As we worked on this edition of Coast Monthly, we noticed a common thread among people featured in these pages.
Almost everyone we interviewed had developed a fascination for pirates at a young age. While some people frown on the celebration of people who might have pillaged and plundered for a living, it’s hard to deny the pirate mystique, especially in these parts where shops and even affluent waterfront subdivisions are named for famous buccaneers.
Whether we like them or not, pirates of the past conjure images of adventure on the high seas, the hope of hidden treasure, a sea-savvy resourcefulness and healthy disrespect for authority that some coastal Texans find appealing.
It was that youthful fascination with pirates so many people talked about in interviews that inspired this month’s cover image. Read more about cover model Finn Mignerey.
No one who grew up on the upper Texas Coast could escape the stories of Jean Laffite. There’s even an island society devoted to brothers Jean and Pierre Laffite and their contemporaries. Some historians argue Jean Laffite wasn’t a pirate at all, but a privateer. A pirate is any person, acting on their own, who uses the sea to commit theft, according to pundits. A privateer commits acts of robbery or violence under the rules of a government. Which was Jean Laffite, a man shrouded in myth and mystery? Correspondent Marsha Canright explores the question.
We have these stories and much more. So, weigh anchor and enjoy.
Coast Monthly would like to extend our sincerest thanks to downtown island shop The Admiralty on The Strand, a store offering gifts, home décor, jewelry and marine models. The Admiralty, 2221 Strand, loaned us a model of the USS Constitution, a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the U.S. Navy, named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America. Click here to see the model. The Admiralty, steeped in maritime history, is home to The Admiralty Marine Model Gallery.