Category Archives: Houston News

Houston’s “Mattress Mack” Scores Big on the Super Bowl

I grew up in the Houston area and lived there most of my life. The TV commercial king in my younger years was Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, 69, of Gallery Furniture whose frequent tagline was his statement that, “Gallery Furniture really will…SAVE…YOU…MONEY!”

Mattress Mack in the 80’s

Watch an early Gallery Furniture commercial HERE.

McIngvale grew his furniture business from a few pieces covered by a tent to the giant it is today. Go furniture shopping and get free food from a buffet, a Subway sandwich, cookies and more. He’s come a long way!

McIngvale is notorious for “betting” with his customers regarding the Houston Astros, Rockets and Texans. His “bet” may be something like, “If the Astros win, your furniture purchase over $3,000 is free!” He is also known as a philanthropist and a frequent speaker about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which one of his children struggles with.

Fast forward to Super Bowl LV. McIngvale flew to Colorado to bet over $3 million on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were the underdogs in the game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gallery Furniture also ran a promotion where customers who spent $3,000 or more on certain mattresses would get their purchase for free if the Buccaneers won.

The Grand Parkway location of Gallery Furniture

McIngvale profited $2.7 million from that bet.

Video of “Mattress Mack” discussing his winnings from KHOU.com

McIngvale released a statement that explained his choice. “Tampa Bay is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and led by the greatest football player of all time in Tom Brady, so I’m betting big on the Bucs who have overcome tough matchups throughout this postseason,” he said.

One of the last times McIngvale made headlines in betting on sports was in 2017 when he offered his customers a refund of purchases totaling $3,000 or more if the Houston Astros won the pennant. That year, he had to refund more than $13 million, as the ‘Stros won the World Series.

So, congratulations to Mack and certain Gallery Furniture patrons for being big winners last Sunday!

McIngvale discusses his winnings

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is moving its Silicon Valley HQ to Houston

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will relocate its global headquarters to Spring, Texas from San Jose, California. The headquarters will be located in a new state-of-the-art campus that will open in early 2022, building upon the company’s established presence in the state of Texas. The company’s headquarters relocation to the Houston area holds the potential to add additional jobs to its already robust presence in Texas in the coming years.

HPE already has a significant presence across Texas, with locations in Austin, Plano, and Houston — the latter of which is home to more than 2,600 employees and is the company’s largest employment hub. HPE currently operates major product development, services, manufacturing, and lab facilities in Houston and Austin.

HPE is a global enterprise information technology company that helps customers drive digital transformation by unlocking value from all of their data. Built on decades of re-imagining the future and innovating to advance the way people live and work, HPE delivers unique, open and intelligent technology solutions, with a consistent experience across all clouds and edges, to help customers develop new business models, engage in new ways, and increase operational performance. The company was founded in 2015 following the separation from HP, Inc. It is currently ranked 109 on the list of Fortune 500 companies.

“We are excited that Hewlett Packard Enterprise has chosen to call Texas home, and I thank them for expanding their investment in the Lone Star State by relocating their headquarters to the Houston region,” said Governor Abbott. “Hewlett Packard Enterprise joins more than 50 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Lone Star State, including 22 in the Houston area alone. That is because Texas offers the best business climate in the nation. Our low taxes, high quality of life, top-notch workforce, and tier one universities create an environment where innovative companies like HPE can flourish. We look forward to a successful partnership with HPE, as together we build a more prosperous future for Texas.”

“As we look to the future, our business needs, opportunities for cost savings, and team members’ preferences about the future of work, we are excited to relocate HPE’s headquarters to the Houston region,” said Antonio Neri, CEO of HPE. “Houston is an attractive market to recruit and retain future diverse talent and where we are currently constructing a state-of-the-art new campus. We look forward to continuing to expand our strong presence in the market.”

“HPE’s headquarters relocation is a signature moment for Houston, accelerating the momentum that has been building for the last few years as we position Houston as a leading digital tech hub,” said Bob Harvey, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, the economic development organization serving the Greater Houston area. “Houston has long been a hub for global innovation and offers leading tech companies a deep bench of digital and corporate talent to drive success. We are excited HPE leadership recognized this and look forward to welcoming the headquarters team to Houston.”

“It’s a smart relocation move for HPE to come to Texas, bringing their Corporate Headquarters to North Harris County! These are great 21st century jobs for Texans,” said Senator Paul Bettencourt.

“As one of the State Representatives for the Spring area, I am elated that Hewlett Packard Enterprise has chosen to relocate their new Global Headquarters to Spring. New business growth such as this is one of the primary economic drivers to look forward to in an area that will see tremendous job creation, providing new innovation and opportunity for our communities. HPE’s “state-of-the-art” facility will add another jewel to the crown that is our community and our home. With the impact this year of COVID on our local businesses, the addition of a world class technology headquarters will be a welcome indication of a brighter future,” said Representative Sam Harless.

In addition, Governor Abbott released a video to celebrate the announcement.

2 HPD officers shot at apartment complex on south side of Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Two Houston police officers were shot and a suspect has been arrested at an apartment complex Tuesday morning in southwest Houston, Chief Art Acevedo said.

A call came in around 9:30 a.m. from the Richmond Manor apartments in the 2600 block of Holly Hall and El Mundo, near Highway 288.

Initially, police reported that at least one officer had been shot. An ambulance was seen rushing to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where a massive police presence is outside.

We know at least one officer is being treated there. One of the officers was shot in the arm and is expected to survive.

Read more from ABC13…

75 Years Later, Local Veterans Reflect on World War II

By Catherine Wendlandt

After years of fighting and millions of deaths around the globe, on September 2, 1945, World War II officially ended, and the U.S. soldiers serving abroad on that day (out of a total of 16 million who supported the war effort overall) knew they would soon begin coming home. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of that debilitating conflict.

There are now only about 300,000 veterans left in the United States who witnessed firsthand what that war meant for their day-to-day lives.

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Read more from Houstonia Magazine…

Thief grabs woman’s butt, then robbed her at Houston Galleria Mall

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Crime Stoppers of Houston and the Houston Police Department’s Robbery Division need the public’s assistance identifying the suspect responsible for a theft at Galleria Mall.The Houston Police Department reports:

On Monday, August 17, 2020 at 3:43 pm, the complainant was traveling on the escalator into the Galleria Mall, located at 5175 Westheimer, in Houston, Texas. The complainant stated that she observed an unknown male on the escalator and behind her. The complainant stated that the suspect closed the distance between them and with both of his hands, groped her buttocks. The complainant immediately turned around to confront the suspect, at which time he grabbed her cellphone and ran down the escalator.

The suspect is described as a white male, 25-30 years old. 140-150 pounds. He wore an orange or red shirt and brown shoes.

Crime Stoppers may pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the charging and/or arrest of the suspect in this case. Information may be reported by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at CrimeStoppers.org.

To watch the video of the crime, click HERE.

What we know about the 4 Houston police officers shot and 1 injured

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Photo: The Daily Beast

Two police officers are in critical but stable condition after being shot in the neck.

Overnight, HPD Chief Art Acevedo tweeted that those officers were out of surgery. Police sources told ABC13 they face a potentially long and difficult recovery.

Two others will remain hospitalized for observation, according to Chief Acevedo.

The injured officer who was shot in the shoulder was released from the hospital late Monday evening.

According to the Houston Police Department, the injured officers were transported to Memorial Hermann Medical Center hospital.

Read more from KTRK 13…

By Steven Devadanam

282627_originalThe already much-heralded University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has just scored global bragging rights. Jim Allison, a scientist at the revered health institute in Houston, has been awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, it was announced on October 1.

Allison, who is the chair of Immunology and executive director of the Immunotherapy Platform, is the first MD Anderson scientist to receive the world’s most coveted award for discoveries in the fields of life sciences and medicine.

Read more from CultureMap Dallas…

Rescue Pets and a Glamorous Crowd: A Princess and the Twins Speak Up for Homeless Pups

By Chris Daigle

Two very special animals, and those who worked to save them, came together on September 7 for the 14th Annual Fierce and Fabulous Soiree at the new Post Oak Hotel in Houston’s Galleria area.

Hosted by Houston Petset, an umbrella organization that provides grants to other animal non-profits in the greater Houston area, it was two rescue dogs from K-9 Angels Rescue that garnered most of the attention at the glam-filled event.

Kourtey Kadrich with Esperanza

Kourtney Kadrich with K-9 Angels Rescue poses with Esperanza, a black and white pit bull hoping for a forever home (Photo: Chris Daigle)

The goal of Houston Petset is to help those who are “in the trenches” on a daily basis, rescuing, spaying, neutering, fostering, adopting and protecting Houston’s animals. Houston Petset believes that the animal homelessness problem in our community has a solution.

There to greet the 400 party goers was Kourtney Kadrich and Esperanza, a young black and white pit bull, adoptable through K-9 Angels in Houston. “She was found on the streets, and K-9 Angels took over her care,’ said Kadrich. “We rescue about 1,000 a year. She was brought back to health, and she needs a forever home. She loves to cuddle and loves to be the center of attention.”

Sherry Sara with K-9 Angels Rescue in the Heights came with a cute fluffball named Einstein, who is about one year old, and available for adoption. Einstein adored all the attention and became friends with every guest in the room.

The program was emceed by KHOU Channel 11 Morning Show host Deborah Duncan. Faces in the crowd included Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and wife Gwen, former Astro Jeff Bagwell and wife Rachel, Sue and Lester Smith, Courtney Hopson, Neal Hamill of Carnan Properties, Joanne King Herring, Courtney and Bill Toomey, Frances Moody, Vivian Wise, and KPRC weathercaster Frank Billingsley.

Idential twins Tama Lindquist and Tena Lindquist Faust

Identical twins Tama Lindquist and Tena Lindquist Faust discuss the mission and accomplishments of Houston Petset (Photo: Chris Daigle)

The high energy gala chairs this year were identical twins Tama Lindquist, and Tena Lindquist Faust. Co-Chairing this year was Princess Tatiana Sierra, whose father, Prince Piotr Galitzine, is from Russian aristocracy, and her mother, Princess Maria-Anna Habsburg, is the Belgian-born granddaughter of Emperor Karl and Empress Zita, the Austrian royal family deposed at the end of World War I.

Few are more dedicated to the welfare of animals that Susan and Dan Boggio, the event’s honorees. Susan is the current Board Chair for UNICEF-USA, and with Dan, were honored for their dedication to alleviate the homelessness and suffering of our community’s animals. They foster many animals at once, and Susan personally goes out on the streets to rescue animals she has seen or heard are in danger. They financially support animal welfare organizations as well. In accepting the award, Susan repeated her heartfelt motto, “There’s nothing more important in the world one can ever do than improve the quality of life and relieve the suffering of others, whether human or animal.”

Tama Lindquist, Tena Lindquist Faust, Susan and Dan Boggio, Princess Tatiana Sierra

The gala’s honorees, Susan and Dan Boggio (center) are congratulated by (L-R): Tena Lindquist Faust, Tama Lindquist, and Princess Tatiana Sierra (Photo: Chris Daigle)

The evening capped off with a live auction, where auctioneer Jeff Smith raised big bucks for the pups, with bids on a winter catamaran trip, a New York City Broadway Experience, a Palmetto Bluff, SC four-night getaway and a Pawve dogtag necklace curated by Itouch Diamonds Jewelers, to raise a total of $500,000 to help even more animals in danger.

Esperanza and Einstein gave the event 8 paws up!

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Chris Daigle is a Houston historian, photojournalist and a regular contributor to The Grapevine Source. To read more of his articles, click HERE.

Houston legends meet with famous photojournalist

[Editor’s Note: Yes, this is satire, though the photos aren’t! Enjoy!]

Famous Houston photojournalist Chris Daigle is seen out and about in Houston social life these days, never stopping his whirlwind tour of the famous and the influential.

The Source caught up to “Deadline Daigle,” as the New York Times put it, on a recent swing through the Bayou City for his stage play, “Where’s my Pulitzer?” Fans stood in line all day just to see him.

“Wow! He’s going to be right here!” said former Oiler quarterback Dan Pastorini. “I hope I get a picture with him!”  Dave Ward, a fixture of Houston news for five decades, said that he wouldn’t miss meeting Daigle for the world. “I just hope there’s donuts there, ’cause I’m camping out for this!” He also commented on his longevity on Houston’s ABC 13. “When I started in news, the Dead Sea wasn’t even sick yet.”

By special arrangement with his security detail, both Dave Ward and Dan Pastorini did indeed get a selfie with Chris Daigle. “Now I can die happy! My bucket list is complete,” said Dave Ward, now 79. 

Way to go Dan and Dave!

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Chris Daigle is a Houston Historian and a regular contributor to The Grapevine Source. He may be contacted at blue69@att.net.

The ‘Blobfish’ takes the trophy in Kimmel vs. Cruz Charity Basketball game

By Chris Daigle

The much anticipated charity basketball face-off between late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and Texas senator Ted Cruz has come and gone. Cruz was the victor with a score of 11 to 9.

Trash talk was thick between Kimmel and Cruz before their game in Houston on Saturday June 16 at Texas Southern University’s Athletic Education Arena.

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Blobfish

The idea for this charity game resulted from Houston-based senator Ted Cruz tweeting a picture of himself court side for Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. His hometown Houston Rockets were trying to keep the Golden State Warriors from getting to the NBA Finals. The Rockets lost, which prompted talk show host Jimmy Kimmel to mock the senator on Twitter, saying he looked like, well, a Blobfish.

Cruz, a basketball benchwarmer in high school, was nonetheless swooshing the hoops playing Varsity about the same time Kimmel was tooting around on his clarinet. Cruz said in a recent interview that he wasn’t taking this insult lying down. “And so I sent a tweet,” Cruz said. “All right big guy, you talk a good game! You have besmirched my support for the Houston Rockets. Let’s settle this man-to-man, one-on-one hoops.”

During a broadcast of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel said he was in.

“I immediately went online and Googled how to guard a blobfish. I’ll accept on one condition: We both wear short shorts, right?” Kimmel asked.

Wrong, said Cruz.

So it was settled. The late night talk show host and the Texas senator squared off in the gym on the campus of Texas Southern University. The contest benefitted two charities: Generation One, based in the Third Ward in Houston (Cruz’s choice). Its mission is to, “Be a catalyst for systemic change in the education system, by creating an equitable educational landscape across the city.”  Kimmel chose Texas Children’s Hospital, because his one-year-old son Billy has had three heart surgeries, and is waiting on a fourth.

The choice of an arena was a little more challenging. The advance team first considered a middle school gymnasium, and they even looked at using the George R. Brown Convention Center. Texas Southern University stepped up and offered its Athletics Education Arena, which fit perfectly. There, the challenge would commence: The American versus the Canadian; the baller versus the blobfish. It would turn out to be the Blobfish Basketball Classic.

Cruz wasn’t guaranteeing victory going in, but he made one promise: “Under no circumstances will Kimmel dunk on me. I’ll pull his shorts down to the ground rather than let him get to the rim.”

Fanfare is something Kimmel knows about, and his arrival came amidst lights and smoke, and with him was, naturally, a mascot: A blobfish mascot named “Blobby.” Kimmel said he carbo-loaded to get ready for the game. He practiced a little last week, but after 25 years of not playing basketball regularly, “I decided to wing it,” he said.

During the game, Kimmel and Cruz had brief discussions about detention centers and Cruz’s support for President Donald Trump. “This won’t be the first time you lose to a TV host,” Kimmel said. He also asked Cruz why he didn’t support covering pre-existing conditions. Booing from the decidedly pro-Kimmel crowd drowned out the Senator’s answer.

Senator Cruz had his fan base out there, and they had their cut-outs of his face to wave. The Kimmel fans had theirs as well, and a noticeable mixture of boos from the Kimmel fans upon each Cruz basket was heard, but no boos from the Cruz camp were noticeable.

Cruz and Kimmel proved they should each keep their day jobs, missing more than 100 shots between the two of them during the game. Cruz joked that they also set the Guinness World Record for fouls.

The pace of the game, however, became a matter of Kimmel keeping up with Cruz. Lead scoring was by Cruz, then Kimmel would rally for a tie game three times. But he just couldn’t pass Cruz. The original plan was that the first 15 points would win on this half court, one basket, one-on-one challenge, but early on, both decided to shorten the game to an 11-point winner.

At half time, the score was Kimmel 6, Cruz 5, and the blobfish decided to hold a dance competition. Blobby showed his style by doing three backflips in a fish costume. That took some practice!

Cruz and Kimmel kept the defense tight, but both got lucky on long shot baskets. Kimmel had a better cheering section. Oddsmakers were watching the game too. The Texas senator was favored to beat Kimmel by sports book Bouada. And Las Vegas was begging fans to take the talk show host at 8/5 odds. Cruz was listed at -220 , or 5/11, which basically meant to win $100, fans had to plunk down $220, and hope that Cruz would prevail. At a height of 5’10” to Kimmel’s six feet, perhaps that is not a good enough payout for low stakes prop betting. Cruz, who is three years younger than Kimmel, appeared to have the girth advantage, which helped out in the paint. Plus, some high school basketball time came in very handy.

Things heated up as the score tied, then Cruz was ahead. It was 10 to 8, then 10 to 9 (Cruz). It was a cliffhanger, folks! The crowd was on its feet! Cruz needed one more basket! Kimmel pressed his defense, but Cruz broke to the outside and took a shot…IT’S GOOD!

Ted Cruz won the Blobfish Basketball Classic! No more boos were heard as the arena erupted, confetti was fired, and Kimmel looked astonished. It took almost two hours, but Ted Cruz made the oddsmakers drop their cigars.

“Is that the ugliest game winning shot you’ve ever seen?” Cruz asked. Kimmel said, “I know I’m not a great basketball player, but I’m at least as good at the game as Senator Cruz is at being a senator.”

The real winners in this tournament were the charities. Generation One in the Third Ward received $30,000 and Texas Children’s Hospital received $10,000.

When complimented on his winning shot from the outside, Cruz said, “Next time I’ll try to open my eyes.” Rematch, anyone?

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Chris Daigle is a Houston Historian and a regular contributor to The Grapevine Source. He may be contacted at blue69@att.net.