Page 1

Publisher: Karyn Lyn 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, Mary Schenk, Genie Strickland, Jerry Phillips, Betty Sharp,Brandon Curtis & Jack Armstrong. Proof Reader: Claire Deboise, Jil Utterback, Scotty Kauffman Web & Application Programming: The Music Office Sales: Tony Griffith, Karyn Lyn, Brandi Allen Cover & Page 38 Photos: Karyn Lyn

Fall Events in the Hill Country

Fall is in the air and the Texas Hill Country has something for everyone. With cool weather, its the perfect time to get moving and sample what the Hill Country has to offer. From Lost Maples to Wimberley, its time to Fall Into Place!

Page 32


Dalis Allen heads into the home stretch on her series about the roots and mission of the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition. Over the years the contest has brought a lot of new artists into the limelight and they all have a common bond.

Page 14

Heart Beat Celebrates Our 1st Year

Thanks to the support of great advertisers and writers, we have been able to grow and improve our guide since the first issue. There are great things ahead for Heart Beat and here’s a shout out and a big heart-felt thanks to you, our readers.

Page 6

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,


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

Jil Utterback’s Fall Feasting Fare

Fall is not just about turkeys, stuffing and cranberries. Jil shares some tried and true recipes sure to please everyone around the dining table. These cobblers, salads and special Texas dishes are sure to please the most discriminating cowboy tastebuds.

Betty Sharp Puts Some Backbone In It

Page 27

Page 52

Although the name, Devil’s Backbone, might sound a bit scary, its not a new horror film Betty is talking about but a geological fault line that pushes up the Hill Country into a ridge that is one of the best long-viewing vistas in Central Texas.

Phil Houseal - Just Play!

Phil addresses the newcomers to live music, with his recollections of how he got started and the trials and tribulations of a budding new performer. Could it be that practice might be the key component? Read on . . .

Page 48

REVIEWS - Twin Texas Treasures

In Heart Beat’s quest to catch up on concert and CD reviews, we have a double shot for you this month. Brandon Curtis was at the Roddy Tree Ranch in Ingram, Texas for a concert by the King of Texas Party Punk, Joe King Carrasco and Greg Forest pays homage to one of Texas’ favorite groups now celebrating over 40 years together - The Drug Store Cowboys.

Page 36

We’re Going “Hyperactive”with Apps

If you are reading our magazine on the web, we have now added a hyperlink feature to our online addition that enables you to visit the web sites of our advertisers and writers by just clicking on the image. Also coming in September will be the Heart Beat App. You can download the app free from our website, the Google Store or iTunes to get event updates, special announcements from our advertisers and many other features directly on your cell phone or other portable device. Wach our website for details. We bad. We digital. Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


A Thank You from Karyn, Greg & The Whole Heart Beat Family

With this issue of Heart Beat we have passed our first major milestone - staying alive in the rough and tumble world of magazine publishing for a year. Heart Beat was initially the brain child of our Bandera advertisers and, without even a magazine to show as an example (only a mockup of the cover - which incidently graces this issue), they kick-started us into the whole Hill Country. In the short period that we have been in the game, we started with 48 pages, grew to 52 and now 60 pages with a little help from our friends - the great advertisers that have shown faith in our mission to be the best Hill Country tourist guide available. Our distribution has grown from 15 locations to over 50 locations you can now pick up a copy. Our territory has also grown and this issue we welcome the Wimberley family of businesses. We couldn’t be more proud of the writers that that have stepped up to bat and fill almost half of every issue. They have made us downright literary and set us apart from the “coupon book/infomercial” format that seems so prevalent these days. We are lucky in the Texas Hill Country to have so many performing, graphic and other artists - it seems we never have space to get to them all. But we will keep trying. To celebrate our 1 year anniversary we have made some significant changes to our magazine. The copy you now hold in your hand is our first issue featuring a Perfect Bound binding which we think will make the magazine both easier to read and display. Beginning this Fall, we are also releasing our Heart Beat App for Android and iPhone devices! Looking for something to do? The app will let you use your cell phone or tablet to check out events in the Hill Country and is sychronized daily with the “Tonight in the Hill Country” page on our web site. Also beginning this issue, is our web version of the magazine will be interactive. If you see an advertiser or author on a page, just click their ad or banner and a new browser window will pop up directing you to their web site. Since Day One, we have endeavered to bring our readers a great romp around Texas music, arts, history and trivia. We are helping advertisers in these hard economic times to make advertising in our magazine both easy and the most affordable and cost effective advertising platform in the region. Hold on to your cowboy hats ladies and gentlemen. You ain’t seen nothing yet! 6

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

Photo by Clay E. Ewing


imberley is located in central Hays County, between Austin and San Antonio and its natural beauty has been inspiring artists and adventurers for decades. This quaint community, with its scenic vistas and worldclass shopping, provides a well-spring of creativity for both visual and performing artists. Fascinating theatre, studio tours and live music complement natural treasures such as Blue Hole Regional Park, Cypress Creek and Jacob’s Well Natural Area.

Photo by Clay E. Ewing NATURAL WONDERS & THINGS TO DO The geographic center and the aesthetic heart of the Wimberley Valley is located at the confluence of Cypress Creek and the Blanco River. In addition to the bald cypress and pecan trees that line the riverbanks, cedar, oak and grasses grow in shallow, clay loams on the area slopes and beaches. The natural beauty of the softly winding Blanco River, shaded Cypress Creek and the stunning views of Lone Man Creek call to artists, retired folks and anyone seeking escape from city life. Wimberley has been a retreat for artists, musicians and writers for many years, and hosts the popular Lions Market Day. From March through December, it brings visitors from all over the country every first Saturday of the month to the 475-plus booths of art and wares. Most visitors come to enjoy the peace and natural beauty of the area. The climate and setting make Wimberley a desirable place to live and a favorite vacation getaway. Visitors also choose Wimberley as a central location near many other popular Hill Country attractions.

GEOGRAPHY Wimberley is situated in the Blanco River Valley where Cypress Creek flows into the Blanco. Extensive deposits of limestone make up the white rocks and white stream bottoms common to the area. It is about 1,000 feet above sea level on the Edwards Plateau, with elevations ranging from 850 feet to more than 1,300 feet. A BRIEF HISTORY OF WIMBERLEY Before the 19th century, the history of Wimberley was that of the native tribes that roamed the countryside setting up semipermanent camps along the streams. The area doesn’t boast any cave paintings or cliff art from these early residents, but one can still find evidence of their tenure in the stone tools that they left behind and in the charred limestone of their campfire sites. Fish and game were plentiful, with buffalo and deer in abundance. As a result of the Texas Revolution in 1836 and the period of the Republic from 1836 to 1845, veterans of Texas’ conflicts received bounties in the form of land in Central Texas. Settlers started moving into the Hill Country after 1845 because the land was available and cheap, and the numerous springs and streams made the area attractive for small farms and ranches. In 1846, San Marcos was newly incorporated and claimed fewer than 500 inhabitants. Seventeen miles to the northwest was the small community of Glendale. This village of hardy, generally poor settlers would one day become Wimberley. Now it’s your turn to be inspired and discover the wonders of Wimberley, the jewel of the Texas Hill Country.

EmilyAnn Theater Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


8 Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country 9


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Several years ago, I emailed a friend with a hangs taken

simple question: “do you know a geologist who could explain why the hill country has hills?” I was hoping to talk to an expert, someone with “credentials” who could tell me in a scientific way how the hills we call home were formed. I was sure there would be an interesting theory as to why we have such lovely hills here. So you may understand my consternation when I received the expert’s reply. Out of the ether it came, a simple question that puzzled me upon first reading.

behind me. It is a large panoramic, from south of the river looking northward, showing the town nestled in the comforting arm of the Guadalupe River. My friend’s observation is proven by the photograph. The hills in the distance form a flat horizon, as flat as any on the plains. Down here in town, we’re in the part that’s been eroded away. The river and the wind have cut through layer upon layer of softer material, and our town is down among the excavations, in the strata of an ancient sea-bed, built upon fossilized silt and muck, and the shells of ancient sea creatures.

If we live in canyons, they’re subtle ones. Here “Probably the bigger question is: why do we have and there one can find a bluff or solid rock canyon canyons?” she wrote. wall; FM 1340 toward Mo-Ranch offers a few dramatic examples, especially just past Wagon Her thesis was simple: the hills all around us Wheel Ranch. The other geologic material was were the result of water and wind removing tons much softer, and left rounded canyon walls. We of material, like Michelangelo freeing a goddess call them hills. Others might call them terraces. entrapped in marble. What we see today – the hills – are the forms of geology that were made of Either way, they’re pretty. So, if you want to harder stuff, or stuff farther from running water. confuse distant friends, visitors, or strangers, you could always introduce yourself as being I received this at my cluttered desk at the print from the Texas Canyon Country. Because, in a shop and remembered the photograph that way, that’s where we live. 12

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


he is getting married! A world of people connected by Facebook know this about Lisa Beck who is soon to marry Art Crawford. I first met Lisa at Pampell’s when she played in Steal Hearts with Kathy Bauer. I heard her voice, their harmony, and the questions began. Today, writing this column, we talked more about her life story. After two marriages, she decided to follow her heart and her bliss. She committed to playing music and started by returning to Texas (San Antonio was her hometown) after 20 years in Atlanta, and she picked Bandera. Her first gig was at the Flying L Dude Ranch, and she wonders today how she was hired. “I loved to sing, but I certainly did not play the guitar well at all. After that, I went to songwriters circles at Arkey’s where I also met Art Crawford, He introduced me to many new songwriters and musicians.” Her life story includes a family where her mother and aunt sang in an all girl’s quartet on a radio show that aired right before the Buddy Holley show. She grew up with harmonies all around her house. Now she is not only in the Art and Lisa duet, the Art and Lisa trio with John Inmon, and the Art and Lisa full band, but also the Backyard Betty group with Kathy Bauer. Yes, she loves to sing and play. I caught her one afternoon on a phone call to Alpine. She was playing the Holland Hotel that evening. “I do the booking for us, and this is our Western tour. We will play Las Cruces, Soccoro, and Red River. The Lost Love Saloon in Red River is historic, and the owner, Steve, has invited us to have our wedding on his ranch before we do the gigs at his venue. He is known for his support of the traveling musician! Photos of John Inmon, 3 Faces West, and the Lost Gonzo band will be on the walls.” Lisa has been part of my own experience of music in the Hill Country as I recently heard her at 1101 Bistro in Kerrville and listened to her story of the day. “We played two wineries this afternoon, took a short nap in the

car, and headed up here.” I watched the sun set from the roof, ate a plate of wonderful calamari, talked with the owner Tomas who also loves the music, and heard great renditions of songs I love (Townes Van Zandt to name one), as well as Art and Lisa originals. Lisa on writing: “Writing is a release for me. We have two CD’s and material for two more.” I remind her in our conversation how much I love her song “Learning to Breathe Again.” And she told me, “And that is our most requested song. Seems many people have had this experience. I wrote this after a divorce, but some people hear it as a song helpful in dealing with death.” I suggested the archetypal quality of the sense of being stifled or breathless. Joseph Campbell would understand the appeal of the song. We all have a time when we learned to breathe again. Campbell would also understand her advice to other women: “I say to follow your heart. Don’t let others dissuade you from your dreams. The culture did not support me in my dream to sing. I was told not to play football with the boys, and I was told to keep my place and be quiet.” Campbell says, “Follow your bliss.” Lisa has played the Texas Heritage Music Coffeehouse at Schreiner to celebrate women’s history month in March. We have asked her to gather a women’s circle of songwriters for March 2015. She was with us when Susan Gibson came to my class and played the coffeehouse. I hope to get Susan on this gig as well. Lisa is on the road in August, and her husband (now when you read this) Art, is a board member for THMF. He has donated sound for the coffeehouse and September 3 Johnny Nicholas is the featured artist. Join us and say hi to Mr. and Mrs. Crawford! Open mike at 7. Schreiner University Lion’s Den. Art and Lisa will also perform at the Heritage Music Day on Sept. 26, 9-1:30. Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines will perform a free concert that evening at 7:30. Meanwhile, let’s all follow Lisa’s advice and do what our heart says…follow our bliss. Ils sont partis. KH Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


New Folk! The 32 Finalists came to the 2014 Kerrville Folk Festival. The judging panel of 3 songwriters, this year Steve Seskin the current Director of our Songwriters School and Greg Greenway and Joe Jencks from the trio Brother Sun, had a tough time deciding the six Award Winners. They were Frank Martin Gilliagan (Dickinson, TX), Matt Nakoa (Brooklyn, NY), The Lovebirds (San Diego, CA), C. Daniel Boling (Albuquerque, NM), Caroline Spence (Nashville, TN) and Connor Garvey (Portland, ME). They will be on tour in Texas in November with their final gig at the Fischer Fest on Friday November 7th. Letters from Grassy Hill New Folk Award Winners from 2012.

to bring generations of musicians and songwriters together than the Kerrville Folk Festival. I came to Kerrville first as a listener, then as a participant, and finally as an entrant into the songwriting competition. I can’t wait to come back, now, as part of a bigger movement, family, and history. The Southwest Regional Folk Alliance has also done wonders for me professionally, creatively and socially. I was introduced to SWRFA just as I was getting started as a professional musician, and the conference gave me an instant and affordable resource for networking, educational resources, professional development and creative inspiration.”

Photo by Ira Hantz

Nicolette Good “The Kerrville New Folk songwriting Whit Hill competition changed my life for the better both as a songwriter and as a member of the “I was honored to be chosen as a winner of music community. The process of applying the2012 Kerrville New Folk competition. to the competition encouraged me to learn It has been an absolutely life-changing about the legacy of songwriters at Kerrville, experience, hugely gratifying and important but also to learn about new musicians and to me on a variety of levels. I am not a young writers of my own generation. There is “troubadour” like my fellow winners this no place else in the world that does more year, but, rather, a middle-aged mom with 14 Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

a day job – and a deep and abiding love of songwriting which I have nurtured for the past 20 years. Learning I was a finalist was thrilling and the trip to the festival for the competition taught me much about myself as an artist. The introvert side of me dived into the heady richness of the campfires, meeting strangers, opening up and hearing such great and inspiring music at every turn. The finalists immediately forged a community that I will never forget. Likewise, the six winners quickly became close friends. As we stood onstage after the winners’ concert, we were handed information about the New Folk tour – something I’d never expected. We also learned about our SWRFA scholarships and other opportunities. I decided to take advantage of everything I could. SWRFA was thrilling and fun – and the New Folk tour, well, I’ll never forget it. We traveled together and backed each other up and met (and stayed with) lovely, kind people and reveled in each other’s music. Really – being onstage with such an amazing, diverse group of artists was such an honor. Thanks, New Folk. Thanks, Kerrville.”

meant something to them. I have done many of these competitions, and never has a win elicited such a huge response from folks on my mailing list, on Facebook, and at my shows. That was such a wonderful surprise - and I am thrilled to be added to the list of past winners which includes so many of my songwriting heroes. However, the New Folk experience is so much bigger than the competition. The connections -- musical and otherwise -- and the sense of community that pervades the entire Kerrville Festival are what make the whole experience so extraordinary. When you are a solo touring songwriter, you spend an inordinate amount of time alone -- you are a one-man/woman enterprise most of the time -- but a festival like Kerrville feels like one enormous homecoming party where you get to see so many of the folks who you love -- and whose music you love -- along those dusty paths and around the campfires. And those are the connections and experiences that feed you and keep you inspired and moving along your normally solo path.“ Tom Prasada-Rao was an Award winner in 1993.

Jimmy LaFave in 1987

Tish Hinojosa in 1979 Edie Carey “This was my second time in the New Folk Competition, and this time I was lucky enough to be among the winners. One of the lovely benefits is that so many people know and love the festival and the competition across the country, and so winning really

Stay tuned for interviews with these artists and more. I am so delighted to have the opportunity to tell the New Folk story in Texas Heart Beat! Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country



Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

Ingram, Texas - A Holiday Shopper’s Delight

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country



Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


20 Steps to Creating a Successful Blog for Your Band - Part 1 By Lance Trebesch Make quality content. Just writing a blog is not enough. You have to make sure what you are writing is good content. No one will comment or read your blog if the content seems worthless and poorly written. Also, write grammatically. Misspellings are one of the most painful things to witness in blogs.


Work on the title. The title is a necessity. The first thing people look at and what makes them read your blog is the title. Titles that hint of content with lists and bullets also draw people in due to the pleasing layout and more white space of lists. If the title perks their interest, they will click on your blog to continue reading. Take the time to think about an interesting title and log which titles draw more readers.

logs prove to be a tricky field to conquer, especially when it comes to gaining an initial reader-base. However, once you get that reader base, great potential for increasing your online reputation is created. Successful blogs keep their status by following these 20 rules from Submit to directories. After creating a good the start and throughout their blog’s lifetime. content-and-keyword-rich blog, submit it Focus the topic. Thousands of different blogs to different directories. Top Blog Area and exist on the web. Only the well-established ones BlogFlux are two good sites to submit blogs to can post general news and see success. Instead, according to category of blog. Another option is focus your blog around a niche. The more to write just one blog for an established blogging narrow the subject, the more likely you will get a site in the rock music industry and tell them why they should feature your blog on their site. steady reader base. If they choose to put the blog on their site, you Search similar blogs and subscribe. Because will see greatly increased traffic. there are so many blogs on the internet, chances are somebody somewhere will also be talking about your subject. Find these sites and subscribe to them so you get instant updates. The best action to take is to read up on these blogs and know what they talk about regularly.

Get a friend to submit your blog to Digg, StumbleUpon, Technorati, Netscape, and Reddit. These search sites generate a ton of traffic to your site if viewed frequently (or “digged,” “thumbs up” “favored,” etc). However, people view down on you if you constantly submit your own content to these sites, so instead, make a buddy submit your blogs, videos, or podcasts to these sites one or two times a week. Eventually, your good content will make it to the homepage of these content-search sites, generating an unimaginable amount of traffic to your blog.

Create business relationships. By helping out someone else and their blog in some way, they will in return help you and your blog out. One good example is devising a list of online radio stations you can submit your music to and give them the list so they can use it for their benefit as well. By becoming business friends, you Ping every site. Some submission can promote each other by talking about one sites allow you to ‘ping’ them, which means they another’s webpage, music, blog, etc. 22

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

get an automatic update when you post a new blog. This is good so they always have your latest posts in their records. These sites also allow you to put in key tag terms. By inputting a tag term, your blog will pop up if someone searches for the term you used. For instance, if you are writing about electric guitar comparisons (tag terms) and the searcher inserts “compare guitars,� your blog will show as a result. You must utilize pings and tags to increase your blog popularity. Write regularly and stand out. The only way to gain a steady reader base is if you write a blog regularly. The best blogs update their content daily or sometimes several times a day. As an upcoming artist, though, weekly will suffice if you write on a consistent day around the same time every week. In addition, you need to stand out from other bloggers. Write properly, but use your personality. Personality keeps the blog interesting and keeps readers coming back. In addition, the readers like to be treated as humans, so drop the business lingo. Blogs are for entertainment, so engage your audience. Write for them. Host your blog on your website domain. Using a different host for your blog not only confuses your readers, but also reduces the amount of quality traffic to your site. The only smart way to host a blog is through your own website. If readers like what they read, or you mention something about your music in the blog, they can easily navigate to your website to find out more information. Creating a blog serves the purpose of promoting your music online, which you can only do if you reader can easily access your website from your blog. This is the end of part one of the two part series to creating a successful blog. Part two goes into more detail on how to promote your blog and see additional success in the first weeks and months of your blog.

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Love Creek’s Patio Cafe: If you’re looking for a quaint country cafe, Love Creek’s Patio Cafe is a Hill Country treat, especially with lotsa apple treats! You can sit outside on the picnic tables and enjoy the crisp country air, or sit inside the covered patio (hence the name “Patio Cafe”) with gravel flooring, and a wood burning stove for when the Texas hills cool off. You order from the food wagon by viewing the display boards that offer spicy pepper jack burgers with applewood bacon and yummy sweet n’ spicy pickles.

Castroville Cafe: Everyone needs to drive to a small town every so often and check out local shops and local products/cafes. So while in Castroville delivering our mags, I visited with the locals, asking their personal recommendations on where to eat, as we all know, locals know what’s good and what’s not. When they mentioned Castroville Cafe was in a historical house and had been there many years, they didn’t need to say anymore. Just a block away from the main drag (hwy 90), sits a charming historical house-turnedrestaurant. First thing on the menu that grabbed me was the butternut squash and Tomato Basil soup, two of my favs, but because butternut squash is not as common, I ordered it, and I am glad I did!

Or on the lighter side, and my personal favorite is, their special homemade pimento cheese sandwich with a luscious blend of cheeses and the chicken salad sandwich with apples, apple chutney, pecans and other special ingredients that makes it truly a Love Creek delicious delight. The Patio Cafe is known for their world famous apple pies and apple cinnamon ice cream; they also have apple jams, apple syrups, apple coffee (I highly recommend the beans over ground), AND, you can even go home with an apple tree or two, or three (it’s better to plant more than one so they don’t have apple anxiety). The Patio café was listed among the Top 40 Small Town Restaurants in Texas by Texas Monthly Magazine and has been featured on the History Channel, Food Channel, and Editable Magazine. Please check out our inside cover for details on the annual Pumpkin Patch.

Besides the creamy flavor of fresh butternut squash that took over my pallet, my paired fried egg sandwich, served on a crunchy ciabatta roll dressed with red pepper jelly and topped with Vermont smoked bacon made my trip worthwhile. They also offer two signature sandwiches that I was told I had to try called “The Landmark,” and “The Alsatian.” Castroville is a historical community, continuingt o preserve and showcase the Alsatian cuisine, heritage and architecture.

Apple Store/Cafe (830) 589-2202 14024 State Hwy 16 North Medina, TX 78055 Open Daily 11am–3pm for Lunch.

Castroville Cafe (830) 538- 2400 309 Lafayette St, Castroville, TX 78009 Mon-Sat 11am-3pm & Sun 11am-4pm.

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country



definitely didn’t ring a bell, but his description he two preeminent amenities of of it did. “You had to go downstairs into the living in Bandera – live music and the eclectic place,” Homer said. “It was right there on Main assortment of people you meet here – are often Street.” The Silver Dollar? Formerly known as overlooked in a taking-it-for-granted way by The Fox Hole, the Legendary Silver Dollar must those of us who call Bandera home. In the past have been known briefly, at least to musicians, twelve years, I’ve met people from virtually every as “Bill’s Cowboy Bar”. Bade can also claim artist state and all over the world. I’ve sold books to credits on the historic Sarg Records label. (Sarg tourists from Great Britain to France to Russia, a recorded people like Larry Nolen, The Pearl total of 14 countries which is a stronger testament Wranglers, Floyd Tillman, Adolph Hofner and to the international tourist trade flowing through young fellow by the name of Willie Nelson.) the county than to me as a writer. I’ve shepherded, Homer Bade is walking Bandera interacted and worked with writers, TV and film music history. He and Lila gave us their contact producers from China, South Africa and Canada, information and you better believe I’m going among others, who are equally fascinated with to call him and interview him about every bit the look and sound of the area. (We’ll get back to of Bandera music history he embodies. That the music shortly, I promise.) information will find its way into The Bandera You just never know who might be at Music History Project Hall of Fame (BMHoF), the next table, on the next barstool or chair. I’ve which has awarded Arkey Blue, The Silver sat beside captains of industry, local eccentrics Dollar, The Silver Spur, Larry Nolen and many and a charming burlesque queen from Las Vegas. others, in its primary mission as a History The first few years I lived here, my life was in Project. Music is an integral part of Bandera thrall to my business, the Cabaret. There were history and that music draws people from all a few hours a day snatched for sleeping and the over the world. It even draws musicians who occasional trip to Kerrville, but when you own played here decades ago, musicians who helped a music venue, it rules your life. (See, I told you create the history of this unique place. we’d get back to music.) The bonus was meeting and hearing, live, the amazing Country Music You just never know who you’re going to meet Hall of Famers and Texas music stars like Larry in Bandera. Nolen, Hank Thompson, Dicky Overbey, Al Dean, Johnny Bush and younger talents like Charlie and Bruce Robison and Jack Ingram. HEART BEAT OF THE WEB The other day I met Homer Bade. Name doesn’t ring a bell? Homer and his lovely wife, Lila, were visiting old memories in Bandera Heart Beat is developing a double shot of apps from their home in Cuero, and found their way for both Android and iOS devices. Download today for the latest events and special to the Frontier Times Museum. The Museum is another amenity of this county too often announcements to your cell phone or portable neglected by those of us who live here. Homer device. Watch our web site for release dates. Bade and his wife walked into the Museum, took a stroll around the exhibits, then stopped to chat at the front desk. It seems Homer, 81, is a steel guitar player who still plays at some of the old dance halls. He recollects playing Bandera with a band called “Southern Air” [Southernaire/Southern Air] at venues like the Silver Spur Dance Hall and a place he remembers as “Bill’s Cowboy Bar.” That 28 Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

FALL EVENTS IN THE HILL COUNTRY RECURRING Wimberley’s Second Saturday Gallery Trail Second Saturday of every month. 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Wimberley Square

We Got Yer Goat BBQ Cook-off September 19-20, 2014 Blanco County Fairgrounds. Johnson City, (512)-775-9497

Texas Street Customs Car Show 2 pm - 5 pm Third Saturday every month. 1111 Main Street, Bandera

Comal County Fair & Rodeo September 19-28, 2014 701 Common St. New Braunfels (830) 625-1505

Bandera Indoor Flea Market American Legion Post 157 Bandera 9 am - 3 pm -Third Saturday every month. 205 12th St, Bandera, TX 78003 (830) 796-7528

Annual Symposium Sep 20, 2014 National Museum of the Pacific War 500 E Austin, Fredericksburg (830) 997-8600 ext #204

Blanco Market Days Old Blanco County Courthouse Square 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Third Saturday every month. 830-833-2211

Hill Country Art Festival September 20, 2014 | 10am - 5pm All around Comfort, TX. (830) 995-3131

Wimberley Market Days First Saturday of every month. 601 FM 2325, Wimberley, TX (512) 847-2201

SEPTEMBER The Wimberley Playhouse “Young Frankenstein” Weekends September 12 - October 5 450 Old Kyle Rd, Wimberley, TX 78676 (512) 847-159 Professional Bull Riding (PBR) September 13, 2014 Gillespie County Fairgrounds 530 Fair Dr. Fredericksburg (830) 997-2359


Exotic Wildlife Association’s Annual Shrimp Broil & Social Sept 20, 2014 Albert Dance Hall. 5pm-1am (830) 456-9421 Fall Wine & Food Festival Sep 27, 2014 - Texas Vineyards & Beyond 329 1/2 E. Main St, Fredericksburg (830) 990-9199 Just A Chili Cook-off Sept 28, 2014 Blanco, at Yett Memorial Park 1813 US 281 S., Blanco, TX

OCTOBER Kerr Arts & Cultural Center “Bigger Than Texas” Show October 1 - 4, 2014 228 Earl Garrett St, Kerrville, TX 78028 Phone:(830) 895-2911

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

Cailloux Theater “Journey Across Europe” 7:30 pm Thursday October 2, 2014 910 Main St, Kerrville, TX 78028 (830) 896-9393 Fredericksburg Oktoberfest Friday October 3 - Sunday October 5, 2014. Time: 10 am - 6:00 pm 100 West Main Fredericksburg Texas

NOVEMBER The Wimberley Playhouse “The Two Noble Kinsmen” November 14 - December 7, 2014, 7:30 pm 450 Old Kyle Rd, Wimberley, TX 78676 (512) 847-1592 Fredericksburg Antique Show November 15-16, 2014 Gillespie County Fairgrounds 530 Fair Drive, Fredericksburg, TX

Uptown Quilt Show Oct 10-11, 2014 Uptown Blanco Textile Studio, 317 Main Street, Blanco, TX. 10am - 5pm Veteran’s Day Memorial (830) 833-1579 Nov 11, 2014 National Museum of the Pacific War Comfort Village Fall Antiques Show 500 E Austin, Fredericksburg, TX Saturday October 18 Sunday October 19, 2014. (830) 997-8600 ext #204 All Day Event Comfort Park, 403 Hwy 27, Comfort, Texas Mercedes-Benz Car Show(MBCA) Cailloux Theater The Game’s Afoot Friday October 24-Saturday November 8, 2014. 910 Main St, Kerrville, TX 78028 (830) 896-9393 Lost Maples Season Colors Late October - Early November (check web) Lost Maples State Park | 9:00 am – 6:00 pm 37221 F.M. 187, Vanderpool, TX Phone: (830) 966-3413 Wurstfest Gillespie County Fairgrounds 2000 S State Highway 16, Fredericksburg, TX (830) 997-2359 Oct 31-Nov 9, 2014 | (800) 221-4369 Hunter’s Roundup Oct 31, 2014 6-10pm Uvalde County Fairplex 2319, W Main St, Uvalde, TX (830) 591-9040 | (830) 278-3361

Nov 15, 2014 | 10aa - 2pm 31445 IH-10 W., Boerne, TX (512) 497-9012

Wild Game Dinner Nov 22, 2014 Gillespie County Fairgrounds 530 Fair Dr, Fredericksburg, TX (830)-997-5508 | (512) 358-1000, Texas Gun & Knife Show Nov 22-23, 2014 | Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4. Event Center, 3705 TX 27 East. Kerrville,TX (830) 285-0575 Peddler Show - Perfect Street of Shops November 28 - 30 Gillespie County Fairgrounds 530 Fair Dr, Fredericksburg, TX (512) 358-1000

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Bandera never seems to slow down.

snacks. It’s free and you’ll love the music! If later For a in the evening is more appealing to get out and do small community we always have lots to do something, try you skill at Bingo at the American and this summer was no exception! So what’s Legion in Bandera and in Pipe Creek. planned for the last quarter of the year? Take a As for events, well, Bandera is the deep breath, you’re gonna get tired just reading best at throwing a party. Got to check it out! In about it! For more details, locations, contacts September there will be an Antique Tractor Pull and times go to www.banderacowboycapital. on the 12th and 13th at Mansfield Park. On the com, and click on Events. 19th through the 21st is the Rumble on the River Bandera folks can’t seem to live the produced by the Biker Rallies of Texas. Bring quite life in the Hill Country like most folks. your ride, you’ll want to ride some of the best We just have to have an event! The first Tuesday runs in Texas. of each month we get a kick start with the Down at the Lake you have to save Cowboy Capital Opry. Got to go, at least once. September 27th (11am-10pm) for the 34th The music is awesome and always a surprise. Annual Cajun Fest. Great Cajun food, music You never know who might show up and often and fun! Don’t miss it! Arts and Crafts and did I it is a well-known musician just wanting to mention the food? All Cajun, jam with their friends. Small fee to get in with October brings some great fall venues. refreshments and door prizes. Best kept secret It starts with the ultimate festival for children. in Bandera. It’s The Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch in Every month you can count on the Medina. Hay bale maze, music, storytelling, Farmer’s Market where you can buy fresh, petting zoo, pumpkin painting, scarecrow locally grown produce and lots of homemade building, apple orchard tours, pig races, barrel goodies. Jams, jellies, breads, and yum. They train, cider making, gee , and , oh, yeah, you can won’t disappoint! We also have a Market Day buy pumpkins! Every weekend and Mondays in the first Saturday of each month April thru October. School tours on Thursdays and Fridays. November. Great finds there. And Stroll across October 4th includes the Frogs for the street to the Book Sale at the Kronkowski Freedom Ride that benefits the Navy Seals. All Library. Good Books are priceless. Once a vehicles are welcome. Starts at 11th Street in month Bandera features Classic Car Night at Bandera. Then stay overnight for the Annual Fat Boyz. Bikers and trucks are welcome too. Cabrito & BBQ dinner that benefits the Medina Or check the schedule for the Rusty Wheel. Livestock and Wildlife Association on October They have classic cars show off at their venue 5th In Medina. too. The first Friday of each month stop by St October 18th you have to go to the Stanislaus Catholic Church for the Knights of Ranch Heritage Days at the Hill Country State Columbus Fish Fry. Some of the best fish ever! Natural Area. Free Fun Family Event featuring Of course Saturday’s between noon Ranch skills, Music and stories, antique tractors, and 4pm you can stroll Main Street and catch Chuck wagon cooking, Branding Irons, Horses the Bandera Business Associations’ Cowboys and cattle, Working dogs with sheep and goats, on Main program. Features a shootout at coverd wagon rides and a giant rocking horse Heritage Plaza with performances by the Little Wrangler Rodeo. Dress western if you can Bandera Cattle Company Gun Slingers. Great and bring a chair. Can’t Miss this! Show and the kids get deputized and get a Sat - Sun on the 25th and 26th The badge to prove it. Be watching the calendar for Bandera 100K, 50k, & 25k Race is being held at the Cowboy Camp and Song Circle at Frontier the Hill Country State Natural Area. This ought Times Museum. Bring your chair and some 34 Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

to get you moving! Best Run in the State! Oct 31st is the 52nd Annual Hunter’s BBQ and Outdoor Expo. Texas size Live Auction, Live Music, BBQ, exhibits, and lots of entertainment. Sponsored by the Bandera County Chamber of Commerce. Great Food and awesome auction. November the 8th the Bandera American Legion’s hosts the annual Bandera Honor’s Veterans Day, Event begins at 9:00 AM on the Bandera County Courthouse lawn with family displays and continues until 4:00 PM. Music starts at 10:00am with the Official ceremony at 11:00 AM and parade at noon. Free BBQ sandwich lunch for veterans & their wives. Additional food available for purchase. See military displays, concessions, and more. On the 15th join the Bandera Walk for Diabetes. Registration 7:30 AM Start 9:00 AM Hosted by the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic, the Second annual 5K Walk for Diabetes is part of the American Diabetes Association’s Community Walks aimed at stopping diabetes. Fit into all of this activity is Thanks Giving! You can be sure Bandera has lots to be Thankful for! For more information visit and click on Events, Yee-Haw, Ya’ll

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Around 1987 I walked into the pub at the Inn of the Hills and discovered a great “new” band, The Drugstore Cowboys. The band was brimming with talent and I became an immediate fan. Dub Robinson, the band leader, has years of performance and production expericnce and each member of the band can front a band in their own right. Dub started out with KBUC radio, a legendary Texas country station and was part of Mann’s Hoedown when he hooked up with Paine Tommy McKay. That was the core of the new group who hit the road as Gary Stewart’s band. In Ft. Meyers Florida, opening for Hank II, the band was joined for the better part of a set by Greg Allman and burned down the house receiving 5 encores. Bosephus was not happy. The band has 40+ years under their belt and a huge repetoire culled from each members time as band leaders. There is 160 years of combined musical experience on display each time they take the stage - which is about 150-200 nights a year. When I asked Dub what advice he had for upcoming musicians, he had some very pragmatic advice, “Have a Plan B.” Judging by their success, Plan A has served the band well. The Cowboys are playing a special show with John Arthur Martinez September 13th celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Hondo’s on Main in Fredericksbug. It is sure to be quite a gala so mark it on your calendar. Also on November 16th you can be a part of the Drugstore Cowboys new CD and DVD. They will be taping at another legendary Texas Music venue - John T. Flores Country Store. Wear your best boots!






Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

ITS A PARTY PARTY WEEKEND! Joe King Carrasco in Concert Roddy Tree Ranch - Ingram, TX Review by Brandon Curtis


here’s a reason Joe King Carrasco is hailed as one of the most influential figures in Texas music culture. Known as the “King†of the Tex-Mex genre, Carrasco is known to deliver a truly captivating experience through his Latin rhythms and his exquisite blending of multi-cultural tonal flavors. His unique style provides a fresh approach to the typical mariachi and polka ballad, and although Spanish guitars and steel drums are lacking, even Tex-Mex purists can find artistic beauty in Carrasco’s performances. While many may only see Carrasco as an exclusive Texan musician, his passport and personality speak volumes of the locations that influence his musical identity. In the early stages of his career Carrasco frequented between Austin and Los Angeles, not only to benefit from their eclectic live-music venues, but also for the opportunities to develop his own musical persona. Touring in the South American countries of Colombia and Bolivia exposed Carrasco to the rich melodies and nuances of the distinct Spanish-American cultures that pervade throughout his artistic work. Even his own style is a reflection of his personal influences. As a teenager he was profoundly inspired by musicians like Doug Sahm and the Tornadoes, Julieta Venegas, and vocalists from the Blues era. Within the upbeat pulses of his Tex-Mex tracks are inter-genre overtones, often taking the form of a wild guitar solo or vibrant variations in the percussion section. Included in Carrasco’s musical entourage during his performance at the Roddy Tree Ranch in Ingram were Albert Besteiro, Vince Mejia, and Chuggy Hernandez. To say Carrasco gave an exhilarating performance would be an understatement: at one point

during the show he cavorted down from stage, navigated through the floor of dancers and jumped onto a table to display his prowess of playing his guitar behind his head. The crowd was also treated to an impromptu accordion solo from Fritz Morquecho who joined Carrasco improvising with the band during the set. Carrasco himself is an improviser who considers the art as essential to musicianship as being able to read sheet music. Music is an outlet for expression Carrasco said. (There is a) fine balance between reading and improvisation. Considering his induction into the Texas Music Hall of Fame and his growing fan base, Joe King Carrasco is undoubtably one of Tex-Mex music’s most profound individuals. When not touring throughout the Americas, Carrasco can be found entertaining at his famous Nacho Daddy restaurant and bar in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he currently resides. Due to his dynamic concert experiences and explosive antics, it’s no surprise that many know Carrasco not only as a patriarch of TexMex but also as the original “Party King.” Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Hidden in the hills of the western Hill Country is a natural gem that attracts thousands of people each year. Lost Maples State Park is reknowned for it’s natural beauty, especially every fall when the maple trees and Texas red oaks turn color. Lost Maples has actually been popular for centuries - the area was home to a large population of Indian tribes including Apache, Lipan Apache and Comanche tribes which threatened the region well into the 19th century. The park showcases the best in Edwards Plateau plant and wildlife, with all kinds of terrain ranging from limestone canyons, clear streams and springs and wooded slopes. Bird watchers will delight in the abundance of species including the green kingfisher, the endangered blackcapped vireo and golden-cheeked warblers who nest and feed in the park spring and summer. As you stroll along the creek, the shoreline is bathed in red, gold, yellow and green


- a wonderland for photo buffs looking for some great shots of some of Texas’ most beautiful scenary. There are hiking trails for every level of fitness, from a short stroll down the creek to longer hikes up into the hillsides. The park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including picnicking, camping, backpacking, sightseeing, hiking, photography, bird watching, fishing, swimming and nature study. For overnight guests, the park offers two types of camping sites - 40 primitive hike-in camping sites ($10) and 30 campsites with both water and electricity ($20) . In the fall these sites fill quickly so make your reservations as early as possible. For more information and updates on the status of the folliage, call the number above or visit their web site for the latest news.

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


avid “Snuffy” Jackson started as a photo journalist with his high school paper in the days when you had to have a darkroom. These early years gave him an eye for composition, people’s faces and street photography. Although many people diss “Photoshop” imaging, David embraces it. “When Kodak quits making film stock, the writing is on the wall. No more smelly chemicals and waiting for photos to process. One click will accomplish what used to take me hours” When asked what the most difficult images to capture are, “Lightning bolt,s as it is a hitand-miss process sometimes requiring dozens if not hundreds of long exposure images. David’s advice to beginning photographers, “Just go shoot! The more you shoot the better you get and you may find your niche more quickly. Hang out with other photographers, they are dying to share how they get the great shots.” Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country 39

Game Calls That Work G

ood spring rains and promising field reports lead me to speculate: This may be the best deer season we have had in a very long time. So what are you waiting for? Get serious this season and bag that wall hanger of a lifetime! I am often asked: Beyond shooting true and scouting hard, what factors contribute to a successful trophy deer hunt? A banker friend once told me: “I am not a better hunter than the rest; I can just afford to hunt where there are lots of trophy animals.” Certainly, selecting a locale where there are good animals—like the Hill Country—often makes a great hunter out of a mediocre one. Make sure your equipment—and its operator—is fine-tuned. When it comes to shooting—a rifle or a bow—practice, practice, practice… Beyond that, luck often plays a role in success. So too, product. I rarely endorse hunting gear, unless it’s phenomenal. And I never endorse anything that doesn’t work as advertised. So when I discover a tool of the huntin’ trade that is really effective, as in gangbusters, I feel it’s my duty to share it with other hunters. So I will. Certainly, some gadgets catch more hunters than wild game, but that cannot be said of a game call I have used with uncanny success—the Hands-free Grunt Call by Knight & Hale. We all learn by trial and error—such is true of game calls. I’ve used them, and I’ve pitched ‘em when they haven’t performed. Bow hunting bucks in south-central Kansas several years ago, perched between spindly hackberry trees, I tried Knight & Hale’s hands-free call. I like this call because it comes with a lanyard that I can easily hang around my neck. When I ‘lip’ this lightweight device and gently inhale, it makes sounds that literally drive rutting bucks wild. As I write this column, I am sitting down, looking outside the window with my 40

grunt call hanging from my lip like one of Bogart’s smokes in an old Hollywood flick. And as I type, I can see I am driving Bubba, my recently turned 7-year-old Blue Heeler lying at my feet, nuts. Note to Self: Bucks love this game call; Australian Cattle Dogs do not! The first buck I lured in was over 150 yards away, walking diagonally away from me in a harvested milo field near Winfield. When the buck heard the call, he stopped dead in his tracks, turned and ran toward me, slamming on the brakes 20 yards shy of the tree I was seated in.

Editor’s Note: Bucks don’t climb trees. When you call in an animal to shooting range, STOP CALLING. Keep it up and your buck will spook. That deer wasn’t the one I wanted, but the next day I called in a nice 10-point to 45 yards and harvested it with my BowTech bow. I double-lunged that buck and went home with his trophy rack, all that delicious venison—and another tried and true game call. I have successfully used my Knight call on south Texas, west Texas and Hill Country muy grande bucks as well as Kansas bruisers. I haven’t used it farther afield, so I won’t swear that this game call works on Iowa or Oklahoma bucks, but I wager to say it will. Unless Iowa and Oklahoma bucks speak a different language. Most hunters are eager to share their success tips with others. So if you have a great story you’d like to share, give me a call (Ph. 432296-8813) or drop me an email (stains1767@; ). Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

2900 E. Main Uvalde, TX 78801 830-278-4000


In-house Gun Shop Limited Gunsmithing Cleaning FFL Transfer Special Orders

Bar-B-Q & Grill located inside the store

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Varied and unexpected environmentally

related events are the norm for our fascinating Hill Country. Interesting things have happened here on the Farm this Spring. We were headed into the summer under the worst drought conditions in 70+ years when suddenly in May we get over 7” of rain followed by 2.64” in June. Ground that has appeared barren for months is suddenly supporting knee high vegetation of every kind imaginable. My Master Naturalist training tells me to let it go. Diversity is a good thing. The tall grass and forbs will control erosion while providing a home for all kinds of living creatures. Beautiful butterflies will feed on the nectar of the wildflowers, beautiful birds will come to eat the butterfly larvae and the wildflower seeds. The list could go on, but uncontrolled diversity would also include chiggers, fleas, mosquitos, scorpions, centipedes, and even rattlesnakes and copperheads. Even on a large working ranch that was depending on cattle, sheep, and goats, as was the case with earlier stages of Hill Country development, ranchers were advised to graze half of the forage produced on their pasture land, but to always leave enough leaf area for the plants to regenerate to provide more grazing at a later time while continuing with enough root system to control erosion. It makes sense that the take half leave half concept should apply to yard mowing as well as grazing, especially considering our expensive and limited water resources. Businesses that are tourist oriented need a short grass alternative. The same folks that gave us the graze half leave half theory have worked at alternative grass species that can survive our frequently harsh conditions while at the same time provide some erosion control, and harbor less of the possible pests. One of the first choices for testing for the required qualities is a true native grass, Buffalograss Our Natural Resource Conservation Service, The Agrilife Extension folks as well as a 42

number of private plant breeders have done a lot of work with this native cultivar. I will quote the sales pitch from the Ecological Solutions publication of the Native American Seed Co. located in Junction, TX. “ Buffalograss a 5-8 inch short, sod-forming grass. Lives on as little as l2 inches of water per year, spreading by seed and surface runners. Buffalograss has no natural diseases or pests, does not respond to fertilizer, and withstands extreme hot or cold. Found from Minnesota and Montana down to Mexico, thriving in all types of soils, environmentally responsible alternative to Bermuda or St. Augustine.” Keep in mind that this company is selling seed. Here on the Farm I’ve been planting small patches of this stuff for over 20 years, and I’m sold on its value as a potential short grass lawn for large areas. Everything the Native American Seed Co. says is true, but there are some other factors that folks should be aware of. Before undertaking extensive plantings. (l The seed does not germinate evenly, This is true of almost all native seed. The DNA in every seed is a little different. This enables the species to survive, but not necessarily every individual. (2) Buffalograss seedlings grow very slowly. They start as spider web thin wisps ¼ to ½ “ long. These tiny wisps are apparently very tough and retain life under extremely harsh conditions waiting for environmental improvements such as rainfall to occur. (3 ) The varieties I have tried have almost no shade tolerance. (4) Buffalograss prefers deep soil, but is not particular what kind--sand, loam, caliche, clay are all OK (5) Buffalogass does not compete well with other grasses and weeds under what we consider good conditions. It prefers drought followed by wet, and it does not need fertilizer. (6) It will turn brown quickly when drought conditions set in, but turn green very quickly even with light rainfall. These six observations are certainly not meant as discouragement, only as factors that anyone contemplating plantings of this kind of lawn area should be aware of.. As mentioned

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

at the beginning of the article some interesting things happened on the Farm this Spring. Our recent lengthy drought followed by adequate rainfall has resulted in positive developments with our Buffalograss trials. The tough little wisps of grass, and dormant seed took advantage of the conditions and spread significantly. We have a number of fair sized patches of the grass. Due to our prior experiences our efforts to encourage the spread of this environmentally adapted naturally short grass will involve (1) setting our mowers relatively high 3 ½ to 4 inches attempting to keep weeds and KR Bluestem from going to seed while adhering to the take half leave half theory. (2) Resist the temptation to fertilize the small patches of Buffalograss because this will encourage the weeds and other competing grasses more than it will the Buffalo. (3) We will refrain from overseeding the patches of Buffalo with Rye grass in the fall because the Buffalo does not like competition. Nothing can ever be simple, but by trial and error and sharing experiences, we will continue to learn and improve our techniques of caring for our fascinating Hill Country environment.

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country



Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


However, it is important that citizens and prospective jurors understand that while that belief is important to our sense of well-being and security, it has to be tempered with the realization that police officers are human too. They do make mistakes, they do hold grudges, and they often use their positions of authority for the wrong reasons. A word of caution about police officers in general (and please understand that this is not an indictment of all police officers): any person who has a psychological need to be a police officer probably does not have the psychological makeup to be a good police officer and will probably abuse Elected judges and prosecutors who their authority at least occasionally. know little to nothing about criminal laws and procedures are curable flaws. Some minimum I write this, not as a complaint about our experience requirements to hold those offices system of criminal justice, because as I said when would be a good step in the right direction. I started, we have the best system in the world. ur criminal justice system is the best system in the world. In most countries judges decide whether a person is guilty of a crime and judges decide what is the appropriate punishment. Our founding fathers were brilliant, thinking men, who recognized the inherent dangers of having a governmental official decide the fate of individual citizens. But, with that said, our system is not perfect. There are flaws that can be corrected, and there are flaws that cannot.

Incurable flaws are simply human errors. We are all human and we will all make mistakes. We make observations about others, and make presumptions about them and their actions based largely upon our own personal experiences and interactions with others. The politically correct movement calls this “profiling” and rages against it. But, to stop people from making assumptions about others based upon their appearance and actions would require a fundamental change in human nature. It simply ain’t gonna happen. So that “flaw”, the habit of making assumptions about people accused of crimes, is not curable and it will never change.

I write this simply to say that forewarned is forearmed and if you are called for jury duty, be aware of the human errors that negatively impact our criminal justice system, and be aware of your own assumptions and prejudices as you enter the courtroom. For our system to work, ordinary citizens have to give more than lip service to the concept that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

In our system of justice, people who serve on criminal juries, and even those who are called but are not selected, will almost always enter the courtroom, sit down, look around, and wonder to themselves what law the Defendant broke. After all, they wouldn’t be there if they hadn’t done something wrong. That is simply human nature. If you believe in our system of justice, (and I do), you have a fundamental belief that police officers don’t arrest and accuse innocent people.

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country



Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

Over the years I have become increasingly suspicious of commercial products intended for the home and garden. These products are heavily marketed by high dollar advertising firms who dominate print and visual media. Perhaps the most dangerous of these products are those used for household cleaning and for common pest problems at home and in the garden. Without naming names, suffice it to say that if it kills pests by means of volatile oils it is not safe. You can recognize them by the way they smell. Yucky! There are so many safe alternatives. I’d like to provide you with several tried and true “recipes” which you can make at home for pennies on the dollar. Best of all, these recipes do not “slow kill” you, your kids, or your pets. By the way, the safe alternatives are by way of “essential oils” instead of high priced volatile oils. The basic recipe will be 6 to 7 drops of the particular oil(s) listed below, a half cup of white vinegar, a “squirt” of quality dish soap, preferably “eco-type” available at most grocery stores, gently mixed into 1 ½ gallons of warm water. That’s it! Spray or pour…whatever you like. You can test the mixtures for skin sensitivity by spraying a small amount on your forearm. If you are going to get a reaction (which is rare), it will usually occur within 20 minutes. Most adults and children should not have any problems with any of these recommendations. It is generally safe and effective to spray your clothing with any of the mixtures. If you are looking to get a basic starter set of home essential oils, the top 4 oils to get are Peppermint, Lavender, Spearmint, and Cedarwood. These four oils will cover all insect categories and they are the least expensive oils to purchase. Hint: for a pleasant and effective household cleanser, try mixing the preceding four oils and mop your hard surface floors. Wood, tile, linoleum, etc….this mixture works great on all these floor surfaces. All of these oils can be purchased

at various sites online. And, if you like, you can purchase from me at https://garylochte. Because the oils are used sparingly, even one ounce of oil will make many gallons of product, possibly saving you hundreds of dollars and decreasing detrimental effects on the health of your family and your pets. For example: What do you use to eliminate ants in the house, or in the garden? Try Peppermint & Spearmint oils. Aphids in the Garden: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Peppermint, Spearmint Beetles: Peppermint, Thyme Caterpillars: Spearmint, Peppermint Chiggers: Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme Fleas: Peppermint, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Lavender Flies: Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage Gnats: Patchouli, Spearmint Lice: Cedarwood, Peppermint, Spearmint Mosquitoes: Lavender, Lemongrass Moths: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint Plant Lice: Peppermint, Spearmint Slugs: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Pine Snails: Cedarwood, Pine, Patchouli Spiders: Peppermint & Spearmint Ticks: Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme Weevils: Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood Use often, …your home and garden environment will smell great and be pest free!

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country



beginning guitar player once asked me for advice on how to get ready to play music professionally. He was memorizing chords, watching online videos, and listening to tunes he liked. After a frustrating discussion - during which he deflected every suggestion I threw at him - I finally said, “If you want to play; play.” That was not smart-aleck advice. It really is true. I thought back to how I got into playing music “professionally.” I was in high school. Sure, I had taken drum lessons. I tried to form a band with my 8th grade friends, but there wasn’t much repertoire written for drums, coronet, and organ. I drummed along with records, and even played as my Dad squeezed out Nat King Cole tunes on his Lowry organ. But one night I was lying on the living room floor watching a talent contest broadcast from the Iowa State Fair. Instead of listening to the singer, I was focused on the stage band drummer. After a few songs, I literally jumped up and announced, “I can do that!” I drove into the nearest bar (in small towns in Iowa, they exist at the rate of three per block). The first one I came to had three old men playing country music. I noticed there was no drummer, so I walked up to the singer and asked if he needed someone to play drums. He looked at me and said, “Get up here.” I started my drum career that very night. No amount of preparation can prepare you for playing. I was terrified. And I wasn’t very good. I rushed; I missed beats; I was sloppy. But as I pounded along every weekend for the next several years, I learned what it took to play music with others. I learned how to listen, how to play with substitute musicians, how to back up bad singers, how to entertain surly and tipsy crowds. I learned how to play even when I didn’t feel like playing. I learned how to fake playing when I didn’t know the song. I don’t know if other musicians 48

experience this, but I discovered a strange phenomenon while working with a newlyformed band in Colorado. We lived together and rehearsed for many weeks, putting together a large set list to get us through a four-hour gig. Before we booked ourselves in a club, we thought it would be a good idea to invite friends and relatives to a backyard party so we could play in front of a live audience.

Photo by Phil Houseal Good thing. We weren’t nearly as prepared as we’d thought. During rehearsal, you have the luxury of starting and stopping, working out tricky passages or even starting over. But in front of an audience - even a friendly one - you are working without a net. You kick off a song, you’d better have the correct key and tempo. If you forget the lyrics, you make them up. If you blow the lead, you just keep going (old Floyd used to say if you mess up a lick, the next time it comes around you mess it up the same way, so people think you meant to do it). But once we got through that

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

shakedown cruise, we were ready. We owned those songs, and went on to play up and down the foothills in all types of clubs. As I finished visiting with the young guitar player, I realized the advice applies to us all, whatever we are endeavoring to accomplish. My brother, who is a successful investor, warns me to avoid “the paralysis of analysis.” If you want to sing; sing. If you want to write; write. If you want to dance; dance.

Anywhere you live, there are ample opportunities to perform. Sure, take lessons. But here in the Texas Hill Country, there are unlimited places and opportunities to put yourself in front of friendly audiences. Go to Luckenbach and sit on the fringe of the song circle. Sing at a karaoke night. Invite yourself to any of the jam sessions that range from country music to dulcimer to ukes to accordion. Find three guys just a little bit better than you and start a practice band. Invite your family over, and serve them BBQ and beer so you can guilt them to stay and listen. Here is my advice, young man: If you want to play guitar; play guitar. Start a band. Write a poem. Try out for the play. Join the choir. Before you know it, you’ll be giving advice to some young kid who wants to play as good as you do. Phil Houseal is a writer, educator, musician, and owner of Full House PR, a public relations firm that tells the story of your product, service, or business.

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country



thoughts, it occurred to me that this place had a special aura beyond spectacular beauty. It had to do with the chain link fence that keeps people from tumbling down hill. We found dozens of tributes to individuals and some to animals along the fence. Crosses, purchased and handmade, bits of jewelry and flowers, signs—even a collar for a dog named Ollie—were threaded in the chain link. Our first thought was of memorials to those in roadside accidents, but that didn’t seem to fit. A woman near us said these were tributes to those who loved Devil’s Backbone. I think she’s right. These are tributes not to sad accidents but to treasured lives. No matter one’s difficulties, the beauty of a special place is healing. This is a good place to honor memories.

o far, all the ghosts I’ve met have been friendly. But would they be in a place called Devil’s Backbone? If I stayed late enough at the scenic overlook on FR 32, would an ethereal conquistador on a stallion float by? Would I hear the pounding hoofbeats of ghost horses, perhaps carrying displaced Indians or sad Civil War veterans? Would I hotfoot it back to the nearby bars, only to have locals tell of encounters with spirits who both warned of danger and played tricks? I didn’t get a chance in July to test my courage in a faceoff with a ghost, but I did refresh my spirit. It’s a gorgeous drive on 32 between 12 and 281. It’s a gorgeous drive anywhere in the Hill Country, but there is something mystical about looking across the Balcones Fault Zone while standing on the Edwards Plateau. My geologist friend says the legendary ghostly sounds may I hope to sit all night under the stars be caused by rock formations, not paranormal phenomenon. I’m going to bring her with me along Devil’s Backbone someday. I’m not sure sometime and have her explain that. I’ll pass it what I’d do if I heard unexplainable sounds or saw an apparition, but what an adventure on when I understand it. It’s important to pay attention to the it would be! Just for fun in the meantime, winding road--not the view--when driving there’s “Ghostly Chills, the Devil’s Backbone 32. As a Wimberley Visitor’s Center volunteer 2.” Compiled by Bert Wall, who was a Texas cautioned, please don’t park on the side of the rancher and historian, this short book of scary road. Heading west on 32 from 12, the scenic stories is perfect Halloween storytelling. It’s overlook is on your right, just a short distance available online along with a wealth of material about Devil’s Backbone. past the bars on your left. It’s a lovely place. A venerable site for Texas stories is My travelling buddy and I sat for quite a while, gazing at the formations. I’m not much of Look for their older a picture taker, but artists and photographers will anthologies in libraries. I checked out 1965’s want sketch pads and cameras. I’d rather keep “Coyote Wisdom.” It takes me right to the heart memories in written words. As I wrote down my of Texas legends. 52 Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

53 54


Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country


Sam & Lou Miller Proprietors

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country - Vol 1 No 4 - Fall 2014  

Your free guide to tourism in the Texas Hill Country. Events, exhibits, concerts and more are covered in each issue. Distributed at over 50...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you