Page 1

May/June 2018

he’s music to our ears...

Drew Kennedy

Since 1990 people places music events parks wildlife shopping lodging dining


20TH ANNUAL

Brent Thurman MEMORIAL BULL RIDING

September 22, 2018 • 7:30 pm Dripping Springs Ranch Park 29401 Ranch Rd 12, Dripping Springs, TX 78620

Friday night • September 21 Cowboy Reunion & Auction Jake Hooker Band 7 pm

Saturday night • September 22 Exceptional Rodeo Event 5:30-6:30 pm Bull Riding 7:30 pm People’s Choice Band 10 pm

Produced by Bo Davis, DVS Productions. Proceeds benefit Marbridge Ranch, the Jason Walford Foundation, RED Arena & the Special Olympics

BrentThurman.com


Volume 28, Number 8 ISSN: 1524-2315. Entire contents © Copyright 2018 by TD Austin Lane, Inc.

Julie Spell Harrington Publisher/Ad Sales 512-484-9716 • julie@hillcountrysun.com

Melissa Maxwell Ball Editor/Design 512-569-8212 • melissa@hillcountrysun.com

Ernie Altgelt • CJ Wright Suzy Moehring Mallard Writers Gerry Burns & Adelle Spell Distribution ON THE COVER Drew Kennedy (See story, page 12.) Photo by Susan Marinello.

facebook.com/hillcountrysun • hillcountrysun.com

W

elcome to the new look of the Hill Country SUN! We are so excited about the changes we’re making to enhance the way we bring you information about the wonderful people, places and events that help create our beautiful Hill Country. We’ll be printing the SUN every Luke, Julie & Kenzie Harrington other month, so please look for it in your mailbox (if you live in Dripping Springs or Wimberley)... or while you are out and about... you’ll find us at locations all over the Hill Country! We want to thank you for your continued support over the years, and we look forward to many more!

­—­Julie

Every Friday! VFW Hall Post 6441 at Veterans Park

4 miles north on Ranch Road 12 to Jacobs Well Road

Non Smoking • Plenty of Parking • Air & Heat • Food Available

512-847-6771 • www.TexasVFW.net

4 Early Bird Games 7:15 pm - 50/50 Split 10 Regular Games 8 pm

Wimberley’s JULY JUBILEE Wednesday, July 4

July 4 Parade Patriotic Concerts Thursday-Saturday

July 5,6 & 7

73rd Annual VFW Rodeo Saturday, July 7

Market Day Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce

www.wimberley.org (512) 847-2201

Rustic Furniture and Decor

In this issue Drew Kennedy

Meet the masterful songwriter..........................12

Wildlife

WE CUSTOM MAKE FURNITURE

A column by C.J. Wright....................................6

Parks

A column by Suzy Mallard Moehring................14

Andy Allen

He’s a Hill Country “homemaker”.....................16

Bandera Summer Fun

Events and attractions galore ............................8

Calendar of Events

Plan your next adventure! ................................18

Benches, Old Mexican Doors Chairs, Buffets, Tables (Sofa, End & Dining) Jewelry, Paintings Open 7 Days a Week • (830) 833-5900

103 Main Street • Blanco, Texas A “CAN’T MISS SHOPPING EXPERIENCE” May/June 2018 Hill Country SUN   5


INDEX

HENLY

Texas Hill Country Locator Map

Š 2018 by TD Austin Lane, Inc.

6   Hill Country SUN May/June 2018

Austin J5 Bandera B10 Bergheim D9 Bertram I2 Blanco F6 Boerne D9 Buchanan Dam F2 Buda J7 Bulverde G10 Burnet G2 Camp Verde B8 Canyon Lake G9 Castroville C12 Center Point B8 Clear Springs H11 Comfort C8 Concan A11 Driftwood H7 Dripping Springs H6 Fischer G8 Fredericksburg C5 Georgetown K2 Granite Shoals G2 Gruene H10 Hancock G8 Helotes G6 Henly G6 Highland Lakes F2/3 Hondo B13 Hunt A7

Hye E6 Ingram B7 Johnson City F5 Kendalia F8 Kerrville B7 Kingsland F2 Kyle I8 Lampasas G1 Leakey A9 Llano D2 Liberty Hill I12 Luckenbach D6 Luling K10 Marble Falls G3 Martindale J9 Mason B2 Medina A9 New Braunfels H10 Oak Hill I6 Oatmeal H2 Pipe Creek C10 Round Rock K3 San Antonio F12 San Marcos I9 Sattler H9 Seguin I11 Sisterdale D8 Spring Branch F9 Startzville G9 Stonewall D6 Utopia A10 Vanderpool A9 Wimberley H8


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A column by C.J. Wright

A

s the sun rises on an early May morning, the air springs alive with song. Wood Thrushes solo on flute and Summer Tanagers, White-eyed Vireos, orioles and warblers add their voices to those of resident choristers while a Pileated Woodpecker drums a powerful beat, rounding out the bass and rhythm sections—all welcoming the new day.These early morning melodies uplift our spirits and we imagine birds are tuning up, happy for another spring morning. Yet their songs may be more than just an outpouring of avian gusto. Pileated, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Downey Woodpecker drum rolls are males thrumming away to assert their territorial and breeding rights. Studies indicate that male birds, rather than singing for joy, are communicating, announcing their social standings. If a male repeats the song of a neighbor, for instance, he may be signaling aggression; whereas, if he switches to a different rendition unlike his neighbor’s, he may be backing down. Irrespective of birds’ intentions, we enjoy their music and each spring anticipate our feathered friends’ return to their breeding grounds.

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Along with their songs, we enjoy the visual as birds in fresh hues of red, yellow and blue flash among new leaves. Taking time to watch them go about their daily activities provides a welcome respite from the business of our lives: a nuthatch works its way upside down a tree trunk, probing the bark’s furrows for insects; a pair of phoebes perch on branches, tails bobbing, sharp eyes alert, ready to take flight and snag insects to feed to their growing brood; a hummingbird perches on its favorite twig, wired to dive bomb any rival that lands on ‘its’ feeder. During late afternoon or early evening the “who-cooks-fory’all” call of Barred Owls carries through the trees. During their breeding season, a pair’s cackles, hoots and grumbles—as they discuss their partnership—are downright funny. And when it comes to birds, the term birdbrain is a misnomer. Their intelligence goes beyond their ability to communicate with one another. With feathers of various shades of brown, nightjars have learned the value of camouflage and are somewhat aware of their own coloring, thus selecting nesting sites on ground with leaf litter that allows them and their eggs to hide, often in plain sight. Known for their intelligence, studies show that ravens have the ability to differentiate between fair and unfair people, based on how they were treated, and retain that information for at least a month. Studies of fairywrens (small Australian songbirds) show that the young learn from their mothers during incubation. Not only did their heart rates lower when listening to their mother’s soft calls, but they actually learned these calls and repeated them after hatching. By swapping eggs with another fairywren See NATURE, page 8

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NATURE, from page 7

species, researchers found that the young reproduced the sound of their foster mother, not of their biological one, thus proving the calls were learned and not genetic in origin. Following migration and after males have established territories, their morning choruses grow more muted. Mated pairs are about the business of nest building and raising young. The young of most songbirds grow rapidly—eyes open in three days; nestlings alert, stretching wings and legs, their primary feathers unsheathed in 10; fledglings fully feathered, but with short tails and wings, leaving the nest in 14 and whether in nearby trees or on ground, still fed by parents for up to 28 days. Throughout this entire time, youngsters are vulnerable. They fall prey to hawks, owls, raccoons and others. Spring storms shake young and sometimes nests to ground. If you find a nest or nestling on the ground, the best solution is, if possible, to return nest to tree or bird to nest. If that’s not possible, create a nest using a small basket or plastic tub. Line it with shredded paper towel, place the baby inside and nail the container to the tree from which the nest fell. If none of this is possible, check online or call Texas Parks and Wildlife for a list of rehabilitators in your area. In the meantime, refrain from feeding the baby (Rehabbers know the formula required.) and place it in a box lined with paper towels, in a warm, dark area. If needed, a warm heating pad or water bottle can be placed beneath the box. For fledglings, the best solution is to leave them alone as the parents are near and will care for it. If the youngster is in an open area and appears vulnerable, place it under a nearby shrub. If the bird is in danger from cats or is a victim of a cat attack and even if it shows no visible sign of injury, call a rehabilitator. Cats’ needle-like teeth and claws often leave no visible wounds, however both carry bacteria and viruses that are lethal to birds. Additionally, the bird may suffer from internal hemorrhaging. Multiple studies point to the fact that even well fed, domestic cats—animals not a natural part of ecosystems—kill wildlife. Although exact numbers are unknown, some estimates say that cats kill between 500 million and one billion birds each year, while others estimate numbers at 2. 6 billion. That said, cats must be kept indoors. And so, each spring we marvel at the thousands of miles birds travel, employing magnetic fields, using visual land cues, star orientation and sunset to calibrate direction, braving adverse weather conditions and sometimes crossing oceans to return to the same patch of land where they reared their young or hatched the year before. This phenomenon called bird migration is imbedded in the human psyche and countries around the world designate certain days as International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) as a way of recognizing the importance of birds and the need to promote a more comprehensive understanding of them and their conservation. The United States and Canada celebrate the day each year on the second Saturday in May, a time that coincides with our peak bird migration. In Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean, IMBDs occur in September or October when birds return to their wintering grounds. Other countries around the world follow similar patterns. While celebrating International Migratory Bird Day, we also honor this as the centennial year of the Migratory Bird Treaty 10   Hill Country SUN May/June 2018

A baby robin fallen from its nest. Photo © Ahturner | Dreamstime.com

Act (MBTA). In 1850, passenger pigeons were endemic to North America, were its most abundant bird and possibly the most abundant bird species in the world. When passing overhead, their flocks inspired wonder and awe. By the mid-1890s their population had plummeted with flocks numbering in the dozens rather than the hundreds of millions. In September 1914 the last known passenger pigeon died at the Cincinnati Zoo. Within a few decades, a bird numbering in the millions was rendered extinct. At around that time, egrets, herons and spoonbills (John James Audubon thought their numbers too large for annihilation.) were heading down the same path, although they were hunted for their feathers rather than for food as were the pigeons and their squabs. Thanks to the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act they did not meet the passenger pigeon’s fate. In the years since the U.S. and Canada signed the MBTA, the act has broadened to include, via treaties, Mexico, Japan and Russia. It has protected most birds native to the U.S. and has saved from extinction the Wood Duck and the Snowy Egret, once hunted for its delicate feathers. With the passage of time, however, landscapes change. Human populations grow and with that increased urbanization, industrialization and agribusiness. As a result, rather than hunters and milliners, pesticide poisoning, uncovered mine or oil well ponds, gill net ensnarements and turbine and communication tower collisions kill millions of birds each year. Hence, administrations—whether Democratic or Republican—have interpreted the MBTA to prohibit the unregulated killing of birds, whether the intent was to kill them or not: “incidental take.” In December 2017 the current Department of the Interior’s deputy solicitor issued a memorandum which narrows the interpretation of the Act to apply only when the taking or killing of birds is the purpose of the action—as in hunting—thus eliminating the decades-old incidental take interpretation. This new, legal interpretation prompted conservation professional who served the Department of Interior from 1971 to 2017 to draft a letter to the Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior expressing their concerns: “Birds are, quite literally the proverbial ‘canary in the coal mine.’ How birds fare in the world indicates how all wildlife and habitat, and by extension human populations, will fare.”


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May/June 2018 Hill Country SUN   11


Summer fun in Bandera Cowboy Capital of the World National Day of the American Cowboy July 28

Photo courtesy Bandera Riverfest.

Riverfest June 30

Enjoy the beautiful Medina River in Bandera City Park at Riverfest June 30, with everything from water games, live music, hot dog and watermelon eating contests, a barbecue cookoff, car show, to arts and crafts and the Bandera Idol competition. The Lone Star BBQ Cook-off has grown so much that this year’s event offers a guaranteed $10,000 pay out! The Bandera Coastline – graciously donated by SW Construction Company, offers a chance to build sandcastles, plus there’ll be giant slip and slides for the kids. The day also includes fun water activities, like a River Rodeo, plus kayak races and a river rescue race. Events are easy to enter and require no special equipment (Bandera River Yacht Club provides the tubes and kayaks). You can also take part in the “The Great Inner Tube Regatta,” the most unlikely of river parades. There is no entry fee, and there are no rules except that your entry must be on an inner tube. Trophies are awarded for the winner of the followng categories: Best Nonprofit, Best Business, Best Individual and Family entries. Gates open at 10 am. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 ages 55 and up. Children 12 and under and active Military with I.D. get in free. All riverside games and water activities are absolutely free! For more information, visit www.BanderaRiverFest.com or call 210-215-1995.

More to see & do in Bandera

Saturday, July 28, celebrate the National Day of the American Cowboy. The National Day of the Cowboy celebration on the historic Court House Lawn kicks off with a cowboy breakfast at 9 am and special music by America’s Singing Cowboy, Steve Mitchell, well known for his shows in Branson, MO. See gun fights by the Bandera Cattle Company at Rattle Snake Ridge, a small town near the back of the Courthouse lawn plus enjoy storytelling, fiddle playing, and select Western vendors. You’ll also find food, games, horse shoe pitching, cowboy dress up, stick horse races, a boot scramble, the Bandera Picker’s Circle, buggies, domino games, chuck wagons, cowboy poetry and more. Saturday evening, mosey on down to Mansfield Park Rodeo Arena for the Ridin’ the River Cowboy Church Ranch Rodeo. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Gates open at 6 pm the rodeo gets started at 7:30 pm. Friday night, July 27, the Frontier Times Museum hosts the 2018 induction of the Texas Hero’s Hall of Honor. For more information, call 210-215-1995 or check out the website at NationalDayOfTheCowboyBandera.com

Photo courtesy National Day of the American Cowboy.

Find much more info at banderacowboycapital.com. Hill Country SNA

2nd Sunday Music Fest

Bandera Market Days

Frontier Times Museum and the Bandera Music Hall of Fame join together for an afternoon of music, food, and fun. Frontier Times Museum, 510 13th Street.

Arts and crafts vendors in downtown Bandera the first Saturday of every month on the County Courthouse Lawn.

5,400 acre primitive camping area with trails for horseback riding, backpacking, hiking, biking. Fishing, swimming. tpwd.texas. gov/state-parks/hill-country.

Knights of Columbus Fish Fry

Bandera Cattle Co. Performances

Cross-G-Ranch Trail Rides

Gunfighters re-creating shootouts and daily life of the Old West. Shows most Saturdays at noon and 2 pm.

Private rides from 1 - 4 hours for maximum of 12 riders. Ages 12 & up. 24 hour notice recommended. 830-688-2717

5 pm the first Friday of the month at St. Joseph’s Hall. 12   Hill Country SUN May/June 2018

May 26-27 Funtier Days Arts & Crafts Show Saturday parade and 75+ vendors on Bandera County Courthouse Lawn

May 26-28 Memorial Day Weekend Rodeo Tie down roping, bull riding, steer wrestling, bareback riding, roping . Mansfield Park Rodeo Arena. 830-522-0054.


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• M.O.R.E. Magician Oscar Munoz • Cooking Classes CookLearnGrow, a Cooking School for Kids • Performance by DSHS Orchestra Club • Harry Potter! A 20th Anniversary Celebration

• Library Rocks Polkas • Cinderella Around the World • Earth Science Rocks! • Circus Chickendog! • Austin Reptiles • Art of Henna • Reading Buddies • Battle of the Books ... and much more The Dripping Springs Community Library will have reading clubs and activities all summer long. View our summer lineup & register online at

www.dscl.org/summer-2018

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drew kennedy 14   Hill Country SUN May/June 2018


By Ernie Altgelt Photos by Cal Quinn

f

or any performer to achieve complete professional success in the music biz (in the Texas Hill Country, or anywhere else for that matter) a few “essentials” are required and all are ultimately rooted in the possession of extraordinary innate abilities. And, if these natural “talents” aren’t in place in the proper measure, or perhaps underdeveloped, accomplishment will be limited. But, when everything magically comes together – albeit often with enhancement through external nurturing and/or luck then bolstered with a lot of personal hard work and dedication, the results can be amazing and, oh so emotionally stunning. Case in point is New Braunfel’s more than musically-inclined adopted son, Drew Kennedy. Blessed with a clear, resonant voice made even more alluring when rendering his self-penned melodies rich in lyrical wonderment, then coupled with a warm, outgoing persona, this tunesmith with pipes truly does possess (in spades) the necessary requirements attainment demands. Thus, to any and all seeking the best in audible artistry, Drew Kennedy “essentially,” gets the job done and, speaking for his many fans, that’s music to our ears. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, while always buoyed by singing, actually making music came late to Drew. As he recalls “I didn’t get my first guitar until I was in college.” The history major and team baseballer admits to needing “a respite from the course load and time-heavy nature of athletics.” And, acquiring a six-string then self-learning the instrument proved a perfect “distraction” for the young student. It wasn’t long before he penned his first song – “a real stinker,” as he attests. However, always attentive, Drew’s method of music creation evolved to listening to other compositions then “deconstructing what it was about that particular song” that called to him. After a little digestion, through what he calls, “reverseengineering” he would develop his own melodies and wording incorporating what appealed to him in those other works. And, based on his prolific, and lauded, output since those early days, Drew’s approach worked! So, how and why did he end up here in the Hill Country? Well, it was in 2004, after graduation and marriage, when the

Lone Star State beckoned. By this time, Drew, a part-time performer in Pennsylvania, had decided to give music a shot as a professional career. He figured Texas’ reputation as an incubator of budding talent would be the best place for a concerted effort. Selecting New Braunfels because of its size and proximity to bigger markets like San Antonio and Austin, Drew and his bride excitedly headed to the small historic community, established their home there and still reside at the same address today. After arriving, the songster initially “sold insurance and was terrible at it.” Fortunately, within a year, he was spotted by an agency and offered a publishing deal that afforded him the ability to devote all of his working time to writing and touring. And, since 2005, he’s never looked back. Today, and eight well received albums later, Drew is a consummate performing musician sharing his work to audiences throughout Texas and beyond. At the beginning of his professional career, he would work as many as 225 shows annually. With children now comprising a part of the Kennedy household, the enamored father has backed off to about 160 appearances each year which is still quite a commitment. But he, and his many fans, love what he’s doing. His most recent release is titled “At Home in the Big Lonesome” and features a range of tunes that pretty much cover the gambit of stylings and message. To categorize Drew’s output is difficult since he’s so versatile. Some label him as a Country/Western artist. Others think of him as a folk singer. Both is probably the best answer. Whatever, all agree (instrumentally, tonally and poetically) he’s pretty special no matter the genre. So, listen up for this downhome Yankee come south because he’s worth it. With regularly scheduled tour appearances slated throughout 2018, he won’t be hard to miss. And, as a matter of fact, his diverse (and loyal) base of followers insist that it’s “essential” for all of us with a love of great music to support this worthy practitioner. He really is ”music to our ears.” [Catch Drew at Gruene Hall May 15, 2018 and Kerrville Folk Festival May 26, 2018.] For more comprehensive information about Drew Kennedy – performance locations and dates as well acquiring his past and latest albums, visit drewkennedymusic.com.

May/June 2018 Hill Country SUN   15


By Suzy Moehring Mallard TPWD hosts Outdoor Adventures May 19-20 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hosts Outdoor Adventures Area May 19-20 by Lake Travis at Jones Brothers Park in Jonestown. Visitors of all ages can try fishing, archery and other fun outdoor activities from 10 am to 5 pm, completely free. “The goal of the TPWD Outdoor Adventures Area is to introduce families to a variety

of outdoor experiences and provide hands-on guidance from experts in a fun, safe setting,” said Dave Terre, TPWD Chief of Inland Fisheries Management and Research. “We want the community to come experience all of the outdoor opportunities and programs available to them in the area and become more aware of our conservation efforts across the state.” Fisheries biologists, state

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www.CowgirlsAndLace.com 16   Hill Country SUN May/June 2018

park rangers, outdoor educators, and game wardens will be on hand to answer questions and provide demonstrations at a variety of outdoor booths. TPWD Outdoor Adventures Area is being held in conjunction with Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, a Bassmaster Elite Series tournament held May 17-20 at Lake Travis with the top 108 bass anglers in the world. Proceeds from the tournament benefit TPWD youth fishing and urban outreach programs. And don’t forget: Outdoors Adventures Area on May 19-20 is free, free, free. Come on, y’all. Hill Country groups win grants to get kids outside Texas children and families will have more opportunities to explore the state’s natural resources, thanks to more than $800,000 in 22 grants awarded this year through Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Community Outdoor Outreach Program. The grants help fund activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and service projects. In the Texas Hill Country these groups will help get more kids outside: Austin Youth River Watch will use its $45,000 grant to get high schools involved in an afterschool and summer youth development program focused on water quality testing, environmental education, community engagement,and outdoor recreation activities. Nature and Eclectic Outdoors in Austin and the Wilderness Kids project will use its $46,000 grant to create innovative outdoor-oriented programming for 500 young people and their families through field trips, camping events, and other outdoor activities. Science Mill in Johnson City will receive a $48,631 grant for its Doing Science Outside project – hosting hands-on science activities, workshops and field trips to outdoor recreation areas for 230 middle school youth in Blanco, Johnson City, Marble Falls, and Burnet. Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio will introduce outdoor recreation skills such as fishing, birding, outdoor

cooking, and kayaking into their watershed investigation summer camp for 100 female middle school students with its $40,000 grant. YMCA of Greater San Antonio’s grant of $33,196 will help 480 young people visit Robert’s Ranch in the Hill Country to engage in summer program field trips for natural resource education, junior master naturalist trainings, and youth workshops for hunter safety education and activities aimed at creating future conservation leaders. Getting outside ought to be easy I’ve said it before in this column, and here it is again: I am so fortunate to live across the street from a park. Perry Park is a woody area, a forest, a wildflower haven that is tucked behind Austin’s Highland Park Elementary School just off of Balcones and 2222 in Austin. And it makes me happy when I read about programs like TPWD’s Community Outdoor Outreach Program – CO-OP, they call it – because it makes getting outside easier for a lot of kids and their families. These little parks like mine are in so many towns. My kids in Cedar Park love Brushy Creek Park, not far from their house. Coming home from Port Aransas recently, we passed a sweet park right off 183 in Lockhart. And last summer I strolled around Luxembourg Park in Paris one morning. Oh, all right, that probably doesn’t count. Paris. But you get my point. What I love about Perry Park is how natural it feels, like I’m away from civilization, from roads and busy-ness and hurryhurry. Just me and the trees and bushes and trails and karst for the 20 minutes or so it takes me and Jack the dog to walk through the woods and come out the other side. And there’s all kinds of ways to get out in a park in our beautiful Texas Hill Country, whether you go to Enchanted Rock or Blanco State Park or LBJ National Historic Park or whether you find a park close by, a small park, your park. But make it easy on yourself and get outside.


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May/June 2018 Hill Country SUN   17


Andy Allen

a Hill Country “homemaker”

O

By Ernie Altgelt

ne measure of success in our world is what an individual has been able to beneficially create over his or her lifetime. Contributing to the betterment of others through hard work, imagination and resolve has been appropriately lauded by all societies and we’re no different here in the Hill Country. Quite simply, we respect and admire those who can “make” things happen that positively affect others. These are special folks and we understandably recognize them for their accomplishments. Living in San Antonio but known throughout much of the Lone Star State is one such person — Andy Allen. Single-handedly, this “can-do” dynamo has “built” a company that continues to touch countless families by, not just creating exceptional rurally-situated dwellings but of greater importance, also often fulfilling the long-held dreams of the same who desire their “own place” situated on, their own acreage. Since 1983, Andy, through his company Hill Country Classics Custom Homes, due to the construction of superior, emotionally and esthetically fitting pastoral domiciles, truly has become a self-made “country homemaker” and, by any measure, that is success! Originally from the Houston area, Andy spent most of his youthful summers “working residential construction.” While admittedly a physically demanding way to earn some spending money, as he recalls, “It gave me the opportunity to learn every aspect of the trade including the electrical, plumbing, carpentry, masonry and other key areas all essential to home building.” Little did he initially suspect that this knowledge would eventually play such an important role in his adult life. Later attending the University of Texas at Austin, Andy (endowed with a full football scholarship) earned his BBA in Finance. But, even after graduation, he was still uncertain about a career path. The only thing he was sure of was his determination to “get out of Houston.” And, like many life-changing, directional (geographically and professionally) inspirations, his particular impetus came serendipitously thanks to his parents. The senior Allens had always “toyed with the idea of retiring to the countryside” but couldn’t find a “builder” they felt comfortable with. There just didn’t seem to be any that “specialized” in home construction exclusively in the outback. Can you see where we’re going with this? Yep, Andy, always the observant one, attests, “I saw country home construction as an under-

Andy Allen. Photo by Ernie Altgelt.

18   Hill Country SUN May/June 2018

The Ben Milam, by Hill Country Classic Custom Homes. Many of the company’s custom plans bear the names of Hill Country communities or landmarks: the Bandera, the Bergheim, the Blanco, the Campwood, the Castroville, the Concan, the Frio, the Sabinal and more. Photo courtesy Hill Country Classic Custom Homes.

served niche market that, as a bonus, would free me from the big city.” And, in 1983, full of excitement, energy and vision, he moved to San Antonio (since it was located at the beginnings of the Hill Country), bought some property in Boerne on Interstate 10 and, after building a couple of on-site model homes, opened for business. His first assignment was proved to be a guesthouse for a retired couple who were relocating to Hunt, Texas. The end product was a hit, word spread and many other projects soon ensued. His game plan was always pretty simple, “Offer a full-service package – from design to a finished, extremely high quality, move-right-in house with everything ready to go.” And, thanks to those earlier summer jobs, he “knew the drill.” Couple Andy’s extensive technical know-how with his decision to specialize in constructing “classically-styled” Hill Country-appropriate houses (large porches, standing-seam metal roofs, fireplaces, stone exteriors, etc.) and folks just loved the one-stop shopping approach that later came to include financing as well. Keeping things simple (like his business’s name) would, and has, proved to be very popular as any day-trip into the countryside will attest. (After three-plus decades, there are just lots of Hill Country Classics dotting those hills.) Remembering those early days, Andy recalls his first 15 years as working seven days a week and “not missing many of them.” Before the Internet came along, people would visit the company, ready to learn and explore possibilities. Since Andy was the “salesman,” he needed to be there to answer questions, help in the designing and get the process going. But, he also was HCC’s primary construction supervisor too. As the company’s job load increased, Andy didn’t have many “off days.” But, as he attests, “I was a lot younger then.” Today, with the business humming along, thanks to a seasoned crew of veteran HCCers, charming and functional country homes continue to spring up across acreage covering an amazing 25 counties throughout Central and South Texas. And, while still the head honcho, thanks to his incredible support team, Andy has been able to enjoy a little more free time that he happily devotes to spending with his loving (and very understanding) wife Julie, his treasured children and adored grandchildren and, on his greatly prized ranch, where fat cattle compete with abundant wildlife for his attentions – Andy loves to ranch and hunt almost as much as homebuilding. But, even when relaxing in his own beautiful house he and Julie built in 1993, while always devoting a considerable amount of thought to the business, Andy also has time to realize just how fortunate he’s been throughout his life, primarily by doing what he loves to do – building things. Now that really is a definition for success – for an exceptional “country homemaker” or anyone else for that matter. You nailed it, Andy!


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CONCAN, TEXAS


Hill Country Calendar of Events NOTE: Dates and/or locations for the events listed in the Calendar may change. Some require admission fees or reservations. Please call ahead to confirm. EVERY DAY

GRUENE: Enjoy great, live music at Gruene Hall. There are free music shows Monday through Thursday nights, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. gruenehall.com. EVERY SUNDAY

BEE CAVE: Thundering Paws Pet Adoption. Noon to 4 pm at PetSmart. 512-402-9725. HELOTES: Family Night and Free Dance at John T. Floore Country Store., 14492 Old Bandera Road. 6 pm. liveatfloores.com. SECOND SUNDAY

BANDERA: Second Sunday Music Fest. Afternoon of music, food, and fun at Frontier Times Museum, 510 13th Street. banderacowboycapital.com. JOHNSON CITY: Taste Wine + Art. Kirchman Gallery. 830-868-9290. FIFTH SUNDAY

DRIFTWOOD: United Methodist Church Bluegrass Gospel Sing-along Service. 11 am. 512-944-6300 EVERY MONDAY

CANYON LAKE: Seniors Bingo. 12:30 pm at Habitat for Safe Seniors, 2174 Old Road, Startzville. 830-899-2256. CYPRESS MILL: Bunkhouse Gang at Wenmohs Ranch. Paint and enjoy fellowship of artists. 830-825-3465. EVERY TUESDAY

WIMBERLEY: Hill Country Community Band Rehearsal. First Baptist Church. 7 pm. hillcountrycommunityband.org. EVERY TUESDAY - SUNDAY

WIMBERLEY: Glass Blowing Demonstrations at Wimberley Glassworks. wgw.com. FIRST TUESDAY

BANDERA: Cowboy Capital Opry. Silver Sage Senior Center. 830-7964969. GRUENE: Swing Dance Lessons and Two-Ton Tuesday at Gruene Hall. gruenehall.com. EVERY WEDNESDAY

DRIPPING SPRINGS: Farmers Market. 3 pm to 6 pm at Highway 290, Ranch Road 12. cityofdrippingsprings.com. KERRVILLE: Kerr County Farmer’s Market. Rain or shine, market offers array of seasonal fresh and canned fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, meat, farm eggs, honey, fresh baked goods, more. River Star Arts & Event Park. www. theexit505farmersmarket.com NEW BRAUNFELS: Veteran Music Group at VFW Post 7110. 5 pm to 8 pm. Open to all veterans, all skill levels. Song writing, guitar, keyboard, more. 600 Peace Avenue.

Gary Walter, 512-460-9919. SAN MARCOS: Kent Finlay’s Songrwriter’s Circle. Talented musicians perform original songs throughout the night. You never know who might walk in and perform at Cheatham Street Warehouse. 8 pm. cheathamstreet.com. WIMBERLEY: Farmers’ Market. Senior Citizen’s Activity Center, Ranch Road 12. 512-264-1637. THIRD WEDNESDAY

DRIPPING SPRINGS: Cook Off Club. 6:30 pm. VFW Hall. Email ryoncrew@ yahoo.com. WIMBERLEY: Heart of Texas Genealogy Society meets at Wimberley Village Library. 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm. wimberleylibrary.org. FOURTH WEDNESDAY

WIMBERLEY: Hill Country Neighbors. 10:30 am. Community Center. 512-847-2849. EVERY THURSDAY

DRIPPING SPRINGS: Coffee House with Light Dinners, Desserts, Open Mic. 6 pm to 9 pm. Thyme and Dough. thymeanddough.com. INGRAM: Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market. Highway 39 & Old Ingram Loop. 2 pm to 7 pm. 830-367-2800. FIRST THURSDAY

DRIPPING SPRINGS: First Thursday. Events, food and music plus special sale items. 5 pm to 9 pm. drippingspringstx.org. DRIPPING SPRINGS: Vince F. Taylor American Legion Post 290 of Dripping Springs meets at 7 pm. 512-858-5637.

Brewing Co. Tex-MexBeer.com. EVERY FRIDAY

BLANCO: Tasting Room Open & Brewery Tours at Real Ale Brewing Company. realalebrewing.com. WIMBERLEY: Bingo. Family friendly fun at the VFW Hall on Jacobs Well Road. 512-847-6441. GRUENE: Friday Afternoon Club. This quintessential happy hour celebrates warmer weather with great beer prices, prize giveaways, and the best in Texas tunes broadcast live by KNBT 92.1 FM Radio New Braunfels. gruenehall.com. FIRST FRIDAY

BANDERA: Knights of Columbus Fish Fry. 5 pm at St. Joseph’s Hall. www.banderacowboycapital.com. FREDERICKSBURG: First Friday Art Walk. Tour galleries, enjoy demonstrations, plus refreshments, extended hours. ffawf.com. MARBLE FALLS: Art Walk. 5 pm to 8 pm. marblefalls.org. SECOND FRIDAY

BANDERA: Medina Community Jam Session. Bring a covered dish, snack or dessert. Medina Community Center. banderacowboycapital.com. UVALDE: Four Square Friday. Shopping, food, music, art. 6 pm to 9 pm. visituvalde.com. FOURTH FRIDAY

BANDERA:

Fourth

Friday

Jam.

Music at Silver Sage Corral. 6:30 pm. 830-796-4969. EVERY FRIDAY - SUNDAY

FREDERICKSBURG: Shows at Rockbox Theater. Variety, music rock ’n roll show. 866-349-6688. EVERY SATURDAY

AUSTIN: Austin Farmers Market. Republic Square. 512-236-0074. BANDERA: Cowboys on Main. See cowboys, steers, horses, wagons, strolling cowboy musicians, gunfighters, more Western-themed action on Main Street Downtown. banderacowboycapital.com. BANDERA: Flying L Chuckwagon Dinner Enjoy barbecue, wagon rides, roping lessons, hat and pistol branding, archery, old-time photos, cowboy stage show, gunslingers, line dancing, and other entertainment. Flying L Hill Country Resort. flyingl.com. BOERNE: Tejas Pro Rodeo Series Live Rodeo. Gates 5 pm, rodeo at 7:30 pm. Live music and dancing 9 pm. tejasrodeo.com. BOERNE: Farmer’s Market. 9 am to 1 pm. More information at www. cibolo.org. COMFORT: Area Farmer’s Market. 8 am to 1 pm. Comfort Park, Highway 27. DRIPPING SPRINGS: Texas Music and Wine. solaroestate.com.

FIRST & THIRD THURSDAY

CANYON LAKE: Noon Lions Meeting. Canyon Lake Golf Club. 830-899-4406. SECOND THURSDAY

WIMBERLEY: Hill Country Bead Society. Wimberley Community Center. 1 pm. Marilyn Pierce, mp@ smpierce.net. SECOND & FOURTH THURSDAY

WIMBERLEY: Toastmaster Club. Learn public speaking, leadership. 7 pm to 8 pm at the Community Center,14068 Ranch Road 12. 512847-6822. THIRD THURSDAY

DRIPPING SPRINGS: Dripping Springs VFW Post 2933 meets at 7 pm. 512-858-5637. WIMBERLEY: Susanna’s Kitchen Coffeehouse presents some of best in Hill Country music. Pie, tamales, pizza, coffee, soft drinks available. Doors 7 pm, music 7:30 pm. wimberleyumc.org. WIMBERLEY: Third Thursdays. Shops open ‘til 8 pm. WimberleyMerchants. com. EVERY THURSDAY - SATURDAY

WIMBERLEY: Live Music at Linda’s Fine Foods. 500 FM 2325. facebook. com/LindasFineFoods. EVERY THURSDAY - SUNDAY

DRIPPING SPRINGS: Craft Beer Tasting, Free Tour at Twisted X May/June 2018 Hill Country SUN   21


Hill Country Calendar of Events FISCHER: Jackson Open Artisan and Farmers Market. 9 am to 5 pm. 6341 Farm Market 32. jacksonopenairmarket.com, 830935-2781. HUNT: Rodeo, Live Music and Dancing at Crider’s Rodeo and Dance Hall. 830-238-4441, www. cridersrodeoanddance.com. NEW BRAUNFELS: Farmers Market, 186 South Castell Avenue. nbfarmersmarket.com. NEW BRAUNFELS: Chuckwagon Supper and Cowboy Music Show. www.theenglishbrothers.com. WIMBERLEY: Tour Jacob’s Well. Hear stories about floods, divers, and experience beauty of the spring that started the town of Wimberley. 10 am. jacobswellspring.org. WIMBERLEY: Arnosky Family Farms Market. Ranch Road 2325 and Highway 165. 830-833-5428 WIMBERLEY: Saturday Evening Dinners at the Blair House Inn. www.blairhouseinn.com. UTOPIA: Lunch and Dinner Served

at Laurel Tree. utopiagourmet.com. FIRST SATURDAY

BANDERA: Market Days on the Courthouse Square. 830-796-4447. BANDERA: First Saturday Book Sale. Public Library. 830-796-4213. DRIFTWOOD: Community Club. Group meets to enhance community spirit. Dinner 7 pm. driftwoodtx.org. WIMBERLEY: Market Days. (March through December). 475-plus booths, free admission. 7 am to 4 pm. shopmarketdays.com. SECOND SATURDAY

CASTROVILLE: Market Trail Days. Houston Square. 830-539-2316. WIMBERLEY: Second Saturday Gallery Trail. 15 galleries around Square stay open late offering art, wine, appetizers. Facebook. com/ SecondSaturdayGalleryTrail. EVERY SATURDAY & SUNDAY

DRIPPING SPRINGS: Craft Beer Tasting and Free Tour at Twisted X Brewing Company, live music and food. 23455 West Ranch Road 12. TexMexBeer.com.

ROUND MOUNTAIN: Tours at Westcave Preserve. westcave.org.

FIRST/LAST SATURDAY-SUNDAY

LAMPASAS: Trade Days. Meet artists and craftsmen who create one-of-a-kind items, from antiques, collectibles, quilts, and crafts, to folk/fine art, home furnishings. marigoldsantiques.com SECOND SATURDAY-SUNDAY

AUSTIN: Tours of Bright Leaf Natural Area. brightleaf.org. FIRST SATURDAY

BANDERA: Bandera Market Days Arts and crafts vendors in downtown Bandera. Courthouse Lawn. banderacowboycapital.com. KERRVILLE: Kerr County Market Days and Hill Country Swap Meet. Two events in one location. Hill Country Youth Exhibit Center. Free admission, kerrmarketdays.org. WIMBERLEY: Market Days. Oldest outdoor market in the Hill Country and second-largest in the state features 475 -plus booths of art, crafts, antiques and treasures. Lions Field. shopmarketdays.com. SECOND SATURDAY

14th Annual

Blanco Lavender Festival

WIMBERLEY: Gallery Trail. Come early, stay late for wine, food and art-filled evening at local galleries. gallerytrail.com, 512-847-2201. FOURTH SATURDAY-SUNDAY JOHNSON CITY: Market Days. Information at JohnsonCityTexasChamber.com. MOST SATURDAYS

BANDERA: Bandera Cattle Company. Gunfighters Experience the excitement of the Wild West with the award-winning Bandera Cattle Company Gunfighters, re-creating shootouts and daily life of the Old West. Shows at high noon and 2 pm. banderacowboycapital.com. MAY 17

WIMBERLEY: Susanna’s Kitchen CoffeeHouse presents Ray Wylie Hubbard. Doors 7 pm, music 7:30 pm. wimberleyumc.org. MAY 18-20

FREDERICKSBURG: Fredericksburg Trade Days. Shop more than 400 vendors or relax in the biergarten listening to live music. fbgtradedays.com. MAY 19

8

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01 2 , 0 8-1

Artwork by: Helen Faythe Green

w w w. B L A N C O L AV E N D E R F E S T. c o m 22   Hill Country SUN May/June 2018

AUSTIN: Emmylou Harris in Concert. Paramount Theatre. austintheatre.org. BANDERA: Armed Forces Day. Live music, silent and live auctions, food, 50/50 raffle, special military service, more. 11th Street Cowboy Bar, banderacowboycapital.com, 830-796-3045 or 830-796-7528. BLANCO: 30th Annual Blanco Classic Car Show. Blanco State Park. blancoclassicarshow.com. FREDERICKSBURG: Professional Bull Riders. Forty of the PBR’s best riders and some of the crankiest bulls at Gillespie County Fairgrounds. gillespiefair.com.

DRIPPING SPRINGS: Riding On A Dream Bull Ride & Jason Boland Concert. Dripping Springs Ranch Park.drippingspringsranchpark.com. MAY 19-20

GRUENE: Old Gruene Market Days. gruenemarketdays.com. MAY 24 - JUNE 10

KERRVILLE: 47th Annual Kerrville Folk Festival. International Songwriters fest features more than 100 songwriters and their bands. kerrvillefolkfestival.org. MAY 24 - JUNE 24

KERRVILLE: Southwest Gourd Fine Art Show. Nation’s finest gourd artists compete in popular show. Kerr Arts & Cultural Center. kacckerrville.com. MAY 25

BANDERA: Bandera ProRodeo. PRCA rodeo produced by Rafter G Rodeo Company at Mansfield Park Rodeo Arena, banderacowboycapital.com, 830-796-30 MAY 25-26

BLANCO: Arts in the Park. Enjoy a free concert at Bindseil Park, Pecan Street. blancochamber.com. MAY 26

BANDERA: Memorial Day Weekend parade down Main Street. 11 am. banderatx.com. HUNT: Criders Rodeo & Dance Hall. Rodeo, live music, and dancing. cridersrodeoanddance.com, 830-238-4441. WIMBERLEY: Red, White and Blue on the Falls. Swim, float & relax on Cypress Creek. live music, food and vendors. Cypress Creek Event Center. rwbonthefalls.com. MAY 26-27

BANDERA: Funtier Days Arts & Crafts Show. Saturday parade and more than 75 vendors, 500 Main Street. banderacowboycapital.com. FREDERICKSBURG: Crawfish Festival. Music, entertainment, food and fun inspired by all things Cajun. Marktplatz. fbgjaycees.com. JOHNSON CITY: Market Days. City Park, US Highway 290 and Avenue G. lbjcountry.com. WIMBERLEY: Memorial Day Open Pro Lester Meier Rodeo. Fun for the family! elwebman.com/rodeo. MAY 26-27

JOHNSON CITY: Memorial Day Weekend Scavenger Hunt at the Science Mill. Test your puzzlesolving mettle as you work your way through STEM-themed clues. sciencemill.org. MAY 28

FREDERICKSBURG:Memorial Day Observance. National Museum of Pacific War. pacificwarmuseum.org. JUNE 6

WIMBERLEY: Love of Your Light Event. With Treaty Oak Distilling. Wimberley Glassworks. wgw.com. JUNE 8-9

BURNET: County Community Fair. Rodeo, live music, fun fam-


Hill Country Calendar of Events ily activities, cooking demo, Austin Steam Train, Burnet Gunfighters, car show, food, vendors, raffle, silent auction. Community Center. burnetcountyfair.com. JUNE 8-10

BLANCO: Blanco Lavender Festival. All things lavender, including farm visits, a lavender market, speakers, demonstrations and more. blancolavenderfest.com. JUNE 9

WIMBERLEY: Love of Your LightWimberley Glassworks Art Reveal. An intimate afternoon of live music, Treaty Oak Distilling cocktails, art reveal, and live glassblowing! RSVP for complimentary tickets at WGW.COM. JUNE 12

COMFORT: Music in the Park featuring John Arthur Martinez. comfortchamber.com. JUNE 15-16

STONEWALL: 57th Annual Peach Jamboree. Features a rodeo, live music, dance. Music by Josh Ward and the Bellamy Brothers. stonewalltexas.com. JUNE 15-17

BOERNE: Berges Fest Cookoff & Auction. Celebrate German culture with parade, Miss Berges Fest Pageant, games, dachshund races, watermelon eating, little tractor races, cookoff, dance. bergesfest.com. MARBLE FALLS: Adult Soapbox Derby. adultsoapboxderby.com. JUNE 23

COMFORT: Summer Solstice Celebration Circle. Cave Without A Name. 7:30 pm. cavewithoutaname.com. HARPER: Western Skies Street Festival. Live music, vendors, food trucks, a pig scramble and street dance. facebook.com/290Market. LUCKENBACH: Hill Country Food Truck Festival. Featuring food, wineries and music. 11 am to 9:30 pm. luckenbachtexas.com. WIMBERLEY: Susanna’s Kitchen CoffeeHouse presents the Austin Lounge Lizards. Doors at 7 pm, music at 7:30 pm. wimberleyumc.org. JUNE 23-24

UTOPIA: Open Rodeo at Utopia Park. utopiapark.org/events. JUNE 20, 27

DRIPPING SPRINGS: Tomato Time at the Farmers Market. Homegrown tomato contests. Enter, taste, vote! 3 pm - 7 pm. At the Triangle, Highway 290 and Ranch Road 12. 512-858-4725, cityofdrippingsprings.com. JUNE 30

BANDERA: 21st Annual Riverfest. Enjoy kayak races, exhibits, water games, river rodeo, car show, mu-

sic, paddle boats, arts and crafts, food, more. banderariverfest.com, 210-215-1995. JULY 4

COMFORT: Independence Day Celebration. 10 am parade and followed by barbecue lunch and live music, arts and crafts and more. comfortchamber.com. KERRVILLE: Robert Earl Keen’s 4th on the River. Louise Hays Park. Celebration features kids’ activities, concert, vendors the “largest fireworks display in the Hill Country.” robertearlkeens4th.com. KINGSLAND: Aqua Boom Festival on Lake LBJ. facebook.com/KingslandAquaBoom. LAKEHILLS: Fourth of July Celebration. 11 am parade, barbecue plates at noon, live country music in the pavilion by River City Wranglers. Lakehills American Legion. www.banderacowboycapital.com. MARBLE FALLS: Community Fireworks. Lakeside Park. marblefallscommunityfireworks. UTOPIA: Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks at Utopia Park. utopiapark.org. WIMBERLEY: July Jubilee. Parade and Patriotic Concerts. wimberley. org, 512-847-2201.

July 27-29 CPRA RODEO

Dripping Springs Ranch Park

Friday & Saturday 8:00 pm

Ranch Rodeo

Mutton Bustin’

JULY 5-7

73rd Annual VFW Rodeo. Veterans Park on Jacobs Well Road. texasvfw. net/vfw-rodeo. JULY 7

COMFORT: Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines. Two Texan stars plus cave acoustics promises a most memorable evening of entertainment. 7:30 pm. Cave Without A Name. comfortchamber.com. WIMBERLEY: Big Scoop Ice Cream Festival. 1 pm to 7 pm. $10 admission, kids 12 and under get in free. Benefits Camp Good Sam. Wimberley Community Center. donate. goodsamtx.org. JULY 14

MASON: RoundUp Rodeo Weekend. Arts and crafts fest on the square, street parade at 10 am. Donkey race, washer pitching, evening rodeo and dance featuring Jake Hooker. 325-347-5758. JULY 19

WIMBERLEY: Susanna’s Kitchen CoffeeHouse presents Johnny Nicholas. Doors at 7 pm, music at 7:30 pm. wimberleyumc.org. JULY 27-29

DRIPPING SPRINGS: Fair and Rodeo. Showcasing the finest in rodeo skills, food and drink, live music and entertainment. Family friendly arts and crafts vendors and kids’ activities. drippingspringsfairandrodeo.com.

Send calendar events to melissa@hillcountrysun.com May/June 2018 Hill Country SUN   23


24   Hill Country SUN May/June 2018


Rio Bella Resort

on the Frio

All Rentals Overlook the Frio Vacation H Wedding H Reunion

Kayaks H Paddleboards H Tubes 5 miles to Garner State Park

13 miles to Golf Club at Concan

H Motorcycles Welcome! H

(830)232-4781 www.RioBella.com — Open Year ’Round —


May/June 2018

Post Office Box 1019 Dripping Springs, TX 78620

PRSRT ECRWSS U.S. POSTAGE PAID PFLUGERVILLE, TX 78660 PERMIT NO. 16

LOCAL POSTAL PATRON

Hill Country Sun May/June 2018  
Hill Country Sun May/June 2018