Issuu on Google+

C ONN EC TING

THE

C OR R IDOR

Z

NOVEMBER 2011


It’s Dollar Days At Agee’s! FAMILY, FUN & FITNESS The YMCA offers five different membership types, all with NO CONTRACTS and a 30-day-money-back guarantee! Take a tour of the Schertz Family YMCA today!

Enjoy Family Time together at the YMCA - JOIN TODAY! • Member Barbeques

Buy any Bryant system and add these valuable options for only $1! Since your heating and air conditioning system uses as much as half of your utility bill, replacing it with a new, higher efficiency Bryant system can not only increase your comfort, but also save you money. And we’ve made the deal even better with our Dollar Days. CO DETECTOR:

$224 Only $1.00 with System Purchase Before November 15th

• KidFit • Youth Sports • Kids ages 7+ welcome to use fitness equipment*

AIR CLEANER:

HONEYWELL 8000:

Ultraviolet energy lights are your line of defense against infectious agents, germs, cold and flu viruses, odors and toxic gases. The quantum series of lights are the most powerful systems available for residential applications to disinfect your air 24 hours a day naturally and without chemicals. It’s like taking the ultraviolet energy and power from the sun and having it installed into your heating and cooling system.

The best choice for allergy sufferers. Aprilaire 2210 and 2410 Whole-House Media Air Cleaners deliver the most efficient, costeffective air cleaning for your home. Equipped with patented filtering media that can give you exceptionally clean air throughout your home. And, because these models have no moving parts, they produce no ozone and are virtually maintenance-free.

$563 Only $1.00 with System Purchase Before November 15th

$748 Only $1.00 with System Purchase Before November 15th

SAVE EVEN MORE WITH:

• Monthly Family Activities • Movement & Motion Toddler Class

UV LIGHT:

Protect Your Entire Family With NSI’s Professional Grade Low-Level Carbon Monoxide Monitor. Lets you know there’s a problem before reaching dangerous, even deadly CO levels, long before the other detectors even begin to work. NSI’s Model 3000 Monitors employ the same electrochemical sensor technology found in professional CO Analyzers that cost thousands of dollars. These monitors are calibrated using CO, not electronic guesswork!

Current temperature, set temperature and time are easy-to-read and all are displayed on the home screen. Real-Time Clock keeps time during power failure; automatically updates for daylight saving time. Precise Temperature Control (+/-1 F) ensures reliable, consistent comfort. Change Reminders reminds you to service or replace the air filter, humidifier pad, ultraviolet lamp or thermostat batteries. Adaptive Intelligent Recovery™ - ensures programmed temperature is reached by programmed time.

$596 Only $1.00 with System Purchase Before November 15th

Factory Rebates – up to $1,000 • Utility Rebates – up to $1,125 Federal Tax Credit – up to $300* There’s never been a better time to buy a new system! Hurry! Offers end November 15th!

PAYMENTS AS LOW AS $66.25 ** ON NEW SYSTEMS

• Youth encouraged to participate in wellness classes

...

Since 1969

• FREE Childwatch – up to 2hrs

g r conditionin s premier ai o’ ni to An d n ne s been Sa Family-ow Company ha customers. e of ic s rv nd e Se iv sa ’s tit ou Agee rvicing th rvice, compe company, se peccable se g im in n at ith Sa he w s d in an ided client yone else , we’ve prov es than an ed te at an er ar op gu d r an and bette ard pricing, straightforw ing area. nd the surrou Antonio and your first e should be you why w to e ov pr at once you ce to confident th us the chan eds. We’re ne rt Please give fo tonio, you’ll m ur indoor co ers in San An yo om l st al r cu fo to ered choice we’ve deliv the quality r life! experience fo – s er our custom of e on e m beco

• And Much More! *With an equipment orientation class

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT

ymcasatx.org or call 210.619.1900.

210-390-0962 www.ageesac.com

YOUR SATISFACTION’S GUARANTEED, WHEN YOU CALL AGEE’S License # TACLA5758C

Jeff Standley

Jeff Standley ager General Man

621 Westchester • Schertz, TX 78154 Financial Assistance is available through our Open Doors Scholarship Program.

306 W Byrd Blvd • Universal City, TX 78148

Jeff Standley - General Manager

tions, with

u all your op

lists show yo

ecia d system sp of our traine PS: Let one e. at tim bligation es a free, no-o

* Rebate Savings from $50 to $1000 depending on equipment purchased. Expires 11/15/2011. Local Energy Rebate from $1,125 on 5-ton system. See Agee’s Service Co for details. Federal tax credit of up to $300 on qualifying Energy Star Equipment. See your tax advisor for qualification. Must be placed in service prior to 12/31/2011. WAC. **Payment based on $5,263 purchase. 0% down. 60 months, 11.99% APR.


November Special!

49

$

00 Consultation & Necessary Diagnostic X-rays with Dr. Henslee or Dr. Hafen Not valid with dental hygiene services • Offer Expires 11/30/2011

• Now Delivering Dental Implants! • Complete Dental & Hygiene Services • Braces for Children & Adults Including INVISALIGN® Aligners • LUMINEERS® Porcelain Veneers • Crowns, Dentures, Bridges & Partials • Teeth Whitening

Robert Henslee, Jr. DDS & Jerame K. Hafen, DDS

Monday - Thursday • 7a-5p 210.658.3131 www.hensleedentalteam.com

KEEP SMILING!


It’s strange how life is, because now people come to see me with their neck, arm and shoulder problems. Also they come to me with their headaches, migraines, chronic pain, carpal tunnel, whiplash from car accidents, backaches, ear infections, asthma, allergies, numbness in limbs, athletic injuries, just to name a few. Here’s what some of my patients had to say: “I have not had a headache in months”- (Mary J.) “Mood and attitude have improved” – (Lisa A.) Several times a day patients thank me for helping them with their health problems. But I can’t really take the credit. My confession is that I’ve never healed anyone of anything. What I do is perform a specific spinal adjustment to remove nerve pressure, and the body responds by healing itself. We get tremendous results. It’s a simple as that! Forty-eight million Americans no longer have health insurance, and those who do have found that their benefits are reduced. That’s where my I come in. I have a significantly lower fee plan so that more people are able to afford the care they need. A whole week of care in my office costs what you could pay for one visit elsewhere. Studies show that people actually pay less for their longterm overall health care expenses if they are seeing a chiropractor. You Benefit from an Amazing Offer- Look, you are going to write a check to someone for your health care expenses, you may as well write one for a lesser amount for chiropractic. When you bring in this article, you will receive my entire new patient exam for $17. That’s with an evaluation and X-Rays….the whole ball of wax. But, please call right away because this offer expires on November 30, 2011, and I don’t want you to miss out.

By the way, further care is very affordable and you’ll be happy to know that I have affordable plans. You see I’m not trying to seduce you to come see me with this low start up fee, then to only make it up with high fees after that. Further care is very important to consider when making your choice of doctor. High costs can add up very quickly. Great care at a great fee…Please, I hope that there’s no misunderstanding about quality of care just because I have a lower fee. You’ll get great care at a great fee. My qualifications… I’m a Magna cum Laude graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College and a Strength and Conditioning Specialist. I’ve been entrusted to take care of tiny babies to pro athletes that you may know. After practicing for four years in San Antonio I moved my practice to Schertz. I just have a low exam fee to help more people who need care. My Associate, Dr. Kyle Stringer, brings over five years of experience to our practice with the latest in pain-free techniques. My assistant is Melissa, and she is really a great person. Our office is both friendly and warm and we try our best to make you feel at home. We have a wonderful service, at an exceptional fee. Our office is called Schertz Chiropractic and it is at 17323 IH 35 North Ste 106, (we are between 3009 and Schertz Parkway on the 35 South Access Road). Our phone number is 210-6466000. Call Melissa or me today for an appointment. We can help you. Thank you.

-Patrick W. Martin, D.C. P.S. When accompanied by the first, I am also offering the second family member this same examination for only $10. P.S.S. Your time is just as valuable as ours, that’s why we will be with you promptly at your appointment.

Not applicable to Medicare Beneficiaries due to regulations.

Schertz Parkway

FRIDAY

6:00pm - Park Opens Food/Beverage Entertainment Market Dayz

Aero Dr.

Dear Friend, I want to give credit where credit is due. So, perhaps a confession can help clear the air so there’s no misunderstanding, Before I talk about my confession, though, let me say a few other things first. Let me start by explaining the photo in this letter. You know, when I meet people in town they usually say, “Oh, yeah, I know you, you’re Dr. Martin. I’ve seen your ad with that picture of you and the two cute kids.” Well, I’m the guy in the middle. Years ago I was a college baseball player, but I developed a painful neck, shoulder and arm condition. In my case it came on suddenly. The pain in my hands was so intense that I couldn’t raise my arm above my head or even throw a baseball. I was afraid that I would lose my scholarship if it continued. I went to my trainer and medical doctor and was given antiinflammatories. The problem with those medications is that they just mask the symptoms and in my case did not help. Finally, after steroid injections I decided against it. But, there’s more…A family member of mine convinces me to give their doctor a try. This new doctor did an exam, took some films, and then “adjusted” my spine. The adjustment didn’t hurt, it actually felt good. I got relief, and I could use my arm again. Oh, did I mention that this doctor is a chiropractor. It worked so well that I went to chiropractic school myself. Now for McKenna and Cooper, who are the cute kids in the picture. They get adjusted regularly and are some of the healthiest kids you will know. Their mom is also problem-free even with all the bending and lifting a busy mom of two does. It might seem like a small thing, but it makes a big difference to her.

Buffalo Dr.

“A DOCTOR’S CONFESSION TO THE CITY OF SCHERTZ…”

6:30pm - Parade

SATURDAY

10:00am - 1:00pm City Shredding Day (Courtesy of Marshal Shredding) 10:00am - 4:00pm Market Dayz (Schertz Area Artz Council)

Oak St. Large Pavillion

6

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011


Editor’z Letter In a fitting tribute for Veterans Day on November 11, this month’s Schertz Magazine features two stories about military personnel – one active, one retired. We visit with Maj. Gen. David Rubenstein, a Clemens High School graduate, who is back in a command position at Fort Sam Houston, and Col. Don Ellis, a legend in these parts for his work with returning POWs, shares his amazing life story with readers. Also, we reveal what is really behind that row of trees on Schertz Parkway as you near I-35. Mortellaro’s Wholesale Nursery is a wonder to behold on 90 acres. The photos and text will leave you smiling. Also, look for a story on local business Marshall Shredding, which will host a free community shredding event in December. And read about the great job Schertz EMS does serving thousands in this area an their Passport to Care program that can save money on ambulance calls. All that and more in this month’s issue. Chuck McCollough, Editor

On the Cover CONNECTING

THE

CORRIDOR

Z

Col. Don Ellis, one of the most devoted Aggie football fans in our area, shows his A&M pride by wearing maroon while sitting in his living room. He played football for A&M many years ago.

November 2011

Featurez City Council

PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY

22 B. E. Bailey Director, Public Affairs, Publisher Chuck McCollough Editor Alexis Souza Creative Director

Departmentz

Chris Matzenbacher Sales Director Mary Spence Events Coordinator Linda Ervin Business Manager Shelby O’Neill Copy Editor Brittany Losey Senior Writer Contributing Writers B.E. Bailey, Chuck McCollough, Mary Spence, Lucille Sims Thomas, Andrea Allinger, Joel Williams, Kari Bridges, Kiko Martinez, Denise Marcos, Donna Thompson, Gabby Ford, Alexis De La Garza, Elsie Baker, Ashley Festa Photographers B.E. Bailey, Chuck McCollough, Mary Spence, Robert Burton, Mike Harris, Bryan Nguyen, Joe Herczeg, Diana Webb, Andrea Allinger, Kari Bridges, Zachary Carter Schertz Magazine is published monthly by the Public Affairs Department of the City of Schertz. Our mailing address is 1400 Schertz Parkway, Schertz, Texas 78154. The official publication of the City of Schertz promotes city, community, and business activities associated with the City. © City of Schertz, Texas. The editorial office of Schertz Magazine is at 1400 Schertz Parkway, Schertz, Texas 78154. Call (210) 619-1630. Fax (210) 619-1619. Website is schertz.com. schertzmagazine.com

28

33

38

44

Talk of the Townz Feature Storiez

Columnz

City Newz

10 Updatez

26 Biz Spot: Korn Helps Mold Future Business Leaders

44 Crossing the Line: Battle Over Bounderies

30 Focuz: Debbie Krause

48 Civic Newz

14 Clemens Chatter 15 Bargainz & Prizez 16 EMS Newz 18 Momz

22 Mortellaro’s Nursery 28 Marshall Shredding 33 Colonel Ellis’ Life Story 38 Photo Spread of Schertzfest & BlitzCreek

40 Profilez: Clemens Grad has Role at Fort Sam

49 Calendarz 50 Contactz

NOVEMBER 2011

8

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

November 2011 SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM

9


Talk ofthe Townz

November 2011

RACAP Taking Applications for Holiday Programs The Randolph Area Christian Assistance Program (RACAP) is accepting applications for Christmas holiday assistance programs. Applications will be accepted from families in need of help for the holidays because of limited or no income or who are at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The deadline to apply for this Christmas is Nov. 23. RACAP welcomes organizations, businesses, groups or individuals who would like to participate by “adopting” families or donating food or money. This help is greatly needed and much appreciated. Donations may be dropped off at the RACAP office or mailed to 307 Pfeil St., Schertz, TX, 78154.

Schertz Sweetheart Court Active in the Community

CBQ Eatery Represents Schertz in Taste Of SA

Members of the 2011-2012 Sweetheart Court have been active in the community since the beginning of the school year. Along with assisting at SchertzFest with trophy presentations for the 3rd Annual Texas Gulf Coast Barbecue Cookers Association (TGCBCA) BBQ Cook-off on September 24, the Court participated in the 38th Annual Night in ‘Ole Converse parade on October 1 and helped instruct attendees at the 2nd Annual Fancy Nancy Book Party on October 8 at the Schertz Public Library. Court members include Miss Schertz, Caitlin Baumgarten; Miss Freedom, Brittany Schall; Miss Friendly City, Emily Poole; Miss Sunshine, Tabitha Joseph; and Miss Liberty, Kayley Carter.

Hundreds of people packed the grounds of the Old Pearl Brewery to taste the best of the best restaurants in the San Antonio area, including CBQ Eatery of Schertz.

For more information or if you are interested in helping, call (210) 658-1613 or drop by RACAP at 307 Pfeil St. in Schertz on Monday through Friday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

caption starts with word “sweethearts in …” (yep, that’s what was written!) SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

The annual event, which is organized by GLI Distributing and the San Antonio Restaurant Association, includes some of South Texas’ top restaurants, including Barbaresco, Texas De Brazil, The Guenther House, the Old San Francisco Steakhouse and the Magic Time Machine.

Veterans Plaza in Schertz Moving Forward

Applicants for assistance must live in the following ZIP Codes: 78108, 78109, 78132, 78148, 78154, 78247, 78233 or 78266.

10

CBQ Eatery owner Chuck Stanley represented the culinary delights of the city at the 34th Annual Taste of San Antonio on October 9 by serving up his classic barbecue dishes.

Another sign of the Schertz area’s devotion to our nation’s veterans can be seen in the sign to the left. The Veterans Plaza is slated to open near the Schertz Area Senior Center in the spring or summer 2012.

Help Blue Santa! Send your favorite person to jail during Holiday Lock Up. The Schertz Police Department and EDC will hold their annual Holiday Lock-Up to benefit the Blue Santa Program. The event will be held on Thursday, November 17th from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Holiday Lock-Up is an annual event where an employee can have a fellow co-worker/boss/friend etc. “locked up” because of a warrant issued by Santa. Once a person is “arrested” they will be taken to the “jail” until they are bailed out. The money raised will go to the Blue Santa program which helps local area families by purchasing gifts, etc. for Christmas. Interested in donating an unwrapped child’s toy or making a monetary donation? Contact Officer Shawn Ceeko at (210)-619-1253 or sceeko@schertz.com November 2011 SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM

11


Family Fun Time Coming to the Library

Schertz Post Office Bill Passes U.S. Senate Almost one month before Veterans Day on November 11, the U.S. Senate voted on October 4 to rename the Schertz Post Office the Schertz Veterans Post Office.

Here Comes the Buffalo Stampede 5K

The U.S. House of Representatives voted for the name change on June 22. After that vote, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar said, “We must never forget that the freedoms and liberties we enjoy are due to the sacrifices of our veterans.”

The Clemens girls’ soccer program will host its second annual 5K Buffalo Stampede on November 19 at 8:00 AM. Runners and walkers of all ages and speeds are welcome to participate in this event that will begin and end at Clemens High School.

Library Offers Adult Computer Classes

Registration begins at 7:00 AM at the entrance to Buffalo Stadium.

The Schertz Public Library has started offering adult computer classes on Tuesday evenings covering a variety of topics. Classes are one hour in length and begin at 6:30 PM. Registration is required. Visit the adult information desk in the library or call (210) 6191700 for more information and to register. On Saturday, November 5, at 12:00 PM, the library will hold the first meeting for the new Quilter’s Bee. This group is for both beginning and advanced quilters. Registration is encouraged for this program. The group will meet Saturdays at 12:00 PM at least once a month. Please visit the adult information desk or contact the library at (210) 619-1700 for more information 12

The Schertz Public Library is offering a special three-day program from November 21 to November 23 called Family Fun Time. This program offers a variety of ways for families to spend quality time together and a special chance to make memorable Thanksgiving crafts.

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

There will also be a one-mile children’s run for young athletes. Awards will be given for age group winners in the 5K, along with food and refreshments for all participants. Registration paperwork can be picked up from the athletic office and the Clemens athletic website, www.scuc.txed.net, or by calling (210) 945-6566. Please support the girls’ soccer program by giving yourself a running start to the holiday season.

Here is the schedule: •

Monday, November 21, at 10:00 AM - Cooking Together: An opportunity for your family to learn how to make Oreo truffles! Yum! Pre-registration online is required.

Tuesday, November 22, at 10:00 AM - Family Centerpiece Extravaganza: Turn your family into a tribe and make a paper turkey that hands down will become a family favorite. Preregistration online is required.

Wednesday, November 23, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM - Craft Together: Drop in for fall-themed crafts and a chance to show some thanks to our troops by making cards to send overseas.

Randolph JBSA Civilian of the Quarter Honored by Chamber The Schertz Chamber recognized Greg Bean and Scott Ridenour as winners of the Civilians of the Quarter for Randolph Air Force Base. This program recognizes the accomplishments of top performers, both military and civilian, within the five major organizations on Randolph AFB. Thank you to Chamber businesses Wal-Mart, HEB, La Quinta Inn and Suites, Anytime Fitness, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Youz Guyz, Hampton Inn and Suites, CBQ Eatery and Tim and Nancy Brown of RE/ MAX Corridor, all of whom presented the two winners with wonderful gifts. A special thank you to Broadway Bank for sponsoring their Chamber lunches. Congratulations! Photo courtesy of Straughan Photography.

Two New Members Welcomed at Chamber September Luncheon KNBT/KGNB Radio 1540 Loop 337 N, New Braunfels

Small Business Administration/ Score, 17319 San Pedro Bldg. 2, San Antonio

Educate Your Business Cents! Attend the Schertz Chamber’s Biz Ed classes every fourth Wednesday of the month, beginning again in January 2012. Call (210) 566-9000 for more information. November 2011 SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM

13


BARGAINZ & PRIZEZ

By Gabby Ford and Alexis De La Garza

With the loss of the homecoming game against Hays, Clemens students will be riding out the feeling of bitter disappointment at least until their next win. Despite the fact that the homecoming game is only Clemens’ second loss of the season (as of press deadline), students are still reeling from the unexpected loss. While the loss may be the biggest thing on students’ minds right now, homecoming week brings more than just a football game. With homecoming comes Clemens’ Light Up the Night tradition; Spirit Week, a tradition of themed outfit days like retro day or western day, and the crowning of the homecoming queen. This year, Light Up the Night took place on October 5. The parade of clubs and organizations showed off their pride with various banners and slogans. The cheerleaders and dance teams performed, and the band marched their UIL show. Also, as a part of the tradition, the lights went out in Lenhoff Stadium, and glow sticks lit up the night as the students celebrated homecoming. The Spirit Week days this year were twin day, retro day, western day, jersey day and blue and gold day. While some of the outfits cause dress code issues, students typically enjoy taking part in dressing up. Spirit Week is often a welcome change from the usual school week. Of the 11 girls on the homecoming court, only four are crowned at the game. This year, the court consists of Alicia Nickerson (Marquesa), Lillian Meiss (Dutchess), Fallyn Gawlik (Princess) and Monica Youngblood (Queen). And while Clemens did lose their homecoming game, the night also came with the traditional festivities of homecoming. Despite the loss, students still went all out for the festivities and to dance the night away at the homecoming dance.

14

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

After-Hours Mixer

Hampton Inn, 17702 I-35 North Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM Great food, fun, door prizes and more! Must be present to win Chamber Ca$h drawing.

Clemens Chatter

Despite the Loss, Celebrations Continue

NOVEMBER EVENTS

Member Appreciation and Awards Luncheon

WIN A GIFT CERTIFICATE FOR A two-night stay at Plantation Suites & Conference Center in Port Aransas. Locate the fish pictured above in one AD somewhere in this issue of Schertz Magazine. Visit schertzmagazine.com and complete the entry form to be entered into this month’s drawing. LOCATE THE TURKEY PICTURED below in one AD somewhere in this issue of Schertz Magazine. Visit schertzmagazine.com and complete the entry form to be entered into this month’s gift certificate drawing.

Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 11:30 AM at the Schertz Civic Center Cost: $15 Schertz Chamber Members/ $25 (pre-paid) NonMembers RSVP by Tuesday, Nov. 8 Please visit our Chamber website for luncheon policy.

What’s Happening at Your Chamber?

We strive to provide for all your business needs. Stop by our office at 1730 Schertz Parkway. Contact us at 210-5669000, email us at nkotzur@ schertzchamber.org, or visit our website at schertzchamber.org


the critical medical support that is necessary at any large fire or in seasonal heat waves. The rehab services at on-site locations would provide firefighters the opportunity to cool off, re-hydrate and receive immediate medical attention so they could quickly get back to their job of fighting fires. The Schertz Ambus was purchased with state and federal grant funds by the regional Emergency Medical Task Force and is being given to Schertz EMS, who has agreed to operate it anywhere in the state in exchange for using it locally, according to Schertz EMS Director Dudley Wait. EMS Newz

Siren Song SCHERTZ EMS OFFERS NEW MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE By Kari Bridges

Schertz Emergency Medical Services (EMS) serves as a leader in providing the community with some of the best medical transportation services in the San Antonio region. With the newest technology available, paramedics now have the equipment and skills to save more lives using innovative methods that 16

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

were unimaginable just a few years ago. Training for the newest service to come to the state of Texas, the Ambulance Bus (Ambus), began at the Schertz EMS in August and continued through September. “We were fortunate to be receiving one out of 10 Ambuses for the entire

state,” said Jason Mabbitt, operations manager of the Schertz EMS. The Ambus, as part of the Schertz EMS, would collaborate with other EMS agencies in the San Antonio Region to form strike teams of up to seven ambulances and two Ambuses to provide services anywhere in the

state. Mabbitt explains that this service can help in emergency situations such as evacuations or at the scene of bus accidents in which up to 20 patients at a time could be taken to the closest hospital in the Ambus. Another method of utilizing this service is to provide firefighters with

Another example of the cutting-edge technology used by the Schertz EMS is induced hypothermia. This technique has been used successfully in many patients to help maintain brain function and reset the cellular process in cardiac arrest victims who would otherwise not survive a heart attack. According

to Wait, the process involves sedating the patient and slowly cooling the body down to 92 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 24 hours. “This process of cooling off the body and slowing everything down prevents the brain from being damaged by cellular waste byproducts that are in abundance in the body after the heart has stopped beating and then is restarted,” Wait said. “After the process is completed, the patient is slowly brought back to normal body temperatures over a 12- to 16hour period.” The Schertz EMS currently operates four ambulances from four separate locations, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service employs 24 full-time paramedics, 15 part-time paramedics and five part-time EMT intermediates who respond to more than 7,000 requests for emergency medical services and transportation each year. In addition to providing services to the city of Schertz, they also serve Universal City, Cibolo, Live Oak, Selma, Garden Ridge, Marion and Santa Clara, covering an area of approximately 225 square miles.

Schertz EMS

IS TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR ITS PASSPORT TO CARE PROGRAM THAT CAN REDUCE THE COST OF AN EMERGENCY AMBULANCE TRANSPORT Passport to Care allows citizens to preplan for emergencies. Nobody ever plans to have an accident or a medical emergency and have to dial 911 for an ambulance. As a result, these events are always accompanied by unplanned and often very expensive medical costs. Schertz EMS now has a plan to help you avoid some of these expenses.   This plan works like this:   If you have insurance that covers ambulance transportation and are transported by Schertz EMS, you will pay nothing out of pocket for that transport.   If you do not have insurance or your insurance says the ambulance transport was not necessary, you will receive an automatic 40percent discount off of your ambulance bill, and with our average transport bill of approximately $1,000, this is a potential $400 savings.   continued on page 18

November 2011 SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM

17


Momz

EMS Passport To Care CONT’D FROM PAGE 17

So, for the low, low price of $50 to $75 a year, you can now rest assured that if you or a member of your family has a medical emergency, transportation to the hospital will be taken care of potentially with no cost to you. That’s right, no co-pay, no deductible, and no out of pocket costs (as long as your insurance deems it medically necessary).   This plan is available to everyone who resides or works in Schertz EMS service area regardless of your insured status with the lone exception of Medicaid recipients. The State of Texas does not allow Medicaid recipients to participate in an EMS Membership plan because Medicaid does not come with any out of pocket expenses so the plan would be unnecessary for Medicaid recipients.   Cost is: • $50 for an individual (insured) • $60 for family (insured) • $65 for individual (uninsured) • $75 for family (uninsured) . For more information go to schertz.com or call EMS at (210) 619-1400

A Mom’s Guide to Managing Stress By Elise Baker

Does anyone have one? Oh, you thought I was going to provide one? I have been thinking a lot lately about what causes moms to be stressed. Are we putting our kids in too many activities? Is the homework too much or too hard? Or are we trying to be good at everything? Bingo! (At least in my case.) When I got married, I could barely boil water, and I’m not exaggerating! But somehow, over time, I have taught myself to cook and bake. I am no artist, but our dining room table is covered with supplies for my kids to be as creative as their hearts desire. I am a self-taught soccer coach; everything I know I learned on the Internet! Why can’t I just can’t accept that I’m not good at everything? It doesn’t help that there are moms out there who can do it all. They are creative and pretty and fit, and their houses are perfectly kept and decorated. How do they do it?! I ordered our Halloween costumes online - no sewing for me! I will probably buy a premade turkey for Thanksgiving. But I am a good mom, because I love my kids through good times and bad. (And if anyone has a preteen girl, you know times aren’t always good!) Hey, I think I can now write A Mom’s Guide to Managing Stress! It goes like this: Being a good mom means loving your child(ren). I can’t be in two places at once, I can’t read their minds, and I admit that I have set off the smoke alarm while cooking. But from now on, when I feel the need to be perfect, I will just re-read my new guide. The approaching holidays will be a good test of my new-found acceptance of my less-than-perfectness. One kid will complain about her itchy holiday dress. One kid will whine that I take too many pictures. Nobody will notice the effort I put into decorating or cleaning. But I love my children, so I will not stress. It’s as simple as that! Right? Let’s toast to a stress-free holiday season!

18

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

November 2011 SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM

19


featurez

Mortellaro’s Nursury Booming, Blooming Business By Joel Williams

T

THERE’S MORE THAN MEETS the eye at Mortellaro’s Nursery, a business many of us have spotted countless times as we drive on Interstate 35 just north of Schertz Parkway. In fact, there’s much more. Behind that sign lays a 90-acre enterprise, but as a wholesaler, that enterprise is not open to the public. Much of the Mortellaro’s acreage is devoted to growing plants for sale to landscapers and other nurseries throughout the state. The company’s catalog does not even list prices or availability, but directs those in the nursery plant trade to contact the Mortellaro’s office or register online for that information. “Landscapers around San Antonio are our bread and butter,” said Joe Harden, comptroller and webmaster for the company started by his grandparents, Joe and Lucille Mortellaro, as a backyard nursery on San Antonio’s south side.

Brothers Joe (left) and James Harden Help Run Mortellaro’s Wholesale Nursery. 22

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

In 2001, the company moved its headquarters to the Schertz location, which included the family property where Harden grew up. His boyhood home is still there, near the house where his grandparents used to live. It adds to the color of what today remains a strong family-centered business. “We chose Schertz due to the immediate access to IH-35 and IH-10 close by, connecting us to all the

major cities,” Harden said. “It continues to serve us that advantage to this day.” Riding on Harden’s golf cart through the sprawling site and its massive horticultural inventory, one gets the realization that this place literally spawns all those retail store plant departments. The vehicle rolls past thousands of ornamental grass plants grown from cuttings, past hundreds of mountain laurel bushes of various sizes, past many other varieties of drought-tolerant native plants, trees and flowering plants. Many of the plants, especially the very young ones, live beneath a special mesh material that reduces the impact of the intense South Central Texas sun. The majority of sales by Mortellaro’s over the years has shifted from retail garden centers to landscapers directly, while still serving retailers. “So we have focused on the landscapers’ needs starting from bedding plants in small three-inch containers up to large trees with six-inch caliper,” Harden said. “In doing this, we are able to continuously focus on the diversified landscaping customer that starts at the homeowner’s backyard to the large shopping centers and apartment complexes. In doing this, we can still serve the retail nurseries like before.”

Because an operation like this requires massive amounts of water to keep the plants alive and help them to grow, Mortellaro’s keeps retaining ponds totaling several acres toward the back of the property. The water is a combination of reclaimed wastewater from the Cibolo Creek Municipal Authority and runoff that the nursery captures from its own watering activities. The retaining pond reduces the need for pumping fresh water from the Edwards Aquifer. And, indeed, the place operates like a farm. Workers in one area water plants according to their specific needs, while others are busy transferring small plants to larger pots as part of the process of growing them to sizes sought by landscaping companies. Joe and Lucille Mortellaro established the business in 1956 as a backyard nursery that was an extension of the produce business called Joe’s Vegetables that he had started as a young man. When changing times meant that consumers had less of a need for his produce deliveries, the couple shifted gears and focused more on the nursery. The fledgling business moved to what was then a rural area along what is now Loop 410 on the north side of San Antonio. continued on page 24

November 2011 SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM

23


In the ensuing years, the company continued to grow and change at that location.

Mortellaro’s Nursury continued from page 23

Joe Harden’s father, James Harden, joined the company in 1963 and then married the Mortellaro’s daughter Joanne in 1964. In 1967, Joanne took on the majority of the bookkeeping responsibilities, which her mother, Lucille, had been handling. The company incorporated in 1970. In 1972, Joe and Lucille Mortellaro began a fieldgrown operation near Poteet. The company still produces plants for the nursery on the tract in Atascosa County. Returning to grow in the field was a dream come true for Joe Mortellaro, who passed away the following year. On the 80 acres under cultivation there today, Mortellaro’s grows the small plants, which are then dug up, containerized and transferred to the Schertz location until they are ready for sale. James Harden took over management after the death of Joe Mortellaro and today serves as president and CEO while Joanne serves as chief financial officer. The Hardens began acquiring the land for the Schertz location in 1975, one tract at a time, including the home site. The Hardens’ son James Jr. joined the company in 1991 after graduating from Texas A&M and today serves as vice president of sales and production. His brother, Joe, started with the company after graduating from

24

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

Texas Tech in 1997. Mortellaro’s Nursery originally used the Schertz location only for growing and shipping until the company built its corporate and sales office there in 2001. That made it possible for Mortellaro’s to have all of its sales, shipping and corporate offices under one roof, surrounded by large, picturesque display gardens with samples of all of the available plants. Plant inventory on display ranges from vines and groundcover to seasonal, tropical and perennial flowering plants to trees and shrubs, most of which is grown by Mortellaro’s. Joe Harden estimates that no more than 20 percent of the inventory came from somewhere else. The largest plants on the property are trees in 125-gallon containers located near the IH-35 side of the nursery. “Some of these were planted from seeds a decade ago,” said Joe Harden, adding that trees grown in containers have a better survival rate than those dug up from the ground. “And winter is the best time to plant.” The company still operates with a strong family element. Children and family dogs sometimes still run around the nursery, where the kids take tractor rides with the grandpa.

“One of the biggest advantages of working with family is the ease and swiftness of making business decisions and implementing changes,” Harden said. “We can quickly shift our focus, introduce new crops, even focus on customers in a bind. That would not be possible with a top-heavy management or board of directors.” The place also hosts a variety of wildlife from time

to time, including migratory birds, butterflies attracted to the flowers and a large heron that was walking around the retaining pond on a recent morning. A fox sometimes prowls around at night. So now you know what is behind that wall of trees along Schertz Parkway as you come up to IH35: Mortellaro’s Nursery -- the greenest place in town.


biz spot

Korn Helps Mold Future Business Leaders By Kari Bridges

L

LIKE MANY OTHER MILITARY SPOUSES BEFORE her who have left different parts of the country to start new lives in Schertz, Windy Korn packed up her household items and moved to Schertz when her husband, William, was re-stationed to Fort Sam Houston. The young professional and mother came to the city a year ago to begin a different chapter in her life away from friends and family in Georgia.

the time to mold her into a professional and taught her things both personally and professionally that she could never have learned in any classroom.

As an independent working woman, Korn’s interest in the insurance business began 15 years ago when she had an after-school job. Later she moved to Monroe, Georgia, where she believes a significant point in her career came when State Farm agent Patti Souther took

“State Farm helped me make a living, but the agents I worked with gave me a professional life through the relationships I made while working there,” she said.

It was then that she learned the importance of building relationships among co-workers and networking with other business professionals to support building a successful business.

The transition of a military family relocating to a new city brings many challenges, but as an established insurance agent, Korn soon found herself working for Alex Hartman State Farm Insurance Company off Schertz Parkway. Though she felt welcomed by the community, she experienced the lack of personal connection that every military wife faces and reached out to Maggie Titterington, the president of the Schertz Chamber of Commerce, in hope of being a part of a young professionals group that would give her the opportunity to meet and network with other business professionals in the community. Titterington believes young professionals are the future of business and saw the need in the community to create a program that would give professionals between the ages of 21 and 40 a place to share their resources and support one another. She was encouraged by Korn’s enthusiasm, and together they established a program through the Schertz Chamber of Commerce called hYPer, which stands for Helping Young Professional Entrepreneurs Resource and meets twice a month. Since the program’s creation in February, the group has grown to 30 members and continues to draw support from the business community. As president of the Chamber, Titterington meets with potential new members and sees the interest from the community. “hYPer is expanding very quickly,” Titterington said. “I see the enthusiasm of the group spreading throughout members and non-members alike because it’s a group they want to be a part of.” “We are the future professionals and leaders for our generation,” Korn said. “Together, we can learn how to lead, how to empower and how to make a continued on page 28 November 2011 SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM

27


featurez

KORN HELPS FUTURE BUSINESS LEADERS continued from page 27

Going to Pieces

difference. All of our members bring something very different to the table, and in such a diverse group comes great opportunity and great ideas for growth.” Though this program is offered exclusively to members of the Schertz Chamber of Commerce, any individual or business who wishes to join this group who is not a member can join the Chamber to be a part of this exciting group. “hYPer is unique in its come-asyou-are attitude,” Korn said. “We want anyone and everyone who wants to be a member. It doesn’t matter what you do or where you come from; you are a resource that we didn’t have prior.” Korn is proud to have been brought up in a family that offered many examples of strong men and women who served as role models to her and encouraged her to be a leader with a strong work ethic. She shares this trait with other hYPer members who desire to help within the community and realize the importance of mentoring youth to help them reach their dreams. “We want to pay it forward for our youth and give back to the people who have paved the way for us,” said Korn. Together, hYPer members are currently making a difference in the lives of members of the Schertz Senior Center and the Schertz Housing Authority. 28

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

hYPer Space NETWORKING GROUP HELPS YOUNG PROFESSIONALS STAY CONNECTED By Kari Bridges

ESTABLISHING PROFESSIONAL contacts within a community ranks as a top component of reaching business success. But those contacts often depend less on how long you have lived in a community and more on how a person takes the initiative to establish those professional relationships within the community. Windy Korn and her family recently relocated to Schertz from Georgia. Korn saw the need within the Schertz community to establish a networking young professionals group. With the help of Maggie Titterington, the president of the Schertz Chamber of Commerce, Korn took an active role in developing the program known as hYPer, which stands for Helping Young Professional Entrepreneurs Resource and benefits young professionals in our community between the ages of 21 to 39.

THE OWNER OF MARSHALL

The traditional method of networking, as in meeting people face-to-face, is what Korn believes is important and makes the difference in relationships with clients and retention of those clients. Meeting somebody and getting to know them as a person creates a rapport with somebody that the Internet, email and social networking cannot duplicate. “Trust is built on relationships,” Korn said. “The hYPer group is all about relationships to me. I feel that it’s very important to form relationships within the business community to create trust in people on a personal level.” If you are a young professional and would like to be a part of this dynamic and unique group, contact the Schertz Chamber of Commerce at 566-9000, and find out how you can make a difference in your life and those living in the city of Schertz.

SHREDDING KEEPS FOCUS ON FAMILY AND CHARITY By Ashley Festa

R

ROB MARSHALL BUILT HIS multimillion-dollar business, and a second business, on the premise of destroying stuff. If only we could all be so lucky. The 41-year-old father of four is the owner of Marshall Shredding, a Schertz-based business that just celebrated its 10-year anniversary in August. What began as a oneman operation, and “quite the crapshoot,” according to Marshall, has developed into a statewide operation with 36 employees.

That’s more than double last year’s 15 employees. Ten years ago, Marshall was working in commercial real estate in Dallas when he noticed shredding companies filling a need in North Texas. After discussing it with his wife, Jennifer, the couple decided to move back to South Texas and give it a shot. “I don’t mind taking risks – calculated risks,” Marshall said. “I just work as hard as I can to make

it work out the way I hope it’ll turn out. Many of my friends thought I was crazy, and, sometimes, my wife did too. There were a lot of sleepless nights and hard work. But it’s starting to pay off.” Not only did his career gamble turn out as he had hoped, but it is also the fulfillment of a dream. “I always wanted to be in a service business,” Marshall said. “I just didn’t know what that would look like. Turned continued on page 30 November 2011 SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM

29


Going to Pieces Marshall Shredding continued from page 29

cause of my hard work at the office, she’s had to work twice as hard at home,” he said. The couple had a daughter soon after they moved back to South Texas and a son in 2002. Later, they had twin girls, who are now 5 years old. “It’s a whole lot of work, and with the two businesses on top of that, it keeps us pretty busy,” he said with a laugh. “It keeps us on our toes.”

out that the shredding business was it.” The business is a service to the community in more ways than one. Companies appreciate that they are able to securely and cost-effectively destroy sensitive documents so their customers are protected, and because Marshall Shredding recycles 100 percent of those paper documents, Mother Nature is grateful for the protection of her environment. The nearly 4,000 tons of paper recycled last year alone is an enormous savings of precious trees, energy and water required to make new paper, a fact Marshall explains with pride. Marshall also noticed a need for the disposal of medical waste, so in 2008, he and a partner began a second niche company, MedSharps, a removal and treatment facility also based in Schertz. Marshall Shredding has a second location in Dallas, and he’s able to service the entire state with both businesses. MedSharps’ efforts are not going unnoticed; the company recently won a Going Green Award from the San Antonio Business Journal. Besides running two businesses, Marshall also takes his turn chasing four kids under the age of 10 around the house to give his wife a break from time to time. “Be30

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

“Many of my friends thought I was crazy, and, sometimes, my wife did too... But it’s starting to pay off.” Marshall Shredding will host a free City Shredding Day event during Schertz Market Dayz on Saturday, December 3 in Pickrell Park. The community shredding event will run from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

In addition to his work and home life, Marshall is involved in several service organizations. He participates as a member of the Order of the Alamo and the German Club, both of which work to raise money for children’s and other charities. A golfer, he also enjoys assisting the San Antonio chapter of ARMA (Association of Records Managers and Administrators) International and the San Antonio Police Department with its annual golf

focuz

tournament, Swing and Bear It, which benefits the department’s Care Bear Program, providing teddy bears to children removed from abusive homes. “The teddy bears help make kids feel safe and at home,” Marshall said.

Marshall Shredding also offers a community-wide free shred day in partnership with the San Antonio Credit Union. The first Saturday after tax day, the entire city is invited to bring a box of sensitive documents for shredding at no cost, and those taking advantage of the service are invited to make a donation, which Marshall Shredding then gives to Dress for Success. The charitable organization provides professional attire and offers career development for battered women so they’ll be prepared to go to job interviews. “It helps start their lives over again,” Marshall added. In the little spare time he has, he loves to play golf with his family. “I’m trying to teach the kids to play golf and spend more time with them doing something we all enjoy,” he said.

History Lessons DEBBIE KRAUSE HAS HAD A FRONT-ROW SEAT FOR SCHERTZ’ METAMORPHOSIS

D

DEBBIE KRAUSE AND Schertz grew up together. They both came of age during the same time period and share a unique story of change. Krause watched Schertz history unfold before her eyes and from a variety of vantage points including a malt shop, fire department, police department and her mom’s job at the old city hall. She has seen the city evolve and change in monumental ways

By Chuck McCollough throughout the past five decades. It is a change that has taken Schertz from Mayberry to the Metrocom’s premier city and future metropolis. “When I was a kid, I could walk down Main Street and know the name of everyone I saw because our population was about 2,000 then,” she said, stopping to look out the window at Main Street in

autumn 2011. “It hasn’t changed all that much,” she added with a smile. Krause works in Development Services, one of the busiest Schertz departments because it deals with growth issues for a dynamic city of 34,000 residents, a number that increases daily. Working in Development Services is a bit ironic for a small-town girl who can trace her fam-

(Above) Debbie Krause at work in City of Schertz Development Services Department.

ily four generations back in this area and who grew up in a slower, less hectic Schertz. Her grandfather’s farm was behind Polly’s Pets in Universal City, and her father was born in the old hospital on Main Street in Schertz. Krause’s pleasant personality shines brightest when she talks about how Schertz was back then and the present day effort to preserve the best of that past. continued on page 32 November 2011 SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM

31


History Lessons Debbie Krause continued from page 31

In addition to working in a city department charged with helping to plan for Schertz’ future, Krause also focuses on the past. A longtime member of the City’s Historic Preservation Committee, Krause was recruited for that body by Mayor Hal Baldwin about six years ago. “Mayor Baldwin knew my family history and that I had lived in Schertz and knew its history,” Krause said. According to Krause, Mayor Baldwin decided to push for a Historic Preservation Commission after several historic buildings on Main Street were moved to Bracken and converted to shops. “He wanted to stop that kind of thing before any more houses or buildings disappeared,” she said. “So the mayor formed the group asked me to help, and I have enjoyed doing that since.” The truth is that Krause is literally surrounded by history. Her home was built in 1949 and sits in one of oldest sections of Schertz near Cibolo Creek. “My house needs a good bit of restoration work, and it is a work in progress,” she said. “I can remember as a kid walking from my house to a grocery store that is now the Vineyards Church. It had a butcher shop, smokehouse and also its own cheese. My dad would send me there for a pack of cigarettes and a six-pack of beer, and I would sign for it because back then every-

32

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

one charged their groceries.” She remembers that the Schertz area had a lot of farms, few subdivisions and few military families. With the advent of more subdivisions came military families as well as others and the beginning of a new, bigger Schertz. “Before I worked at Ol’ Bossy’s (located in what is now a real estate office on Main Street) in the early 1970s grilling burgers and making old fashion sodas and malts, I worked at the original city hall, helping my mom after school and sometimes on weekends to get the water bills out,” Krause recalled. “My job was to hand-stamp little metal plates with any new water customers’ information. I can’t remember what that machine was called but I loved doing it. “I also helped the police chief and his four patrol men with manually recording all traffic tickets in a log book, washing their two patrol cars and filing things,” she continued. “I also helped the fire chief with sweeping the floors and writing the address of a fire on a blackboard for the volunteers coming in to see and find the fire. I did all of that for the wage of a cherry coke or vanilla ice cream cone on the days I worked.” Krause has lived in Schertz most of her life. She moved away for a while to work at

a nuclear submarine base in San Diego and a nuclear energy site in Washington state. Her son Paul, 26, is in the Navy. “My paternal grandparents had a farm in what is now Universal City,” she said. “I can remember when Pat Booker Road was nothing much more than a gravel road with only three businesses on it. My grandmother’s parents came over from Germany and had a store in Fisher, where she was born. That town is now at the bottom of Canyon Lake.” When she is not helping someone get a city permit or researching an area cemetery for the Historic Preservation Commission, Krause can be found at an artisan area along Main Street. Because of her hobby of working with stained glass, Krause helps out at the Anything Goes With Glass shop on Main Street. She also has developed an interest in ceramics of late, in part because of a pottery and ceramics store nearby called Cibolo Creek Pottery.

“I have a degree as a graduate gemologist and worked in a wholesale diamond business for awhile,” Krause also said. “My loves are my son and animals! I have been a foster mom for several organizations here and other cities for ferrets, dogs, cats, various wild birds and exotics.” Krause’s other include gardening (she is a master gardener with Guadalupe County), stained glass, pottery, jewelry repair, canning, motorcycles, knitting and crocheting. Krause teaches stainedglass classes and is looking forward to taking ceramic classes. “We are hoping to bring more focus on Main Street and the arts by holding classes and having traveling teachers come into these two shops,” Krause said, looking out the window onto the Main Street she has come to know so well though five decades of history.

(Far Left) Debbie Krause stands in front of the former Old Bosse buildig on Main Street where she served malts and other food as a teen. (Above) Krause points to a boarded up window where, years before, there was a serving window where handed malts and hamburgers to customers at Old Bosse.


featurez

all-state in football and basketball, was able to leave DeQuincy in 1950. He transferred to Texas A&M to play football after only one semester playing football at LSU. Ellis had a stellar career as an Aggie football player and later was on the Texas A&M coaching staff of Paul “Bear” Bryant for one season. Ellis’ talents did not go unnoticed, and Ellis was picked up by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, but those ambitions were cut short by a shoulder injury. By now, Ellis was married to his wife, Reni, and also had a three-year commitment to the military.

there, Ellis had all of the Air Force Academy fliers who were members of his squadron fly with a special football in their planes, asking maintenance people to put it somewhere inside. The pilots would write where over Vietnam the ball had flown. He later sent the names of all of the Air Force Academy graduates who had flown with the ball and the ball itself to the academy. The ball is now in a museum at the academy. One of the pilots who flew with the special football was John Blaha, a native of San Antonio who would go on to become an astronaut for NASA. Ellis said the two of them still keep in touch.

a true leader.” As his Air Force career continued, Ellis became commander of the 560th Flying Training Squadron at Randolph AFB during the time when American POWs from Vietnam were returning. Ellis and his staff, including his operations officer Rocco Defelice, who he wanted to give special credit to, were in charge of making sure the returning POWs were taken care of – putting some back on active flight status and giving symbolic ‘freedom flights’ to others. The former POWs hold a reunion

Ellis was sent to Moore AFB in Texas for his basic flight training and Bryant Field near College Station for advanced training with jets. As luck would have it, football continued to be an important part of Ellis’ life.

Colonel Ellis’ Life Story Reads Like a Book RETIRED AIR FORCE COL. ELLIS RECOUNTS HIS JOURNEY THROUGH THE SKIES By Lucille Sims Thomas

I

“I’VE ENJOYED MY LIFE. I’ve been blessed.” And with that modest statement, retired Air Force Col. Don Ellis quietly sums up his extraordinary life – a life in which he managed to intertwine football and military service in some very unusual ways.

34

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

Ellis, who spent 27 years in the Air Force and flew fighter jets over Vietnam, grew up in DeQuincy, Louisiana, a small municipality about 30 miles west of Lake Charles and until about five years ago had not been back to see what had become of the place he describes as “a very wholesome town filled with salt-ofthe-earth people.”

As he thinks back over his 79 years of life, the decorated veteran recalls that sports and churches were the two most important things in DeQuincy. The town, which has a population of a little over 3,000 people, still has 13 churches. Thanks to football, Ellis, who lettered in four sports and was

When Ellis got to Moody AFB in Georgia for flight training and instructor training, he once again found a way to incorporate football into his life by coaching a team after-hours at the base. A couple of years later, Ellis found himself at the Air Force Academy, this time as a role model for the cadets. He was assigned to the football staff in 1964, cutting short a tour to Alaska, to take the job. After four years there, Ellis volunteered for a tour in Vietnam because he felt it was the right thing to do. “I thought this was important because we’d seen all these young kids coming through, and that’s exactly where they were going,” Ellis said. He went to Vietnam in 1968 and flew 100 missions in 67 days, setting a record for that time. While

Retired Air Force Col. Don Ellis and his wife, Reni, in their living room.

After his tour in Vietnam ended in 1969, Ellis returned to the Air Force Academy for a two-year stint as offensive coordinator for the football team. “I wouldn’t trade anything for the experience I had working with the cadets and seeing how they dealt with adversity and all kinds of things,” Ellis said. “They’re under a lot of stress and how they handle themselves is really the makings of

every year that has become the longest sustained unit celebration in the Air Force today. The group has been meeting for the past 35 years, most of the time at Ellis’ house. Ellis’ favorite story to tell about his time in the Air Force involves his dealings with a Saudi Arabian prince who brought a group of royal air force pilots to Randolph AFB during his time in the 560th. The continued on page 36 November 2011 SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM

35


Colonel Ellis’ Life Story continued from page 35

pilots came to observe how the U.S. trained its fighter pilots, and during his stay, the prince and his wife had dinner with Ellis and his wife. The prince also went to the Air Force Academy to meet the staff there. The prince must have been most impressed with the way Ellis did things because he offered him the chance to go to Saudi Arabia and work for him training the royal air force pilots. Ellis declined.

This proud father of three and grandfather of four spent his last days in the Air Force back at Randolph AFB before retiring in 1982. Looking back, Ellis said, “I’ve had a wonderful career, I had a lot of good people who I worked for, and I really enjoyed working with the maintenance people here.” Ellis has become reacquainted with his hometown in the past few years, occasionally re-

turning to speak at banquets. He said DeQuincy is still pretty much the same wholesome kind of place it was when he grew up there. He has reconnected with a cousin from the town and also enjoys reading the local newspaper. The town now has a museum with a photo of him prominently displayed, a testament of how proud they are of their native son and his achievements both on the football field and serving his country. Ellis also has been inducted in the Texas A&M Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Ed Azzoz (aka Grumpy) of Grumpy Mexican Café, one of Ellis’ favorite restaurants, has nothing but good things to say about him and sums up his longtime patron and

friend’s life in one short sentence: “He is a true American hero.” Mayor Hal Baldwin said Col. Ellis “embodies what is best about our community.” The mayor met Col. Ellis at Grumpy’s where both men often take their wives for lunch several times a week. “Col. Ellis is a hero in every respect. Texas A&M football and the Air Force are two of his great loves and he loves to talk about them. And he played an important role in the return of our POWs after the Vietnam War and he flew many missions in Vietnam,” Baldwin said. “He is one of those guys you really want in your community because he is such a dedicated volunteer with his time and talent,” the mayor said.

“He is a true American hero.” 1400 Schertz Pkwy, Bldg. #5 (210) 619-1600

CIVIC CENTER:

NOVEMBER 15 – CHAMBER LUNCHEON NOVEMBER 17 – PLANNING FOR TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS ALONG THE IH-35 CORRIDOR

Ed Azzoz (aka Grumpy) and Col. Don Ellis at Grumpy’s Mexican Restaurant.

36

SCHERTZMAGAZINE.COM November 2011

COMMUNITY CENTER:

NOVEMBER 5-6 – ALAMO PET EXPO NOVEMBER 19 – SENIOR CITIZENS CHRISTMAS BAZAAR


Nov 2011