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Spring 2015

Saturday May 23rd


A Reenactment Guild of America National Sanctioned COMPETITION April 11th & 12th ~ FREE ADMISSION!!!

Publisher/Designer: Karyn Lyn Publisher/Editor: Greg Forest

Design & Layout: Lonesome Dove Design Studio Columnists& Contributing Writers: Karyn Lyn, Greg Forest, Kathleen Hudson, Joe Herring, Phil Houseal, Jil Utterback, Steve Stainkamp, Gary Lockte, Claire Duboise, Mary Schenk, Genie Strickland, Betty Sharp, & Jack Armstrong. Proof Readers: Claire Debois, Jil Utterback, Scotty Kauffman Web & Application Programming: Sales: Adrian Woodard, Karyn Lyn, Greg Forest, Tony Griffith

New This Month - The Menu Board

Karyn Lyn has cooked up a new set of pages to show you options in your Hill Country dining experience. With so many choices to pick from, we are bringing you the best of the bunch and brunch. Page 20

Texas Hill Country Biker Destinations

Our region is incredibly popular with motorcycle riders of all stripes. With more biking routes than you can shake a cam shaft at, where do you think they stop for a cold one and a bite to eat? Fire up your choppers and chompers and take a bite out of our new section. Page 44

Ace Reid’s “Cowpokes” Rides Again

Ace Reid was one of the Texas Hill Country’s most beloved humorists and his cartoon, “Cowpokes” became a national rage - being syndicated nationwide in newspapers and periodicals. Madge Reid has been kind enough to let Ace saddle up again and share some of his great humor with the Heart Beat... Page 53 The Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country is published quarterly by Heart Beat Publishing PO Box 1204, Bandera, Texas 78003. Opinions expressed in articles may not be those of the publisher and editor of the The Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country, its advertisers, writers or contributors. All content is copyrighted by The Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country and may not be reprinted without the express written consent of the publisher. The Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country is not liable for editorial content, typographical errors and any statements or claims by advertisers or columnists. Subscriptions are $20 per year payable to The Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country at the above address. Editorial and advertising submissions must be received by the 10th of the month before publication. All ad dimensions, prices and specifications may be found at our website,


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Suzanne Freeman & National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month and we are showcasing Hill Country poet Suzanne Freeman, winner of the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize for her novella, Omnibo, and who has been published in numerous national literary journals. Page 56

Joe Herring The Original Long Haul Texas Truckers

“The old-time freighter braved all kinds of weather and other obstacles, but he overcame them all. He was a picturesque character who served his day and generation well.”

Phil Houseal The Legacy of Frank Jr.

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The Hill Country is known for its pioneers but few know of the early Texan musical trailblazers. Phil Houseal shares the story of Fredericksburg’s Frank Valentine Van der Stucken. Page 18

TAKING ART TO HEART Jerolyn & Roger Colombik

In an artist collaboration spanning two decades, Jerolyn & Roger Columbik have balanced separate art careers while working together on projects spanning the globe from Eastern Europe to South America. Creating in a mix of media ranging from sculpture to painting, this Wimberley couple is bringing art not just to the Hill Country but to the world as well. Page 64

Kathleen Hudson Women in Texas Music - Kimmie Rhodes

Kimmie Rhodes is a true Texas treasure. Her crystal clear, sweet voice has gained her an audience that spans two continents and has garnered her thousands of fans and the envy of many Texas singers. Kathleen shares the story of this remarkable performer and a look at what the future brings. Page 7

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Kimmie Rhodes My own project now, supported by a sabbatical from Schreiner University, has also given me the opportunity to see Kimmie Rhodes, a woman who was an interview in my first oral history, Telling Stories, Singing Songs: An Album of Texas Music, UT Press, 2001. The oral history now is Hispanic heritage in Texas music, and as I was sitting at Carnitas Uruapan on Sunday afternoon, February 1, in walked Kimmie and Deb Fleming. Seems they are also working on some history, dance halls in Texas and the stories around them. All of us were there to hear Santiago Jimenez, Jr. at his weekly Sunday gig. I will be returning too! The scene became hilarious as we documented each other documenting the music. I watched Kimmie show Santiago a Bajo Sexto that belonged to her late husband and producer, Joe Gracey. Then I watched Deb as she shared her many stories of this place. Seems she brought Marcia Ball down to a visit once. She is the manager for Marcia Ball, a woman who is in both my books on Texas music. A bridge between the oral history on songwriters and the oral history on women. The threads kept connecting as the afternoon wore one; we ended up with a tapestry of connections that contained a theme. Document the stories and songs! Kimmie Rhodes, hailing from that Lubbock space that produced Butch, Jimmie, Joe, and many more, is a force of nature. My first interview with her took place in Central Market in Austin in the mid-nineties. Her comments then support the path she is on now. Then we talked of her career in Europe, her interest in the heart and soul of music, her passion for the songs. Now she is heading back to Europe and has a new CD release on March 9. She and Deb were traveling and visiting Texas dance halls. They are exploring the roots of Americana music in the various ethnic groups that play in Texas. Deb told me some interesting things about Polish music.

“They did not record it, so it is not available like the conjunto.” Her family history is Polish so she has a special interest. The duo caused a flurry of activity in Carnitas Uruapan as Chumbe Salinas was also there, sporting her official THMF t-shirt and documenting with her video camera. Her film of Kimmie singing “Volver, Volver” with Santiago is already up on Chumbe’s youtube channel. Check it out. Here are some things Kimmie said to me during our first interview so many years ago, things that stand today: “Artists record the human experience, just how it feels to be a human being in your own time. It’s a way other people can see the world through your eyes. I think human beings feel compelled to put that experience down. They may not even know why, but the end result is that people come along later. They’re able to learn from it and relate to it. It also ends up being the only record of what went on a lot of times.” She is speaking to my Lomax gene, for sure! I was also thrilled to find that January 31st was the birthday of Alan Lomax, son of John Lomax who collected cowboy songs. I was at the Pan Am Plaza listening to Los Texmaniacs that night doing more research! Yes, the end of January and the beginning of February put me right in the middle of my own research. Check out for all the updates, photos, and current tour schedule that includes Ireland and England. We started out talking about her appeal in Europe back in the mid-nineties, and we talked again about that in 2015. Yes, her hair is now stunning white to frame her very young face. The passion that was shining in her eyes as she showed the Bajo Sexto to Santiago warmed up the room. And her joy at singing with Santiago was contagious. I remember playing her duet with Willie Nelson over and over in my house as I wrote the first book. Yes, Willie is still part of our lives too, at 81. Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Join our growing sales team! Great commissions! Give us a call today. Karyn (210) 316-2986 | Greg (830) 792-5737


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


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Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Wimberley Update

Theatre Series, followed by The Frog Prince in April. The Wimberley Players will take on by Sherri Cline more adult fare, staging the thriller Wait Until Dark in March. The troupe will lighten things Wimberley’s natural beauty abounds up in April, when they bring the classic Texas year round, but in springtime the quaint comedy Greater Tuna to the stage. community’s unique location takes the spotlight. Fields of bluebonnets, frolicking April will also see two of the Wimberley Valley’s fawns and burbling creeks inspire artists, most popular events on the same weekend. nature lovers and armchair naturalists alike. ArtsFest, organized by the Wimberley Valley Art League, brings together world-class artists Mother Nature’s generosity will be particularly and artisans at the beautiful natural venue of apparent this year, when mild temperatures Blue Hole Regional Park for April 18 and 19. and gentle rains have combined to showcase On April 18, Butterfly Day at the EmilyAnn an epic season of wildflowers. Texas’s state Theatre and Gardens will combine the wonder flower will take center stage, but waiting in of nature’s most dramatic transformation the wings will be Mexican hats, brown-eyed with the artistic creations of students from Susans and Indian paintbrushes. throughout Texas. Shuttle service will unite the two events as well as a barbecue cook-off Wildflowers and natural beauty won’t be on the town square. the only thing on display in Wimberley this spring. The community is renowned as an art Music can be found throughout Wimberley’s destination and that reputation will be well many venues on weekends and weeknights. deserved as winter becomes summer in the Live music fans won’t want to miss Susanna’s charming hill country community. Kitchen, which brings Austin-caliber performers to the Wimberley United Art, antiques and crafts abound at Wimberley’s Methodist Church on the third Thursday Market Days, one of the largest outdoor evening of the month; concerts in the park at markets in the state of Texas. Hundreds of Blue Hole Regional Park every Friday evening booths showcase a cornucopia of treasures in April; the world-class Blue Rock Studio on the first Saturday of the month, with the Concert Series and performances at Cypress Wimberley Lions organizing this shoppers’ Creek Café, Linda’s Fine Foods and Ino’z. paradise. Performing and visual arts have long been a Wimberley raison d’être, and this spring brings that vividly to mind. The EmilyAnn Theatre and Gardens will bring Sleeping Beauty to the stage in March as part of its annual Children’s


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take things for granted. Take, for example, grocery stores full of groceries, clothes stores with racks and racks of clothes, hardware stores busting with nuts and bolts. Consider the problem of filling those shelves if your only way to transport goods to a store involved a wagon and mules or oxen. Such was the case in the 1850s when many hill country communities had their beginnings. “It was a real accomplishment for a freighter to haul a load of several thousand pounds on two or three wagons trailing one behind the other for a distance of a hundred miles or more,” writes Bob Bennett in his excellent history of our county. “During rainy seasons it was a real problem to keep Junction, Rocksprings and other towns supplied with the necessities of life. These inland communities often ran short of flour and other staple food items because the freight caravan was marooned somewhere on a muddy road en route from Kerrville.”

pre-railroad era. He started in the days of freighting from San Antonio and continued westward when the railway terminus reached Kerrville. Old timers said Pope could hitch a team of several horses by the time others less versed in the vocation could hitch two horses. “Bells were often used on the lead horses in the teams and the wheel horse – the one that knew his business – helped to hold back the heavy load on steep downgrades. The team, or the gentle animals in the team, were hobbled out to graze on the countryside at night. “The old-time freighter braved all kinds of weather and other obstacles, but he overcame them all. He was a picturesque character who served his day and generation well.”

Kerrville, because it was connected to markets by a railroad in 1887, became the supplier of most of the outlying towns nearby, a role it continues to play even now that the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad is gone. When the interstate highway came through town in the 1970s it helped our community retain this niche. Before the railroad came to Kerrville, freighters hauled goods to Kerrville from San Antonio and even to “old Indianola” on the Texas coast. Again, from Bennett: “In the early days the wagons were pulled by ox teams, often several yokes to the wagon. Later mules and horses supplanted the plodding oxen. Teams of horses and mules ranged from two to twelve. That was before the day of highways and it required expert teamsters to handle a team over the rough and steep hill roads. “L. F. Pope was a colorful teamster of the

Joe Herring has a reputation as, “Kerrville’s Historian.” Joe has been collecting historical anecdotes and images for years and has been sharing them with the Hill Country community. If you want to see the evolution of Kerrville and the surrounding area as a rail head for sheep and cattle ranching to the modern town it is today, Joe is your go-to man. Join us each issue as Joe brings Texas history to Heart Beat’s pages.

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Telling the story of the Grassy Hill

Kerrville New Folk from the viewpoint of its beginning and the paths it and the artists who are a part of it have taken, is an ongoing process for a long time to come. But as with anything that has longevity, the story must certainly include the continued new history being made. I referred to the 2014 Award Winners tour in the last issue. I would now like to challenge our readers that are songwriters to enter your songs this year, 2015, and become a part of the history. There are so many different opportunities to do that. Here’s one now! SONGWRITERS!!!! If you are planning to enter the 2015 GRASSY HILL KERRVILLE NEW FOLK COMPETITION, have we got a cool deal for you! New Folk and the Music Camp for Teens are two of our most beloved events. So for everyone that enters New Folk before February 13 a donation will be made to the fund to sponsor kids to come to camp. What a great Valentine’s Day gift to a teen that is interested in music. All you have to do is send in your songs and they get help to come to camp. Perfect, right? So get your entry in by mail, email or Sonicbids and be a supporter of a wonderful opportunity for our young humans!!!!! And feel great about having that one more thing done and off of your plate. And hold the thought for yourself that you will be playing your songs at Kerrville this year. Here’s a little info about Camp for those that are not aware. We began the Music Camp for Teens in 2006 as a collaboration of The Kerrville Folk Festival Foundation and Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Texas. We typically have 60 - 80 in attendance. Some of them already play an instrument or even write songs and poetry; truly a lot more now, especially the ones that have attended Camp more than once, but it is not a requirement. The mission is to create understanding in young 14

people about the way that music affects us in our daily lives. Even if a music career isn’t a goal just being around music and feeling the healing powers it can have has been life changing for not only the kids but the coordinators and faculty too. This year Steve Seskin, Tom Prasada-Rao, Annie Wenz, Roy Wooten, Jena Kirkpatrick, Frank Meyer and Bill Oliver are the lucky artists that will be the Teaching Faculty. Join in to be a part of two really life changing experiences! And now to tell some more stories of past participants. If you go to the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk page newfolk.htm and scroll down a bit right above the listings for 2013 you will see

History of the New Folk Competition

Kerrville New Folk Archives courtesy of If you click on this link, there is not just the Award Winners of New Folk but a complete list of the names of ALL of the songwriters that came to the Festival to play and sing the two songs that they submitted. These pages were put together with loving dedication by Doug Coppock to whom we owe our deep gratitude. I have looked at them countless times. And still a recent discovery is an account of a participant named Gordon. I am taking this story directly from the archived pages. It is from the very beginning………… I’m  Gordon Henry Barth I played Kerrville in 1973 as a new folk artist.  I was reminiscing about those days and decided to google things and came up with your web site.  I was nineteen at the time and was going to Texas Tech.  Allen Damron was playing tunes at a place in

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Lubbock called The Brookshire Inn where I earned money for school. He sat me down in the apartment where he was staying and made a tape of me and sent it in for the New Folk entry. Back then, it was pretty rusty. I remember playing on the grounds of the Schreiner Institute.  Bill and Bonnie were front row.  It was pretty relaxed at that time and if I knew that Kerrville would turn into something BIG...I might have put in a little effort into the deal.  It was pretty informal and relaxed back then.  If I remember correctly, they didn’t have “winners or losers”.  The deal was that if there was a good artist, he or she would get to play at the concert at the auditorium that night. I went to the first festival in 1972 at the auditorium and was wowed by the excitement of the deal.  My cousin wanted to go to the States arts and craft fair at the Schreiner and when we went, there was advertisement for the music festival so we decided to go.  What magic! Today, I get to play tunes at places around the South Texas area.  I’ve become friends with Jack Motley and his Sister, Mary Martha.....they are some Kerrville die hards.  I get to play with Jack at times when he invites me to sit in. (Ed. note: Jack is host at Camp On This and a dear friend of mine as is Mary Martha - Camp on This is what I consider my home at KFF) Most of my time is spent being a Family Practice Physician in the town where I was born....Yorktown, Texas. I went to Medical School in the Dallas Fort Worth region and turned into a dedicated Doctor instead of a musician. I decided music was not my first true love.....but it still remains my second.  I love Jack’s zeal for keeping the spirit burning and cherish the times I get to sit in with him. This is a little story about the days back in 1972-1974.  I never was a STAR but was invited to play at the cabins north of Kerrville where the top artists were staying and was known as a backup player for Bill and Bonnie, Allen Damron, Jerry Jeff, Bobby Bridges and Townes (he was pretty drunk back then). Those days were the original campfires.  I was staying in a tent with friends at the state park back then and I remember EVERYONE stayed up all night playing tunes.  This was before

they moved the festival to the ranch. Music was played 24 hours a day. I can’t remember the name of the cabins where everyone was staying but it was up the road on the Guadalupe. I wish I could have remembered more but to me it was just playing and jam sessions and there was a “Woodstock” feeling of peace and love at that time. A time of magic. This is a semi accurate account of what I remember.   Side note.  B.W. Stevenson came to Lubbock about that time and Allen sent me back stage to talk to him to tell him to come to the Brookshire Inn (now known as Gardski’s Loft)  B.W. was staying in the Holiday Inn in Lubbock, so we went to pick him up to take him to the Brookshire to meet with Allen.  He was pretty drunk at the time and he came with us.  He had opened for the Doobie Brothers back then.  Michael Raphael told us not to “abuse BW” and he was laying in the 2 double beds that the four member group was staying.  B.W. spent about an hour and a half entertaining us with an audience of about 30 people.  We went back to Allen’s apartment to play some tunes but B W drank about a liter of  Wellers bourbon and passed out in the bathtub.  We stayed up till about dawn and I never knew what happened to B. W.   ...... pretty exciting times for a 20 year old going to Texas Tech and getting to play with some of these guys. Just thought I would send my memories of some events in those early days of the Festival. It’s my story of those days and it really was a Texas Magic back then.  Sorry to see Allen D. pass away, he was always so good to me. Dr. Gordon Barth Yorktown, Texas (Ed. Note: Thanks Gordon! from all of us who wish we coulda been there!!!) I am delighted to share these stories of New Folk experiences from the artists viewpoints, and in the process discover some new ones myself. Thanks to the Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country for the space and to you for reading!

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Jay Boy Adams Rockin’ Heart Records Produced by Jay Boy Adams & Monty Byrom Review by Greg Forest Guitar pickers seem to be under every tree in Texas but few have come out of the shade and into the sunlight of national attention. Jay Boy Adams is one such guitarist and singersongwriter. In a career spanning decades, Jay has picked and grinned with some of the best and this new CD on Rockin’ Heart Records is no exception. Co-produced with another guitar monster Monty Byrom and featuring an A-Team of players, this 12-song release has Jay’s signature country/blues style that has brought him so far. Jay wrote or co-wrote nine of the songs - from the opening track, “Judgement Day,” a reflection on hand that we are all dealt in life to a self appraisaing look in the mirror with the heart felt ballad “Road to Good Intentions.” There is also a great cover of Robbie Robertson’s “The Weight.” If you’re looking for the essence of Texas music, look no further . You can check out this CD and others in Jay’s catalog at his web site -

“Touché” (Songs from Before) Beth Williams Willow Creek Records Produced by Beth Williams Review by Greg Forest

Many Hill Country music fans remember Beth Williams as a favorite singer/songwriter during the last three decades. Beth recently left Texas to set up shop in Colorado and is still churning out great music and songs. Although she has scaled back her touring schedule, she is still hard at work writing and recording in her own Pro Tools studio. “Touché” is her most recent effort released in January 2015. “Touché” features ten songs and two bonus tracks penned by Beth and is a walk down songwriting Memory Lane. The songs were recorded in 2014 but written between 1978-1994, except for one of the bonus tracks. The songs vary from ballads such as, “The Last One To Know” - a tribute to the cowboy life to the snappy opening track, “Cut Run Don’t Freeze.” You can hear Williams evolving as a writer as you journey down the sonic pathway. “Kickin’ Up Dust” is my favorite cut on the CD, a tribute to cowboy/western swing in the Bob Wills style and she throws in a few of her trademark yodels. Beth has also thrown in two bonus tracks to sweeten the package, “You Have My Heart” which was written in 2014 and an endearing salute to man (and women’s) best friend with “I Like Dogs.” The album, along with the rest of Beth’s CD catalog, is available at her web site Drop by, put your feet up on the porch and hear some of the best of Texas. 16

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Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Frank Valentine Van der Stucken.

Frank, Jr. Though you have passed by his birthplace many times, here’s a story you probably don’t know about a Fredericksburg resident. When Frank was born in 1858 in the small Texas town not far from the western frontier, his family could not have imagined the path he would follow. Frank’s father trod a similar uncharted path when he arrived in Texas from Antwerp, Belgium, only six years earlier. Like many who feel the mystic pull of the Lone Star, Frank and his brother decided to move to the picturesque little town of Fredericksburg. Once in the Hill Country, they quickly started a business and found young brides. 18

Four years later, Frank’s son arrived, the first of five children. Names being scarce in the old west, he named him Frank. With the onset of the Civil War, Frank Sr. left his growing family to serve as a captain in the First Texas Cavalry. Returning to Fredericksburg, Frank was elected chief justice of Gillespie County. For some undocumented reason, Frank Sr. decided to return with his family to his native Belgium. While there, their 8-year-old boy began studying violin. It became obvious that Frank Jr. was a musical prodigy. His family paired him with a leading violin instructor, along with starting him on studies of music theory and composition. Frank began fulfilling his destiny, completing two major works by age 16. Soon he attracted attention from other leading European composers, and struck up friendships with contemporaries Edvard Grieg, Giuselppe Verdi, and Franz Liszt. While building his reputation and resume across Europe, Frank never forgot his American roots. At age 26, at the urging of mentor Max Bruch, Frank returned to America, where he directed a prestigious New York male chorus. He quickly became a sought-after conductor, teacher, and composer. With his unique upbringing, Frank found himself serving the dissonant roles of promoting American composers, while introducing Flemish music to American audiences. His reputation grew to the extent he was noticed in the White House. Nellie, wife of President Taft, was forming the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and decided she would recruit this new young superstar to lead it. Frank demurred, not impressed with the location or the salary. Nellie pressed the issue, exerted her charm (and also raised his salary and added the position of Dean of the Cincinnati College of Music), and Frank gave in. He spent the next part of his career moving between Cincinnati, New York, and Eu-

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rope, scoring such notable feats as bringing Richard Strauss to guest conduct original pieces, and introducing the works of Mahler to American audiences. For the rest of his life, Frank continued to create piano music, choir works, songs, and orchestral arrangements. His most famous piece is Pax Triumphans. Frank Valentine Van der Stucken died in 1929, and is buried in Germany. But his legacy continues in Fredericksburg.

He was known as Frank, Jr., in Fredericksburg, but grew up to be international composer Frank Valentine Van der Stucken. In 1991 the Friends of Van der Stucken, led by Kenn Knopp, started an annual festival that bears his name, to keep alive the story and music of Fredericksburg’s native composer.

Soprano Brynn Bowyer will be one of the performers honoring Fredericksburg composer Frank van der Stucken this March. Photo by Phil Houseal sition contest winner. Admission is free and there will be cake. If you can’t make it, at least remember to hum Ein Kleiner Walzer the next time you drive by Van der Stucken’s birthplace among the bakeries and bookstores in the 100 block of East Main. Details: Fredericksburg Community Orchestras (FCO) and Friends of Van der Stucken will present the Van der Stucken Festival on Saturday, March 21, 2015 7:30 p.m., at the Hill Country Evangelical Free Church, 107 E. Lower Crabapple Rd., Fredericksburg, TX. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the performances. Information is at Phil is a musician, writer, and educator, and owner of Full House Productions, a public relations firm that tells the story of your business or organization. Call 830-456-6849.

The next Van der Stucken Festival will be held Saturday, March 21, 2015 7:30 p.m., at the Hill Country Evangelical Free Church, 107 E. Lower Crabapple Rd., Fredericksburg, TX. Hosted by the Fredericksburg Community Orchestras, the program features another Fredericksburg native, Soprano Brynn Bowyer, Van der Stucken scholar Dr. Larry Wolz, the Arion Maennerchor and Mixed Choir performing under the direction of Mark Hierholzer, another Fredericksburg composer, and the Van der Stucken compo

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Soda Pops Paao Bar & Grill, Boerne Tx Their retro 50s place is located in Boerne's charming Historic District, directly across from Main Plaza. Look for the dice! Enjoy their Burgers made with always-fresh Angus Beef...every burger, every time, and crafted with the juiciest ingredients! Try their signature Magnum Burger! Check out the Sugar Shack too, a retro Ice Cream Parlor and Soda Shop! (830) 331-8799, 103 North Main Street, Boerne, TX 78006,

Backyard Bisso, Pipe Creek, Tx

The Backyard Bistro and Chef Aaron's "Farm to Table Fare" proudly serves their dishes using only the finest fresh ingredients available, including organic eggs from their own chickens and herbs from their very own garden, picked daily for your culinary delight. Available for parties, catering & wine tastings. Live Music Friday & Saturdays. 167 Panther Ridge, Pipe Creek, Texas 78063, Hwy 16 South (Behind Country Accents Antiques) (830) 535-4094

Bricks River Cafe, Bandera, Tx

Located on the beautiful Medina River, their full service restaurant features Appetizers, Sandwiches, Soups, Burgers & Steaks. In addition are Brick's Specialties - a collection of delicious entrees featuring chicken,seafood and pasta dishes you won't want to miss. Their catering service is also available for special events & weddings. 830-796-9900 1205 Main St., Bandera, TX 78003 www

Sids Main SSeet BBQ, Bandera, Tx

Voted Best BBQ in Bandera for the last 5 years! Sid’s location is an old service station offering a relaxed atmosphere with picnic tables outside. All the meat is smoked and cooked with oak and hickory and all the sides are made from scratch! They also have a successful catering business with a catering trailer ready for your large events. 830-796-4227 702 Main St. Bandera, TX

For a small town like Castroville Tx, this is worth the drive! Nestled behind the main drag is a historic home-turned-cafe. They offer their trademark sandwiches such as “The Landmark,” “The Alsatian,” and the Schnitzel sandwich! They also have a variety of daily homemade soups...the best Butternut Squash and tomato basil is the best! 309 Lafayette St, Castroville, TX (830) 538-2400

The Patio cafĂŠ was listed among the Top 40 best Small Town Restaurants in Texas by Texas Monthly Magazine. Try their Spicy Pepper Jack Burgers or homemade Chicken Salad. Choose from one of their award winning desserts: apple pie, apple cake, cookies, strudel, turnovers, muffins & famous Apple Ice Cream. 830-589-2202 14024 State Hwy 16 North Medina, TX 78055,

Camp Verde General Stte, Camp Verde Tx For more than 150 years, Camp Verde General Store has occupied this little piece of Texas. Give yourself a moment to indulge in the rich history of this timeless gem. Come have a one-of-a-kind sandwich from our enticing lunch menu and try our wide variety of savory jams, jellies and sauces. Restaurant hours: Mon-Sun 11am - 3pm 285 Camp Verde Road East Camp Verde, Texas 78010

Tucan Jims, Centerpoint, Tx Toucan Jim's is an island experience in the Texas Hill Country! Enter their stress-free zone and spend an hour or a day enjoying the palapas, plants, music, food and fun! It's always 5 o'clock at Toucan's. One of their island entrees to try are the popular fish tacos! 5814 TX-27, Center Point, TX (830) 634-2640

1011 Bisso, Kerrville, Tx

Built right on the banks of the Guadalupe River, 1011 Bistro offers the most spectacular view in Kerrville. You will find something in their menu for a special occasion or family gathering, or just kick back with a bottle of wine on their open terrace. Their menu features some French & American specialties, as well as some Italian classics, with a touch of Texas! (830) 895-1169 1011 Guadalupe, Kerrville, TX

There’s a vibrant theater community in the Texas Hill Country — and the spring season is full of great shows. THE POINT THEATRE 120 POINT THEATRE RD, INGRAM (830) 367-5121 |

PLAYHOUSE 2000 910 Main Street, Kerrville (830) 896-9393 |

PROOF - STARTS APRIL 10th by David Auburn In this Pulitzer Prize and “Tony” Awardwinning drama, the brilliant playwright explores the academic gender-based double-standard, but even more, questions about family ties and the fine line between genius and insanity. FREDERICKSBURG THEATER CO. 1668 U.S. 87, Fredericksburg

(830) 997-3588 |

The Point Theatre has a great lineup for the 2015-16 season, including a perennial favorite, “South Pacific. by Rodgers and Hammerstein The theater is located on the grounds of the Hill Country Arts Foundation, 120 Point Theatre Road, in Ingram. (830) 3675121.

STARTS APRIL 10th The Fredericksburg Theater Company, renowned for its quality productions in its 250-seat Steve W. Shepherd Theater, presents “Crimes of the Heart.” by Beth Henley is a Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle award-winning play.


       his winter was a cold, snowy, icy mess for much of the country. “Climate change,” say many. “Cyclical events,” say others. I’m opting out of the debate here, but I will say there were winters of my youth in Wisconsin that easily stood up to the highly publicized “Snowmageddon” in the North East.         We didn’t obsess over it. It was just life when life was a bit slower. Mothers bundled us up like the kid in A Christmas Story and shoved us out the door where we made snow tunnels, snow houses, snow forts and had snowball fights if the snow was just right. When we could find the ground we made angels in the snow. I don’t remember making snowmen, but perhaps we tried and gave it up for the more immediate pleasure of smacking each other with hard packed snowballs and the horrific, but eminently satisfying, washing of someone’s face with snow.        And oh, the exquisite taste of fresh fallen snow . . . Yes, yes, we all know the cautions of staying away from the yellow stuff, but we weren’t idiots and there was plenty of pure white, crisp on the tongue, melt in your mouth snow for one and all. In Vermont they make snow candy by pouring real maple syrup on real snow and I’ll bet that is just amazingly good. Crunchy, candied snow. Yum! The plain stuff is mighty fine, too, as my 2 yr old great niece discovered this past winter in Brooklyn.       We had the peaceful joy of waking up and knowing, without looking, there was a blizzard enveloping the city. You know how we knew? A deafening silence. It was as if our world had been wrapped in cotton batting, damping down all sound - except the sound of silence, of snow. I wonder if Paul Simon woke to the sound of the silence of a blizzard? It’s profound. 26

            There was the delicious contentment of a snow day from school. We savored them because we had precious few. The principal of our Lutheran grade school, a three story building with his office on the third floor, often said, “When the snow is up to the windowsill of my office, I’ll consider a snow day.” The same was true of Milwaukee Lutheran High School until the memorable day they did not call off school until too late in the day. Most of the student body had to spend the night, which was great fun for the students, not so much for the faculty. The next time we got a big dump of snow (our term for a blizzard) they let us out plenty early before the roads became impassable.

      In Wisconsin they’re pretty darn good at snow removal, but once in a while the plows have a hard time keeping up with it, or plow people in. It doesn’t happen often, but even I, who learned from an early age that snow was not an excuse to miss much of anything, was mortified the Sunday my father led the family, on foot, the four or five blocks to our church when the snow drifts were too high to drive, to find the pastor scowling at the doorway. He looked at my dad, shook his head and said, “Morning, Hal. I only came over here in case

continued page 28 . . .

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


A TOWN OF CHARACTER & CHARACTERS In Bandera we have many monthly events that you just can’t miss. Of Course the first Tuesday of each month we get a kick start with the Cowboy Capital Opry. Got to go, at least once. We have Bingo every Tuesday night at the Lakehills American Legion Post 410 and on Wednesday nights at the Bandera American Legion Post 410 or Friday night Bingo at the Pipe Creek Volunteer Fire Department. On the first Friday night of each month is a great Classic Car Show that gathers at Fat Boyz Sandwich Shop or you can eat your fill of fried fish at the Knights of Columbus Fish Fry at St. Joseph’s Hall. Every Saturday, for great family entertainment, visit the Cowboys on Main program hosted by the Bandera Business Association featuring chuck wagons, horses, strolling singers and the gunfights at Heritage Plaza presented by the Bandera Cattle Company. On the first Saturday of each month you can purchase some great books at the Bandera Library or the Lakehills Library starting at 10 am. Then at 1:00 pm, visit the Frontier Times Museum for the Cowboy Camp. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy some traditional cowboy music. Better yet, bring your guitar and join in! Most bring their own refreshments too. Don’t miss it! Bandera has some awesome events planned for the spring. Well, all our events are awesome, but they are not without a unique spin! You just have to witness the Kronkowsky Library of Bandera County’s 13th Annual WILD HOG EXPLOSION! I did say unique but did I mention Wild? Scheduled for Saturday March 14th, at Mansfield Park, this is a wild Hog catch and the squeals and spills are a hoot! Starts with kids 4 to 5 years old and moves on up to the adults. Of course the hogs start small too and get bigger as you go!. Check out the All bike Rally, LSBBQ Cook-off, Bacon Bingo, arts and crafts, well there is a lot more so check it out at www.!.

If catching wild hogs wasn’t enough for you, how about riding one? Biker Rallies of Texas presents Thunder in the Hill’s March 26th thru the 29th. Held at Bandera’s Mansfield Park it includes tent camping, poker run, vendors, food, field events, live bands and special entertainment. Friday and Saturday, a bike show, tattoo contest, a Sunday morning church service, a well you just gotta go. 18 OR OVER NO EXCEPTIONS. Things change in April and the month’s events are kicked off by Bandera Market Days around the Court House. Scheduled the first Saturday in April thru November. Arts and Crafts featuring some of the best in the Hill Country. Free and open from 9 to 4pm. Head to the Medina River as the Bandera Business Association presents Mayhem on the Medina featuring the National competition of the Reenactment Guild of America (RGA). The event is scheduled for April 11th & 12th hat Bandera City Park. The event includes competitions of Living History Campsites, costumes, and gunfights. Competitors from across the nation! Vendors, live Music, wagon rides and more! Step into the past and experience Mayhem on the Medina! Games from the 1800’s, exhibits and food. Check it out at Well, you can’t come to Bandera and not see horses or a horse event. April 17th thru 19th TETRA/HC-SNAP will host their annual Spring Benefit Trail Ride. Join the Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Association and the Hill Country State Natural Area Partners for their annual spring benefit trail ride at the Hill Country State Natural Area. Registration Friday May 2nd kicks off the month with the 15th Annual Medina River Cleanup. Registration is from 9-noon at Bandera City Park. Join the fun and help keep our Medina river to stay the cleanest, clearest river in Texas!

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Bandera Characters continued from previous page

So Long Winter - Hello Spring! continued from page 26

BBQ and music too! Call Bob Brischetto at some fool tried to come to church today.” We 210-413-7264 for further information. walked home. Very quietly. No one dared say a word. Wow, and when you get through cleaning There were pluses to blizzards, up the river, join the St. Stanislaus Parish winter and snow, especially for kids. Maybe Festival on Sunday May 3rd at the Church the biggest plus was knowing winter was on Cedar Street. Time: 11 AM - 5 PM BBQ, almost over for another year. Usually a thaw Games, Music, Auction and more. brought temperatures in the 30’s and even Bandera County “Relay For Life” will kick ‘40’s. Almost time for shorts! Then crocuses off on May the 16th at 6:30 PM - 2:00 AM Ban- peeked bright, happy purple and gold heads dera High School track and football field. out of the snow, followed by daffodils and later, All proceeds are used for cancer education, tulips. Easter was on the horizon and if we had transportation to appointments, and other items to help those who are going through snow on Easter (which happened more than treatments. Donations and all teams wel- once) folks just wished one another a “Merry comed. 474 Old San Antonio Hwy Bandera, Christmas” with a wink and a smile.             It’s hard to appreciate Spring if you TX 78003 . haven’t navigated a tough winter. It was cold, One of our most exciting events of the year occasionally icy and we even had a little snow is the Annual Bandera ProRodeo Time: 8:00 here in the Texas Hill Country, enough to PM Annual Memorial Day Weekend. Held Fri - Sun May 22nd – 24th. Performances Friday, celebrate – or grumble over. So, take time to Saturday and Sunday evenings. Mansfield appreciate Spring, when it gets here, because it’s a certainty before you can say “Whew, it’s Park Rodeo Arena – hot out there!” We’ll be fanning ourselves On the same weekend there is plenty to do and complaining about the heat. Happy during the day too. Shop the annual Funtier Springtime! Days Arts & Crafts Show. Shop with over 75 vendors on the Courthouse Square in down(830) 249-2739 town Bandera. Sponsored by the Bandera County Chamber of Commerce. For vendor information call 830-796-4447 or download the application from the Chamber’s website Whew! You cannot be bored in Bandera! Be sure to visit our music venues too! For more information, dates, times, exact locations, visit www.banderacowboycapital. com and click on events. You never know, we may even add a few by the time you check it out! Yee-haw, Y’all!

Fine Art, Jewelry & Watches Gold & Silver Coins Arts & Collectibles

215 West Bandera Road Boerne, TX 78006 28

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Sometimes the only vacation available is an imaginary one. The budget’s low weather’s uncooperative, time off isn’t going to happen. But you can transport yourself with a good book and get away, if only for a while. I don’t know how many writers live in the Hill Country, but there may be as many books set in the Hill Country as there are bluebonnets. That could be an exaggeration. What isn’t an exaggeration is that there are hundreds of choices with Hill Country background: ghost stories, adventures, biographies, autobiographies, histories, true tales or tall tales. I’ve mentioned some of my favorites in previous columns. Hill Country romances are easy to find because they all have “cowboy” in the title. The rugged rancher-veterinarian-songwriter drives his crewcab into town and runs into— sometimes literally—the local beauty. She’s a decorator-pastry chef-dog trainer. Sparks fly. Treachery or misfortune keep them apart until by luck they end up in a muddy corral together, grooming a rescued horse for the upcoming cutting (reining, halter, barrel) competition. You know what’s going to happen next. These lightweight romances are lots of fun, especially with a glass of Texas wine in hand. Although I’ll admit to reading romances, it’s Hill Country mysteries that are my favorite. I love the China Bayles series by Susan Wittig Albert, who lives near Austin. China Bayles lives in nearby fictional Pecan Springs. Disgusted with her career as a lawyer, China leaves Houston for the Hill Country. In between tripping over dead bodies, she grows herbs organically, sells them in her shop, Thyme and Seasons, and opens a tea room with her best buddy, Ruby Wilcox. Each mystery has interesting characters, romance, surprising twists, and occasional commentary on contemporary issues, such as Austin sprawl. Botanical history is intertwined with fantastic recipes featuring

fresh herbs. Characters often end up in real Hill Country restaurants, or ones you wish were real. After reading awhile, you’ll be ready to go out and eat or cook, if you have the energy. Ms. Albert veers southeast of the Hill Country in her latest China Bayles mystery, Widow’s Tears. Read it on a dark and stormy night. Leaving China in charge of their Pecan Spring businesses, Ruby Wilcox drives to Fayette County, stopping at Royers Café in Round Top. She buys a buttermilk pie with chocolate chips, pecans and coconut for her friend, Claire. Who wouldn’t want to try that pie? Ruby hopes the pie will cheer up Claire, who has inherited a dilapidated, haunted Victorian mansion. Is there any other kind of inherited Victorian mansion? Ruby inherited her grandmothers’ psychic ability, so Claire hopes Ruby can communicate with her resident ghost. Widow’s Tears is more than a cozy mystery, however. Intermingled with Claire’s problems is the gripping story of a mother and her children caught in the September 1900 Galveston hurricane. Most Texans know of this horrific event but in Widow’s Tears you’ll live it. You feel fear, hear wind, smell filthy mud. You see gray waters oozing into the house as the mother moves her children upstairs, hoping her husband returns. You’ll take a deep breath when you get to retreat north to Fayette and Travis Counties. I guarantee you’ll feel like you have been away. Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


March 26th, 27th & 28th

Memorial Day

Western Swing Festival May 21st-May 25th

11th Street Cowboy Bar


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


brought new inventions to the average housewife. The microwave oven, used extensively in German POW camps, became available in commercial markets. Modern women, finding it necessary to work to help with household incomes, became tempted with more and more “alleged” kitchen time-savers. Consequently, the pressure cooker became a relic. Today, many families have never used a pressure cooker, having After reading instructions I gathered succumbed to the seductive marketing of ingredients including my “secret” seasoning, modern cooking gadgetry. and added enough water to fill the cooker Preparing food with the pressure cooker half way. Verifying the pressure release nozzle was clear, I secured the lid then set saves time, protects the nutritional quality of most foods, and preserves precious enzymes the heat on “medium” per the instructions. which aid in digestion and assimilation of the Approximately 30 minutes later I turned off food’s natural vitamins and minerals. the heat, allowed the steam vent to collapse, In addition to seeking less toxic, better opened the lid, and to my amazement, discovered multiple servings of terrific quality organic foods, and concentrating on pinto beans; perfectly cooked with great quality nutritional supplementation, many texture and taste. Rice cooks wonderfully in would be well served to learn and perfect the 5 minutes. Pot roast is perfectly prepared in art of pressure cooking. You’ll be rewarded 35 minutes. About every meal you can think with great tasting nutritious meals prepared of may be prepared in minutes, not hours. in a fraction of the time, and save money thru Pressure Cooking is an art you may learn lower consumption of energy. quickly with minimum errors. High quality stainless steel and aluminum The pressure cooker has been around since pressure cookers may be purchased on-line, the 1600’s when introduced by the French and at many retailers. You can find good physicist and mathematician Denis Papin pressure cookers at garage sales for pennies (1647-1712). Over the next 400 years, the on the dollar. When purchasing a used one, design of these cookers greatly improved. be sure to inspect the rubber gasket-seals The first US Patent for the pressure cooker to validate they are soft and pliable and without tears. Replacement seals and owner was granted in 1902. instruction manuals are available from many In 1938 Alfred Vischler patented his “Flex- on-line retailers. Seal Speed Cooker” introducing it at a New York City trade show, proclaiming it the very first pressure saucepan for preparing meals, not just canning. I was craving my “famous” pinto beans. I say “famous” because I’ve cooked them for our Boy Scout fundraiser the past 15 years. People tell me they are the best! Preparing pinto beans can be an 8-hour affair. It was already 7pm and I wanted to eat by 8. Because I previously outlawed the use of microwaves in my home, I thought……. Pressure Cooker!

The “Victory Gardens” of the war-torn 1940’s encouraged Americans to grow their own food and safely preserve them by canning via the pressure cooker. Between wars, prosperity and innovation

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


“Bug-out: A Senior Odyssey…”

and wild game—and pitting my skills against the best Mother Nature has had to throw at me.

Bug out: A plan; skills; physical tools for perMy first civilian job, director-naturalist-develsons to escape impending doom. oper of the 140-acre nature center in Oklahoma Prepper: One who prepares for imminent City, was a 24-7 immersion in the Great Outdoors and wildlife adventurism. I bunked in a danger(s). neat, 100-plus-year-old farm house, and I was Quite by accident, I caught an old doe in a hog actually paid to scour the center’s creeks, pond trap one hot day. By the time I got to her, the doe and wooded grounds for hidden bones and was so exhausted and bloodied that she had col- historical artifacts—buried treasure—as well lapsed in a barely moving heap, her limp tongue as scour the center’s fruit-bearing trees, vines hanging out. That deer was so desperate to free and shrubs for their free and oh-so-delicious herself that she had rammed her head and mulberries, Jerusalem artichokes, pecans, and tawny shoulders into the sturdy hog paneling, blackberries. bloodying herself from snout to tail. No amount of water or cold towels heaped upon her barely Since those idyllic times, between Corporate moving frame could revive that deer. Despite my stints in artificially lit, stuffy office ‘cubes’ as a technical/marketing writer, I have studied and best efforts, in minutes she was gone. written on more advanced backwoods skills. In We’ve all found ourselves in desperate, seemingly the stodgy white-collar world, I was baffled and hopeless situations and more often than not, we saddened by the apparent disinterest my peers have fought such entanglements with the same had for country life, plant and animal identifidesperation as that poor doe. She might have cation—and wilderness skills. I credited such calmed down and waited for someone like me, disinterest to the unfortunate consequences of the ranch manager, to happen along and free our post-industrial modern world. Today I am her. But she did not. She was only an animal. vindicated by a resurgence in prepping—NOT I am reminded of an old adage: When you find the violent kind but the sensible GREEN-friendyourself in a hole quit digging. ly lifestyle practiced by our forefathers. “Failing to Prepare, They Are Preparing to Hollywood fare, the Internet, TV and literature Fail” seem to bear this resurgence out: shades of the TV series, Survivor; the Hunger Games (book I have had an interest in all things Robinson and movie); and countless film and B-grade Crusoe and Swiss Family Robinson since child- survival-themed entertainment. The survivalist hood, especially so since being honorably dis- mindset, indeed the use of such take-charge accharged from the U.S. Army in ‘73. As a boy, tion, is now common. I daydreamed what it might be like to stroll along a distant jungle shoreline, in search An obvious dis-ease has come to permeate our of foraged seafood and adventure—to bliss- world—an underlying premonition that politifully live out my days far from the madding cal, economic, terrorist or natural turmoil could crowd—beneath a thatched roof hut of my be spiraling us out of control…and many seem own making. eager to wrest control of their personal and familial fates by gardening, stockpiling and learnThe Army thrust upon me such dubious life ing survival skills. skills as cold-weather and desert survival training. A student of the late foraging, edible Just a few short years ago, prepping was conand poisonous plants expert, Euell Gibbons, sidered a fantasy of the “tree-hugging” Hippie I have been an unapologetic survivalist prac- fringe. titioner who has long enjoyed harvesting nature’s bounty—edible plants, berries, nuts, fish continued next page . . .

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


. . . Bug Out Today it has gone main stream—if you don’t believe me, Google prepping on the Internet. Advertisers have picked up on this trend and taken it to its logical conclusion: sales, i.e., profit. Interest in foraging and prepping might be a fad—a passing phase, I don’t know. I know I have been a prepper much of my adult life. And after periods of training and education on any subject, inevitably there must come a period of immersion in the field and the field of study for the student to apply what he or she has learned. So it is with me and this column, announcing my sabbatical from the Hill Country. This isn’t my last column, only the foreword to more hunting, fishing and yes, prepping adventures. I’ll be on the road: camping and exploring wilderness and backwoods America, bringing YOU the stories. If you find yourself in a tough spot, take a deep breath, relax and consider your options. Often, many who find themselves in trouble—say, lost in the wild—give up and die, if from nothing more than fear. My best survival advice?—1 Peter 4:7: “But the end and culmination of all things has now come near;” “be sober” (don’t panic), “pray” and show mercy and love. We may bump into each other at a remote campsite; the OST, when I’m back in town; or you can read all about it in this column. Till then, Shalom! Author’s Note: Special thanks to Anthony Walker of A.R.E. Camper Shells of Ohio and Shane Tubbs, Owner, Off Road Truck Accessories of Kerrville.


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


1480 Junction Highway, Ste C, Kerrville, TX Monday -Friday 8am - 7pm | Saturday 8am - 3:30pm


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country




in the Heart of Historic Downtown Kerrville, Azul Lounge can be found underground in the old mercantile of the historic Schreiner Building. The speakeasy-style atmosphere returns you to a time where martinis and moonshine were forbidden. Azul blends a flare of South Texas Charm and 1920s history with a fresh squeezed lime. Cocktails, delightful jazz and classic blues will add a lovely finish to your work day. All drinks are made with a variety of freshly squeezed fruit juices, agave syrup, and the finest liquors. Just look for the blue lights and head underground for a more uplifting nightlife experience. With live entertainment Thusdays and Fridays, you can hear the best of the blues and jazz in the area. Thursday nights the stage is open to local musicians who want to step up and be heard. Azul is open Wednesday through Saturday 4pm-Close and features a long long Happy Hour that kicks in from 4-8pm. Go underground tonight!

rkey Blue’s Silver Dollar Saloon…a Honky-Tonk as true as the “T” in Texas! On Main Street in the “The Cowboy Capital of Texas,” Bandera Texas, is a Honky-Tonk as true as the “T” in Texas! Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar has many legendary stories where many notable names have played, visited, and shot videos. From new-acts-to-known, live country music is featured every Friday and Saturday night, along with an open jam session every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. It doesn’t have to be a weekend, pickers from near and far randomly play throughout the weekly evenings as well! Over a hundred years of history resides on the walls, so come take a gander at the memorabilia, lend an ear to a local, put a quarter in the Dolly Parton pinball machine, boot-scoot on the sawdust covered dance floor and order a cold beer—the best prices in town! Arkey Blue’s is about to accomplish forty-six hard-earned years May 1st, so come raise your beer and honor a man who has kept this true Honky-Tonk alive!!

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Hill Country Cruisin’




Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Cypress in the Hill Country In the very first set of conservation notes, it was pointed out that much of the material would come from personal experiences here on “The Farm.” This is one of the advantages that age provides. Certainly all of the experiences may not be positive, but relating them can present considerations that others may use when planning their own endeavors. The topic this month is Bald Cypress, the majestic trees that line many of the Hill Country’ streams. These trees are especially important not only for the shade, ambiance, and character that they provide, but for their place in the history of the Hill Country. Bald Cypress is generally thought of as being adapted only to the banks of active waterways. However, there are two pair of these trees on this property that are growing well in distinctly upland locations. One set is directly across Pue Rd. in front of what we call Meme’s house. The other set is in front of the big party barn known as the pavilion.

photo by Greg Forest My mother gathered seed from trees growing on the banks of the Guadalupe River behind her childhood home in Center Point. For this reason it has become customary to refer to them as Guadalupe River Bald Cypress. The planting of the then 6” seedlings in front of the pavilion can be documented as having been 1992, shortly after the first phase of the building was erected. The two in front of Meme’s house were planted significantly before that in the l980’s shortly after that house

was built. All of these trees are now over 60’ tall, and have canopies extending out over 25’ in all directions. The very successful growth of these trees, especially the one on the North East corner of the pavilion, prompted this writing. For some time it has been noticeable that the small concrete pad in front of that door was breaking up and that a significant toe stumper had developed between the concrete add on and the dance floor. A short time ago when Albino was mowing, he pointed out to me that this was being caused by a very large root extending out from the big cypress tree. The total discernable length of this root is 42’ from the base of the tree, and the distance past the trees branching canopy is 25’. It now becomes obvious that cypress have evolved the same wide spreading shallow root system adaptation that is characteristic of almost all of the true native trees--oaks, cedar, hackberry; etc. that have developed over thousands of years in the Texas Hill Country. These trees collect water from a wide area rather than sending down taproots in an attempt to obtain water from deep in the ground. Knowing this adaptation explains why arborists in the hill country advise watering and fertilizing primarily around the outer canopy of the trees rather than concentrating inside the canopy close to the tree trunks. It also explains why during the ravaging flood on the Medina River of 1978 so many of the huge trees were washed down that several sawmills were erected to make lumber. The shallow root systems simply could not hold up under the torrents of water. It was from these mills that the lumber for the outside of the rec hall, where the pool and ping pong tables are and Meme’s house was purchased. It might be added here that many of the old timers will always point out that “cypress lumber tries to go back to the river.” This is because of its tendancy to warp badly. With good nails, screws, and curing time, this problem is

continued next page . . . Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


continued from previous page . . . not insurmountable. It might be added that cypress lumber is very durable, almost decay proof. The real historical significance of Bald Cypress trees in the Hill Country lies in their part in the founding industry of Bandera County. “In l853 A.M. Milstead, Thos. Odem, and P.D. Saner, with their families, came to Bandera County and camped on the Medina River, where they engaged in making cypress shingles.” This is from J. Marvin Hunter’s Pioneer History of Bandera County. My grandfather, Jack Stevens, arrived in this area around l856 and must have been involved in the cypress industry from a very early age. Evidence of this is found in the old tools on the wall of the pavilion restrooms and the lumber used in the construction of many of the original buildings. The old blacksmith shop is a prime example of cypress lumber construction, but even more significant are the boards that make up the walls of the porch and the small bandstand of the Farm Cupboard Restaurant. These boards several of which are close to 2’ wide are on their fourth life on these premises. They were a part of the first home, which was under the pecan trees down on the banks of Hicks Creek. When the house was rebuilt at its present location, they were not used in the new home (replaced by more stylish beadboard) but became part of a shearing floor in a shed that was below the bluff across Pue Road. When the grain bins were remodeled to become the swimming pool restrooms, part of the boards from that old floor were used in the rest rooms and part of them are inside the rec hall. Later after the decision was made to add on to the old house and build the restaurant porch, they were pulled out of the restrooms and used in that construction. Evidence can still be seen of the large circular saw marks that resulted from the milling equipment of the time. There are also splotches of the tar that was used to treat animal wounds. This was a result of their life as a shearing floor. These boards were quite likely milled somewhere between l856 and 1866 (making them over 150 years old). Thus this story of cypress could be said to extend from l856 to 2014. 50

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Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country



Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


I remember back in the late

1960s when Ace Reid and Hondo Crouch used to hold court at the Angora Club at the Inn of the Hills when it was still a private club. The whole room revolved around these cowboys with wits sharper than a tack and, with no shadow of a doubt, were always the funniest guys in the room. Ace and Hondo have both passed but still have strong legacies - Hondo’s at Luckenbach and Ace’s widely-syndicated cartoon column, Cowpokes.

Ace’s wife Madge has been keeping the fire burning at Cowpokes and has honored us with the opportunity to share some of Ace’s work with a whole new audience. You will alwas ride a happy trail with Cowpokes!

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country



March 26 - 29

March 14th

Thunder in the Hills 11th Street Cowboy Bar 307 11th Street, Bandera, TX 78003 (830) 796-4849

March 17-21

APRIL April 11 - 12,

Frio Country Resort 1801 County Road 348 “River Road” Concan, Texas, 78838

Mayhem on the Medina Bandera City Park Downtown Bandera, TX

March 26-28

April 16-19

Head for the Hills Music Festival Quiet Valley Ranch, Hwy 16 Kerrville, TX

Old Settler’s Music Festival Camp Ben McCullough Driftwood, TX


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Compiled by Jack Armstrong


April 24-25

Backyard Spring Fest 13801 Bee Cave Parkway, Bee Cave, TX (512) 651-5033

May 1-3

Hill Country Run Motorcycle Rally Luckenbach, TX (830) 997-8515 |


PsychFest May 8-10 Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, TX

May 21-June 2

Kerrville Folk Festival (21 days) Quiet Valley Ranch, Kerrville, TX (830) 257-3600 | Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Uncle Art’s Emergency Room Run After the war he came home to West Texas had a radio shop and a string of jukeboxes from Marfa to Pecos to Pyote. A call came in from Carlsbad: the music had died at the Sundowner Arthur rode off on a borrowed Harley through a 1940s jackrabbit desert, and across the state line he discovered the usual-a slug in the Wurlitzer messing up the magnets. Repairs complete, the ride back almost wrecked him-the wind, the darkness, the washboard roads. He swore off “motorsickles” after that night, but at least Hank Williams would be singing again.

The Poetry Reading Metal chairs, bad backs, the cups of bargain wine. Outside cold mist travels the cedar grove, stirring a hidden gong.

Hour of the Musician (for Catfish) Someone less brave might give in, give up such supreme exertions-the struggle to ignore the Kali in cracked linoleum or the menacing wires calling from the walls; might just take the Jesus exit on the highway of life, get a flat-screen lobotomy, breathe the tailpipe perfume in a closed-up garage. But you park it in the gloom of smoky bars & loud guitars--the glittering wreck of your existence--and sing about it.

Suzanne Freeman is a Hill Country writer whose poetry has appeared in numerous national literay journals. Her novella, Omnibo, won the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize and was published by Texas Review Press. 56

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Country Wedding Photography

karyn lyn 210.316.2986


Kerrville Folk Festival May 22- June 2 3876 Medina Highway, Kerrville, TX (830) 257-3600

Inn of the Hills 1001 Junction Hwy, Kerrville, TX (830) 895-5000

Nautilus Beach Bar 2126 Sidney Baker Street, Kerrville, TX Phone:(830) 895-2920

Texas Heritage Music Foundation 2100 Memorial Blvd, Kerrville, Texas (830) 792-1945

Pampell’s 701 Water St Kerrville, TX (830) 896-0177

Cafe on the Ridge 13439 S Ranch Road 783, Kerrville, TX (830) 896-0420

Headwaters Saloon Hwy 783 Harper, TX (830) 864-4055

Azul 202 Earl Garrett St, Kerrville, TX (830) 896-9338

Kerrville Hills Winery 3600 Fredericksburg Rd, Kerrville, TX (830) 895-4233

Callioux Theater 910 Main Street, Kerrville, TX (830) 896-9393

1011 Bistro 1011 Bistro, 1011 Guadalupe, Kerrville, TX (830) 895-1169

BANDERA 11th Street Cowboy Bar 307 11th St, Bandera, TX 78003 (830) 796-4849 Longhorn Saloon 1307 Main St, Bandera, TX 78003 (830) 796-3600


Ol Watering Hole 1109 Broadway, Kerrville, TX (830) 257-4653

Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar 308 Main Street, Bandera, TX 78003 (830) 796-8826

Guadalupe River Club 1483 Junction Hwy, Kerrville, TX (830) 896-3354

Flying L Ranch Saturdays - Chuck Wagon Dinner & Show PO Box 1959, Bandera, TX

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


BOERNE/BLANCO Soda Pops 103 North Main Street, Boerne, TX 78006 (830) 331-8799 Cave Without A Name Frequent Concerts in the Cave 325 Kreutzberg Rd, Boerne, TX (830) 537-4212 Redbud Cafe 410 1/2 4th St, Blanco, TX (830) 833-0202

COMFORT/WARING Cocky Rooster 7 US Highway 87, Comfort, TX (830) 995-5109 Tucan Jim’s 5814 Texas 27, Center Point, TX (830) 634-2640

Hondo’s on Main 312 W. Main St. Fredericksburg, TX (830)-997-1633 The Rockbox 109 N Llano St, Fredericksburg, TX (830) 997-7625 Silver Creek 310 East Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX (830) 990-4949 El Milagro Twenty Twelve 249 East Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX Phone:(830) 307-3051 Buc’s Bar & Grill 304 N Llano St, Fredericksburg, TX Phone:(830) 990-1283

INGRAM/HUNT/FRIO Roddy Tree Ranch 820 Texas 39 Ingram, TX 830-367-2871

Waring General Store Live Music ednesdays 544 Waring Welfare Rd, Waring, TX (830) 995-4377

Crider’s Dancehall 2310 hwy 39 Hunt TX (830) 238-4441


The Hunt Store 1634 Highway 39, Hunt, TX (830) 238-4410

Luckenbach 412 Luckenbach Town Loop Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 (830) 997-3224 Crossroads Saloon and Steakhouse 305 W Main St, Fredericksberg, TX (830) 992-3288

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country





PACKAGE INCLUDES: Admission to the Festival Round Trip Motor Coach Kerrville to Austin All Taxes, Surcharges and Fees


Call (830) 792-5737 for details 62

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Jerolyn and Rodger Columbik met in 1994 and started their collaboration while maintaining their separate art careers. Living in Hill Country now, their journey has taken them far afield from their Texas home spending several years experiencing the post-Soviet/post Berlin Wall hangover that has destabilized several countries attempting to become civil societies. These works were undertaken in milieus where traditions and cultural heritage have collided head-on with westernization and government malfeasance. Major public projects have been undertaken in Armenia, Republic of Georgia and Romania where the focus was to promote community dialogue on issues of emigration, education and communal memory. A portfolio of these projects can be viewed at An ongoing project in Ecuador that examines the lives of former street children who now live in shelters, Sacar Adelante can be viewed at Through mid-May a few of their smaller works can be viewed at Robert Hughes Gallery in the Blue Star Complex in San Antonio. Also in May Jerolyn will have a new outdoor work featured in an exhibition at the Kemp Center in Wichita Falls as part of a show featuring ten women sculptors. This fall Roger will participate in a group exhibition at the International Sculpture Center in New Jersey.


al u n An

Blanco Lavender Festival

June 12 - 14, 2015

Visit Beautiful Blanco The Heart of the Hill Country Lavender Market on the Square

Lavender Farm Tours

Local Beer & Wine

Live Music

Texas Specialty Packaged Foods Friday: Noon—6PM Saturday: 9 AM—6PM Sunday: 10AM—4PM Visit our web-site for Schedules and Directions Or give us a call!


Heart Beat of the Texas  

Your free guide to the Texas Hill Country - our biggest issue so far.

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