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APRIL 2015

Welcome to Boerne

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Bluebonnet Realty HOMES FOR SALE

1.) FOR SALE - $499,000 PRICED TO SELL. Waterfront property in River Mountain Ranch with private access! Custom home built with views of the Guadalupe from the master bedroom, family room, and balcony. Outdoor balcony runs the length of the home and features a fireplace and surround sound speakers. Private road on the property going down to the river. 3.57 acres.

3.) FOR SALE - $145,800 Cibolo Crossing 2 bed, 2 ba home with large family room that could be used as master bedroom. Great price for this house near Main Street and shopping.

2.) FOR SALE - $255,000 - Great Investment! This townhome overlooking the beautiful grounds and hills at Tapatio Springs Resort has 3 bedrooms, and 3 full baths. Tri-level with bedroom and bath on each level, plus large family room with fireplace and separate dining room. Each level has a balcony or patio. This home has approximately 2254 s.f. of living are plus a 1 car attached garage. Price to sell!

4.) FOR SALE - $199,900 Recently renovated 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home on .25 acres close to downtown Boerne, shopping and schools

5.) FOR SALE - $450,000 - 4 bedroom, 2.5 baths, approx. 3095 s.f. of living area on 3.65 acres new on the market! Great Views!


6.) FOR LEASE - $2400 - Garden home on golf course in Fair Oaks Ranch. 2 bed, 2 ba approx. 2245 s.f; with 2 car garage

7.) FOR LEASE - $1200 - 3 bed, 2 ba updated moble in Walnut Hills

8.) FOR LEASE - $1975 - 3 bed, 3 bath townhome in Tapatio Springs. One car garage. Golf course view! ALSO FOR SALE!


830-816-2288 • www.boernetexashomes.com







Paul Wilson, Senior Pastor Cibolo Creek Community Church





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Explore what's inside this issue! Publisher Benjamin D. Schooley ben@hillcountryexplore.com

10 From the Publisher

20 History

32 Spiritual

boerne in the beginning

12 Calendar

I am perfect

Operations Manager Kristine Duran kristine@smvtexas.vom

How our fair city came to be.

36 Life

24 Adventure


Mid-Life Crisis

SXSw or bust


Dive headfirst into the craziness of Austin’s world famous creative festival.

16 The art of

Having your meltdown like a responsible adult.

Creative Director Benjamin N. Weber ben.weber@smvtexas.com Assistant Creative Director Kayla Davisson kayla@smvtexas.com


Tally Barber describes how it’s more than feeding kids information.

ADVERTISING SALES 210-507-5250 sales@hillcountryexplore.com


26 ART

Parade of Artists

Boerne’s Parade of Artists celebrates its 19th year of showcasing local talent across virtually every medium of art.

An Open letter

Old Timer talks about the horrific six letter obscenity “GROWTH” 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 2015 Schooley Media Ventures, 930 E. Blanco, Ste. 200, Boerne, TX 78006

Contributing Writers


Marjorie Hagy History

Rene Villanueva Music

Kendall D. Aaron Spiritual

Old Timer Just Old Timer

Paul Wilson Life & Living

MARJORIE is a bibliophile, a history nut and an insomniac, among several other conditions, both diagnosed and otherwise. When she's not working tirelessly to avoid getting a real job, she nurses an obsession with her grandson and is involved in passing legislation restricting the wearing of socks with sandals. She is an aspiring pet hoarder who enjoys vicious games of Scrabble, reading Agatha Christie, and sitting around doing nothing while claiming to be thinking deeply. Marjorie has five grown children, a poodle to whom she is inordinately devoted in spite of his breath, and holds an Explore record for never having submitted an article on time. She's been writing for us for five years now.

Rene Villanueva is the lead singer/bass player for the band Hacienda. Having toured worldwide, hacienda has also been featured on several late night shows, including Late Show with David Letterman. Rene and his wife Rachel live in Boerne, TX and just welcomed thier first child.

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.

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.

An insatiable curiosity for life and an incurable fascination with human behavior has forged in Paul Wilson a keen interest in helping people think about wise living. As a Life Coach, Paul offers professional mentoring to clients seeking greater personal fulfillment in their life. He currently serves as the Lead Pastor of Cibolo Creek Community Church in Fair Oaks Ranch, a faith community he began in 1996 to serve people who didn’t really like church. As artistowner of The Paul Wilson Studio, he also creates bronze sculptures for private and corporate collections. Paul and his wife, Charlotte, who make their home in Fair Oaks Ranch, are the proud parents of two teenage sons. If you’re interested in receiving daily thought-provoking insights about life and living, follow Paul on Twitter at @paulwilsonTX or Facebook at facebook.com/ paulwilsonTX.

EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

From the Publisher Dearest EXPLORE reader, When my brother was terminally ill with cancer, we developed a small ritual. If he was heading in for another round of chemo, or for a new scan to monitor progress, or whatever other bunch of bullshit they put cancer patients through, we would talk briefly. Right before he left for whatever chore they had waiting for him, we would bump knuckles and we’d both say “Make it your finest hour.” I’ve never told anyone about that, and I don’t even think my parents know, but as brothers, it was our way of just saying “No matter what – you got this, man.” I have no idea who said that little saying first, but it became our own little battle cry, albeit whispered between brothers. I keep thinking I’ll get a tattoo of the saying at some point. I don’t have any tattoos, but I think that little saying would make a pretty cool one. If you’ve followed along with EXPLORE for any length of time, you know that I ultimately lost my brother in the fall of 2013, and am still struggling with it. Hell, I’ll “struggle” with it forever. But as time has gone on, I’ve slowly been unpacking many of the things that I learned during that awful year of 2013. Some of it was terrible, but much of it was incredibly beautiful, and much of it has changed me forever. One of the good things was just that little saying. Make it your finest hour. There have been countless situations since then where I find myself muttering that saying to myself. Walking into a business meeting, dealing with my kids, or even a testy situation with my wife. I close my eyes briefly, take a deep breath while saying the words, and proceed. I am bored in my office, I think of fishing at the coast, and I’m headed southbound within the hour. This hour will be mine, and it will be fine. Everything is temporary, even death. Everything occurs, and then we move on to new and different things. Oftentimes we view an event as something that will go on and on, even though it’s relatively short-lived. It doesn’t have to be something like scary doctor appointments, but it could be the beginning of a new job. Make it your finest hour. Have a big lunch meeting? Make it your finest hour. And then there are the really crummy parts of life that we all experience. Broke? Sick? Marital problems? Kid troubles? Car broke down? I could go on and on, but what if the mindset of knowing that you were going to experience something traumatic was MAKE IT MY FINEST HOUR? How would that look? How would your courage be? Your determination? Your passion? If you were truly trying to make it your finest hour, it would be uncontainable. Every moment we encounter is ours for the taking, yet we casually fog over the lenses of our eyes and simply coast through the experiences that make up our lives. Not for me. Not any longer. Man, if there’s one thing that losing someone will teach you, it’s that life is excruciatingly short. Also, you are not guaranteed tomorrow. So knowing that you have a finite amount of time, why not tackle each and every situation with an abandon that leaves no questions unanswered? Writer Josh Whedon wrote, “Everything we do really is just a little marker on the long road to death. And sometimes that’s overwhelmingly depressing to me, and sometimes it makes me feel kinship and forgiveness. We’ve all got the same ending to the story. The way we make that story more elaborate, I got to respect.” So what’s your story? Is it a day-to-day hum-drum series of events that culminate with the evening news every day? Can you stop and realize that you haven’t put your toes in the ocean in years? When was the last time you ditched work and hung out with a friend while you laughed and laughed? Make it your finest hour. Life is too short for anything less. Welcome to April. The sun is shining, the temps are warm, and the entire world challenges you to EXPLORE, dream, and to bend the will of your hours into your finest. Smiling,



EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.



w w w. p a u l w il s o nt x . com

APRIL 2015

The Flower Shop works with each couple to personalize their boutonniere and corsage selection to make it their own unique style. (830)816-2042 | 437 South Main, Boerne | www.flowershopboernetexas.com




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

April 3 FREDERICKSBURG First Friday Art Walk

April 10-26 FREDERICKSBURG Wine and Wildflower Trail

April 12 JOHNSON CITY Art, Wine and Live Music

April 3 KERRVILLE First Friday Wine Share

April 11 BOERNE Second Saturday Art and Wine

April 14 KERRVILLE A Night at the Mansion

April 4 BANDERA: Bandera Market Days

April 11 DRIPPING SPRINGS Texas Hill Country Olive, Wine and Food Festival

April 16 GRUENE Come and Taste It

Tour fine art galleries offering special exhibits, demonstrations, refreshments and extended viewing hours the first Friday of every month. Various locations. www.ffawf.com

Meet new people and try new wines at this fun and friendly event at a different location each month. Bring one bottle of wine per 2 people and your own wine glass. Begins at 6 p.m.

Courthouse Lawn, 500 Main St.www.banderatexasbusiness.com/market-days

April 4 CASTROVILLE Tour de Castroville

A walk, run or bicycle event that winds through historic Castroville. The event proceeds support our local parks. To register please go to Active.com. The registration fee includes an event shirt, rest stop support and choice of breakfast or lunch. 8:00 am castrovilletx.gov/tourdecastroville

April 4 KERRVILLE Here’s to the Heroes Easterfest and Cook-Off

Includes a barbecue and chili cook-off, live music, games and contests, an Easter egg hunt, car show, vendors and more.Flat Rock Lake Park, 3840 Riverside Drive.www.kerrvilleeasterfest.com

April 4 WIMBERLEY Market Days

Stroll along a shaded path to more than 475 booths filled with a wide variety of arts, crafts, antiques, gift items, clothing and more. Also enjoy freshly prepared barbecue and lots of delicious treats with live music under the pavilion. Lions Field, 601 F.M. 2325. www.shopmarketdays.com

April 10 UVALDE Four Square Friday

Enjoy late night shopping, food, live music and art at this monthly event named for the town’s original design with four town squares. Downtown. www.visituvalde.com

April 10-12 BOERNE Parade of Artists

This self-guided walking/riding tour features 16 art venues in the heart of Boerne. Various locations. www.boerneprofessionalartists.com

April 10-12 SAN MARCOS Wine and Art Weekend

From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Downtown San Marcos. www.smtxwinewalk.com


Enjoy the Texas Hill Country wineries at the peak of wildflower season. Self-guided tour includes special events, tastings and discounts. Texas Hill Country wineries. www.texaswinetrail.com

Enjoy complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres with fantastic art in local galleries. www.secondsaturdayartandwine.com

Enjoy olives, wine, food, live music, tastings, chef demos, olive education seminars, artisans and children’s activities. Texas Hill Country Olive Company, 2530 W. Fitzhugh Road.www.texasolivefest.com

April 11 STONEWALL Reflections of the Sixties

This educational conference seeks to broaden understanding the impact of the 1960s on the fabric of our country. Guest speakers—including authors, former legislators and historians—talk about topics relevant to the 1960s. Hours are 9:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m. LBJ National Park, 199 Park Road 52. www.johnsoncity-texas.com/calendar_of_events/ april.html

April 11-12 BOERNE Boerne Market Days

Hundreds of festive booths display everything from collectibles and nostalgia to modern innovations. Also enjoy food and live entertainment. Main Plaza, 100 N. Main. www.boernemarketdays.com

April 11-12 FREDERICKSBURG Pacific Combat Living History Program

History comes to life with a World War II battle re-enactment including uniformed actors, guns, tanks and a flamethrower. National Museum of the Pacific War.www.pacificwarmuseum.org

April 11-12 GRUENE Old Gruene Market Days

Nearly 100 vendors offer uniquely crafted items and packaged Texas foods. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Gruene Historic District, 1724 Hunter Road. www.gruenemarketdays.com

April 11-12 NEW BRAUNFELS Train Show

Enjoy local art and wine. Takes place from 1:30–4 p.m. on the second Sunday of every month. Taste Wine + Art, 213 N. Nugent St. www.TASTEWineArt.com

Enjoy wine, food, auctions, live music and interactive demonstrations at this fundraiser event for the Philanthropical Education Organization to support women’s education. Schreiner Mansion.

Eleven wineries and their winemakers are showcased on the patio and garden of a popular tasting room. Complimentary tastings are offered of a craft beer and three wines. Hours are 5–8 p.m. Grapevine Texas Wine Bar. www.grapevineingruene.com

April 17-19 FREDERICKSBURG Fredericksburg Trade Days

Shop with more than 350 vendors or relax in the biergarten while listening to live music. Seven miles east of town off U.S. 290, 355 Sunday Farms Lane. www.fbgtradedays.com

April 18 BOERNE Texas Corvette Association Open Car Show Features hundreds of cars on display, including Corvettes from 1953 to the present. Main Plaza, 100 N. Main.

April 24-May 17 WIMBERLEY “Greater Tuna”

The Wimberley Players present this iconic Texas comedy. The Wimberley Playhouse, 450 Old Kyle Road.www.wimberleyplayers.org

April 25 BOERNE Brandon’s Revue

Bring picnics, lawn chairs, kids and grandparents to enjoy live music. Cibolo Nature Center, 140 City Park Road. www.cibolo.org

April 25-26 JOHNSON CITY Market Days

Enjoy food, artisans and other vendors in the heart of Texas Wine Country on the fourth weekend of each month. Memorial Park. www.johnsoncity-texas.com

Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sunday. New Braunfels Civic Center, 375 Castell Ave. 18yrs-older-$7.00, 5-17yrs old-$2.00 Contact Jim Edmondson at jedmondson@satx.rr.com

EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

By Rene Villanueva

There are so many pages to my story I’m not ready to write. So many places I can’t go. It’s like cleaning out an attic; I started with a few easy-to-reach places, simple stories. Then someday I’ll work my way to the darker, bug-infested corners looming at the edges my mind. Waiting for their time. And then there are some memories, some pages, no matter how difficult they feel, that refuse to remain unwritten. It came to me yesterday like a whisper. While I was listening to the rain during the late-night quiet of my house after my wife and son had fallen asleep; another time, another late-night emptiness when I was on a tour bus. We were parked outside of a club waiting to start a drive out of middle America.  After the show, and a drink and a shower, I was nestled in the corner of our front lounge trying to cool down. Sweat was still forming on my neck from the fury of the performance. If you saw me on that tour you’d know I was working things out on stage. Music is therapy, it’s personal.  I was half-listening to the ins and outs of the bus while sending my girlfriend, Rachel, a text to see if she was still awake at 2:30 on a Tuesday, then flipped my old Nokia closed. “I hope you’re ready to settle in,” our tour manager came grinning into the bus with a bottle of bourbon in one hand and a case of food in another like he had just robbed the place, “this is gonna be a long one.” “What?! “How long?” There were several groans from the bunks, as my phone buzzed in my hand. “Two days,” He laughed, “Two full, glorious days of driving. And I’ll be in my bunk for all of it... Away from all you mother f***rs.” “I think we can survive,” Abe said and pulled out some of the food from the food box, and started stocking the fridge with chips, smoked sausages, cheeses, fruit, you name it. The whole tour had been an obsession with food and what we could get put on the rider. In a few days we will place an obscene order to have In-N-Out Burger waiting for us. If you think Jack White’s guacamole is crazy, you haven’t seen a Hacienda/Fast Five rider. l think I put on 20 pounds by the end of it all. For the next hour, people came on and off. For a bit, Dan came in and DJ’d soul music off his iPhone next to me in the front lounge. Jaime brought in a case of Stella, and I stole a bottle out of it as he walked by.  Several songs and half a beer passed while I texted Rachel about my day. How I’d made an emergency trip to a guitar store for strings and ended up wasting the afternoon in a bookstore, reading a collection of haikus and nearly missed sound check. How I had found another restaurant in my unending quest to find the best Pad Thai in the country. Then she asked me how I’m feeling, and I paused for a minute, finished my beer. The Stella had left a ring of condensation on my leg. I knew what she was getting at, but all I could answer was OK. I went for another beer, wondering if I should’ve said more. Things were OK with the music, the shows, the band, the traveling, everything but me. And Rachel knew it. She’d been there for everything. For me. And she’s infinitely understanding about my shortness.  This tour, this memory, comes only a few months after my mom had passed away. And I hadn’t processed it. I was still feeling my way through the surprise of it all. The emptiness that came to me at night when I laid awake thinking about death in a way I never had before. The quick joy of waking up in the morning, before I remembered the life I was now waking up to. This story is out of sequence for you, I know that, but the months before this tour, they’re still up in the attic somewhere, waiting for another day.


Instead of pushing me to talk about it, Rachel starts telling me about home, her school, and all the things I was missing on the road. How she got a new job and was thinking of moving downtown to be closer to school. How her cat got revenge on her roommates lack of affection by throwing up on her bed, and how she needed to pay for the dry cleaning.  - Wouldn’t it be great to move in together? I mean if I were your  roommate?  - And you could come home from the road to “our” house... I like the sound of that - It would make it so much easier - Easier? - Every time I left I mean - It’d be easier to leave if I was with you all the time at home. - I don’t know if it’s easier, but it would be better - I like that - So? - So? - Do you want to? The bus pulled off with a jerk from the breaks that woke me up from the screen. I looked up from my phone for the first time in a while. The music had stopped. A lot of the guys had moved to the back lounge or had headed off to sleep in the rows of bunks that separated the lounges. And I was another beer down. “Hey Rene, we’re hanging in the back if you want to come?” Our lighting guy Mike asked me from the fridge as he was heading back with an armful of drinks. “Maybe,” I said and felt the phone buzz again, “in a sec.” But when I looked down, the phone was turning off. And in that last second, I saw the battery signal flash empty, dead, as the screen jumped to black, and Rachel’s last text hung unanswered between us. “Do you want to?” Why didn’t you answer quicker? She’s gonna think you’re scared. That you were just talking when you said you wanted to be her roommate. That it was all just a daydream.  I felt a sudden emptiness move over me. Maybe embarrassment? Maybe exhaustion? It was a long day. I don’t know why I still get nervous over things like that.  I went to my bunk and checked my day bag, looking for the charger. Nothing. I flipped out everything inside onto the tiny mattress. Nothing. I felt around my pillow, and under my sheets to see if I had lost it somehow, but I knew. I knew it was lost. I might have left it at the club. Or maybe it’s with the gear somewhere. I might have thrown it in my bass case. Sh**. 

EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

I slowly put everything back into the bag. I could hear the other guys in the back lounge; guys with iPhones, and longer battery life, and cables that don’t match mine. I could only think about Rachel and our conversation and the tired emptiness and suddenly didn’t feel like hanging out. I’ll buy a new charger and reach her tomorrow. Tell her what happened. Tell her I love the idea of moving in together. And I’ll apologize and she’ll understand ‘cause she is great like that... I hope. I took off my socks, shoes, shirt, and jeans. Climbed into my bunk and shut the curtain behind me. 

- So... Rene... is this getting serious? - I don’t know... haven’t really thought about it. - You’ve been spending so much time with her. You’ve had to have thought about it. The future? Grandchildren? - I mean, it’s good, we have a lot of fun... it’s different... different than any other girl I’ve been with.

Sh**. - And having fun’s all you care about? The rocking of the bus was more intense that night. I don’t know how long I was laying in the dark, feeling the constant back and forth, shaking me down to my stomach.  I closed my eyes and left back to Texas. Imagining what it would be like to move in with Rachel. Imagining what it would be like to come home to her after a tour and how amazing that made me feel. And home, how different it was. The emptiness there.  I could hear music from the back lounge and people shuffling around outside my curtain. I heard talking and someone walking past, hitting my curtain with their shoulder. And the deep, earthy smell came creeping in to my bunk mixed in with it all. The smell that the guys were having a real good time. Now we are at the real part of the story, the memory that came to me in the late hours of last night. The shining glimmer tucked in the corner of my mind that was calling to me. Wanting to be dusted off and written.  It was then in this half-dream state, where I knew I was still on the bus but my mind was in a dream. I could feel the pillow under my head. My body becoming light as if I was hovering and the rocking of the bus had stopped completely. Everything was still as I lay floating in my bunk. My eyelids too heavy to open. My body unable to move. I was feeling it all and nothing at once.  Then the sound of a tape machine clicked on. I heard the electric hum and the reels begin to turn. The tape hissed as it passed over the heads of the player. And then the voice I hadn’t heard in so long, speaking to me as if it was no big deal to hear from my mother. 

APRIL 2015

- NO, of course not... I mean... well you’ve met her too, what do you think? - It doesn’t matter what I think... I’m not the one that wants to marry her, you’re the only one who can know.  - No matter what... be happy. You understand?  - I know mom. - Happiness... it’s not something you find, it’s not something that comes to you. You make it. You work at it every day... It’s so precious... All this, my sickness, I see what it was all worth to me. The anger. The fights. They are never worth the time. Never worth your time. - I ... Make it, Rene, and don’t let anyone take it from you. Life’s too short for that... too short to spend trying to fight your way through it. Love... Love has to come from you first. Do you understand?  - Rene? Rene?





EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.


Prolific historian, Jacques Barzun wrote, “Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.” Most of us forget that the teachers we send our children to every day are not babysitters. They are patient, talented and courageous individuals that possess the raw tools to instruct a classroom of students to have integrity, compassion and perseverance. “It’s about building self-confidence in these kids,” Tally Barber says. Tally is a local Special Education teacher that uses various methods each day to instruct those who are differently abled. “Some of them have learning disabilities, some have emotional disturbance, but it’s about not letting them be limited by a label, because they are not their label.” The daughter of a teacher, Tally always knew she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps. That was until she had a taste of her future while teaching swimming lessons one summer. “I was like, I cannot be a teacher. If this is what parents are like when I’m just teaching their kids swimming lessons, I can’t even imagine how it’s going to be in a classroom.” Almost finished with her certification, she changed her major to business and was offered an out-of-state job. “Then I started thinking about wanting a family. I wanted to stay home when my kids are home. Then I started thinking maybe I didn’t make the best choice getting a degree in business.” Tally immediately went back to school to finish her certification and began teaching 7th grade language arts. She was forced to face her fear of parents, but what she found in a classroom setting was hard to come to terms with. “What I learned was that there are a lot of parents who are not terribly concerned about their children,” she says. But Tally wasn’t going to let that get the best of her this time. She combated their disregard with multiple calls and emails and positive notes informing them of how great their children were doing, eventually forming a bond with them. She learned how to make her students’ education a collaborative effort between herself and their parents. Tally’s teaching interests quickly switched gears, though, when she discovered that her son had a reading disability. “I poured myself into learning about reading difficulties and how to mold him into being proud of himself and successful.” She enjoyed the problem solving that came along with doing to the research and trying out different techniques, so she decided to take the Special Education test. Five years ago, Tally came back to her hometown of Boerne, Special Education certified and ready to test all of the new techniques she had learned. “It was a dumping ground for lack of a better word. I loved it! It was the best job ever. We saw between 1200-1500 kids a month and it was different every single time I walked through the door and it was great.”

APRIL 2015

Tally witnessed how certain methods work on one child and completely confuse another, and learned how to tailor each technique for certain disabilities. “Seeing them blossom is what makes everything worthwhile. Seeing the ‘aha’ moments. In a Special Education classroom, when you see the light bulb go on, you say, ‘that’s why I’m doing it. I’m doing it because I made a difference in this kid’s life and this kid’s life is going to be better because of it.’” But even when that light bulb barely flickers, her students are not allowed to feel discouraged. It’s hard enough to get students to participate in the classroom when they are afraid of having the wrong answer, so Tally rewards them for having the guts to participate. “The more that you put yourself out there, even if what you say is not correct, you’re rewarded because you’re contributing and that’s what’s important.” She passes out tickets for participation that can be redeemed for things like sitting in her chair, bringing a snack to school, and not wearing shoes. “All of those things that you don’t get to do in a normal classroom, they get to do.” If one were to peek into Tally’s classroom, they’d realize that the words “special ed” don’t hold the same taboos as they once did back in the days of the short bus. “I think perspectives have changed since we were in school,” Tally explains. “The general education, run of the mill kids aren’t kept separate from the other ones as if it’s going to rub off on them. Bringing kids into a general education classroom and exposing them to the full curriculum benefits them so much. Gone are the days of isolating those kids. We look at them and we say, this is a kid and this is how we need to teach them.” She emphasizes the fact that nobody, special ed or not, learns the same way; everyone requires different modalities in order for the message to come across clearly. Although extremely gratifying, there are still downfalls to the job. Some children are very difficult to reach and every day consists of re-teaching the same thing over and over. As someone who has had to adapt to extreme behavioral issues, Tally surprisingly says that the paperwork is her least favorite aspect of the gig. “But without that paperwork, the teachers don’t know what they need to do to teach that particular child, so there’s a lot of value to it.” The first two years were rough on Tally and she wasn’t sure if she had chosen the right path. But today, she can’t imagine her life any different. “I would do this forever because I find this much more rewarding than being a general education teacher,” she says. “Now that I’m a behavior specialist at school, I get to do the teacher part which is what I love. If I didn’t see those ‘aha’ moments, I wouldn’t be able to continue.”



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EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.



THE BEGINNING By Marjorie Hagy


EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

This is the second part of a who-knows-how-many-part

series in which we all travel back in a time machine to the earliest days of our history and take a good hard look at simply everything. If you missed the first part, it’s a time machine for crying out loud, so you can go back in time to the March issue at www.hillcountryexplore.com via your favorite internet contraption and get caught up. Or just hop in right now. We’re in the 1850s, a few years after the socialist Latin Colony Tusculum was founded on the Cibolo in 1849 and capitalist Boerne in 1852.

Everyone in the world, it seemed, was moving to Texas in those days. Land was abundant and dirt cheap since the US, which had only just recently gotten ahold of the state in 1845, wanted people to settle here to guard against incursions from Mexico, who really wanted it back. People poured in not only from Germany but also from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Norway, and Ireland, and from the rest of the United States, mostly from the Southern mountain states of Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri. They fled the unrest in Europe; they came to Texas for the chance to ranch in the wide-open country; they came to escape tyranny and persecution in their home countries, to worship God, or not, as they chose; they came to feed their families or to make their millions, and they came to Boerne. And it just naturally wouldn’t be long before someone opened up for business. Props always go to William Dietert as the owner of the first business in Boerne. According to the official record, his saw and grist mill on the Cibolo Creek (where the River Road dam is now) was the very first to open in town, in 1854. But on our trip back in time I think that we’re gonna see something very different, because I found some clues in the letters of a homesick young lady from Germany. Her name was Adeline Wueste Staffel, and she and her husband, Heino, would together found the Staffel Seed Company of San Antonio; a business that would thrive there for more than a hundred and thirty years. It all started when she and Heino and their infant son, along with Heino’s brother, August, landed at the port of Indianola in the driving rain one blustery day in 1852. Adeline was not a fan of the whole Texas experience, and her mood wasn’t helped any by the fact that she A) had to walk beside the overloaded wagon the whole way inland from the coast to New Braunfels, carrying her toddler son while her husband was off hunting game and her brother-in-law was doing Lord knows what, B) was rained on the entire miserable trek, and C) got sicker than a dog and had to promptly go to bed and stay there for a month as soon as they got to New Braunfels. Husband, Heino stayed in bed for two months, but, well, he was a man. Anyway, in between Adeline’s carping (“Texas,” she reports, “is a very miserable country...very unhealthy,’ with ‘only a few oases which one might call attractive.” The Indians murder everybody, the State does nothing about it, everything is expensive and the trees look like they’re mildewed. She calls it torrid horrid Texas for Pete’s sake.), she drops this tidbit of news: “A new town is to be founded between San Antonio and Fredericksburg,” she writes, “and everyone believes that it will be a good speculation to purchase land there.” Remember what I told you? Everybody with a few bucks in their pocket was in the land speculation business in Texas in those days, and the Staffels caught the fever too. In a later letter, still 1852: “We have now pooled our money, bought property in the new town of Berlin [Boerne] between San Antonio and Fredericksburg.” Now I want you to pay attention to this next part: “August has bought a stock of groceries and will start a store there. He will move there in four weeks.” Aha! Here we have August Staffel with his groceries already burning a hole in his wagon, heading out to open his store in Boerne in 1852. So William Dietert’s saw mill in 1854 might’ve been the second business in Boerne, but it sure wasn’t the first. And if you look over to the northwest corner of Theissen Street and South Main you’ll see the place, along where Western Auto has been for years. The walls are of logs and brush, the roof is thatched and it has a dirt floor, but it’s the first store in Boerne. The lot, in common with almost all of the lots in the original town plat, runs down to the Cibolo, and August will eventually add a saloon, livery stable and wagon yard. August Staffel would become the first postmaster in town, and he’ll also loan the brand-new minted Kendall County the money, $3063 and change, to build the courthouse in 1862; the only courthouse to be built in Texas during the Civil War, but all that comes along in the future. The store is mentioned in one visitor’s account of Boerne in 1855: “Though but an infant settlement,” said one C Hugo Clauss, “one found a most hospitable reception there by the early settlers and it was in the straw thatched Mexican-like jacal, the little store of Staffel’s, where the stranger found refreshment from an arduous journey, the only store between San Antonio and Fredericksburg.” By the way, we keep hearing that ‘between San Antonio and Fredericksburg’ thing. See, Boerne was planned, laid out, and built along an old military road called the Camino Viejo. This trail was a spur of a much older route, the Pinta Trail, that had long been used by natives and by Spanish explorers setting out to the north from the San Antonio de Bexár Presidio in 1718. Around the time Boerne was established, the Camino Viejo became the easier, preferred route used by settlers, soldiers and travelers from San Antonio to Fredericksburg and points further north and west. It was alternately called the Fredericksburg Road, and over the years would go on to become State Highway 9, one of the original twenty-six Texas highways, then Highway 87 and finally Interstate 10. Another thing, a lot of us old Boerneites have long called West Theissen Street, the road along which August Staffel’s property ran, OST. Most of us (me, anyway) assumed that the OST stood for Old Spanish Trail like everything else around the Hill Country. But in fact, in this case it stands for Old Stage Trail, and it was at that point that the stage route, the one that replaced the old Pony Express in bringing the mail (in 1856), parted ways with the Camino Viejo and headed for points west including Quihi, Vandenburg, New Fountain, D’Hanis and Bandera. The fact that Boerne was built along the (relatively) heavily travelled Camino Viejo and the stage coach line was a pretty good omen for the town’s future growth, but things were still limping along in the early 1850s with only about ten houses in town. Don’t forget Tusculum, by the way. Here’s what was happening over there: even though growth in Boerne was slow-going, things in our sister town weren’t even going that fast. Whereas Boerne was a tract of land surveyed, laid-out and planned, with lots for sale, Tusculum was all on private property,

APRIL 2015

belonging initially to one of the founders, Wilhelm Friedrich, who only owned it for about eight months or so before selling it to co-founder Adam Vogt. The whole socialist, Utopian colony model limped along for a while: Vogt “accommodated the idealistic gathering of Darmstadters for a time after he bought the land, but no one claims that Tusculum survived for more than a year or two as a Latin settlement.” Tusculum did survive, up until the first years of the twentieth century or so, but as a commune it wasn’t at all like Sisterdale, a true Latin Colony founded in 1847 with “committed settlers who bought land, built cabins, plowed rocky ground and raised crops and livestock.’ Where ‘Tusculum was a compact camp, Sisterdale was a collection of neighboring farms, some quite large, that relied upon each other for support, socialization and protection.” Tusculum was described as more a group of “affluent German idealists, camping in the wilderness until reality set in.” People lived there but it never did become a thriving, growing community with a post office, schools and a city government. Boerne, meanwhile, was about to get a huge boost in fame and popularity, what nobody at the time called, though they should have, it would’ve been really fresh in the nineteenth century, the Herff Bump. Ferdinand von Herff was a brilliant medical doctor, botanist, pioneering plastic surgeon, student of philosophy, wild-eyed liberal and founding member of the Darmstadt Die Vierziger (Society of Forty), sometimes referred to as the Socialistic Colony and Society, back in Germany. This was an organization of about forty intellectuals, in the 1840s (hence the forty thing.) They were high-born university fraternity members and freethinkers who planned to organize a communistic utopian settlement, first in Wisconsin, but then they switched their aims to Texas when they were approached by the vice-president of the Adelsverein, a German immigration company involved in settling Germans in the brand-new state. I know, this is becoming confusing, let me try to clear things up: these forty German students, liberals and progressives, all of noble birth (a bunch of hippies) were planning to start up some communes in Wisconsin, but this other guy who worked for an immigration outfit charged with finding settlers for this piece of land in Texas, made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. Anyway, the

Freethinker movement stood against political and religious tyranny, and the ‘Fortier’s’ goal was to create a classless society with no ruler and no private property, governing themselves according to the common good. In 1847, Ferdinand von Herff, along with thirty-three other starry-eyed Fortiers, arrived in Texas to establish their socialist community of Bettina on the Llano River. Bettina, alas, went belly-up within a year of establishment for one reason and another, and Ferdinand and the others went back to Germany to regroup, but Herff’s visions of Texas kept dancing in his head. Some of the other Fortiers involved in the rise and fall of Bettina came back to Texas a couple of years later and established Tusculum, sister city to Boerne, but Ferdinand was not among them. He went back to Germany just long enough to marry his sweetheart Mathilde Klingelhoeffer, and in 1850 the two of them returned but to San Antonio, via New Braunfels, where Herff would become one of the founders of Santa Rosa hospital and a pioneer in early medicine. But Ferdinand hadn’t gotten those wide-open spaces he’d seen in the Hill Country out of his mind, and he longed for his own spread of Texas land. And after looking around for a few years, in 1852 he ran into a guy we’ve already met, fella by the name of John James. James was the guy who, along with Gustav Theissen, laid out the townsite of Boerne, and a guy who had acquired lots of land by locating, surveying, and perfecting titles to large tracts in unsettled areas. He was chief surveyor of Bexar County, would become a member of the Home Guard during the Civil War, own sawmills, lay out many more towns, drive cattle and raise sheep in Bandera and Uvalde, and although all those things were in his future at the time he met Ferdinand Herff, John James was already a man of property and one of the most successful of those many land speculators in Texas. And he knew this piece of property he thought might be just right for the Herffs. Incidentally, Ferdinand dumped the ‘von’ part of his name, a prefix denoting noble birth, when he first came to Texas as a part of socialist Bettina. Anyway, in 1852 John James was all fired up about this new town he and Theissen had laid out, this Boerne, and he wanted to show the Herffs a little place out this way. One afternoon, Ferdinand and Mathilde rented an old stagecoach and a pair of mules, hired a cook and a driver, and set out to explore the hills and valleys and vast virgin acres of what would become Kendall County. In those days, “the road to Boerne was merely a winding, unpaved trail,” according to Dr Herff’s journal. “We bumped our way over ruts and rocks until we had laboriously climbed to the top of the escarpment [later known as Eight Mile Hill]. Making the primitive highway even more impassable was the dearth of bridges; travellers simply took their chances in traversing the several fords. With the exception of this hazard,” wrote Dr Herff, “the route was more fraught with irritation than with danger, and the trip proved delightful.” This would be Herff’s first glimpse of the beautiful Cibolo Valley which would become his beloved second home.




“The caravan,” he wrote, “finally arrived at the rim of the Boerne Valley.” “It was late afternoon,” Herff’s grandson later wrote, “that eerily beautiful time when the landscape takes on a cloak of intense loveliness, when everything seems painfully real and alive- pastures padded by knee-deep strands of grass; sturdy, primeval trees hovering like great beasts of fable; Texas wildflowers closely crowding each other in a colorful, paradisaical riot, now changing, now fading into the hushed anonymity of twilight.” Dr Ferdinand Herff was like a man under an enchantment. And the next morning he signed the papers which made him the owner of the first three hundred and twenty acres of a freehold which would eventually encompass most of the Cibolo valley, from Boerne to Sisterdale and taking in the present-day sites of Camps Stanley and Bullis as well, ten thousand acres of land in all. In 1855 the first Herff home would be built on the ranch, and in the next decade Dr Herff would really put his beloved Boerne on the map. That was a banner year for Boerne, 1855. Another guy who would help shape the new town of Boerne and indeed this whole part of the country, bought acreage here, five thousand, to be exact, on which to build a legacy of his own. George Wilkins Kendall, unlike Dr Herff and many of the other pioneers around these parts, was not a German transplant but a New Englander born in Mount Vernon, New Hampshire in 1809. Kendall never did finish high school but seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere, and first started out typesetting and writing for the famous Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune. He wrote his way to Boston and on to Washington before ending up in New Orleans, and there he established his own paper, the New Orleans Picayune, in 1837. Kendall was just twenty-eight years old. But he wasn’t quite ready to settle down yet. Leaving the Picayune in charge of his partner, Kendall came to Texas to join the Santa Fe Expedition to New Mexico and Arizona, where he and the rest of the expeditionary forces were almost immediately captured by the Mexican army. Not to be deterred, Kendall wrote about the action the company had seen, the long trek to Mexico and even sent off dispatches from his Mexican

prison cell, and so became the first war correspondent in history. He reported from the front lines in the Mexican-American War of 1846, and when the war ended in 1848 Kendall had become a famous and wealthy man. While on a trip to Europe to peddle the manuscript of his war history, the forty-six year-old writer and adventurer met a beautiful eighteen year-old French girl, and fell wildly, madly in love. They got married, and Kendall and Adeline nee de Valcourt hung around in Paris for a few more years. But George wasn’t just twiddling his thumbs over there, he kept on writing for the Picayune, and he took up another interest as well. He was planning to become a rancher in Texas. After studying animal husbandry and the science of breeding and raising sheep, Kendall started shipping some first-rate breeding stock overseas to Texas. When he and his wife (and the four kids they’d had in the meantime) came back to the States, it was to settle on the land where they would establish their Post Oak Springs Ranch, and where George Kendall would live for the rest of his life. There he bred and cross-bred his flock with the help of shepherds he’d imported from Scotland as well as sheepdogs that historian Garland Perry speculated “might well have been the forerunner of our Border Collie breed,” but, he admits, “there is no real evidence to support such claim.” According to reports, “[Kendall] battled blizzards, grass fires, and disease until 1856, when he began making a profit. The flock doubled to 3,500 animals within two years and he found a market for his wool clip in Atlanta.” By the time 1860 rolled around, he was running five thousand sheep on 16,000 acres of land in Boerne. He is considered the father of the sheep business in Texas, he vigorously promoted sheep ranching here, he improved the science of breeding and shepherding, was the first to dip his flock in large vats to guard against the scab epidemic, and he pretty much single-handedly turned the whole country around Boerne sheep-crazy. George Wilkins Kendall would go on to be instrumental in forming a new county from parts of Bexar, Kerr and Comal, and would be one of the prime builders behind the first church in town, St Peter’s Catholic Church. But all that will come in time as we travel back to the future. thefam2001@yahoo.com


EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.



By Kristine Duran

Creative mecca, South by Southwest (SXSW) kicks off every spring break for the crowd that would rather have their minds blown by the freshest technology, film, and music instead of altered by beer bongs and keg stands on a beach. The first half of the 10-day festival is a marketing frenzy for budding startups as well as huge corporations, while the second half focuses on emerging music artists as well as a few surprise big-name acts; my favorite portion. Before my boyfriend, Albert, and I were in a relationship, we would drag each other to shows, exposing the other to new music. We were so young and felt the music so deeply. We’ve danced, laughed, and cried to music together since we were 15. It’s what initially bonded us. So every year I make an itinerary of the best free events SXSW has to offer, we slip on our comfiest shoes and EXPLORE. INTERACTIVE DAY 1: EXPECT NOTHING, APPRECIATE EVERYTHING First stop: a music and art pop-up on Congress. The flyer boasts free Tito’s Vodka, so it’s a no-brainer. A young girl with a guitar sets her glasses down on her tweed amp, out of which classic rock riffs begin spewing. As we make our way through the gallery, I hear her fading voice telling a story about hanging out in blues bars in New York City. Art hangs from every wall by Latin American artists. A conventionally beautiful naked woman sitting atop a television, the monopoly man fixed to her genitalia. It depicts our country, our media, our American lives that are consumed by media. The kind of art that conveys so much truth it’s hard to look at. The streets are quiet as we make our way to the Eastside for the Ketel One Party; not yet littered like they will be next week. But as we approach the venue, it looks like a couple hundred others were pretty stoked for it too. We decide there’s no chance we’re getting in and move on. REMEMBER: If you’re going to do SXSW for free, you have to expect nothing and appreciate everything. INTERACTIVE DAY 2: VIRTUALLY FREE We’re at a barbershop on 5th for a virtual reality experience. I get behind some goggles and put on headphones to take a trip to a series of virtual worlds. Every which way I turn there is something to look at. I start to think: Is this the future? Suddenly I imagine a world not-so-farfetched where these goggles are permanently attached to our heads. We don’t have to face the harsh realities of the physical world. The Sims of real life. Am I currently being brainwashed? But the experience ends as soon as I start to loose myself. I grab a screwdriver and some chips, then head out. I hear a guy say, “FREE CRAWFISH!” We make a beeline for The Blind Pig Pub and climb to the rooftop, where there is a line that wraps around twice for a heaping bag of crawfish with all the fixins. They’re dishing far too many crawdads for one human to consume. A hundred people deep in the line, I imagine someone giving me their share, a la The Secret (that book based on the law of attraction and how positive thinking can lead to life-changing


results). “Do you want this?” a stranger asks, holding out a tray of crawfish. But this is real. Life changing. Artificial snowflakes fall from above, getting stuck in my lip gloss. National Geographic’s promotional party for an upcoming Alaskan survival show has a line down to the next block. Besides the fake snow and three free drinks, there isn’t much else going on here. But by now I’ve realized that 80% of the people here are like me: willing to stand in an hour-long line for free shit. I will probably never watch that show. MUSIC DAY 1: UNLIKELY ENCOUNTERS My anxiety is at an all-time high right now! People have flooded the streets and a muffled concoction of every music genre is clogging my ears. To catch our breath, we scurried into The Driskill for a cocktail. Standing directly behind my sister is a man that looks uncannily like former boy bander, Nick Lachey. After mulling over whether it’s Jessica Simpson’s ex or not (I say yes, she says no), he plops himself next to me in the cushiony booth. He is so close he is sitting on my crossbody bag that I am still wearing. A girl walks up and requests a photo and I let out an I-told-you-so chuckle. Obviously, I was next in line for a photo. FYI: he likes his burgers cooked medium well. We made a few stops on our way back to the garage, and we were about to call it a night. That was before someone told us we might be able to catch Incubus’ set across the street from the 7th floor. It’s apparent this is not a secret as groups of friends start pouring in, six packs in hand, prepared for a free show. A blonde girl with a highpitched voice and Monroe piercing tells me that seeing this band has been her dream since she was 17. “I had tickets and then my mom took me to Spain, so I couldn’t see them. I was pissed!” I too have always wanted to see this band, but am having trouble relating. Her adolescence sounds a lot different than mine. My parents would have never been able to afford for us to travel outside of the country. Hell, we never left the state! After an awkward silence, she says, “I’m a brat.” We laugh and sing along to every song until a buff security guard orders us to leave. MUSIC DAY 2: NEW The rain has been putting a damper on a slew of today’s outdoor showcases. With the majority of our plans foiled, we have sought shelter in the Convention Center, where a number of free events are taking place. I head straight for the synth expo. Two bearded guys dressed in all black speaking Portuguese are creating beats on one end, when a smiley woman from Michigan introduces herself. They all start collaboratively working on a beat. After my unlikely bonding moment last night and the one right before me, I’m starting to realize an even deeper and more beautiful aspect of the marketing mess that is SXSW. Whether you come here with friends or by yourself, you’re going to make new friends. Even if it’s just for one night. Even if you don’t remember their name the next day. Everyone comes with an open mind, ready to experience “new”. New trends, new people, new things.

EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

MUSIC DAY 3: LAST MEN STANDING South by SouthWET. Punks are moshing in ponchos, my knees ache, and I feel like the empty cans on the side of the street; caked in mud. We’re at a hip-hop showcase, where it’s clear that I am not alone in those sentiments. A rapper comes on stage and says, “You made it! Y’all are the last men standing. I saw a lot of people go down last night.” Punk. Hip-Hop. Indie. Blue Grass. We are catching showcases by a number of acts that I am sure you will all know about by next year. Quality music, performances, and attitudes not yet jaded by corporate record labels. The last band of the night’s front man keeps throwing me off, though. He comes on stage with a Bill Cosby sweater, high-water pants, and a floral cap. Throughout the performance, Albert and I point how unconvincing his whole shtick is. Their set’s over, he leaves the stage. I walk around back and catch him changing out of his ridiculous getup and vanity glasses into a t-shirt and jeans. Walking around SXSW at night is a lot like that scene in a movie where the main character is in focus and moving in slow motion, while their surroundings are blurred and moving at an accelerated speed. Everyone has somewhere to be, even if they don’t know where they’re going. I threw my soggy itinerary in the trash and ended SXSW the way it should be experienced. Open and aimless.

APRIL 2015



Boerne Professional Artists (BPA) is hosting its 19th Annual Parade of

widely advertised and attended which makes Boerne well known for its

Artists on April 11th and 12th this year. The ‘Parade’ is a festive weekend

commitment to the arts and demonstrates how a thriving arts community

event held each spring that attracts hundreds of art enthusiasts from

contributes to the cultural and economic well-being of the area.

around the country to visit various art venues in Boerne. It is a self-guided tour of local galleries, studios and “other venues” principally located

“Second Saturday Art & Wine“ is a monthly event held on the second

along the Hill Country Mile in the Arts & Design and Historic districts of

Saturday of each month. Open to the public and hosted by participating

downtown Boerne.

galleries and art exhibitors, visitors enjoy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments from 4pm to 8pm with a free trolley connecting the various venues.

Over 30 local artists will be featured at 10 separate venues in this year’s

It’s a great time to visit galleries, meet the artists, and enjoy a relaxed,

‘Parade’ with a diversity of media ranging from paintings in oils, watercolor,

congenial artistic environment.

pastels and acrylics, to bronze and relief sculpture, jewelry, photography, pottery, fused glass, mixed media and more. In addition to the established

In the fall of each year BPA hosts the “Texas Hill Country Invitational Art

Boerne art galleries where more than a hundred artists of national and

Show & Sale”. The 2015 event is scheduled for October 16 - 18, and will

international reputation will be represented, several downtown businesses

again be held at the beautiful Cana Ballroom of St. Peter the Apostle

have offered space for artists’ displays, while others are showing their

Catholic Church in Boerne. The Invitational is a premier art show and

works in their own art studios.

sale, featuring artists from across the state and includes a full slate of artrelated events.

Free of charge, as always, the ‘Parade’ opens on Saturday, April 11th from 10am until 8pm with wine and hors d’oeuvres provided at many of the venues that evening. A free shuttle trolley connecting the ‘Parade’ venues will also be available Saturday. On Sunday, April 12th, the venues will be open from 11am

Boerne Professional Artists is an organization of professional artists, art patrons and art galleries in the Texas Hill Country and coastal regions whose mission is to enhance business opportunities for visual artists in all media. Its supporting partners in the visual arts include the City

until 4pm. Several artists will be

of Boerne, the Hill Country Council for the Arts, the Greater Boerne

demonstrating their individual

Chamber of Commerce and the Boerne Convention and Visitors Bureau.

techniques at various times throughout the event. In addition to the ‘Parade’, BPA’s other art events are



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Hosted by Boerne Professional Artists (BPA), the 19th Annual Parade of Artists is a festive weekend event held each spring which attracts hundreds of art enthusiasts from around the country to visit various art venues in Boerne. It is a self-guided tour of local galleries, studios and “other venues” that are principally located along the Hill Country Mile in the Arts & Design and Historic districts of downtown Boerne and nearby communities.

1. Mudworks Pottery 228 Bess St., Boerne, TX 78006 830.249.2167

BPA’s professional artist members will be showing a diversity of media ranging from paintings in oils, watercolor, pastels and acrylics, to bronze and relief sculpture, jewelry, photography, pottery, fused glass, encaustics, mixed media and more. SATURDAY, APRIL 11 10am – 5pm Art Show begins... FREE to the public all day. BPA’s fine art events are widely advertised and attended which makes Boerne well known for its commitment to the arts and demonstrates how a thriving arts community contributes to the cultural and economic well-being of the area. Many artists will be demonstrating their individual techniques and styles at various times throughout the event. 5pm – 8pm Held in conjunction with the monthly Second Saturday Art & Wine event, come and enjoy this incredible fine art show while sampling wonderful wines and hors d’oeuvres served at many of the venues that evening. FREE trolley service will be available from 10am-8pm. SUNDAY, APRIL 12 11am – 4pm Art Show continues... FREE to the public all day with brunch being served at various participating locations. Trolley service will not be available. Don’t miss the Art & Conservation Art Show & Sale: “Our Hidden Treasures” held at the Cibolo Nature Center during regular ‘Parade’ days and hours.

Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors! Agricultural Heritage Museum • America’s Best Value Inn (Days Inn) Angie Carney Studio • Barbara Hall Bill Scheidt Western & Wildlife Art • Bluebonnet Realty Boerne Convention & Visitors Bureau • Boerne Dental Center Boerne Spotlights • Carol Hall • Cavender Chevrolet Cibolo Creek Veterinary Hospital • Circle “H” Signs Comfort Inn & Suites Texas Hill Country Dena Szymarek, Fine Artist • Dough, Ray & Me Dynamic Environments • Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Farmers Insurance Company Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce • Head Over Heels Hill Country Council for the Arts • I Can Realty Jennings-Anderson Ford • J. R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art Kuper-Sotheby Realty • Lone Star Properties Mona Lisa’s Gourmet Pizzeria • Pamela Gardner Studio Petland • Ranch Radio Group • Schooley Media Ventures (SMV) Smart Wine Direct • Sonora Bank • Sonora Mortgage St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort & Spa Texas Heritage Bank • Twin Liquors • Wear It’s At

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2. Texas Treasures Gallery of Art and Artisans 615 S. Main St., Boerne, TX 78006 830.816.5331 3. Texas Treasures Fine Art Gallery & Sculpture Garden 605 S. Main St., Boerne, TX 78006 830.816.5335 4. J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art 305 S. Main St. #400, Boerne, TX 78006 830.816.5106 5. Pace Cars and Antiques 195 S. Main St., Boerne, TX 78006 830.331.2127 6. Serendipity on Main 195 S. Main St., Boerne, TX 78006 830.331.7227 7. Carriage House Gallery of Artists 110 Rosewood Ave., Boerne, TX 78006 830.248.1184 8. Phillip Manor 706 S. Main St., Boerne, TX 78006 830.816.5114 9. Cibolo Nature Center 140 City Park Rd., Boerne, TX 78006 830.249.4616 10. Swanson Art at Fair Oaks Ranch Center 28550 I H - 10 West # 5, Fair Oaks Ranch, TX 78015 210.861.2914

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APRIL 2015




By Kendall D. Aaron

People will eternally fail you. No matter how much faith you may put in them, they will invariably fumble the ball. Parents, friends, siblings, spouses…no matter how strong your relationship is with them, at some point, you will be left with mud all over you due to their behavior. People are people, and as such, they WILL sin. Your perfect husband who hangs the stars for you will eventually pull such a bonehead move that you will be left flabbergasted. Your parents will let you down. Your bestest buddy will hurt you deeply. Your kids will leave you in tears. While this might seem like a most obvious piece of wisdom, it’s also one that typically has a pretty profoundly crummy impact on us. We feel so deceived, so lost, so hurt….so worthless. A person’s action that hurt us will often times cause us to reflect upon our own worth. Your best friend that ditched you for something else might cause you to say, “I don’t really have any friends. There must be something about me that causes people to leave me.” Your boss rudely responds to an idea you had, and you shuffle out of the office berating yourself with “My goodness, I’m an utter failure. I’m not smart enough for this job and everybody knows it.” We are ALL guilty of this. The actions of another impact our own self-perception, invariably driving it lower than it should be. How long we remain at this low point is up to us, but sometimes, we may linger there permanently. How sad. We are all God’s children. If you have children, and they come home with tears running down their cheeks about how someone at school told them that they were stupid or fat or slow or that they had a stupid haircut, how do you as the parent feel? It breaks your heart because you love your children so much and never wish for them to think lowly of themselves.


1 John 4:19 tells us “We love because He first loved us.” He TAUGHT us how to love. With His perfect love, he sees none of your faults, none of your shortcomings. They are invisible to him, and His love simply surrounds you. If God, the Creator of the universe thinks that you are doing alright, why are you so quick to condemn yourself as a failure and misfit? We are all imperfect, wretched sinners. We sin every single day, in one form or another. Sometimes we sin against ourselves with our decisions, and sometimes we sin against others. Those sins against others can impact them in very painful ways, but it’s most important to remember the origin of that pain: sin. The sin made you, as the victim, feel hurt. Sad. Worthless. Depressed. God still sees you as his perfect creation, and His love for you extends across the horizons, and the feelings that you are having are not reality. God doesn’t make sad, worthless, depressed people. He makes people with the potential to change the world, and it’s our duty to recognize our potential and to not let the daily struggles of sin keep us from our destiny. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28” All things work together for good. Even that bonehead thing that your husband did. Or even those mean things that your boss said. How can they be used for good? Forgiveness. Compassion. A renewed strength and dedication to improve. God has huge plans for you, and an even larger love for you. Embrace Him, and stay in the knowledge that you are His perfect creation. No matter what anybody might tell you (or what you might feel.).

EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.


EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.


By Paul Wilson

The first rule of a healthy mid-life crisis is “Don’t do anything stupid.”

acquire fresh wardrobes, find other friends, and embark on different hobbies. Some even take on a whole new persona.

There are few things more unbecoming than mid-life crisis stupidity. We’ve all seen it or know somebody who’s done one (or more!) of the following:

2. ROMANCE Another classic mid-life crisis symptom is a renewed interest in romance. The fifty-

• Wearing the wardrobe and accessories of a much younger person. Like, say, your

something panic catalyzes long since neglected longings for connection, passion,


and intimacy.

• Getting a tattoo across the small of their back. Which, honestly, isn’t quite as small as

Unfortunately, if one finds their current spouse to be uninterested in a fresh wave of

it used to be.

passion, they often go searching for it elsewhere. This is when many affairs occur and

• Buying a sports car or a designer truck with all the latest options. Someone’s

divorces happen. If moral or social mores along with a lack of self-confidence are an


issue, then a growing interest in online dating, flirting with work associates and even

• Filing for divorce in the confidence they’ll be able to land a more enjoyable

the bar scene becomes an option to test the waters of one’s sagging sex appeal.

partner…who will put up with the crap that their current spouse has had to tolerate

This is perhaps the most painful thing to watch in the life of a good friend. Your

over the past twenty-five years.

best words of caution often fall on deaf ears. It always turns out to be one of the most destructive expressions of mid-life crisis. Hearts get hurt and families become

The stereotypical “mid-life crisis” has been created by the almost predictable behavior

scattered in the aftermath of a lot of lousy choices in the search for romantic intimacy.

of middle-aged men and women. The world is full of fifty-somethings startled by the fear

After years of assisting couples with navigating the demise of their marriage, I have

their life is passing them by like a bus rolling right past its scheduled stop. The outbound

learned that the secret to a great marriage is a different pattern rather than a different

bus to their future is leaving the station without them, and they are stuck sitting there in

partner. Very rarely does changing spouses solve the relational discontentment that

the malaise of being half a century old. While it is not very pretty, it is pretty common.

brews in a restless soul. Oh, it may seem to improve for a few months, but eventually

There’s a reason why so many stereotypical images of a mid-life crisis exist. It has become

it proves to be every bit as disappointing as our previous relationship when the

a part of our social vocabulary because it is such a frequent occurrence in our experience.

broader responsibilities of commitment start demanding our attention. Eventually,

We know a lot of middle-aged adults who start jettisoning their otherwise responsible

the affair starts to look, feel and sound a lot like our marriage with its expectations

lifestyle for something a bit more…um, let’s say, adventurous.

and boundaries.

But that’s the point! The longing for adventure is what often drives the angst behind most mid-life crises.


Adventure is not a bad thing. It’s the way one goes about it that can become a problem.

Most human beings crave a certain level of excitement in their lives. For most

I have come to the conclusion that the frequency of mid-life crisis behavior simply points

people, somewhere along the mid-point of our lives, the apprehension of growing

to the fact it is a pretty normal experience for middle aged adults. Unfortunately, we have

old and the panic of running out of time to do some of the things we have always

stigmatized it as some kind of negative, shameful conduct. But is it really?

wanted to do stirs a lot of anxiety in the human spirit.

Let me ask you: what is so shameful about waking up one day and wanting to make

This panic creates a crisis of urgency. Suddenly, we find ourselves looking online for

some long, overdue changes at a critical juncture in our one and only life? Nothing!

the quickest way to do something we have been putting off for the past thirty years.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with it…until otherwise responsible individuals start

Skydiving almost always tops the list. Exotic vacation destinations are a close second.

making irresponsible choices, blowing up other people’s lives in an attempt to remodel

Then there’s climbing Mount Everest, backpacking the Appalachian trail, rafting the

their own.

Grand Canyon, opening a restaurant, buying a winery, running a marathon, owning a

What makes mid-life corrections shameful is when people start behaving in a way

Corvette (or other bright red sports car), sailing around the world, and a whole host

that is very uncharacteristic of somebody with the maturity and intelligence to be more

of sexual fantasies that seems to make our “something I want to do before I die” list.

responsible with their life. A mid-life crisis - the angst of ambition - is completely normal.

In their panic, many fifty year olds rush off to do things they’ve always wanted before

Where it all goes wrong is at irresponsibility, immaturity and stupidity.

marriage, family and career hijacked the time and energy to do any of it.

As a Life Coach, it has been my observation that the angst and panic of a mid-life crisis

All of this is about the craving to feel alive again. Unfortunately, the rush of

presents itself in four typical expressions.

adrenaline is often mistaken for what it means to live. For many people, the onset of our middle years ushers in the craving to feel again.


Mid-lifers succumbed to the suffocating effects of routine and ritual, allowing their

One of the first mid-life crisis shakeups is the overhaul of one’s image. This can

lives to become a tiresome pattern of the same old thing year after year.

include anything from contacts and a new hairstyle to a different automobile and a gym

After all, work comes first. Kids come first. Others come first. Family comes first.

membership; from replacing one’s entire wardrobe to moving to a high-rise condo in the

Church comes first. Community comes first. After trying to keep up with all the firsts

big city. Whatever the change, it almost always has to do with remaking how one looks.

demanding the priority of your time and energy, you have lived the last quarter

Or more accurately, how they appear to others.

century putting your personal interests and ambitions last.

Busting out of the predictable, boring, and suffocating routines of the past twenty-five

Somewhere around the age of fifty, those dormant ambitions rise from their

years of career, marriage and parenting drives so many people to desire a significant

slumber and ask if they are ever going to get the opportunity to be fulfilled.

change in the look of their life.

They usually sounds like, “I’ve always wanted to….”

I’ve seen it all; the makeover from upstanding gentleman to irrepressible playboy;

Everybody fills in the blank differently. The problem is finding the time, the energy,

the miracle from chunky soccer mom to sultry businesswoman. People in the throes of a

the money, the ability, or the freedom to do it. In the end, feelings of resentment and

mid-life crisis go on diets, start working out, have enhancement surgery, buy sporty cars,

disappointment often drive the stupid.


EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to travel to exotic places, accomplish

haven’t been in years. That’s when people end up making a mess of their future.

challenging ambitions or overcome difficult obstacles. Nothing wrong at all…until

If your “mid-life crisis” motivates you to develop the plans and honor the disciplines to

you do a lot of irresponsible things that hurt other people just to scratch something

finally pursue your dream, it’s a very good thing. What if we were to honor it as very

off your Bucket List.

healthy response to the longings of the human spirit?



Typical to most every mid-life crisis story is some kind of resentment about

In his book Half Time: Moving from Success to Significance, author Bob Buford,


recommends “low-cost probes” as a wise approach to making pivotal transitions in one’s

Many a mid-life crisis is stirred by a person’s decision to jettison the weight of

life. Low-cost probes are practical explorations of experiences that are of interest to you

responsibility they have grown to resent through the years. Responsibility at work.

before you completely sell the farm and abandon what got you this far.

Responsibility at home. Responsibility in the community. Responsibility to whatever

A low-cost probe is an experiment; a try-out; a chance to take an up close and personal

moral code has locked them into the predictable, lifeless routines of commitment

look at an opportunity of interest. Before running away to join the circus, volunteer to

and obligation to all the people around them.

work as a trouper for a week or two. See how you like it.

Standing there at the half-century mark, the thought of another twenty-five years of

Unless you have some extraordinary talent like turning yourself inside out or leaping

the same old, same old is suffocating.

to your death and living to tell about, you may find yourself cleaning up after a lot of

With responsibilities come expectations. Reasonable or unreasonable, twenty-

elephants. It…just…might….not be quite as romantic as all the books make it sound.

five years of expectations starts to wear thin when there appears to be no end in

After the reality of life on the road with the circus settles in, you may find yourself

sight. The burden and expectations of a quarter century of responsibility for others

longing for the “good ol’ days” when you had a real job surrounded by familiar friends

becomes so overwhelming that we start daydreaming of being free from it all.

and family. The truth is - depending on you and your attitude - circus life sucks about as

Why do you think so many fifty-somethings start acting like twenty-somethings

many days a year as your current one.

when they head off into their prototypical mid-life crisis? It’s an attempt – albeit an unbecoming one – to return to days when there was a lot less responsibility and a lot more freedom to do as one pleases. Or, at least, that’s how we remember it.

Blowing up the bridges to your current life in the rush to run off and join the circus could be more costly than you ever imagined. Dreams have a way of leaving out a lot of important details. Oh say, like income, health, disappointment, and

Stay out as late as we want. Sleep in as late as we want. Eat and drink


whatever we want. Do whatever we want…as often as we want. The key

The same is true with the romanticized illusions you have about a

words here are “we want.” Longing. Desire. Ambition.

different partner or a different lifestyle. There always comes the day

Many a mid-life crisis is precipitated by the declaration of, “I’m

when you wake up from your mid-life overdose and discover she’s

sick and tired of all of this. I want do whatever I want, when I

a lot like your ex-wife, lugging groceries up to a high-rise

want for a change!”

condo is a hassle, and the regret you feel about what you

And there it is! Did you catch it? It’s the underlying

did to your kids when you blew up your family doesn’t

cause of every mid-life crisis. “For a change!” is the

seem to go away when you lay your head on your

great giveaway of what is really behind fifty-

pillow at night…regardless of how great the

something angst.

sexual fireworks may have been.

We want change.

Competitive athletes use the phrase “embrace the suck.” It is anticipating and accepting that

The great threat to an

miserable experience when

energizing and satisfying

everything in your body

life is the absence of

is screaming for you

change. If we are

to stop because it

not careful,

hurts so badly.

life can get

Your lungs

pretty boring.

are burning.


Your legs feel


like lead. You

Routine. Same old,

have a sharp pain

same old. Few people

in your side and it feels

aspire to a boring life. It’s not

like your heart is going to

their idea of a life’s dream.

explode from overexertion.

The early years of marriage, family

Hard work hurts! Great athletes

and career hold out the hope that the

prepare for it and discipline

future will be exciting and adventurous.

themselves to work past it. It’s the price of

Why? Because it is usually defined by a lot

progress and the path to victory.

of dramatic changes. New jobs. New cities. New

cars. New houses. New furniture. New children. New

Life is a lot like that. Over the course

of nurturing a marriage, raising a family and

friends. New freedoms.

cultivating a career, it gets difficult, disappointing, and

But when the passing of the years brings fewer and fewer

discouraging. Hard work hurts, no matter what you’re

changes in a life that turns predictable and routine – and stays

doing. Wise people work their way through it rather than run

that way year after year - the life drains out of life while a dormant

away from it.

soul aches.

In one last ditch effort to be heard, the soul stirs, and with its restless cry comes the angst of ambition. The desire to pursue long forgotten dreams awakens. When this happens in our late forties or early fifties, a full-blown mid-life crisis is birthed.

I recently stumbled across a great quote by Robert Holden,

Director of the Happiness Project.

“Beware of Destination Addiction: a preoccupation with the idea that

happiness is in the next place, the next job, and with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.” So, what can an otherwise healthy and responsible person do to address the

We can either abort it, or we can embrace it.

angst their fiftieth birthday ignited? Well, here’s a suggestion. Name one ambition in your life you’ve always wanted

A “mid-life crisis” doesn’t have to be a bad thing! If we are careful, it can be one

to pursue. Answer the question, “What would it take to ‘go for it’ at this point in

of the most pivotal circumstances of our life for good. In fact, it doesn’t need to

your life?”

be a crisis at all if we carefully listen to our heart, wisely discern our longings, and

Think through a plan for how you could pursue it in a wise and responsible fashion.

pursue them properly.

Set some goals about when you are going to follow through with the important steps of your plan. Try a few low-cost probes into the experience and educate

Do you want to know how to have a healthy mid-life crisis?

yourself about what it would take to enjoy it more often.

Decide the middle of your life is not too late to start doing what you’ve always

But whatever you do, please….

dreamed. Grant yourself the permission to go after some of your dreams with a calculated plan of attack that doesn’t jeopardize all the years of hard work you put

Dream again!

into building your life up to this point. Quit thinking the pursuit of long abandoned ambitions has to be the stuff of

At your age, it just looks so much better on you than skinny jeans.

a younger you from yesteryear. It’s okay to start your dreams at fifty! The crisis is created when we attempt to go backwards in life in order to be something you

APRIL 2015



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EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.



An Open Letter from Old Timer No single word will split this community faster than the word GROWTH. We have one faction, that will spit insults at anyone that uses terms like “responsible growth” or “controlled growth”, because, well, the word GROWTH is in there, and it will eternally piss them off. They want no new growth; they want little quaint streets with kids selling lemonades while Dad works his donkey-led plow on the back 40. You know, like how it’s ALWAYS been. On the other side, we have some sly dogs that are quietly for buzzwords like “responsible growth” and “affordable housing.” I’m fairly confident that every single one of them that uses these words are in the game for some amount of profit. No, that doesn’t mean they are land developers or realtors per se, but odds are, they own local businesses that would benefit tremendously from the new faces. They are cool with vistas of rooftops as far as the eyes can see, and so long as government is in control of the growth, they shrug their shoulders and say “What are ya gonna do?” Ok, now that we’ve covered that, I’m about to let you in on who is actually guilty for the curse known as GROWTH: the answer is that we all are guilty. That’s right, Mr. Over my Dead Body Will Another Business move to Town. You’re guilty, too. And you too, Mr. Hey, It’s Cool Cause I Sell Hamburgers And Could Use Some More Business. We’re all guilty. Don’t believe me? Let me let you in on a little secret: Boerne is popular because of the town that has been created. On its good side, we are a town with a charming Main Street district, low crime, and not a lot of the big city inconveniences. These are the things that Mr. Hey, Let’s Move Out of this Dump Known as San Antonio thinks about when he thinks of Boerne. He’s sick of sitting in bumper to bumper traffic next to a car with bass so loud that it’s shaking his mirrors, and he wants to get his family to somewhere appropriate to raise his family. So he looks at Boerne. And what does he see? He sees a brand new library. We built a library so that we could handle the “future growth” of our area and to provide a great resource to the citizens. And you know what? We did a good job. We built a HUGE library that is amazing. One that is well larger than we actually needed, but hey, people are moving here, so we better accommodate ‘em, right? Then he sees a newly revamped River Trail area. The old river trail was little more than a park, but the City spent a truckload of cash to spruce it up, and the visitors exclaim, “Isn’t it beautiful here?!!” (Except for that RIDICULOUS duck statue). The visitor sees land values that are insanely high, and thinks, “Wow,


the land is so beautiful!” and we all agree that it is. But because the City has valued land at such crazy high values, Grandma sells her 500 acres to CENTEX Homes because she can’t afford the tax values. Then he sees a sea of “affordable housing” because the geniuses at the Economic Development Corporation have been pushing for that kind of housing for years. He sees a Main Street District that is full of retail that is jam packed on Saturday afternoons when he visits, and he thinks “What a charming little area!” However, if you look at that same area on a Wednesday afternoon, the shop keepers are standing on their front stoops, having a smoke because the locals don’t shop on Main Street (for the most part). He also sees a crap load of parks and trails and playgrounds, and blah, blah, blah. You see – we have actually done a pretty good job of sprucing up Boerne from the sleepy little town it WAS, and turned it into the neat little town it is now. Those people involved with the Library screamed “Oh my goodness, we MUST have a new library!” and sure enough, they got one. And those at the Parks and Rec department campaigned for new trails and parks, and they got those, too. Every one with a vested interest in the latest improvement got what they wanted thanks to Grandma’s stupid-high tax values. And now here we sit, scratching our heads as to why so many people keep moving here, and essentially transforming the “neat little town” into the “ho-hum suburb”. So from my chair, we’re all to blame. We wanted improvements, and we got them. And we created a town that Mr. Visitor from Another Town looked at and thought “Let’s move HERE!” So the next time you sit in traffic on Main Street, or grumble when you see a new franchise business coming to the area, just remember that we all share the blame. There is no real solution to the problem, other than to bus in criminals, vandals, and all the riff-raff we can find in order to lower our property values, increase our crime rates, and destroy the pretty things around town. Sound like a good idea? Nah, I didn’t think. So buck up fellow old timers. It was a good run, but the writing is on the wall. More people are coming, and we might as well welcome them to town and give them the lay of the land. Either that, or we install gun turrets out on I-10 and refuse entry to EVERYONE. I’m good with either idea.

EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.





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