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Our Hometowns Staff:

A Message from the Editor

Publisher Stephens Publishing

Welcome to Our Hometowns Magazine! We are amazed by the response, reception and excitement. We offer a multitude of thanks for your support and fondness of the new magazine concept. We would like to acknowledge the awesome folks we get to call neighbors and friends, as they are the inspiration for each idea we have had. After 20 years of national magazines, the birth of our publication was a 15-year dream of our publisher to help connect our local hometown communities. Patience pays off! We hope to remind you of all the great resources right down the road, while offering interesting facts and behind the scenes looks at some of your favorite places. The request from our end is simple, keep inspiring and keep the great causes going for us to share. Just by looking at the images and reading the profiles, it should make you want to visit these places and learn more about them. Allow me to add that the folks behind these businesses work hard to make your trip one to remember. We also try to have fun ways to earn a free ad. If you can name all the places on the “Hometown Hunt” page, then you are a true hometown observer and deserve a free ad for being part of all the communities have to offer. Go take a look and let’s see how much you have explored the surrounding communities. Submit your “Hometown Hunt” responses to submissions.hometowns@gmail.com. The first reader with all the correct answers will be contacted and given free advertising. Be sure to check out our “Out and About” events section, you just may find someone you know. Look for us while you are out and about and pick up a free copy! Readers, I urge you to stay in touch and to interact with us. We have stories to share. What are yours? You can submit story ideas and personal hometown images to submissions. hometowns@gmail.com. We want this to be informative, fun and interactive. Let’s all support each other locally, throughout our hometowns, and let’s bring even more interest to us all.

production.hometowns@gmail.com

Editor Whitney Posey Melton editor.hometowns@gmail.com

Contributor Brenda Andrews

contributor.hometowns@gmail.com

Sales Staff Ashley Erwin sales1.hometowns@gmail.com Mary Ellen Burton sales2.hometowns@gmail.com Office Staff Alexys Stephens

office.hometowns@gmail.com

Advertising Please contact any of our associates if interested in being included in upcoming issues. At Our Hometowns we are committed to connecting communities through support and accessibility. Contract Rates Available Upon Request.

Your Hometown Editor & Friends

The advertisements in this publication are only the opinion of the advertiser and not that of Our Hometowns nor the printer. Our Hometowns takes the utmost care in preparing ads for publication. However, Our Hometowns is not responsible for errors in ads as our proofing process bestows responsibility upon the advertiser. Our Hometowns limits its liability resulting from any and all errors, misprints and/or other inaccuracies in the advertisements and editorial content. If justified, its liability is limited to refund the customer his payment for the said advertisement, the printing of a corrected advertisement or editorial correction notice in the issue which follows notice from the customer. Reproduction or other use in whole or part of the contents without written permission of the editor is prohibited. 2 Our Hometowns | Fall 2019


TABLE OF CONTENTS 42 A Grandin Model Sited in Hamilton County

4 Storm’s

Great Texas Food By Robbis Storms

8

The Candy Man Can

How one man’s love for chocolate is providing clean water for thousands. By Whitney Posey Melton

12 Hamilton Central Perk

A place where friends gather. By Whitney Posey Melton

14 A Recipe for Success

A self-made restaurateur’s tale. By Whitney Posey Melton

16 Real, Tasty Food

In the middle of historic downtown Hico. By Whitney Posey Melton

18 Patina Passion

By Whitney Posey Melton

23 Native

A homegrown music profile. By Whitney Posey Melton

A link between animals and autism. By Brenda Andrews

48 An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

By Tonya Stephens, DVM, MS, PhD, PAS

50 Remember When

By Dewayne Clover

50 Pastor’s Devotion

By Clint Davis

52 Cranfills Gap, ISD

By Monti Parchman

54 Evant, ISD

By Emiliegh Burton, Ranferi Estrada Jr, Meriyeim Lopez, Veronica Miron, Dustin O’Neill, Kaitlynn Seward, Victoria Sherwood, Todd Worster Jr, & Ms. Cook

56 Hamilton, ISD

By Brenda Andrews & Matt Zschiesche

Hico, ISD 26 Who Is Taking Care of You? 58 By Jon Hartgraves

By Cathy Kolodziej, M.Ed, Lpc, Csc, Lcdc

28 A Night Ninja’s Battle

The journey from type 1 to type none. By Whitney Posey Melton

26 32 34 50 64

Inside Every Issue: Self Care Hometown Hunts Out & About Hometown Musings Ad Index Fall 2019 | Volume 1 | Issue 1

All materials printed in this issue are considered property of Our Hometowns and may not be reprinted without written permission from Our Hometowns. Publishing of ads or articles do not imply sponsorhip or endorsement. Ads designd by Our Hometowns are available for use outside of this publication but with permission and remittance of a design fee.

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ood question. And I ought to know the answer — I was there when my father J. B. Storm first came up with our iconic sandwich! I guess that after almost 70 years, it’s okay to spill the frijoles. So — if you promise to keep your mouth shut -- I’ll let you in on our secrets. Flash back to World War II. I was only a babe in arms, so I’d be kidding you if I told you I remembered very much. But in later years I often heard Dad talk about learning the food business the hard way — he owned a diner in San Antonio in 1944. But the Storm family’s experience feeding people goes much further back. All the way back to the 19th century. Back to the Texas frontier. Back to the 1870s when my great-grandfather Wash Storm operated a stagecoach stop in Hopkins County. My great grandmother ran the dining area where she had to feed hungry cowboys, muleskinners and other frontier types. She prided herself on hot, hearty meals served up quick. She specialized in steak (what today we call “chicken-fried”), sandwiches, and fried fish — much the same food you can get at a Storm’s today. They called their stage stop “Stormville.”

offered a full drive-in menu with hamburgers, hot but the thrust of our business was now hamburgers. dogs, and French fries. I had taken over the business in 1971 and became sole owner in 1974. The name “Dairy Cue” no lonYou’re probably familiar with one of our early ger seemed appropriate, so I changed it to “Storm’s.” customers. You might remember him as the hip- Long-time employee and good friend Kenneth Mishaking entertainer who virtually owned the 1950’s iller became my partner. In 1984 we opened a second Storm’s in Burnet. Two years later we opened a third store in Hamilton.

radio waves. We enjoyed his tunes like Don’t Be Cruel and Heartbreak Hotel, but we also knew him as a quiet, polite Fort Hood GI who’d drive over from Killeen for our burgers. Mom spoke fondly of the times she took his food out to him. I personally The modern version of Storm’s began in 1950 when only waited on him one time. But I was one thrilled Dad opened a small roadside establishment in Lam- 14-year-old when I served a strawberry milkshake pasas. After his years at the Borden Company, he to Elvis Presley. knew ice cream like Willie Nelson knows country music. Dad chose the name “Dairy Cue” to reflect By the 1970s our business had changed. Sure, we his plan to specialize in frozen deserts. But he also still sold ice cream cones, sundaes, and milk shakes,

Through the years Storm’s has been recognized by a number of publications: Southern Living , Texas Highways, Austin Chronicle, Texas Monthly, and Texas Hill Country Magazine. Rich Vanderpool devoted a chapter to Storm’s in his book The Texas Hamburger: History of a Lone Star Icon. Bill Hufnagle in Biker Billy’s Roadhouse Cookbook: Adventures in Roadside Cuisine wrote that he would drive a thousand miles for a Storm’s Special from Hamilton. Storm’s also starred on television when the Food Channel ran a segment on The Best Drive-Ins of America. You can still see the on-line version which features our Cordon Bleu — a double meat burger stuffed with ham and cheese. You can probably guess that the number one secret of that Storm’s flavor is the quality of the meat. Dad knew a lot about beef cattle from his boyhood days on a ranch near Lampasas. From those earliest years at the Dairy Cue we processed and ground our own hamburger meat. As our business increased

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we could no longer grow enough beef, but for many years much of our meat came from cattle raised on Dad’s place out west of town. Today we still insist on high quality beef that we process in our own meat plant in Lampasas. And we still slice fresh potatoes every morning. And here’s another of Storm’s success secrets – the men and women who through the years have worked long and hard to maintain our high standards. We’ve been very fortunate to have so many long-term employees whose loyalty, dedication, and expertise have made Storm’s what it is today. These folks truly care about the quality of their products and will do what it takes to keep their customers satisfied and happy.

Hamilton Storm’s Manager Mike Kolodziej is the champion — he started out as a teenager 42 years ago. And now I’m going to whisper in your ear the last of our secrets. I told you that my Dad came up with the Storm’s burger way back in the 1940s. He figured out that much of a burger’s flavor comes from the very thin caramelized surface called the “glaze.” You get such a glaze when you cook meat on a very hot surface – in this case a very smooth steel griddle. And he noticed that when you cook a very thick patty you have the same amount of glazed surface as you get when you cook a thin patty. A big thick patty without a glaze may look great, but you get more flavor from a thin patty with a glaze. Or even more from a stack of thin patties.

Most of the management team started out as teenage carhops and learned the One of our most popular burgers is the business inside out. For example, long- Storm’s Special which consists of three term Lampasas manager Kenneth Miiller of those thin patties stacked up like panworked at Lampacakes. That’s three sas from age 14 to times the flavor! his death at age 54. Separate those I’m still part of the patties with slices organization as a of melted cheese consultant, but six and you get a years back I sold my burger that Biker interest in Storm’s to Billy says is worth three men whom I that thousand mile learned to trust and ride. respect. Lampasas Manager Mike So there you have Green and Burit -- the secrets of net Manager Clint a Storm’s burger. Connolly both have Just don’t tell anytenures approachone – okay? ing 40 years. But

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estled neatly off of historic Highway 281 and Highway 6, rests a quaint Victorian-era home. Here you will find Wiseman House Chocolates, cleverly named after the home’s original owners, with plenty of pleasant surprises and affordable luxuries. With its many picturesque settings to enjoy a book or treat, you’re invited into the painting at every turn. At Wiseman House, chocolates are meant to be an experience. Each chocolate is hand crafted in hopes of customers slowing down and savoring life. Owner, artist and chocolatier, Kevin Wenzel, first opened the doors to the Wiseman House in 1996. However, when he first opened, the focus was not meant to be on chocolates. “It was going to be kind of a menagerie of things, but within three months the chocolate took off, so I just stayed focused on that,” noted Wenzel.

Wenzel recalled often asking his students what their favorite food was, to which many would reply chocolate. Chocolate was an indulgent experience in this part of the world. “These guys were into chocolate and I’d never heard of anyone being that excited about chocolate. On my last day in Riga, all my students took me out to have chocolate. It was the coldest day yet, the ice was built up on the river, and they took me to this chocolate shop and gave me sipping chocolate. It’s like hot chocolate [or] like drinking espresso, as it is a pure chocolate. This little shop was so sweet. It was then I decided, you know, that this was really fun,” Wenzel reminisced. The experience resonated so deeply with Kevin that, the first thing he did before opening the chocolate shop was buy a bunch of little espresso cups to serve his own version of the sipping chocolate. “It was just pure chocolate that delivered all the chocolate flavor all at once and was impactful and just really great.” In fact, the ancient Mayans enjoyed their chocolate in the same way over two thousand years ago, revering it as the nectar of the gods. Kevin Wenzel created his own version of this liquid sipping chocolate so sublime, one has to taste it to believe it. Sipping chocolate is actually tiny 100% pure chocolate morsels that when added with hot water, becomes a smooth and sensual drink like no other.

Wenzel began his studies in fine arts and spent time abroad in the Orient and Eastern Europe. Kevin’s time in Eastern Europe deepened his love and fascination with chocolate in particular. He was teaching English as a Second Language classes to students in Riga, Latvia at the time, a region that had been riddled under Soviet control for three generations. “Soviets killed one million people from Latvia and brought in Russians to control the Latvian people,” Wenzel recollected, “they didn’t remember real freedom besides books.” In fact, according to the Latvian popula- A confectioner’s son, Wenzel, studied tion database, the percentage of Latvians chocolate making at a fifth generation in Riga had fallen to 36.5% in 1989. chocolate school in Pennsylvania. “Over the next ten years I started making a lot of Riga is full of heritage and art and, at one different products, started teaching choctime, was even known as the Paris of the olate to others, and had enough skill that Baltic Sea. Germans, Finns, Swedes, and I could be called a chocolatier,” recalled other people would often come to Riga like Wenzel. To be called a chocolatier, a pera melting pot of cultures with art, food, and son has to have the necessary knowledge other things to form a new Renaissance of and skills to work with chocolate, as well sorts. There was even a chocolate company as, teach the art to others. that had been in Riga for over 100 years. Fall 2019 | Our Hometowns 9


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A tradition for the Wenzel family, Kevin’s grandmother, Cotton, had a small country store south of Dallas long before it was the sprawling metropolis we know today. Cotton’s brother, Kevin’s great-uncle, was a candy maker in Dallas. Kevin grew up making beef jerky, sausage, cheesecake and candy with his siblings in his father’s store in Hamilton. The Dutchman’s Hidden Valley Country Store first opened in 1985 and is currently run by his sister, Kara. The Wenzel family have all have their hand in a bit of the craft, as his brother went on to open his own deli and meat market. Wenzel Lone Star Meat Market, in Hamilton, has made a name for itself selling pork butt sandwiches. Kevin Wenzel truly possesses the perfect combination of talent, training and heritage for the delicate art of chocolate making. Kevin’s artistic nature is on display in the different chocolates and products found in his store. This is not only in the physical beauty of each candy, but the experience to be appreciated. Enjoying Wenzel’s chocolates truly is a unique occurrence. Besides love and tradition, freshness sets his chocolates apart. Wiseman House combines real chocolate from places like Belgium and Venezuela with real ingredients such as fresh whipping cream, chopped fruits, authentic liqueurs, and real flavors like crushed coffee beans. What makes their chocolates so unique is actually not so much what they put in, but what they leave out. You won’t find added sugars, glutens, sodium nitrates or trans fats in the chocolates at Wiseman House. The result is a fuller flavor profile, smoother texture, and richer taste that you will begin to appreciate from the very first bite. This modern-day Willy Wonka is living out a childhood dream of many, all the while making a global impact with a nonprofit organization he supports called Kids Across Cultures (KAC). KAC provides clean water, food, educational opportunities and medical care to impoverished peoples of Asia and Mexico. Kids Across Cultures was founded in 2008 in Dublin. Missionaries, business owners and various other folks willing to get their hands dirty set out with the vision of helping people currently overseas conducting projects, while providing resources. KAC funds basic health-

care needs, nutritional training, physical needs for handicap people, vision screening and eye care, clean water and countless other projects. KAC began with a project in Southwest China helping the Hani, who are considered to be the most impoverished of China’s 55 recognized minorities. The Hani labor in terraced rice fields as sharecroppers throughout the mountainous countryside. There is not a real emphasis on education in the home, so many people begin working from a young age to make ends meet. In villages like these, there is no access to water outside of the region’s rainy season. For seven years, KAC primarily focused on providing clean water to villages that did not have access to water. But a few years ago, they began a drive to put clean filters in people’s homes. These water filters helped dramatically decrease the rate of dysentery in the villages the organization has been able to help. In the last few years, Kids Across Cultures has

put out a little over 7,000 filters with 5,000 of those being to families. The group’s current focus is “clean water for every kid.” The goal is to provide a water filter in villages to any family that has children in the home. The organization has even worked with schools in the area to provide filters for their students, as it is common for children to live at school during the week in these parts. “One of our values as KAC is that we want to partner with and be a part of [teams] that are not just going to just go and fix a problem and then leave. Relationships are a big thing for us. We want to get to know people and listen to their needs and situations. When the kids are better, we’re going back and we’re building relationships with people and getting to know them. Once major problems like water

systems are solved, there are other issues that are going to need dealing with,” notes Craig Scoville, co-founder and board member of the Kids Across Cultures nonprofit organization. This year, the organization began working with a project in Cambodia called the Cambodia Village Outreach in hopes to bring change and opportunity to the Siem Reap area. There is a team of eight Cambodians that work together to conduct educational and medical programs. They currently have 25 children they support to go to school. In the last six months, KAC introduced sustainable water to the village and has provided over 1,000 filters. Their goal is to provide over 2,500 filters in the village by 2020. Kevin Wenzel became involved with KAC over 4 years ago and wanted to use his gifts and talents to promote the organization’s cause, thus the birth of Choctoberfest. Choctoberfest occurs the entire month of October to promote Kids Across Cultures, featuring the best of Hico. This year marks the 4th annual Choctoberfest. It’s goal is to promote Hico and its businesses as valuable, authentic and refreshing destinations, while benefiting charity. Guests can participate in a chocolate scavenger hunt, chocolate food tastings, art and specials all month long. Choctoberfest is about getting people together and letting people know about Kids Across Cultures. It truly is profound that our small communities can make a global impact. We can leave our fingerprints and make that difference. This small town business and nonprofit organization are achieving exactly that. “I think what I’ve found over the years is that if I can make a difference in the lives of a handful of people today or tomorrow or even next week, the ripple effect of that is huge,” Scoville observed. You can give the gift of clean water this year! A filter can provide clean water for a family of six for up to five years and is only $75. Every amount is helpful and appreciated. You can make donations online at kidsacrosscultures. org or mail donations to Kids Across Cultures, PO Box 394, Dublin, TX 76446. KAC is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.

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entral Perk has been a staple in Hamilton County dining now for ten years. Renovated in 2008 to become a local healthy eatery, the restaurant is located in a historic house in the county seat of Hamilton. Dripping with charm, this local eatery has a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere with its picturesque views and gargantuan wraparound porch. Cleverly named, Central Perk plays up its Friends origins decorating the dining area with vintage Friends posters. Most of the delicatessen’s sandwiches, paninis and wraps take on their own character persona from the hit sitcom. For example, the “Phoebe” is, rightfully, a veggie panini with eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion and provolone cheese. Blanca Sepolio, owner, can be found daily in-house preparing dishes, answering the phone, taking orders at the window, and anything else she needs to do to make things

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Be sure and check out Central Perk’s show stopping homemade pies and desserts, but be prompt! Blanca’s desserts are much-loved and sell out quickly. Central Perk’s autograph wall, with a special autograph from none other than Mike Wolfe of American Pickers Central Perk’s famous stuffed avocados are fame, is another notable feature on anyone’s favorites for good reason. Blanca serves up, list when stopping in. always fresh, perfectly ripened large Hass avocados, stuffed with her signature chicken The charming dining space quickly fills to the salad, cranberries and walnuts. All dishes are brim with patrons, spilling out onto the gorserved with a choice of chips, soup, salad or geous, and sizeable, wraparound porch that provides a beautiful dining backdrop during seasonal fruit. favorable Texas weather. Perhaps more noA personal favorite, the “Janice”, comes with table, Central Perk is also dog friendly. Bring apple wood smoked bacon, turkey, Monterey along your fuzzy friends and dine together. jack cheese, baby arugula, romaine lettuce, and tomato, drizzled with mayo and honey Any time you’re driving down 281, make sure mustard and wrapped in a fresh spinach to make a stop at Central Perk, a place where tortilla. The “Janice” wrap pairs well with all friends gather. Delicious food and a warm sides and has a sweet and tangy twist which, and welcome environment make this restauin my opinion, perfectly embodies the theme rant an ace for any friend’s visit. of the café. runs smoothly. The blackboard menu is located over the order window and specials are served every day. A plethora of choices await, as well as, salads and their famous stuffed avocados.


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oasting through downtown Gatesville, your eye is sure to be captured by the very modern pub that is The Knife & Cork. Its new-age feel sets it apart on the historic courthouse square. Guests can expect to find new and exciting takes on classics, unique specials and appetizers and one-of-a-kind chef ’s delicacies sure to excite any palette. The Knife & Cork has quite the history of its own. The building was constructed in 1897 and has been home to numerous businesses in its 100 years. In its earlier recorded days, it was a pharmacy. In the late 1970s, it was a bookstore. It was later remodeled to serve as a restaurant in 2012. The pub even has its own local haunt! Some time ago, a Texas Marshall was chasing two criminals from the courthouse. The outlaws fled up the stairwell of the restaurant and took the Marshall by surprise, fatally wounding him. The staff has lovingly named the apparition, “Marshall.” Though nobody has actually seen him, any odd occurrences leave Marshall to blame. Aside from its fantastic history, The Knife & Cork has incredible dishes and staff who are ready and willing to serve you. Most nights, you can find the restaurant’s owner and Hamiltonian, Gina Sellers, in the front of the house visiting with guests. Gina loves talking to her guests, educating them and getting them excited about trying new dishes. She prides herself on getting folks to try things they may never otherwise have tried. “I love teaching people about food and about concepts and about why [a dish] is the way it is,” remarked Sellers. The menu boasts a variety of delectable tastes, most notably their best-selling Reuben egg rolls. Perhaps even more exciting are the specials! The Knife & Cork offers vibrant appetizer, lunch and dinner specials to keep guests intrigued. Specialties offered in house are collaboration projects between Gina and Chef Jacob. When creating the menu, Gina wanted to be sure that it would hit all the notes and give options for everyone. From their firecracker shrimp to their crème brûlée, each and every menu item is created completely from scratch with fresh quality ingredients. This pub has made a name for itself by listening closely and carefully to what Gatesville wants and needs. Those dining at The Knife & Cork can rest assured that their needs will be met, while offering exclusive dining options. The dining staff is able to accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, soy allergies, MSG allergies, and even Celiac Disease. The restaurant also offers the ideal protein diet. Accommodating so many needs can already be a difficult balancing act, but Gina and her team achieve what seems to be impossible given their small kitchen space. On an average day, three line cooks, a cold cook and a dishwasher share a small kitchen space and carefully orchestrate beautifully crafted dishes for guests. Perhaps most poignantly noted by Chef Jacob himself, “If you’re not going to challenge yourself, why do it?”

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The pub has seen its share of hurdles along the way. Ten weeks after opening in October 2017, the restaurant suffered a devastating fire and had to close. With true grit, determination, and a lot of hard work, Gina was able to reopen March 8, 2018, after being closed only 2 months. “I’ve always been scrappy and fought through things if I needed to,” noted Sellers. “I’ve always been a believer in ‘things do happen for a reason.’” Indeed, things do happen for a reason. Gina discovered the restaurant first as a diner with her husband, Miles. “Over those 5 years between them closing and me wanting to do this, I had met the [previous] owner. She gave me her business card [when] we were just diners. After every purse change and every wallet change, I just kept it. Looking back I always think, ‘Why in the world did I keep that?’” recalled Sellers. As if that weren’t a stroke of divine intervention, her meeting Chef Jacob just may have been. Gina met Chef Jacob as a diner shortly after she had opened. He and his wife had recently relocated and in conversation he mentioned he was a chef. The rest is delectable dish history. Gina was not always a restaurateur. In fact, she had built a successful career in finance and investments. “I kind of got a little burned out,” Sellers

admits, “I had been successful [in my career] and I had a great boss, but this was something I wanted to do and I felt like if I didn’t go ahead and do it, then I probably never would.” Gina has no former restaurant training and is completely self-taught. The self-proclaimed foodie learned a lot from guests based on Gatesville and what the city wanted prior to opening. “I kind of started where I wanted and my friend, who’s a

chef in Comanche, mentored me” noted Sellers. “It is not as easy as it looks! It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. It takes way more than what people think in so many ways. Definitely a shout out to my team. This is by far not all me. I could not do this without them.” Gina’s story is one of inspiration and empowerment. “I think it’s important for women to know they can do anything they want to do and that there really aren’t any limits or time frames. They can make it happen,” encouraged Sellers. The Knife & Cork has also been a leader in supporting our troops. Staffers wear red shirts on Fridays to show support for the military. Prior to the Red Bulls deployment, Gina opened the pub privately and sponsored their send-off. When they returned 9 months later, the restaurant put on their “Welcome Home” celebration. The pub continues to show support and stand united with our men and women in uniform. A crowd certainly draws a crowd! The atmosphere at The Knife & Cork is so welcoming and the staff receives everybody. It’s a great place to go for a lunch meeting, to meet up with friends, to have a celebratory drink or even to watch the game. The Knife & Cork can meet any need and exceed your expectations.

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lacas Fitness and Brews is a modern breath of fresh air serving up real, tasty food with a Latin and Mediterranean flare. Flacas is home to not only a café and bar, but a fitness and art studio. Flacas Fitness and Brews is the perfect fusion of people gathering, a dichotomy of sorts if you will. Folks come for the great grub, Texas craft brews, wine, smoothies, fitness, or a combination of all the above. Locals and tourists alike enjoy Flacas and all are welcomed here as close friends. Linda’s philosophy is that fitness should be fun, good for you, and something you look forward to. She’s been a practicing fitness fanatic for most of her adult life. She teaches Hatha Yoga classes and Posture Labs at Flacas. Most importantly, Linda also believes that part of healthy living includes eating well. By that, she means eating and drinking whole, healthy foods – real foods – not all of the processed, chemically charged products that are so easily accessible. Besides, who said being healthy couldn’t be wholesome and fun at the same time? Flacas’ great tasting menu items include quesadillas, nachos, street tacos, pita pizzas, wraps and salads using their in-house smoked meat and slowcooked pork. All of Flacas’ sauces are made in-house and fresh each and every day. Their naturally sweetened smoothies are made with fresh fruits and wholesome ingredients. All of Flacas’ ingredients are sourced from local Texas vendors. No matter what you order, you won’t go wrong – and you’ll certainly be back for more! My particular favorite here at Flacas is their Southwest Salad. Atop a crisp bed of Romaine lettuce and tricolor tortilla chips sit decadent smoked chicken, fresh Pico de Gallo, and feta cheese. A variety of enticing dressings are yours for the choosing. I chose their signature jalapeno ranch and it didn’t disappoint! This salad has the perfect blend of heat and creamy notes. Each bite is it’s own flavor explosion. This dish certainly leaves an impression, without the guilt. Looking for a heartier dish? Try the Crushed Macho Nachos, your choice of ground beef, smoked chicken or slow cooked pork, and sharp white cheddar cheese melted over tortilla chips and topped with black bean salsa, pico de gallo, sour cream and Flacas’ signature jalapeno ranch. Flacas’ slow cooked pork nachos are to die for and sure to be an instant craving. This mouthwatering dish is so cheesy; you have to “eat ‘em with a fork!” The whole vibe at Flacas is just on another level. As soon as you walk up, the groove just envelops you. A vintage order sign hangs at the end of the bar leading patrons to a vibrant and friendly staff member who welcomes you like an old friend. As you enjoy your dish, conversations buzz about, old friends are catching up, regulars pull up to the bar for their usual, and out-of-towners relax and enjoy. If you’re looking for local entertainment, check out Flacas’ open mic nights on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Local singers and songwriters can be found performing on Saturday nights at the bar. For more event information, check out Flacas’ “Events and Happenings Section” on their webpage. Flaca’s Fitness & Brews is a crowd-pleasing, immediate fan-favorite, and hopping place to be. To check out their menu, fitness class schedules, and more information, check out their website at flacas-hico.com. 16 Our Hometowns | Fall 2019


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s Americans, we tend to reach for the nostalgic, always reminiscing about the “good old days,” when cars were fast and things were built to last. Many of us would agree that some of our most prized possessions may not be prizes at all, but they mean the world to those of us who own them. Think of a family heirloom that has dozens of stories or your grandpa’s beat up old Chevy that you restored to its old glory.

These prized possessions become more valuable to us as they age and even spark collections from time to time. One such instance occurred to Dean Smith after acquiring a 1934 Ford street rod. After rebuilding the Ford model made infamous by the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, Dean built himself a shop to carefully house the street rod. A man’s love for his vintage car sparked a collection like none other. The shop quickly took on an antique gas station vibe and Dean’s patina passion was born. For over 35 years, Dean has been collecting vintage oil and gas signs, gas pumps, oilcans, tobacco cans, and many other antique advertising pieces. “I like Texas stuff,” says Smith, “you just can’t get enough of the old stations and how [things] were made to last forever.” If a collector truly can have a favorite, one that is special is his Panhandle Texas 18 Our Hometowns | Fall 2019


gasoline sign with a sleek black longhorn logo. One of Dean’s first signs, a Marathon Gas “Runner,” was found in King, Texas, stored deep in a barn. “You know I was first getting into collecting and really stepped up and offered the guy $50. He couldn’t get the money fast enough!” remembers Smith. The same sign today in its current state, with it’s vintage patina, is worth $3500. He still has that sign hanging in his business, the Texas Station Event Center, along with almost all of the signs he’s acquired over the years. “I got in at a good time. Before the [American Pickers] show came on, things were not quite as expensive, but now with all the interest, it’s gotten crazy,” remarked Smith. Dean travels to various swap meets throughout the year and was fresh off an annual trek to the Iowa Gas Swap Meet for our interview with plenty of new treasures to gape at. Iowa Gas Swap Meet takes place each summer in Des Moines, Iowa, and is the nation’s largest gas, oil and auto-related advertising swap meet, show and auction. It was at this very swap meet that Dean met Robert Wolfe, brother of Michael Wolfe of American Pickers fame. “A lot of these sign guys get connected. Robert always comes to Iowa Gas,” noted Smith. “[The Pickers] did call me one time. When they called, I told them I

[didn’t] want to sell my stuff and plus I know what they like and want. [I have] a collection and they want to go through barns and stuff like that,” said Smith. “I shouldn’t have told them no,” he admitted, “I should have told them I got a bunch of stuff stored and sold them some stuff cheap to be on the show!” Smith noted with a smile. Although the Pickers were unable to get their hands on any of Dean’s signs, he was able to help Robert out with custom rings he made for vintage signs. Dean began making custom rings for his signs as a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to what had been on the market. “I didn’t like what’s out there. There’s some that are not as high of quality and I thought, ‘I can make them better.’ So I got a roller and started making them. I needed 60 or so and I could make them for less than what I could buy them for and have better quality [rings],” recalled Smith. Most signs were not made to hang, they were mounted to the tops of poles, so a lot of these rings are custommade for collectors. Perhaps Smith’s most prized sign is a pre-1938 ten-foot Texaco neon sign, the only one like it known to still exist. Dean found the vintage neon at the Pate Swap Meet in Boyd, Texas, his favorite of all the swap meets he attends. “I was just lucky. The guy had just pulled up with it on the trailer and I just happened to be the first one there to it,” reminisced Smith. This acquisition to his collection

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earned Smith a spotlight in Petroleum Collector’s Magazine, a magazine published by petroleum historians. Although Dean’s biggest finds have usually been at swap meets, most of his discoveries have been found locally. Smith bought a Sinclair Oil “Dinosaur” sign from Cotton Davidson, who also used to own a gas station in Gatesville. Smith admits collecting and picking is always on his mind. “I still find gas pumps out in the country, I know where some still are and I check on them from time to time,” he noted. This modern day picker has obtained many of his gas pumps by lucking into what people are getting rid of. “I dug one out of my wife, Brenda’s, parents’. They had a visible gas pump just out in the scrap pile. The first time I went out there, I noticed it right away and I ended up pulling it out of there,” reminisced Smith. It was no easy task as the pump had been sitting, untouched, in the pasture for decades. Antique memorabilia, especially vintage signs, are like stock investments. Dean has snatched some of his signs up for as cheap as five bucks picking through the years. Some sell for more than $40,000 now and are invaluable in the eyes of the collector’s that own them. Naturally, Smith outgrew his first shop that was home to his beloved street

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rod and first signs. Dean began his career contracting and building metal buildings. He had mostly built storage buildings and shops and always wanted to start his own storage and RV park business. At the time, there was only one other RV Park in town. “I started with storage and 6 [RV] sites and I’ve been chasing my tail ever since,” noted Smith. Dean quickly paid off his initial investment and expanded across the highway to build what is now the Texas Station RV Park and Event Center. It has now been nearly 20 years since he first started his business. Initially, the event center was built to serve as a home for his growing sign collection and venue for the RV Park for family reunions. The event center has become such a popular backdrop for weddings, in fact, that it is undergoing expansion efforts to accommodate a wedding venue under the oak trees, equipped with an outdoor cooking area, on his recently acquired 18 acres. Renovations are expected to be complete in the spring of 2020. If you’re cruising south down Highway 36, stop by and check out Dean Smith’s impressive vintage memorabilia collection at the Texas Station. You can find events, rates and more information about Texas Station RV Park, Storage and Event Center at texasstationrvpark. com or by calling Smith at 254-2234445.


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s the great German poet once said, music is the revitalizing water that washes the dust from our souls. It brings us joy, opportunity and endless emotion. No matter the event in your life, there is likely a soundtrack playing to the memory. For one Evant native, the story couldn’t be more true. Clayton Landua is widely known throughout Central Texas and beyond for formerly fronting the band, 6 Market Blvd. “I’ve always been drawn to music,” Landua noted. Writing his first song at only 18, Landua had an affinity for putting poetic words on paper. However it wasn’t until age 20 that he became more serious about creating music. He acquired his first guitar and quickly began teaching himself how to play. Landua began, like many, learning basic

chords and progressed to learning his favorite songs. “It was very rewarding to learn one of my favorite songs and then, all of a sudden, I started writing my own songs,” recalled Landua. During his studies at Tarleton State University, Clayton began getting into a handful of open mic nights. Over time, he and some friends began running different open mic nights in Stephenville and wound up forming a band. “Before I knew it, more and more people were showing up to hear me sing a couple of songs during my set. We started being able to go out and do some gigs. We’d put up flyers all over campus, all the time, every time we had a show. Before we knew it, [we were] selling the venue out,” remembered Landua.

This open mic night band was the beginning of 6 Market Blvd. playing with the very lineup with which they went on tour. The band was composed of lead singer Clayton Landua, lead guitarist Josh Serrato, bass guitarist Ben Hussey, rhythm and lead guitarist Scott Neal, and drummer Dallas Neal. The band was playing open mic nights every week across Stephenville when they learned of a music competition. 95.9 The Ranch, of Fort Worth, was hosting a songwriting contest. Clayton and Scott entered the competition and performed acoustic versions of the band’s songs, “Picture of You” and “That’s the Way Love Goes.” The pair swept the competition and was awarded an opening act at 8.0’s Bar in Fort Worth and a recording opportunity with Fort Worth Sound. Fall 2019 | Our Hometowns 23


While recording “Ready to Throw” at Fort Worth Sound, a gentleman was sitting in and listening to the band work the song out in studio. “He represented this company called ‘Winding Roads,’ they [did] online marketing and radio promotion,” recalled Landua. “We went from winning an opportunity to record one song to an opportunity to get a full length record and a radio promotion distribution deal in just a matter of a week.” The band’s success continued to build quickly after a game-changing second gig at 8.0’s. A booking agent with Red Eleven out of Nashville came to check them out. “It was a packed house and he signed us on the spot,” said Landua. Only a month after winning the songwriting competition, the band had earned two opening acts at a hot music club and signed an album distribution and promotion deal with a Nashville label called Vision Entertainment. After signing with Vision Entertainment, the band was having the time of their lives and the tour was taking off. They first began touring all over Texas and Oklahoma. Once their album Shake it Down was released in 2012, 6 Market Blvd. scored two Top 10 singles on the Texas Music Chart. Quickly attracting a national following, the record debuted at #42 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and #5 on the iTunes Country Music Chart. Their instant success sent them touring the greater part of Middle America, making stops in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois, New Mexico, Colorado, Arkansas and Louisiana. Landua recalled what it was like hearing one of their songs on the radio for the first time. “We were cruising [through] West Texas and had a radio interview out in Snyder. When we left, ‘Ready to Throw’ started playing on the radio. Everybody was just quiet. We sat in the van and listened, just cruising to Lubbock. The rest of that ride to Lubbock was one of the coolest, most surreal moments. The show that night at The Blue Light in Lubbock was fantastic as well.” “A lot happened for us in about 6 years that happens for folks in about 10 years. We were touring at 22 years old and by 28 we were stepping away. There’s a part of me that thinks we should have held on a little bit longer, but at the same time, everything happened really fast and we needed time to get our bearings back on straight. From the outside looking in, it looks like a rock star status, super fun, on top of the world. Don’t get me wrong it’s totally a good time, but it can really wear you out fast. From the outside looking in it all seems great, but if 24 Our Hometowns | Fall 2019

you get a chance to step onto the inside of it and see some of the other things going on and see how tired everybody is, you would see it’s ok to take a break sometimes,” commented Landua. 6 Market Blvd. amicably dismembered in 2014, playing their last show on February 28 at City Limits Bar at home in Stephenville. “We’ve all just grown up. If you look at how all of our lives have turned out and how we’re still friends after dismembering in 2014, most of us have all really done our part to make sure we rekindled and everybody remained friends. It was left on such a good note. We were able to accomplish quite a bit and we opened doors for a lot of people, too,” noted Landua. Every weekend across Texas, someone usually contacts Clayton to tell him about a new band they just heard somewhere covering one of 6 Market Blvd.’s songs. Landua stated “with these younger bands coming up, many have a 6MB song on their set list that night. It’s really cool to hear those testimonies and see the love our fans have for our music [that have] kept us relevant this entire time.” Over the past three years, the posse has put on 6 Market Blvd. reunion shows for fans. “We’ve been blessed that radio stations all over Texas have kept us pretty current. I mean, they just keep spinning 6MB,” said Landua. Faith has played a major role in guiding Clayton’s decision-making through the years, even stepping away from music to focus more on his faith. Landua found himself at StoneWater Church, in Granbury, where he was immediately noticed and trained to be a worship leader. Landua served the StoneWater congregation as the praise and worship team leader. Clayton even served on mission trips with the church to Costa Rica and India. “They invested in me quite a bit, more as a person and spiritually,” said Landua. He never stopped playing music and began writing some new music during the transition. “I’ve never been able to stop playing music, it’s my passion; and I didn’t write these songs for no reason. So I’ve been working on this project for a couple years now and released an album,” Landua remarked. Clayton Landua Music released a debut album, Native, on May 9, 2017. Landua is backed by a solid group of band mates, two of whom happen to be Clayton’s cousins. Brandon Doyle plays lead guitar for the group and singer-songwriter Ryan Turner


plays electric rhythm and harmony. Ryan is known for his songs “She’s No Amy” and “Sweet Time.” The relatives are flanked by former Dolly Shine drummer, Johnny Goodson, bassist Tanner Hill and Texas Homegrown Radio DJ, Bobby “Texas” Gardner on steel. Clayton Landua Music reproduced 6 Market Blvd.’s “Picture of You” for the Native album, as 6MB never had a chance to put the song on a full-length record. Clayton Landua Music was even selected by the American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches to perform for church camps. You can find Clayton Landua Music on Facebook and their album, Native, on iHeartRadio, Spotify and iTunes. Clayton is the epitome of being humble and kind, even with the accolades and accomplishments he has received. Landua’s soaring vocals gained the attention of premier outlets including the Huffington Post, Country Weekly Magazine, and Texas Music Magazine, to name only a few. He has performed as the front-man for the main act on the Larry Joe Taylor stage and opened for headlining acts such as, Mark Chestnut,

Diamond Rio, and the late, great, king of country, George Jones. Stephanie, Clayton’s wife, commented, “It’s an honor, really, to be Clayton’s wife because he treats people really well and has really good relationships. Especially going places and seeing the love and respect people have for him, it’s amazing. He’s changed me as a person.” What is the one thing Landua wants his fans to know about him most? Just how thankful he is for them. “I’m just so thankful for them and [have been] blessed to have so many people that have been continuous fans, even after stepping away.” “There’s always room for a revival,” notes Landua. “There is a little conversation about a 6 Market Blvd. reunion tour in 2020 that we’re talking about. Nothing is in stone but we all have talked about it and think it would be cool. We’re looking at our schedules and seeing what 2020 looks like.”

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About the author: Cathy Kolodziej, M.Ed, Lpc, Csc, Lcdc Clinical Director – Solutions Behavioral Health Cathy Kolodziej received her Masters degree in counseling from Tarleton State University in 2011. She is a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society. Her work experience includes 30+ years as a teacher and counselor in public schools and three years working with incarcerated men in the Texas Department of Corrections. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, and the Clinical Director at Solutions Behavioral Health. Cathy joined the team in August of 2014 as a therapist and became the Clinical Director in 2016. She is passionate about helping others discover their inner strength in order to achieve a better quality of life.

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Humans tend to label things. We assign categories and check mental boxes. We label ourselves as parents, daughters, sons, supervisors, employees, and much more. Sometimes we label ourselves unkindly and unfairly. We identify and operate under self-imposed titles as well as actual titles. We often strive to be the best that we can be for everyone who observes us, and since we live in a world of social media, EVERYONE observes us! So often, even with altruistic motives, we forget to practice self-care. It is okay to ask for help when we need it. It is okay to spend time alone when we need to. It is okay to put ourselves first occasionally, and it is absolutely okay to ask for what we need. Long story short… we should always remember that it is okay not to be okay! We all have those days, but “those days” can become a way of life if we allow it. Happiness is possible and is made easier if we learn to treat ourselves with respect. Practicing self-care should be an easy task, but it often takes conscious effort and practice. It involves understanding that selfcare is not selfish. It is nourishing our internal self and giving to ourselves what we give to others. It is nurturing our emotional, mental, and spiritual self. It is being in touch with our feelings, needs, and desires and not feeling guilt for taking time to focus on ourselves. It does not involve buying things. It only costs time… OUR time…and we are worth it. Setting boundaries is often very difficult to do, but it is crucial for self-care. The same goes for saying, “no.” In order to set good boundaries we must first be sure of what our boundaries are! Boundaries can be physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. If something makes us feel uncomfortable then it is something that we should examine. Maybe it is something that we should consider not tolerating. We need to give ourselves permission to set boundaries and then enforce them with no guilt! Remember that healthy boundaries are a sign of self-respect. It is okay to say, ‘no” without feeling like we are committing a crime. Forgiveness is hard, but can be so liberating! Forgiving ourselves is often the hardest job of all. Self-reflection can be helpful. Taking a good look at ourselves and examining why we feel the way we feel can be difficult to do. Using self-talk, or talking with a trusted friend or counselor, and allowing ourselves to be honest and to forgive, can free us to move forward. What is the worst that can happen? We must know our worth. We must take care of our physical, mental, and emotional health. We must know that we are worth setting boundaries for and we must remember that it is always okay to ask for help. Who is taking care of you? YOU should be taking care of you! You are the best person for the job.


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any of us have heard of diabetes. Even more of us likely have a family member who suffers from this disease. How much would you say you know about diabetes? For starters, do you know the difference between type 1 and type 2? Did you know that over 37 million people are diagnosed with the disease in the US each year? Diabetes is the name given to disorders in which the body has trouble regulating its blood-glucose, or blood sugar, levels. Although they share the same name, type 1 and type 2 diabetes could not be more different in their characteristics. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that allows the body to get energy from food. Sometimes known as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes affects both children and adults and can be diagnosed at any age. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively. It is often diagnosed later in life and can be due to genetic predisposition or behavior. Most distinguishably, type 2 diabetes can be managed with diet and exercise or medication. The onset of type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. T1D seems to have a genetic component, however its causes are not fully known. Nothing can be done to prevent the illness, and there is currently no cure. Type 1 is an unrelenting, 24/7 struggle with high and low blood sugars and constant monitoring of food and activities. In fact, some 1.25 million Americans are living with type 1 and countless friends and families are impacted, as well. According to the CDC, type 1 accounts for five percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in America. T1D causes lifelong dependence on injected insulin and carries the constant worry of lifethreatening complications. It requires intensive, never-ending management. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Founda28 Our Hometowns | Fall 2019

tion (JDRF), 30,000 people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year in the US. People with T1D continuously and carefully balance their insulin intake with eating, exercise and other activities. They also must measure blood-sugar levels through finger pricks, ideally at least six times a day, or by wearing a continuous blood glucose monitor (CGM). The importance of monitoring blood glucose levels in a type 1 is imperative. You cannot sleep, eat or exercise without first taking into account your blood glucose levels and taking an appropriate amount of insulin. For someone with type 1, insulin is a lifeline. Blood glucose levels can fluctuate drastically

throughout the day, especially at night. Tami Ashley, whose daughter was diagnosed with type 1 at age seven, recalls what life was like before CGMs were available to patients. “When [my daughter] was young, I would literally sneak on my stomach into the bedroom, get her hand and check her blood. I was like a ninja [because] I would check her ten times a day before the CGMs.” CGMs are worn on the body to continuously monitor and read blood glucose levels in the body and have been on the market for patients for the last five years. CGMs are so technically advanced that they are even able


own, you are a mathematician, a nurse, a nutritionist and that’s all within waking up and eating your first meal. Just the logistics of what they have to go through and what they have to deal with is remarkable.” Type 1 must be managed with the use of insulin, either with injections or insulin pumps. If not treated properly, people with type 1 are vulnerable to health issues ranging from minor to severe. According to JDRF, less than one-third of people with type 1 in the US are consistently achieving target blood-glucose control levels, which can lead to potentially deadly episodes of hyperglycemia (low blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (high blood sugar), even when following a strict regimen.

to communicate with Bluetooth devices like a cell phone or smart watch. This device has been instrumental in ending many of these episodes for night ninjas who closely monitor their loved one’s levels. “It’s always on your mind, you always have to have a plan, be prepared, and take advantage of any help available,” notes Kristen Pool, a grassroots volunteer and Central Texas coordinator for JDRF, whose son was diagnosed in 2008 at the age of eleven. As a volunteer, Kristen educates and advocates on behalf of JDRF. When discussing what it’s like for a child with type 1, she noted, “By the time [that you] are old enough to do this on your

Type 1 is identified in children and adults as they show signs of the following symptoms: frequent urination, increased thirst, dry mouth, itchy or dry skin, increased appetite, unexplained weight loss, yeast infections and flu-like symptoms. These flu-like symptoms have, in many cases, gone misdiagnosed as a simple virus until the same patient is readmitted days later for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA occurs when the body’s blood sugar is so high that the blood becomes acidic, cells then dehydrate, and the body stops functioning. “The testing for type 1 is either a finger prick blood test or urinalysis, so either of those should be done each time a child goes to the doctor with stomach or flu-like symptoms. Those are not expensive tests,” notes Pool. Just one finger stick can catch type 1 earlier. In fact, it is encouraged for people who have a family history of diabetes to be checked twice a year, and can even be done at home. A normal fasting blood sugar, typically tested in the morning before breakfast (hence “fasting” in its name), should read between 70 and 100 mg/dL. When you eat a meal,

blood sugar generally rises, and in a normal individual it usually does not get above 135 to 140 mg/dL. Aside from the physiological ailments of the disorder, people with T1D are faced with mental and emotional side effects, such as fear, anxiety, depression, lack of socialization and distress. Fortunately, there are specially trained service dogs to help. Diabetic Alert Dogs (DADs) are service dogs that are trained to alert diabetic owners in advance of hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic events before they become dangerous. When alerted, their handlers can take steps to return their blood sugar to normal such as using glucose sweets or taking insulin. Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia both release chemicals in the body that have a distinct smell that is undetectable by humans, however diabetic alert dogs are specifically trained to react to such smells. DADs can provide emotional security and a sense of balance for those who have loved ones with diabetes. These special service dogs can help lead a more confident and independent lifestyle. This is especially the case for college students with type 1. These dogs have shown huge advantages in counteracting the mental and emotional health struggles of the disease. The aforementioned emotional and environmental factors also play a role in how much insulin a diabetic needs on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. Not every diabetic is the same, nor do they need the same amounts of insulin from day to day, making the rising cost of prescriptions and equipment that much more of a burden on those suffering from type 1. Insulin helps regulate blood-sugar levels throughout the day and night, a key to managing diabetes and a lifeline for those living with type 1. People with T1D rely on insulin therapy to help manage their blood-sugar levels. The food they eat, stress, illness, excitement, and several other factors can all affect bloodFall 2019 | Our Hometowns 29


glucose levels, necessitating in insulin for stabilization. While insulin therapy keeps people with type 1 alive and can help keep bloodglucose levels within recommended range, it is not a cure, nor does it prevent the possibility of serious side effects of this disease. Diabetes has received more national spotlight as of late with the increasing costs of insulin prices and the sheer volume of stories of diabetics rationing their insulin. As previously stated, the amount of insulin varies from person to person and a single patient’s needs can fluctuate from month to month. For patients who are not rationing, they are stockpiling, getting samples of insulin from their endocrinologist and having their doctors write prescriptions for more than they can use. Much too often, this crucial drug is unaffordable for those who need it most. Those rationing include older people on Medicare, who are in the hole when drugs cost more, older adults who don’t want to spend their life savings on insulin, young people who are underinsured or not insured at all, and working people who have health

insurance but whose insulin is either not covered or who have to pay a high price on their plan. Insulin can cost $300-$700 a month in these cases. Without insurance or other medical assistance, those prices skyrocket. “In March of 2014, I went to go pick up [my daughter’s] insulin, the same exact insulin we picked up in February. We had the exact same insurance policy. It went from $75 to $450 in one month because of the Affordable Care Act going into place,” Tami Ashley recounted. With its pre-existing condition coverage, the passing of the Affordable Care Act meant insurance providers in the US could no longer deny diabetics coverage or treatment. While this was a positive step forward, moving toward coverage for all diabetics, it didn’t solve the issue of insulin insecurity. The price of insulin has more than doubled since 2012. That has put the lifesaving hormone out of reach for some with diabetes or scrambling to figure out ways to afford the one thing they must have in order to live. Many Americans make just enough to not qualify for Medicaid and are unable to afford a plan on the Healthcare Marketplace. The cost of insulin and diabetic equipment has increased exponentially in the last 20 years. One study showed the price of insulin, as charged at the pharmacy, tripled from 2002-2013. These skyrocketing prices have people choosing between putting food on the table and paying for their critical prescriptions. To most, having insurance would be the obvious answer, but every company and plan is different. Some plans will cover most of the prescription and leave just the co-pay, but co-pay costs can be steep as well. Other plans cover nothing at all until the deductible is met, which can vary for every person’s plan. The American Diabetic Association (ADA) reports that 1 in 4 people are not taking their insulin, as they should, as a result of not being

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able to afford their insulin. In the US, there are over $14 billion in T1D-associated healthcare expenditures and lost income annually. In recent weeks, Congress has taken steps to renew the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), which currently provides $150 million annually for T1D research at the National Institutes of Health. SDP funding has already led to lifechanging discoveries that are improving lives, however funding is set to expire this fall. Currently bipartisan legislation in both chambers of Congress, is working to extend funding with sights set on long-term renewal plans. Since its inception, the SDP has shown tangible results by helping scientists make significant advances in cure therapies, prevention studies and treatments, including artificial pancreas technology. The program is an essential component of the overall Federal investment in diabetes research. In July, Senate bipartisan legislation was proposed to combat skyrocketing insulin prices and hold health care middlemen accountable. The Insulin Price Reduction Act would hold pharmacy benefit managers (PBM), big pharmaceutical companies and insurers accountable for these surging prices. Each year, insulin and other drug manufacturers establish list prices for their products. In order to get their insulin covered by insurance, manufacturers then negotiate financial rebates to pay PBMs and insurers. The American Diabetes Association found that as PBMs have increased rebates as a percentage of the list price, the heightened rebates have helped drive increases in the list price of insulin. This higher list price has had damaging consequences for uninsured patients and individuals in high-deductible plans, who frequently have to pay the full list price of insulin at the pharmacy counter. Researchers have estimated that the price of a 40-day supply of insulin rose from $344 in 2012 to $666 by 2016.


The proposed legislation, supported by both JDRF and the ADA, would create a new insulin pricing model where the use of rebates would be restricted for any insulin product for which the manufacturer reduces the list price back to a level no higher than the price of the product in 2006. For the most popular insulins, this would result in more than a 75 percent decrease in prices compared to what we can expect to see in 2020. “It is critical that Congress take action to make insulin affordable,” JDRF Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, Cynthia Rice stated. “No one should suffer or die because they can’t access insulin. Insulin companies, insurance plans, employers and the government must act.”

JDRF has been a monumental force in the advocacy, research and support of those with type 1. In fact, JRDF is the leading organization funding research for type 1 diabetes. Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion to T1D research. In focusing on the development of better treatments, JDRF has transformed the way people with T1D treat the disease and have helped them to live healthier lives. JDRF is uniquely positioned to change the course of this disease. The organization drives its progress forward by impacting every stage of the drug delivery pipeline, from development to commercialization and ultimately delivery to the patients. As new treatments are moved through the pipeline, daily

burdens, side effects and complications for those living with type 1 are removed. Although type 1 diabetes is a serious and challenging affliction, long-term management options continue to evolve, allowing those with T1D to have full and active lives. Living with type 1 diabetes can be difficult and upsetting, even life threatening, and it never goes away. T1D is affected by every bite you eat and every jog you go on. Despite this, people with T1D serve as an inspiration by facing the disease’s challenges with courage and perseverance, and they don’t let it stand in the way of achieving their goals. JDRF is driving research to lessen the impact of T1D on people’s lives until a cure is achieved, turning type 1 into type none.

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Look through the Out and About Events; you should see familiar faces and places along the way. Since Our Hometowns Magazine has the goal of “connecting communities”, as well as being an informative magazine, we also want to make it interactive and fun for all the readers. We want you to want to look through and enjoy it look forward to it. We are including a lot of ways to make each of you a part of the magazine and its experience.

Comanche

October 3 – Sarah Peacock, Stone Eagle Beer Garden, 7-9 PM. Sarah Peacock returns to the Stone Eagle for an acoustic evening in the music hall at 7 pm. Special guest, Judy Blank from the Netherlands opens the show! Tickets can be purchased at the door for $18. October 5 – Kerri Lick, Stone Eagle Beer Garden, 9 PM. Please welcome first-timer, Kerri Lick, to Stone Eagle Beer Garden Saturday, October 5th, at 9 PM with no cover! October 12 – Oktoberfest Big Night, Stone Eagle Beer Garden, 4 PM. Come out to the Stone Eagle Beer Garden for Oktoberfest, the Big Night! For no cover, guests can enjoy music from Texassippi Soul Man Danny Brooks and Lil’ Miss Debi and dinner specials on bratwurst, sauerkraut, red cabbage, spaetzle and other delicious German cuisine. Drink specials on Paulaner HefeWeizen & Paulaner Oktoberfest on draft and Schmitt Sohn Riesling wine last all month! October 19 – Beth Lee, Stone Eagle Beer Garden, 9 PM. Stone Eagle Beer Garden hosts Beth Lee, no cover charge! October 26 – Hallowine Costume Party, Brennan Vineyards, 7-10 PM. Join Brennan Vineyards for the Hallowine Costume Party! Enjoy two complimentary glasses of wine, finger foods, and participate in the costume contest! Winners of the contest will receive wine related gifts. Tickets are $45. October 28 – Can Good Trick or Treat, Comanche County District Clerk, 6:30 PM. Get those costumes ready and trick or treat for canned goods! Trick or treating will start at the Comanche Courthouse and knock on doors to help fill local food pantries. November 2 – Fall Fete and Market, Brennan Vineyards, 1-5 PM. Join Brennan Vineyards for Fall Fete and Market! There will be various vendors set up throughout the property. It’s a great time to shop for the holidays while enjoying some wine.

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November 2 – The Santa Fe Band, Stone Eagle Beer Garden, 8:3011:30 PM. Come back to the Stone Eagle Beer Garden for a music event by The Santa Fe Band and an evening full of fun, great food and good music! November 9 – Pat Waters, Stone Eagle Beer Garden, 8 PM. Stone Eagle Beer Garden hosts Pat Waters, no cover charge.

Copperas Cove

October 5 – Copperas Cove Multicultural Festival, Ogletree Gap Preserve, 11-5. Free to the public, the Multicultural Festival offers live entertainment, music, dancing, demonstrations and more! For more information, check out the Copperas Cove Multicultural Festival Facebook page. October 10 – Copperas Cove Farmers Market, Copperas Cove City Park, 4-7 PM. The Copperas Cove Farmers Market features a variety of farm fresh products providing healthy options and farm-to-table ingredients for our community and those around us. October 17 – Copperas Cove Farmers Market, Copperas Cove City Park, 4-7 PM. The Copperas Cove Farmers Market features a variety of farm fresh products providing healthy options and farm-to-table ingredients for our community and those around us. October 19 – Fall-O-Ween Festival, Copperas Cove City Park, 5-8 PM. The City of Copperas Cove and Tourism Department invites the public to attend the 2019 Fall-OWeen Festival on Saturday, October 19, from 5-8 PM at Copperas Cove City Park. This 8th annual event will include the following activities: safe trick-or-treating, games, pop up farmers market, food trucks, and much more. The Fall-O-Ween Festival is family oriented and suitable for all ages. It will be $5.00 per car load to get in. Stick around for a Halloween themed movie in the park at 8:30 PM! October 24 – Copperas Cove Farmers Market, Copperas Cove City Park, 4-7 PM. The Copperas Cove Farmers Market features a variety of farm fresh products providing

healthy options and farm-to-table ingredients for our community and those around us. October 26 –Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza, Copperas Cove City Park, 8-11 AM. The 5th Annual Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza is a fun, family-oriented, dog-friendly event that raises funds for the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter. October 31 – Copperas Cove Farmers Market, Copperas Cove City Park, 4-7 PM. The Copperas Cove Farmers Market features a variety of farm fresh products providing healthy options and farm-to-table ingredients for our community and those around us. November 23 – Fall Bazaar, Copperas Cove Civic Center, 9 AM–3 PM. This arts and crafts bazaar is presented by Team JLyons. Dollar admission donation supports Lupus Awareness and search for a cure. December 6-8 - Annual Krist Kindl Markt, Downtown Copperas Cove. The first weekend in December Copperas Cove hosts the 25th Krist Kindl Markt. The Markt welcomes shoppers looking for those last-minute Christmas gifts and boasts great food, entertainment, and attractions for all to enjoy. The event kicks off on Thursday at the Copperas Cove City Park with an evening tree lighting ceremony. All weekend there are activities for the entire family of all ages to enjoy, some are free and some have a small cost associated with them. Saturday evening Ave. D is lined with spectators watching the Christmas Parade that gets everyone in a festive mood. And let’s not forget Santa visits Krist Kindl every year. We invite you to experience Copperas Cove and join us for a winter wonderland weekend of shopping, dining, and fun! December 7 – DeLeon Christmas Market Days, City of DeLeon, 9 AM–3 PM. Check out various vendors for your Christmas shopping this year at DeLeon Christmas Market Days.

Cranfills Gap

October 19 - 2019 Bacon Bash Texas, Horny Toad Bar & Grill, 4-11 PM. Bacon Bash Texas is the biggest bacon fest in the nation, benefit-


Do you have a story you want to share? You may send story ideas to the submissions.hometowns@gmail.com. You can even send us captioned photos to be considered for the Out and About Events pages. When sending photos, please make sure to send large files. Good quality pictures should show large kb or low mb files. Don’t worry, most cell phones will do great!

ting children with Type 1 Diabetes and Niki Warms the Cold, a charity that gives jackets and blankets to the homeless. November 2 & December 7 - Mack Abernathy Live! - Horny Toad Bar & Grill, 8 PM. Come join Mack Abernathy at The Toad for a great night of drinks and tunes at one of the coolest old time bars around.

Dublin

October 3-5 – Nonfiction Writer’s Retreat, Casa de Armonia Writing Retreats. Do you have a story to tell? Wisdom to share? Get personal help from bestselling and award-winning author Renae Brumbaugh Green in this intensive writing workshop and clinic set in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. October 12 & 13 – Chicken House Flea Market, 8080 US-377, 8 AM–5 PM. Visit the Chicken House Flea Market, between Stephenville & Dublin! The Flea Market is open Saturday & Sunday every 2nd & 4th weekend of the month. October 25 – Haunted Hayride, E Blackjack St., 7-11 PM. Dublin is hosting it’s annual haunted hayride! Admission for the festivities is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-12; children under five years old are free. October 26 & 27 – Chicken House Flea Market, 8080 US-377, 8 AM-5 PM. Visit the Chicken House Flea Market, between Stephenville & Dublin! The Flea Market is open Saturday & Sunday every 2nd & 4th weekend of the month. November 9 – Powell-Davidson American Legion Post 219 5K Run, 8 AM. A portion of the proceeds goes to support local veterans and their families who are facing hardship. The other portion goes towards a scholarship for a graduating student. The run begins at the Dublin Public Library and registration is $30. November 9 & 10 – Chicken House Flea Market, 8080 US-377, 8 AM–5 PM. Visit the Chicken House Flea Market, between Stephenville & Dublin! The Flea Market is open Saturday & Sunday every 2nd & 4th weekend of the month.

Gatesville

October 5 – Junk & Disorderly Citywide Garage Sale, 8 AM–4 PM. Back by popular demand! The Fall Junk & Disorderly will be held on Saturday, October 5th. Enjoy vendors at the Chamber Deport and garage sales citywide, a junker’s dream! October 12 - Turnersville Buffalo Stampede, Turnersville Community Center, 7 AM-3 PM. Make the short drive out to the Turnersville Community Center for the 13th Annual Turnersville Buffalo Stampede, a family event filled with fun! Start with breakfast from 7-9 am and then stroll the Community Center grounds to enjoy all of the vendors, games and other family friendly activities throughout the day. There will also be a kids 1K and a 5K and 10K race for the kids at heart. October 12 - The Royce Montgomery Show, City Auditorium, 7-10 PM. Come on down to the Gatesville City Auditorium for an entertaining and fun filled evening of music & more! Tickets for the oldies, Motown, country, rock & soul concert are $10 each or two for $15. VIP Tickets can be purchased for $15 each and include preferred seating and pre-show reception with hors d’oeuvres. October 15 - Wildlife Management Valuation Seminar, Gatesville Civic Center, 6:30-8 PM. Landowners in Ag or Timber– Come learn how a wildlife management plan keeps your already low property taxes in place. Improve the beauty of your land and ease of operation in 2020. RSVP appreciated, not required. Family, friends, and neighbors welcome! Get all of the information you need from the experts at Plateau Land & Wildlife. October 17 - TSCRA Ranch Gathering, Texas Station RV Park, 5:30-8 PM. Join Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) for a ranch gathering featuring an update on TSCRA activities and other issues facing ranchers. It will be an evening full of information, networking, food and fun. A free beef dinner will be served. Everyone is welcome! Make sure to invite your family, friends and neighbors!

October 25 – Blood Drive, Baylor Scott & White Clinic, 7-10 AM. Mobile blood drives are a convenient way for members of outlying communities and businesses to donate blood. Be sure to stop by the clinic to help out your local blood bank. Please contact Mary McCutchen via email at mary.mccutchen@bwshealth.org to schedule an appointment or for more information. October 26 - Gatesville Boozaar! Coryell Courthouse Square, 1-3 PM. Since 2001, the Boozaar has provided a fun, safe place for families to come celebrate Halloween with everyone in the community. Held on the square in Gatesville on the Saturday before Halloween, the Boozaar is the most well attended event of our community. Funded by the City of Gatesville and our many Treat Stop and Game Booth participants, there is never a charge to attend the Boozaar unless you choose to purchase something from one of the vendors. Businesses and organizations participate by providing free candy, games and other fun activities for kids that many adults enjoy as well! Other organizations sell food or other items as a fundraiser, and there are a variety of food vendors there to temp your taste buds. So whether you just want to take this opportunity to give back to your community by serving as a Treat Stop or Game Booth, or raise funds by renting a vendor space, or simply a fun, free family night out, the Boozaar has something for everyone! October 26 - Giovanni and the Hired Guns, Bare Bones BBQ, 7:30 PM. Check out Giovanni and the Hired Guns at Bare Bones BBQ on Saturday, October 26th. General Admission tickets are $10 each and doors open at 7:30 PM. November 2 - GHS Student Council GLOW RUN 7:30 PM. Get your glow on and come run with us November 2nd at 7:30pm at Gatesville High School Cross Country Course. Proceeds will go to Gatesville High School Student Council activities. November 9 - Gatesville Chamber Market Days, Historic Cotton Belt Depot, 7 AM. Chamber Market Days are held the 2nd Saturday of every month in the parking lot of the Historic Cotton Belt Depot. This is a Fall 2019 | Our Hometowns 35


great opportunity for small vendors to set up and show off unique merchandise and a great chance for visitors to the market to shop growers and small independent businesses. November 15 - Justin Cole, Somewhere Else Bar, 8 PM. Come join the party with Justin Cole! Enjoy great live music that everyone can sing along to. It’s always a blast when Justin comes to town! November 16 – Corks & Kegs, Coryell Courthouse Square, 4-8 PM. Corks & Kegs will be on the square in downtown Gatesville. Sample wine and beer offerings from area wineries and brewpubs, shop with local vendors, and enjoy food and music in the shadows of the beautiful Coryell County Courthouse. December 14 - Junk the Halls Christmas Parade, Coryell Courthouse Square, 10 AM. The 2019 Gatesville Chamber Christmas Parade will kick off at 10 am on December 14th. Come out to Main Street to watch the floats and have some family fun. This year’s theme is Junk the Halls, as float builders are encouraged to use recycled Christmas decorations to show off their inner Chip and Joanna or Junk Gypsy! December 14 - Justin Cole, Somewhere Else Bar, 8 PM. Come join the party with Justin Cole! Enjoy great live music that everyone can sing along to. It’s always a blast when Justin comes to town!

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Hamilton

October 4 & 5 – Harvest Festival, First United Methodist Church. The First United Methodist Church Annual Harvest Festival will begin Friday, October 4th at 8am with a garage sale. The garage sale will be held October 4th and 5th from 8am to 5 pm. On Saturday, October 5th there will be a Silent Auction, BBQ Lunch, Kids Festival, UMW Knife Sales, Country Store with Baked Goods. Be sure to preview the Silent Auction items that will be posted on the church Facebook page. October 5 - Hamilton Car Show, Hamilton Fair Park. The Hamilton Car Show is presented to you by Armadillo Auto Restoration and will offer cash prizes to the people’s choice car and judges’ picks from vintage cars, jeeps, and rat rods. Door prizes and food will also be available. October 9 - Fields of Faith, Jonesboro ISD, 7 PM. All Hamilton FCA members are invited to attend Fields of Faith at Jonesboro High School. The bus will leave from the HHS gym parking lot at 6:30pm. October 12 & 13 - Mickey Belew Memorial Scholarship Roping, Circle T Arena. To get your roping fix, head out to the Circle T Arena for the 5th Annual Mickey Belew Memorial Scholarship Roping benefitting high school seniors in Erath County.

December 14 - Christmas Stop & Shop, First United Methodist Church, 10 AM-2 PM. Come join First United Methodist Church for their Christmas Stop & Shop! There will be vendors set up ready to help you find all of those last minute Christmas gifts, multiple food trucks ready to serve you delicious food and Santa will be ready for pictures at 10am!

October 25 – Trick or Treat Around the Square & Fall Festival, 3:30 PM. Everyone is invited to join the 2019 Trick or Treat Around the Square and Fall Festival at Fair Park, Friday, October 25. Trick or Treat Around the Square is from 3:30-5:00 pm in Hamilton’s Downtown District around the Hamilton County Courthouse. Afterwards, the fall festivities continue at Hamilton Fair Park beginning at 5:00pm.

December 14 - Gatesville Chamber Market Days, Historic Cotton Belt Depot, 7 AM. Chamber Market Days are held the 2nd Saturday of every month in the parking lot of the Historic Cotton Belt Depot. This is a great opportunity for small vendors to set up and show off unique merchandise and a great chance for visitors to the market to shop growers and small independent businesses.

November 9 - 5K & Fun Run Fundraiser, Choices Hamilton County, 9 AM. Please come out for a 5K & Fun Run Fundraiser to enjoy a fun day celebrating the lives being changed at Choices Hamilton County! All participants will receive a medal! In addition to participant medals, the more money raised by each individual the more prizes will be awarded. There will also be special awards for

the largest teams, most money raised by a team, the most money raised by an individual, and much much more! To guarantee we have your shirt ordered by the event, please register by October 25, 2019! Each person wanting a t-shirt will need to be registered. November 22 - Hayden Haddock, The Grain Drafthouse & Eatery, 8:30. Be sure to check out Texas country music up and comer, Hayden Haddock, at The Grain. November 30 – John Hall Memorial Horseshoe Tournament, Jason Harris Pavilion, 12 PM. Join a doubleelimination horseshoe tournament for a cause! Bring your horseshoe partner and all ages are welcome. Registration begins at 9 am and each 2-person team is $100. For more information, contact Roseann at 254372-4408 or Chelsi at 254-493-7909. November 30 – Jennifer Hall Scholarship Dance, Jason Harris Pavilion, 7 PM-12 PM. The Cottonwood Crows are headlining this year’s dance, with a host of great opening acts, including Hamilton native Dillon Poe. Admission is $15 at the door and a silent and live auction will also be held to benefit the scholarship fund. November 30 & December 1- VIP Team Roping Circle T Arena. All ropings are 4 hd PA1, draw in option available. Guaranteed to draw to the roping entered. No cap in any roping. Must have a 2019 Rope Metrics Membership $100. Dress Code Hat or no Hat shirts must have a collar. Books open 7:30, rope 9 each day. For more information contact Lloyd South 940-328-3229. December 5 - Christmas on the Square, Hamilton County Square, 3:30-7 PM. Hamilton’s Annual Christmas shopping extravaganza will be held December 7 from 3:30-7. Stop by for all your Christmas needs! Contact the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce for more information. December 7 – Hamilton Christmas Tour of Homes, 12-5 PM. The Hamilton Christmas Tour of Homes is always a treat. There’s no place like home for the holidays and some of the most beautiful homes in Hamilton will be on display this holi-


day season. Contact the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce for more information. December 7 - Rockin’ Round the Cure, Circle T Arena, 8-12 PM. Save the date! December 7th, Circle T Arena’s Rockin’ Round the Cure will have an open 5D jackpot with side pots as a Relay for Life Fundraiser. Come on out to support a great cause!

Hico

October 4 – 26 Choctoberfest, Wiseman House Chocolates. October is Choctober in Hico! Join Wiseman House and other local sponsors all month long for Choctoberfest 2019! Proceeds benefit Kids Across Cultures and Helping Hands of Hico. Visit choctoberfest.com for specific dates and events or check out the Choctoberfest event page on Facebook. October 5 – Chocolate Scavenger Hunt, Wiseman House Chocolates, 10-3 PM. Get your scavenger hunt card at Wiseman House Chocolates then visit a list of stores throughout town. Complete all of the stops to be entered in a drawing to win a town shopping spree, plus a one night’s stay at Off the Vine Vintage RV Park, a prize worth over $400! October 5 – Artisan Chocolate Making Demonstration, Wiseman House Studio, 11-12 PM. Visit the Wiseman House Chocolate Studio on Pecan Street to see this special chocolate making demonstration. October 5 – Vero Gelato Food Truck, Wiseman House Chocolates, 12-5 PM. Vero Gelato food truck will be outside the Wiseman House Store! Stop by and choose from a variety of flavors while they last! October 5 – Choctober Painting Party, Off the Vine RV Park, 3-5 PM. This Choctober in Hico, join artist Jerrel Sustaita for the Ultimate Artistic Chocolate Experience! Want to make a painting? Jerrel will guide you through your own painting experience, as he rolls out the “Mobile Art Studio” loaded with paints of all colors, brushes and canvas. If painting is too basic for your taste, try your hand at making your own original edible art. Create a chocolaty inspiration as you make your

mouth-watering masterpiece using only artisan quality chocolate. Take home your unique chocolate painting or donate it to a museum. October 9 – Coffee, Chocolate & Cigars! Hico Popcorn Works, 5:30-8 PM. Come on back to your favorite popcorn shop for this chocolaty special. October 12 – Pretzel Stick Dipping, Hico Popcorn Works, 11-5 PM. Stop by for your free pretzel stick, dip it in chocolate, add decorations, and enjoy! Hurry in, while supplies last. October 17 - Girls Night Out, Downtown Hico, 4-8 PM. Fellowship, shopping & fun! Stroll through the shops in town for special discounts, terrific treats, and door prizes! Catch Open Mic Night at Flacas Fitness & Brews from 6:30-10 PM. October 19 – Silk Scarf Dyeing, Hico Mercantile, 2-5 PM. Come create a totally unique and customizable headscarf! For $30, make your own one-of-a-kind silk scarf by marbling floating paints on top of a dense solution. Almost like magic your design will transfer on to the scarf immediately for a unique creation. The whole process takes about 10 minutes, and it is simple enough for all ages! October 19 – Farm to Table Dinner, Two Clay Birds Garden Market, 5:30-9:30 PM. Join a farm-to-table dinner at Two Clay Birds Farm & Garden Market, featuring Wiseman House Chocolates in the meal. For more information and tickets, visit the Two Clay Birds Garden Market Facebook page. October 26 - Fashion Extravaganza, Sugar Moon Antiques, 3 PM. FG Clothing will have a two fashion shows, one at 3 PM and the other at 6 PM. Hurry to get your seat as seating is limited and by reservation only! For reservations, call (254) 796-4155. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Hico Volunteer Fire Department. October 31 - Downtown Hico Trick or Treat, 3:30-5:30 PM. Downtown Hico businesses will be passing out treats on Halloween. Dress up the kids and bring your candy bags for a

fun hometown community event! November 1 & 2 - Billy the Kid Film Festival – Downtown Hico. The biggest film festival in Hico history come and watch a single film or buy a pass and enjoy two days worth of films submitted from around the world for audience enjoyment. You’ll get to meet and talk with attending directors, actors, writers and filmmakers, walk the red carpet at the VIP Reception, learn more about the filmmaking industry and craft and see movies you won’t see anywhere else! For more information and film schedules, visit billythekidfilmfestival.com or the Billy the Kid Film Festival Facebook page. November 16 - Holiday Open House, Downtown Hico. Shop in Downtown Hico and enjoy refreshments, door prizes and special discounts in store. Contact the Hico Chamber of Commerce for more information. December 7 - Christmas Market & Parade, Downtown Hico. Hico presents a wonderful Christmas market downtown, hosting lots of vendors, music and holiday spirit. Pictures with Santa can be made and you can enjoy a Christmas Parade that evening. For more information, contact the Hico Chamber of Commerce.

Lampasas

October 5 – Texas Legato Winery Pig Roast, Texas Legato Winery, 4-8 PM. Join Texas Legato Winery for a Puerto Rican Pig Roast! Rice & Beans Pick-up Party! All are invited & welcome! October 6 – Lampasas Trade Days, Marigolds Antiques, 9-4 PM. Lampasas Trade Days is a place where you can slow down, visit, ask questions, and talk to collectors and antique dealers. Come meet the artists and craftsmen who create these one-of-a-kind items. Merchandise ranges from antiques, collectibles, quilts, crafts, folk and fine art, new home furnishings, shabby chic furniture, new clothing, jewelry, candles, handbags, electronics, iron works, outdoor decor, plants, tools, great food concessions and more. They have a little bit of everything. Get out of the city come to the country for a visit, find lots of treasures and have a great time! Fall 2019 | Our Hometowns 37


October 11 – Fun Night & Nerf Wars Parents’ Night Out, Family Taekwondo Center, 5-9. $10 per person, all ages welcome, as well as current students, past students, future students, family members, friends and guests. Fun times with nerf war. October 12 – Lampasas Fall Fest 2019, Historic Courtyard Square, 9-3 PM. Come to the Historic Courtyard Square for a day of speakers, arts, crafts and plants. The event is sponsored by the Courtyard Square Association and is sure to help visitors get ready for fall gardening. October 12 – ArtoberFest, Lampasas County Chamber of Commerce, 10-5 PM. The 25TH Annual ARTOBERFEST will take place at the Hanna Springs Sculpture Garden in Campbell Park, Saturday, October 12th 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Bring the entire family to enjoy an exciting children’s area with free arts & crafts activities, vendors, food trucks, beer & wine and more. ArtoberFest will feature live music and entertainment all day from great artists. The Elderly Brothers, Zac Morris and Austin Shakespeare are back to perform again this year. Perfect for children and a guaranteed hit with students and adults alike. Children and adults are invited to take the stage and recite some favorite Shakespeare passages. Bring your own or we will supply them!

November 1 – Hunters’ Welcome, H-E-B, 9 AM. The Chamber’s annual Hunters’ Welcome will be at H-E-B where county information is offered to usher in the hunting season. Texas barbecue sandwich meals will be served. November 2 – Crafter’s Table Craft Fair, 281 Café and Dancehall, 10-6 PM. Handcrafted gifts made by local crafters! Come see all the beautiful crafts and Christmas gifts available! November 2 & 3– Lampasas Trade Days, Marigolds Antiques, 9-4 PM. Lampasas Trade Days is a place where you can slow down, visit, ask questions, and talk to collectors and antique dealers. Come meet the artists and craftsmen who create these one-of-a-kind items. Merchandise ranges from antiques, collectibles, quilts, crafts, folk and fine art, new home furnishings, shabby chic furniture, new clothing, jewelry, candles, handbags, electronics, iron works, outdoor decor, plants, tools, great food concessions and more. They have a little bit of everything. Get out of the city come to the country for a visit, find lots of treasures and have a great time!

October 19 – Fall Festival Art & Craft Fair, First United Methodist Church, 10-3 PM. Come out to the pumpkin patch and swing through all the vendors too.

November 16 - Backroads Band Live at Toupsie’s. Enjoy live music and amazing Cajun food. Toupsie’s always serves up a good time. You’ll be sure to come back!

October 19 – Fiesta’s 9th Year Celebration, Fiesta Wineries, 6-9 PM. Come & Celebrate 9 years of wine making with us! Spend the evening listening to live music by The Backroads Band while strolling around Fiesta’s Vineyard & Winery, located in Lometa, Texas.

November 23 – January 1 – Christmas on the Creek 2019, W.M. Brook Park, 5-8 PM. The lighting of W.M. Brook Park happens on Saturday November 23rd, at 6:30 PM, with festivities commencing at 5 pm. Open Thanksgiving weekend to New Years Day. Come to see Santa’s Village, giant 12 Days of Christmas Cards, larger-than-life lighted nativity and beautiful light display along the banks of Sulphur Creek between Highway 190 and Highway 281. On the second Saturday in December, Christmas activities at the park will include sleigh rides, music, playing in the “snow” and hot cocoa with warm snacks with your family.

October 26 – Queso Fest, Lampasas County Show Barn, 11 AM. Held at the Lampasas County Show Barn, you receive $5 bag of chips and free queso! Also includes vendors, food trucks, petting zoo & booths.

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October 26 – Squared Silly, Courtyard Square, 5-7:30 PM. Come have a family fun night in Lampasas. Costume contests with prizes. Music, bounce houses, candy, games, food and more!

December 1 – Lampasas Trade Days, Marigolds Antiques, 9-4 PM. Lampasas Trade Days is a place where you can slow down, visit, ask questions, and talk to collectors and antique dealers. Come meet the artists and craftsmen who create these one-of-a-kind items. Merchandise ranges from antiques, collectibles, quilts, crafts, folk and fine art, new home furnishings, shabby chic furniture, new clothing, jewelry, candles, handbags, electronics, iron works, outdoor decor, plants, tools, great food concessions and more. They have a little bit of everything. Get out of the city come to the country for a visit, find lots of treasures and have a great time! December 7 – Carol of Lights, Courthouse Square, 10 AM. Carol of Lights is an all-day Christmas event with all the charm a small town can offer. The County Courthouse is filled with boutique vendors and admission of $1 funds a Town and Country Study Club scholarship fund. Santa is on hand to see good boys and girls and Mrs. Claus reads stories for the youngsters. Grownups will find plenty to do in the mom-and-pop shops and cafes on the square. Don’t go home early because the Lighted Christmas Parade starts at 6:30 with lots of fun floats and Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves in the grand finale of the parade. Watch the Vision Lampasas Facebook page for a full program of events. December 7 – Lampasas Trade Days, Marigolds Antiques, 9-4 PM. Lampasas Trade Days is a place where you can slow down, visit, ask questions, and talk to collectors and antique dealers. Come meet the artists and craftsmen who create these one-of-a-kind items. Merchandise ranges from antiques, collectibles, quilts, crafts, folk and fine art, new home furnishings, shabby chic furniture, new clothing, jewelry, candles, handbags, electronics, iron works, outdoor decor, plants, tools, great food concessions and more. They have a little bit of everything. Get out of the city come to the country for a visit, find lots of treasures and have a great time!


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40 Our Hometowns | Fall 2019


Fall 2019 | Our Hometowns 41


I

f everything’s bigger in Texas, then that includes the agriculture industry. One of our Lone Star State’s top commodities is the sale of cattle and calves which contributes to Texas agriculture’s total economic impact that reaches $115 billion annually. Pocketing every available dollar from their cattle operation is very important to stockmen.

working them just as they did in the Old West. Afterwards, they return to camp to share an evening meal, sit around and tell stories, and enjoy cattle working as it used to be. They relive the romantic West.

On the other hand, many stockmen now seek more calm ways to work their cattle. Their belief is that quieter handling is safer, more productive, and will yield higher financial gains.

Other herdsmen on foot employ prods, whistling, yelling, tail twistThere are those cattle raisers who ing, and flapping arms to funnel enjoy getting a bunch of friends their drove into pens and chutes. together to spend the weekend There, they inoculate, dehorn, casCattlemen in our Central Texas area working their herds. They’ll set up trate, and brand. Their idea is to work their cattle in diverse man- a camp, cook up a hearty breakfast work as many cattle in as little time ners. There are as many scenarios and saddle their horses for a long as possible. For them, cattle work is as there are cattle owners. There’s day’s work. The group will herd, work and it’s best done quickly. no right way to do it; only distinct push, rope and drag the calves for

As humans, we have become very aware of how stress negatively impacts our own physical health. Some may say it’s also true for cattle. There’s research to show that stress adversely affects the animals and thus the productivity. It seems that using some of the louder, more restraining methods of working cattle lowers their conception

42 Our Hometowns | Fall 2019

preferences. Cattle breeds and crossbreeds have differing temperaments. For one example, Brahmas are typically a little more difficult to handle than are Angus because of their sensitivities. That calls for different methods of penning and sorting.


versity in Ft. Collins, CO. She is an internationally known consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior and is also an autism spokesperson. She is one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to publicly share insights from her personal experience of autism. She uses her knowledge to revolutionize practices for the humane handling of livestock on cattle ranches and in slaughterhouses.

rates, reduces their immune functions and impairs their rumination. Stressed-out bulls can be more prone to aggression and unpredictable behavior, which, in turn, can lead to costly, preventable accidents to the handlers. Conversely, research points to cattle raised in a low stress environment gain weight faster, produce more milk, and are less prone to injury and disease.

may be familiar with her name in that vein. In addition, movie buffs might also recognize her name because in 2010, “Temple Grandin”, the American biographical drama film starring Claire Danes, was released. The film won many national accolades including seven Emmys for its depiction of Dr. Grandin’s life and achievements. Furthermore, current events enthusiasts may possibly recall her being named one of The foremost authority in the U.S. Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influenon the safe, calm handling of cattle tial People in the World in 2010. and the benefits derived is Dr. Temple Grandin. Livestock owners, Dr. Grandin is a professor of anicattlemen, and ranchers in our area mal science at Colorado State Uni-

and heartrate. Animal memories are specific and acclimation to one situation may not transfer to another situation. Practical experience in the field clearly indicates that cattle that are completely habituated and have a small flight zone when a person on horseback rides through them (whereas they) may run away when they are suddenly confronted by a person on foot. A person on foot presents a totally differWhen interent image comviewed by Stanpared to a perford Medical son on a horse. News Center, Neuroscience Dr. Grandin research clearwas asked “How ly shows that does autism help mammals have you connect in circuits in the a unique way to brain for peranimals?” She ceiving fear. replied, “Autism helped me under- Handling during transport and at stand animals because I think in the slaughter plants are areas where pictures. Since animals do not have poor handling can compromise wellanguage, their memories have to fare. Quiet low stress methods will be sensory-based instead of word- reduce costly bruising and death based. This was a new idea to look losses. During the last five minat things that cattle were seeing.” utes before slaughter, excitement, agitation, or electric prod use will Dr. Temple Grandin shared with increase lactate levels which may our magazine her studies on ani- increase tough meat in cattle…” mal welfare and low stress livestock handling in the abstract that From her own website, Dr. Granfollows. “Careful quiet handling din notes that curved, solid panel will help improve productivity. cattle chutes are more efficient for Cattle that become agitated in the handling cattle because they take squeeze chute advantage of or run fast out the natural of it have lower behavior of weight gains. cattle which Carefully acis especially climating cattle important if to moving quicattle aren’t acetly through the customed to handling facilbeing handled. ity will improve Blocking their conception rates vision elimiwhen they are nates escape brought back attempts and into the facility lowers stress for AI (artificial levels. Cattle insemination). move through Acclimating curved paths young cattle to more easily bepeople walking cause they have through them will produce calmer, a natural tendency to go back to easier to handle adult animals. Re- where they came from. search has also shown that acclimating animals to both chutes and Dr. Grandin has the unique abiltransport lowered cortisol levels ity to visualize the paths the cattle Fall 2019 | Our Hometowns 43


take and has made drawings of cattle yard designs for both large and small ranches and feedlots. She has also designed cattle loading ramps for trucks, diagonal stockyard pens for cattle, and detailed drawings of a single file race and of cattle dip vats. Her cattle pen layouts result in reduced stress on cattle and improved handling efficiency. Livestock owners, cattlemen and ranchers benefit from working and loading cattle with less stress, as they will bring more at market and thus will be more profitable. A hometown connection utilizing Dr. Grandin’s research exists. Trenton Koether, of T Bar K Construction in Hamilton, has built cattle pens to Dr. Grandin’s specifications locally. The owner of the pens wanted to keep his cattle safe without harm to them or to the handlers. Trenton pointed out that, “The owner worked closely with the drafter, Mark Deesing, who draws Dr. Grandin’s plans. She knows how cattle think and process. He draws them up and she tweaks them. They are designed to keep the pens quiet so the cattle flow and don’t get tense or nervous. The owner wanted pens so that he and a handful of people could work the cattle and not stir them.” The pens are built from Dr. Grandin’s design, but the owner modified the gates and latches to his preference. Once the plans were finished, he handed Trenton

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a binder with the designs and let him go. Trenton then familiarized himself with the details and layout. He made out a materials list along with a price list and began gathering resources.

which allow them to step onto the walkways on the outside of the alley and reach over with their rattle paddles. Since the alley walls are 5’ solid metal and curved, the cattle naturally approach the next opening. The concrete The rancher chose the loca- floors of the alleys are scored tion and had the area cleared. to prevent the cattle from He prepared the site to make slipping. As they progress it flat and squared it off. He toward the tub, block gates had creek gravel hauled in to are closed behind them. level it, to limit stirring dust up, and to aid in keeping the Once in the tub, Trenenclosures clean. The pens ton demonstrated that the took about ten months to crowding gate could be build with eight months on slowly moved in two-foot inthe corral. The buildings crements to coerce the cattle erected near the pens were into one of three directions. built by another crew. To- Gates inside the tub control gether, the pens and build- the path. The tub opens to ings provide a very safe, qui- an elevated chute to load et, easy way to work cattle. cattle onto a truck. It also opens to a ground level chute Trenton pointed out that the so that cattle can be loaded shady, serene, surrounding into a trailer. The third oppastures are somewhat pie tion is to push the cattle into shaped so that the fences con- the narrow “V” shaped chute verge into the pens. That, in that leads to the actual workitself, makes for easier move- ing area. ment of the cattle. Once the cattle are penned, they are A bump gate that falls behind sorted into six numbered them prevents the cattle from pens until it’s their turn to go moving backward once they into the working area. There are in the “V” chute. Again, are two gates on the holding there are walkways and perpens that are solid and 2 feet sonnel gates all around the longer than the adjacent al- chutes to allow handlers to leys. Trenton said, “What move the cattle without havthat means is that the gates ing to be in the chute with never open perpendicular to the animals. As the cattle the holding pen. They always slowly move into the buildopen toward the direction ing that houses the working the cattle are to be moved area, they are under as little whether in or out of the next stress as possible. pen.” Trenton then revealed the As one pen of cattle is gently inside of the building with pushed toward the work- wide, top-rolling doorways ing area, Trenton noted that on both sides where the anihandlers use personnel gates mals enter and exit. Each an-


imal individually is calmly loaded into a hydraulic squeeze chute. This chute is amazing as it allows the rancher and his handlers to achieve several important health checks all at the same time and place. He demonstrated that the squeeze chute weighs the animal and holds them in place with rubber bumpers around the neck and along their sides. All this is done at the movement of a lever. The rancher is able to inoculate and treat any noticeable problems. The chute also slowly leans to the side so that the rancher can trim hooves, castrate calves and the like. The pens allow for the cattle to be moved to a central location where

remains quiet and calm during the novative method of working cattle. actual cattle working. The rancher’s labor costs are reduced because only a few additional When all the necessary medical cowhands need be employed for a checks have been made, Trenton short period of time. Since profits stated that the cattle are released are the bottom line and said profits into yet another set of numbered are linked to quiet, calm handling holding pens. For instance, some- of cattle, the effort to build and utitimes mama cows are sent to one lize Dr. Grandin’s designs are worth pen while their calves are sent to every penny. another so that the calves can be Adjacent in the same building is an weaned. Other times, bulls are reair conditioned room that houses leased to a secluded pen. There are a deep stainless steel sink, cabinet ample, clearly-numbered pens to for supply storage, racks for buckets sort the cattle any way necessary. to drain, a desk for recordkeeping, and a refrigerator for storing vet- This state-of-the-art operation is erinary medicines. The noisy hy- clearly efficient. Dr. Grandin’s plans draulic pump is located outside the work just as she envisioned. It’s easy building so that the working area to recognize that this setup is an inwater hydrants dispense hot, cold, and non-potable water to meet any needs. Hooks on the walls store stools, small tables, rakes, shovels, scoops, brooms, etc. neatly out of the way when not in use. Nothing remains on the floor of the working building at the end of the day. Drains in the floor allow the rancher to keep the facility sanitary.

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reventative health care and allowing the body to perform at the highest level are becoming a more common focus for both humans and animals. Concentrating on nutrition, wellness, and natural approaches to healing, is a different way of treating conditions with less invasive techniques. The need to provide alternatives to western medicine for disease states, which cannot be treated effectively with current western therapies, has led to increased interest in nontraditional therapies. A whole patient evaluation including physical, nutritional, environmental, and emotional aspects is incorporated for a holistic approach. Many of the holistic approaches target the nervous system for global changes utilizing the body’s innate ability to heal in lieu of medications. Integrating both traditional and holistic approaches can result in optimization of care for the patient and more importantly possibly prevent more problems. The following modalities are currently being used solely and in conjunction with allopathic treatment to allow animals to function at the highest level. Acupuncture is used to stimulate specific points on the body causing release of neurotransmitters and other chemicals that can influence organ function. Developed over 3,500 years ago by the Chinese, the meridians mapped on the body have been shown to correlate to free nerve endings, mast cells, arterioles and lymphatic vessels. By stimulating these unique points, various physiologic effects are modulated including the release of beta-endorphins, serotonin and other neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters released result in pain relief as well as other positive changes in the body that have been well documented in research studies. Anhydrosis, the non-sweater or inability to regulate body temperature appropriately, is common in hot humid environments with no single traditional treatment able to alleviate the clinical signs. Acupuncture has not only induced sweating in many affected individuals not responsive to traditional treatments, but also prevented reoccurrence of the condition. As with all modalities, it is essential to find a qualified individual who has been specifically trained in this area. In most states, only veterinarians are able to perform acupuncture legally. You can find a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist in your area by going to www.aava.org and/or www.tcvm.com. Herbal medicine is often used in conjunction with acupuncture as daily maintenance between treatments or by holistic practitioners. Herbs are not new in medicine as a majority of all drugs used in

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today’s pharmaceuticals were derived from plants or plant compounds. The difference lies in the concentration of the organic compounds that produce the desired effects. Most commonly, herbalists prefer use of the whole plant versus individual compounds contained within the plant. Western herbalist utilizes one treatment for all individuals affected by a specific disease or clinical signs. This differs from the traditional Chinese herbalist that may treat the same disease state or clinical signs with differing formulations based on the constitution and contributing factors for that particular individual. In general, you should consult with someone who has extensive knowledge and experience in herbal medicine before treating an animal. As with all drugs, herbs can have significantly negative outcomes or interactions with other drugs if not used properly. Gaining access to regulated herbs may require a written prescription from a veterinarian. For more information on herbal medications, contact your local acupuncturist or holistic veterinarian. “You are what you eat,” at least according to the nutritionist Victor Lindlahr in the 1920’s and the validity of that statement is being confirmed with scientific research. In a holistic approach, nutrition is a major component of treatment. Food provides the body’s fuel, influences the chemical makeup, and nutritional components that are the building blocks for our bones, muscles, and tissue. Some practitioners believe that food can be considered the most important medicine that one can prescribe daily. As with herbal medicine, food therapy strives to create a balance in the body daily using hot, neutral or cooling foods to compliment other treatments being provided. As previously mentioned, the nervous system ultimately controls the entire body by modulating the neurotransmitters and other messaging systems to create harmony. If thought of as the highway system, any changes one area will ultimately influence the others. The goal of chiropractic care is to keep the “highways” (nerves) free of any impingement that negatively impacts

the nervous system function. Centered on the spine, chiropractic care uses manual manipulation to align the bones thus correcting the subluxation. Proper bone/joint alignment allows for optimal range of motion and normal function that allows the body to heal itself. Any restriction in range of motion decreases the neural communication both to and from the central nervous system thus reducing maximal function. In performance animals, the inability to function at the highest level can be the subtle difference between first and second place. Only certified animal chiropractors should be allowed to work on any animal as inappropriate adjustments can lead to injury as well as death. For more information and a listing of certified animal chiropractors in your area, contact the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association at www.animalchiropractic.org.

For anyone who has had the pleasure of a massage, the positive effects of myofacial manipulation are easily recognizable. Endorphin release, increased circulation both blood and lymphatic and relaxation are just a few of the many benefits of massage therapy. Increasing circulation to affected areas stimulates removal of waste and toxins, increases flexibility and decreased pain resulting in maximal function. Tuina, an ancient Chinese method of medical manipulation, combines massage and acupressure to restore proper nerve function offering comfort to the patient. Many massage techniques can be taught to the owner so that the patient can receive the benefits of massage while bonding with the owner.

erative care, rehabilitation after an injury or treatment of neurological conditions, physical therapy aids in quicker recovery, improved strength, increased range of motion, mental and nervous stimulation, decreased pain and overall higher quality of life. Several facilities across the nation have been developed for this specific purpose. More facilities offer different therapeutic options including underwater treadmill, laser, hyperbaric chamber, and cryotherapy. The need for veterinary supervision is paramount in dealing with physical therapy as inappropriate therapies can lead to further damage. The need for alternative health care options is increasing as our patients live longer and perform at higher levels. It is important that the individuals you select to work with your animals have completed intense training in each specialty so the highest quality medicine possible is provided. Alternative or adjunct therapies may not be indicated in all incidences. Both traditional and nontraditional treatments have a risk benefit ration that must be assessed before any treatment is performed. Our dedication to the health and well being of the animal is vital to the success and performance of the animal. The appropriate use of both traditional and nontraditional treatment will result in maximal performance and return on investment. About the Author Tonya Stephens, DVM MS PhD PAS, is a veterinary nutritionist with training in both acupuncture from the Chi Institute and chiropractic care from Parker University. The focus of her equine practice is in preventative medicine and whole animal approach integrating both eastern and western medicine to allow equine athletes to perform at their personal best. If you would like to contact Dr. Stephens, also a Comanche native, please email her at stephensequine@gmail. com.

Long recognized in human medicine, physical therapy and rehabilitation is quickly becoming standard in animal care. PostopFall 2019 | Our Hometowns 49


Pastor’s Devotion I was asked to write a pastor’s devotion for this new magazine and I felt honored. So many different thoughts went through my mind as to what to write and how to capture the reader’s attention. As I tossed the idea around the only thing that was coming back was, what gets me through each day? I am Senior Pastor for Barn Church Ministries in Hamilton, TX. I have been pastoring the church for a little over five years now and before then I was a youth minister for five years. There is no way that I would be where I am today without Jesus Christ on my side. A few years back I came across a scripture in the Old Testament from the book of Samuel. The story was of a well-known man named David. 1 Samuel 30:8 New King James Version “So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” David and his men had just returned from battle only to realize that the Amalekites had destroyed their homes, their town and worst of all took their wives and children. David became overwhelmed with stress as his men looked to him for answers. So that day, David went to the Lord in prayer and asked Him two things, “Do I pursue the enemy that has taken our families, and if I pursue, will I win?” The Lord answered David and said, “David you shall pursue, and you will win, but, David, there is one more thing I want to tell you.” At this point I personally feel the heart of David humbled and zoned in to what God was about to tell him. He said, “David after you pursue and win the battle, I want you to go recover everything the enemy has taken from you.” Why do I feel this story is so passionate to me and my walk with God? Many times the enemy takes things from us: our joy, our peace, our happiness, and so many other things that I could write and your heart could say, but the greatest thing of it all, is that God has given us permission to pursue and overtake. Two years ago, our son, who is now a senior in high school was bullied at the end of his freshman year in a weight room while coaches and other friends stood back and did nothing to stop what was taking place. When he came home that afternoon his heart was crushed and told us he never wanted to step foot in that school ever again. As a father I was beyond mad and I hurt for my son. He told me that night, “Dad, please don’t say anything. It will be okay.” I went to the Lord in prayer and asked Him to fix this. The next two years our son was home schooled. During the first year he never left home except for Sunday mornings to go to church. Other than that he never walked outside the confines of his room. My wife and I prayed daily knowing that God would turn this around because what the devil meant for evil God meant for good. We prayed and sought healing because we feared he would do something to harm himself. Fast forward two years and God really and truly went to battle and won the war, but most of all He recovered everything the enemy had taken. Today, our son is the starting tight end for his school standing a 6’5” and weighing over 260 lbs. He is the most feared man on the football field. Oh, and the boys that bullied him that day are now some of his closest friends. When we saw our son ran out of the tunnel on his first football game two weeks ago, my wife and I cried knowing that victory had been won. “For that battle is not ours says the Lord, but the battle belongs to Him.” I pray for you and please know when you seek Jesus Christ with passion He will bless you with power. So, I close with this, go and win and most of all recover everything the enemy has taken from you. Love, Pastor Clint Davis 50 Our Hometowns | Fall 2019

Remember when…

By Dewayne Clover

A list a lot of Hamilton’s “old schoolers” will remember. senior portraits were taken in dress clothes • the football team wore blazers and ties on the travel bus • “Mums” were for all games – just bigger at Homecoming, football ribbons, the band had (gasp!) twirlers • cheerleader skirts were long • cheerleader socks were tall • crepe paper on goalposts • guys’ hair could not touch their collar • girls hair MIGHT have touched light fixtures • Homecoming Bonfires (with outhouses!) • “The Horse” • the Pep Squad • FFA Jackets were everyday wardrobe • girls were required to wear dresses to school • pep rallies in the rock gym • “The Changing of The Classes” • typewriters • fire batons • mimeograph machines with inked stencils • night time band practices on Kooken Field • “The Market Basket” • Bennett’s store and laundry • “ropings” at the Sherriff ’s Posse Arena • the great lighted tinsel garlands that used to span the square at Christmas • Harlien’s Hickory Que • the “Eternal Flame” monument on the courthouse lawn (that sadly wasn’t eternal) • Patty’s of Texas… …yeah, remember when???


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ranfills Gap Independent School District is a small prekindergarten through 12th grade school district located in Cranfills Gap, Texas. With one hundred twenty-five plus students enrolled, the district is very stable, both academically and financially. Students and staff are a tight knit family and share a special bond that one might not find at a bigger school district. Senior students know pre-k students. Everyone helps one another to succeed. Nestled in the middle of Texas, students and staff enjoy a picturesque surrounding of the hills, trees, a pond and even cows out their classroom windows. It is a small, tranquil place full of tradition and heritage. Learning is a priority and high expectations are the norm at Cranfills Gap ISD, but it is those traditions and the keeping of the Norwegian heritage that makes Cranfills Gap ISD a “one-of-a-kind” school district. When you walk into the school, you will automatically feel the sense of pride and ownership from students and staff. An event that everyone in the school and the community look forward to is six-man football. If you have never been to a six-man football game, you are really missing out. It is a game of crazy hard hitting and fast! Every team member has to be in tip-top shape in order to run up and down the field at a very quick pace.

Six-man football is played on a smaller field, requires fifteen yards for a first down and allows all offensive players to catch a pass. After a touchdown, a kick is worth two points and a run or pass is worth one point. There are many points scored in a six-man football game. In fact, for that reason, the UIL has a mercy rule to end play when a team leads by at least forty-five points during the second half. This is called “getting 45’d” or “ran off the field”. Each Friday night, whether at home or away, you will witness a standing room only Cranfills Gap Lions crowd. One of the many traditions of the school is the annual Lutefisk dinner. Lutefisk is a Norwegian tradition that is looked forward to every first Saturday in December by not only students, staff and community, but by the visitors who come from far away to join in this celebration. For more than fifty years, the community of Cranfills Gap has come together to support the students at CGISD. This Norwegian tradition is very special to the school. It is a holiday tradition that the Cranfills Gap Lion’s Booster Club began in 1964 to raise money for the students at Cranfills Gap. The authentic Norwegian menu serves 300-500 guests each year. Planning for the Lutefisk Dinner takes months of preparation. Every-

one is involved in some way: students color decorations for the tables, perform Norwegian dances, serve tables, park cars, help set up and clean up. It drives the whole community together for the good of the school. Over the years, this event has put over $260,000 back into the school district. The cod (Lutefisk) arrives to the school towards the end of October in a dried out state. The fish is skinned and for almost a month, it is soaked in tubs of water to rehydrate. Students and staff pitch in to make this event a success. It is a true lesson for students about the Norwegian culture, as well as, how to work with the community as a team. May Fete is an annual tradition each May that features the elementary students performing songs, dances and skits to a chosen theme. The evening begins with the introduction of the May King and Queen who are selected from the senior class by the faculty and staff. This is followed by the “wrapping of the May Pole” by all high school students. This tradition is one that signifies the end of the school year. Each school year is always an exciting year at Cranfills Gap Independent School. Every month is packed full of a lot of learning and a lot of fun with many activities for all students.

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gas station cafe, a post office, family run businesses, a rodeo arena, a school, and a football field are the makings of a small town in the heart of four counties. Evant ISD proudly serves PK – 12th grade and a daycare for the community. The community of Evant never fails to support the school and the students who brighten its hallways. We have several members of the community who attended Evant ISD and still call Evant home. Being a small school, our triumphs can be overshadowed by larger school districts. Evant may be small but they have produced big successes from very early on. Evant Elk Alumni have served in the military, went into the medical field, owned their own businesses, and have given back to school districts as administrators, teachers, and coaches. We interviewed two graduates from the class of 2007 and 2010 about what makes Evant a special place to grow up, live, and return to. Michael Alexander, class of 2007, stated after leaving Evant it was rare to meet someone from a small school, let alone come from a school that functions like a family. He also mentioned whenever he comes back here to hunt, it still feels like home. Sarah Vann, class of 2010, current Head Girls Coach and History teacher at Evant ISD also mentioned the family

vibe Evant possesses. Vann stated the 1999 community shows up in droves to sup- Dr. Rennessa Crawford port the students during athletic events, even if they do not have students par- 2001 ticipating. The connection, support, en- Austin McCann: Military & Airline couragement, and motivation provided Pilot by the teachers helped her believe she could accomplish anything. 2004 - Nolan Sanders: Owner of Big Boys Construction The support, encouragement, motivation, and family atmosphere have - Clayton Landua: Musician and helped several graduates from Evant Landua Roofing ISD to believe in themselves and surpass the small-town stigma of success. 2007 - Michael Alexander: Office Man1960s ager for Lifetime Vision Care in - Dr. Richard Conner: A&M ProfesRound Rock. He traveled to Alaska sor and helped with eye exams and fitting - Dr. John Conner glasses for the native Alaskan tribes. 1973 - Darlene Sheldon Marwitz: Archi- 2010 tect, designer, artist, and writer - Sarah Vann: Coach & Teacher at - David Marwitz: Former lobbyist Evant ISD. She held the high school and a writer state pole-vaulting record for 9 years. She holds the pole-vaulting record at 1989 Tarleton, where she received her Mas- Boyce Lee Edward: Military Offiters degree. cer - William Cummings: CPA at an Accounting firm in Waco 1994 - Liliana Damron: Family Nurse - Dr. Solomon Sallfors Practitioner at Austin Geriatric Specialist 1996 - Rick Caldwell: NASA 2011 - Glenda Crawford: NASA - 5 students enlisted into the military

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hen approached about submitting an article to Our Hometowns magazine, Hamilton ISD pondered which angle they might take. They decided that they wanted to tout the attributes of one of their faculty members. Last year, at the request of a school board member, the administrative team from HISD traveled to Kentucky to learn about the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Aviation STEM curriculum. They learned that there were very specific stipulations that HHS had to meet, but they were still enamored with the idea of offering this curriculum to HHS students and to help expose a diverse group of students to aviation. Those students might otherwise never realize that a career as a pilot or in a drone-related field is completely within reach. The admin’s hope is that students can obtain around 400 hours flight time by graduation. Statistics say that about 790,000 new pilots will be needed in the world by 2037 while the number of pilot certificates issued by the Federal Aviation Administration has decreased more than 60 percent since 1980. This mismatch of supply and demand presents a tremendous opportunity for students in aviation careers that they may not have previously considered. With their new commitment, the question then was, where would administrators be able to find a suitable instructor? Before too long, Chuck Lackey’s name surfaced. He was a Hamilton junior high math teacher. Following a discussion, the high school principal also discovered that Mr. Lackey could teach American Sign Language which would offer HHS students a second “foreign” language option. Excited at the prospect of these two new courses, the administration asked Mr. Lackey to move to high school.

What follows is commentary by an committed for 10 years. During that stay, HHS senior about his experience with he became part of the US Army Parachute Mr. Lackey and the aviation program. Team and a Golden Knight (Competition Team). He had 500 total jumps and also I may not live in a big city, but that received his Private Pilot License. While doesn’t mean I have fewer opportunities still in the army, Mr Lackey met a deaf for learning some pretty amazing subjects man and gained an interest in the deaf. and from some pretty amazing teachers! This led him to change careers and enter Some people believe that we have less op- the Southwest Collegiate College for the portunity than others in a big city to learn Deaf. He gained an AAS in Interpreting from great experienced teachers. I beg to for the Deaf. Following differ. In my small town, Hamilton, Texas, college, he interpreted for the deaf for 8 I have had some remarkable opportunities years in pre-K through post-secondary and some incredible teachers! Don’t count classes. us out! After his involvement interpreting for I want to spotlight one of our “new to the deaf, he wanted to expand his knowlHamilton High School” teachers, Mr. edge and become a math teacher. HowCharles “Chuck” Lackey and the pros- ever, before becoming a teacher, he went pects he brings to our school. He was my on to accomplish his goal of becoming a sixth grade junior high math teacher who commercial pilot and was hired by Ameriopened my world to many exciting math- can Eagle as an airline pilot, but his heart ematical ideas. Luckily, he is now teaching pulled him back into education. at the high school and he is giving us op- Mr. Lackey came to Hamilton in 2008 portunities that can change our lives for- and began his math teaching career. He ever. continued to fly a King Air E90 and for This year, at Hamilton High School, Mr. 10 years he continued to work as a tanLackey is teaching two new subjects we dem instructor for parachute jumping on are offering. He is teaching American Sign weekends. Language and Aviation. He is my Aviation Mr. Lackey is now teaching Aviation teacher this year at HHS. He is teaching a and American Sign Language to students new curriculum from the Aircraft Owners at Hamilton High School. His life expeand Pilots Association ( AOPA ) curricu- rience alone is enough to teach a class, lum. That’s right, in Hamilton, I am going however, we are truly fortunate to benefit to learn all about flying and aircrafts and from his knowledge and love of teaching. I this could be what sets me on a lifelong ca- can say that I am truly thankful that Mr. reer path. There are not many high schools Lackey has been a part of my life in our that offer an aviation curriculum. small town. I know I am a better person Mr. Lackey is a unique and talented because our lives crossed paths! Thanks person. His experiences in life led him Mr. Lackey! Teach on! down a pathway to share his knowledge Matt Zschiesche, with students and we will be better for it! Senior 2020 Hamilton High School Mr. Lackey began his love of flying aircraft P. S. Maybe next time I’ll tell you about when he joined the army in 1982 where he our Chemistry teacher who was a coach for the US Olympic Archery Team! Go Bulldogs!

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tudents are encouraged to connect with others, and to collaborate and create with them on a global scale. It’s not ‘do your own work,’ so much as ‘do work with others, and make it work that matters.” This quote by Will Richardson summarizes the attitude of teachers and students at Hico ISD. Through the use of technology, Hico ISD is working to not only enhance learning, but also teach students the skills necessary to succeed in today’s world. The added bonus is that many of the day to day menial tasks have become much more fun and interesting for everyone!

“safer” car device organizer for a Tarleton State University professor. The Rocket Club asks several adults to serve as “champions” for the kids. The champions come up with challenges and the club uses problem solving skills to solve the challenge. One of the champions was Superintendent Jon Hartgraves who challenged the kids to create a “better remote control organizer for his office.” Hartgraves said, “It sounded simple, but I was amazed at what ended up happening. The kids created a prototype, then brought it by my office which led to a conversation on end user compatibility, precision in measurement, ergonomics, etc. It got pretty detailed and the kids learned all kinds of unexpected research and design lessons from such a simple project. I get a lot of “where’d you get that?” from visitors to my office. I’m always proud to say that our kids designed and 3-D printed it.” This year, they wanted to kick it up a notch so they searched a little wider for ideas. What they found was that they could design and print usable hands for disabled children and adults in collaboration with the e-Nable organization. Sherry Gerber said, “HIco Secondary is proud to become part of the volunteer community for e-Nable, a global network of volunteers using 3D Printing to produce mechanical prosthetic hands for those in need. The designs are opensource designs provided through enablingthefuture.org and provide the recipient with a wrist activated hand capable of gripping and lifting. We have several individuals who have earned their assembly badges and they will serve as the mentors for the Hico Rocket Club during the assembly process of devices. The e-Nable organization connects certified volunteers with individuals around the world who are in need of these prosthetic devices.” According to Assistant Superintendent Shelli Stegall, “One of the best things our students learn in Science/ Rocket Club is service. Mr. Gentner turns every project into a platform for teaching kids the importance of service, problem solving and collaboration with a team.”

Morning announcements made fun Remember those boring morning announcements that nobody listened to? So did Hico technology teacher Kristi Underwood. She and her students have morphed morning announcements into a full-blown video production. Each morning, students gather to watch video announcements that their peers have produced. Upcoming events, school news and birthdays are presented in a fun way that engages the audience. Green screens, interview materials and production equipment enhance the quality of the show. Students learn skills that might be put to use in a future career in broadcasting and video production. All announcement videos are then posted on the Hico ISD website and can be found at www.hico-isd.net at Secondary/Morning Announcements for public viewing. Technology teacher Kristi Underwood explains, “We wanted a way to incorporate all the cool things our Audio/ Video classes were learning with our students’ theatrical talents, and also make the morning announcements a little more interesting. It’s turned out to be a fun and creative outlet for a lot of our kids. We’ve even had graduates take the skills they’ve learned in this class into their college and work lives. It’s been a very rewarding, rich experience for everyone involved.” The announcements now draw a big crowd each day because they are so much fun and have a surprisingly good production value that gets better every year. As an added bonus, QR codes Bring Productions Alive there is always a “joke of the day” which every- Coach Marcus Cook uses QR codes to make body loves. student productions accessible at any time. Imagine being able to see your kids presenta3-D Design and Printing with a Purpose tions simply by hovering your smart device Hico Rocket Club mentor Jeff Gentner and over a QR code on the wall. Using the app HP teacher Sherry Gerber taught the kids how to design and print with a 3-D printer. Last year, they made some really cool projects like a

Reveal you can use a photo that you take and overlay a video on top of it. Students take a cover photo, record a video, and upload that video on top of the photo. You can then download the app, hover over the picture like you would a QR code, and the photo comes to life. Teacher Marcus Cook said, “I like to use an iPad because the video is larger. It is a good way to keep parents in the loop on what their child is doing in school. Instead of receiving a progress report with a grade, parents can watch as if they were in the class and gain a better understanding of the assignment. This is also a great way to engage students and get them excited for a project.” Through the HP Reveal app, students, parents and community members can hover their phone over the pictures of students presenting projects and suddenly the picture comes to life as a video of the actual presentation. While the students think it is pretty cool to watch themselves present information about Texas History, they get really fired up when they hover over a picture of themselves running the football and it suddenly turns into a video highlight reel. Knee Deep in Google A few years back, Hico ISD decided to fully embrace Google as a way to simplify the many paperwork tasks that a school district requires. Paperwork reduction was our initial goal, but it bloomed into so much more. Teachers use Google Classroom as a way to communicate with kids, enhance their lessons with awesome add-ons and to organize their classrooms. Screencastify is on the horizon, which will allow teachers to record and broadcast their lessons and presentations on YouTube. Chromebooks have popped up all over the district as a tool to enhance and support this Google cause. Google Classroom is especially advantageous for students involved in extracurricular activities. It is not uncommon to see our volleyball players huddled together between tournament games with their laptops open, logged in to Google Classroom and watching the lesson going on at school that day. Maintenance and transportation departments have gone completely paperless with Google Forms, allowing for instant communication. Hico ISD maintenance director Eddie Needham said, “Oh man, it makes it so handy to get instant notices by e-mail when someone submits a maintenance request. It has cut down response time tremendously because I’m not having to chase down paperwork in the offices.”

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Lazy VT Bar Ranch................................................................................ 47 Leaird’s Furniture.................................................................................. 21 M&W Ag Supply.................................................................................... 41 Moo’s Boutique..................................................................................... 22 Nocked & Loaded................................................................................. 47 Petal Peddler.......................................................................................... 21 Rancher’s Steakhouse & Grill............................................................ 13 Smalley Homes...................................................................................... 64 Storm’s.......................................................................Inside Front Cover Sugar Moon / Fg Clothing................................................................. 17 T Bar K Construction............................................................................ 46 The Knife & Cork.......................................................................................1 The Meccanic Shop.............................................................................. 41 The Parrot................................................................................................ 17 Tickled Pink Dance Studio................................................................. 46 Texas Real Estate Sales........................................................................ 21 Texas Station......................................................................... Back Cover Toupsie’s.................................................................................................. 13 Visit Hico, Texas..................................................................................... 22 W-M Services, Inc.................................................................................. 46 Wiseman House Chocolates................................................................7


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Profile for OurHometownsMagazine

Our Hometowns Volume 1 Issue 1  

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