Page 1

January 2013

Completed and Currently on display at TTFA How you can help: Contact “Texas Treasures Fine Art Gallery” or “Hill Country Council for the Arts” and place a donation to have Life size “Wild Bill Hickok Monument” by Local (National) Sculptor Erik Christianson in Boerne’s Permanent Art Collection.


605 South Main | TTFA is honored to be able to share with the Boerne community: “Children” by National Sculptor: James N. Muir - Currently displayed at TTFA Title: “Children” • Artist: James N. Muir • Size: 44” Tall • Medium: Bronze Historical Note: Depicts a young European refugee girl from the 1930’s with a pre-1929 Kathe Kruse doll made in Berlin Placement Note: A life size “Children” is now in the permanent collection at the: Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp State Museum, Poland The Holocaust Museum, Texas and The Mizel Museum, Colorado


EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

Make your wedding historic Beautiful Onsite Amenities

Historic Dancehall | Pre-Civil War Stone Tavern | Unique Bed and Breakfast Picturesque Scenery | Bride & Groom Quarters

Sisterdale Dance Hall & Event Center A True Texas Treasure

Beneath the sprawling canopies of 360-year-old oak trees on the banks of the West Sister Creek lies a true Texas treasure. Soaring wood ceilings, a weathered tin roof, and original wood floors made from 300-hundred-year-old long leaf know instantly that you've stepped onto a page of Hill Country history. Built in the late 1800’s, Sisterdale Dancehall has filled this quaint village with music and joy for more than a century Today we invite you to become part of our storied history by celebrating a magical day in your life with us.

Call us for a free, no-obligation information packet 210-508-00344 1210 SisterdaleRoad Sisterdale, Texas 78006 | 210-508-0344 830-324-6605 Fax |

Check out our sister property Eagle Dancer Ranch


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830-331-8786 109 Waterview Parkway |

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook/ Hours of operation. Mon - Thurs 11-3; Fri - Sat 11 - 8 and Sun 11-3

830-331-2528 1105 S Main Like us on Facebook

Hours of operation:

Tues - Sat 10:00 - 5:30 Sun 12:00-5:00 and Mon closed

711 S Main | Like us on Facebook Hours of operation Tues - Sat 10:00-5:30, Sun 12:00-5:00, Mon closed

830-331-9966 1101 S Main Like us on Facebook:

Hours of operation: Mon 7-3, Tues - Sat 7-9, Sun 8-2


Explore what's inside this issue!

16 Film

24 Drumline

18 Wine

28 History

20 Spiritual

32 Cibolo Nature Center

22 Dining

36 90 Day Fitness Challenge

Boerne Performing Arts

"Oldies, but goodies

8 From the Publisher 10 Calendar Hill Country events and activities for everyone.

14 Old Timer

Boerne's most opinionated

The Inspirational True Story of a Boerne Native

Discovery in 2013

January Events


Steak - Chicken Fried & Country Fried

The Results

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 2012 Schooley Media Ventures, 265 N. Main, Suite C, Boerne, TX 78006

Contributing Writers

Christina Sterling (Family)

Three years of motherhood, working as a Nanny and going to school fulltime majoring in Communications and Pyschology all add together to make very busy days! I wouldn't have it any other way. My children are a constant source of comedy and inspiration, and they push me every day to be a better woman. When my degree is complete, I hope to continue the pursuit of my dream: Writing full-time and editing. In the mean time, I will continue to write about my life as a Mommy - the joys, trials and beautiful moments as we live, learn and love together in Boerne!

Christine Friesenhan (Dining)

Christine Friesenhahn is a food blogger (, competitive chef, and writer based in Boerne, Texas. Married with two teenagers, she finds real life to be an endless source of humor and entertainment.

Jon Whittaker (Film)

Jon Whitaker is an artist turned Film Maker residing in Boerne Texas for the better part of the past 30 years. A family man, Jon balances his time between his passion for Movie Making and the pleasure of raising and enjoy a young family. With two sons, he is constantly reminded of the joy in this world that is always available. Film, family and a regular walk in the morning is Jon’s routine in life. This helps him stay grounded to the soil from which he came, while keeping his eye’s open to the present.

Kendall D. Aaron (Spiritual)

I’m just a normal guy. I’m not a theology student, I don’t preach in church, and I’ve never written a book. I’m just a normal guy that thinks, and feels, and is on a never-ending journey attempting to be the best person I can be. I fail frequently at this quest, yet each day, the quest continues. I’ve lived in Boerne since the late ‘80s, I’ve got a most beautiful wife, three wonderful children, and just really, really love God. Thanks for going on my spiritual journey with me.

Publisher Benjamin D. Schooley

Marjorie Hagy (History)

Marjorie has been writing for Explore for several years. She has 5 children, all Boerne High School graduates, and one new grandson. She enjoys history of all kinds, reading and gardening. When not reading or spending time with her grandson, she heads the hair net & name tag compliance department at Target.


Old Timer (Ramblings)

The Old Timer tells us he's been a resident of Boerne since about 1965. He enjoys telling people what he doesn't like. When not bust'n punks he can be found feeding the ducks just off Main St. or wandering aimlessly in the newly expanded HEB. Despite his rough and sometimes brash persona, Old Timer is really a wise and thoughtful individual. If you can sort through the BS.

Steve Ramirez (Chronicles)

Steve Ramirez has been writing for Explore for about three years. His essays and outdoor adventure stories have been published in magazines and journals including: Explore, Under Wild Skies, Trout, and The Texas sporting Journal. His prose and poetry has been published in literary journals including: The Houston Literary Review, and Pecan Grove Review. A former U.S. Marine and current Texas Master Peace Officer, Steve lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country.

Creative Director Benjamin N. Weber ASSISTANT CREATIVE DIRECTOR Leah Bredemeyer OPERATIONS MANAGER Kate Kent ADVERTISING SALES 210-507-5250

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From the Publisher Dearest EXPLORE reader,

Don’t you remember when you were 9 years old and you looked at your 16 year old brother and thought, “When I’m 16, I’ll be grown up.” To your 9 year old brain, a 16 year old would have to know all there is to know. And then you were 16, and those 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 37, 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 37, 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. No amount of money or success translates to the knowledge to handle every situation. We might as well enjoy the walk; because the sun sets quicker than most of us wish. Welcome to January. We all made it through the holidays, and are poised for our journey through 2013. No matter how you’d classify your 2012: great, satisfactory, or a complete mess, I pray your walk is filled with joy, success, and the wisdom to enjoy the two.


Benjamin D. Schooley


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Get out and enjoy the great Texas Hill Country! The most comprehensive events calendar. Send submissions to

January 1

January 12 - 13

January 26

Cowgirl Round-up and Showdeo

Market Days

Hill Country Artifact Show

BANDERA Bandera County Cowgirls gather to show examples of showmanship, dressage and speed events in the arena. Also includes storytellers, singers and songwriters performing. Hours are noon-6 p.m. Hill Country State Natural Area. (830)796-4413 January 1

Black-Eyed Pea and Cornbread Cook-Off FREDERICKSBURG Partake of these magic peas on New Year’s Day and have good luck throughout the year. Enjoy live music, wine and the best black-eyed peas and cornbread in Texas. Torre di Pietra Vineyards, 10915 U.S. 290 E. (830)644-2829 January 1

Hair of the Dog Day

GRUENE Enjoy free shows all day at Gruene Hall from noon-11 p.m. Gruene Hall, 1281 Gruene Road. (830)629-5077 January 12, February 9

Second Saturday Art and Wine BOERNE Enjoy a glass of wine and stroll through the art galleries. Hours are 5-8 p.m. Various venues. (877)833-0621

BOERNE Shop with artists, craftspeople and other vendors to the sound of Texas musicians. Main Plaza, 100 N. Main. (210)844-8193 January 18

FREDERICKSBURG Show features more than 60 tables of pre-1900 North American Indian artifacts, arrowheads and old collectibles on exhibit and for sale. Pioneer Pavilion at the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park on Highway 16 S. E-mail: richard.mentzer@ (830)626-5561

Hill Country House Concerts: The Steel Wheels

January 26

BOERNE Alamo Fiesta RV Resort , music at 7:00 pm. Contributions (100% to musicians): $20. January 19 - 20

Hill Country Gem and Mineral Show

FREDERICKSBURG Includes exhibits of minerals, lapidary items, fossils, earth science and jewelry, as well as demonstrations and sales. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Pioneer Pavilion at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park. Phone: (830)990-9823 January 20

Fredericksburg Music Club Presents Vocalist Ava Pine

FREDERICKSBURG This 2011 Grammy nominee excels in music ranging from Baroque to Contemporary. Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, 1800 N. Llano. (830)990-2886

Wild Game Dinner

BANDERA Enjoy everything from venison chili to wild boar, bear and elk. Hours are 4-7 p.m. Grace Lutheran Church. (830)796-3091 January 30

“Drumline Live”

BOERNE This show-stopping marching band extravaganza takes parades from the football stadium to center stage. Boerne Champion High School Auditorium, 201 Charger Blvd. (830)331-9079 January 31

“The Sacred Spirit of Russia”

FREDERICKSBURG Conspirare choral concert features vibrant works by composers Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Grechaninov, prolific choral writer Pavel Chesnokov and others. St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 306 W. San Antonio. (830)997-9554

January 26

Luckenbach Blues Festival

LUCKENBACH (830)997-3224,


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January 2013


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TESTIMONIALS: “I learned that I can do it. For years I tried to be healthy and keep my weight under control, but it was always the yoyo effect so to say... I’d lose weight by depriving myself of certain foods, but then would gain it all back. This time around I looked at food differently. I didn’t and still continue not seeing the “bad” food as food I can’t eat, but rather food I don’t want to eat because of what it does to my body and the healthy food like fruits and veggies I looked at as foods that were going to help my body stay strong and healthy. The “Eat Your Greens” paper that I think you posted really helped, because every time I put the spinach, kale, or arugula in my mouth I’m thinking things like, “This is helping my body fight diseases like cancer”(which a lot of my family members have battled with.) I’m feeling good! Feeling good is when you don’t have to fight to get your pants buttoned every morning or when you realize that you can actually feel yourself lighter as you walk, because you’re not carrying the extra weight that wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place. I started at 132 and am now at 122 so it’s only 10lbs, but I need to measure myself because I know for a fact that I’ve lost tons of inches the proof is in that EVERY SINGLE pair of pants I own are now either literally falling off of me or fitting loose. .” Jenn M., Mission, Texas “My energy level has greatly improved! I don’t have hardly any trouble with my legs. I was dealing with swelling, constant leg cramps, and overall exhaustion. I had adrenal gland failure and the muscles to my legs were like cut off. No strength at all. I still can’t work out a ton because I haven’t built much stamina, but the fact that I can get on the elliptical at all is a miracle! I had tried so many things such as eliminating gluten and dairy and I just never saw real results. I was so excited when I lost the first few pounds because I had not been able to lose weight for several years! I had tried everything. Getting the use of my legs back well that was huge. It is not a struggle anymore to do daily tasks. I finally learned how to make myself a priority. I am not all the way there yet, but I have at least put myself back on the list since I feel so much better. I will get discouraged sometimes when I realize I have lost nearly 30 pounds and only went down 1 clothes size, but I feel so much better that I don’t want to turn back. I don’t want to feel sick again. I know eventually I will be able to exercise more and maybe then I can get my body back too! I started out at a 187 and I now weigh 160.” Jennifer T., Willis, Texas

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Fair Oaks

Boerne Stage Rd.

210-698-9669 • 25840 IH 10W • Boerne, TX 78006

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39390 W IH 10 #C - Boerne, Tx 78006 830-981-2210 (p) | 830-755-6055 (f) showroom by appointment

January 2013


Old Timer Welcome to 2013. I guess. I don’t know. 2012 pretty much pissed me off. Want to hear about it? Of course you do. So here goes. 1. The Post Office continues to get

on my last nerve. Has anybody seen the sign above the building? It says “US PO T OFFICE”. Seriously? They can’t even scrape together the $50 it would cost to fix their sign? And only a government operation would take it as “satisfactory” that there is ALWAYS a line out the door. A business owner would accommodate for peak hours and provide exemplary service by fully staffing his business. Not the government. You just stand there, citizen, and enjoy the line in our dingy, broke down building.

2. Traffic. River Road has lost its mind.

When all those high school kids spill out of Champion, the road locks up like a parking lot. It doesn’t have to be this way. Routing the kids out into different location, timing the lights, or even a traffic cop would do wonders. And just you wait till those new housing developments fire up on River Road. 1500 new houses spitting out all those commuters at 7:30am should make for a wonderful start to your day.


2012 3. Winter. What happened to winter?

We used to at least have a month or two that were cold, but we haven’t had a cold month in 2 years. It’s strange, I tell ya. I don’t even care for cold weather all that much, but dammit, it just doesn’t seem natural for our seasons to only be Summer and Spring. I blame Al Gore.

4. People. That’s right. People in

general have been pissing me off lately. Yes, you with your nose buried in your stupid phone while you walk on Main Street. Yes, you punk kids with the baggy jeans. Of course, now the “in” thing is for boys to wear girl’s jeans, which pisses me off even more. Yes, every politician in every office in this

entire country should be kicked out. I’ve had it with all of them. Yes, you people that muck up my traffic in town. All of you. I’ve had it. Whew – I need to sit down for a second.

5. 2012, in general. What a stupid

year. An election that was, what, 3.5 years long? Continued financial calamity. Terrorist threats. War. The TSA. Hurricanes. Idiots with big guns. Drought. And the ever-loving Post Office. Here’s to 2013. It had BETTER be an improvement over 2012. Got a question for the Old Timer? He loves to hear from you (sort of)! Drop him an email at

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January 2013



By Jon Whitaker

We’re kicking in the door of a new year, while the sound track to our life plays commandingly in the background. Then as we walk through the doorway we straighten our tie (or dress), adjust our hat (or pony tail), while saying “…Thank You…” then gazing into the distance, we get started… And all this would be a lot less fun if not for that soundtrack amplifying our internal determination. That’s the power of music in Film, and that’s just what we’ll Explore. Now I readily admit this topic was not on my radar this month until two funny things happened, or one funny, the other not so much. The first was a little birdie (or a few little birdies) said “what about 6 movies based on their soundtracks?” Now I was all geared up for a totally different theme this month when the second thing happened, my dad passed away. He had been battling a mental disease for the past 10 years and about 12 months ago it really took hold. Although it was not unexpected or tragic, it still did cause me to slow my metaphorical train down to a stop, so I could jump off and go for a quick “walkabout.” Which I did do, and I’m grateful for. When I returned it really hit me what a wonderful gift music truly is. And music has been a great source of healing, for undoubtedly more than just myself. So, that being said wrong, I decided to jump back on and have some fun. Being a musician (as we all are), I love the use of it in movies. Weather it’s a musical, or a suspenseful scene, a mood setting background track, or a “montage” that flies use “the audience” through a “growing” part of a visual story. It has the power to transcend words, pierce our shells, and speak directly to our true selves. This is amazing if you really think about it. This is one of the many reasons I made the jump from “art” to Film. Speaking of which, in “Monumental Art/ Journey of the Tejano Monument” I was lucky enough to bump into a couple of local guy’s who would literally save my bacon. It was late summer, and I was exhausted from the previous 12 months of filming, and was dreading the post production editing mountain that lay ahead when I bumped into Adam Gitter and Billy Kazenas. Turns out they where musicians and had many original instrumental songs recorded and done and were happy to allow me to inject them into the project. It was a perfect fit, literally. I have learned by now that some things just work out better if I stay out of the way, and that’s just what happened in this case. Though I did add some of my own piano and guitar to the project, these guy’s songs carry the entire body of the documentary, and beautifully I might add. So music can make or break a film, and in my option these guy’s allow this project to take flight. Thanks Adam and Billy, you guy’s saved my arrr’s. (check out for a taste) So with all this in mind we are off to Sound Tracks. I got to lead with Vision Quest. It stars Matthew Modine as determined outsider who is driven to achieve his goal of beating a wrestling opponent that is literally out of his league, but is the best. So he holds nothing back as he seeks to challenge himself against the best. All this while Journey, Foreigner, Reo-Speedwagon, John Waite, Sammy Hagar (pre-VH) set the mood perfectly. You’ll love it. And y’all know me, I love a segway, so here’s Chitty-Chitty, Bang-Bang. Anyone that can come up with a character like “James Bond,” and “Crackamus Pots,” as Ian Fleming has done, is a hero in my book. C-C-B-B is a wonderful family adventure that truly makes you smile inside. And after you watch it you’ll find yourself whistling or flat out singing “…toot-sweet, toot-sweet, that wonderful magical treat that you tweet…” (Gee, I went too far…). It’s so much fun though, and you couldn’t pick a better family movie for a cold weekend evening. On that evening, watch how seamlessly they transition from playing on the beach, into an imaginary tale. Perfect. “…I-am what I am-what I am-what I am-what I am----I’m Popeye…” Yep, Robin Williams is perfect as the squinty eyed first mate in search of his “Pappy” in this corky, witty, musical-comedy brought to life by legendary director Robert Altmen (of Mash fame). He is also from of one of my favorite towns, Kansas City (Mo.). Popeye is great though - it’s just so wrong

that it becomes perfectly right. And this is another one that will have you singing long after the credits roll. Last of the Mohicans. I mean what can you say about this movie directed by Michael Mann? It has it all - perfect cast, perfect location, perfectly complex and simple story, and a sound track that is hard to even describe. “Moving” is the only word I can think of. I know most of you have seen this one, but check it out again. It really is as close to a perfect movie as I believe you can get. I even own the sound track on CD to this day. And Michael Mann is one of those directors that has the ability to translate emotion with sound, which I know is not a one man show. Every project of his has this quality, so feel safe in watching any of his films; including Thief with James Caan, which I just watched last night. How about this…Sucker Punch. This movie is one of the coolest movie I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s been kicked around a bit by the media and critics, but damn it’s cool. Again the sound track is front and center in the story telling of this project. And I know, I know, scantily clad women kicking ass is a cliché. But this movie is not what you think. It’s a flat out toe curling, beautifully imaginative story, that is done with such a light touch, that it really is almost in a genre all to its self. An “Action-Chick flick,” that truly is both. Hats off to Zack Snyder (of 300, and Watchmen) for creating a movie ahead of its time. Once, this one got some great bounce and had a great theatrical run for an independent project, and all you need do is watch it to see why. Now chances are you’ve seen it, even still, it’s worth watching again. This is a fictional intimate look at the life of a few struggling musicians in Ireland, and the creative spark that can happen sometimes. They say that art imitates life, or vice versa, but if you want to see it happen in real time, this is the one for you. There was magic in the air on this set no doubt. And thankfully we are all the beneficiaries of some people that took a risk, and decide to make a movie that had the potential to capture such a beautiful thing. I’m going to change it up here and close with Red Belt. Soundtrack on this one is just fine, it’s not the driving force of the movie, but the story has so much energy that the soundtrack can ride shotgun. It’s a martial arts movie with soul, by writer/director David Mamet (of Glengarry Glen Ross, Hoffa). But the casting would probably have you walk right past it (if you could still walk through the isles of a movie rental store). It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Emily Mortimer, and Tim Allen, which are all perfect casts, but are not the star power you need for an action flick (which again is part of the genius of this movie). It’s a real “Sleeper” (translation: an un-known bad ass). And one that will stand the test of time due to its message and energy, along with one of the best endings I’ve ever seen. So motivation, message, execution are all absolute things to check off the list when creating a movie. But if we don’t allow music the place it deserves, be it in our daily lives, or in movies, the heights that we must achieve will be that much further away. And sound tracks have the ability to close that gap and be the song we hear in our heart. Plus it’s just more fun when there’s great music involved, no matter what we’re doing. And I also wanted to close, for good this time, with a big Thank You to my dad for many things, including kindling a love for good movies. And despite all the many levels of pain recently, right now I choose to remember watching almost all of the John Wayne/John Ford movies together, and me just a kid sitting next to his dad (The Searchers was my favorite). I know he’s off somewhere right now slapping The Duke on the back, as he gives him a hard time for not making movies anymore.

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January 2013



By Tom Geoghegan |

Just when we thought that the Holidays would never end, we coasted into the serenity that surrounds New Years Eve….a time of reflection on the year past, and new resolutions for the upcoming year. With that spirit in mind, I had some simple thoughts on continuing that sense of discovery. Step one is to remember the very, very important #1 rule of wine….there are no rules! Wine started out mysterious and pretentious, but over the years most of us have accepted the basic fact that wine is fun, makes every meal special, and is at its best enjoyed with family and friends. You can get into the complexity as much as you like, but I prefer to keep it simple…Drink what you enjoy and can afford. But if the study of wine makes it more enjoyable, go for it….the history and personalities are fascinating. Another of the beauties of wine is that it’s so uniquely personal… everyone’s opinion counts, and can be considered valid. There are very few things in life where 2 people can try something, and come up with 2 opinions, and both are right… the eye of the beholder conundrum! Let’s take a quick look at a variety of resolutions that will enhance your enjoyment of wine. This year make it one of your resolutions to step out of your comfort zone and try something new and different. If you’re a red lover, try a white and vice versa. California lover, try an import or a Texas wine. Another resolution suggestion would be to split the cost of the bottle with another friend, couple, etc. and then share your observations and comments with some light appetizers. With the right circle of friends, you can then progress to starting a tasting group. With everyone kicking some dollars into the “wine kitty” and the venue rotating among the various group member’s homes, it’s amazing how many new friends you can make, and how many new wines you can discover in a year. And did we mention moderation? Some of you remember the famous “French Paradox” segment on 60 minutes over 20 years ago. It got a lot of us thinking about the possible health benefits. The mantra was a glass of wine a day, and should still apply today. The heart benefits of an aspirin a day is a good analogy. No one in the medical community will tell you that to have a really healthy heart you should take a whole bottle of aspirin a day…same goes with wine. Let moderation be your guide. Next resolution is to use the BTG (By the glass) option that many restaurants and wine bars offer. This is a great way to sample a variety of wines without the cost of buying the bottle. And a knowledgeable server is worth their weight in gold. Make it one of your other resolutions to establish that relationship with your favorite wine guy/gal on the retail side, and your favorite server/bartender on the restaurant side. Those that truly listen can quickly narrow your search down to your favorite style of wine. Hitting the Texas wine trail gives you a local alternative to the California wine country as an “educational” resolution. This is too close to pass up (Highway 290 just outside of Fredericksburg) and offers you over 20 wineries to visit and sample. Some of those winter Texas weekends are just spectacular enough to do

a day-trip there…Enjoy! And in all your travels, try the 21st century version of the wine journal…your cell-phone camera for your wine record keeping resolution. Almost all of us shop visually, and what better way to ask your favorite wine guy or gal to help you find or order a wine than to be able to show them an actual picture(remember to take front and back, especially on the imports). My celebration resolution is to drink more Champagne. In Finding Nemo, we learned from the sharks that “fish are friends, not food.” And we need to adjust our mindset to a new view of Champagne…it’s not just for New Years anymore. It’s a great wine to pair with food. A sparkling wine makes any occasion a special one, even if it’s just to celebrate the end of the week. Price range can be moderate for some very nice Cava’s and Proseccos to the extremes of the great French champagnes, and right in the middle, the California and Franco/Cali hybrids for the value range. The must have accessory are the classic sparkling re-corkers. Those little tools can extend the life of an opened bottle for several days, at least till the weekend when you can reward yourself with a classic Mimosa…what a great way to start the weekend. Try it with food…the results will amaze you. Lastly, some recommendations on some new areas and varietals to add to your resolution list. California is a great place to start, especially the Paso Robles, Lodi, and Mendocino AVA’s (American Viticultural Area). Some very nice blends (both red and white), Zinfandels, Pinot Gris, Viogniers, and other lesser know varietals are gaining in popularity. Napa and Sonoma are always traditional fall back appellations. Washington and Oregon are producing better and better wines each vintage. And did you know that Texas is one of only 3 states that has the strict requirement that if it says Texas on the label, that 100% of that juice must come from the great state of Texas…talk about bragging rights for quality! Import areas to look for are Spain, Argentina, and Germany. Tempranillo and other Spanish varietal are providing great wines at bargain prices, while Malbec, Torrontes, and other varietals from there are taking the value thunder away from Chile. Germany is not just sweet anymore either. Take the time to look for the Troken or Halb Troken (dry or half dry) versions of the Riesling grape. Writing these last few articles has been a very rewarding experience, and I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts, insights, and recommendations as much as I did sharing them. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to listen to you the readers. I would welcome your comments, and especially your ideas for future articles. Please e-mail me at There are so many simple things in life that bring us joy…the laughter of our children, the smile of a spouse…the list can go quite a ways. So for 2013, let me humbly ask you include a glass of wine. Lastly, let me conclude with a little historical trivia from a Ben Franklin quote. In 1779, he actually wrote that “wine is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Sorry to hurt all the beer drinkers, but I heartily agree with old Ben.


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January 2013



By Kendall D. Aaron

I live on some property just outside of Boerne that backs up to an enormous hill. I won’t call it a “mountain”, but darn it, it’s pretty tall. It has to be one of the taller hills in the area. My property does not run to the top of the hill, but I got a wild hair the other day and figured that it was about time that I climb that old hill. I jumped a fence, then another, ducked under countless cedar trees, and after a half dozen stops to catch my breath, I reached the top of the hill. I sat down at the top and was simply overwhelmed. I’m 6 miles outside Boerne and I could see the water tower on School Street clearly. I could see miles in every direction, and it took me minutes to take it all in. The wind was pretty blustery, but the skies were blue and the vistas stretched endlessly. Once my feeble mind had processed the scope of the entire sight, I was able to simply sit and enjoy. Slowly my thoughts melted away like ice cream and eventually it was a most precious moment to simply sit, enjoy, and be peaceful. I thought about how lucky I was, how much I love my family, and how my life was going. I was at peace. After a while I thought about how ridiculous it is that sometimes we must travel to such great lengths to find peace. Why can I not have this feeling of peace while sitting in my warm living room? Why must I climb Mt. Everest to find solace? I realized that sometimes peace can be hard to come by. Author Catherine Marshall tells a story I really like in one of her books: “A king once offered a prize to the artist who could paint the best picture of peace. Many tried, but there were only two the king really liked. One was of a calm lake. It was a perfect mirror for the peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. The other picture had mountains too. But they were rugged and bare. Above them was an angry sky from which fell rain, and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountains tumbled a waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in spite of the rush of angry water, she sat on her nest - in perfect peace. Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Why? ‘Because,’ explained the king, ‘Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the middle of all these things and still be calm in your heart.’” After reading that, it really struck a chord with me. Don’t we all complain about the noise that surrounds us? Don’t we all bemoan our stresses at work, our troubles at home, and our empty bank accounts? And I’m probably worst than most. My job is killing me, taxes are wiping me out, and deadlines are constantly looming. Next month is going to be rough at work, this summer is going to be stressful, and next fall will be wild. I stress out about events that are months away and that may not even happen. And then I wonder why I can’t find my “peace”. One of my favorite verses is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I can resist temptation, I can be successful, and I can even find peace if I want it. Basically, I can do anything. However, in order to do that, I must understand where my strength comes from. Is it my ambition? Sort of. Is it my perseverance? It helps. But my real strength comes from Christ and my ability to shut my trap for a minute, sit still, and focus on Him. I must close off the world for a moment, my own worries, and my outside distracters and allow Him to put His arms around me and reassure me. The world is a noisy, dirty place. Without the presence of mind to SEEK your solace, you’ll never attain it. As we enter a new year, I pray that you’ll find a “mountain”, pack some water and go on an adventure. Even if your backyard has nothing more than the kid’s jungle gym.

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January 2013



By Christine Friesenhan |

Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak. Same thing, right? I mean, if you look at the internet, cookbook recipes, menus, and anywhere else, you might think they are interchangeable, for sure. There are so many different ways to say things in the South; this must just be an example of different local terminologies for the same thing. In the South, you wouldn’t say someone was crazy….You would choose from one of these: -- he’s a few biscuits short of a dozen -- he’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic -- he ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed -- the cheese has slid off his cracker So it is reasonable to believe that Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak are just two different ways to refer to the same meal. But such thinking would be a mistake. And in the South, we take our food seriously. I am pretty sure some multi-generational family feuds have started over the “right” way to smoke a brisket, cook a pot of chili, or fry some chicken. If you were to even suggest in some parts of the South that Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak were ubiquitous, you may be committing great heresy. There are some minor schools of thought that suggest the difference is just in the breading. That the chicken fried method requires rolling in seasoned flour, and the country fried

method involves coating in some sort of crumbs, such as bread, cracker, or corn flakes. And some will claim the difference lies in the actual frying vessel. That to be chicken fried, something must be fried in a deep fryer, while something fried in a skillet is called country fried. The real answer is (as it is in many territorial food disputes) is not so black and white. Chicken Fried Steak is a thinly cut and tenderized piece of steak, which may be either dredged in seasoned flour or crumbs, or even battered in a wet batter. It is then fried, either in a skillet, or deep fried, until golden brown and cooked throughout. In most of the United States, it may be served with brown gravy, pan gravy, or cream gravy, whether on the side or poured on top of the steak. In Texas, however, Chicken Fried Steak (CFS) is always served with cream gravy. If a Texan serves you a Chicken Fried Steak with something other than cream gravy, you should question the veracity of their citizenship claims. Country Fried Steak makes use of the same cuts of meat, and like its Chicken Fried cousin, may be coated in a variety of breadings. Country Fried Steak is always cooked in a skillet. And once it is done on both sides, the gravy is made around it in the pan— brown gravy is the most common---and then it is simmered in the gravy for a few minutes to finish it


Serves 4 • 2 pounds cube steak 2 cups whole milk • 4 beaten eggs 2 t Tobasco sauce • 3 cups all-purpose flour 3 t salt • 3 t black pepper 2 t paprika • Oil, for frying


stick butter • 4 T flour cups milk • teaspoons salt teaspoons coarse-ground black pepper

off. For this reason, Country Fried Steak is always made in a skillet. And since it is simmered in the gravy after being fried, it is less crispy. So, Chicken Fried Steak may be made in either a skillet or deep-fried, and served with gravy after cooking. Country Fried Steak is always made in a skillet, and simmered in the gravy before serving. Subtle differences? Perhaps. Has it been the cause of a few territorial food feuds? Certainly. Is it worth trying both of them out to see for yourself which one is best? Absolutely! Of course, after your done choosing sides, you need to choose some sides. In Texas, CFS is always served with mashed potatoes, and copious quantities of cream gravy. In fact, we tend to think of gravy as a beverage. Green beans are often the second side dish, but if you are feeling crazy, try something different. Like green beans cooked in bacon. Or green beans stewed in tomatoes. Maybe even green beans cooked with onion. Live a little outside the box! In other states, people even eat corn with their chicken fried steak or broccoli. I’ve even heard that some folks will eat it with fried cabbage. Go figure!


Serves 4 • 2 pounds cube steak pieces oil, for frying • 3 t salt 2 t ground pepper 3 cups all-purpose flour • 4 beaten eggs

FOR THE BROWN GRAVY: 2 tablespoons reserved fat from skillet 1 1/2 tablespoons flour 1/2 cup milk • 1 1/2 cups beef stock salt • black pepper


Preheat oven to 275°. Heat oil to a depth of ¼” in a heavy or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Combine flour, salt and pepper in large bowl. Place the beaten eggs in a medium bowl. Dredge cube steak pieces into the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and then the flour mixture again. Add the meat, a few pieces at a time to the skillet, and cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove to a baking sheet, and keep warm in the oven while you finish the rest of the meat.Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat drippings from the pan. Return pan to heat, and whisk in flour until smooth. Slowly whisk in milk and beef stock, a little at a time, until smooth and thoroughly incorporated. Allow to simmer, reduce heat to low, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Return steak to skillet, turning to coat with gravy, and allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until gravy has thickened.

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By Wendy Little

Take 39 young people who all love music and marching bands and where marching in a band has been a way of life. Put that together

with two band directors and a band booster president with a big idea. Ten years later you have Drumline Live - an explosive theatrical production highlighting the folklore of the show-style marching bands rooted in more than 50 years of history, dating back to the marching bands of Florida A&M University, the nation’s top historically black university marching band school.

Downsizing a real marching band from 200 members to 39 was the first hurdle that these three men would encounter when they were

first dreaming up this concept. Co-Producer Reggie Brayon explains, “We knew we loved watching marching bands and we figured other people did too, so we wanted to give them that experience on a smaller scale as a theatrical production.” Four years ago, the group was created by holding auditions throughout the south, but also via Facebook and YouTube. They were looking for people who not only could play, but play and march, play and dance, and play multiple instruments. “Having been in a marching band themselves is practically a requirement to be in the group,” Brayon said. “You have to have lived the lifestyle to know what it’s like.” The members also treasure the opportunity to continue in the lifestyle after college because of the uniqueness of the marching band experience, especially in the Southern black colleges.

What about those people who are skeptical on watching two hours of marching band style music? Brayon explains, “Diverse audiences

are the norm for us. People always say they came out of curiosity and they love it — it’s never what they expect.” Drumline Live is about a marching band, but there’s a lot more to it than typical marching band music. It tells a story that begins with the origin of the drum in Africa all the way up to Big Band music of the 30’s and 40’s, soul music of the 60’s, and current rap and R&B sounds. There’s swing music, 70’s, 80’s, hip-hop, gospel — there’s something for everyone. The show comes to the Champion High School Auditorium Wednesday, January 30, at 7:30 p.m.

Drumline Live, presented by the local community organization Boerne Performing Arts, will also be performing a student outreach

program to 1000 elementary and middle school students that was made possible through sponsorships/donations from local businesses and individuals. When asked how he felt about this student outreach program Brayon replied, “music and arts education is critical for the development of our youth and is an essential part of their development. We want them to see and feel how music has such a powerful effect on everyone and how rewarding playing a musical instrument and performing can be.”

Drumline Live will be one of the featured artists for Boerne Performing Arts’ second season series, along with The 5 Browns and Celtic

Nights, both of which are in February. Sold out shows are anticipated for all three shows. “The cast loves a sold out house,” Brayon said. “It’s just an affirmation of your craft. Nothing feels as good as performing in front of a full house.”

So what will 39 energetic young performers do with their free time when they are in Boerne, Texas? “We might have some free time.

We are traveling from New Mexico to Boerne so I am sure the first thing we will want to do is rest and get the best food Boerne has to offer,” Brayon said. Fire up the grill Boerne restaurants, from the appearance of these performances and the energy required to put on this show, it looks like these kids are going to be hungry!

Tickets for Drumline Live are available online at, by phone at 830-331-9079 or in person at the Boerne

Chamber of Commerce or the Boerne Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For more information visit or call 830-331-9079.

Ticket ($30-$40-$50) can be purchased at OR 830-331-9079 OR in person at: Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce – Boerne Convention & Visitors Bureau All performances at 7:30pm at Boerne Champion High School Auditorium

Boerne Performing Arts operates under the auspices of Hill Country Council for the Arts, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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January 2013



Stanley Stei N

Sidney Levyso

By Margorie Hagy

‘Each time someone stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.’ - Robert F. Kennedy

Previous page: Sidney Levyson/Stanley Stein in his later years Left: Entrance to Marine Hospital 66 Above: Indian Camp Plantation

Boerne resident Sidney Levyson took on leprosy, changed his name, had his health deteriorate, and somehow managed to live out every dream he ever had. Like so many of us, the young man had it all planned out. He could look down the long vista of his years at the careful, peaceful life he'd planned. He was a pharmacist like his father before him, he would get married, have children, a home and a quiet respectability in this mountain town that had come to finally accept his family. And, like many of us, he would see the reins of his well-ordered future yanked from his hands and his life would end up millions of miles and, in some ways, centuries away from where he'd thought he was going. But like those few who choose to thrive where they land in spite of their well-laid plans, those who know that hope more than bravery makes up the better part of courage, this young man bowed to those forces. He allowed fate, accident, and God swept over his life, instead of standing immovable in their path with fists clenched refusing to relinquish his own will. This young man like the very few heroes laid down his weapons and gathered up tools instead with which to build a new future. 'Instead of bemoaning the things that I have lost,' said the man at the end of his life, 'I try to make the most of what I have left...for everything you have missed, you have gained something else.' And in the end, not only the man but the world itself, gained something extraordinary. He was born Sidney Maurice Levyson in 1899. His family was from Gonzalez, Texas, but their wagon might've boasted a bumper sticker that said that though they hadn't been born in Boerne they got here as quickly as they could. Sidney's grandfather Paul Levyson was an 'old-school patriarch, and only-partially-reconstructed Confederate, a deep-in-the-heart-of Texan and a successful businessman,' who'd served with the Confederacy and fought at the siege of Vicksburg in the Civil War, and now owned the general store in Gonzalez. He lived in a rambling colonial-style house there with six of his nine children- five of his unmarried daughters, and his son Albert and Albert's wife and little son Sidney. Sidney was spoiled rotten in the bosom of this big family until his fifth year, when his father left the management of the old man's store and moved briefly to Shiner, Texas, before settling finally in Boerne. Albert Levyson was a registered pharmacist, and he opened up his drugstore in the then almost-new Rud, Carstanjen building on the southwest corner of the Square right in the middle of town. I think it's an easy trap to fall into, this romanticizing of the past in a rosy, idyllic light, a history softened with the patina of nostalgia until the past seems like a kinder, gentler world. But the truth is that Boerne in the early years of the 20th century wasn't filled with the capering carolers of Dickens on Main. Victorian England was a long way away from the isolated farming village in the hills above San Antonio peopled with hard-shelled, insular German stock, and a Jewish family like the Levysons didn't arrive to a thundering welcome. Germans haven't always been famed for their acceptance of Jews anyway, and by the time Sidney was born, Boerne had already fifty years to close in on itself, for its Ammanns and Vogts and Wollschlaegers to intermarry and intermingle and close ranks. So that when the Levysons rolled into town they weren't exactly met on the Square with a laurel and hearty handshake and a big banner proclaiming 'Welcome Jews!' Sidney's mother was a native-born German and since, as Sidney pointed out, 'many of the townspeople were first-generation Germans, my mother was delighted to be among them,' but the feeling was by no means mutual. 'My mother,' Sidney wrote, 'had cried herself in secret over the refusal of her supposed fellow-countrymen to make friends with the Juden.' But the year the Levysons arrived to set up shop in Boerne, 1904, was during the boom years of the town's resort years, and people suffering from tuberculosis and other lung and breathing disorders were pouring into town in droves, overwhelming Wilke's, Boerne's only other drugstore. The arrival of a new pharmacist provided a much-needed service. The family lived in an apartment in the back of the drugstore, and a doctor who also happened to be the mayor, also had his office in the building and became a good friend, no doubt

helping to establish the family's goodwill with the Boerne folks. 'Old Dr. WT Reeve was a great friend of mine,' Sidney recalled, 'And often took me with him on house calls, at first in his horse and buggy and later in his Model T.' The boy and his family began slowly to make inroads, but slowly; there were still issues, age-old mistrust and suspicion of the Juden in their midst. 'We were the only Jewish family in town, and the close-knit German community was slow to accept us...the neighborhood boys often sent me home in tears with their taunts of "sheeny" and "Jew boy."' The result was that instead of public school, Sidney's parents made the decision to send him to the Holy Angel's Academy, operated by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word (it used to stand, along with Dr. Herff's St. Mary's Sanitarium, on the site of the new city campus.) 'I suppose my parents,' recalled Sidney, 'reasoned that the Good Sisters could not be overtly anti-Semitic.' Over the next seven years Sidney and his family did become more or less grudgingly accepted into their adopted community, so much so that for Sidney, some of his former tormentors became his closest friends. In 1914 he was assistance to the manager- a kind of gopher- of the Boerne White Sox, and later transferred to Boerne High School, where he graduated in 1915. He was interested in two possible careers: along with fellow BHS student Pauline Luckenbach, he wrote a weekly column for the Boerne Star, and was a frequent contributor to the Comfort News, and thought of going into writing full-time. When sent out on deliveries, he said, he could often be found instead hanging around the Star office. Sidney also confessed to being stagestruck, a devotee of all the tent shows that came through town in those days, and he always hoped for rain so they would be driven into the shelter of Ort's Opera House where he could pick up four bits ushering and catch the shows for free. When Dr. Reeve, as mayor, ran a medicine show out of town, Sidney said, 'he almost lost my friendship.' So in his senior year he sent away for literature from both journalism and theater schools, but his dad nixed both ideas. 'I'm not getting any younger,' lectured the old man, 'And I've got a going concern here that will have to be taken over one of these days. You'd better study pharmacy.' So he did. He graduated from the University Of Texas School Of Pharmacy in Galveston in 1919, but his education was interrupted for a time when he was drafted into service in WWI. Finally after graduating, he came back to Boerne to tend the family store. Sidney worked hard and he played hard. He loved to dance at the Boerne Dance Club, whose members he once talked into staging an ambitious musical. He thought of nothing but driving his car into San Antonio and dancing the night away on the roof of the Gunter Hotel, driving home in the wee hours and getting up again to go to work in the store. It was a good life, a happy, carefree life, and it seemed to stretch before him, unbroken, down into the far-distant future. But around this time, Sidney began to have some mysterious symptoms. His face would often swell up, and his eyes would become red and puffy, and a strange red welt appeared on his wrist. Dr. Reeve, puzzled, sent him to a specialist in San Antonio, who diagnosed hyperacidity- a popular diagnosis at the time- and sent him on his way with a bottle of Robert's Antacid Tablets. And that was the end of that. Albert Levyson eventually sold his drugstore in Boerne, and the family moved to San Antonio where Sidney took a job at Wagner's Drugstore with Boerne friends Max Theis and Charlie Saunders. He had been, he said, having 'a gay time in Boerne,' and his mother 'was at last happy in Boerne. She had made her peace with the German colonists and had been accepted as a member of the Royal Neighbors and the Sisters of Hermann'. She had also performed as a soloist at the annual Saengerfest, but Albert's health was failing, and his wife and son talked him into accepting the offer for the store and retiring to San Antonio. Then it was in 1920, while Sidney was working at Wagner's, that a Dr. McGlasson happened to notice that persistent red spot on Sidney's wrist and asked the young man to drop by his office. By now, Sidney also sported another welt on his knee and after a short course of radium treatment Dr.

McGlasson took skin scrapings from the welts for analysis. Sidney went back to the doctor's office the following day: '"What is it, Doctor," I blurted. "Have I got cancer?" '"No, no. Nothing like that." The doctor smiled reassuringly and I immediately grew more apprehensive. "You have leprosy," he said.' Leprosy. As a kid in his father's drugstore, Sidney remembered a mysterious woman who, he said, 'had haunted my early years like a recurring nightmare.' He said she'd come from an aristocratic old German family from San Antonio and lived in seclusion in the hills of Boerne. Rumor had it that she had once been a famous beauty, an actress or an opera singer, but now she came to town only rarely and in a closed carriage, dressed heavily in black and with her face covered in veils. 'Every Hausfrau in town knew that the disfigurement mercifully hidden behind the veil was certainly brought on by the wicked use of cosmetics, a practice abhorrent to the decent burgers of Boerne.' When Sidney's parents discussed this mysterious patient of Dr. Reeves' in his presence, they spoke in German, but Sidney recognized the German word, Aussatz: leprosy. Leprosy! 'Leprosy,' Sidney wrote, 'was something out of the Bible, or, at best, the Middle Ages. But leprosy today in Boerne, Texas was unthinkable!' And now, this doctor stood in front of him and told Sidney Levyson that he was a leper. Dr. McGlasson, who, according to Sidney, was 'at least twenty years ahead of his time in his approach to the disease', tried to reassure the devastated young man. He told Sidney that he was to go on working, go on with his social life and that leprosy wasn't as contagious as measles or whooping cough and that nobody would catch the disease from casual contact. Sidney barely heard what the doctor said. 'Leprosy! The word was not a diagnosis - it was a pronouncement of doom. My hopes and ambitions were collapsing about me. My future was in ruins. My present? A great, cold emptiness...' He told his parents, who were naturally worried but took the news calmly enough. Their concern for Sidney's condition was overshadowed just then by Albert's health. He died at Christmas time in 1921. Sidney's mother fell apart, and Sidney quit his job to take her back to Boerne, 'where she slowly regained composure amid the sympathy, the lieder, the sauerbraten and mandelshnitten of old friends.' On Sidney's return to San Antonio and to a new job at a new drugstore, he threw himself into his work and into a wild social life, active at Temple Beth-El and with the San Antonio Little Theater. Friends told him he'd never looked better. He determinedly put his diagnosis to the back of his mind and he felt like he was on top of the world. But his 'secret bacteria,' he wrote, 'were not to be denied for long.' In a matter of years, patches began to appear with increasing frequency, and on his face, where they couldn't be hidden. He hid from his friends, going to work only at night and hiding in his bathroom when people came to call. He became a stranger to his friends, one of whom didn't even recognize him when they spoke face to face. And finally he and his mother fled San Antonio, secretly, and went to New York. Once there, the doctor he saw reported Sidney to the Department of Health. American quarantine laws of the time dictated that sufferers of leprosy be locked up and isolated without recourse to legal protest. He was swept away, almost immediately, and Sidney Maurice Levyson disappeared into the night and off the face of the earth. 'I had arrived at US Marine Hospital No. 66, Carville, Louisiana,' he wrote, 'at ten o'clock on that Sunday morning, March 1, 1931, I became an exile in my own country.' In 1894, an abandoned sugar plantation on the banks of the Mississippi River deep in Louisiana, Carville had first become home to five men and two women suffering from leprosy and the mandatory quarantine laws which restricted their every movement. The Louisiana Leper Home's motto was 'a place of refuge, not reproach; a place of treatment and research, not detention,’ but many of the patients who entered the leprosarium never left. In 1921, the US Public Health Service took over and the place became US Marine Hospital 66, the National Leprosarium of the United States. Sidney's first view of the place was of the high fences topped with barbed wire, and of the uniformed guards ensuring the lepers didn't escape into the outside world. When Sidney entered Carville, he was immediately stripped of his right to vote, forbidden to use the telephone or to mix with anyone outside the hospital. He even had to leave his beloved Boston Terrier, Michael Dugan, behind. And he left something else behind as well. He left Sidney Maurice Levyson at the front gate of the leper colony. He chose, in order to save his family the shame and stigma attached to the condition that many people still looked on less as a medical diagnosis than a scourge of God, to become a new person. In the few seconds he was given to state his name, he became Stanley Stein case number 746, at Carville Leprosarium. On his first day in Marine Hospital 66 he was told of another patient, a smart man and a philosopher, a man whom he would have liked, but who was no longer there- he had killed himself by drinking a bottle of Lysol. It would have been so easy for Stanley, nee Sidney, to have fallen apart like that, locked away in this foreign place - in this no-man's-land within his own country that had stripped him of all his rights, his very personhood and his dignity. It would have been the simplest thing of all, to lay down

and quit fighting. 'How long, I wondered, must a man cower under the humiliation of being thrust beyond the pale before he could muster the courage to destroy himself?’ he mused. 'To what depths of despair and hopelessness must he sink to prefer the slow, excruciating torture of death by Lysol? Was this a hint, on my first night at the leprosarium, of what might be in store for me? Wasn't it enough that I had to fight the ravages of the disease without confronting the strictures of society, emasculation of the ego, and disintegration of the soul? Was this the beginning of the end? Was there no future for me?' There is a time, I believe, for many of us, perhaps all, when we stand naked in front of the mirror wearing only our souls, and look face to face at God. My moment came on a deck looking into an Iowa autumn. Someone else has looked into the abyss from the window of an airplane, or from a battle field or a trench, and some in their own bedrooms or on the sofa or on the altar of a church- at some point we all find ourselves in that dark night of the soul. Stanley Stein, so lately Sidney Levyson, lay in his room in the cottage in a leper colony in Carville, Louisiana, his future derailed, his dreams of writing, of acting, even his education in pharmacy gone. His life as he knew it was over. He would never leave Carville. He would die there, in fact. And when he died, he would be famous all over the world and would have changed the perception of leprosy and brought about widespread compassion and understanding for its victims. In addition to Case #746, to Stanley Stein, he would also become known as the Carville Crusader for his campaigns to change the perception of leprosy, lobbying to promote the label 'Hansen's disease' for the condition with which he and his people suffered. This was his most passionate project, and one to which he devoted his life. Two months after Stein arrived at Carville he began publishing the Sixty-Six Star (named for his beloved Boerne Star) on mimeograph paper, putting his dreams of being a journalist back into action even as he slowly lost his sight due to his disease. The Sixty-Six Star ceased publishing in 1934 because of Stanley's illness, but was reborn as simply The Star in 1941 with the mission 'Radiating the Light of Truth on Hansen's disease', a new printing press, and eventually an international audience. It had readers behind the Iron Curtain and in many foreign countries where Hansen's disease was prevalent. It became a respected semi-medical journal sometimes used as a teaching manual. Stein remained its editor until his death. By this time, Stanley was totally blind, but his light was undimmed. He was instrumental in organizing an American Legion Post within the hospital for veteran sufferers of HD and got the endorsement of several veteran's groups who sponsored the paper, contributing to the cost of equipment, postage and supplies and even selling subscriptions. Stanley Stein also saw his dreams of the stage come true at Carville, organizing a Little Theater program for the residents of Carville which was much beloved and enjoyed some critical acclaim. He was the first recipient of the Damien-Dutton Award, 'for outstanding contribution to public knowledge of Hansen's disease', which has also been presented to Mother Teresa and President John Kennedy. He was a powerful force in the elimination of many of the rules, born of superstition, fear and ignorance, which kept HD patients isolated as prisoners, such as the removal of their right to vote and the practice of sterilizing their outgoing mail. He interviewed people from all over the world and counted many as his friends, including actress Tallulah Bankhead who 'wined and dined' him whenever he was in New York- yes, in New York, because the Carville Crusader had made people realize that people with Hansen's disease weren't dangerous and didn't have to be shut off from the world. But he lived at what had become his beloved Carville, in the cottage he called 'Wit's End', until the end of his life, going to work at the Star each morning promptly at 8:30. He never married and never earned a cent in his job as editor. Towards the end of his life he settled in and finally wrote the book he'd been promising everyone he'd write someday. What he turned out was Alone No Longer: The Story of a Man Who Refused to Be One of the Living Dead. Stanley Stein, Case #746, the Carville Crusader died in 1967 and was buried alongside his parents in Temple Beth-El's old Palmetto Street Cemetery in San Antonio, under a stone that says Stanley Maurice Levyson. He'd dreamed of being a writer, a journalist, of going on the stage, but fell in with grace to his father's wishes and pictured a happy, peaceful, anonymous future compounding his prescriptions over a counter in Boerne. And when that future was destroyed in one devastating blow, when the young man from Boerne, with his future all mapped out, was handed news worse than he ever imagined possible (diagnosed with a disease he thought had only existed in another time and in another world) he was bowed but not broken. And he did become a writer, and he did go on the stage. Because he lived- because he chose to live, and because of the way he chose to live- he changed the face of a disease, and made the lives of thoughts of people living with a disease better and happier. 'I try to make the best of each day,' mused Stanley Stein at the end of his life. 'Not grieving over yesterday, and not being too concerned over what may happen tomorrow.' And that, it strikes me, is a pretty fine definition of courage.

N F L S U N D AY T I C K E T • O U T D O O R PAT I O • P O O L TA B L E • D A R T S S O M E W E E K E N D S F E AT U R I N G A C O U S T I C M U S I C A R T I S T S



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cibolo nature Every Saturday in January Farmers Market at the Cibolo, 33 Herff Road, Boerne 9:00-1:00pm (Winter Hours) The Farmers Market at the Cibolo features locally produced, high-quality organic or natural foods and products such as vegetables and fruits, heritage lamb, pork, farm-fresh eggs, exclusively created baked goods, artisan chocolates, edible ornamental plants and organic gardening supplies – plus a demonstration organic veggie garden. Enjoy breakfast and listen to live music while you shop. Cibolo Nature Center Programs January 1-6 CNC offices closed for the Holidays Trails are open—get outside & play! (The Pavilion restrooms will be available) JANUARY 12 Kids Club: Pet Rocks Rock! Hey kids – ready for a pet but not ready for the mess? Come out to Kid’s Club at the nature center and find your very own pet rock. It is guaranteed to be the easiest pet you have ever cared for. Your parents will love it! Find your rock out here or bring one from home. We have paint, google eyes, glitter – all the things to make your pet rock ROCK! For ages 3 - 103. No drop-offs, please. Time: 10-11:30 am. Location: CNC Visitor Center Cost: $5 per family January 12 Second Saturday Volunteer Day of Service Won’t you consider joining us? The nature center needs your help to keep our buildings and grounds looking pristine and ready for visitors. Projects: Trail Restoration at the Narrows and Woodland Trails Time: 9-noon Location: Meet at the CNC Visitor Center January 15 Mother Nature’s Storytime: Buffalo! Buffalo are one of the biggest members of their family. They are the largest land animals in North America. A long, long time ago the prairie land around the nature center was covered in buffalo.  We have a visitor at the nature center named “Cibolo” – a real buffalo head that you can touch and talk about.  What did it eat?  How did it stay warm in the

winter? Are there any alive today? Wear your walking shoes and bring a jacket so we can take a nature walk through the Cibolo prairie and imagine what it was like to walk with the buffalo. Time: 10-11 am CNC Visitor Center Cost: $5 per family January 15 Heron Rookery Training This free training session is required of heron rookery monitors. This class covers research on great blue heron rookeries and explains how the Cibolo Preserve project adds to this body of knowledge. Rookery monitors will sign up at the meeting. After the presentation, the group will visit a rookery site on the Cibolo Preserve. Please come and bring a friend. Presenter: J. W. Pieper Location: CNC auditorium Time: 9 am-Noon January 19, 26 & February 2 Wildlife Tax Valuation Workshop Do you have an agriculture tax valuation on your land? Are you interested in managing for wildlife? This in-depth seminar is especially for owners with more than 20 acres and emphasizes wildlife management strategies that improve native habitat and increase species diversity. Our presenters will help you gain land management knowledge, understand the history of this Texas law and fulfill requirements to qualify for a wildlife management tax valuation. Many participants complete the seminar with a concrete plan and are ready to apply. Session 1: Overview & Property Inventory January 19 9 am-1 pm Session 2: Management Practices & Habitat Assessment January 26 9 am-2:30 pm Session 3: WTV History and Update on the Law, Application Procedures & Putting It All Together February 2 9 am-1 pm Presenter: Rufus Stephens Location: CNC auditorium Tuition: $80 single/$100 couple for members; $100 single/$125 couple for non members


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fitness challenge



In September last year, we here at EXPLORE tried a little experiment. Offer 90 days of free CrossFit classes to people who wanted a change in their life. After an overwhelming response from our readers and with the help of the great coaches at Hill Country CrossFit we introduced the EXPLORE 90 DAY FITNESS CHALLENGE. Though we were pleased with the enthusiastic response of the participants, we fully expected at least half of them not to make it through the entire 90 days. People would injure themselves, get lazy or just plain lose interest. We are very happy to report that ALL starting participants stuck with the program for the entire duration. As a reward for everyone’s dedication and incredible results from the program, we enlisted area retailers and salons to help with post challenge make overs. Hill Country CrossFit coach Chach Luevano also weighs in with his thoughts on each participant. Special thanks to Simply Serene Salon and Spa, Tres Bella Salon & Wavelengths for providing haircuts and styling, as well as makeup. Thank you also to Ella Blue, Christy’s Boutique, Traditions, The Shoppe and Bealls for loaning outfits to the participants for their photo shoots. A very special thank you to Hill Country Crossfit for allowing our folks access to your trainers and facilities for the past 90 days.

37131 IH 10 West, #200 • Boerne, Texas 78006 830-446-3084 • •

jonathan BROWN How was your overall experience? It started off very difficult. I worked hard everyday and kept with the program. Time went by and weight was lost, it was such a great feeling and overall the experience was LIFE CHANGING. What was the hardest part? Breaking old habits had to of been the most challenging part. This included waking up earlier for workout, eating correctly to keep weight off and the complete dedication of the entire process.

CHACH SAYS When you talk about commitment and dedication, Jonathan comes to mind. Jonathan went above and beyond what was asked of him. Eat clean, work hard and be awesome. He did all those things and really flourished as a CrossFit athlete. Jonathan, thanks for being awesome!

cathie DE LA ROSA Do you plan to continue? I’d love to continue. Just have to see how that possibility unfolds. Any advice for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? Know you can do anything you put your mind to. Know you capable of doing greater things than you may believe. Always be willing to let yourself be challenged more. From that comes growth and personal transformation. Never give up. Hair & Makeup Simply Serene Salon and Spa Clothes Ella Blue

CHACH SAYS I was really glad that Cathie accepted the Challenge. I knew that she had been on a journey of fitness and wellness and I wanted to expose her to the world of CrossFit. I think one of Cathie’s goals coming in was to better prepare her for her upcoming 1/2 marathon. Needless to say, she PR’d and is continuing down her road of fitness!

angela SCHOOLEY How was your overall experience? It was hard getting started and sticking to it, but overall I had an amazing time! I never expected to enjoy it so much and was glad to share it with everyone who did the challenge. What was the one constant motivation that kept you going in the challenge? I knew if I quit I would never hear the end of it from my husband! Also being healthy for the rest of my family helped keep me going. Hair & Makeup Simply Serene Salon and Spa Clothes Ella Blue

CHACH SAYS Ok, so Angela is stud. I’m not sure before the challenge if she had any lifting experience but she was impressive. One of the keys to being great at CrossFit is having good body awareness. We could demonstrate something for Angela and she picked it up immediately. That was fun to watch! We look forward to seeing how she continues to grow as an official Crossfitter!

kara LUND What was the biggest highlight of the challenge? My weight loss of 23 lbs. in three months!! What was the one constant motivation that keep you going in the challenge? Everyone around me, my CrossFit workout buddies, the coaches, my family and my friends! Besides I didn’t want to be called a weenie! Hair & Makeup Wavelengths Clothes & Jewelry Christy’s Boutique


Kara does a lot of physical work with her job. It was a great seeing her put in the work and get the results. I loved hearing her share how her training at CrossFit was better preparing her for the physical aspect of her job. That is why we CrossFit! It better prepares us for anything that comes our way. We are proud of your work Kara!

shanna BERGMAN How was your overall experience? It started off very difficult. I worked hard everyday and kept with the program. Time went by and weight was lost, it was such a great feeling and overall the experience was LIFE CHANGING. What was the hardest part? Breaking old habits had to of been the most challenging part. This included waking up earlier for workout, eating correctly to keep weight off and the complete dedication of the entire process. Hair & Makeup Tres Bella Clothes Ella Blue & The Shoppe

CHACH SAYS Shanna came to us already with a little CrossFit background. She jumped in headfirst and did a excellent job. A big part of CrossFit is the great community of people and we are glad to have Shanna as a part of that. Thanks for your commitment Shanna!

benWEBER Did you learn anything about yourself as you took part in the challenge? I can push myself a lot harder than I thought and I have more will power over my eating habits when involved in an exercise program. Any advice for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? Don’t be intimidated by the workouts. Yes they’re brutal, but if you pace yourself and keep realistic goals you’ll see results. Fast. Hair Simply Serene Salon and Spa


I think Ben, probably like most of the participants, came in with a sorta “what the heck am I doing here” mentality. I know the first few weeks were difficult but he settled in and went for it. Probably one of the biggest achievements for him was doing unassisted pull-ups. We are glad to have Ben as part of our crew!

jessicaBROWN How was your overall experience? I loved the whole thing from the team/ family group feeling to the workouts. No matter your level you always felt that you belonged. What was the hardest part? The hardest part was the first couple weeks and getting into the habit. But I can say I am now in the zone! Hair & Makeup Simply Serene Salon and Spa

CHACH SAYS When Jessica came to us her biggest hang up was mobility. Her range of motion, like a lot of our new athletes, was very limited. She worked at it and her mobility is no longer an issue. I’m proud of here commitment to the 90 day Challenge. Jessica, keep plugging away!

kam SMEBY Did you learn anything about yourself as you took part in the challenge? I learned that I can do anything I put my mind to… it just takes some hard work, dedication, and a great support system. What was the biggest highlight of the challenge? I cleaned out my closet and threw out some old clothes because they are just too big! Hair & Makeup Tres Bella Clothes & Jewelry Traditions

CHACH SAYS I think I can safely say that Kam has drank the CrossFit Kool-Aid! She loves this stuff and it shows! Kam is dedicated and puts 110% into every workout! We are fortunate to have her. Kam thanks for bringing your great attitude and energy into each workout!

craigCOLVIN How was your overall experience? I can’t think of a better description than... necessary. My body and my mind were both screaming for something to change. Before I started I didn’t know what that change needed to be but throughout the experience I believe I found it. What was the one constant motivation that kept you going in the challenge? Not wanting to fail and disappoint others. I knew both Explore and HCCFIT were taking a risk by allowing each of us to participate. If I quit or didn’t give my best effort I would have felt ashamed. It is much easier for me to quit on me than for me to fail others.

CHACH SAYS I’m not sure if Craig really wanted to do this or not or if Mr. Schooley coerced him into it. Either way, Craig’s commitment and hard work paid off big time. Craig put up some big numbers on our Whole 30 challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing where this road of fitness takes Craig.

juliette DUGGER What was the hardest part? Getting to bed earlier! I’m a night owl, but it didn’t take me long to realize the critical connection between repair and performance! I can’t say I’m completely reformed, but at least eleven o’clock is my new normal. Do you plan to continue? Absolutely! I seriously can’t imagine creating the lifestyle I desire without this being part of it. I’m confident that God opened up this door for me because He knew how much it would change my life. I plan on paying it forward by inviting many others to join me on this journey! Hair Simply Serene Salon and Spa Clothes Christy’s Boutique


Juliette was a blast to have around. She has such a great attitude and it rubs off on those around here. If you were in any of her classes, you know what I’m talking about. I love how she went at every workout with everything she had. The sky is the limit for people like her. Keep it up Juliette!

bonnieSCOTT Did you learn anything about myself? Throughout this challenge I learned if I set goals I can achieve them; if I push myself I will excell and if I am challenged I WILL succeed! What was the biggest highlight of the challenge? Loosing almost 10 lbs and 4” off my waist after completing the Whole30! I really struggled with the diet, even considered cheating a few times, but in the end I was so glad I stuck with it! Hair & Makeup Simply Serene Salon and Spa Clothes Bealls Jewelry Tori Sherrill with Premier

CHACH SAYS Bonnie is one of our smallest athletes but don’t let that fool you. She can throw around some weight. It’s alot of fun for me to see the transformation from the timid to the tough! Bonnie was a great example of that. She comes in, puts her head down and goes for it! I’m excited for her to continue on with us.


by D. Kenton Mellott San Antonio author

“Mellott blends high-tech sci-fi with rapid-fire dialogue. ...this action-packed tale will satisfy readers looking for entertainment with substance.”

— Kirkus Reviews


CUSTOM 4/3/3: $399,000 • MLS #964269 811 Rio Colorado. Granite throughout and custom stonework. Subdivision on the river.


C 210.912.8221 | P 830.816.2288 F 830.816.5903 |



Bluebonnet Realty


2 Spencer Rd., off Hwy. 46 West, Boerne, TX 78006

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