Thursday, September 1, 2016

9/1/16 Happy Birthday Marie!

The South Belt Houston Digital Archive would like to wish our dear Marie Flickinger the very happiest of birthdays today!

Without Marie, this archive wouldn't exist. 

But to be fair, without Marie, the South Belt area as a whole would be so much poorer. 

Marie started in the newspaper business as a reporter for The NEWS in 1975 for the area, doing both the photography and the copy writing. After some highly colorful encounters with the owner that first year, she decided she could do better for our little corner of the world and struck out on her own.

Teaming up with her dear friend, Bobby Griffin, the two of them set out to publish community news together, first from their own homes!

Before long, thanks to support by the business community, and their commitment to covering the lovely moments of life that pass so quickly from us, The South Belt Leader opened its offices in the Eagle Shopping Center, expanding, and then breaking ground in 1985 on the office space they reside in to this day. The following year, they celebrated their first decade and laughed at the idea of another ten years in business!

Over the years they continuously worked long hours and weekends to keep both the big news,of construction and politics and schools and road improvements, and the small, of neighborhood watch meetings and scouting troops and birthdays and baseball grounds improvement days, available to the community nearly every single week of the year.


The term "South Belt" was one they pushed early when different news organizations wouldn't quite know how to locate us -- Sagemont, Beverly Hills, Kirkmont, Scarsdale? -- and Marie knew they'd arrived when Southwestern Bell's newest local telephone book arrived one year sporting the moniker "The South Belt Area."

By the end of her first decade the biggest trouble in the area was already brewing, and Marie stepped into the center of the fray for the community, pushing for answers from the EPA, being blamed for dividing the community, tirelessly covering the ugliness that was BRIO. You can read a timeline of that saga here if you want a taste of the insanity of those days. Most of us would've quit after that abuse.

But she didn't give up. She didn't stop. She's devoted her life to serving my hometown community and she is my dear, dear friend. 

(Maybe someday I can convince her to publish a book of photos and the memories behind them. I'm going on public record pledging to help in any way I can!)

In celebration of another birthday, after a year of health difficulties, I had to share a few photos from the archives of one of my very favorite people in the world. 

Happy Birthday Marie! I love you.

from baseball mom

and football mom

to business woman

and community activist

I have to hunt to find photos of her in them because she's so often behind the camera!


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