notably, this song has an extended intro, which would always trigger a preemptive first verse. I don’t know if it was always a youth group’s poor timing or if this was more of the youth band messing with us, but it’s like we were playing a game of musical chicken when singing this song. Who would fold first with a “Today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you”; the opening lines of the british rock hit?

However, even as I look back upon the projector transparencies that directed the preteen chorus and verse of a sing along to this Oasis jam, there is a familiar camaraderie that I feel for a group of folks I was surrounded with and grew up alongside. I was a lower to mid range middle class oddity by most of their mega rich families’ standards. I don’t think that was necessarily a major focal point of a friendship that I maintained with a few over the years, but in a way, I knew that I would never afford their private school upbringing and interests. In fact, the closest that I ever really felt to that level of wealth was in many years later working for one of those private schools.

As an only child (technically, I have a couple of older step siblings from a second marriage situation who I don’t really connect with), I often wonder what a true sibling relationship is like. The band Oasis, notoriously split up over a now long feud between the brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher stemming from an altercation in 2009, might in reality be what many relationships are like. In that case, I might know more about the sibling relationship than I credit myself with. It can be both equally tumultuous and rewarding. As draining as it is filling.

Maybe, after all, it’s a water wall.

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