Driving and Biking in the Big City

Updates on Screen Door Jesus and Vinny

with 6 comments

Aging nicely for a 1969 Polaroid

Aging nicely for a 1969 Polaroid

This has been an exciting and eventful weekend for Commuter Chronicles with a couple of important followups to recent columns. First up, the great grandson of the former owner of the house behind the Western Auto where Jesus appeared on the screen door in 1969 commented on “Remembering Jesus and Dollie.” Mitch filed this as a comment but I wanted to emphasize it a bit. Many of us who’ve followed the legend of the screen door know some of this information to an uncertain degree. It feels more official coming from a related source. All very interesting and worth a read.

Also, I got Big Johnny to do an official scan of my personal Polaroid that was recaptured from display on my mom’s dresser at least 30 years after the event itself. He’s done a bit of an artsy job so that you can see the quality of this wonderful memento of my past that is cherished as much as a treasure from my mom as well as the event itself.   Here’s the update:

Jesus appeared more than once on the screen door

01/25/2013: That’s my Great Grandmother Lela Bass’s house. She was a very devout Pentecostal woman. This is so cool to read. I was unaware of the movie. I’ll have to check it out. All my friends from Port Neches Groves Elementary have brought this up on Facebook and we’ve had some really cool discussions about it. People from all over the world as far away as China and Australia came to see it. She had a book for visitors to sign. I drove by and visited the new owner last year, 2012, Grandmother’s place looks very different in the back now. The screen door is in storage I’m told, but the fig tree that sheltered the door & was nearly torn down from all the people climbing it for photos remains and is healthier and bigger than any I’ve ever seen. in 1969, The University of Texas took the screen door down, with Grandmother’s permission and ran tests on it. The image disappeared while they had it but reappeared when they placed back on her home. I would love to see the door again now that I’m 50. I was only 7 when all this happened. Thanks for posting this. All the best friend, God Bless. Ps. My family & I would so enjoy seeing any photos you have of the door. I have to go to my mothers now and revisit this and see if I can post some pics. Of note too, the image would change. Sometimes Jesus had a crown of thorns, sometimes facing left etc. sometimes a cross appeared, angels and moreVinny and me. Awesome!
Mitch Goody, Orlando, FL

Vinny gets the greenlight for more commutes

Then, let’s raise a glass to the heartiness of a true Road Warrior. Vinny passed inspection without even a hiccup. At 172,589 miles, he’s got another year in him. I feel 200,000 coming for us. I’m a bit worried about the change of weather because his air conditioning seems to be on the fritz. But the heater feels fine. I’m thinking of celebrating with some flames or lightning decals on his valiant haunches. And, I’m afraid we may still need to have the talk about adding another brother to our stable. But not today; today we celebrate.


Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

January 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm

6 Responses

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  1. I am writing to inform you that I personally witnessed the so-called “Screen Door Jesus” in June of 1969.
    I was on vacation with my mother and grandmother to visit relatives in Texas and Louisiana, when the people we were staying with in Port Arthur took us to a close-by town that was reported to have an image of
    Jesus Christ on a screen door. It was supposed to have a feature in LIFE magazine, and people were flocking there in droves, apparently. I was thirteen at the time, and going into the eighth grade. I would say it was near the end of June, 1969 when we witnessed the EVENT. The only thing I can tie the date to is, I know we left San Jose, one or so days after the death of Judy Garland, and stayed in Port Arthur for one week, so the event had to have happened around that time frame, which I am now finding out to be near the time of the first reportings, in late June. Apparrently, I saw it in it’s earliest manifestations! Anyway, walking into the side/backyard of the corner house, we, along with maybe six or eight people, stared along with everyone there at this plain looking screen door that had a definite image of Christ! You could see a crown of thorns on his head, with a distinctive Aura radiating around them, just like the stainglassed images in churches!! It was like an electric halo. I see that image in my mind, right now, some 45 years later. Anyway, the most amazing thing about the image was that you would look at the image for maybe fifteen minutes, than the screen door would get fuzzy with no image. Then a minute or so later, the fuzziness would
    disappear and the image would be looking in another direction!! I could not believe my eyes at the time.
    It would actually change position and direction, and I want to say that you could see it actually move during the fuzziness period! I was thirteen at the time, so I know EXACTLY what I saw that day. We had stayed there about two hours, so we saw maybe 5 or 6 transformations of this image. I have always distinctly remembered this day, and just recently re-discovered the three photos from that day showing a rather dramatic image on each of them. My photos show an outlined, image of Christ including the crown of thorns!! It is outlined in “AURA” I will try to figure out how to post them for the world to see that Christ IS
    here all time, for US!! I was raised a Roman Catholic, but was never a devout, religious follower, although I did attend mass regularly, unvoluntarily. I still am not, although I will always and never forget the Divine Apparition that I, myself had bore witness to. I read where people only saw it if they “believed” that they saw it. Well I believe and DID see everything that I am saying. I do have the pictures to prove it. The image
    constantly changed. Why has that never been constantly stated. I know what we saw!! I will always believe
    that what I saw as a thirteen year old kid was there for Me, alone to see, to know to believe in, to LIVE!!!

    Screen Door Jesus For Real!!!!

    April 20, 2014 at 1:09 am

    • I was there in 1969 myself with a girlfriend Chris. Soon as I heard about Christ I was impelled to go see for myself. After standing about 15 to 20 minutes the face of Christ appeared to me. I saw him looking up in agony with a crown of thorns on his head. He was bleeding and I could see the blood dripping off in the image. Another thing is that the door from what I heard was plastic screen. Not sure that is why the sun gave reflections of color but I saw Christ in living color. I have never forgotten that experience in my life. I was 19 at the time. I often wondered what happened to the door and Miss Bass. She was surely blessed by allowing everyone to come and look. I know here yard was trampled and they had roped it off but she didn’t mind because she wanted to share the spectacular event. What a glorious day that was for me.

      Marsha Cleveland

      July 31, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      • Marsha,

        Thank you for replying to my screen door jesus message. It sounds like we were there around the same
        time in 1969. I can still visualize it in my head. The darn thing would change images and directions about
        every fifteen minutes. My vision had no color in it. It was a metal screen door. I have three pictures of it,
        You can see an aura or halo around his head, with a crown of thorns,?

        Steven Bloomquist

        November 24, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      • I saw Him in living color. The profile with Him in agony. Crown of thorns and bleeding. I saw the drops of blood coming down. I saw his face in pain and chills came all over me. I stood there a good 45 minutes. I couldn’t leave. I was 17 at the time. My girlfriend stated she saw the three crosses with Him but after I saw Him many stood around me to see what I was seeing. Not sure who saw what but I certainly know what I saw. It was just awesome! I have never forgotten that all these years. I’m 66 now and it’s just implanted in my soul.


        November 25, 2015 at 2:49 am

      • Yes, I saw Christ in living color and His profile with the crown of thorns. I never saw the image change. I did see it disappear then reappear but it was the same when that happened. I noticed the sun coming down behind me through some trees and I glanced back to see if the sunlight was causing the reflection on the door. I will forever remember that special day and moment in time.

        Marsha Cleveland

        November 25, 2015 at 2:54 am

  2. My little brother just moved into the house today, as I told his wife when I walked in I told them I felt a presence there and as I told him I felt that there was a presece he begin to tell me about the history of the house and I remembered back when I was about 12 years old me and my mother my aunts cousins all piled up into the old station wagon (are the old war wagon as my father would say) and made the visit to Port Neches I remember that day, I remember scene Jesus Christ outline on the back door it all started come back to me I knew there was something about that house it wasn’t a bad presents but a good one a good feeling the house has been remodeled all the way through inside and out it’s totally different from the picture I seen But the ground is Holy for some reason when you walk in you can feel it like a warm cool feeling and whoever lived in that house back in the day we’re truly blessed and to this day or truly blessed I live in Port Neches myself the house been remodeled very beautifully

    Paco Ramirez

    July 2, 2016 at 4:27 pm

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