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LIVING

THE

BEAUTIFUL

LIFE

INSIDE

TRAVEL FOOD ART WINE MUSIC

& FUN

A Hard Day’s Work by Fred Fellows at the Museum of Western Art in Kerrville

HIDDEN GEMS TO DISCOVER

ENJOY SUMMER JUNE 2017


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Features TABLE OF CONTENTS

Brennan’s of New Orlean’s famous Eggs Benedict and Eggs Sardou

WEBB ART GALLERY

For more than 25 years this destination located in a 1930s Ford tractor dealership in downtown Waxahachie, Texas greets collectors and curious travelers from around the globe to experience “Outsider Art” created by Texans discovered and nurtured by gallery owners and artist benefactors Julie & Bruce Webb.

FLYING L RANCH

This Bandera county compound is a reborn multi-use property of homes, ranch-style country club, golf course, water park, stables, and more, is now family operated and the commitment to bringing it back to its original glory–including its now Texas Historical Landmark Frank Lloyd Wright designed “Pilot’s Lounge”–is remarkable.

NEW ORLEANS

Venture to Texas’ culinary neighbor Louisiana and let your palate remind you why these iconic destinations stand the test of time. Here, four of our favorite restaurants and bars where the classics never disappoint and reinvention is as exciting as the daily catch. Sip your way through a sultry summer of classic cocktails and fare.

Courtesy photo

TIME TRAVEL

Spend a summer “staycation” in the history-rich Hill Country as a time traveler at museums rich with exhibits, information, interactive experiences and welcoming staff to guide you through your adventure. Our glimpse of the world-class Museum of Western Art in Kerrville and the new Bandera Natural History Museum.


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Departments TABLE OF CONTENTS

46

55

36

UP FRONT 06 M  ASTHEAD 07 E DITOR’S LETTER 08 C ONTRIBUTORS 10 N  OTABLES

A summer’s worth of food and fun in one month!

4

12

1 5 THINGS

14

O  N POINT

16

A  RT & CULTURE

19

B  E WELL

22 24

M  OTION

27

T  HE CULINARIAN

C. Jane Ragsdale–you are going to love this! Tips to travel easy, fashionable & well. Gorgeous river canvases will inspire you this summer. Learn about this breakthrough life saving skin cancer treatment.

Hill Country CULTURE

| TRAVEL ISSUE

H  IDDEN GEMS

The renown Newsom Vineyards’ new tasting room in Comfort.

22

ENCORE 55

S  PACATION

60

F  OLKS

62

C  HEERS

64

P  UBLISHER’S LETTER

Meet three people who have joined the culinary world and keep it moving. Make Melissa Guerra’s global store at Pearl in San Antonio a destination.

SPAcation at Spa Django. HCC celebrates at Gatherings on High in Comfort with LUXE Hill Country and catches the run for the roses at Bending Branch’s annual Derby Day. The venerable Pimm’s Cup–Texas style.


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Hill Country CULTURE

5


Kerrville

1835 Sidney Baker Kerrville, Texas 78028 830-895-7771

June 2017 - Volume 2 - Issue 6

Ceslie J. Armstrong editor-in-chief

EDITORIAL S.L. Lynn art director Dean Heep associate art director Lisa Walter copy chief Halsey Bascom copy editor Lori Heiss associate editor

221 Burney Lane, Kerrville

This Beautiful, Stately Manor with it’s stunning views rests on 5.64 Acres in a secluded neighborhood. Included in this home of 10,411 SF are 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, a Ballroom, attached Mother-In-Law Quarters, Master Suite, living room, wet bar, large kitchen with fireplace, sunroom, porches, 3rd story bonus rooms, 7 car garage, pool, tennis/basketball court and much more. This Manor lends itself to elegance but also remembers the fun and comfort of home. Offered at $1,400,000.

Call Candy Kane at 830.370.6177

contributing writers Bill & Lisle Drake Nancy Foster Donna Gable Hatch Bretton Holmes Jacob Karre Judith Pannebaker Kathy Simmons Mindy Wendele Lisa Winters Tom Holden chief photographer contributing photographers Frank Castro, Traci Dennis, Kellie Finch, Leah Thomason, Aaron Yates

Neice Bell publisher

ADVERTISING Jennifer McCullough advertising director account executives Halsey Bascom John Doran Jeff Herring Shea Kelton PUBLISHED BY Southern Newspapers, Inc., doing business as The Kerrville Daily Times, is published mornings Mondays-Saturdays. Periodicals postage is paid at Kerrville, Texas. for general inquiries email: info@ texashillcountryculture.com for advertising inquiries email: advertising@ texashillcountryculture.com for subscription inquiries call: 830-896-7000 for editorial inquiries email: editorial@ texashillcountryculture.com for back issue orders call: 830-896-7000

MAILING ADDRESS 429 Jefferson St., Kerrville, Texas 78028 PHONE (830) 896-7000 • FAX (830) 896-1150

Candy Kane REALTOR Each Office Independently Owned and Operated

6

Hill Country CULTURE

| TRAVEL ISSUE

©Copyright: Hill Country Culture is published by the Kerrville Daily Times. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without written permission of the publisher. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher of this magazine. Editorial and advertising does not constitute advice but is considered informative.


PUBLISHER’S LETTER Summer in the Texas Hill Country–it can’t be beat! We are blessed with an endless amount of places to go and things to see and our region includes almost every microclimate in which to experience the beauty and all out FUN. I originally set-out to make this June edition our Travel Issue and realized that there is so much to do nearby that one really doesn’t need to travel far to have a truly enriching, memorable, easy and fun summer vacation. So many visitors wait all year just to come visit us after all. Think of the Hill Country and its surrounding area as your summer “staycation” without leaving our great state– except for neighboring Louisiana. I couldn’t resist the delicious idea of revisiting New Orleans focused on a quick culinary weekend. You’ll see the images and itinerary in this issue along with our suggestion of a “Time Travel” vacation visiting two fantastic museums in Kerrville and Bandera; and, while planning to visit Bandera, you must revisit the evolving and really cool Flying L Ranch. Ask to meet proprietors Susan and Jody Jenkins for the real scoop about the mesmerizing history of the property and ask them to take you to the under renovation characteristically Frank Lloyd Wright Pilots’ Lounge where LIFE Magazine staged a fabulous fashion show in 1947. Super glam but oh so Hill Country. I do hope you really enjoy this issue and hold onto it throughout the summer as an inspiration and guide. I know I will. I am definitely planning a trip to visit the Webb Gallery (see our feature) in Waxahachie–why not–art lovers and collectors from all over the world will be there this summer too. This is my last issue as editor-in-chief of Hill Country Culture. Thank you to so many of you who have reached out in so many ways about the rebranded and relaunched magazine. I do hope to keep hearing from you as we see each other around the Hill Country this summer. It is time for me to move on and I have a lot of writing and cooking to catch up on and will be spending time in Comfort at the keyboard and my pit–and, probably at Bending Branch Winery, Newsom Vineyards Tasting Room (see the feature in this issue), Pedernales Cellars, (or another hidden gem in Comfort: Redefined & Pfaff Pfineries store sells wine by the glass!), or wherever else I can find a delicious spicy red wine to pair with smoked meat, roasted veggies and venison chili. Enjoy your summer!

Ceslie’s Texas Kitchen fare at LUXE Hill Country celebrating Hill Country Culture Dear friend Rodeana Reynolds of Boerne at LUXE Hill Country

Friends Leslie Bohl & Neice Bell

Lapham Lodge ribbon cutting Aug 2014

Pals Karon & Buddy Byrd with the Jenkins of the Flying L Ranch

Looking forward to grillin and chillin this summer

My cold smoked chicken with saffron yogurt sauce and peppers

Loving Newsom Vineyards’ whites for summer

Me with Kay Kindred & Barbara Abele Flying L Ranch

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CONTRIBUTORS

Bill and Lisle Drake Lisle Drake, NEA awardwinning graphic/digital artist, and Bill Drake, best-selling nonfiction writer, live and work at Mermaid Springs Ranch on Johnson Creek in Kerr County, Texas. In addition to their journalism work, they provide professional, compelling freelance advertising graphics and copywriting services for Hill Country artists, arts organizations and arts-related businesses. With their deep knowledge of art and culture in Texas and beyond, enjoy this duo’s feature on the Webb Art Gallery in this issue of Hill Country Culture.

Bretton B. Holmes Bretton B. Holmes holds an MFA from the University of Southern California in playwriting. His work for the stage has been produced extensively around the country, and his journalism has appeared in Arizona Highroads Magazine among other publications. According to Holmes, “He has toured the world and elsewhere.” An ardent health and wellness advocate, Holmes visits the Django Spa for Hill Country Culture and checks in with Dr. Ladd regarding a breakthrough treatment for skin cancer.

Frank Castro As a product shooter, Frank Castro’s subjects have ranged from electronic parts, to elements in nature, to food, people and architecture. Spending much of his childhood in Europe including his family’s working farm in France, he has a keen appreciation for nature and enjoys capturing the beauty and simplicity in photographing the Texas Hill Country. A resident of the Hill Country for more than 17 years and an avid outdoorsman, Castro is always aware of his surroundings with camera in hand. His images of Bending Branch Winery and other culinary images have been published and for Hill Country Culture, his images were published in the April Culinary issue (Texas Hill Country Distillers feature); and in the May issue, his image of the Frio River appeared. In this month’s issue, his images appear in the Flying L Ranch feature and in “Folks.” 8

Hill Country CULTURE

| TRAVEL ISSUE

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NOTABLES

JuneFest!

MUSIC AND FOOD GALORE BY LORI HEISS

Celebrating 50 Years!

BOERNE BERGES FEST Head on over to Boerne over Father’s Day weekend for 3 fun-filled days celebrating the town’s German heritage at the town’s annual Berges Fest. Running since 1967, this family friendly festival now draws over 15,000 people with activities suitable for all ages. With a parade that takes over Main Street on Father’s Day, there also is a wide range of activities including carnival rides, live music, family friendly games, great food and even dachshund races. June 16-18. Free admission. bergesfest.com

1968 Miss Berges Fest Nancy Kay Montgomery

1970 Festivities

ROLLIN’ ON THE RIVER

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THE BRITISH ARE COMING! The San Antonio Summer Art and Jazz Festival has a mission to bring jazz to the public in an effort to improve life and the community through art and music. The annual festival held in downtown San Antonio, is inspired this year by our friends from across the pond. The British Jazz Invasion-themed weekend will showcase jazz musicians, as well as the instruments traditionally associated with the genre alongside an art fair. Featuring free concerts and workshops for kids and adults, all events will highlight the music, history and culture of jazz. June 2-4. Crockett Park. Free admission. sanantoniosummerartjazzfestival.com

All art courtesy art

Billed as the ultimate riverside picnic, the annual Bandera Riverfest certainly has something for everyone. With activities including a car show, BBQ cook-off, eating contests, a River Rodeo, Bandera Idol, children’s events and even a water fetching contest for your dog, you will be sure to be entertained throughout the day. And if you have a competitive side, bring a float of your choice to enter the Float Regatta down the Medina River and compete for a variety of prizes for silliest to slowest – shouldn’t be hard to win that one! June 24, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the banks of the Medina River. Free admission. banderariverfest.com


Food photo by Robbyn Dodd; Bullrider Metro Newspaper Service ; Peach photo Thinkstock/Maksym Narodenko; All other art courtesy art

NOTABLES

KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ Hungry for something different? Check out the 4th Annual Hill Country Food Truck Festival, with over a dozen regional food trucks and 10 Hill Country wineries are represented. You’ll be sure to find something to tickle your taste buds. Open through lunch and dinner, the event benefits the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary arts and will also feature live Texas music from performers including L&M Kings, Julia Hatfield and the Dirty River Boys. Leashed dogs and children welcome, with kids 12 and younger are admitted free. Noon to 11pm. June 24. $15 admission for adults. luckenbachtexas.com/events

SWEET RODEO ACTION! Celebrate the bounty of local peaches in Stonewall, Texas at the 56th Annual Peach Jamboree on June 16 - 17. The festival will be held at the Rodeo Grounds and will feature live music from Mark Chestnutt and Two Tons of Steel as well as several peach related events. Don’t miss the peach seed spitting contest, peach auction and the peach queen coronation. There will be other activities too including breakfast, rodeo, dancing and more. For more information and tickets visit stonewalltexas.com/peach_jamboree.html

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15 THINGS

Jane Ragsdale photos by Tom Holden; body target Thinkstock/Tribalium; microphone Thinkstock/tiler84; sombrero Thinkstock/koya79; penant courtesy photo

C. JANE RAGSDALE ONE OF A KIND, DO THE MATH

ONE. I am a third-generation graduate of Texas Woman’s University (my grandmother, mom and two aunts, and sister were all also grads).

SEVEN. I love singing, especially harmony, but I hate singing solo.

EIGHT. I know and collect a lot of personal genealogy. NINE. The three things I hate the most are math. TEN. When I was a little girl, I thought about being

a nun–even though I’ve always been Presbyterian– but I decided I would be first woman president instead.

TWO. I worked as a newspaper reporter in

Guatemala City, Guatemala, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, before beginning full time work at Heart O’ the Hills.

ELEVEN. At age 19, I was able to purchase 10% ownership of Heart O’ the Hills Camp.

THREE. 2017 will be my 52nd consecutive summer spent in summer camp. I’m hoping for that many more.

FOUR. My husband, Dick, and I have a dalmatian named “Spot.” Oh! Dick, Jane and Spot.

FIVE. I got my MBA at the age of 43 from Our Lady of the Lake University weekend college. I guess I’m a slow learner because it took me 6 years.

SIX. I wouldn’t care if I were bald.

DOCE. ¡I’m fluent en Español! THIRTEEN. I’m an NRA expert marksman. FIFTEEN. See what I mean about math?

C. Jane Ragsdale Director Heart O’ the Hills Camp Hunt TX 78024 USA

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ON POINT

Travel Well TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF TRAVEL AND KEEP YOUR COOL WITH OUR PICKS FOR CHIC-ON-THE-GO GETAWAYS BY LORI HEISS

SOLE SURVIVOR When you’re traveling, comfort is king. But as everyone knows, sensible shoes usually don’t score highly in the fashion stakes. With these stylish foldable flats from Yosi Samra there’s no need to sacrifice style for comfort while running between terminals on your next trip. Made of high quality leather or fun embellished fabrics, simply fold them up and pop them in your bag. Your feet will thank you! yosisamra.com $77-$106

AIRPLANE MODE It’s easy to forget the little things when you’re on the go, but Pinch Provisions has created a whole range of products to help you have just what you need wherever you are. Their Minimergency Kits are great for everyday use, but for travel we love their Airplane Mode kit ($26). The cool metallic bag is packed full of travel lifesavers like an eye mask, earbuds, lotions and wrinkle remover spray. They’ve thought of pretty much everything so you won’t have to! pinchprovisions.com

A WRINKLE IN TIME Despite your best efforts at folding everything “just so,” your clothes inevitably look like they’ve been slept in once they’re unpacked at your destination. Avoid looking like you’ve just rolled out of bed with fashions from ExOfficio, a company dedicated to creating travel-ready clothing for men and women. With items that are wrinkle resistant, reversible or convertible, they even have a range of insect repellent clothes. For wrinkle-free style, we particularly like their Wanderlux Stripe Salama dress ($31.99, pictured). Made of soft moss jersey, it has a two-position tie allowing you to create different looks and even features a hidden security zip pocket on right big enough to fit your passport. exofficio.com

Getting away from it all doesn’t need to mean you don’t want to stay in contact with friends and family back home. Keeping your phone charged has never been easier or more stylish than with Kyte & Key’s Cabelet, an iPhone charge-and-sync cable hidden within a braided leather bracelet. Available in a variety of colors and finishes. kyteandkey.com $99-$149 14

Hill Country CULTURE

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Courtesy photos

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ART & CULTURE

River Time

IMAGINE A LAZY SUMMER DAY ON THE RIVER GAZING AT ARTISTS KATHLEEN COOK’S AND JOYCE BARTON’S SERENE YET VIBRANT CANVASES FULL OF LIFE BY BILL & LISLE DRAKE Without the gift of clear, fast water our Texas Hill Country would be exactly what geographers say it is–the northern edge of the great Chihuahua-Sonora desert. Yet because of our rivers – the Guadalupe, the Blanco, the Medina, the Frio and others less well known like the charming 13-mile long spring-fed Johnson Creek, we are graced to live in an always changing, always fascinating part of the world. Native Americans knew about these gems of the Hill Country millennia before Europeans arrived, and built

their encampments here, where they made flint tools, built temporary encampments, and filled their bellies with the bounty of the land and water. When the White settlers first arrived what a Paradise they found!

“No man ever steps in the same river twice; for it’s not the same river, and he’s not the same man.” -Heraclitus c. 535 – 475 BC Below the Surface by Joyce Barton

Bleached in the Sun by Joyce Barton

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Almost before the hunters began harvesting game from the boundless woodlands, and the fishermen began harvesting the bounty of the streams, the banks of these great rivers were being walked by artists entranced by their beauty, working to capture their uniqueness in drawings and paintings. Travelers come from around the world to revel in the canyons and lakes created by these pristine rivers, gushing gently and steadily from deep, hidden springs and then fed with sudden violence by downpours that have carved twisting passages into the ancient limestone hills over the ages. Savvy travelers know that there are few places remaining on earth that offer so much of nature’s endless variety so close to major cities like Austin and San Antonio. Elsewhere on the planet one has to travel far from cities to even begin to embrace nature in its fullness yet here, in the Texas Hill Country, you can go from the


Images courtesy of the artists

charm and sophistication of city life to the ineffable pleasures of natural, untouched lands and pure, free-flowing waters in just a few hours. Two Hill Country artists are contemporary heirs of generations of people that have loved these rivers, and they are planning a show of their work at Kerr Arts & Cultural Center from September 28th through October 21st, 2017. Joyce Barton and Kathleen Cook have walked our Hill Country rivers for years, paint, pastels, canvas, brush and paper in hand, seeking out the special places, the hidden gems, to record them with their artist’s eye and help to bring this sometimes still, sometimes violent beauty into our homes and public places. Kathleen specializes in pastels on paper and Joyce works primarily with oils on paper using a unique process that she has devised. These two artists not only share their paintings with us, but their deepest thoughts about the Hill Country rivers that we all love. Asked why rivers dominate her paintings, Kathleen Cook contemplated the question and said, “the river experience that we share, here in the Texas Hill Country, threads us together as a community. Because the river flows through our town, county and history, we are all, in one way or another, part of this strong river. We are drawn to the river for life-giving nourishment, recreation, employment, spiritual refreshment, artistic pursuits and just plain old pleasure.” Joyce Barton added, “my own place in nature’s grand design comes from observation of changes occurring along meandering river paths combining with trees, flowers, sky, animals, fish, space and all the other elements of our setting that draws us to the river for relaxation as well as livelihood. As an artist I look for ways to enjoy the painting process, portraying what is often missed when one views the river.” Cook said what she loves most about the rivers she paints is, “the Cypress trees–they are survivors. They live through floods and droughts and time and the endless movement of the river and of man. Long after the last shouts of summer echo out of the

Under the Lemos Street Bridge by Kathleen Cook

Cypress Knees by Kathleen Cook

canyons and the last raft is pulled onto the banks, these stately trees will stand their silent watch.” Joyce agreed, nodding her head vigorously and said, “until you have experienced a long-running drought or seen a raging, roaring Guadalupe flood, you cannot fully appreciate our river. You may know its tranquility and beauty but you have not experienced the sense of desolation as the water goes away to return in its own time. If that time comes in the form of

horrendous, lengthy rains–destruction and sometimes death cover areas far from the river’s bed before it moves beyond our county.” From the gently bubbling springs that appear like magic mushrooms everywhere in the Hill Country to the raging waters that carry away boulders as big as houses, the rivers and streams of the Hill Country are like life itself–ever changing, sometimes pleasant and sometimes terrifying, but always fascinating. JUNE 2017 |

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BE WELL

The Latest In The Fight Against Skin Cancer DON’T PUT AWAY THE SUNSCREEN DURING YOUR SUMMER TRAVELS BUT DO KNOW THERE IS NEW TECHNOLOGY SAVING LIVES IN THE HILL COUNTRY

Photo by Bretton B. Holmes

BY BRETTON B. HOLMES Skin cancer is the leading form of cancer in the United States and it is on track to continue to increase from the current number of approximately 4.55 million people in 2016. Historically, the way skin cancers have been treated was by a method known as Mohs surgery. Named after the doctor who invented it, it is a procedure that can involve a great deal of invasive cutting by a dermatologist. “It can take a very long time in some cases,” explained Dr. Daniel Ladd, founder of Tru-Skin Dermatology, a central Texaswide dermatology practice. “In order to eliminate the cancer with Mohs surgery, patients are often required to have multiple pieces of skin cut out over the course of a day.” For many patients, the process of undergoing Mohs surgery can

be extremely arduous and in some instances very time consuming. But now there is a new non-invasive technology that is literally allowing dermatologists to see not only the edge of the skin cancer but also its depth using ultrasound. The Sensus SRT-100 Vision device irradiates the skin cancer lesion with a very low dose of radiation, resulting in a higher than 95% success rate in completely eliminating both squamous and basal cell carcinomas, the two most common forms of skin cancer. “Most patients come in for threedays-a-week over a seven-week period and are in and out in fifteen minutes,” explained Dr. Ladd. The SRT-100 also shows fantastic results in the treatment of keloids, (the overgrowth of scar tissue that develops around a wound, typically growing beyond the border of the

original site), which affect about 18 million people in the US annually according to De. Ladd. For patient Benjamin Rogers, the best part was the SRT-100 treatment left no evidence, “it’s a scary thing being diagnosed with skin cancer. Once I found out that it was entirely treatable when caught early, I was really relieved. Then I started wondering if I was going to have a scar at all. But at the end of the treatment cycle, it was like the cancer had never been there.” “The advent of this new technology, which allows us to see the cancer and treat it in a very specific way is really a game-changer,” explained Dr. Ladd, “there is literally no downtime, no scarring, no pain, no cutting, no bleeding, no stitches and most importantly, no more cancer.” JUNE 2017 |

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H

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Choice

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A

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Our readers have voted and the choices on ballots have been tallied. See the winning selections in the 2017 Readers’ Choice special section publishing on the weekend of July 22-23 in

H

H

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429 Jefferson Street • Kerrville, TX 830-896-7000 • www.dailytimes.com

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HIDDEN GEMS

Newsom Vineyards Tasting Room BY CESLIE ARMSTRONG would conceive. The love and expertise that the Newsoms put into their vineyards is now poured under their own label using 100% Newsom Vineyard grapes as well. The tasting room also showcases and sells varietals from the award-winning wineries who covet the Newsom’s grapes including Bending Branch Winery and many more. Enter through High St. on the granite path to the “Comfort backyard” as it is becoming known, or, park in the lot on Front St. located next

to Hill Country Distillers. Visit often as the Newsom wines are produced and offered in small batches and sell out quickly to their cult of customers. Ask for a bottle with their signature “bracelet” attached (a must-have for those in-theknow). Enjoy food trucks and live music on the patio on the weekends. Sunday afternoon is a must. Call to arrange private tastings. 717 Front Street in Comfort 806.549.6732

Courtesy photos

Opened in November of 2016, the Comfort, Texas tasting room for the venerable Newsom Vineyards of the High Plains AVA near Lubbock, is a gem of a destination to chill and sip an afternoon away. Grape grower Nolan Newsom and his winemaker wife Mei lovingly–yet painstakingly–restored the Victorian farmhouse to expose the natural beauty of the wood, trimmings and character while adding custom-made details with indigenous materials that only a family who lives and breathes winemaking

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Read “Our Story” at www.shermanco.com

Calvin Holland

Sherman

JUNE 2017 |

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MOTION

Perpetual Culinary Motion MANY PEOPLE START OUT ON ONE CAREER PATH BEFORE REALIZING THEIR TRUE CALLING LIES IN AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT FIELD AND SUCH IS THE CASE WITH THESE THREE HILL COUNTRY RESIDENTS WHO SWITCHED DIRECTIONS TO PURSUE CAREERS IN THE CULINARY WORLD AND ARE KEEPING THINGS MOVING–FROM THE FARM TO THE TABLE–IN THIS FAST-PACED FIELD. BY NANCY FOSTER

everything I do here and I’m part of a great team who wants each customer to enjoy an exceptional dining experience,” If the thought of strawberry shortcake pound cake awakens said pastry chef Eckstein. Executive chef, food and beverage manager Isaac Eckstein your inner sweet tooth, you just may want to head for lunch (yes, he’s her husband) sings her praises, saying her freshor dinner to The Branding Iron Restaurant at the Y.O. Ranch baked pies, muffins, puddings, and other sweets add a Hotel & Conference Center in Kerrville. Pastry chef Darlene perfect touch to a fine meal. Eckstein says her original Chef Eckstein’s entire team recipe ranks high on the list is committed to providing with diners for its delicate patrons with an upscale sweetness and luscious dining experience and their taste. culinary dedication has Darlene is a self-taught earned the distinguished whiz kid in the area of ranking as Trip Advisor’s desserts and has been “Top American Cuisine” and cooking up amazing “Top Steakhouse” in Kerrville delicacies at the Branding for the past two years. Iron for two years. Although her passion has Of entering the culinary always been cooking, it field, he opines that outside was after stints as a longexperience is definitely haul truck driver, kids an asset but not always a Executive Chef Isaac Eckstein has four family members among book author and fitness requirement. Darlene also his team of 37. Son Christian is a line cook at the Branding Iron; instructor that she seriously encourages people passionate Jonathan, who attended Escoffier Culinary School in Austin, is got into the food industry. about food preparation to night chef; daughter Jessica, a high school senior, will bus tables Admittedly the work is pursue this vocation, no matter during summer break; and wife Darlene is Pastry Chef. harder than it looks, she what stage they are in their says, but she loves the creativity, presentation and ultimate working life. “Preparing and serving good meals in a beautiful delightful reaction from diners. “I try to continually improve setting gives tremendous satisfaction,” advises Darlene.

For those interested in a career in the food and culinary industry, numerous on-site and online courses are available in this region of Texas: Texas State Technical College at Hill Country University Center Culinary Institute of America South Texas College St. Philip’s College, Alamo Colleges District Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts 24

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Food setting Thinkstock/helloween; YO chefs by Nancy Foster

DARLENE ECKSTEIN – IT’S ALL ABOUT DESSERTS


MIKE MAYNARD – LETTUCE FEED THE WORLD Hunt resident Mike Maynard is passionate about lettuce, but not necessarily the typical hothouse version. During a 28-year career with Whole Food Market as a Regional Technology Coordinator, a personal preference for wholesome, organic foods took seed. His next career step, as an entrepreneur, has taken seven years so far while he and wife Melissa toiled to perfect the growing process and build a 6000 square-foot greenhouse where they now successfully grow and harvest eight kinds of lettuce, arugula, and herbs. They utilize the hydroponics method, which is growing in nutrient-enriched water from seedling to finished product, a process that takes about eight weeks. This growing method is very sustainable and actually uses 90% less water than when grown in dirt. Mike sells his Mikey’s Garden produce at various outlets including restaurants Elaine’s Table and Pint & Plough; and, retail stores Peach Basket in Fredericksburg; and, outdoor markets Hill Country Market in Kerrville and Pearl Street Market in San Antonio. “Lettuce is easy to grow,” said Maynard, “but the process takes a lot of physical work and time. The end result is our lettuces stay fresh longer and are more flavorful.” Describing consumer appeal for their lettuce and herbs is easy for this farmer: “Once people try our produce, they’re hooked.”

DEBBY STEIN, CATERER EXTRAORDINAIRE

Courtesy photos

Debby Stein began her working career as a hairdresser, although it didn’t take long for the call of a culinary career to take hold and set her on course to the successful entrepreneur she has since become. She progressed from doing it all herself to having a crew of 12 full timers and numerous on-call staff at her popular Cartewheels Caterers in downtown Kerrville. The work is gratifying yet demanding and according to Stein, “you must have a passion for food and service. The hours are long and it’s hard on your body but the satisfaction comes from making people happy as they enjoy beautifullyprepared food and gracious service.” Hers is the voice of experience since she is known throughout the Hill Country for catering upscale weddings and events and has even been called to New York where she catered a client’s authentic Texas BBQ event. “Catering careers require constant learning,” said Stein, and she attends numerous conventions to stay on the cutting edge of her trade. Her fabulous meals and presentations are testament to her success. Thankfully, Cartewheels Caterers is also a restaurant, so everyone has opportunity to enjoy her cuisine. JUNE 2017 |

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THE CULINARIAN

Melissa Guerra’s The Latin Kitchen BY CESLIE ARMSTRONG Take a journey through Latin America with your guide–the author, food historian, educator and 8th generation Texan–Melissa Guerra. Visit The Latin Kitchen at Pearl in San Antonio or online where fans of her PBS show “The Texas Provincial Kitchen” still cannot get enough of this most interesting expert on all things culinary. A stone’s throw from the Texas campus of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (one of only four in the world), one need not book a flight to Mexico, Argentina, Spain nor Chile to imbibe authentic food and drink, that can be prepared and served with authenticity via Guerra’s array of recipes, how-to’s, platters, utensils and decor. Live, travel and dine vicariously through the Melissa Guerra lifestyle for your Latin culinary “staycation” your compadres will devour. thelatinkitchen.com


The Confident Retirement approach is not a guarantee of future financial results. Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser. Š 2017 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

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EXPERIENCE SUMMER Summer is about exploration, visiting friends, sharing food and having fun. Here, our ideas to stay close to home and let your imagination travel beyond.

Courtesy photos


Time Travel

No need to venture beyond the history-rich Texas Hill Country for your summer vacation. Instead, become a time traveler within the grounds of two museums rich with exhibits, information, interactive experiences and welcoming staff to guide you through your adventure. Here, a glimpse of the world-class Museum of Western Art in Kerrville and the new Bandera Natural History Museum. produced by Ceslie Armstrong


The Museum of Western Art Spend a weekend exploring Kerrville’s gorgeous and inspiring museum that houses important pieces donated from the region, and, has recently undergone a renovation and just keeps getting better.

Museum photos by Ceslie Armstrong; Andy Bachofen photo by Nancy Foster

by Nancy Foster It’s classic, it’s pure Americana and it’s a significant part of the Texas Hill Country’s cultural scene. The Museum of Western Art in Kerrville can easily stand tall against other world-class western art museums throughout the country. With a permanent collection of masterpieces by renowned western artists of this and past centuries, a distinctive structure designed by famed Texas architect O’Neil Ford, and a staunch commitment to preserve the legends and lore of the old west, this museum provides a rich cultural experience for visitors of all ages. Originally known as the Cowboy Artists of America when it opened in 1983, it became The Museum of Western Art in 2003 and follows its mission to “collect, preserve and promote our Western Heritage for the education and cultural enrichment of our diverse audiences.” Their tagline aptly says: “Where the Legend Lives,” and it certainly does through an exceptional collection of art. If first impressions count, this one scores high. The entranceway winds its way to the crest of a grassy hilltop overlooking sweeping views of the town of Kerrville. The first glimpse of what awaits are several eye-catching western bronze sculptures, including the lifesize “Wind and Rain” which depicts a dismounted cowboy warily pondering an approaching storm. Donated in 1994

by Cowboy Artist William Moyers, this bronze is one of the museum’s most photographed pieces. Step inside to discover 15,000 square feet of multiple galleries, a research library and public areas. The architecture astounds with refined touches including floors of end-cut mesquite and Saltillo tile plus 23 brick Bóveda domes in the ceilings. Over 250 paintings addressing the western mystique accurately depict cowboys, ranchers, wildlife, wagon trains and more. Created by artists held in high esteem in the Western art world including George Phippen, Fred Harman, Bill Nebeker, Oreland Joe and Fritz White are beautifully displayed. Numerous artifacts of the old West and 150 bronze sculptures complete the collection. Recent renovations have pumped up the museum’s look. Two main galleries now sport a sophisticated new paint job and the former atrium has been enclosed for use to showcase additional bronze sculptures. Regular museum exhibits change throughout the year, showcasing the talents of a different western artist each month. The major event of 2017 for this nonprofit will be its 34th annual juried art exhibition and sale on September 16th when top talent

“Each painting has its own story to tell on the American West.” -Andy Bachofen, volunteer docent


In addition to its fine permanent collection, The Museum of Western Art furthers their mission to preserve the western legacy by bringing in renowned artists and special exhibits. Here’s a sample of what to expect:

The Museum of Western Art 1550 Bandera Highway in Kerrville museumofwesternart.com

JASON SCULL, CA

Jason Scull’s family arrived in Texas in the 1820s and according to Scull, “ranched, raised families, fought wars and carved a place in the American West.” It is quite fitting that he became a celebrated western artist. This Kerrville resident is, in fact, one of 23 members of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America whose mission is “to authentically preserve and perpetuate the culture of western life in fine art.” Scull is currently the museum’s Artist in Residence and oftentimes interacts with visitors who stop by to meet him and watch as he works at his craft. One commissioned work in progress is “Where Cowmen Are Kings,” a meticulously detailed western sculpture to be installed at the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg. In addition to private and corporate collections, his large bronzes appear on the Hays County Courthouse lawn in San Marcos and at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine. The Museum of Western Art means a great deal to him and explained, “this museum, with its numerous works by nationally recognized artists, is of great significance to Kerrville and the Hill Country.”

“People visit Kerrville and the Hill Country from all over the world just to experience our wonderful, world-class museum.” -Stephanie Turnham, executive director

Museum photos by Ceslie Armstrong; Scull, Turnham, Davis, Morris photos by Nancy Foster

from across the southwest showcase and sell their finest works. A stellar group of volunteers act as greeters and docents to ensure visitors of all ages maximize their experience. This museum also serves the community by placing high emphasis on low-cost educational programs for youth and numerous art and craft classes are held throughout the year. The Museum of Western Art is conveniently located just two miles south of downtown Kerrville and five miles south of I-10, exit 508. It’s not a “hidden gem” as some writers describe it, but it is indeed a Texas treasure, one to be enjoyed time and time again. Museum staff encourage you to visit it, join it, volunteer and support its mission. This museum is deserving of every accolade it receives, and a recent TripAdvisor reviewer sums it up nicely, “Highly recommended; exceeded expectations.”


TEXAS RANGER JOE DAVIS

On the schedule for June is a special exhibit from the Former Texas Rangers Heritage Center in Fredericksburg. Pieces in the exhibit have been amassed by Joe Davis, president of the Former Texas Rangers Foundation, himself a retired ranger who logged in 30 years in law enforcement. On display will be artifacts, documents, photographs and firearms from the early days of the Texas Rangers up to present day including noteworthy items of Kerr County’s Company F. Arms will include replicas of the Walker Colt, a commemorative pistol used by Captain Charles Schreiner and a Paterson Colt, the first revolver used by the Texas Rangers at the Battle of Walker Creek that was led by Captain Jack Hays. Ranger Davis is pleased to bring these artifacts to the Museum of Western Art to perpetuate the significance and legacy of the rangers. “Historians have claimed that the Texas Rangers played a major role in the development of our state. If it had not been for them, there might not have been a Texas,” continued Davis, “while The Alamo is no doubt the enduring symbol of the state of Texas, the Texas Ranger is the enduring symbol to its people.”

RITA MORRIS, ARTIST

Western artist Rita Morris has been invited by the museum to be their June Artist of the Month. Morris, a native of Louisiana and current resident of Tyler, is no stranger to the museum having participated in its 33rd juried annual art show and exhibition in 2016. “I knew from the age of nine that painting would be my career,” said Morris. “Because of my Native American roots, my passion has been to portray the American Western way of life through oils that showcase the interactions between pioneer men and women, cowboys, and Native Americans. These were the brave people who struggled just to survive and who paved the way for generations to follow. I am thrilled to be chosen as Artist of the Month by the Museum of Western Art. It is such an honor to have my work among so many truly great artists,” said Morris.

Five “must see” things to enjoy at The Museum of Western Art SPECTACULAR BRONZE SCULPTURES Larger-than-life size bronze sculptures throughout the grounds include Wind and Rain by William Moyers and Honest Day’s Work by Fred Fellows, both members of the Cowboy Artists of America.

DISTINCTIVE CEILINGS Make sure to look up while you’re exploring the museum to see 23 Bóveda arched ceilings, crafted painstakingly by hand, add a high-end touch of class.

WESTERN RESEARCH LIBRARY James Michener had research done for “Texas” and Larry McMurtry for “Lonesome Dove” in the museum’s library collection of 3000 western books and periodicals.

JOURNEY WEST CHILDREN’S GALLERY Kids under 12 love this gallery where they can dress up in period clothes, climb inside a tipi, explore a covered wagon and learn about life in 1842 with interactive displays.

THE PAVILION The museum’s open-air Pavilion provides a tranquil, exclusive setting for special gatherings, wedding receptions and corporate parties, day or night.


Bandera Natural History Museum Traveling back to the Hill Country’s Cretaceous Period story and photos by Judith Pannebaker

Dinosaurs again roam Bandera County, and a visit to the Bandera Natural History Museum brings families face-to-face with creatures that once dominated this region. For paleontology purists, dinosaur tracks have been found in Bandera County, but the sites are no longer open for public viewing. For believers, however, time travel does exist. Transport back to long-ago eras occurs just after entering the gates of the eight-acre complex. Extinct creatures standing as sentinels outside the Bandera Natural History Museum include life-size replicas of dinosaurs, mammoths and sabertoothed tigers. Artist Jose Edid of Mexico City created the eye-poppers scattered throughout the museum’s fenced and wooded complex. In addition to lifelike prehistoric creatures, the outdoor area includes four educational play stations that encourage budding paleontologists to dig in sand pits and uncover “long buried bones” of the giants that once roamed South Central Texas. Inside the impressive Juan Infante International Hall— named for the museum’s founder and chairman emeritus— Twiga, a majestic 17-foot Masai giraffe, reigns as the museum’s touchstone. As captured by world-renowned metal artist Esther Benedict, Twiga’s image also accents stone columns at the museum’s entrance. The hall also features a series of exotic animals, as well as art collections from Latin America, Mexico and Africa, including an enormous lion carved from a block of jade. A life-size Italian bronze casting of a family of chimpanzees currently resides in a gift shop adjacent to the hall. Additionally, the Juan Infante International Hall includes a fiberglass skeleton of a Triceratops featured in the 2014 film, “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” the third in the popular trilogy. “Alquimia, the company that manufactured the dinosaur skeleton, convinced 20th Century Fox to send the dinosaur back to them to be donated to our museum,” Infante explained. A newly installed—and highly detailed—Pterosaur dominates the hall’s nearly 20-foot high ceiling. “This


DID YOU KNOW? Of the 300 different species of dinosaurs identified across the globe, 21 types lived in Texas, most during the early Cretaceous Period of the Mesozoic Era. At that time—approximately 144 to 65 million years ago—much of the Texas Hill County was a shallow inland sea, providing a perfect environment for the Brobdingnag reptiles. is a replica of a flying reptile that lived in Texas 70 million years ago,” Infante said. Edid also created the Pterosaur prototype. After entering the museum’s circular exhibition space, visitors are transported to Africa and beyond courtesy of the more than 100 exotic animals realistically displayed in front of a series of hand-painted dioramas. The six naturalistic backdrops include an African savannah, swamps, rainforest, grand Kilimanjaro, mountains and even the arctic tundra, complete with undulating Northern Lights. Proud of the realistic and neo-impressionistic dioramas, Infante said, “I truly believe that these paintings will prove to be an important point of the attraction themselves.” To immerse visitors completely in the moment, Infante also commissioned music written and recorded specifically for the dioramas. “I have hunted all my life and this museum has been a dream of mine for 25 years,” Infante said. “Truly, a touch of guilt has always accompanied my passion for hunting. But, because this museum is here to educate people, these beautiful animals still serve a purpose in the universe.” An educational theme runs through Infante’s commentary. He’s constantly developing new exhibits that both teach and fascinate visitors. One newly opened outside exhibit features a full-bodied, walking raptor puppet that presides over her “hatching” eggs. Another instructional exhibit is a petrified thigh bone of a mammoth that was killed by hunters 50 million years ago. “Scientists have determined the

femur had been cut with a sharpened stone ax. It was not merely broken,” Infante said. “You can actually see where the Ice Age people scooped out the long bone to feed on the marrow inside.” He added, “This bone is priceless because it can be proven the animal was killed for food,” Infante continued, “a museum must first educate. When you leave here, you should have learned something.” Located at 267 Old San Antonio Highway in Bandera, Texas, special educational presentations and exhibits are scheduled throughout the year. More information about activities surrounding the museum’s first anniversary celebration in June is available at BanderaNHM.org. Bandera Natural History Museum in Bandera, Texas banderanhm.org


Gallery interior by Kevin Todora


WEBB ART GALLERY

This Waxahachie destination greets art collectors and curious travelers from around the globe to experience Outsider Art made by Texans discovered and nurtured by Julie & Bruce Webb By Lisle & Bill Drake

Located in a 1930’s Ford Tractor dealership–a massive three-story concrete building on the Square in downtown Waxahachie, Texas–the Webb Art Gallery ought to be conspicuous. With its imposing architecture, expansive windows and great size, the building dominates the famous Gingerbread Courthouse and the rest of the square. But there are no signs, no banners–nothing proclaiming to the passers-by that this is the home of one of the greatest collections of “Outsider Art” in the United States, if not the world. It is virtually anonymous. Bruce Webb and his wife Julie, a fellow art fanatic, have operated Webb Art Gallery for over 25 years, and they like it that way. “We really prefer to have people come looking for us, rather than attracting people off the street,” said Julie, “we have collectors from around the world who come to us knowing exactly what they’re looking for, and we aren’t really interested in explaining the work of Ike Morgan or Reverend Hunter to the casually curious.” Bruce and Julie are not art snobs–exactly the opposite, in fact. They are art patrons in the classic sense, people who love and appreciate the work that artists do and who have spent their life nurturing a particular breed of artist that until recently the establishment art world has ignored. Julie laughs as she remembers driving through the night deep into the East Texas Piney Woods to bring food and art supplies to an artist living so far from town, and so old and sick, that he would have starved to death if not for his church and, of course, the Webbs. “We did it because we loved his work,” Julie shrugs, “not out of pity or charity. Somebody just had to do it, so we did.” Bruce adds, “Our interest in what others call “Outsider Artists” is precisely because they are outside, not just of mainstream art, but of society. Some of them are outcasts; some of them are solitary by choice; some of them are mentally ill; and some of them are almost what you might call normal people–at least until you look closely,” continues Bruce, “but they all share one thing: at some point in their lives a defining event occurred, what an academic might call an ‘Aha moment’ which marks the beginning and emergence of their creative energy.” Julie smiles as she remembers an artist living on the Hudson River, “This man lived in a little house near the river, and all his life he had been an auto mechanic. Then the Army Corps of Engineers began hauling in huge boulders to line the riverbanks just below his little house. Where others might have protested and filed complaints about their view of the river being ruined, this man was inspired, and he began climbing down onto the rocks every morning and carving faces into the rocks. He didn’t think of what he was doing as art–he thought of his work as beautifying an ugly bunch of rocks. That kind of event is typical of how so-called ‘Outsider artists’ begin.” The Webbs travel the US and the World seeking working and dead artists, but much of their life’s work has been focused on Texas artists. Texas is in some ways a center for the world of “outsider artists.” Bruce explains it this way: “There is so much creativity here–you can see it everywhere, from the old guy who is passionate about his barbed wire collection to the retired couple who spend their days painting watercolor scenes side-by-side along one of the Hill Country rivers.” Julie jumped in to say, “It’s true that those people are as much artists as those we love, but we are much more drawn to Texas artists who the world might call more ‘extreme.’”


ISRAEL ZAAR

Courtesy of Webb Gallery, Waxahachie TX

As we walked around the echoing rooms of Webb gallery Bruce and Julie begin pointing out what they mean. The first group of works we come to are by an artist named Israel Zaar. “Now, Israel is in some ways not typical of our Texas artists,” Julie noted, “because he is an African Prince.” Prince Israel Zaar is an American citizen who immigrated to the United States of America in 2005. He was born in 1975 as the heir to a royal line, in a palace that is today an international museum of African art. “Prince Zaar left the royal life which he felt was unbalanced to study law and political science in the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon and later settled in to Texas to obtain degrees in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice,” said Bruce, “and he later studied Chinese at Shandong University, China and founded a nonprofit organization called Culture of Values in Africa for an Aids Free Society, to help those affected by deadly pandemics. Today he is a professor at Baylor University and practices law in Waco.” “The reason that we are so interested in Israel Zaar as an artist,” elaborated Julie, “is because through his art he expresses his belief that within every human being rests a super-intelligent mind capable of sailing beyond its sphere and universe. Through his art, he challenges human intelligence to endeavor to journey beyond the seen universe. Hidden within his art are numbers, codes, symbols, graphics, and words which he believes can be used for engineering, programing, and creating architectural technologies for the human minds of the future.”


IKE MORGAN

As we passed the work of Prince Zaar, another room in Webb Gallery comes alive with, of all things, a wall full of screamingly colorful portraits of George Washington. Julie smiled and said,“these are just a few of the works of Austin artist Ike Morgan. Ike was born 1958 in Rockdale, Texas and was diagnosed in his teens as a chronic schizophrenic. He was hospitalized at the Austin State Hospital from 1977 until 2000,” continued Julie, “we found his work in the 1990s and began bringing him art supplies, sandwiches and candy, visiting with him, and mainly just listening to him. He was lonely, and we spent a lot of time just being a connection for him with other people.” “Ike has spent the past 30 years working incessantly on hauntingly vibrant paintings and drawings using conventional mediums such as pastels, inks, oil and acrylic paints on paper, cardboard, or raw canvas; and also experimenting with many unconventional combinations of these mediums. Ike is especially fond of painting portraits and specifically presidential portraits modeled from dollar bills,” continued Bruce, “he first relied on books from the limited hospital library, hospital staff members, and friends for additional inspiration. The isolation that the hospital provided from the outside world allowed Ike to create uninhibited by the concerns and restraints of society with only the drive of his own pure artistic endeavors.” Julie explained with a hint of pride that, “Ike has lived out on his own since 2000 and his artwork is ever progressing. Ike enjoys challenging himself by repeating subjects using various materials. He works through series of paintings based upon subject and his art supplies on hand,” she continued, “one series might be anywhere from 6 to 20-plus portraits of various past presidents or just multiples of George Washington or any other subject he is currently working to perfect. We love Ike’s work and now, so do hundreds of collectors from Japan to Europe. We have had groups of Japanese collectors fly into Love Field in Dallas and take a limousine out to Waxahachie to scoop up our entire recent acquisition of Ike’s work.”


In some ways the story of Ike Morgan and his effect on the art collecting world is mirrored in the story of another Texas artist, Reverend Johnnie Swearingen of Brenham, Texas. Bruce, who is not only a gallery owner and art lover but also a widely published historian, related the story: “Reverend Johnnie was born in 1908, and as a young man he lived the life of a hobo, working hard labor and traveling by boxcar around the West. After many years on the road he settled in San Pedro, California and began work as a longshoreman. He noticed sailors from the merchant vessels setting up easels on the docks and breaking out little tubes of paint, working on harbor scenes, seagulls and ships. Johnnie Swearingen had never seen anything like this, and of course he had no paints, so he began coming down to the docks in the evenings with cans of colored shoe polish and paper sacks and making art. Some of the sailors noticed and began sharing oil paints and paper with Johnnie, and his passion grew.” Julie picked up the story: “Then he received a telegram from home telling him that his Father was dying, so he hopped a freight back to Brenham but arrived a week after his Father had passed away. He had stuffed a few of his paintings into his hobo kit, and showed them to family members who, he remembered, ‘thought they were OK.’ After a while he began setting up in front of ‘fancy houses’ in Brenham and doing a painting of the house, then selling it to the occupants, who by the time

he was finished were usually gathered around watching. He also began setting up in the Courthouse Square in Brenham, hanging his paintings off the back of his old pickup and selling them for $20 or $30 to passers-by, many of whom became regulars.” Bruce added: “Then in 1961 a reporter from the Houston Chronicle, Sigman Byrd, came to Chappell Hill to do a story on Ruth Spain, who was known as the ‘Texas Grandma Moses.’ She told Byrd that if he wanted to meet the ‘real artist hereabouts’ he should go down the Square and find Reverend Johnnie. Byrd did just that, and an article a few weeks later in the Houston Chronicle began the trickle, which became a flood of art pilgrims who came to Brenham to watch Reverend Swearingen work and to sometimes fight over who was going to buy his latest still-wet work.” From there the story of Reverend Johnnie Swearingen then grows from the Brenham Courthouse Square to New York, Paris, Geneva and beyond. Swearingen’s works, purchased for astronomical sums in galleries worldwide, also turn still turn up in garage sales at old houses in and around Brenham. According to Bruce and Julie, this is exactly as it should be. “Even though Reverend Swearingen understood that making his art was a good way to make a living, he never thought of himself as anything special. He just did what he did, and was really happy that people liked it enough to pay him,” said Julie.

Courtesy of Webb Gallery, Waxahachie TX

REVEREND JOHNNIE SWEARINGEN


Bruce and Julie are comfortable with the term “Outsider Artist” simply because it lets people see that this art is different from what the Webb’s call “Academic Art.” Julie explained “Academic art is intentional-people study and practice to be one kind of artist or another.” Bruce agreed and said, “the art that interests us is created by people, especially here in Texas, who had never done art before in their lives usually until some kind of shock occurs-an injury or accident, a mental or physical illness, losing a job, or a death of someone they love-and then their art winds up taking over their lives.”


Destination: The Flying L Ranch The famed Flying L Ranch in Bandera is reborn while honoring its uniquely rich history and increasing the fun and relaxation factor all in an upscale ranch country club environment. by Ceslie Armstrong In 2013, Flying L was purchased by long-time employees and proprietors Susan and Jody Jenkins who clearly have a tremendous passion to bring the Flying L Ranch not only back to its original glory as conceived by Colonel John Lapham–but the Jenkins are in the process of going far beyond creating a first class “ranch style country club experience” while mindfully honoring the past. “It is so important to us that the public, our guests and the community know about the rich history of this amazing property,” says Susan. She and her husband Jody (yes, that Jody Jenkins, famed south Texas musician), have not only invested their lives in the property, they have meticulously researched, planned, constructed and re-branded the Flying L with authenticity at the forefront. “Delivering a real ranch experience while honoring Texas hospitality and true Western Heritage is really what we are about,” says Jody. There really is something for everyone on this massive multi-use property that includes single-family homes, condominiums, corporate retreat buildings, conference centers, an incredible stable headed up by world-class equestrian Tawni Solise, a glorious riverside park with waterfalls, and, all of the usual amenities one would expect at a country club. This includes This award-winning 18-Hole Championship Golf Course totaling 6,646 amongst the gorgeous Texas Hill Country vistas, and, did I mention a water park? It is more than three acres with the Lone Star Lagoon that features a wave pool, lazy river, three slides, a lily pad obstacle

Susan Jenkins has created a much needed timeline about the Flying L Ranch we have shared it here:

Founded in 1947 In 1947, the 542-acre dude ranch came into existence when Colonel John H. Lapham purchased it from the original Polish settlers. John’s last name is accredited for ‘L’ in ‘Flying L’.

course–and, a bar. Saturday nights mean fun for the whole family at the mock old west Ghost Town with live music by the Jody Jenkins Band and boot-scooting on the open air (but cooled) dance hall with their famous all-you-can-eat Chuck Wagon BBQ Dinner. The real gem in the making is the restoration of the the Pilots’ Lounge and T-Hangars. With incredible history to drawn upon including the massive Frank Lloyd Wright designed windows, this once forgotten Pilot’s Lounge was awarded a Texas Historical Commission Landmark in 2016–deservedly so. I was at the ribbon cutting of the really fantastic Lapham’s Lodge in 2014 (see the pictures on my editor’s letter page) and this 4,700 square foot lodge is truly unique and it is perfectly positioned near the Pilots’ Lounge. The Jenkins have also brought executive chef Alfredo Barrios on board and he has brought his years of experience in the hospitality industry to Bandera County. There are many dining options at the Flying L but my favorite is the newly decorated–with a new menu–Hanger 47 Bar & Grill located adjacent to the golf clubhouse and open to the public. If you haven’t visited the Flying L Ranch in a while, you should do so and to many of the generations of families who visit regularly, things just keep getting better.


Aviation History Lapham, a retired Air Corps Colonel, had a vision to create a place where modern people could go and find themselves lost in time. The Colonel introduced an airstrip and instructed his own flight school at the ranch.

Frank Lloyd Wright Locally, the original Villas are believed to be designed by the famous American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright. On March 30th, 1963 a San Antonio Express Newspaper article titled “Flying L To Reopen”, John H. Lapham’s wife, Lucy Lapham, suggests “…guest accommodations designed by the late Frank Lloyd Wright.” The Villas were intently designed to resemble grounded aircraft. The Villas, when viewed aerially, truly exemplify that of aeronautical design. According to an article from the San Antonio Light newspaper on May 9th, 1948, “The coral brick was made for them in Corpus Christi from sea shells, cement and coral dye which gives a rough in-and-exterior”.


Famous Guests The Ranch’s guests have included Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus, John Wayne, Slim Pickens, Willie Nelson, Tex Ritter, Jim Reeves, Ray Price, Buck Owens, Chill Wills, Jack Kramer, and Robert Fuller. The television show The Cisco Kid even filmed an episode at the Ranch.

LIFE Magazine The grand opening of the Flying L was a spectacular event. Using his powerful connections, Colonel Lapham hosted a ‘Ranch & Aviation’ themed fashion show. Industry-leading fashion designer Stanley Marcus, the son of the founder of Neiman Marcus, along with other fashionistas, designed stylish aeronautic and cowboy-oriented apparel exclusively for the event. Journalists and photographers from LIFE magazine attended and later published an article pertaining to the success of the show. Experience a first-hand glimpse of the event in the photos above.

Remembering Colonel John H. Lapham John Lapham was a retired Air Corps Colonel, Polo player, and Texas Co. Oil Executive. Flying for 28 years and logging over 20,000 airs hours the Colonel was an incredibly experienced pilot. The Colonel along with his Granddaughter, her fiance, and a childhood friend tragically lost their lives in a plane crash at the Flying L on August 2nd, 1956. It’s believed that the Colonel suffered a heart attack while attempting to land his four-seater Tri-Pacer.

In Under an Hour:

Photography by Frank Castro and courtesy Flying L Ranch

Hill Country State Natural Area – Bandera, TX (15 minutes) Tucked away in the rugged terrain southwest of Bandera, the Hill Country State Natural Area is 5369 acres of undeveloped and secluded serenity with approximately 40 miles of multiuse trails enjoyed by equestrians, hikers, birders, and mountain bikers. Camp Verde General Store – Camp Verde, TX (20 minutes) Camp Verde was a United States Army post established in 1856 and headquarters for U.S. Camel Corps, which experimented with using dromedaries as pack animals. For more than 150 years Camp Verde General Store has occupied this little piece of Texas. Lunch, shop and relax. Lone Star Motorcycle Museum – Vanderpool, TX (45 minutes) The museum, located near Lost Maples State Natural Area, is a must see for all motorcycle enthusiasts. The museum features British bikes and others. Ace Cafe located inside museum is open for lunch. Town of Comfort, Comfort, TX (40 minutes) Located between Fredericksburg, Boerne, and Kerrville, yet only minutes from San Antonio. An ideal place to stroll among the historic

buildings, which now house some of the finest accommodations and shops in the Hill Country. Visit the Comfort Wine Trail, distilleries and breweries too. Old Tunnel Bat Cave – Fredricksburg, TX (1hr 15 minutes) The abandoned railroad tunnel is home to up to three million Brazilian free-tailed bats and 3,000 Cave myotis bats from May through October. During those months visitors come to watch the bats emerge from the tunnel each night at this State Park. Cascade Caverns – Boerne, TX (50 minutes) Cascade Caverns was discovered by the Lipan Apache in the 1700s as evidenced by artifacts and a cave fireplace. Kendall County youth in the 1840s rediscovered the cave. The beauty of this living cavern makes it one of Texas’ finest caverns. There is a 45-60 minute tour. Texas Hill Country Wineries – Driving Trail Second only to Napa, more than 35 unique and visually stunning wineries scattered throughout the Hill Country there’s someplace new to explore around every bend. Each place has its own personality, terroir and style of winemaking, and many award-winning wines.


TASTE NEW ORLEANS New Orleans is practically a sister city to the Hill Country and both are repeatedly well-visited by locals of each area known for its unique heritage, culture and flair for living. Here, four of our favorite restaurants and bars where the classics never disappoint and reinvention is as exciting as the daily catch. Try the new twists on classic cocktails and, as always, the classics are a must. Spoil yourself this summer with a culinary weekend in NOLA.


Courtesy photos

Red Fish Grill

Red Fish Grill is the go-to place for flavorful, un-fussy Gulf seafood in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Ralph Brennan’s funky-casual establishment at the gateway to Bourbon Street is set apart from the surrounding mayhem, but vibrant and spirited in its own right, bedecked with paintings and sculptures of colorful fish on just about every surface of its industrial-chic interior. Red Fish Grill serves up New Orleans classics as well as more exotic dishes of the freshest local seafood. The signature Hickory Grilled Redfish ‘on the half-shell’ is the restaurant’s worthy namesake, and the Shrimp Po’Boy has been voted the best in town. The BBQ Oysters have been named a “Most Memorable Meals” according for Forbes.com and the restaurant in itself was recently named one of the 2012 “Best Seafood Restaurants in the U.S.” by Travel + Leisure. 115 Bourbon Street 504.598.1200 redfishgrill.com


Napoleon House

A beloved landmark on the corner of Chartres and St. Louis in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the Napoleon House exudes a European charm in keeping with its 200-year history. The deeply patinated walls, uneven tile floors, and old wooden bar, hollowed by countless signature Pimm’s Cups, speak to its many decades of service. The traditional taste of Napoleon House is safe in the hands of chef Chris Montero, a veteran of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, whose own Creole roots in New Orleans reach back about as far as Napoleon House, itself. Montero honors the


Courtesy photos

favored flavors of the Quarter, including the “Italian grocery� favorites that have long dominated the Napoleon House menu. New owner Ralph Brennan, whose family is a longstanding institution of New Orleans hospitality, accepted stewardship of Napoleon House from the Impasto family [its owners for the previous century,] declaring his intention to maintain its relaxed and antiquated character. Its patrons can still expect a soundtrack of classical music and the best muffulettas in town, as well as the same warm welcome first inspired by Napoleon, and practiced here ever since. 500 Chartres Street 504.524.9752 napoleonhouse.com


Brennan’s

Native New Orleanians and proprietors Terry White and Ralph Brennan, the acclaimed restaurateur and namesake of the iconic dining establishment, Brennan’s, bring New Orleans tradition with a commitment to honoring the city’s history and ethnicity through its cuisine, architecture, and ambiance. The innovative menu borrows its pedigree from French and Spanish ancestors and complements each dish with cultural influences molding the present-day fare of New Orleans. James Beard Award finalist Executive Chef Slade Rushing stands by this code in maintaining the integrity of the establishment and, as a result, boasts a selection of traditional New Orleans favorites as well as distinct seasonal daily offerings. Rushing’s high regard for freshness comes in all varieties, which are transformed into dishes with a strong vision for what is local. The decorative vision from New York based southern gentleman, Richard Keith Langham, has created old-world elegant inspired dining rooms, reminiscent of grand homes along St. Charles Avenue, and personable, attentive service underscores a unique and sophisticated dining experience that lives on in every visitor’s memory.

Courtesy photos

417 Royal Street 504.525.9711 brennansneworleans.com


Loa

At Loa (meaning deities or holy spirits in Voudou)–the stylish bar within International House hotel–the bar is set high the lights are set low, and the vibe is as rare and romantic as what’s in your glass. Loa is small, stunning, and trembling with candlelight, attracting a regular following of the city’s artists and entrepreneurs. The bar’s Creative Director Alan Walter, focuses on the heightened qualities of craftsmanship, ritual and individuality of a cocktail. Loa is New Orleans’ great, civilized, under-the-radar hideaway that offers a sip from the soul of the most spirited city. Loa conjures “An Extravagant Taste of Place” through cocktails of rare spirits that draw from the region’s natural bounty, and from flavors brought to New Orleans by the marvelous mosaic of cultures that create its foundation–from Sicily to Senegal, Venice to Vietnam, Haiti and Havana. Walter incorporates aromatic syrups created from a rainbow of foraged ingredients that capture the unlikely essence of New Orleans like Spanish moss, pine needles and even catnip. With these ingredients, Walter directs how to heighten classic cocktails, creating modern liquid expressions of the peoples who have shaped the city. The menu, written as flowery, evocative musings, presents drinks that are eccentric, delicious, poetic, and as impractical as things get in a hotel bar. Loa’s practice of pouring drinks in vintage glassware, with over 100 in their collection, connects patrons to a nostalgic era with every intriguing sip. International House Hotel 221 Camp Street 504.553.9550 ihhotel.com


Courtesy photos


Still Knockin’ It Out of the Park!

Dr. Matthew C. Lambiase, D.O., F.A.A.D.

Board Certified Dermatologist Fellow, American Academy of Dermatology Diplomate, American Board of Dermatology

Now Offering Facial Rejuvenation

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Accepting new patients & all insurance including TRICARE and Medicare.

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SPACATION

Spa Django ESCAPE TO A STRESS-REDUCING AND RELAXING RESPITE HIDDEN IN THE HILL COUNTRY TO RENEW FOR SUMMERTIME BY BRETTON B. HOLMES

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Exterior photography by Bretton B. Holmes; interior photography courtesy of Spa Django

There are some experiences in life that go a long way toward granting a glimpse into the nature of what is possible. My recent visit to Spa Django at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, located in what is arguably one of the most beautiful areas of the Texas Hill Country was just that sort of experience. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines is tucked away off of Highway 71. The entrance to the resort is, in true Hyatt form, entirely unassuming and beautifully modest. Driving in, one almost runs the risk of missing it if not paying attention. The meandering drive to the main area of the property is replete with horse trails, where the equines traverse the paved sections with a look that says they might be the beneficiaries of some relaxation too. Spa Django is the first building you see to the right once you’ve begun to wonder if you will find civilization again, and that’s exactly what they are going for. Standing in relative Texas modern contrast to the country styled lodging amenities located further down the road, the spa is nestled in perfectly manicured xeriscaping, gives the impression that while Texas is known for its inherent ruggedness and size; you’re about to experience its contrasting and very complementary notion of intense relaxation and attention to detail. The spa’s name is derived from two components, the word Django which literally means “I am awake” and the guitar legend Django Reinhardt, whose albums grace the back wall of the entrance just past the retail area when you initially enter. On entering this bright space (nearly the entirety of the entrance is glass) I wondered if the areas further in might be

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SPACATION styled in much the same way, but as I was guided back to the changing area, the process of Spa Django’s deepening signature relaxation became apparent. Heidi Smith, spa director, explained that the relaxation areas on both sides of the spa would be going through a major redesign soon, with the help of direct input from their guests. From the moment you get the luxurious terry-cloth lined robe on and enter the waiting area, you feel as though you’re about to enter a new experience in relaxed consciousness. A selection of brand name coffees and teas are available to sip by the fire, along with what has to be the best idea for trail mix I’ve ever seen – Texas pecans, dried Turkish apricots and chocolate chips. But it is the spa room area where you really begin to get the impression Spa Django is going for, a zen-like space that was akin to entering a gorgeous Texas-style monastery, where the only sound was the soft padding of your masseuses feet guiding you to your own personal nirvana. And Nirvana it is at Spa Django. I’ve had massages all

over the world and I have never found myself on a more comfortable massage table than the ones you find here. The brilliant addition of a Tempur-pedic top makes all the difference in both density and temperature. One of the biggest issues I find with most spas is that initial temperature difference when you’re about to get on the table can sometimes jolt you out of your relaxed headspace. Not so at Spa Django. Theirs is an experience that considers everything to the last detail, which is exactly as it should be. The massage was, in a word, incredible. The room was large but had a definite feeling of intimacy. They’ve figured out a near-perfect orchestration when it came to the structure of bodywork, a process that at no time took me out of the flow I was experiencing. You don’t’ have to be a guest of the resort in order to experience the spa’s unique style of luxury. Popping into Spa Django will make you feel as though you’ve jetted off to some far away location and successfully dialed back your stress level to zero.

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The Kerrville

A production of the Kerrville Daily Times • June 2017

Daily Times

A special series featuring all aspects of life here in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. This four part series will take a close look at some of the challenges, questions and rewards we face everyday as life unfolds.

Balancing a household, career and self. Publishes June 7

Making the most of the golden years. Publishes June 14

Balancing an emotionally, physically and spiritually successful life. Publishes June 21

Those who make a difference because they give of themselves. Publishes June 28 58

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IrreSIStIble baby department filled with adorable necessities and lUXUries.

Great Newborn Gift ideas!

Available at

HC etc.

510 7th Street in Comfort

830-995-5660

Tues. – Sat. 10:30 am to 5 pm Buffalo Draw Ranch

is located 15 miles south of Rocksprings off Highway 377 on County Road 450. This is typical Edwards County terrain with rolling hills intersected by ravines. The cover on the ranch consists of live oak, piñon pine, cedar and hackberry trees along with the native brush and grasses of the area. This is a superb hunting property with whitetail deer, free ranging exotics including axis deer and aoudad, feral hogs and turkey. There is electricity available to half of the tracts on the ranch. With some elevations over 2,300 feet Buffalo Draw Ranch also offers endless views of the Texas Hill Country. Owner financing is available on all property in the ranch with as little as 5% down for up to 30 years.

Magnificent dining table built from reclaimed wood. Extends to 11.5 feet, seating 12 Only at Contact Travis for information at 830-377-6275 www.ranchland-tx.com

509 7th Street • Comfort, Texas 830.995.3515 JUNE 2017 |

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FOLKS

LUXE Texas Hill Country HILL COUNTRY CULTURE, FERRARI OF SAN ANTONIO, REDEFINED, PFAFF PFINERIES, HILL COUNTRY DISTILLERS & SCHREINER GOODS CELEBRATE AT GATHERING’S ON HIGH FOR LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMA SOCIETY

Cindy Stavinoha, Beth Warren and Debbie Kirchner

Model

Rodeana Reynolds

Hill Country Distillers

Jennifer McInnis Fadal, Brandi Hines and Lisa Kerr Jenkins Leslie Bohl, Ceslie Armstrong and Neice Bell

Keri Kropp, Models and Leslie Bohl

Rhonda Tuck Stephanie Locke and Sarah Dinkins

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The Potter’s and James Billingsley

Ferrari of San Antonio

Becca Short, Marti and Terry Ashcraft


FOLKS

Chip and Jan Miller with Leslie Bohl

Mary and David Fritze

Mia and Enver Kaba and Friend

Lisa Pfaff of Pfineries & Rhonda Tuck of ReDefined

Mandy Barton and Friend David and Jean Smith

Phil and Lisa Jenkins

Steve and Kathy Harris

Kris and Jeff Kroll

The Hatley’s

Derby Day Photography by Justin Cortez and Frank Castro

CELEBRATING THE ANNUAL DERBY DAY AT BENDING BRANCH WINERY ESTATE

Marjorie Morton and Jennifer McInnis Fadal, General Manager of Bending Branch

Sara Potter of Bending Branch JUNE 2017 |

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CHEERS

The Pimm’s Cup BY CESLIE ARMSTRONG We can’t think of a more refreshing and fitting “cheers” to leave you with than the iconic Pimm’s Cup. To put an exclamation point on our feature of a selection of New Orleans’ seminal culinary destinations, here, we offer the recipe directly from the Napoleon House circa 1940s bar and then suggest you stir it up a bit with our Hill Country version:

Napoleon House Recipe Fill a tall 12 oz glass with ice and add 1 1/4 oz. Pimm’s #1 and 3 oz lemonade Then top off with 7up Garnish with cucumber Go the Hill Country route and add a shot of Azar Distilling of San Antonio’s newest spirit: Seersucker Southern Style Gin and a sprig of mint and find your nearest swimming pool or river.

Courtesy photo

Cheers y’all!

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Come and Discover Our Many Facets. AM Y

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402 Seventh St. Comfort, TX 830.995.5299

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www.comfortcrockery.com JUNE 2017 |

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PUBLISHER’S LETTER I have been back in Kerrville for almost a year now. My, how time flies when you are having fun, and, yes I am really having a lot of fun. Once my husband Jeff and I got unpacked and all moved in, the first thing we did was to take a drive throughout the Hill Country. He is not very familiar with the area and I wanted to show him what all the Hill Country had to offer. He was amazed. Each weekend, we would pick a destination and take all day Saturday or Sunday to explore and have fun. Jeff’s favorite thing to do was to jump on his motorcycle and take a leisurely ride along the beautiful Guadalupe River out past Hunt. Sometimes, we would stop in the Hunt Store for a French Taco and, sometimes, we would just keep riding until we just got tired and would turn back. Another one of our favorite things to do is to go sample good wine from some of the beautiful and plentiful wineries we have in the Jeff at one of our favorite wineries area. We haven’t enjoying a glass of wine and people been to all of them watching. yet, but I think we have been to most. We love to just sit and people watch when we are at the wineries. We get quite a chuckle out of seeing a group of young women celebrating someone’s upcoming marriage by attempting to drink all the wine in the region. And don’t even get me started on all the fantastic restaurants there are. Our rule while exploring is to never stop at the same place we have already tried. This is a very hard rule to live by because we definitely want to go back to some of them multiple times. I gain a few pounds just thinking about it. Let’s not forget about antiquing. This is one of my newfound passions. I know my husband isn’t really into it, but he sweetly says “OK” and quietly tags along. If you are ever bored on any given weekend here in the Hill Country, it’s your own fault. There is so much to do here that there is no way you can run out of places to go and things to see. Get out and enjoy our beautiful slice of heaven they call the Texas Hill Country. Maybe I’ll see you out there!

Summer’s Happening. Are You?

See Us for Sunglasses!

Tobin Tilley, O.D. • Drew Whitehead, O.D. • Trinh Nguyen, O.D. Therapeutic Optometrists • Optometric Glaucoma Specialists Treatment of Eye Diseases • Laser Vision Correction (LASIK) Pediatric Vision Care • Sports Eyewear • Sunglasses • Contact Lenses Great Selection of Designer Frames & Affordable Eyewear!

(830) 257-5656

708 Hill Country Drive, Kerrville www.visionsource-tilley.com

Create your own

OUTDOOR PARADISE!

COMFORT, STYLE & DURABILITY FIND IT ALL AT OUT BACK Neice Bell publisher neice.bell@dailytimes.com 64

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2104 Memorial Boulevard (next to MG Building Materials) 830-890-5532• www.outbackpatiofurnishings.com


Why do we advertise in Texas Hill Country Culture? Texas Hill Country Culture is seen by more of our “would be” clients.

When invited to promote North Park Subaru at Dominion in a monthly magazine focusing on the entire Hill Country, I couldn’t pass it up. We are eager to show everyone in our region all of the things that our brand believes in…being friendly to our environment, being adventurous and having fun in our vehicles that are versatile and safe. Texas Hill Country Culture is the perfect “vehicle” to get our message to you! STEPHEN MARKHAM - General Manager North Park Subaru at Dominion


YOUR NEW BACKYARD. TM

NEW PHASE OPENING IN COMANCHE TRACE THE OPENING YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. We are thrilled to announce Phase 13, the latest and most desirable offering at Comanche Trace. Located at one of the highest points of the development, Phase 13 offers premium views, coupled with immediate proximity to the Practice Facility and starting holes of our championship golf courses. 34 unique lots, with countless possibilities! Phase 13 will offer three property packages consisting of: Villas, Single Family, and Garden Patio. This is what you have been waiting for-Come Home to the Hill Country.

Call or visit our website for more information and to view Phase 13! 830.895.8505 www.ComancheTrace.com

2801 Comanche Trace Drive Kerrville, TX 78028

info@comanchetrace.com

1-877-467-6282

Profile for Ceslie Armstrong

Hill Country Culture June 2017 "Travel" issue  

Ceslie Armstrong was engaged to create a new brand and magazine for a Hill Country regional print monthly distributed throughout the Texas H...

Hill Country Culture June 2017 "Travel" issue  

Ceslie Armstrong was engaged to create a new brand and magazine for a Hill Country regional print monthly distributed throughout the Texas H...

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