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December 2010


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From the Publisher Dearest EXPLORE reader, Don’t you remember when you were nine years old and you looked at your 16 year old brother and thought, “When I’m 16, I’ll be grown up.” To your nine year old brain, a 16 year old would have to know all there is to know. And then you were 16, and the 19 year olds knew a LOT more than you did. And then you were 19, and the seniors at college knew WAY more than you. And it never really ends, does it? The other day I was playing games with my kids and remembered playing the same games with my dad. I was their age, and (gasp) Dad was my current age. And so I shake my head because I know that when I was a kid, I figured my dad knew pretty much everything. He could change the oil in the old truck, he could drive a boat, gut a deer, and make bbq. He could start a fire, shoot a gun, and fix virtually everything. Obviously, when one gets to his magical age, we are immediately blessed with an infinite supply of knowledge and wisdom. At least this is what I thought. And so now I’m the same age that my dad was. And let me tell ya – I don’t know jack. Sure, I could probably do the same things that my dad knew how to do, but it would involve a lot of trial and error. It would require me to seek advice, study, and practice. I guess my dad had to do the same thing, but I’m not totally sure. All I knew was that he could do anything. And so when I grew to be 35, I figured I would know how to do everything as well. And now I sit here and realize I have been misled. There is no secret club where they tell you the world’s secrets and you instantly understand how to accomplish any task. You don’t instantly have the wisdom to make the right decision every time, and that you will invariably make mistakes. And don’t we all think sometimes that there is a milestone just ahead that we need to reach and then we’ll be officially grown up; we will have officially reached our goals and conquered the world? Getting your first car. Graduating high school. Graduating college. Marriage. Career. Retirement. At each step in the process, we had previously identified each goal as some life-changing moment that would bring us wisdom and money and fame and satisfaction. But did you find it? Did you turn that corner and find the enlightenment you were seeking? Nah. You simply reached a goal and so you set another. And another. And another. The journey of life is a complicated one. One littered with questions and problems and mysteries. One that is full of joy and sorrow and happiness and misery. And at each step in your journey, you learn things. You pick up a little bit of wisdom as if it is a pebble in the road and put it in your pocket. You have learned something, and the next time a similar problem arises, you have a better answer. Until you come across an entirely new problem. And let me tell ya, there is no shortage of problems. So each day you are as equipped as you will ever be. No goal or milestone is a stopping point for your life; it’s simply the park bench along the journey of life where you get to sit and take a break for a moment. It’s your moment to pat yourself on the back for your accomplishment. And then you eye the next hilltop and break out for your next goal. And that’s unfortunate. I’m 35, and maybe I’ll know more when I’m 45, but at the same time, maybe I’ll know things I wish I didn’t. I hope I don’t know about immense failure. Or death. Or disease. Or dishonesty. Or a million things I haven’t had a lot of exposure to. Life is not about each goal or accomplishment; it’s about today. We spend so much time and energy planning for our first child, or college, or mortgages, or retirement. We invest so much in the gathering of those pebbles in the road, and not enough in recognizing that God has equipped each of us for today. We may not know everything, but you know what? Nobody knows everything. We might as well enjoy the walk; because the sun sets quicker than most of us wish. Enjoy your EXPLORE during this Christmas season. Enjoy your family (as crazy as they make you), hug your kids, and take a moment to sit on that park bench and give thanks for the many blessings we all enjoy. Smiling,

Calendar: 10 Music: 12 History: 18 Art: 24 Shopping: 36 Music Picks: 38 Books: 39 Movies: 40 Art II: 44 Hill Country Chronicles: 48 Spiritual: 50

Publisher Benjamin D. Schooley – Creative Director Tamara Hooks – ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Alison Turner – DESIGN INTERN Kelsey King advertising sales 210-507-5250 or EXPLORE magazine is published by Schooley Media Ventures in Boerne, Tx. EXPLORE Magazine and Schooley Media Ventures are not responsible for any inaccuracies, erroneous information, or typographical errors contained in this publication submitted by advertisers. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EXPLORE and/or Schooley Media Ventures. Copyright 2010 Schooley Media Ventures, 203 Shadywood, Boerne, TX 78006

Benjamin D. Schooley


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The most most comprehensive comprehensive events events calendar calendar The send submissions to send submissions to

December 1, 3 BOERNE: WILD WEST CHUCK WAGON DINNER SHOW Stroll through town and enjoy a wagon ride through the Wild Animal Park to see longhorn cattle, zebras, reindeer, and many other exotic animals before enjoying an old west style dinner. The meal includes barbecue brisket, sausage, potatoes, beans, bread and a dessert. The cost per meal is $29.50+tax for adults, $19.00+tax for kids under 12 (Kids under 3 are free). Dinner starts at 5pm, and reservations are required. The dinner is located at Enchanted Springs Ranch, 242 State Hwy. 46 west. Call (830)249-8222 or visit for more information. December 1-26 FREDRICKSBURG: ROCKBOX CHRISTMAS SHOW The Rockbox Christmas Show lights up your holiday with their professional cast of entertainers performing the best-loved songs of the season and Christmas hits from your favorite decade. It’s a holiday show with live pop, rock, and country music; comedy; and seasonal favorites and carols. Located at the Rockbox Theater, 109 N. Llano St. Visit for details. December 1-January 2 FREDRICKSBURG: EISBAHN The Hill Country’s favorite holiday hangout, the famous Eisbahn ice rink, kicks off holiday season fun the day after Thanksgiving. Made with 100% real ice, the Eisbahn offers an inviting winter atmosphere perfect for making fun-filled winter memories. This outdoor ice attraction is always kept in ideal skating condition, regardless of the temperature outside. Admission is only $10, and includes skate rental. The Eisbahn is located at 100 W. Main at Marktplatz in downtown Fredericksburg. For more details, visit skateinfred. com. December 3 BANDERA: SHOPPER’S JUBLIEE. Begin the evening at 4:45 p.m. in front of the historic Bandera County Courthouse listening to school groups and witness the arrival of Mary and Joseph followed by the lighting of the Christmas decorations. Then stroll the luminaria-lit Main Street and enjoy strolling musicians and merchants' open houses. For more information, please call (830)796-4447 or visit December 3-4 FREDERICKSBURG: ST. NIKOLAUS MARKT. Traditional German Christmas Market. Over 40 booths featuring traditional German food, beverages, crafts and gifts. For more information contact the Fredericksburg Chamber


of Commerce at 830-997-6523, email christie@, or visit the St. Nikoluasmarkt website at December 4 BANDERA: COWBOY CAMPFIRE CHRISTMAS Gather at 5pm for caroling, Christmas stories, and a live nativity. Coffee, cookies, and fresh mulled cider will be served over a warm fire and old west chuckwagon. Located on the banks of the Medina River at Bandera City Park. Bring your lawn chair! For more information, call (800)364-3833 or visit BANDERA: COWBOY CHRISTMAS PARADE This cheerful parade welcomes Santa into town. The parades begin at 11am on Main Street. Visit for details. BOERNE: WEIHNACHTS FEST AND PARADE Includes a lighted night parade, live entertainment, arts & crafts, caroling, visits with Santa at the gazebo, biergarten and food booths. Begins at 6pm. Downtown Boerne. Visit for more details. SISTERDALE: Sisterdale Dancehall Presents: LUCKY TUBB AND THE MODERN DAY TROUBADOURS at the Sisterdale Dancehall & Event Center. $10 cover, kids 12 and under get in free. 8pm – midnight. 1210 Sisterdale Road. Call 210-508-0344 or visit for more details. GRUENE: TOWN LIGHTING AND CHRISTMAS ALONG THE CORRIDOR The Gruene Historic District receives Pony Express riders from the Comal County Sheriff's Posse at 10am. A temporary post office is set up next to Gruene Outfitters to cancel stamps. Bring your Christmas cards to have the stamps cancelled with the 2010 commemorative stamp representing Gruene. Enjoy a brass band street performance at 5pm followed by the annual town lighting at 6pm. Located at 1601 Hunter Road. Visit gruenetexas. com for more information. December 4-5 BOERNE: OMA’S CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR Come to the Kendall Country fairgrounds this holiday season to explore Oma’s Christmas Craft Fair. Over 130 vendors featuring nnique, handmade gifts. Located at the Kendall Country Fairgrounds. For more information, visit events/omas.

December 4-14 COMFORT: AN OLD WORLD CHRISTMAS ART SHOW AND DEMONSTRATION Features art and artisans reminiscent of European Christmas traditions and heritage. Talk to artists and see demonstrations of their work. In the 1879 Faltin Building behind Comfort Crockery, 402 Seventh St. BUDA: TRAIL OF LIGHTS Christmas cheer radiates throughout the season! Food, fun, and holiday splendor await visitors to enjoy a spectacular display of twinkling lights illuminating Stagecoach Park with various Christmas scenes and themes. Historic Stagecoach Park, 880 Main St. Visit December 11 SISTERDALE Sisterdale Dancehall Presents: BILLY MATA & THE TEXAS TRADITION $15 cover, kids 12 and under get in free8pm-midnight. 1210 Sisterdale Road. Call 210-508-0344 or visit for more details. BOERNE: Hill Country House Concerts presents SINGER/SONGWRITER ELIZA GILKYSON. Alamo Fiesta RV Resort in Boerne. 2pm. Contributions to musician $20.For more information please visit or email December 17th SISTERDALE Sisterdale Dancehall Presents: BOBBY FLORES & THE YELLOW ROSE BAND $15 cover, kids 12 and under get in free 8pm-midnight 1210 Sisterdale Road. Call 210508-0344 or visit for more details. December 18 SISTERDALE Sisterdale Dancehall Presents: WELDON HENSON IN CONCERT at the Sisterdale Dancehall & Event Center. $10 cover, kids 12 and under get in free. 8pm – midnight. 1210 Sisterdale Road. Call 210-508-0344 or visit for more details. December 18-19 BOERNE: COWBOY CHRISTMAS AT ENCHANTED SPRINGS RANCH Celebrate Christmas in the Old Wild West with Cowboy Santa, tractor rides through the Wild Animal Park, arrest-a-guest, craft tables, cowboy skits, stick pony and pedal tractor races, food and craft vendors, a festively decorated Old West town, and more. Open 10am to 5pm. Enchanted Springs Ranch, 242 State Hwy. 46 West. Call (830)249-8222 or visit for more information.

EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

December 18-19 BLANCO: BLANCO TRADE DAYS AND FARMER’S MARKET Come to Blanco for the day! Find handcrafted items, antiques, handmade furniture, wood and metal work, jewelry, candles, clothing, knives and more. A chili cook-off will be included, and there are many picnic tables for use by vendors. Hours are 10am to 4pm, located at Yett Park (2 miles south of Blanco on US Highway 281 - 1/4 mile north of RR 32). For more information, call Donnea Simon at 830-833-4460 or visit

December 31 KENDALIA:

December 31 SISTERDALE:


Sisterdale Dancehall Presents: HOUSTON MARCHMAN & THE CONTRABAND at the Sisterdale Dancehall & Event Center. $40/ticket (Limited Tickets Available). Ticket includes Bar-b-que dinner, party favors, midnight champagne toast, breakfast tacos and black eyed peas! Indoors with limited seating. No refunds/exchanges. Doors open at 7:00pm. 1210 Sisterdale Road. Call 210-508-0344 or visit for more details. December 31 BANDERA

JEFF WOOLSEY AND THE DANCE HALL KINGS at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar. Doors open at 7 with a $35 cover. The evening includes heavy hors d'oeuvres and party favors! For more information, please call 830-796-4849 or visit

Kendalia Halle presents: SLIM ROBERTS AND THE TEXAS WEATHER BAND Come celebrate New Year’s Eve at Kendalia Halle. Slim and the Band serve up some of the very finest in traditional country music that will make you want to two-step the night away. Doors open at 7pm and the dance kicks off at 8:30pm and continues until 12:30am. The $15 cover charge includes BBQ, party favors and a midnight champagne toast. For more information, please call 210-863-1100 or visit www.

USO STYLE HANGAR DANCE WITH THE LONE STAR SWING ORCHESTRA If you want to fly high this New Year’s visit the Hangar Hotel. Show up early for swing dance lessons and stick around for The Lonestar Swing Orchestra featuring big band music of yester-year. A complimentary glass of champagne will be provided for the midnight toast as well as black eyed peas, cornbread, and party favors. Be sure and wear your 1940s era costume for a chance to win prizes. Anyone wearing their military uniform will receive a free drink. For ticket prices and more information, please call 830-997-9990. December 31 GRUENE

CHARLIE ROBINSON Greune Hall. This New Year’s Eve, Charlie Robison takes the stage at 10pm. One of the Hill Country’s local sons, Charlie grew up in Bandera with his brother and fellow musician, Bruce Robison. Charlie’s most recent effort, a self-produced album

called Beautiful Day, was released in June 2009 which some are calling his best album yet. He’s sure to play his song “New Year’s Day.” Tickets are $50 and include free tamales and popcorn. Champagne spwill be available for purchase. For more information, please call 830-606-1281. December 31 HELOTES

NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY WITH TWO TONS OF STEEL Floores Country Store. Doors Open at 7pm, Two Tons of Steel at 9:30pm Ticket includes party favors, champagne toast, and black eyed peas while supplies last! Tickets: $20 Advance / $25 at Door. For more information, please call 210-6958827. December 31 LUCKENBACH

NEW YEAR'S EVE DANCE W/MIKE BLAKELY & THOMAS MICHAEL RILEY Reserved seating ticket prices are $57 per person. Tickets are on sale until midnight, December 29th 2010. Tickets include midnight brunch and champagne toast. Special amenities include a special room rate with the Fredericksburg Inn & Suites and a shuttle service running at 7pm to midnight to make sure you can celebrate safely. December 31 KERRVILLE

SYMPHONY OF THE HILLS NEW YEAR'S EVE CONCERT & GALA This New Year’s they present a romantic concert of bright and sparkling music followed by a gala starting at 8:30pm at Tucker Hall. For more information, please call 830-896-9393.

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Out with the old and in with the new! New Year’s Eve is the perfect culmination to a vibrant holiday season. It’s a time to reflect on the past year and look forward to next with hope and joy. Most of all, New Year’s is about spending time with those most important to you. Here’s a list of must-attend concerts in the area. So kick up your heels and ring in the New Year the right way.


EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

December 2010


Houston Marchman and the Contraband Check out the living history at the Sisterdale Dancehall while celebrating the New Year in style. Once an opera house and community center, parts of what is now the Sisterdale Dance Hall date back to the pre-Civil War era. The facilities retain all of their old world charm with modern amenities. This New Year’s Eve celebrate with Houston Marchman and the Contraband. After writing his first song at the age of 13, Houston had grown into a musical force. Today he continues to produce music both poetically humble and musically complex, creating music that honestly and vividly portrays life mixing the sounds of country, Texas folk, polka, conjunto and blues. Festivities include a BBQ dinner, midnight champagne toast, party favors, prizes, breakfast tacos and black eyed peas for good luck! Best of all you can make sure you celebrate safely. Ticket holders receive special hotel rate at Fairfield Inn & Suites Boerne with free shuttle service to and from Sisterdale. Tickets are $40 and must be purchased before midnight, December 27. Doors open at 7pm and Houston Marchman and the Contraband take the stage at 9:30pm. For more information, Please visit

Slim Roberts and the Texas Weather Band Kendalia Halle was built in 1903 by the Nicholas Syring Musical Club, as a place to perform and entertain the small community. It was an active community in the Hill Country, and the hall was used for wedding receptions, graduation ceremonies, reunions, and school plays. Flash forward to 2010, and it’s still very much alive and vibrant. Voted “Best Dance Floor” in Texas, this is certainly a must-visit Texas Venue. The red fir wood used to build the dance hall was shipped from Oregon by railroad to Boerne, Texas. It was then brought to the site by horse drawn wagons. The wood provided great acoustics for Geronimo Trevino III's, "Live From Kendalia Halle." The exterior of the Halle retains its original form from 1903 the inside has been updated but still has the “old time dance hall” vibe. Come celebrate New Year’s Eve at Kendalia Halle with Slim Roberts and the Texas Weather Band. Slim and the Band serve up some of the very finest in traditional country music that will make you want to two-step the night away. Doors open at 7pm and the dance kicks off at 8:30pm and continues until 12:30am. The $15 cover charge includes BBQ, party favors and a midnight champagne toast. For more information, please call 210-863-1100 or visit

USO Style Hangar Dance

Jeff Woolsey and the Dance Hall Kings The 11th Street Cowboy Bar is a world-famous destination for all kinds of people, from cowboys to cowgirls, bikers to businessmen. They come for the good beer, top-tier live country western and country swing and dance music, and of course, the good times that only the Biggest Little Bar in Texas can provide. New Year’s at 11th Street is no different! Join Jeff Woolsey and the Dance Hall Kings. Without a doubt Woolsey has become one of the most sought after performers on the Texas honky tonk circuit and for good reason. He has a strong voice, tight band, and every song makes you want to dance—it just doesn’t get any better than that.

If you want to fly high this New Year’s visit the Hangar Hotel and take a step back in time. Based on Fredericksburg’s early aviation and rich military past, a recreation of an old WWII military hangar, familiar to many aviation and history buffs, is operating at the Gillespie County Airport in Fredericksburg, Texas. This one-ofa-kind, fifty room hotel sets the standard for style and romance of the period. Show up early for swing dance lessons and stick around for The Lonestar Swing Orchestra featuring big band music of yester-year. A complimentary glass of champagne will be provided for the midnight toast as well as black eyed peas, cornbread, and party favors. Be sure and wear your 1940s era costume for a chance to win prizes. Anyone wearing their military uniform will receive a free drink. For ticket prices and more information, please call 830-997-9990.

Doors open at 7 with a $35 cover. The evening includes heavy hors d'oeuvres and party favors! For more information, please call 830-796-4849 or visit


EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

New Year’s Eve Party with Two Tons of Steel Over the past 60 years, John T. Floore’s Country Store has been the showcase for some of the biggest names in American music. “The Home of Willie Nelson,” this authentic Texas Honky Tonk has hosted such stars as Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and merle Haggard to name a few. This New Year’s Eve party featuring Two Tons of Steel will surely be one for the record books as well. Two Tons’ rambunctious brand of country-rooted rock has been inspiring listeners in the great republic — and far beyond — for more than two decades. Already familiar to fans of the Grand Ole Opry, where Two Tons has performed some eight times, and to visitors at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, where it appears in a documentary about country music, Two Tons tours Europe regularly and in 1997, became the first U.S. act in 37 years to perform in the national theater of Havana, Cuba. It’s so beloved in its home state that Two Tons of Steel is featured in the IMAX film, “Texas: The Big Picture.” Doors Open at 7pm, Two Tons of Steel at 9:30pm Ticket includes party favors, champagne toast, and black eyed peas while supplies last! Tickets: $20 Advance / $25 at Door. For more information, please call 210-695-8827.

Charlie Robison Gruene Hall is legendary, not just because it’s the oldest, continually operating dance hall in the state of Texas, but also because it has served as both a starting point and a warm limelight for some of the most prolific talent in American history. It has helped launch the careers of such musicians as George Strait, Lyle Lovett, and Hal Ketchum among others. This New Year’s Eve, Charlie Robison takes the stage at 10pm. One of the Hill Country’s local sons, Charlie grew up in Bandera with his brother and fellow musician, Bruce Robison. Charlie’s most recent effort, a selfproduced album called Beautiful Day, was released in June 2009 which some are calling his best album yet. He’s sure to play his song “New Year’s Day.” Tickets are $50 and include free tamales and popcorn. Champagne spwill be available for purchase. For more information, please call 830-606-1281.

New Year's Eve Concert & Gala For those with refined taste, The Symphony of the Hills presents their New Year’s Eve Concert and Gala. The Symphony of the Hills brings superb classical orchestral music to audiences in the Hill Country of Texas. Partnered with Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas, the orchestra is comprised of skilled and professional musicians from the Hill Country, including faculty and advanced music students from the University. This New Year’s they present a romantic concert of bright and sparkling music followed by a gala starting at 8:30pm at Tucker Hall. For more information, please call 830-896-9393.

New Year's Eve Dance w/Mike Blakely & Thomas Michael Riley Many consider the Luckenbach Dance Hall the “Best Dancehall in Texas” and the Luckenbach bar has more soul per square inch than any other, anywhere. Performing this year will be local favorites Mike Blakey & Thomas Michael Riley. Blakely writes and performs in a number of musical styles: country, Tejano, Cajun, western swing, rock, and blues, to name a few. His later CDs showcase his many influences, and his live shows feature the gamut of his musical tastes. Thomas Michael Riley is the 2010 Winner of Album of the Year by the Academy of Texas Music and a two-time winner of Hill Country Entertainer of the Year. Reserved seating ticket prices are $57 per person. Tickets are on sale until midnight, December 29th 2010. Tickets include midnight brunch and champagne toast. Special amenities include a special room rate with the Fredericksburg Inn & Suites and a shuttle service running at 7pm to midnight to make sure you can celebrate safely.

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EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

“The fact is, we are all dazed and not quite certain even yet whether this railroad affair may not be all a dream and we may suddenly awake to find ourselves still in the woods and a lumbering old stage coach and ox wagon over a rough road our only means of getting out.” -Dr WG Kingsbury, March 17, 1887 The atmosphere in Boerne and the surrounding area was breathless- literally. The people held their breaths in doubtful, almost fearful, expectation about the tracks reaching towards them from San Antonio. The reports spread like a wildfire, from mouth to mouth in Deinger’s Store to Beseler’s Saloon, in all the boarding houses and among the farmers. Everyone heard they‘d laid a mile of iron on the Saturday afternoon. On Tuesday, the stage driver rolled into town and said he’d spotted them and had to go out of his road to get around their timber ties. On his next stop in town the report was he hadn’t seen any trace of them, hadn’t heard them, but he supposed- and hoped- (and his words were picked up and reported all over town and carried off into the countryside beyond) that they were working on the other side of Lock Hill. And then- nothing. For a week, for ten days- only silence from the direction of the tracklayers, and the rumor went round that the work had stopped, the workers been called off, and the railroad wasn’t coming after all. The stage driver caught sight of them again- then they were gone againmore rumors, the speculation, the not knowing, became nigh unbearable. A boy, needing to know something, jumped on his pony and struck off into the hills to get word, any news, of the tracklayers. When he got back he’d seen them all right, said it looked like a thousand of ‘em, racing each other to town, making two miles a day up the Leon Valley, and they’d be here any day. And then a few of them heard it- the first faint cry of a distant whistle. Some people didn’t catch it on the wind; others dismissed it as a mockingbird or a coyote. But then came the moment they all heard it, plainly. “Then there was great rejoicing in the land,” said Kingsbury, almost Biblical in his phrasing. “Boys sent up their kites, women waved

December 2010

their handkerchiefs, and we men shook hands all around and took a drink every time it blowed.” The railroad had come to Boerne. It’s hard for people in the 21st century to imagine what the arrival of the train meant to those people near the end of the 19th. Except for the settling of the town itself, the railroad was the biggest thing to ever happen to Boerne, and changed life here fundamentally and permanently. Before the train came through, the trip to San Antonio by stage took seven hours at the very least, and often much longer, and in bad weather was just pure hell. The roads were rough and in the rain became nothing more than a ditch of muddy wagon ruts. One guy by the name of Dr. Lindner, made the trip from San Antonio to Boerne on a blustery January day in 1885, and his trip was so god-awful he ended up hating the stage coach, Boerne, and pretty much his whole life. He started out in the wee hours of the morning at Military Plaza in SA, and by the time he noticed a dead cow lying beside the coach route he was in perfect sympathy with the cow, and maybe a little jealous. “Lindner bemoaned how any animal or person could help but be sick on such a terrible road.” By the time they arrived at the Leon Springs stage stop at 1 pm, Lindner was reporting mud so deep they had to stop every few minutes to clean the wheels. ‘They’ because Doc Lindner had been pressed into service as an assistant stage driver and chief wheel-cleaner. By 3 pm they’d only made it another mile and by 5, only two miles more. When they arrived in Boerne at 8 pm, Dr Lindner was in no mood. “Boerne,” he snorted, “Hell of a resort, every second person consumptive, everything wet except the Cibolo River which was dried up.” On the return trip two days later the stage coach

again managed a mile an hour. “Whiskey,” the doctor admitted, “has got the upper hand.” The doctor was wryly grateful the trip wasn’t even worse though: “Luckily we had gentle animals,” he said. “Only killed two drivers in the last year.” And moving goods and freight? Boerne was a farm and ranch community dependent on moving its stock and produce to market, mainly by horse and buggy or more commonly, ox cart. The produce was often too rotten or damaged by the time it got over miserable roads to wherever it was going in the first place. Only the wealthy could afford to travel for fun or any but the most pressing business- Dr Lindner paid eight bucks, round-trip, for his hellish journey and that was way beyond the means of your average Boerne farmer’s family. So the time was ripe for a determined dreamer named Uriah Lott. “South Texas is full of strange things,” starts an article called ‘How Lott Built the SA & AP’. And, no duh, South Texas IS chock full of strange things, how else would you explain jackalopes? “From South Texas came a man who built 600 miles of railroad from a $5 bill and faith, and the bill was a borrowed one.” Actually, Uriah Lott was from further south than these parts. He came up from Corpus to San Antonio with all his worldly goods heaped up on a two-wheeled cart, which perhaps inspired him to get a charter to build a railroad from San Antonio to Aransas Pass. He graded a mile of his own railroad, using a shovel andhis own two mitts, and by dint of creative financing, an engine that had been condemned six years earlier, a couple of used cars and some borrowed and salvaged street car tracks, Lott’s railroad eventually steamed into San Antonio. At one critical point legend says Lott finessed a ticket from San Antonio to Chicago to drum up support and made the trip with nothing but lint in his pocket


d friends. It was visiting with family an for ce pla g rin the ga sa traveled to The Boerne Depot wa m Tuberculosis. They fro g rin ffe su le op pe ny springwaters. also a destintion for ma humidity and sparkling low , air sh fre the of ge Boerne to take advanta

The Train Stopping at Viva, the present day entrance of the Dominion.

and not a cent to buy food, traveling on a growling stomach and catching a meal once he got there. On the sides of his old engine and his two hand-me-down cars, Lott emblazoned in lamp black the legend ‘SA & AP’. And onward to Boerne. “When they reached our Cibolo falls,” Dr. W.G. Kingsbury speechified about those tracklayers on that great day the first train arrived in town, “the whole population turned out to meet them and see them work. There were fine carriages, ambulances, carts, wagons and drays drawn by horses, mules and oxen; there were men, women and children on foot and horseback, and just such another state of excitement was never witnessed short of a Donnebrook fair.” (By the way, an ambulance was a large, flat wagon with seats along the sides for hauling big groups of people- I’ve TOLD you people this before.) “I was one of them myself for three days,” Dr. Kingsbury admitted, speaking of the exhilarated onlookers, “until I saw the last spike driven at our depot. The whistle had been blowing almost continually, and we were still shaking hands and taking a drink.” It was Saturday, March 17, 1887. On that morning on the depot platform of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass road in San Antonio, Capt. A.S. Burt shouted those words that would change our hometown for all time: “All aboard for Boerne!” Over six hundred people pushed and squirmed and crammed their way into seven bright red coaches for the “day’s outing at the Kendall County capital.” One mammoth engine drew the seven passenger cars, one baggage car and two freights


at 15 miles an hour- fifteen times faster than the hapless Dr. Lindner traveled two years earlier-on the train’s maiden voyage to Boerne. “The noise they made by singing and laughing and whistling would indicate more [than 600 people]” reported the SA Daily Express the following day. “Still, there was no boisterous conduct or ungentlemanly deportment. Not a man in the crowd could be made mad unless somebody stepped on his pet corn, and not a single lady’s smile could be changed to a frown unless some reckless devil was mashed against her sufficiently hard to mash her bustle- the latter day woman’s constant pride and abiding joy. They had left home for fun and were going to have it at all hazards.” As soon as the train pulled into the makeshift depot on the outskirts of town the Boerne Brass Band struck up and serenaded them all as they made their way by foot and by hack (hired) coach to the site of the giant picnic: “A grove covering an eminence standing sentinel to the southwest of the little city.” “It would take every inch of this morning’s Express to relate [all that] was done in that grove on top of the hill,” the paper said, and if the San Antonio paper couldn’t do it, I’m not about to try it. But there were speeches and BBQ, picnics and beer and an enormous whoop-te-do. “The town was on a frolic,” the paper reported, “And is liable to keep it up for a day of two longer.” (The Boerne depot of that first day, by the way, was a temporary affair, a 24x64 foot wooden frame building. A permanent depot wasn’t built until 1906, and was located at Rosewood and

Ebner Streets- in fact, Rosewood Avenue used to be called Depot Road, and a big tin-sided barn still stands near where the old depot was, which was an old railroad warehouse. The depot was ‘retired’ in 1959, sold and the two buildings moved to two different sites around town. One building now houses the Hitching Post Liquor Store, and the other one is a private home on East Bandera Road. The building called Traditions at the Depot wasn’t ever our depot; it was moved here in the 1990s from South Texas somewhere. A walking trail now runs along the old railroad route through town.) The coming of the railroad forever changed life in Boerne. Did the stage driver who kept flying into town with breathless reports of the roadway’s progress know he was foretelling his own doom? The stage would of course soon pass into history. The cost of traveling to SA went from 12.5 cents a mile down to 3 cents a mile. And as the new ease and relative luxury of the trip to and from the city became more popular, and as the reputation of Boerne as a health resort town took off, things changed quickly. For a while they called Boerne the “Alps of Texas.” Dr. Herff had been sending his TB patients here since the 1860s, and people were able now to come by the droves to one of the now 13 sanitariums in town. Dr. Herff and the Sisters of the Santa Rosa Infirmary in San Antonio built an enormous sanitarium; St Mary’s was built in 1896 on the site where the new library is going up today, and it alone treated and housed 731 patients in its first year. “It takes the invalid and tourist to the very doors of nature’s greatest sanitarium,” stated a contemporary newspaper of the SA & AP. Also,

EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

The Boerne Depot - 19 20's. The Depot a 24x64 wo oden frame building was built in 1906. It sto od at the end of Jame s and Rosewood Streets.

SA & AP Brid

ge across the

Boerne folks could suddenly get daily papers, and mail delivery. The face of Boerne was changed in other ways by the coming of the railroad. In order to raise the $180,000 required by the railroad to assist in building the line to town, land in the Flats, (the Irons/Graham addition between the Cibolo and Frederick Creeks) long a shanty town of slavequarter origin, was subdivided and sold off as town lots so that area was formally settled as a direct result of the railroad. Dr. Herff, an early and enthusiastic supporter of the railroad who donated tracts of land to it for right-of-way, was honored with both a street in the Flats and one of the SA & AP’s three engines named for him, and Uriah Lott also got a street in the Flats named for him. Towns sprang to life along the railroad route, while others withered and died as the road passed them by. The town of Windsor dried up and blew away when the line went by on the wrong side of the Guadalupe, so the people moved across the river and the new town of Waring shot up as a thriving little venture and a real competitor for Boerne. “At Leon Springs, about the only suitable point on the route [from San Antonio to Boerne] on account of water, the SA & AP company expects to build a town,” the San Antonio Daily Express reported on March 15, 1887, and it indeed did build a town, around the headwaters of the Leon Creek and the old stage stop. In 1890, the SA & AP began offering a ‘camper’s ticket’ to Boerne, and tourism was promoted to a new “park-like piece of ground shaded by live oak and other timber and fronting the whole distance upon the Cibolo River, one of the most charming

December 2010

mountain streams in the whole state, pure running water over a gravel bed, as clear as crystal” today’s River Road park. City slickers could come out to Boerne and rent a tent, a stove, horses and saddle ponies, wagons and carriages and the labor of “a trustworthy white man” to do their camping chores. Meat, bread and milk wagons drove out with their wares every morning, while firewood was delivered at $2.50 a cord. “We intend to make Boerne as it deserves to be,” announced the newly-formed Merchant’s Association of Boerne, “a grand health resort, and have established this camp that the middle class and the poor, as well as the rich, may come and enjoy pure mountain air and water that God in his wisdom has seen fit to endow this region with.” The railroad changed life for Boerne’s kids too. Several generations grew up meeting the trains on Depot Road, watching the new people from the great, outside world pull in on the Iron Horse. Think of that! These were kids who never saw anyonebesides the people they’d been seeing every day of their lives—these were people from a town where everybody was starting to look vaguely alike. Courting couples could now pay a handful of change to ride the train a few miles out into the country, then get off and stroll back to town in the twilight. The late Laurine Schrader Hartmann recalled that as a girl, “there was a salesman from the Duerler Candy Company that would always come, going up to Kerrville on the train…I’d always try to meet the bus when ‘Candy’ Jones was on there, because he always gave me all the samples. And he always had a little monkey with him. And I always enjoyed that.”Laurine’s whole family once

Cibolo Creek

rode up to the Sangerfest in Waring on the SA & AP, but her mother wouldn’t let her brother’s old hound dog ride along with them. So that dog had to take matters into his own paws, and when the family got off the train in Waring, there he was, waiting for them at the depot. Pretty soon, the automobile came along, and in its wake the highway, and then the interstate, and more little towns blossomed while others faded away on the vine of the old SA & AP. But all that was in the future that long-ago Saturday afternoon in March, under the oaks in the grove on top of the hill, the day the first train steamed into Boerne. All that the people saw ahead of them that day was the long, golden afternoon of picnics and parades, brass bands and bbq and taking a sip every time the whistle blew. “The sun was just dropping behind a bank of beautiful red over the hill that girds the city on the west when the engine began to puff and paw on its return trip,” the Daily Express said of the end of that fateful,magical afternoon. “The train hadn’t left many miles behind before daylight was gone, and the gleam of the headlight melted a tunnel through the mountain of black always in front.” Dr. Kingsbury offered a little prayer of thanks as he began his welcome speech that early Spring day, a long time ago: Let mirth and joy abound. We were lost, but now are found. Our hills are iron bound! “If you want to have a jolly time, go to Boerne!” the Daily Express concluded. And they did.


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December 2010



Photos By Kevin Stillman


By Alison Turner

Bill Worrell sits in his grassy yard between the buildings of his compound built with his own hands in the aptly named post of Art, Texas. Not too far away, keeping a calm and everwatchful eye on the center of her universe, sits one, Ellie May, Worrell’s constant companion these days and a gift from his daughter.


Today is a quiet day for Worrell and his land. His land hugs the granite edges of the Llano River. In the nottoo-distant past, this plot of land has seen more than 600 souls gathered to revel at his famed 5th of July Parties or the New Art Season's Greetings and the Legend of the Christmas Nachos Celebration. Today, Worrell only has one guest, a holdover from a long weekend.  People have a habit of sticking around Worrell’s place for a while. The site of family reunions, church gatherings, baptisms, and revivals, the land has quite a history of gatherings, dating back to the 1800s. “It’s about the nicest place there is on the Llano River. It’s got good swimming water, fun rapids and it’s easy to get down to it. We preserve the spirit of that,” Worrell said.  Presiding over the scene, looking up to the heavens and sky, stands a trio of deer-like totemic figures, the most prominent one standing seventeen feet and three inches tall. A similar sculpture, named the “The Maker of Peace,” was bought by the State of Texas and overlooks the ancient Fate Bell rock shelter at Seminole Canyon State Historical Park.     The inspiration for these forms and the raison d’ etre for a career in art that spans more than 30 years, sits tucked away in rock shelters above the Lower Pecos River. There, nearly untouched by time, lay pictographs, created by an ancient culture, that were painted between 3500-3000 BC. Believed to be the work of shamans, painted animals and other forms dot the walls of the caves.  Created with mixtures of mineral pigments, charcoal and possibly blood and animal fat, these images

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suggest a connection with sacred ceremonies of these early Americans. Worrell happened upon these figures canoeing down the Lower Pecos in 1979 and it forever changed the direction and style of his work. His interpretations of these ancient pictographs are now copyrighted images and his work can be found in fine art galleries and collections across the United States, as well as in private and corporate collections worldwide. However, it took a lifetime of passion for his process and infinite hours honing his craft to reach the level of success he now enjoys. Worrell’s first exposure to art came at a young age in his grandmother’s home in Riodosa, New Mexico. “I grew up around the smell of my grandmother’s oil paint,” Worrell recounted. “She lived in a little cabin without electricity, just oil burning lamps and wood burning stoves. I was always fascinated by how she could take these paints and turn them into rivers and trees and mountains.”  It wasn’t until some years later when Worrell was a senior at Texas Tech University that the art-bug truly caught. He was taking some art classes when he returned home from college one weekend and attended the Mitchell County Fair. “There were all the oil paintings and all this stuff with awards and ribbons on them and I thought ‘Gosh Almighty, I can’t draw a straight line but I can do this. I’m going to win a blue ribbon.’” Sure enough, Worrell did.  He became consumed with painting and became a selftaught painter.  He would graduate from Texas Tech with a degree in sociology and a minor in English.  After university, he pastored a Southern Baptist congregation in a small town outside of Colorado City, Texas, for four years until he had a realization. “It was an enlightening experience. Suddenly it dawned on me that it wasn’t a sin to dance or a sin to drink beer.  So I became a hypocrite and I danced and I drank beer and I decided I could not stand before a congregation when 100% of that congregation thought it was a sin to do all of these things.”   Despite leaving his congregation, he remains a deeply spiritual man, able to quote passages from the Bible at the drop of a hat. “One of my heroes is Jesus Christ of Nazareth--the the teachings of Jesus are just a beautiful thing,” Worrell said. After leaving his congregation, Worrell had a series of jobs, but painting remained his constant companion. He sold life insurance with New York Life when he happened upon a mentor that would change the trajectory of his career. “I had been staying up every night until two or three in the morning painting,” Worrell said. “I was always taking some new painting down to the office and hanging it over my desk and one day the manager in the office said ‘I want that. I love it.’ I told him, ‘Bob, I can’t part with it. It’s the best painting I’ve ever done but I’ll paint you one.’ And he said, ‘Why don’t you go back to school and get a degree in art and stop selling this life insurance.’ And I said, ‘Bob, there’s nothing I’d rather do than that, but do you know how long it’ll take me if I go back to get a degree? It’ll take me three more years.  Do you know how old I’ll be? I’ll be 33 years old. And he said, ‘I hadn’t thought about that.’ And we sat there for a minute and he said, ‘I want to ask you a question. If you don’t go back to school and get a degree in art how old will you be in three years?’” After that conversation, Worrell decided to go back to school for a degree in art and that sent him back to Texas Tech University where he earned a teacher’s certification in secondary level art education and accumulated 45 hours on a Master’s of Art degree. However, he would not graduate from Texas Tech. “I pissed them off at Tech because I was selling art in galleries and that was considered whore-dom.  They were never going to let me graduate from Tech,” Worrell said. On that sour note, Worrell departed for greener pastures and transferred to the University of North Texas, starting over with only six semester hours.  It turned out to be a positive step forward as Worrell greatly appreciated the change in academic atmosphere. “I was treated like a faculty member and not a student.”   After his time at UNT, Worrell made his academic rounds teaching art at Odessa College for 12 years, returning to UNT for a year for his teaching doctoral fellowship and then to Houston Baptist University where he would teach for an additional six years.  With only two full time professors in the art department at Houston Baptist, Worrell taught a wide range of classes, including sculpture, pottery, painting, drawing and art appreciation.    While in Houston, the ugly realities of living in an urban area became apparent as Worrell was severely burglarized.  He decided that living in his van was a better alternative than letting it happen

December 2010

again, so he took up residence in his van until one night the weather turned chilly. “I slept on the floor in the pottery lab and I had a piece of Styrofoam four feet wide by eight feet long and an inch thick. I would make art and make art until I was too tired to navigate and then I would pull that Styrofoam out and go to sleep. The next day, those students had no idea I was sleeping on the floor where they were studying. I’d go every more to get the security guard to open up the gym and I would work out and take a shower and go back and work on art. And I thought, 'I wonder if I could do this for a year?' And I slept on the floor of the pottery lab for a year. When school was out, I came out here to my property here in Art, Texas, to build stuff and then school was back in and I went back to do it all over again. I did that for three years and I never got so much done in my life.” The genesis of Worrell’s trademark shaman statues took place in the very same pottery lab at Houston Baptist University. “I was doing a lot of pottery and I remember this gal signed up for my pottery class and she couldn’t do anything with the wax, it was like she was paralyzed,” Worrell remembered. “I showed the whole class how to work clay and she couldn’t do anything. In the back of my mind, I had wanted to do sculpturally what I had been doing two dimensionally in my paintings with the pictographs. Out came the first shaman right there in class showing this student how to work with the clay.” Worrell began to feel the pull of his two centers, his land in Art, and his teaching responsibilities at Houston Baptist. “When I started making my bronze shamans, all one of a kind pieces, I was doing my own foundry work. I would throw that foam rubber pad down on that Styrofoam and I was in there every night. I didn’t have any classes on Monday so I would drive out to my land in Art every weekend unless I was required to be in Houston for some faculty function or art show. I’d drive 265 miles from Houston and work on my house. I’d get up at 5am, shower, fix a pot of coffee, and drive back to Houston stopping in La Grange and I’d get gas and a turkey sandwich and I’d get to my 1:20 class at 1:18 and then I’d go and I’d make art until I couldn’t navigate anymore.” After three years, he was given a leave of absence

by the university and he returned to his compound in Art to continue his work. After that year was up, he decided to leave academia and embrace life as a full time artist. “For a lot of that time, no one was buying my work I was just making it, because that's what I was passionate about. People kept telling me ‘Oh you’re going to go a long way as an artist,’ but I kept getting pissed off at them, because I was just doing what I wanted to do, ” Worrell laughed. Eventually, Worrell’s frenetic pace would become too much to shoulder on his own. He called Steve Logan at Deep in the Heart Foundry in Bastrop, Texas, to cast five sculptures he had been working on. At first Steve was skeptical about the project. “We started arguing but it was a friendly argument. He didn’t think my system would work. So finally I said I’ll tell you what, I’ll leave these five waxes with you and you cast them. Don’t tell me how much you’re going to charge me. I’ll pick them up when you’re done, and you tell me what you want and I’ll pay you. Bill me based on your experience not what you think your experience is going to be.” And with that, Worrell left with no contract, only a handshake and Steve’s word. Two weeks later, he returned to pick up the casts and the foundry work cost Worrell a whopping $33.50 a piece, much less than the $125 each he had been originally quoted. “If every human being could operate with that kind of integrity--I’m not out to screw him, he’s not out to screw me, we treat each other fairly—the world would work if people did that.” Worrell is still making art in his home in Art, Texas. He lives with Ellie May Lucile Worrell, his labradoodle, and the only lady in his life. There are no less than three projects currently underway from a canvas coated in sand from the nearby Llano River, to ceramics projects in various states of completion, and a block of hot wax waiting to take its next shape.


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830.431.2039 714 S. Main Suite C Boerne Texas Gift certificates available for those still shopping

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December 2010


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Darts & Pool • 12 Beers on Tap • Live Music Friday & Saturday Nights Karaoke Wednesday Nights • Executive Chef - Jim Barajas of Casbeer’s 9091 Fair Oaks Pkwy. | Boerne, TX 78015 | (210) 698-7310 Never a cover charge here, though patrons must be at least 21.

December 2010


What’s On

The Dodging Duck


Brewhaus & Restaurant

this month:

Wish Wish You You A A Merry Merry Christmas! Christmas!

Sir Francis Drake Vanilla Porter Dodging Duck à l’orange Holiday Ale Duck King Good India Pale Ale Quackinator Doppelbock.

830-248-3825 •

402 River Road, Boerne, Texas (4 Blocks from Main Street) Open DAILY at 11am - Sun-Thurs ‘til 9pm - Fri-Sat ‘til 10pm

On August 1, 2002, we introducted craft beer to Boerne. We brew in a 10 barrel Bohemian Brewery system right here at the Duck. We store our fresh, unfiltered beer at 34o and serve it from stainless steel serving tanks through chilled lines. It has virtually no contact with light or air until it hits your glass, for the best tasting beer you’ll ever experience! We are brewing different beers all the time, so selections are subject to change. Cheers!

Now enrolling students for fall lessons! Our experienced instructors Facility available offer lessons in: for special events. guitar harp Call for details.

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Student instruments are now available for rental and purchase!

String instrument rentals for students

Rental prices start as low as $9/mo. Rental instruments include:

violin, viola, cello, guitar, and harp (with rent-to-own options available, too.)

Artist Performances Specializing in fine instruments, accessories, and instruction. Offering group or private lessons for all ages

Guitar Workshops

Guitar | Flute | Harp | Violin Piano | Mandolin | and More

109 Oak Park Dr. | Boerne, Texas 78006


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December 2010


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For Lease:

$1400 - Neat as a pin home in Stone Creek. 3 bed, 2 ba, open floor plan, clean, clean, clean! $1050 - 3 bed, 2 ba home near schools, IH-10 available for immediate move-in.

$1200 - Cibolo Crossing 3 bed, 2.5 ba, fireplace, fenced yard, garage, rock fireplace, fenced yard. pet ok.

$850- 2 bed, 2 ba, 1 car garage, duplex

$1300 - 3 bed, 2 ba with study in Boerne Heights. Nice deck in back yard overlooking the open fields. Perfect for deer watching and sunsets!

December 2010

$2500 - Approx. 3100 s.f. house on 11 acs on Hwy 46W. Heated pool, 3 bed, 2.5 baths, gated, horses ok, but no domestic pets.





Christmas is almost upon us and if you’re like the staff at EXPLORE you haven’t picked up diddley-squat for gifts yet. Don’t despair! STOP, YIELD, and hold your horses, take a look at our drool-worthy ultimate buyer’s guide for Christmas. We bet you can find the perfect gift to put under your tree.




A revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more. $499 - $699 2.




A full featured, dedicated e-book reading device. $149 - $199 Barnes& 4.


The film that officially signaled Disney's animation renaissance, and the only animated feature to receive a Best Picture Oscar. $17.99 5.

KEN BURNS – THE WEST DVD COLLECTION Since its premiere on PBS in September 1996, The West has rightfully assumed its place as a milestone event in television history, and remains the single most ambitious and authoritative audio-visual history of the American West. $84.99


EAT PRAY LOVE DVD Starring Julia Roberts. $16.99




10. KINECT FOR THE XBOX 360 You are the controller. No gadgets, no gizmos, just you! Kinect brings games and entertainment to life in extraordinary new ways without using a controller. Imagine controlling movies and music with the wave of a hand or the sound of your voice. $399 10.LIFE BY KEITH RICHARDS An Autobiography. $29.99 11.MATCHBOX


12. SEPHORA COLLECTION 187 makeup products in a dazzling variety of newly updated colors. $48






EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.










December 2010




Kenny Chesney


Various Artists

Kenny Chesney’s sound is cool, calm, and collected in this newly anticipated album. Songs include the two hit songs “The Boys of Fall,” (our favorite football song!) and “Somewhere With You.”

Accent your Christmas festivities this season with this pure-Texas Christmas album. Artists include Mickey and the Motorcars, Pauline Reese, Blake Powers, and Copperhead, and songs include Blue Christmas, Little Drummer Boy, and We Three Kings.

George Strait

A Hill Country Christmas isn’t complete without George Strait. It’s a collection of traditional Christmas songs ranging from Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, Silent Night, Joy to the World, and all your other favorite Christmas tunes.


Christmas music Mariah Carey style. This pop sounding Christmas album will have you dancing in your car or office all season long. Songs include Santa Clause is Coming to Town, One Child, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Charlie Brown Christmas, and more!


Taylor Swift Taylor Swift’s new CD will make the perfect gift or stocking stuffer this Christmas. This CD has been long awaited since her previous album release in 2008, and includes the #1 hit song “Mine” as well as Back to December and Speak Now.


Please join us for a


from 11am-4pm as we celebrate 5 years of serving the Boerne community. We will have free-range turkey, gluten-free holiday ideas, and much more. We are grateful for you and your patronage. We look forward to continued success as we grow, learn, and heal together. Happy Holidays! Peace, Love, and Blessings, D’Ann, Dawn Marie, and Judy P.S. We’ll have in-store demos, free samples, and drawings for gift baskets. Stop in and celebrate!

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EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County. 830-249-1817 133 S. Main, Boerne, Texas 78006 ‘Sponsor of the Little Miss Spirit of Christmas Pageant’

Second Annual Little Miss Spirit of Christmas Pageant 100% of the proceeds raised will go to the Kendall Co. Women’s Shelter Registration - Sept. 27- Oct. 29 Coronation Ceremony is Dec. 3rd on Main Stage at Plaza, Time TBA

Visit for more information


BOERNE By Ben Schooley

Long-time EXPLORE supporter and all around good guy, Brent Evans, has just released a historical book about Boerne, chock full of amazing photography and little known tidbits of our past. We’ve reviewed an advance copy, and it’s fascinating. Just Google this ISBN: 9780738579436 for purchase information!! From the book’s description: In 1849, German "Freethinkers" had been dreaming of a communal utopia, free from oppression by church and state. They settled in Texas on the Cibolo Creek, where Native Americans and Spanish explorers had gone before them. The experiment evolved into a frontier outpost, a stage stop, a health spa, a railhead, a small village, a brief chapter in the Civil War, and a farm and ranch community. Boerne is now a tourist destination and a lovely place to live. This collection of pictures and stories explores what has been amazing, unique, and a little odd about this bend in the Cibolo, as well as the history of local conservation efforts. As the little town of Boerne goes through its inevitable growing pains, it is important to remember its special people and places, and what is worth saving.

December 2010



As soon as December rolls around the corner you simply can’t escape holiday programming on TV. Whether It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, A Charlie Brown Christmas or another movie, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without them. Here’s the Explore Staff’s favorite holiday picks. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS: I’ll tell you right off the bat that I’m not a big holiday movie fan (bah humbug is right!). So my movie picks can be, well, a little unconventional. Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween town to help him


put on Christmas instead of Halloween -- but alas, they can't get it quite right. This movie creates a world of its own, inhabited by unforgettable characters and events that should be shared with generations. This film is a visual masterpiece (albeit a little weird). -Alison A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS: While not really a movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas is an iconic and powerful TV special that reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas. Charles Schulz and company did such a fine job of crafting this program back in 1965 that thirty-five years later, Charlie Brown is still as earnest and sympathetic as ever. -Alison NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION: I love this movie - because it reminds me of how my Dad handled the Christmas Season "Well I'm gonna park the cars and get the luggage, and well, I'll be outside for the season." This movie is a riot for anyone that dreads a house full of anxiety, resentment and two sets of in-laws. -Tammy

THE GRINCH WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS: Christmas Can't be bought in a store is the moral of this story - a great message, Christmastime or otherwise. Plus the music is great...You're a mean one...-Tammy A CHRISTMAS STORY “A Christmas Story” easily goes down in my books as the ultimate Christmas movie. I’m pretty sure I can quote almost every line in the movie. It’s the story of innocence, and dreams, and mean ol’ parents that always get in the way. And then those same mean ol’ parents come through in the clutch. It’s about family and Santa and bullies. For most people, myself included, it’s the story of my very own childhood. -Ben A CHRISTMAS CAROL The original black and white version from 1951starring Alistar Slim as Ebenezer Scrooge. It'ts the version I grew up on and the only one I can watch. The other's don't even come close. -Tammy

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...See if you can guess the movies!

1.) "I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery." 2.) "Bah Humbug" 3.) "It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags! 4.) Beethoven Christmas music. What has Beethoven got to do with Christmas? 5.) “In the heat of battle, my father wove a tapestry of obscenity that as far as we know, is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.� 6.) The thing about trains... it doesn't matter where they're going. What matters is deciding to get on. 7.) Didn't I ever tell you about Bumbles? Bumbles bounce. 8.) He's Mister White Christmas, he's Mister Snow. He's Mr. Icicle, he's Mister 10 below. 9.) I, Burgermeister Meisterburger, take care of a baby? Outrageous! What's it's name? 10. Every man on that transport died! Harry wasn't there to save them, because you weren't there to save Harry. 11.) I know all about Christmas, and I have just the book for you: 'Christmas For Village Idiots.' 12.) There's children throwing snowballs , instead of throwing heads ,they're busy building toys , and absolutely no one's dead! Key: 1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, 2. A Christmas Carol, 3. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, 4. A Charlie Brown Christmas , 5. A Christmas Story, 6. The Polar Express, 7. Rudolph the red- nosed reindeer. 8. The year without a Santa Claus, 9. Santa Claus is comng to town, 10. It's a wonderful Life, 11. Shrek the Halls 12. The Nightmare Before Christmas.

December 2010




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December 2010



From Santa Fe to San Antonio, painter Judy Korge sheds her own light on life and art. by Jeanna Goodrich


“The outdoors is my canvas.” From a childhood in Santa Fe to a half-acre backyard in Hollywood Park, dreamer-turned-drafterturned professional artist Judy Korge finds her true inspiration in the beauty of nature. “As a kid,” Korge said, “my family spent a lot of time camping in the summers. My parents knew I was a wild child, and they would let my twin sister and I run up and down the river all day. We’d be gone for hours. She and I would play with nature, and with animals—and sometimes I’d even sneak home little frogs in my pockets. We’d lose ourselves in the outdoors, and it fueled my passion for creativity. In the back of my head, I knew I wanted to be an artist, and the environment around me became my canvas.” Step into Korge’s backyard, and you’ll realize how passionate she truly is: a sheer canopy covers a wooden deck surrounded on all sides by verdant greens and vivid flowers. An easel on wheels and a rolling cart—“My husband put everything on wheels for me, so I could move my studio around the backyard,” she said—sits under alternating slits of sunlight and shade. “My first ‘art’ projects happened when my sister and I would sit on the floor by the window and make paper dolls. We’d even make outfits for them! Both of us just had a wonderful time creating, and my parents acknowledged and encouraged our artistic abilities,” Korge said. “Instead of making me walk straight home after school, they let me walk around downtown and admire all of the galleries and artists in Santa Fe.” Korge smiled as she remembered these little adventures. “One afternoon, I met an artist who gave me a clayboard. He told me, ‘Take this home, draw on this, and bring me back some of your artwork. My whole family encouraged me to do the drawings, but I was too scared,” Korge admitted, “and I never took them back.” The third of ten children— with her twin sister older by just seven minutes—Korge grew up in a big, busy household and was close to her extended family, too. “I felt so blessed to have my friends

EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

and family as a support structure,” Korge said, describing how her relationships helped her through every doubt and insecurity she had about becoming a professional artist. “Though it may not be from my immediate family,” Korge added, “my artistic ability is definitely a passed-down, DNA thing: so many people in my family are artists, and it’s wonderful to have their support as well!” At age 17, Korge began a family of her own. “I had two children, one at 17 and one at 18,” Korge said. “It wasn’t easy being a young mother, but it kept me inspired. They helped me get out of Santa Fe and into college in Albuquerque. And even though I was going to college during the day and working at night, my children and I spent a lot of time together: I loved to play, and I loved to have fun, and they helped direct my life in a really positive way.” As a student at the Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute, Korge vowed to find an outlet for her artistic ability—even if it was behind a drafting table. “Without any official art classes offered at school,” Korge said, “the only option I had was drafting for an electrical engineering firm.” Yet the strict, rigid, monochrome lines of the drafting table didn’t really match the flowing, natural elegance of the bright-green backyard where we sat discussing her life. “I didn’t love [drafting],” Korge admitted, “but it taught me so much about making mistakes, learning how to correct those mistakes, and being painstakingly detail-oriented. It was definitely a learning experience.” Still, the little voice in the back of Korge’s head kept pushing her to pursue her dream of becoming a professional artist. “The older I got, the more passionate I became about wanting to paint and draw,” Korge reflected, “so I decided to start acknowledging how important it was to me.” Freshly inspired by her children and a remarriage, Korge packed her family up and moved to the rural community of Wellington, Kansas, where she hoped to expand upon her ambition. Yet after about a decade plus a year in Chicago, Korge still wasn’t where she wanted to be as an artist. “The most exciting part of Wellington was when they opened the bag-your-own-groceries lines in Wichita. My kids and I would make the 45-minute drive just to go grocery shopping,” Korge remembered. “And Chicago was too harsh. The winters were too long; there wasn’t nearly enough summer for me. I knew I needed another change.” Fate stepped in when Korge’s husband was on a business trip in San Antonio. “He called me and said, ‘I have the most wonderful place that you will absolutely love,’ and a year later he got a job transfer here,” Korge said. “I knew, I just knew. I had been putting it off for way too long—this was the place to begin my journey as a professional artist.” Korge enrolled in art classes at St. Phillip’s College—she insisted, “I wanted to prove to myself that I could be a good student of the arts”—and met and assisted art teachers and students prominent in the area. “In 1992,” she remembers, “I met Janice Yow Hindes, who, to this day, is my friend and mentor. I began taking a drawing class at the Coppini Academy of Fine Arts, where Janice encouraged me to make art work for me.” Before long, she was getting her pieces into shows and selling them, and eventually she was the recipient of the “Artist of the Year” medal at Coppini. “I was loving all the rewards I was getting for my art,” Korge said, “but the best rewards were the intrinsic ones. I was going to class once a week, and I was painting every day. I set a goal for myself to paint every day for five years, and—“Korge paused, looking at the brightly colored, hand-made “medal of honor” that hung from her shirt—“and in April, I had my five-year anniversary. My friend, Nancy, gave me this medal, to commemorate my special day.” Even after five years of painting, Korge still dabbles her paintbrush in different media. “I love watercolor, because I almost have to let the paint do whatever it wants. But I also love oil painting, because I can be so detailed, so precise, and so accurate. I’ve done graphite drawings, and I’ve used acrylics. I always want to learn more, to better myself.” But a common element links all of Korge’s artwork together: “I love contrast. I love shadows. But most of all, I love painting light. And you have to get the shadows right to get the light to shine.” And does it ever: Korge’s works, both in her home and at the Carriage House Gallery in Boerne, pop with an iridescent, bright, almost tangible light. As a portrait artist, light sparkles in the eyes of her figures; as a still life artist, each object shines with warm intensity. Her current project? “Moody Judy,” a collection of small self-portraits on the same canvas. She even hopes to be able to complete a full portrait in under 45 minutes, a true test of her knowledge of values and shapes. Korge is an expert in values, colors, and contrasts, making her art exemplary of the word. With an extensive knowledge of color composition—while we were talking, she mixed a daub of paint to the exact color of the purple flower right behind me—she offers a life-like rendition of the beauty around her, while adding a unique, down-toearth naturalism. The light she paints shines through passionately in the light in her smile. She admits, however, that the journey wasn’t always a walk in the park. “I discovered I had a hidden ‘meanie’ inside of me that was telling me, ‘You can’t do this; you’re not good enough,’” Korge said. “But I overcame it, because I have really good friends and family that support my dreams.” And after a slight pause, Korge added, “Not everyone is able to let their creativity shine, you know. I believe that everyone has a creative side to them, but a lot of it is hidden when we become adults. Just because you don’t paint or draw does not mean you’re not creative. I’ve seen incredible brick layers—that’s an art!” Yet Korge certainly brought her art through these issues to make it the powerful, intricate work that it is today. “After periods of doubt and uncertainty, I figured out that I just had to reunite with that creative person inside of me. Reunite… and re-ignite.” Yet after a debilitating car accident in 2006, Korge worried that she may not be able to pick up her art career where she left off. “I tried for three solid years to go back to who I was before the accident. After one, then two, then three years, I realized: I can’t be that person; I can’t live in the past. I have to live for now. Because now is what matters.”

December 2010

Her current project, “Moody Judy,” is a collection of self-portraits Korge is beginning to paint, a portrait per day.

Korge is also in the process of painting a song. “Just stand here and listen, listen to the art in these words and this music,” she said. Sure enough, the music and the painting fit together perfectly. “It’s not done yet,” she said, and the photo above is just a piece of the larger, intricate picture.

“When I get tired or frustrated, I take my paintbrush and a glass of iced-tea—or a glass of wine—to my hammock,” Korge said. “Sometimes, I just need to relax.”


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BornGuilty By Steve Ramirez

I was born guilty. While I was growing up, I had Catholic Nuns beating into me the divine understanding that I was not worthy. I was told that several thousand years ago, two naked people committed a “Mortal Sin” under a tree. As a young, guilty boy, I was not too clear on how this all worked. I knew there was nudity and snakes involved, and that apparently they screwed it up for all of us. Now their sin was my sin, and I was somehow implicated. It seemed like a bad situation. In school, we had to go to mass every Sunday and confession every Wednesday. Even with these other people’s sin weighing heavy on my soul, I was always a good kid. I said yes sir, and yes ma’am, and opened the door for ladies, and respected God and country like any southern boy with a little bit of “home training.” In fact, I can honestly say that I never told a lie until one Wednesday in confession. As I waited outside the confessional, I was suddenly struck with the realization that I couldn’t think of any sins to report. Therefore, I made some up and then lied about knowing how to pray the rosary. The result was that with the exception of the issue I inherited from the two naked people under the tree, I went in clean and came out dirty. From there on out my guilt just seemed to snowball. Being born guilty is a real handicap in life. You find yourself apologizing for everything, all of the time. After a while, “I’m sorry” becomes more of a statement of fact than an act of contrition. Most of the time when I say “I’m sorry,” I haven’t actually done anything wrong. Something undesirable may have a happened to some one, but I didn’t have anything to do with it. Other times what I am trying


to do is simply covey my sympathy for the persons plight. The truth is I have no reason to feel sorry. What I should say is, “hey, that’s life bucko. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, learn something new, and move on.” There is nothing positive about being born guilty. The truth is, more and more each passing day, I’m not buying it. What the two naked people did with the snake is their business. It’s not like I was hiding in the bushes saying, “Spill the wine and dig that girl.” I am also not in charge of the world, and am not responsible for the actions or inactions of others. I am responsible for my actions and inactions. When I make a mistake, if it hurts someone else, I need to say, “I’m sorry,” take responsibility, learn something from the experience, pick myself up, dust myself off, and then….forgive myself. If guilt is a prison, then forgiveness is liberation. We need a lot more forgiveness in the world. We need to spend more time fixing the problem, instead of the blame. Forgiving others is tough enough. Self- forgiveness is where the real work happens, especially if you are born guilty. When we forgive another, we free ourselves of all the negative, destructive feelings that drag us down. We don’t have to forget what we learned in the process; just let go of the anger, the attachment, and the false expectations about the behavior of others. Self-forgiveness means understanding that we are human. It is accepting that how we learn is through our mistakes, and that the only real “sin” is to make the same mistakes, neglecting or refusing to learn. We do a great injustice to our children

when we tell them all the rules and limitations and crush their innate ability to see the possibilities. Children know how to learn: they experiment, they try, they fail, they try again, they learn, they forgive themselves. American society is becoming increasingly obsessed with guilt, blame, and retribution. We focus so much on the rules, we forgot that “We the People” wrote the rules to serve, “We the people.” We have made the rules our new god, and the keepers of the rules sit at god’s right hand. Over time, the focus has been on power, money as power, and “winning.” As long as this is the case, none of us “win.” I choose, not to be guilty. I choose to experiment, to try, to fail, to fall down and get back up, dust myself off, and move forward. It is better to live, truly live, in the arena, taking your chances. If the mass of human kind chooses to sit at the arenas’ edge pointing their fingers and laughing, I am fine with that, and, I forgive them. The real sin is that this would be a much better world if we would all chose to be accountable and compassionate instead of guilty and judgmental. Maybe, like a single drop of water that slips along the bedrock, if we all chose a new way of thinking, the river would be an ocean, clean and clear. The truth is I do not believe this will ever happen; after all, we are human. Still, it has to start somewhere. All I can do is control my own thoughts and behavior, so here is my contribution. I want to tell all the nuns who pulled my ears, slapped my face, and told me I was guilty…I forgive you. EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.



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by Kendall Aaron

My church made me cry the other day. I literally had to break out a hankie and wipe tears from my eyes. You would think that being in church would be a joyous occasion and something that would leave me smiling, but not this Sunday. That being said, it was a very profound emotion brought about by a discussion of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Now, we all know the story of how Christ was tied to the cross and died for our sins. I think we’ve all heard it so much that it becomes watered down and we sometimes forget the sheer magnitude of that event. What got me crying was my pastor applying the story to his own children; and then I applied it to my own kids. I’m like every parent – my children are my life. I would die for them in a heartbeat and pray nightly that they are kept safe from all the terrible things that can happen on this Earth. Now look down at your son and imagine ALLOWING him to be murdered. That’s what God did for us. If ever you doubt that God loves you, just think about what He did for you. He let a bunch of evil people


take His ONLY son, put nails through his hands, beat him, torture him, stab him, and ultimately, kill him. For YOU. And I found this to be an amazing, heartbreaking, and humbling thought. As I said, the story of the crucifixion has a way of almost becoming a fable. We have all seen the image of Christ nailed to the cross so many times that we forget the significance and the horror of that event. We forget that Christ cried and begged His Father to spare him. We forget how scared He was, and how He didn’t really want to die. Can you possibly fathom the anguish this must have caused for God? Can you possibly pause for a minute and imagine what YOU would feel if your son was crying to you to help him? To not allow evil people to torture and murder him? And then for you to ALLOW it because of your love for others? Wow. Are you crying yet? I’m like everyone that gets down on life, questions why things happen, and wonders if my personal problems really amount to much. My bank account balance might be terrible, but surely God has bigger problems. My marriage could be strug-

gling, but God is probably concerned with the war in Iraq or something. My problems are inconsequential. They are way below the radar of God. And yet, I think back to the horror of the crucifixion, and how God allowed those men to kill His Son, and I am reminded that if God loved me THAT MUCH, then odds are that He cares when I stub my toe. Or when I get frustrated at work. He gave up SO much for me, then you can bet that He wants to help me with everything. And anything. The event of Jesus and the Cross is the ultimate display of sacrifice and love. Even at the moment of death, Jesus begged for the forgiveness of the very men that were killing him. And what’s amazing is that if these men did actually pray for forgiveness, God would forgive them for killing His son. We hear all the time about the wrath of God, or the jealousy of God, or the horrors of hell. However, I don’t think we pause long enough to consider the true magnitude of the LOVE OF GOD. It becomes very personal when we pause to think that all that pain, all that torture, all that blood that Christ spilled was for………………

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Main Street

San Antonio St.

Br ack


idg t. e S

December 2010






EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

Explore Magazine | December 2010  

Explore the Real Kendall County