_________ Taylor _________
76574 FALL s 2018
When you're talking local, there's a lot to talk about.
TWICE TOLD TALES Champion wrestler from Taylor dominates sport but is gunned down.
DABBLING DUCK Annie on Anarchy asks a delicate question. DD recommends anarchy in response.
If you're ready to relocate your company, our 50,000 sq ft industrial building is ready for you!
TAYLO R T E X A S
LO G O STA N DAR D S
TA G L I N E
Destination for Many Home for a Fortunate Few Over the last three years, your economic development team has worked to bring a diverse mix of light industrial operations to Taylor: Noren Thermal Solutions, Summit Custom Cabinets, Masterson Hard Chrome and the Valero fuel terminal. These four companies are creating more than 100 new jobs, $50 million in new investment and more than $1 million annually in new property tax revenue. But, if you think this is big, wait to see what the next three years bring!
THINK BIG | THINK TAYLOR Taylor Economic Development Corporation PO Box 975 / 112 West 2nd St., Suite 203 Taylor, Texas 76574 p. (512) 352-4321 f. (512) 352-3252 TAYLO R T E X AS
LO G O STAN DAR D S
It’s like a
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Free Kasasa checking refunds your ATM fees, nationwide.* So even if you use one of the big banks’ ATMs, we’ll pay you back. No more searching for a “free” ATM.
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BUSINESS expo 2018 and job fair
10 am-2 pm Saturday, Sept. 15 Williamson County Expo
WHERE YOU SEE A YELLOW BALLOON!
5350 BILL PICKETT TRAIL
FREE ADMISSION! WIN PRIZES ALL DAY! PRIZES! JOBS! GAMES! TREATS ! FOOD! GOODIES! HOME! GIFTS! DENTAL EXAMS! HEALTH! MAKE UP! INSURANCE! MASSAGES! GAMES! POLICE CARS & FIRE TRUCKS! FUN!
S&D Plumbing | Atlas Chiropractic | Baylor Scott & White | Davis Barbecue | Waste Connections
City National Bank | 2nd St. Commercial Kitchen | Taylor Housing Authority | WilCo Republican Party & more!
76574 Facebook@Taylor76574 EDITOR & PUBLISHER Richard Stone BUSINESS MANAGER Carolyn Hill ADVERTISING SALES Leslie Lyle Kristina Weise PRODUCTION EDITOR Matt Hellman DEPARTMENT EDITOR Jason Hennington ADVERTISING DESIGN Patti Slavych Minerva Kutch Orlando Rojo-Buendia OUR THANKS TO John O'Connel, Catherine Parker, Tim Crow Candice Martin of the Culinary Arts Department at Taylor High School
FINDING THE GOOD LIFE The story of how an artist finds Taylor is often as colorful as the art itself. From cheap studio space to a nascent arts district, there's lots to talk about.
~ PAGE 25
D E PA R T M E N T S FALL CALENDAR ������������������� PAGE 8 From regular weekly and monthly events to exciting live music festivals, here’s a handy planning guide.
BY THE NUMBERS ����������������� PAGE 14 It’s quite a job to put on a basketball tournament ... especially for a tourney that lasts two days and includes 35 teams. Here’s a look at the numbers from the Taylor Press 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.
TWICE TOLD TALES ����������������� PAGE 17 ON THE COVER Art is all about color, light and intensity. This photo was taken during a show at Atelier 95. — Photo by Richard Stone
your community. your newspaper.
P.O. Box 1040 • Taylor, TX 76574 For advertising information, call
In the early 1900s, Taylor's Elmer "Pet" Brown dominated the sport of wrestling. He paid for it with his life.
13 QUESTIONS ������������������� PAGE 12 Irene Michna is the Queen of the Cookoff. And the Old Settler's Assoc. And, arguably, Taylor. Just don't ask her about water towers.
CULINARY ADVENTURES ��������������� PAGE 22 Taylor High School’s Culinary Arts and commercial photography students deliver their take on a baked potato bar.
THE DABBLING DUCK ���������������� PAGE 34 Good old DD. He paints the town (not red but ... ) and, along the way, tries to stick it to The Man. — Photos by Richard Stone
Food & Craft Vendors • Children’s Area Performances by JESSE DAYTON, FREEZE FRAME, BLACK DOG FRIDAY & “ELVIS”
MAIN STREET CAR SHOW & FESTIVAL
Family Owned Since 1960
t e a D h e t v e Sa
If you would like to see your non-profit community event or regular meeting listed in this calendar, please send it to Taylor76574 Calendar, P.O. Box 1040, Taylor, TX 76574 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Taylor 76574” in the subject line. Our next edition will be published mid-November. Deadline is October 15.
Join us on the second Saturday of the month for events in our parks and all over town. Specials and bargains are featured in our downtown shops and cool drinks at our “rest stops.”
The Greater Taylor Chamber of Commerce hosts a luncheon at Sirloin Stockade the third Monday of each month. The topics vary but usually focus on Taylor issues. Open members and non-members.
The Third Thursday of every month, our downtown shops stay open until 8 p.m. 120 Art Gallery opens a new exhibit and music fills Texas Beer Company, Taylor Station and other venues around the area.
G21 Car Show
G21 Car Show is on the fourth Sunday of every month beginning at about 9 a.m. It is held on 2nd Street between Main and Porter streets. Several different charities benefit from it throughout the year.
Pints, Politics and Culture
The Taylor Press hosts a live interview with a local newsmaker generally once a month at the Texas Beer Co., corner of Main and Second, downtown. The interview is streamed live on the Press’ Facebook page (@TaylorPress76574) and then curated on its website (TaylorPress.net). This public affairs program is a great way to keep up with local issues.
Taylor Area Farmer’s Market
Through October — Local area farmers sell fresh produce at corner of 5th and Main Street 3-6 p.m. every Monday and Friday.
Taylor City Council – The Taylor City Council meets the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, 6 p.m. at City Hall, 400 Porter St. Agendas are posted to the city’s website Tuesday prior. Meetings are streamed live from the city’s website. You may sign up for notifications about this and other Taylor boards and commissions on the homepage of the city’s website, ci.taylor.tx.us. Taylor School Board – Taylor school trustees meet 7 p.m. the third Monday of the month, in the board room at the central administration office, 3101 N. Main Street. Agendas are posted to the school’s website the Friday prior to the meeting.
Weekly Civic Club Meetings
Taylor Lions Club – Every Friday at Noon at Sirloin Stockade Taylor Rotary Club – Every Thursday at noon at Sirloin Stockade Taylor Kiwanis Club – Every Wednesday noon at Sirloin Stockade
Taylor Duck Varsity Football Schedule
Just in case you want to pin this to your fridge … Sept. 1 – 7:30 p.m. vs Robinson Sept. 8 – 7:30 p.m. @ Rockdale Rivalry Game Sept. 15 – 7:30 p.m. vs Yoakum Sept. 22 – 7:30 p.m. @ Caldwell Sept. 29 – 7:30 p.m. vs La Grange Oct. 6 – 7:30 p.m. vs Bellville HOMECOMING Oct. 13 — BYE Oct. 19 (THURSDAY!) 7:30 p.m. @ Eastside Memorial in Austin* Oct. 27 – 7:30 p.m. vs Boerne* Nov. 3 – 7:30 p.m. @ Fredericksburg* Nov. 10 – 7:30 p.m. vs Canyon Lake*
Interested in local and college sports? Check out “Around the Water Cooler,” a lively and opinionated show produced by the Taylor Press. New shows every Wednesday at about 2:15 p.m. Streamed live on Facebook @GoTaylorTx.
Fall 2018 7
TAYLOR I.S.D. FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! Taylor Football: “Meet the Ducks” “Meet the Ducks” at the new Taylor High School Stadium. If all goes well, the new Duck statue, set to go in the stadium’s entry, will be unveiled.
Taylor KidFish at Bull Branch Park AUGUST 25
Sponsored by the City of Taylor and the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. Free to children under age 16. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and fishing starts at 9 a.m.
Labor Day Holiday
Area schools and government offices will be closed.
The "Sky's the Limit" Fly a Kite Day Registration begins at 9 a.m.; event starts at 10 a.m.; judging at 2 p.m. Food, prizes and fun! Taylor Regional Park, 210 Carlos Parker Blvd. Call 512-365-7669 for more information as a participant, sponsor, or vendor.
Go Fast Races Purple Trio Tour, WilCo Expo Center
Open evening race begins at 7 P.M. There is no admission cost for spectators, and the concession stand will be open! Come join in on the fun!
The First Baptist church of Taylor and the Taylor Fire Departments host a short parade through downtown then a memorial service at Heritage Square to honor the emergency workers who died during the 9/11 attacked on New York City and Washington DC.
What you need to know. When you need to know it. In print, twice a week. On line 24/7/365.
Go to TaylorPress.net and start a digital subscription for only
a month when you enroll in EZ-Pay. _________Taylor _________
PRESS 7 6 5 7 4 TAYLOR
your community. your newspaper.
+ .6 @GoTaylorTx ; ( @ 3 6 9
WeProudly canServing help Our youCommunity protectSince you2002 rself from what you DIDN’T see coming. 1900 N. Main • PO Box 941 • Taylor, TX 76574 www.randig.com
Serving Taylor and East WilCo with pride since 2002.
Ad size: 1/8 Balance Due $0 paid in full $150 Upon your final approval of the ad, please mail balance due to: Thrall High School 201 S. Bounds, Thrall TX 76578 Attn: Tiger Yearbook
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Fall 2018 9
Taylor Chamber Business and Job Expo
Presented by the Taylor Chamber of commerce and the Taylor Economic Development Corp. at the Williamson County Exposition Center, this event includes booths, information and exhibits from an array of area businesses and organizations. A resume workshop and career and job fairs will be held to round out the experience. Call 512-352-6364 or visit taylorchamber.org for more information. Free to the public.
SPJST Barbecue Cook Off
The Taylor SPJST Lodge #29’s Annual Barbecue Cook-off. Barbecue cooks from across Central Texas submit entries in a variety of categories, including pork ribs, brisket, chicken, jackpot beans, cook’s choice, dessert and even best rig. The event features a silent auction and two days of live music and dancing. To find out more, visit www.taylorchamber.org or call (512) 365-8485.
The Taylor Ducks face Bellville at 7:30 pm at Memorial Field. Among other things, homecoming events include naming a King and Queen.
Fall Ball Chamber Gala, dinner, music, live and silent auctions
This elegant event for friends of the Greater Taylor Chamber of Commerce provides support for the Chamber’s mission of supporting businesses in our community. Tickets are $75 and available at the Chamber, 1519 N. Main. This year’s event will be at Old Taylor High on 7th Street.
Horse Power Speed Racking, WilCo Expo Center Racking Horses from the Hill Country Region will go head to head in a race to beat the clock.
Columbus Day (No school) Last day to register to vote in the General Election Good Life Festival and 5K
This family festival at Bull Branch Park includes a poultry petting zoo, chicken splat bingo, games, lunch and a “super epic confetti egg battle.” The 5K race starts at 8 a.m. Kids K at 9:30 a.m. Festival at 10 a..m. Contact Julie Rydell at 512-294-1972 or visit http://www.goodlifetaylor.com for more information.
Go Fast Races Purple WilCo Expo Center
Open evening race begins at 7 P.M. There is no admission cost for spectators, and the concession stand will be open! Come join in on the fun!
District 1 Town Hall
Visit with Mayor Pro Tem Christine Lopez, district representative, and City of Taylor staff at the Fannie Robinson Park Pavilion. Get updates about projects and ask questions. Light refreshments provided.
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Williamson County Equipment Co., Inc. 1006 Carlos G Parker Blvd SW • Taylor 512-352-6381 • www.wmcoequip.com
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Kunisch WELLNESS CENTER Dr. Robert Kunisch & Debi Kunisch, LMT
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Fall 2018 11
Homecoming Haunted Taylor walking tour
Join guides from the Taylor Conservation and Heritage Society on a nighttime stroll through the murderous and macabre, the frightening and fascinating, history of Taylor. Go to hauntedtaylor.com for tour info.
Main Street Car Show
Presented by the City on historic Main Street, this event hosts classic to cutting-edge cars from near and far. Art exhibits, food, music, raffle prizes and shopping. Contact Deby Lannen at 512-352-3463 or email@example.com for more information.
Early voting for the General Election begins. Halloween Spooktacular
Costume contests, free games and candy for young ones in the downtown historical district. 6-9 p.m. Contact Deby Lannen at 512352-3463 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Election Day Dr. Dickey Parade and Health Fair
This day celebrates the life of Dr. James Lee Dickey and promotes good health. This year’s event will be at the new Dickey Museum, 500 Burkett. Sponsored by the Blackshear/O.L. Price Ex-Students Association.
It’s the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The Moody Museum will hold a special ceremony that day. The American Legion Post, named after
This event will be at Taylor Regional Park Contact Mike De Vito for details at 512-352-5818.
Thanksgiving Day 12
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to everyone who made the 69th Annual Taylor Rodeo a success! We would not have been able to do it without our great community, sponsors and participants. We look forward to seeing y’all again next year!
Join us for a
Serving Taylor and the surrounding communities for 118 years.
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6-11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 Old Taylor High 410 W. SEVENTH ST.
Ticket Sales End Wednesday, Oct. 31
Buy tickets online www.taylorchamber.org or call or stop by our office. Tickets are $75 each.
Greater Taylor Chamber of Commerce
1519 N. Main St. | www.taylorchamber.org 512-352-6364 | email@example.com
Fall 2018 13
Summer 2018 15
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TANGLED UP IN TAYLOR
CHAMPION WRESTLER DOMINATES SPORT BUT IS GUNNED DOWN OVER FIGHT FOR WHAT’S RIGHT
BY JOE O’CONNELL
ike Yokel took the bait. As the reigning world middleweight wrestling champ, Yokel traveled from his Utah home to Taylor, Texas, in 1914. He was seeing dollar signs because the locals were known for making large bets on their native son, Elmer “Pet” Brown. Yokel thought he would make some easy money. Yokel had heard the word spread far and wide that Brown was the real deal. Brown had dropped out of high school and trained with a former Army boxer. Then he and one of his brothers, Jim, attended a Chicago wrestling school. The Texas wrestling craze began near Taylor in a cotton gin owned by the Brown family. The Brown boys were natural athletes: Ned was a baseball ace, Frank a rodeo champ and Pet a wiry but rugged right tackle on the Taylor High football team. Wrestling was a sideline interest for all four: The broth-
ers folded each other into pretzels with their father, William, coaching. Soon, more area youths tried exotic moves like the standing cradle hold, half nelson and flying mare. African-American kids joined in, chief among them Pet’s pals, brothers known as White and Black Noble, wrote Taylor resident Landgon Richter in a 1977 Old West magazine article. An Americanized variety of the English “catch-as-catchcan” wrestling style was the rage, and Brown became its Texas star. Named for the notion that wrestlers would seek any advantage over opponents, the style had been adopted by carnival wrestlers who traveled town to town taking on locals. It was part sport, part entertainment and all business. Enter Yokel and his cash-craving agent. Fans overflowed the Taylor City Hall auditorium for the match between the 158-pounders. Betting continued as the battle progressed,
Fall 2018 17
Waco News-Tribune writer Jinx Turner recalled in a 1926 article. “At the end of the first 30 minutes, Brown had never been able to get on top of Yokel,” Turner wrote. “He had succeeded in his uncanny manner of twisting out of every hold put on by Yokel.” Another hour passed. Yokel began a full-on assault, but Brown slithered free again and again. Finally, Yokel applied a toe hold, and the referee prepared to call the match over. But Brown escaped, turned, grabbed Yokel by the arm and tossed him into the air. Yokel landed on his head, striking a board at the edge of the mat. The impact knocked Yokel unconscious, and Brown was crowned the champ. Yokel’s manager demanded a rematch, which took place near the end of 1914 in Salt Lake City. The battle dragged on for more than four hours, but Brown once again emerged victorious. A third rematch in Salt Lake City ended in a draw after five hours and 55 minutes. In Taylor, Brown was a celebrity. His fans, including future Texas Gov. Dan Moody, also of Taylor, dressed in their finest clothes and boarded the train to Houston, where Brown was a major draw. Taylor residents revered Brown as an honest man and a hero. But wrestling was not a clean operation. In a 1916 bout against Jack Harbertson, Brown was accused of jabbing fingers in his opponent’s mouth and nose, and Harbertson won the match and title based on the fouls. Brown maintained his innocence, regarded the fight as fixed and never accepted the loss. The next year, Brown openly accepted defeat at the hands of Clarence Eklund. The pair met in the ring three times:
Brown won the first match outright, and the second was a draw. In the third fight, Eklund grabbed Brown’s arm with such fervor that tendons ripped. “Wrestling has long been under deep suspicion,” a Houston Post reporter wrote after the loss. “The wrestlers themselves were the chief offenders, for they pulled all sorts of crooked stunts and had all sorts of frame-ups. Not a breath of suspicion was ever attached to Pet Brown, for he has stood for all that is clean in the game.” Brown was pragmatic about wrestling and had pooled his winnings into a lucrative road-paving business. His wrestling bouts became rare as his crews crisscrossed Texas. Brown’s luck ran out in Cisco in May 1923. A worker stepped on a nail, so Brown drove him to the hospital. He returned the man to the construction camp outside of town, where, in a nearby tent, Constable L.J. Starkey was confronting workers about gambling. Brown suspected a shakedown for cash and stepped in. Starkey shot the unarmed Brown through the heart. Alph Dillard, who had wrestled with Brown in Taylor, helped carry the lifeless body to Brown’s wife. Starkey testified he shot in self-defense, fearing Brown’s physical ability as a wrestler. He faced trial three times. The first ended with 11 jurors for conviction, one for acquittal. A second trial also resulted in a hung jury. In the third trial, in 1924, the judge told jurors they could consider Brown’s wrestling skills in reaching their verdict. Starkey was acquitted. Little remains of Brown’s Gin, the spot where a star athlete began to chase a dream and Taylor gave rise to a national celebrity wrestler.
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Fall 2018 19
IRENE MICHNA ANSWERS
A BAKER’S DOZEN 1. What is your super power? My super power comes from God and my children and grandchildren. God has always given me the power too stay strong and keep going and my family has always encouraged me in everything I do, even though they do not always agree with me. 2. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen? The craziest thing I have seen is adults playing with snakes at the rattlesnake shows. 3. What is it that most people don’t know about you? Most people do not know that I am a DD (designated driver). I have had this honor all through high school and still do my job. A few years ago, a group of my classmates all crammed into one car, so I could drive them back home. I enjoy going in the Taylor Beer Company and visiting and having one of the best root beers ever and then I am ready to drive someone. To this day, I still love my job. 4. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done? The dumbest thing I ever did was crawl to the top of the old water tower in Murphy Park. I never told my children about this, but many years later, my daughter, Shanna, tried to climb the water tower that was on the corner of Main and Lake Drive, but she and her friends were caught and made to get down. I guess it runs in the family. 5. Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? I have never played a practical joke on any one that I can remember. 6. When did you become an adult? Are you saying I am an adult? When did this happen? I still feel like a kid most of the time. 7. If you could know the absolute truth about something, what would it be? I would love to know the absolute and total truth if Elvis Presley really passed away in 1977? 8. What books are you reading? I always read the bible and I am trying to finish the book on Dan Moody
9. If you could have three wishes from a non-tricky Genie, what would they be? If I could have three wishes they would be to find a cure for Cancer, Heart Attack and MS. 10. What is your claim to fame? I do not consider myself to have fame. I have been very blessed in so many ways. I am so proud to be the President of the Old Settlers Association of Williamson County. We try to perpetuate the history of Williamson County. Being asked by the Taylor Main Street Board to write the book about Taylor. Such great history in our town. There are several honors that I am extremely proud of. Being chosen as Woman of the Year by Taylor Area Business Women, receiving the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman John Carter, and being inducted into the Taylor Duck Hall of Fame. 11. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? The hardest things I have had to deal with are the passing of my parents and my only brother and my husband passing at the age of 51. I now have something new to deal with and that is Lung Cancer. 12. If you could witness something from the past, what would it be? There are several things I would love to witness from the past. The one that really stands out is watching the Longhorns grazing where the city of Taylor is. Watching the Last Cattle Drive leave Taylor headed to Round Rock and then headed North. What a sight that must have been. 13. What was our most memorable birthday? I guess my most memorable birthday would be when I decided to color my hair dark brown and it turned out black. There was a party for me at Circleville Store with signs everywhere stating, “Lordy Irene is 40”. I was so embarrassed.
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Chef Martin'sFancy Baked Potato Buffet Bar
Buffet style lunches are like playing tictac-toe because you have choices and choices make us winners. Candice Martin’s Culinary classes created the perfect potato buffet style bar and provided plenty of choices to patrons. Chef Martin captured our taste buds with her weekly Top Flight announcement: “We will be serving a baked potato bar. This will feature a big baked tater and your choice of homemade chili, cheese sauce, broccoli and/or the usual fixings (butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives, bacon). A side salad will be served with your choice of ranch or Italian dressing and for dessert,” Martin said, “and a lemon pudding layered sweet treat”!
INGREDIENTS Baked Potatoes Butter Crispy Bacon Sour Cream Chopped Chives Bell Pepper (thinly sliced) Cheddar Cheese Steamed Broccoli Chili (Canned or original) Diced Fresh Tomatoes Thin sliced Cucumber
Photo by Damon Atkins
DIRECTIONS I) II) III) IV) V) VI) VII)
Prepare all the toppings ahead of time. Leave butter out at room temperature a day ahead. Cook and cut up bacon. Wash and chop chives, tomatoes, and cucumber. Clean, cut and steam broccoli. Make some chili or simply open a can! Top your potato with your favorite items! Dig in!
LEFT: Jordan Kruse prepares a lemon pudding layered sweet treat in Mrs. Martin’s Culinary class. ABOVE: Elizabeth Sanchez and Jacob Buchanan prepare a lemon pudding layered sweet treat for Top Flight patrons. Photo by Ms. Zavala
A baked potato bar is a fabulous way to ensure all guests get exactly what they want at a party, tailgate party or other exciting function. You can load a potato down with just about any delicious topping imaginable. What other delicious toppings can you think of? Perhaps some chopped left over roast beef and gravy or taco meat and guacamole. The options are endless. Enjoy!
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v 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
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v 2 cups (12 -oz pkg) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided v 1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk v 1 teaspoon vanilla extract v 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
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PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 13 x g-inch baking pan BEAT butter in large mixer bowl on medium speed For 30 seconds. Beat in flour, sugar and salt on low speed until crumbly. Press 2 cups of mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake For 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned on edges. COMBINE 1 1/2 cups of morsels and sweetened condensed milk in small saucepan over mediumlow heat. Heat until morsels are melted, stirring constantly. Remove From heat; stir in vanilla extract. Pour evenly over hot crust. Add remaining morsels and chopped pecans to the reserved crust mixture; sprinkle over the chocolate layer. BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into diamondshaped pieces. (Recipe From Nestle Toll House)
2101 N Main St. • Taylor 512-966-9591 Serving our community since 2014
Fall 2018 23
LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE SO FAR! Residen�al Trash Collected
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Percent Recycled By Weight
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ARTISTS FIND A GOOD LIFE IN TAYLOR WRITTEN BY CATHERINE PARKER â€¢ PHOTOS BY CATHERINE PARKER AND RICHARD STONE
Often the stor y of how artists find Taylor is a colorful as their art itself. For some it was a one-off job, others needed cheap studio space and one wanted to create an environment for an arts and entertainment district. Meeting at the crossroads in Taylor, artists wander into town. They find a welcom-
ing community with warm smiles along with professional support paired with affordable living and work space. Art is not a new addition to Taylor, though. Along with rodeo legends and cotton, Taylor grew a cartooning maverick. Making his mark he created enduring characters of wit, still recognized today.
Fall 2018 25
TAYLOR AR Tex Avery Cartoon legend, Tex Avery, worked for Warner Brothers and MGM Studios in the Golden Age of Animation. He developed iconic characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd, among others. Born and raised in Taylor, Tex Avery, graduated from North Dallas High School. Then moved to Los Angeles in 1928, working odd jobs until starting at a studio as an inker. Moving up the ranks he soon became an animator then went on to direct cartoon shorts. Avery created cartoon characters that appealed to adults while satisfying the kids with plots packed with action. Kids of the 20th century religiously watched his magic on Saturday mornings with a bowl of cereal.
Mural featuring Tex Avery by
Judy Blundell After arriving in Taylor in 2002, Judy Blundell found a time capsule of a town that needed to be preserved and reinvented. Sitting on the eastern arteries of highways 79 and 95 with close proximity to Austin, she wanted to invest her time and talent in the historic downtown. As the driving force behind the restoration and redevelopment of the McCrory Timmerman Building, Blundell and her partner Mark Nibbelink wanted to foster the local arts community. By modernizing the building, new space created an environment to entice new small businesses to the historic downtown corridor. Now an anchor, the building is the heart of the arts in Taylor. Find a fine arts gallery along with private gallery space then travel to the basement for the only ceramics studio offering classes east of Austin. Though trained in architecture and urban planning, it’s art that drives Blundell. Using abstract impressionism, she creates emotional landscapes from her travels, like Iceland or England’s Cornwall. Chasing the delicate light of the north she “paints for the process and not for product,” Blundell explains. Blundell shows her work at Atelier 95 at 311 Main Street and the TAG120Art Gallery in the McCrory Timmerman Building. An accomplished artist Blundell earned her art degree from the University of Texas. And she has recently shown her work in a New York City gallery in Chelsea.
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Left: Overlooking the light at Second and Main streets, Adam Davenport’s Bill Pickett bronze sculpture welcomes all to town. Right: One of his most recent works, Davenport creates a train so realistic sometimes it blasts its horn at the Taylor Station.
Walk through Huntington Sculpture Gardens in Coupland to see Jim Huntington’s granite sculptures.
Adam Davenport Can’t pass Second and Main without Bill Pickett tipping his hat at the passersby. The legendary cowboy that called Taylor home, lives on with a life-size bronze sculpted by Adam Davenport. Davenport doesn’t limit his work to rodeo legends. Head to Taylor Station Bar for his latest work, a mural. Find a locative so realistic you can feel the blast of its horn when it thunders through town (with a bit of help from neighboring Union Pacific). Out at the new Taylor High School Stadium, find a pair of ducks welcoming all to a game. The pair, a female and male, boast six-foot wing spans with exacting details down to each feather. “I have so much opportunity as an artist in Taylor. I met a group of people with a sense of community,” Davenport said. Originally from Louisiana, Davenport earned his art degree from University of Louisiana. Find more of his work at TAG120Art gallery and more projects in the development stage. Jim Huntington In 1994, Jim Huntington sold off his building in NYC and landed in Coupland, Texas, to continue his life-long art work. With the additional space Huntington could create sculptures on a larger scale. According to Huntington uniting two separate pieces is a “marriage of stones.” Art is a “God-given gift and I’m always looking to the next piece.” His art required sacrifices of time and relationships. Though in the end, “art is worthy.” Primarily using Colorado’s Rocky Mountain granite, Huntington travels to the quarry and hand selects the pieces for his projects. Though Huntington also pairs granite from New York’s Lake Placid region along with wood, steel and aluminum with found construction materials. Working with a five-inch diamond blade, Huntington hones the granite with an eye for interesting internal spaces. In 2000 he opened the Huntington Sculpture Garden, an outdoor gallery of his work open to all. An artist since early childhood, Huntington’s first introduction to a professional art was a sign painter in Elkhart, Indiana. In the 1950s, sign painters hand-painted signs to advertise Hollywood movies, including detailed portraits of glamorous starlets. Visit the Huntington Sculpture Garden from dusk to dawn, daily. Located at 212 N. Broad Street at the corner of Hoxie Street in Coupland. Free though donations are accepted.
Fall 2018 27
Norma Jean Maloney With a name that rolls off your tongue with a honky-tonk twang, Norma Jeanne Maloney offers artisanal hand-painted signs from her studio in downtown Taylor. With a vintage appeal that mirrors her work, Maloney is most likely found attached to a Central Texas building with a brush in her hand. Back in 1990s, artists were drying off their brushes and replacing them with laptops. Unable to remove herself from physical process of creating signs and murals, Maloney stayed true to her spirit. According to Maloney, when she grabbed a brush, dipped it in paint then laid down a perfect line “the angels sang.” Putting her graphic design degree on hold she opened Red Rider Studios in San Francisco. Riding a wave of high rent out of San Francisco, Maloney set up shop in Nashville, Tennessee, next. Combining her love of painting with music, Nashville’s entertainment district always had a window to letter. Austin soon replaced Nashville, and taco joints replaced the country bars. With a portfolio of Central Texas restaurants Maloney’s hand-painted menu boards or building-size murals stand out. Find her studio in the McCrory Timmerman building. Though her murals dot Taylor at the Texas Beer Company, Curb Side Coffee House, The Gateway Mural on Second Street, the Stompn-Holler mural and the 4th and Main Mural. TAG120Art Galley In a growing community of artists, the TAG120Art guild offers professional support to its members. The guild supports a gallery in the McCrory Timmerman Building with juried art shows, professional development along artist management. Members come from all corners of the globe to find a home for their professional work along with artistic kinship. Like Jo Snyder, originally from London, “I’m enjoying the renaissance in Taylor. And art is helping put Taylor
4th and Main Mural by Norma Jean Maloney
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Fall 2018 29
Enjoy art while supporting the Shepard’s Heart Food Pantry at the First Annual Empty Bowl Project this October.
on the map.” With diverse talents and backgrounds, the artists of TAG120Art enjoy a managed gallery space to rival larger cities, like Georgetown. The dedicated space has allowed the group to grow and attract more artists to Taylor. Find a large selection of jewelry, loads of greeting cards along with large-scale oil paintings, sculpture and photography. Located at 120 W. Second St. it’s open from Wednesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and late on Downtown Taylor’s Third Thursday. Arts Education in Taylor Art is forgiving and the years fade between artistic efforts. It’s like riding a bike, if high school was the last art project, don’t worry. Your eyes remember. Just give your hands a few minutes of grace to catch up. Join the vibrant Taylor art community by creating a piece of your own. Downtown Taylor offers a couple of
venues for art students of all ages. Art Off Center If you wanted to throw a pot, a trip to Austin used to be necessary. Now just wander down Potter’s Alley behind the McCrory-Timmerman Building, to turn a ball of clay into a vessel. Melanie Shaw earned her degree in ceramics from NYC’s Hunters College and moved to the area four years ago. After buying Art Off Center recently, she’s expanded the class offerings starting with preschool classes along with fun classes for adults. Drop into Claydies Night to paint a premade decorative piece. Or take date night to the next level and make a beer stein with your beau. She also teaches hand building and wheel throwing. Art Off Center and Shepard’s Heart Food Pantry will host the First Annual Empty Bowl Project on Sunday, October 13, starting at 11:30 a.m. at the McCrory Timmerman Building. Buy a handmade bowl and fill it with soup
from 2nd Street Farm 2 Market Deli, Lucky Duck Café or The Sirloin Stockade to benefit the Shepard’s Heart. Located at 116 W. 2nd Street, find Art Off Center through the double doors off Potter’s Alley and head to the basement. Along with classes, Art Off Center offers open studio time and firing services. Sketch Club At Atelier 95, the screen door squeaks as the cowbell announces another student of the human form. Gathering weekly, a menagerie of artists sketch live models. In a series of timed poses, artists pick up a pencil and sketch for as little as a few minutes. Or pull out the paints and an easel for longer studies. Find Sketch Club at 311 N. Main St., Sketch Club starts at 7 p.m. though the vibe is mellow with artists coming in-and-out. Open to adult artists of all levels wanting to hone their technique. No official fee though all artists tip the model.
Finding Art in Taylor Dotted across the historic downtown find art indoors and out. The McCrory Timmerman Building on the corner of Second and Main offers the largest concentration of art in Taylor. TAG120Art — The art gallery for the local artist guild with regular shows. Bill Pickett Statue — Find the bronze outside the Texas Beer Company. Texas Beer Company Mural — Inside the brewery Curb Side Coffee House — Find two murals inside the coffeehouse. Stomp-n-Holler Mural — Find it on the Talbot Street side of the building. Potter’s Alley — Find street art from several local artists along with the popular wings. Taylor Station Bar — See the train mural Break On Through on the patio. Texas Flag — Painted on the side of Louie Mueller’s Barbeque. Gateway Mural — Welcoming all to town, find the mural with Taylor legends, Tex Avery and Bill Pickett, on the Taylor’d Flowers For You building on West Second Street. Welcome to 4th and Main Mural — On the side of the Trouvaille Antiques building Atelier 95 — An art gallery. Huntington Sculpture Garden — See Jim Huntington’s granite sculptures in Coupland.
An area for free expressionism for local artists, Potters Alley is the most Instagrammable spot in Taylor.
Down Potters Alley, find the entrance to Art Off Center, the only ceramics studio offering classes east of Austin.
More Art in the Works A vibrant community of artists will continue to create. A couple of notable projects are in the development and fundraising stage. Anoth-
er bronze statue of Bill Pickett on his horse for Heritage Square Park. Then a Welcome to Taylor mural across from the Amtrak train station is also in the works.
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A blow was struck against personcontinued al freedom when, in 1893, city leadfrom page 34 ers passed an ordinance prohibiting any man walking or riding on the streets of Taylor to be in the company of “any commonly reputed prostitute or lewd woman.” Killjoys. An 1894 ordinance closed all saloons on Sundays and regulated their weekday hours. No baseball was allowed to be played on what is now Heritage Square effective 1897. And, in March of 1898, the council instructed the mayor to tell the officers of Taylor National Bank to put shades on the windows of their building that still stands at the northeast corner of Second and Main. It makes one curious as to what was going on within those walls that made the city leaders want to shield passersby from it.
In 1912, an effort to keep things classy in Taylor resulted in the prohibition of spitting or coughing up phlegm on “sidewalks, floors, stairs, halls, walls, or furniture in any public place.” All that is to say that there is nothing new under the sun. Whether it’s 1880 or 2018, City Hall is gonna City Hall. But I’m with you. Keep hope alive. Fight the power. Stick it to the Man. As an aside, intern Slayden wishes to acknowledge the efforts of erstwhile Taylor City Clerk A. M. Ahlgreen, who pored through “musty files and old records in the vault beneath the City Hall” and documented his more curious findings in a piece for the Taylor Daily Press in 1958, from which the Dabbling Duck has shamelessly stolen.
Disclaimer: Dabbling ducks is the group of ducks within the Anatinae subfamily to which mallards belong. The ducks that populate Taylor’s parks are, by and large, mallards.
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salonjtaylor.com 205 N. Main St. Taylor, TX 76574 Jill Eschberger Felipe Mena Braegon Behrens Jessica Kimberlin Gretchen Robles Jennifer Walton Jamie Brymer Farah Alameddine Roger Kole McCoy Ashtyn Simank
Fall 2018 33
The Dabbling Duck Painting the Town and Fighting the Power
I’ve been reading with great interest recent stories related to downtown Taylor and whether people can or can’t drink on the sidewalks or whether people can or can’t paint whatever they want on the side of a building. Why doesn’t government just stay out of people’s business? After all, doesn’t our city council have something better to do—like fixing streets or finishing the skate park? Sincerely, Anarchy on Annie
Dear Anarchy: I’m with you. If the Dabbling Duck had his druthers, he’d be halfway through a growler of Blacklands Porter from the Texas Beer Company as he adorned the alley-side wall of the Western Finance building with his larger than life masterpiece—Self-Portrait as Reclining Nude. But “the Man”—as “the Man” is wont to do—keeps his foot firmly on the throat of free spirits like you and the Dabbling
Duck. When he isn’t telling us where we can’t drink and where we can’t paint, the Man is telling us we can’t relieve ourselves behind a tree at the Rotary Field and how we have to stay 200 yards away from our ex-wives. The Dabbling Duck’s natural inclination is to assume that such oppressiveness and general jackbooted thuggery is, and has been, the norm around here. Making assumptions is great, because it saves you a lot of time and effort. But an intern can’t snap chats and gram instas all summer, so the Dabbling Duck figured it was time for Slayden to earn those three credit hours from Rutersville College. Thanks to Slayden and that celebrated millennial work ethic, the Dabbling Duck now has confirmation that the current administration of Taylor city leaders is not the first to shove unreasonable edicts down the throats of the citizenry. As a matter of fact, getting all up in people’s business has been the Taylor Way since the get-go. In 1890, the council made illegal “the publishing of indecent literature.” No word on whether this publication would pass muster.
continued on page 33
akes Who m oney m all the cling? y c on re
Are we ever gonna get our STREETS FIXED?
ne Anyo ? h iring
Why is my water bill so high?
Did we REALLY sp end $20 million on a football field ?
Is there live mus ic anywhere Frida y night?
You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers. Is Dr. Graef open today?
Well, maybe not that one. Reading your award-winning community newspaper will make you smart. When you read the paper, you have the opportunity to learn about Taylor schools and property taxes, street repair plans and about the latest police activity as well as local businesses, companies looking for employees and houses for rent. Your subscription gives you access to our website where we’ve archived
more than 100,000 articles, photographs and videos dating back to 2002 so you can explore the history behind issues like how our downtown master plan was developed, school bond elections and stories about delightful local characters. Along the way, your subscription helps our work to hold elected officials accountable and to support local non-profit civic and charitable groups. There’s nowhere else you can find the answers to some of Taylor’s most vexing questions and there’s no better time to become a new subscriber. ! WOW wspaper ne e h t g mart! Readinmake you s CAN
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• Graduation rates consistently surpass regional and state averages. • High-performing Early College High School also recognized by College Board for high SAT scores. • State-ranked Academic Decathlon TAYLOR INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT 3101 N. Main St., Taylor, TX 76574 www.taylorisd.org Phone: (512) 365-1391 Fax: (512) 365-3800
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Lifestyle magazine that explores the arts, culture, and history of Taylor, Texas. Published quarterly by the Taylor Press and mailed to ever...
Published on Aug 9, 2018
Lifestyle magazine that explores the arts, culture, and history of Taylor, Texas. Published quarterly by the Taylor Press and mailed to ever...