Yvonne Sutherlin, who compiled research for the marker project, spoke of how a teenage Joplin baby-sat her children.
Pete Tauscher of Kingwood brought several of his Joplin albums to the ceremony and thumbed through them during the program.
Sam Monroe, president of the Port Arthur Historical Society, addressed the guests played a recording of Joplin singing “Me and Bobby McGee.” Many closed their eyes and swayed to the music.
Then came “Mercedes Benz.” Attendees, including Holly Anderson of Texas City, started to sing along in the church. She and her husband, Jerry, traveled with other couples to attend Saturday evening’s Music Hall of Fame concert at the Carl A. Parker Multipurpose Center. Edgar Winter and The Clique were inducted into the Museum of the Gulf Coast’s hall of fame, which features several personal affects that belonged to Joplin.
The Andersons spoke of the freedom, story telling and soul that make up Joplin’s music.
Across the street in the Sanchez yard, guests snapped photos at the marker was unveiled.
“Janis Joplin lives! Wooo,” belted out Linda Lou Jones of Bleakwood.
Draped in a velvet cape, she wore a colorful scarf and peace sign earrings.
“She does everything Janis,” Les Horner, who called himself her significant other, said.
Sanchez, through Spanish interpreters, said she didn’t realized she’d moved into a famous home, but people from all over started knocking on her door. When Historical Society representatives contacted her, she told them she was proud to have the marker in her yard, which is also adorned with a large pottery burro.
Alma Cantu lived in the house next door for years. She said Dorothy Joplin invited her over to see her daughter’s souvenirs. Mrs. Joplin said her daughter loved to paint in the garage. When it was cold, she’d turn on the dryer for heat.
Marker sponsors include the Port Arthur Historical Society, Jeff Hayes, Sam Monroe, Yvonne Sutherlin, Thomas Jefferson Class of 1960 and Carlita Zummo.
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