Galveston history tends to be conveyed as a genteel undertaking, with retrospective images of floor-length gowns, intricate architecture, and very serious businessmen whose tenacity and diligence transformed the island into an international port of commerce in the 19th Century. The journey through Galveston’s significant transformation since then has been often overlooked, perhaps because the generational proximity to it skews its importance. But as time marches on, modern history becomes just history—even if it involves cockroaches.
Related, that same year another neighborhood bar called O’Malley’s at 8th and Church became host to the first annual KGBC O’Malley’s Cup Roach Racing Championship, created and sponsored by the local Galveston radio station. The first year’s winner, UTMB student Polly Clafford, was announced on the CBS Evening News by Walter Cronkite.
It was donated by Dan Holitske’s Gulf Coast Trophies in Texas City and would remain permanently at Streater’s with the name of each year’s champion engraved on it. Smaller plaques for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners to take home were also donated.