COMING SEPTEMBER 2013 BOERNE, TEXAS • 930 E. BLANCO
Finally, fine gentlemen throughout Kendall county will have a salon that is dedicated solely to their needs. Leather furniture throughout, TVs at every station, hot towel treatments, straight razor shaves, scalp and neck massages, and so much more. And did we mention the complimentary top-shelf cocktails or beers? Take everything you’ve ever known about getting a “haircut”, and throw it out the window. GENT is so much more than a haircut; it’s a full lifestyle and grooming club devoted to men, and providing
them services in an atmosphere where men are most comfortable. No more waiting in a packed waiting room to receive a subpar cut in a cheap franchise location. Instead, enjoy your pre-set appointment (no waiting), being greeted by name, receiving the finest haircut and styling session you’ve ever received, and being treated like a true king from the moment you arrive, up until the moment you walk out our door. GENT is styling for the discerning gentleman, and we mean that. You don’t have to demand to be treated like royalty, but it should be expected.
Shawn Vaughan General Manager - Toyota of Boerne
You’ve Had Ordinary. Be Extraordinary. for more information & employment opportunities visit www.completegent.com
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18 Cibolo Nature Center
34 Summer Music Guide
20 Camping Gadgets
36 Art Profile
22 AMAZING OLOFF
38 Yellowstone Coming to Boerne
Explore what's inside this issue!
Everything you need, or may not need!
8 From the Publisher 10 Calendar Hill Country events and activities for everyone.
What's up with that sidewalk?
"Oldies, but goodies"
Becky Clair Rogers
Photography Art Show to come to Library
The Texas Wine Trail
The hotest acts coming to the area
I wanna go fast!
The Fabulous Newton Boys
But ...I'm Perfect
Of Babies, Botox, and Porcupine Balls 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
Marjorie Hagy (History) 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.
Christine Friesenhan (Dining)
Christine Friesenhahn is a food blogger (www.texanaskitchen.com), 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 Whitaker (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 firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Director Benjamin N. Weber email@example.com
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!
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.
ASSISTANT CREATIVE DIRECTOR Leah Bredemeyer firstname.lastname@example.org OPERATIONS MANAGER Kate Kent email@example.com ADVERTISING SALES 210-507-5250 firstname.lastname@example.org
EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.
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From the Publisher
Dearest EXPLORE reader,
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Mother Teresa said that. She said lots of very wise things, but this may be one of my favorites. Because each “today” is your opportunity to live in the present. Lately I’ve been spending an extraordinary amount of time thinking about “today.” I think about where I am, how I’m living each day, and how I’m affecting those around me each day. Like so very many of you out there, I have a strong tendency to look waaaaay down the road and make decisions based on things that have yet to occur. I hustle around trying to make a living and amass a savings account so that I can have a good retirement, and I stress myself out work while thinking to myself “maybe next year I can take a vacation.” My father in law went to the doctor for a check-up recently and walked out with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis. My friend was hit on his bicycle a few Fridays ago enjoying a late afternoon cruise and may not return to work for a year, if ever. I asked my brother to go play golf. He told me his arm was sore. He went for an x-ray. He has lymphoma. I went dirt biking with a friend. He was doing 5 mph, fell off his bike, and will be in the hospital for over a month. For a few moments, they weren’t sure he would make it. All of this has happened in the last few months. And so, for these past few months, I’ve just been struggling to make sense of it all. Some part of me wants to call them all “tragedies”, and I suppose they are. I might think that they’re nothing but dumb old bad luck, but I don’t think “luck” determines stuff like this. In the end, I think that it’s just LIFE. Scary, messy, sloppy, dirty ol’ dangerous LIFE. It’s the kind of LIFE that we can become so insulated against; the kind of LIFE that happens on the evening news and to friends of friends. It’s the LIFE that we read about on Facebook, but have no direct connection to. Except, in my case, it’s not. It’s all over me, and everywhere around me. And while I have been scared, sad, and angry, and while I might have been frustrated, confused, and discouraged… I’m not anymore. Instead, I’m coming to understand that as I walk down the street and I watch my feet take step after step, and as I listen to the birds around me, and feel the breeze blow, I am coming to understand that this is LIFE. And, above all else, I must learn to appreciate it for what it is. A sore arm complaint can turn into cancer for a 34 year old. Laughing with friends while messing around on dirt bikes can become beeping medical machines, sobbing spouses, and trauma center hallways. Everything around you envelopes you in the beauty of this world, and provides you with the joy that has become the masterpiece of art known as your life. And while it is beautiful, it’s also so temporary, and so fragile. I know that we’ve all read books and seen quotes on framed art all over the place that say basically the same thing: Enjoy the present, be thankful, hug your family, yadda, yadda, yadda. So I won’t be so bold as to say that I can pen any words any more powerful than that and somehow cause you any greater emotional response. But I will say my friend, that it’s all so very, very true. I sit here at my desk and I have trouble getting motivated to write this little letter cause my kids are outside playing. People around me are completely enveloped in some great venture that I am involved, and I struggle to focus because I hear the fishing is really good right now on the Guadalupe. My wife has been begging for date night on an upcoming Saturday night, but instead, we went out on a Tuesday. Why wait till Saturday? Who knows what may happen between here and there? I could take a walk down the street and end up next to my friends in the hospital, and I would have missed out on that date night. The journey of life is just extraordinary. I’m no different in that I have heard my entire life about how we should all stop to be thankful, and we nod our heads in agreement and mumble “Amen”, but I’m not sure it ever really sinks in. All I know is that there’s something to be said for “balance.” My pastor said once that we should all “work” for our families, and “do” our work. 99% of us have it the other way around. I’m just here, watching the sun rise and set. I watch the stars at night and listen to the wind. I just… breathe. And somehow, even through all of this mayhem, I smile. Because I get to rise tomorrow and come work at something I love, laugh often, and maybe, just maybe, get a little closer to understanding that the artwork of my life is simply perfect. At least it’s perfect… for TODAY. Welcome to May. I hope that my letter doesn’t come across as being all about me, because that’s not my intention. I use my life as an example, but truly, it’s all about you. You are out there living your life just the same, and I just hope that you can EXPLORE, dream, and take in all the grandeur and beauty of your existence, no matter where you are. For today is it – it shall never come again. You might as well make it everything it can be, for none of us know what tomorrow may bring. Smiling,
Benjamin D. Schooley
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Get out and enjoy the great Texas Hill Country! The most comprehensive events calendar. Send submissions to email@example.com
May 3 - 5
& tea included. Great homemade deserts sold for only $1, begins at 11:30, ends at 1:30 pm
LUCKENBACH (830)997-8515, www.hillcountryrun.com Includes leisure rides through the scenic Hill Country, food, live music, a motorcycle stunt show, Evel Knievel exhibit and cowboy breakfast.
Hill Country Run Motorcycle Rally
Cowboys on Main
BANDERA (800)364-3833 www.banderacowboycapital.com Features a Western display in front of the Bandera County Courthouse and strolling entertainers on Main Street. Hours are 1-4 p.m. Main Street. May 4
BOERNE (830)249-2839, www.kcfa.org At the Kendall County Fair Grounds. Noon to Midnight. Featuring music by the Tejas Brothers. Live Bands Throughout the Day, Horseshoe Tournament, Washer Pitching Tournament, Egg Toss and Activities for the Kids. Tons of FUN for the WHOLE FAMILY! Admission is $10 per person 13 and over; 12 and under are free. Free Parking! May 4
BANDERA (830)796-4447, www.banderabusiness.com Features local arts and crafts. Courthouse Square. May 4
BOERNE (210)279-0197, (830)249-9511 www.boernequilting.com Includes hundreds of quilts on display, live music, craft demonstrations and shopping. Hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Downtown and Main Plaza Park, 100 N. Main St. May 4 - 5
Comfort Village Spring Antiques Show
COMFORT (830)995-3670 www.comfortchamberofcommerce.com Comfort Park, 403 Texas 27. May 5
PLEASANT VALLEY The historic Pleasant Valley School was built in 1885 and their annual BBQ has been an “end of school” event for over a century!! GREAT BBQ and great fun! Join them on May 5 for a good down home meal!! This year they are raising funds to put in some ADA bathrooms and walkways to help the rural community utilize the Center. The Pleasant Valley Community Center (and historic school) is on HWY 46 at Los Indios Ranch Road, 6 miles East of Boerne Texas. Enjoy a wonderful BBQ plate lunch (chicken, German potato salad, beans and all the fixings, water
St. Stanislaus Parish Festival
BANDERA (830)460-4712 www.ststanislaus.us/stanislausfest/index.html Includes a meal, children’s activities, music, auction and entertainment. Mansfield Park. May 5
surroundings and explore the other offerings of Gruene Historic District. Grapevine Texas Wine Bar, 1612 Hunter Road. May 17 - 18
Best of BoerneFest
BOERNE (830)249-8000, www.boerne.org Block party and concert takes place in Downtown and around Main Plaza. May 18 - 19
Bandera Music Hall of Fame Showcase
Old Gruene Market Days
KNBT Americana Music Jam
BANDERA (830)796-8179 Bandera Music Hall of Fame inductees perform a showcase of Bandera’s favorite music. Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar.
Blues Master: Doug McLeod
BOERNE www.hillcountryhouseconcerts.com Sunday evening music at 7:30 pm. Alamo Fiesta RV Resort Contributions (100% to musician): $15 Please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org May 7
Cowboy Capital Opry
BANDERA (830)796-4969, www.silversagecorral.org Grand Old Opry-style show features Harriet and Gerry Payne and various artists. Begins at 7 p.m. Silver Sage Corral, 803 Buck Creek Drive May 11 - 12
BOERNE (210)844-8193, www.boernemarketdays.com Main Plaza is home to hundreds of festive booths that blend the traditions of the Texas Hill Country with the creations of today. 100 N. Main.
GRUENE (830)832-1721, www.gruenemarketdays.com 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. May 19
GRUENE (830)629-5077, (830)606-1601 www.gruenehall.com Celebration of Americana music features exceptional artists of the genre. Gruene Hall, 1281 Gruene Road. May 21 - 24
Vintage Porsche Rallye
BOERNE (830)249-7277, www.hillcountryrallye.org Open to Porsches from 1973 or earlier (and a few special post-’73 models). Downtown Boerne and touring around the Hill Country. May 24 - 25
Arts and Crafts Show
BANDERA (830)796-3280, www.banderatex.com More than 90 vendors display art and crafts around courthouse square. May 24 - 26
Cowboy Capital Rodeo Association Pro Rodeo
BOERNE (877)833-0621, (830)249-1500 www.secondsaturdayartandwine.com Enjoy a glass of wine and stroll through the art galleries. Hours are 4-8 p.m. Various venues.
Funtier Day Parade
Second Saturday Art and Wine
Singer/Songwriter: Brian Cutean
BOERNE www.hillcountryhouseconcerts.com Saturday evening music at 7:30 pm. Alamo Fiesta RV Resort Contributions (100% to musician): $12 Please email us: email@example.com May 16
Come and Taste It
GRUENE (830)606-0093, www.grapevineingruene.com Three wines from the best wineries in the state and surrounding regions are featured, along with live music, food samples, giveaways and more. This a great opportunity to hear from winemakers about how they craft their wines, enjoy the natural
BANDERA (830)796-7207, www.banderarodeo.com Mansfield Park Rodeo Arena. May 25
BANDERA (800)364-3833, www.banderatex.com Features rodeo cowboys, trail ride groups, antique cars and decorated floats. Begins at 11 a.m. Main Street. May 26
Boerne Concert Band Performance
BOERNE (830)249-7502, www.boerneconcertband.org Main Plaza, 100 N. Main St. May 28
Swing Dance Lessons
GRUENE (830)606-1601 Learn simple, fun East Coast Swing steps in this one-hour class held before each Two Ton Tuesday show all summer long at Gruene Hall.
EXPLORE it! LIVE IT! The REAL Kendall County.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO PAINT? Come paint with two nationally known artists Stevie Ricks and Anne Parker as instructors. Introducing Boerne’s most
exclusive & intimate neighborhood
Small adult classes with individualized attention are available in acrylic, watercolor, oil and mixed media.
Let’s go walk around on the Top of the World for a while Get out your walking shoes and call Kevin Crawford for a private tour. Less than eight minutes to downtown Boerne only seven acreage home sites available www.SABINAS-MOUNTAIN.com
P X “E
YO E R LO
UR CREATIV E SE LF
JOIN US IN ONE OF THE ON-GOING CLASSES FOR THE SUMMER! Tue. 1pm-4pm • Wed. 10am-2pm Classes can fit around your travel plans Ricks Studio is located on Boerne Stage Road Please call for more information, pricing and to sign up for classes!
830-981-4171 or 210-625-0500
www.riverbedconcrete.com polished concrete flooring | stained concrete flooring concrete countertops & sinks | concrete basins & firebowls
As Seen On:
39390 W IH 10 #C - Boerne, Tx 78006 830-981-2210 (p) | 830-755-6055 (f) showroom by appointment
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Like us on Facebook: www.facebook/waterviewcafe.com Hours of operation. Mon - Thurs 11-3; Fri - Sat 11 - 8 and Sun 11-3
Now Both At One Location!
Come meet the newest member of our Family
You Deserve Delicious! 711 S Main | www.wearitsatboerne.com www.headoverheelsboerne.net Like us on Facebook Hours of operation - Now open Mondays! Mon - Sat 10:00-5:30, Sun 12:00-5:00
17711 IH-10 West, Ste. 104 â€˘ San Antonio (Between Palladium and Bass Pro Shop) We Deliver (within 5 miles) â€˘ www.monalisaspizzeria.com Like us on Facebook
Hours of operation: Mon - Sat 11:00-10:00, Sun 11:00-8:00
Hot times in the summer 1. Black and whit cotton knit maxi from Soft Works $86.00. Sam Edelman leather sandal, $56.00 2. Julio coral necklace with pewter cross, $138.00 3. Leather wallets from Fossil, $58.00 & $60.00. 4. Tye dye tunic from Nomadic Traders, $72.00. White denim capri from Silver Jeans, $72.00. Leather bag from Fossil, $132.00. Mystic sandal $142.00. 5. Lolia bubble bath and hand lotion.
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BY JON WHITAKER | DRYWHITSTUDIO@YMAIL.COM
From time to time I stumble across a movie that defuses my brain, and I find myself submerged in its truth. Not thinking of the shot angles or style, the acting and actors, or the guy eating nachos three chairs down, but finding that if only for a brief moment, it’s like I no longer exist, and only the story remains. That is the power of great art regardless of its medium. It allows you to become part of something much greater than just our individuality would ever allow, and you can find yourself lost in its truth. I was lucky enough to see just such a movie in a small theater recently. I know this is supposed to be the “nothing new” review, so I won’t reveal the new movie I’m savoring. By the time this article is out, it will have washed over the sands of a few small theaters, and then will be whisked away to DVD. It’s a shame too, because some movies are just so powerful in there subtleness that seeing them in a theater is just plain magical. And isn’t that what art is for; to create worlds beyond our perspective that beckons our imagination. I can’t help but be frustrated by the lack of that imagination these days, and though maybe 10% of films/art these days is truly great, it seems like many are completely unaware of this. Content these days insists on staying inside the lines, with exhaustive CG animation, predictable character development, linear stories, you know… the usual humdrum. And it’s like we have been conditioned to except this as good. So here come some movies that aren’t that. I just watched the reshowing of this one at Alamo Draft House Cinema recently and man what a movie this is. The Darkman stars Liam Neeson (with Frances McDormand) as a scientist whose wife gets caught up in something she wasn’t supposed to know about, and Liam Neeson’s character pays the
price. After an explosion at his lab leaves him disfigured, he sets out to regain the life he once had - that is cool. Writer/director Sam Raimi (after unsuccessfully lobbying to direct the first Batman movie - losing out to Tim Burton) went out and wrote and directed his own damn movie. It’s a little campy in parts but is perfectly balanced with morbid gore - the kind you get when real make-up artists get to work. And Liam Neeson is just flat out amazing. Put it in your queue. Ace in the Hole is another of Kirk Douglas’s masterpieces, along with Billy Wilder as well. These two team up to make a really timeless story of a man’s pursuit of passion and glory at practically any cost. Douglas stars as a hot shot reporter traveling to California who breaks down along the way. Eventually he stumbles across a man trapped in a cave and realizes this is his big scoop. I could go on and on about this one, but instead I’ll just say I really enjoyed every bit of it - the acting, story, sets, and message. Here comes a movie that would have absolutely no chance of being made today… Top Secret! What can I say about this movie (where do I stop)? I mean, come on. Any film with singing (sket surf’nnnnnn), dancing, and French resistance fighters with names like Latrine, Chocolate Mousse, and Deja Vu, (to name just a few - and that’s just the supporting cast) is just, well, I’m laughing as I write this, it is really that good. Now if you’re not a smart ar’sss as I am, you may think “This is stupid...” But if you like a side splitting laugh that tickles your brain, then it’s a must see. Val Kilmer stars as rocker Nick Rivers who is recruited to help an imprisoned scientist from the Nazi’s, who just so happens to have a beautiful daughter. And from a technical perspective there is a scene where the actors
do the entire scene in reverse. Then it’s played in reverse in the film, giving the illusion that they are speaking in a different language; and there are a million other things happening at the same time. That is film history in my book. So watch it again if you already have, or take a risk and try something new, but don’t forget your rubber dog poo. I’ll close out with Goodfellas. I know I say this a lot (only because I talk about movies that matter), but Goodfellas is a “masterpiece” of modern film making. I’m not a professor or scholar, but again in my book, this is tops. Just look at the cover art for Pete’s sake. Martin Scorsese is a master of his craft (no news flash), and the story and the style, along with unparalleled acting makes for something very special. And I’m not sure of the proper name for this technique, but Martin Scorsese’s use of the “let’s call it the un-cut scene transition shot” is mind blowing. When he starts with one beautifully cropped shot then transitions to another all while the actors are in motion is just breathtaking. I’m geek’n out I know, but who cares, this movie is fantastic! Ahhh, I feel much better. Anyway, I do think that as a society it’s very easy to lose touch with things that truly matter just from the pace of modern life. But as a selfdiagnosed artist, I feel that it’s my job some times to run at a different, slower, and longer pace, in order to stay aware of all that we are blessed with, while being very thankfully that we are not alone. P.S. Thanks everyone who came out to the studio the other night, it means a lot! And if you have to know, the movie I saw recently was, The Place Beyond the Pines.
Keeping the Tradition of the Best Kolaches & Frgals in Texas
AT THE KENDALL COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS Featuring music by
MAY 4TH, 2012 - FROM NOON TO MIDNIGHT Live Bands Throughout the Day • Horseshoe Tournament • Washer Pitching Tournament • Egg Toss • Activities for the Kids
Tons of FUN for the WHOLE FAMILY!
Admission is $10 per person 13 and over; 12 and under are free. FREE PARKING!
Health & wellness
By: Cathie De La Rosa | firstname.lastname@example.org Spring is here and the official running season is getting under way. As I mentioned last month, I would be running the Alamo 13.1 (half marathon race for those of you who don’t know what “13.1” means) race on March 24. The Alamo 13.1 started last year as a homegrown event to offer a spring half marathon and relay to local runners. Its unique quality is that it starts and ends at the historic Alamo. I loved the course which winds through historic downtown areas, the Riverwalk, scenic Trinity University (with its rolling hills) Brackenridge Park, Pearl Brewery and many other lovely points in the downtown area. The weather that morning was rather brisk (to put it mildly) and windy so it made for good running conditions. However, the weather also left me trying to decide how much clothing to keep on during the race. In the end, I sucked it up and peeled down to my running shorts and tank preferring to start cool and not get overheated into the race. That thought paid off well for me when I saw other runners had quickly discarded extra layers that littered the sidewalks. I knew early on in the race that things were feeling really good. I set a comfortable pace and focused on enjoying the scenery while I ran. Hitting the hills around Trinity University was a tough part, but all my hill training kicked in and I was able to power up all of them! By mile 10, I was still feeling good and realized, I might actually run this entire race with no walk breaks! (When I say “walk” I mean it’s literally 15 quick “catch your breath” seconds before I take off again.) I felt really strong and my breathing was fairly effortless. I tried to keep a strong pace and focus on my race. When all was said and done, I finished in 2:06 knocking 11 minutes off my time from last year’s race. Also, out of 855 female runners, I came in 216. This was my strongest half of the four I’ve done. Each race, you learn something new about yourself. You learn your strengths and find power you didn’t know you had. May I say in the limited space I have, if you are thinking of running a race never underestimate good training. Training is what prepares you for race day. You run your race like you train. Check online for great half marathon training plans to guide you on your journey. It always bothers me when I hear someone say they are going to run it because “they already run 3 miles.” Yikes! You need training time on your feet and your body needs to know what it’s like to run for 2 hours.....13.1 miles is a lot of distance! My training involved running 3-4 days a week with my shortest runs being about 5.5 miles up to 11. I usually tried to get in at least one really long run a week with my “average” run being 6-8 miles. I also did hill training to build more stamina and help with speed . On my “off” running days, I do weight lifting and strength training. So let’s talk about Michael Hennessey, the man behind this race. He’s not behind just this one, but many others including the Cocoa Women’s Half marathon that debuted in January. Chatting with him before the race, I learned that he broke the Guinness Book record in 2008 for doing the most Ironman races in a 9 month period – 15 races. The previous record being held at 14 races. The Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. Yes, typing this just made me feel exhausted! It took about 11 hours of Michael’s day to do an Ironman event. Why, you may ask, would someone do something so grueling, leave family to travel the world, and spend hours doing such a strenuous activity? Simply put he has an amazing love and heart for children with Trisomy 13, a rare chromosome disorder. Children do not usually live beyond their first year of life and those who do are severely disabled and only live a short life. He desires to bring awareness to these children. They are valuable and worthy, no matter how short their lives may be. His passion is evident and driven by his faith in God, and a love for these children. He said he’s been referred to as an inspiration, but he believes the true heroism in society belongs to the ones who are caretakers and the families living day in and day out caring for these special needs children. I don’t know. I think he’s rather amazing. Check out what he has to say in his own words: “Only by the grace of God in 2008 was this crazy odyssey. I met so many wonderful folks and special needs kids along the way. I was humbled at Race #1, Ironman Malaysia. My first and only race to ever not finish in 34 years of racing, but in falling down we do get up. These amazing trisomy kids fall each and every day and get up smiling. What do I have to complain about? Wish I could still compete like that but now putting on a dozen cool races in and around San Antonio while raising 8 young kids and growing our non-profit keeps us plenty busy.” Indeed, he is a busy man, a man who loves God, loves his family and loves others. Learn more about his heart’s passion at www.ironmanforkids.com. And as I leave you for this month, I’ll share with you my new vision/goal to reach by the end of the year. I plan to take on a marathon. Yes, I’ll be training for that 26.2 mile race. Crazy? Yes, but I’m looking forward to the challenges and possibilities that will come from it! Stay tuned and follow me on my Facebook page, Sassyfitnesschick
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Top photo: Dancers of all ages hit the dance floor as The Lost Mule Band performs. The band will return to the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm on May 25. Bottom photo: The Lost Mule Band performs during a previous concert season on the outdoor stage at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm. (Photos by Barbara Digby.)
Celebrating nature at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm By: Niki McDaniel
The Cibolo Nature Center & Farm’s long-running spring-to-fall concert series starts up again this month with a new name: Moondance. The family-oriented Moondance concerts will take place under the oak trees at the CNC each month through October on the Saturdays closest to the full moon. Concert-goers will continue to be able bring picnics, lawn chairs and blankets, children, grandparents, friendly dogs on leashes and – perhaps best of all – their dancing shoes. The Lost Mule Band will bring its unique mix of traditional country, classic rock, blues and Texas swing to Moondance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on May 25. Most of the six self-described “homegrown” musicians in The Lost Mule Band have been performing together for more than 25 years, playing traditional country, classic rock, blues, Texas swing, folk and original tunes. Band members include David Digby, vocals, acoustic guitar; Darin Digby, guitar, steel guitar; Will Digby, guitar; Jeff Duke, vocals, bass guitar; Phillip Duke, vocals, piano and keyboard; and Mike Riordan, drums. David Digby and Jeff and Phillip Duke all sing solo as well as in two- and three-part harmonies. The band has been a long-time favorite at the CNC’s concert series. Carolyn Chipman Evans, executive director and co-founder of the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm, explained the name change for the concert series, previously known as Songs & Stories. “Since we’re celebrating the CNC’s 25th anniversary this year, we wanted to do something special,” she said. “Over the years, everyone at the concerts has really gotten into dancing, so this year we’ve lined up bands that are great to dance to. Combine that with planning the concerts close to the full moon each month and you get a ‘Moondance.’ We’re also asking all the performers to sing their version of Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance’ song.” This season’s future lineup includes: • June 22: Brother Fork and the Spooners • July 20: The TX LadyBugs • Aug. 24: King William Jazz Collective • Sept. 21: The Court Jesters • Oct. 19: One Minute to Midnight Admission to Moondance costs $10, $7.50 for CNC members and $5 for those 65 and older, with kids under 12 admitted free. Season tickets are available for $50, $45 for CNC members. Wheelie Gourmet will also be on hand, selling Moroccan gourmet sandwiches from its colorful food truck, including gyros, chicken tagine and vegetarian offerings. “Families are welcome to come out for a hike in the afternoon, and stay for a picnic supper and great music at Moondance,” Chipman Evans added. Moondance is sponsored by H-E-B, Frost and Brandon Gallagher-Manning Memorial Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation (an endowment supporting the concert series). Proceeds from the concerts help support nature education and outreach programs at the CNC. The mission of the non-profit Cibolo Nature Center & Farm is conservation of natural resources through education and stewardship. The CNC provides nature- and science-education programs for children and adults, and the nature preserve is open to the public for hiking, wildlife-watching and the peaceful enjoyment of four native Hill Country habitats adjacent to Cibolo Creek. The nature center also operates The Herff Farm at the Cibolo at 33 Herff Road. The Herff Farm is open on Saturday mornings, featuring The Farmers Market at the Cibolo, an Inspiration Garden and workshops to help families live in a more ecologically sustainable way. Call (830) 249-4616 or visit www.cibolo.org.
Every Saturday in May Farmers Market at the Cibolo, 33 Herff Road, Boerne 8:30 am -12:30 pm (Summer 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 Apr 29 – May 4 Wildlife Field Research CNC Park May 3 Monarch Biology, Ecology & Monarch Larval Monitoring Project Training Location: CNC Auditorium & Back Porch Time: 9 am – 4 pm May 9 & 14 Breeding Point Bird Counts Location: CNC Pavilion Time: 7:00 – 10:00 am May 11 Kid’s Club: Dragon Flies!
Location: CNC Visitor Center Time: 10:00 – 11:30 am May 11 Second Saturday Volunteer Day of Service Location: Meet at the CNC Visitor Center. Time: 9 –noon. May 18 Harvesting Rainwater and Solar Energy Location: CNC Library & John Kight’s Home Time: 9am-12pm May 18 Best of Boerne Fest “Art on the Plaza” Location: Downtown Boerne – Main Plaza
Call 830.249.4616 or go to www.cibolo.org/calendar for further details on any of these events.
May 18 Boerne Birders: James Kiehl Park Location: James Kiehl Park Time: 8:00 – 10:00 am May 21 Mother Nature’s Storytime: Snakes Location: CNC Visitors Center Time: 10 – 11 AM May 25 Moondance Concert Series! The Lost Mule Band Location: CNC Stage Time: 7:30 – 10:30 pm
Bohemian Clothing Accessories • Jewelry Pottery • Art • Candles Essential Oils Unique Gifts Open Tues-Sat 10am-6pm
Join us on May 2 for a fashion show at the Texas Treasures Scupture Garden 5:30-8:30pm Tickets $15 - available at the door or at Copper Dragongly!
Above sign created by David Warnell, owner of Sign Language
May 3 & 4 - TNT • May 10 - Brett Mullins Band CD release party May 17 - Ladd and Patty • May 24 - Big John Mills May 31 - Jeff Wood Various artists on Saturday for lunch and dinner. Follow on Facebook for current shows.
CALL FOR SPECIAL SATURDAY NIGHT MUSIC SCHEDULE
Mon 11am-9pm Tue-Thurs 11am-10pm Fri 11am-12am Sat 11am-11pm • Sun 11am-9pm
1481 S. Main St. Boerne, TX | www.dogandponygrill.com
It’s May. The month in South Texas where you can go to sleep melting from the heat and wake up freezing your butt off. As it’s also typically the month where our lovely weather begins it’s broiling trend, your days of being able to enjoy the great outdoors are numbered. At least if you don’t want to end your trip with a visit to your friendly neighborhood ER. Though we hear the Boerne ER is VERY nice this time of year. We’ve compiled a list of some “GREAT” camping tips as well as some interesting gadgets you may (or may not) want to take along with you on your treks to become one with nature.
C’mon bro. Don’t leave me hang’n.
1. We live in a face paced world. Gasoline makes fire faster.
6. Plastic bags are sufficient protection for food against wildlife.
2. Dry creek and riverbeds make excellent campsites. Especially if you’re expecting rain.
7. The most important piece of equipment when going “off the grid” is your cell phone.
3. If it’s raining or windy outside it’s perfectly acceptable to build the fire inside your tent.
8. If you get lost in the woods, build a fire. A big one. That’s sure to get someone’s attention.
4. Possums are friendly creatures and love humans.
9. Woodland creatures don’t really like people food.
5. You’ve seen them at the circus. Bears really aren’t THAT dangerous.
10. Snake bite? Just walk it off.
Platypus Platypreserve 800ml Wine Preservation System: $9.75 For the discerning alcoholic who can’t go camping without booze and is unable to realize the fact that wine comes in its very own preservation system called a bottle. It’s good to know camping accessories can be good for campers as well as homeless men.
Light My Fire Titanium Spork: $13 Oh good, FINALLY someone built a spork that will survive the apocalypse.
Brunton Helios Stormproof Lighter: $65 Of course you’ll need something to light your fires, but sixty-five bucks? This thing is supposed work in windstorms and hurricanes, but where are you camping that there are windstorms and hurricanes? You don’t need a lighter; you need a better camping guide. A regular lighter will do and your teenage daughter will probably have one because she’s been smoking behind your back since she was 13.
Air Grill Blower: $9.99 This thing blows air onto your fire. Because you know, it’s not like we have anything easily accessible that could do that for us. Something like, oh I don’t know – a mouth.
Luvyduvy Freeze-Dried Neapolitan Ice Cream: $6.95 Mmmm...dry ice cream.
Katadyn KFT Expedition Water Filter: $1650.00 I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t have a camping water filter that cost more than my car. Just for my own self-esteem. Thanks.
Selk’bag 4G Lite: $99 Snuggie goes outdoors. This body bag is perfect for those outdoorsy folks with chronic sleepwalking problems. It also makes the park ranger’s job easier to draw your body outline.
Adventure Medical Oral Rehydration Salts: $8.75 Seriously, if you need these then you have severely screwed up camping.
Premier Custom Home Builder in the Texas Hill Country For over 40 years, KCN has been building beautiful custom homes of all sizes in Boerne, Comfort, Bandera, Castroville and throughout the Texas Hill Country. Our commitment to excellence is reflected not just in the quality of our products, but also in the superior level of customer service we provide during the building process. Our reputation for honesty and integrity, combined with our commitment to deliver excellent quality, expert craftsmanship, and customer service, has afforded us the opportunity to build many long lasting relationships with our clients. In fact, we are currently working with our 24th repeat customer.
830-816-5202 920 East Blanco Road Boerne, TX 78006 www.kcnbuilders.com
LET US CHANGE YOUR BODY, CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Mattingly Athletics is your newest Boerne health club. We are a functional based training facility that works towards your goals, whether you are an athlete training for a specific sport or someone looking to make the activities of daily life easier. With a variety of equipment, we can meet the goals of most individuals. Unlike traditional strength training machines that isolate just one muscle, we use free weights, cable machines, suspension training, and whole body vibration equipment to increase core stabilization and balance. Each program will begin with a fitness consultation to mark a starting point and establish goals. From there we will develop a program designed specifically to meet your needs. Our focus at Mattingly Athletics is to get you to your goals as quickly and safely as possible. The owner, Matt Mattingly, has been a Boerne personal trainer for six years and has helped many people reach their goals.
PRIVATE TRAINING â€˘ GROUP TRAINING EARLY MORNING & EVENING BOOT CAMPS SUPPLEMENTATION PROGRAMS
210-823-5516 | WWW.MATTINGLYATHLETICS.COM
This is Oloff. Oloff is a recent transplant to Boerne from the homeland in Germany. We met him a few months ago here in town, and have enjoyed watching him learn all about our beautiful town. Oloff asks a lot of questions, as much of what happens in town is a bit confusing to him. Recently we were walking with him near the water tower on School Street, and watched as his eyes bugged out of his head. The newly installed sidewalk that runs down the enormous School Street hill transfixed him as he asked in his thick German accent, “Who would possibly build a sidewalk on such a steep hill?” We had no good answer for him, as we agreed that it didn’t make much sense. Ever the adventurer, Oloff decided he would like to take his scooter down this nightmare sidewalk. We were there to document. We hope you enjoy.
“Who vould start a sidewalk right here?”
“HOLY $#@%!” (Oloff smiles)
“VEEEE! Vut fun!”
“Avay ve go”
“I have und idea”
“Eet’s a leetle fast”
“I vould like to geet off”
“Ees dat de end und da sidewalk?”
“Vhy have you done dees?!”
“I can see my house from here!”
(Oloff’s landing spot on the banks of the Cibolo)
“Danke City of Boerne”
By Tom Geoghegan | TGeoghegan@boernewineco.com
Spring is definitely in the air… the mesquites are starting to bud, the Bradford Pear trees are flowering, and it looks like a record year for bluebonnets. If this isn’t a good enough excuse for a road trip, we have our own little piece of wine heaven in the Texas Wine Trail on TX 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg. Started in 1999, with a handful of wineries, this has grown to include over 32 wineries and was recently acknowledged by a major vacation magazine as the 2nd most popular wine trail destination in the U.S. after California (Napa, Sonoma, etc.). The Texas Hill Country AVA is the second largest in the U.S. covering over 9,000,000 acres (unfortunately not all planted to grapes… yet!), and was established back in 1991. It’s considered the heart of the Texas wine industry and has helped make Texas the 5th largest grape producer in the country. From a handful of wineries in the 1970s, we now have over 225 wineries (projected to hit 400+ wineries by 2016), with an economic impact currently close to 3 billion dollars a year. With all this as background for bragging rights, I thought it might be fun to plug in some fun facts for the locals. You can head out I-10 or TX 281 till you hit 290, or take the Boerne shortcut. After enjoying the special shops and restaurants that make up downtown Boerne, simply head up to the north end of town, and look for the FM 1376 cut-off on your right (if you hit I-10, you’ve gone just a little too far…j ust double back). Turn right and in a few short miles you’re experiencing the true Hill country. Fifteen minutes brings you into the small town of Sisterdale, with the Sister Creek Winery on the left in an old restored cotton gin (www.sistercreekvineyards.com, 830-324-6704). Danny Hernandez has been making wine there for quite a few years (celebrating their 22nd anniversary). Their Muscat Canelli is the perfect afternoon quaffer… ask for Connie. Fifteen more minutes of travel time brings you to the bustling metropolis of Luckenbach. Please make a quick stop as “Everybody is somebody in Luckenbach”, but you have to stop in to say you’ve been there! A short sprint and FM 1376 T’s at TX 290. Hang a left if you need a quick bite to eat, or if you want to do some shopping in Fredericksburg. Most of you will turn right. There are 30 plus wineries along the “Trail” just waiting for you to stop in, visit and taste. I wanted to list a few personal favorites, but remember that your taste is the most important… visit those wineries you like, but try to leave room for exploring new ones. In no particular order then, here is my list with websites, phone numbers, best sellers along with “discovery“ wines, and contact people in the tasting room. Please tell them Tom sent you. Most of these are open 7 days a week, but please remember these are “working” wineries, and some times of the year are busier than others. Always a good idea to call ahead to confirm hours of operation, and for larger groups, please ask if they take reservations. If you are running late or have to cancel, please extend them the basic courtesy of a phone call. Speaking of large groups, sometimes bigger is better, especially when it comes to sharing the winery experience with family or friends. To make it a hassle free trip, there are several tour groups that will take you by private coach to your favorite wineries. One that seems to be used a lot is ARC’s Wine tours (www.itsfromgrapes.com, 210-602-8675). Ask for Alicia. And always remember as a bare minimum to have a designated driver. All these wineries want you to come back many times, so please don’t drink and drive. So in no particular order… One of the newest additions to the trail is 4.0 cellars. (www.fourpointwine.com, 830-997-7470). Talk about Texas ingenuity, this is the brainchild of Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars in Lubbock, whose father “Doc” was one of the early Texas wine pioneers in the late 60’s. I think Kim
is one of the best winemakers in the state, but as he mentioned to me “not too many people make the trip to the winery to visit.” Then he had the inspiration to approach two other wineries that he consulted for - Dr. Brennan of Brennan Vineyards in beautiful Commance, Texas, and the folks at Lost Oak Vineyards in Burleson, Texas to see if they would be interested in sharing space and the start-up cost. They then created a state of the art tasting room facility on the Texas Wine Trail. So under one roof, you can taste all three wine portfolios, and the shared project (all three wineries contribute fruit) of 4.0 cellars. Kim McPherson produces one of Texas’s best Viognier while Lone Oak is known for their wonderful Dry Riesling, and Dr.Brennan offers a delicious Rhone-style blend named Lily. Ask for Jayme to show you her other favorites. One of the early pioneers is Dr. Becker’s namesake winery (www.beckervineyards.com, 830-644-2681). Dr. Becker and his wife Bunny started the winery 20 years ago, and have watched the winery grow to 100,000+ cases being produced annually. The Beckers have become the face of the Texas wine industry for many years now. Being served at the White House certainly doesn’t hurt the name recognition factor and has helped to put the Texas wine industry on the national map. Look for their reserve offering in Chardonnay and Viognier. Their “Canada” vineyard Cabernet is a sleeper, along with their Provencal bottling. They have a pretty big staff, so please ask for anyone in the tasting room for their personal recommendations. To experience Tuscany in Texas, make sure to visit Grape Creek vineyards (www.grapecreek.com, 830-644-2710). Brian and Jennifer Heath have seen the growth of this property from a simple grape growing operation to its present status as a premium winery. The house specialty (20+ vintages produced) is their Cabernet Trois, a red blend. They also produce a superTuscan style blend named Bellissimo. Spoiler alert… ask Moriah about their 2012 Viognier. As they say in the wine business…”So many wines, so little time.” This is a very quick snapshot of the Texas Wine Trail, with more slated to join in the next few years. My apologies to those other great wines, and to paraphrase…”So many wineries, so little space.” For a complete listing and more information, please go to www.texaswinetrail.com. And if in closing I can offer one last humble suggestion (and this is a shameless plug for my great employer), it would be to finish your trip (or start it) at The Boerne Wine Company (www.boernewineco.com, 830-331-9424). Located in beautiful downtown Boerne, we offer 32 ever changing wines by the glass, in addition to over 500 selections by the bottle, including our special bottlings. There is also a walk-in humidor, in and outdoor seating, smoking areas, and a limited menu… all located in a beautiful restored 1866 German homestead. Open 6 days a week (closed Sunday) from 10:30am till 7:00pm the early part of the week and till 8:00pm on the weekends. Ask for Jean Yves, Victor, Rudy, or Olivier. They’ll be happy to give you the “tour”. Seen on a 1956 Chevy pickup truck’s bumper sticker in downtown Boerne…”Conserve precious Texas water… drink Texas wine”.
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Welcome to Boerne
Bluebonnet Realty HOMES FOR SALE
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By Marjorie Hagy | email@example.com
It was a time in the adolescence of Texas, a dusty, hard-scrabble time, when the state was young and tough and feeling its oats, and bank robbers and train robbers and outlaws were heroes. This was the world into which the Newton boys were born. “Way back in the early days, Texas was wide open and they had no laws,” remembered Willis Newton, sixth son of Jim and Janetta Pecos Anderson Newton’s eleven children. “I’ve heard it said time and time again that Texas in the early days - the 1840s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 1880s, was mostly set up by people that had done something somewhere else and run to Texas…” The legend of Frank and Jesse James went the rounds of dirt-floor cabins and sod dugouts and lit the wide eyes of rapt listeners all over the blighted south and west of the post-Civil War and Reconstruction years, and Jesse had become a martyr when that dirty little coward shot Mr. Howard only seven years before Willis was born in Cottonwood, Texas, in 1889. So many, many people in the defeated Rebel states were disenfranchised and disillusioned in those grueling years, living in brutal, grinding poverty, and stories of outlaws making it big and beating the Evil System were manna to the people. Sharecropping for half their yield or farming their own meager acres, either way going deeper and deeper into debt every year, the folks nurtured a deep mistrust of the government and the law and anyone in authority - many of whom, of course, were notoriously and unapologetically crooked. Banks and insurance companies were equally eyed with distrust and the poor folks cheered those outlaws who gave ‘em a little dose of their own medicine. Janetta Pecos Anderson Newton, daughter of a twice-widowed, hardheaded Texas ranch-woman, raised her own kids on the stories of the outlaws’ exploits. The wife of ‘cyclone farmer’ Jim Newton (‘We called him a cyclone farmer because he blew all over the country’), Janetta loaded up her ever-increasing brood in the wagon and followed her husband all over South Texas and sometimes as far
away as San Angelo and even Oklahoma, while she and the older children were picking cotton right alongside him. “Pa was always restless,” his son remembered, “Taking trips looking for honey ponds and fritter trees… for God’s Country, we used to call it, where you could just find some honey and get some fritters and pick ‘em and go to eatin’ ‘em. But he wouldn’t stay for long… he never found God’s Country, even though he looked for it all his life.” The other Newton kids came along like clockwork, all of them born around the home base of Cottonwood. “I was born in one of those double log cabins,” Joe, the baby of the family recalled as an old man. That was in 1901, five kids and 12 years after Willis. He and Willis would someday be the last two left. Old man Newton picked cotton, his own, and anyone else’s who’d pay him to do it, and he ran the cotton gin in many little towns through which they’d pass. He and his sons cleared brush and chopped stove wood and dug wells and in between they’d load up the wagon, and move out looking for the fritter trees, the older boys walking alongside, shooting deer and hogs for supper. Or antelope. “Antelopes was just like quail…the country was covered with antelopes.” It was a different world, a different Texas - a Texas where little settlements like Lampasas Springs and Round Rock were springing up like weeds after a spring storm, but for all the idyllic beauty of the wide-open country, antelope and bear scrambling off into the woods as the lone wagon approached, it was a life of heart-wrenching poverty and bitter hard-knocks. The only house the Newtons ever owned themselves in a lifetime of sharecropper’s cabins and rented hovels, burned to the ground along with everything they owned. Children died young and unscrupulous
owners cheated them out of their share of the harvest, and Jim Newton’s wanderlust ate up whatever was left over. Once, having driven a herd of cattle up the Chisholm Trail, he managed to drink and gamble away his paycheck at the other end, even lost his horse and his saddle, and had to walk back down the trail, all the way to Texas. Willis commenced going to school for the first and only time when he was 12 years old, proving to be an amazing student with an uncanny grasp of math in particular. His teacher said he was “‘the smartest pupil I ever had in school in my life”, but he had to quit when his patched-over breeches finally gave out and couldn’t be fixed anymore, and there were simply no more pants for him to wear. Willis went to work selling newspapers and pecans, and busting his ass at the same kind of soul-killing drudgery his father did to keep the family barely afloat, but it looked to Willis like that was just a long, hard road to nowhere. “I wanted something…” he said as a very old man, “…and I knew I would never get it following a mule’s ass and dragging cotton sacks down them middles.” And it wasn’t long before Willis ‘Skinny’ Newton drifted into trouble. Somewhere in the years following jobs around Texas and playing brush poker for a few extra bucks, Willis and his brother Wylie ‘Doc’ pulled a two-year sentence in the Rusk Penitentiary for stealing another man’s cotton and selling it for their own. Doc’s crime, Willis always claimed, but Skinny went down with his brother. Willis, though, busted them both out of the pokey; an escape for which, when they were eventually caught, bought them both another five years. Eventually they were pardoned when their mother interceded with the governor, but by then the die was cast for Willis. He
was just “a beardless boy” when he went into Rusk, but five years in the brutal Texas prison system and rubbing elbows with the pros, along with the bitter resentment over his unjust conviction and his sense of hopelessness at trying to go straight, turned Willis Newton into a criminal. He commenced to robbing stores, sometimes alone and sometimes with this buddy or that one, and was on the revolving door plan with the Texas penal system in which he was often locked up and almost as often escaped again. And in there somewhere, Skinny Newton robbed his first bank. Which was quickly followed by his first train robbery. And it never bothered him a bit, not even to the end of his life. “Why should I worry about robbing?” he demanded in his eighties and near the end of his life. “I had tried to go and live right but they wouldn’t let me.” It was in 1920, fed up with the morons and squealers and bumblers who’d been his partners up till then that Willis wrote to his baby brother Joe and put a proposition to him. Joe, making it on his own pretty good for a nineteen year-old kid working as a cowboy, busting broncs and breaking wild horses on a ranch his brother Jess managed in West Texas. It was work he loved and which he was peculiarly adapted to. Several people seeing him work said that he was the best at it they’d ever seen. One day Joe got a letter from Willis up in Tulsa (there were two twenty-dollar bills in it and Willis said to use that money to come on up and meet him) because he had a job for Joe. When Joe got off the train, Willis asked him what the hell he brought his saddle for. Joe replied, “Well, I thought you said you had a job for me?” “Hell,” Willis said, “I haven’t got you that kind of job. You won’t need that saddle. I’m going to get you a pistol and we’re gonna rob some banks. I want you to help me.” “It was the biggest mistake of my life,” Joe said many, many years later, “To lay down my saddle and spurs and pick up that pistol... that was my downfall, right there...” “That was your upfall,” shot back the unrepentant old geezer sitting right next to him. That was his brother Willis. By 1921 Skinny had recruited two other Newton brothers, older brother Jess and younger brother Doc, the one who’d gotten him thrown in the pen. Doc was always a little bit of a wild card - years before, on one of those nights sleeping under the stars alongside the wagon, Doc had woken his family screaming “A mad wolf bit me!” Turned out, a coyote was standing on his chest and had just taken a chomp out of Doc’s forehead. They sent him off to Austin to take “that hydrophobic treatment”, but Willis said the family figured that coyote bite sort of affected Doc the rest of his life. “Doc had no judgment about doing anything, no more than a child,” he said and, more disturbingly, “Whenever Doc would get right hot, he’d just slobber at the mouth all his life.” Doc certainly would prove to be a somewhat hapless member of the gang, but for better or worse, the Newton Boys were born. They preferred Studebakers and Cadillacs; they had their plans meticulously organized and always planned their escape route well in advance. The Newton Boys burgled banks by night - no daylight shoot-em-outs for them: “We never wanted to kill nobody,” Willis insisted. “We was just quiet businessmen, like doctors and lawyers and storekeepers. All we wanted was the money, to make money. Robbing banks and trains was our business.” Willis was the one who shimmied up the poles to cut the phone lines in advance of the robbery; he was the surgeon too, the guy who applied the nitroglycerin to blow the safes once inside. The other three brothers shared lookout and driving duties, and they all hauled the bags of loot. Under cover of darkness they carried out their business from Texas to Mexico, Colorado to Missouri, to Indiana, to rare daylight payroll heists in Toronto to busting into two banks in one night in Hondo, Texas. Together they stole more money than the James Gang, the Dalton Gang and Bonnie
and Clyde all put together, Willis bragged. And they managed to do it all without killing anybody. (On the subject of Bonnie and Clyde, by the way, Willis took a dim view. “Bonnie and Clyde was just silly kids bound to get themselves killed. We wasn’t at all like them. We wasn’t thugs.”) Because they robbed by night and due to their habit of disappearing quickly and completely right after the burglaries, they in fact received very little attention from the law. Wintertime was when shop was open for the Newton’s - they rested up during the summer and lived the high life, vacationing all over the US and Mexico, hanging out at such events like the Indy 500. But when the weather got cold, the Newtons were back in business. And it was on a bitter winter night when a blue northern was blowing into town that the Newton Boys hit Boerne. They’d been robbing banks for a while now, all over the place, but the law couldn’t help suspecting they headquartered out of the San Antonio area. There were so many robberies in all the little towns around here: in San Marcos, New Braunfels, in Pearsall and Comfort and all around Boerne, so it should have come as no surprise that the Boerne State Bank was fair pickins. But it did come as somewhat of a surprise to one Paul Menn, city night watchman, when two men showed up in the darkness of the bitter night and drew their pistols on him. Back in those days, decades before the Boerne Police Department was organized, Boerne Main Street merchants all contributed to pay the salary of a night watchman, who patrolled the sleeping streets against just this sort of trouble. But on February 8, 1921, the fellows were on him before he even knew they were there. They took his piece from him and herded him a couple of blocks into a waiting car with another Newton at the wheel, and they all drove into the alley by the bank. Willis had already cut the wires to the bank, and commenced to prying and hacking away at the bars on the window of the old bank. In those days the Boerne State Bank was housed in a square limestoneblock building next door to what today is Boerne Epicure (a building that would later house Curly’s Barbershop, a name that sent fear straight to the hearts of generations of
Above: Original Boerne State Bank in 1923. Torn down for bank expansion. Right: Young Newton Brothers
Boerne boys.) That building is gone now...progress ya know. Anyway, the boys gained entrance to the bank and were in and out in no time. “They didn’t even have to blow the safe there,” Joe Newman said of his brothers who carried out the work inside while he watched outside. “Even if we made some noise, the wind was a-blowin’, and it was knocking stuff over and banging stuff against somebody’s door.” Can you see this image of Boerne as it was then, this tiny backwater farming village hidden in the hills, deserted dirt Main Street where trees still grew in the middle of the road and farmyards lined the deep ditched along its length, the frigid cold front blowing in, slamming doors and shutters and setting the windmill blades to spin in a frenzy, as the outlaws busted into the bank? They didn’t have to blow the safe because they found everything they needed when they looted the deposit boxes, about forty-five of them, from which they collected $300 in cash and another $15,000 in government bonds, of which only two were registered, leaving the rest as good as cash. When they were finished, they all loaded back into the car, taking Watchman Menn with them, and hit the road, fast. “I guess now you could call it kidnapping or something,” figured old man Joe, “because he sure didn’t give his consent to go.” Meanwhile, Miss Ella Schwartz, night telephone operator in Boerne, discovered along about six in the morning that the lines to the bank had been cut, and alerted the San Antonio Police.
The bandits, headed back to San Antonio themselves, stopped near Leon Springs and jettisoned Paul Menn, who couldn’t have been having the best night. “He was a real nice old fellow,” Joe remembered. “Down towards San Antone, we took him out in the hills there and give him a blanket, told him to build up a fire because it was real cold and told him to stay there until daylight.” Instead, Menn hiked to Bluemel’s Drug Store in Leon Springs and woke up the family, but they didn’t have a phone, so Menn “waited at the store for some motorist to come along and pick him up.” The first motorist who came along just happened to be SA Police Chief Al S Mussey, en route to the scene of the crime. The paper reported that police suspected the same gang that had robbed the two banks in Hondo on the same night, and they were correct, of course. But the Newton Boys were never apprehended for the Boerne State Bank robbery, and the money was never recovered. The SA Express also reported that the biggest loser by the robbery was one John Perin, whose deposit box was emptied of $8000 worth of unregistered bonds. In the wake of the crime, the Boerne State Bank began contributing to the statewide “Dead Bank Robber Fund”, which offered a reward for… well, what do you think? Boerne’s Paul Holekamp remembers his grandfather Clarence, long-time president of the bank, telling him about how he and the other directors used to take turns spending the night inside the bank on top of the safe, wide awake with a
Jess, Tull & Joe Newton Below: Joe Newton in his Studebaker Special 6. Photo taken in 1921
loaded shotgun laying over their laps. Meanwhile, the Newton Boys went on with their careers, until the sudden, dramatic finish on June 12, 1924 in Rondout, Illinois with the biggest train robbery in history. Their haul, the contents of more than sixty bags of registered US mail, came to $3 million. But they didn’t enjoy it long. This was the crime they would go down for. Doc, accidentally and almost fatally shot during the holdup by one of the gang (not one of the brothers - Doc was always the luckless one) was sentenced to six years at Leavenworth. Willis and the guy who shot Doc were paroled after four years, Jess after nine months and Joe served a year on his threeyear sentence. Their taste for robbery kind of went south after that, and each brother went their own way, some into more or less legitimate business, some in and out of prison a few more times, and one back to being a cowboy again. Doc, hapless Doc, was convicted of trying to rob a bank in Rowena, Texas, when he was all of 77 years old, but he was injured so bad during his arrest that he suffered brain damage and died five years later. Joe, the young bronc-buster, and Skinny, the unapologetic leader of the gang, lived to be very old men in Uvalde, Texas, and in their sunset years became famous again, hitting the lecture circuit and telling their
story in an award-winning 1976 documentary, “The Newton Boys: Portrait of an Outlaw Gang.” This one family in Boerne (mine!) went to see Joe and Willis Newton at one such lecture at Trinity University in, oh, about 1977 or so, and the bored elder daughter (me) of the family gave it only cursory attention, dreaming instead of Peter Frampton and a boy in Mr. Cleaton’s class, never knowing she should be listening because someday she would find this stuff fascinating. And Jess Newton? Well, he worked on ranches around Uvalde almost right up til his death in 1960. But before that, way back yonder in the Newton Boys days after the Rondout robbery and before they got caught when, according to Skinny, Jess was “staying drunk day and night, day and night.” Well, Jess figured to stash some of that cash so he wouldn’t blow through it all the way he was carrying on. Willis said, sure nuff, Jess was drunk when he did it. “He come back into San Antone,” Willis said, “And went up in some hills and hid the money under a rock. Dug a hole and put a rock over it. When he goes back the next day, he don’t know where he was at...” But he knew how much it was: $35,000 in cashola. And he knew enough to give ‘Skinny’ Newton a hint about where it was buried: Up in them hills, about twenty or thirty miles northwest of San Antone. Which is precisely where Boerne is located. That money’s never been found.
By Christine Friesenhan | firstname.lastname@example.org | texanaskitchen.com
I am old. I will be 45 in September. I don’t really feel old, and I don’t think I look old, but I have long suspected that I must be old. Cashiers sell me booze without blinking, and everyone calls me ma’am. But any doubt that I was aging died a few weeks ago, when my baby boy had to go to the Emergency Room. When they brought in his discharge papers to sign, they handed the clipboard to HIM. Not to me, his mommy, but to HIM! Lady, I don’t care if he does have five o’clock shadow and a voice like Al Green—you best hand me those papers! Screw HIPPA! And then, proud parent moment, he actually read them before signing. In my head, he is still the cherub faced little rug rat playing with Hot Wheels, and watching continuous loop footage of The Lion King. How is he driving a lifted pick-up truck? Why is he taking Business Calculus, instead of learning his ABC’s? Why is that little girl in the lake with him wearing a string bikini instead of a ruffled tutu bathing suit? Where are their floaties? Why is he going to work this morning? I’ll tell you why! Because I am OLD. I don’t remember it happening. It just happened. Only yesterday my husband and I were chasing toddlers, and then we woke up and we have these two pre-men in our house. They are growing hair everywhere—EVERYWHERE—and they don’t smell like baby powder and chicken nuggets anymore.
So if that happened to them, something has to have happened to me, right? A precursory look in the mirror, reveals—nothing. I am pretty sure I look the same as I did in college. It’s just that the college kids today look like they are in fifth grade, right? Right? Shut up! Who asked you?! So upon closer inspection, I see—no gray hair—that’s good. Okay, so I see some very fine lines between my eyebrows, where I frown at the computer. It must be creases in my make-up, so I remove my make-up. Wait…Why are the lines still there? And when I put my eyeliner on, and add the little tail at the end, why does the tail seem to droop? I’ll tell you why! Because my son signed his own paperwork at the hospital. Because he is taking Business Calculus. Because he is driving a lifted pick-up truck to work every day. And because the girl riding shotgun is not in a booster seat, and she is not wearing a ruffled tutu bathing suit. But I don’t feel old. I think my children have grown up around me, and I am still 25. The day that I look in the mirror and think I look my age will be the same day I make an appointment for Botox injections between my eyes. If my hair gets gray, no problem—L’Oreal has a solution! I will not, as the commercials say, grow old gracefully. I will fight it every step of the way. Until I need to ring up Doctor 90210, I only need periodic rejuvenation of my mind and soul. Two things that take me back so quickly, and so perfectly to my childhood, are my sense of smell and my taste buds. And when my nose smells something cooking that I enjoyed as a child, it is a double WHAMMY, guaranteed to bring me warm and fuzzy feelings. Like I am a little girl in a ruffled tutu bathing suit, eating lunch my granny prepared. Below, I am sharing one of my favorite comfort foods from my childhood. Porcupine balls. No, no! This isn’t a “rocky mountain oyster” sort of thing. Porcupine balls are ground beef mixed with rice, formed into balls, and panfried and simmered in gravy. Please enjoy!
Christine’s Porcupine Meatballs
Serves 6-8 • 2 pounds lean ground beef • 1 envelopes onion soup mix • 2 teaspoons salt • 2 teaspoons black pepper • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce • 1 cups long grain rice (not cooked) • 1 cups water Gravy • 1 can condensed French onion soup • 2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup • 1 cans water Combine meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Roll into 2” balls. Fry in a large skillet until browned on all sides. Mix soups and water together in a large bowl, and pour over meatballs. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. You have your meat and starch covered…. Just serve with a salad or other vegetable!
Summer is one of the best times of the year for the live music scene. To help you out, we have compiled a list of some upcoming concerts at a few local hot spots.
Mi Casa Tamales
Sam’s Burger Joint
25930 Interstate Highway 10 Boerne, TX 78006 (210) 698-6672 MAY May 3 - Ruben V May 4 - The Klocks May 10 - Buckshot Band May 11 - The Court Jesters May 17 - Mish Mash May 18 - Young and Lara May 24 - Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes JUNE June 1- The Klocks June 7 - Ruben V. June 8 - Bellamy Brothers - Tickets Available Soon June 14 - Rock N Soul June 21 - Mish Mash
330 E Grayson Street, San Antonio, TX 78215 (210) 223-2830 MAY May 4 - Two Tons of Steel May 10 - Patricia Vonne , The Infidels May 11 - BoDeans with Mike June May 17 - Toad and the Wet Sprocket May 24 - Bob Schneider Solo Show with Kevin Russell (from the Shinyribs) May 25 - Patrice Pike JUNE June 15 - Guy Forsyth June 22 - Terri Hendrix with Lloyd Maines
Floore's Country Store 14492 Old Bandera Rd Helotes, TX 78023 (210) 695-8827 MAY May 3 - Pat Green May 4 - Stewart Mann & the Statesboro Revue, plus Shane Walker May 11 - Dirty River Boys May 17 - Jon Wolfe, LIVE CD Recording May 25 - Dia Del Gallo with Turnpike Troubadours & Hayes Carll, plus American Aquarium May 31- Doug Moreland JULY July 5 - Gary Allan, plus Charlie Worsham
Gruene Hall 1281 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130 (830) 629-5077 MAY May 3 - Ray Price May 4 - Charlie Robison May 10 - Shooter Jennings, with special guest Uncle Lucius May 11 - The Marshall Tucker Band (The Tom Gillam Band opens) May 17 & 18 - Jerry Jeff Walker May 24 - Max Stalling May 25 - Brandon Rhyder May 26 - Gary P. Nunn JUNE June 1 - Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison June 8 - James McMurtry June 21 - Merle Haggard June 22 - Micky & The Motorcars (Cody Jinks opens) JULY July 12 - Cory Morrow (Crooks opens) July 13 - Radney Foster July 20 - Dale Watson AUGUST August 10 - Bob Schneider
11th Streeet Cowboy Bar 307 11th St Bandera, TX 78003 (830) 796-8690 MAY May 4 - The Lost Mule Band May 10 - Country Boys Union May 18 - The Rockin’ H Band May 24 - Freddy Cruz and The Noble Outlaws, and Jeff Woolsey and the Dance Hall Kings May 25 - Ali Dee, and Jake Hooker and The Outsiders May 26 - Asleep at the Wheel and Rose Sinclair and The Steel Quartet
Auslander 323 E Main St Fredericksburg, TX 78624 (830) 997-7714 MAY May 2 - Casey Hubble May 3 - Bracken Hale May 4 - Joe Teichman May 10 - George Ensle May 11 - Cade Baccus May 16 - Casey Hubble May 17 - Ben Morris & the GABC May 18 - The Mighty Orq May 23 - Casey Hubble May 24 - Berardo & DesBerardos May 25 - Drew Kennedy May 26 - Danny Brooks May 30 - Casey Hubble May 31 - Mike Ethan Messick
Cheatham Street Warehouse 119 Cheatham St San Marcos, TX 78666 (512) 353-3777 MAY May 4 - Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys May 10 - Doug Moreland Band May 18 - The Fossils
The County Line
412 Luckenbach Town Loop, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 (830) 997-3224 MAY May 3 - Doug Moreland May 11 - Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros May 17 - Dale Watson May 25 - Charlie Robison JUNE June 22 - Sarah Gayle Meech JULY July 5 - Roger Creager
10101 Interstate 10 San Antonio, TX (210) 641-1998 MAY May 1 - Cody & Willy Braun Acoustic with James Pardo May 8 - Micky & The Motorcars with Rusty Brothers May 15 - Cody Johnson with Ricky Huckaby May 22 - Cody Canada with Jonathan Garcia May 29 - Curtis Grimes with Leland Williams
“Through my art, I share with others a heightened awareness of the awe and wonder of my world. I feel when we are able to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, we are enriched. If I can reflect that beauty on my canvas, I have achieved a lifelong goal.” Although she’s a Texas transplant, Becky Roger’s work of Hill Country landscapes and animals channels the true spirit of the state. That’s why we decided to find out more about how she became such an award-winning artist. How did you get into painting?
I grew up in Elkhart, Kansas, a small town on the Kansas plains. I remember as a child admiring paintings of the local artists. I attended a children’s oil painting workshop from one of the artist’s when I was in grade school and loved it. In fact, I still have my first apple painting from that workshop many years ago. I continued my love with art classes through high school and then in college. Knowing it was difficult to make a living as an artist of fine art, I changed my focus to business. I moved to Texas where I had a successful career as vice-president in banking as a real estate loan officer for 20 some odd years. My husband, who was also in banking, and I then decided to open our own business. After much research, we decided upon a graphics business, which we opened in Corpus Christi before moving to the Texas Hill Country in 1999. In 2004, I joined five other artists and opened the Carriage House Gallery in Boerne where I was a co-owner and participating artist for four years. I have been painting professionally full time for nearly 15 years and plan to continue for many years to come.
Did you go through any special training?
Besides art classes in high school and college I have been blessed with great mentors over the years and have been surrounded by talented artists and wonderful people who I have learned from on many different levels. I have studied under the “best of the best” and continue to study under the direction of Jay Hester.
What medium do you use?
I am an oil painter although I have dabbled in pastel, watercolor and mixed media but my love is truly oil.
How do you describe your art?
My style has evolved into what I would call painterly realism. I’m pretty much in the middle between being tight and loose. While maintaining a softness in my paintings, I try to portray an emotion. There is much that is beautiful in this world and I think that art - my art - should lift the spirit of the viewer.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
Above: Becky Clair Rogers Right from top to bottom: Distant Thunder, Morning Splendor, It’s a New World, Sunset Serenade
After visiting Central and South Texas in the 70’s, I knew this was where I wanted to live. I fell in love with the beauty of the Hill Country with it’s beautiful landscapes and majestic oak trees, flowing creeks and rivers and the beautiful wildflowers. I was in awe, especially after growing up on the Kansas plains in the middle of what used to be called the dust bowl where trees and water were scarce. So, my inspiration is the land I call home, the Texas Hill Country with its unique displays of Mother Nature forever caught up in the poetry and rhythm of this beautiful part of Texas. I am best known for my Texas Bluebonnet landscapes and have recently become known for my longhorn, cattle and calf paintings. I try to capture a unique personality in each cow/ calf portrait that I paint. My most recent calf painting titled, “It’s a New World” is of a week old wide-eyed Charolais calf which will be in the THIRTY YEARS OF WESTERN SPLENDOR EXHIBITION AND SALE at the Museum of Western Art in Kerrville, opening April 27th and will be on display through the end of May.
How long does it usually take to complete a painting?
I begin my artistic process with photographs. I always keep my camera with me and I am ready at a moment’s notice to take photographs. I like to get a feel of the landscape and animals. Plus, I never know when I’ll come across the perfect bend in the road, a sunny meadow or a darling calf. I take hundreds of shots trying to capture the light at just the right time. Sometimes, I am on the ground taking pictures of prickly pear cactus, flowers and calves. When photographing cattle you have to really watch where you step....it can get messy but that doesn’t stop me! Back in my studio I work with these photographs to experiment with compositional components to compose my paintings by orchestrating light throughout the scene. I try to capture not only what it looks like but also what it feels like. The painting process begins working dark to light and working from large shapes to smaller ones. Each painting takes a different amount of time to complete. The better my reference the quicker my painting is finished.
What are some of the awards you have received?
One of the awards I have won was “Best of Show” at a Hill Country Invitational Show & Sale for my painting, “Misty Memories” which captures the ethereal beauty of springtime morning mist over an awakening blanket of wildflowers. I have felt very honored and humbled when I have received awards, and am very honored when people buy my work. However, I think my proudest moments are when someone tells me that my work has moved them deeply or when I look at the faces of my students and see that they are truly learning and understanding. That is what I am aiming for.
What advice would you give a budding artist?
Paint what you love! If you paint what you love it will always be your best work.
What are your upcoming shows?
I just finished a three day show, the Parade of Artists in Boerne. I am participating in the Thirty Years of Western Splendor Art Exhibition and Sale show which opens April 27th at The Museum of Western Art in Kerrville, Texas and continues through the end of May. I also currently teach a weekly oil painting class which is held at Highland House Gallery. The current galleries my artwork is in are Highland House Gallery, Boerne, Texas, Artisans at Rocky Hill on Main, Fredericksburg, Texas and The Gallery at Brookwood, Brookshire, Texas For more information about Becky, check out her website at www.beckyrogers.com.
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Beginning on May 24, 2013, the Patrick Heath Public Library will offer a new experience for visitors; a glimpse of Yellowstone National Park. The library itself will be transformed by the artifacts, vintage souvenirs, clothing and historical images on loan from Yellowstone National Park. Also on loan are items that can be touched – pelts, a wolf skull, rocks and some souvenirs. “This project highlights many of the reasons Boerne worked so hard to get the library that we now have,” said Rusty Meador, President of the Boerne Public Library Foundation. “As our community hub, the library provides an outlet for education and cultural enrichment that is available to anyone that walks through the doors. Through this partnership, we are also demonstrating that our reach is far beyond the Hill Country.” The PHPL Art Gallery is home to a Nationally Recognized Art exhibit every summer, sponsored by the Boerne Public Library Foundation. As part of this partnership, from May 14 to August 15, renowned
photographer, Tom Murphy will display his exhibit, Yellowstone National Park Through the Seasons. Tom spends an average of 100 days a year in the park and captures images of animals and landscapes that portray the majesty that is Yellowstone. Tom’s photographs have been used in National Geographic Magazine, Life Magazine and the New York Times. Each summer, the library offers a Summer Reading Program for children. Because of this project, this summer’s program will be tailored to the Yellowstone theme, with something for everyone. Children have the opportunity to become Reading Rangers while Teens and Adults can Park It & Read for the summer. “We love the excitement that the Summer Reading Program brings to the library each year”, says Kelly Skovbjerg, Director of the Patrick Heath Public Library. “Summer Reading programs are a library staple across the country. This opportunity to do something unique with a theme like Yellowstone, is very special.” For more information about the Yellowstone Summer project, visit www.boernelibraryfoundation.org.
THE YELLOWSTONE PROJECT Presented by the Boerne Public Library Foundation and the Yellowstone Park Foundation Patrick Heath Public Library in Boerne 451 N. Main, Boerne, Texas
Clockwise: Photo of General Phil Sheridan, President Chester Arthur and Senator Graham Vest from 7-28-1883, Sunset Ridge Clouds and Bull Moose Water Antlers photos © Tom Murphy, Yellowstone booklet image courtesy of Yellowstone National Park, Safety flyer for 1922.
May 24 – August 15, 2013 Reading and activity programs for all ages Artifacts, vintage souvenirs, historical images and videos that tell the story of Yellowstone Park “Yellowstone National Park Through the Seasons” a photography exhibit featuring the work of internationally-acclaimed photographer, Tom Murphy More information available: www.boernelibraryfoundation.org, www.boernelibrary.org, www.ypf.org, www.nps.gov
Delicious is just the beginning… 119 STAFFEL STREET, BOERNE, TEXAS 78006 | 830.816.2005 | THECREEKRESTAURANT.COM
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“As we were spinning I looked out the mesh ‘window’ at the car behind that was coming straight at me.”
Our intrepid writer, Leah, is on a mission to scratch as many items off her bucket list as possible. From parachuting to spelunking, Leah has made significant progress in experincing more than most folks. Her most recent adventure on this quest was to quench her need for speed. I’ve always had a problem keeping my speedometer at the legal speed. My lead foot always pushes down on the accelerator and tries to get me into trouble. If my car didn’t have cruise control, I would have many more speeding tickets - that’s for sure! Because of this love of speed, I jumped at the chance to ride with a professional driver in an authentic NASCAR stock car at the San Antonio Speedway track. As I walked closer to the San Antonio Speedway track, the sound of revving engines started my blood pumping just a bit faster. The smell of burned rubber made me pick up the pace. In the past, I’ve watched races on amateur tracks, but I have never actually been in a car on the track. When I looked out across the track at the cars flying around the curves, I knew that today is going to be one heck of a ride. As I was waiting with the other riders for my turn, I am surprisingly calm. I giggle at the kid sitting next to me and his nervous tick. His bouncing leg reminds me of a Wylie E. Coyote episode when he accidentally ingests earthquake pills. Of course his whole body wasn’t vibrating, but I swear that leg was trying it’s hardest to beat a hole into the pavement. While the first rider was getting ready for her run, the rest of us were suiting up in our lovely red jumpsuits. I understand the need for protection, but those suits are not flattering. I felt like I was putting on footie pajamas, and no adult should be wearing those! I was also thankful that it was a slightly mild weather day, because those suits get hot! Even though I had to patiently wait my turn, I was really glad I wasn’t first in line.
The first person to go in our group was the only other girl. As the driver started the car (quite loud by the way) and took off onto the track, a saying that my track coach used to tell us popped into my head, “Go fast and turn left.” Since the SA Speedway is an oval track, this is exactly what the cars were doing. Fast is an understatement on a track. He was going at least 70 mph on the curves and around 120 mph on the straightaways. As the driver sped around the track, the smile on my face grew wider and wider. Then the car spun out around the south corner and skidded to a stop. My smile faltered and my heart dropped. That is exactly why I wasn’t driving that day. I consider myself as a somewhat safe driver on the highway, but I know on a speedway, all bets would be off. Luckily no one else was on the track at that time, so the professional driver gunned off like nothing had happened. Oh hello, nerves. There you are. One by one, each person before me got their turn in the passenger seat and finally my turn comes along. As I get strapped into the four-point harness, I check out my surroundings inside the car. Built for safety, but not comfort, the car is outfitted with a roll bar and the bare minimum of everything else. Besides the controls and gauges, there was no carpet, decorative accents or anything commercial at all. This car is for sure made for speed, and that’s it. While my driver and I waited for there to be an opening for entry onto the track, I asked him what happened with the spin-out. He said he hadn’t spun-out in ages and thinks the track was the problem. He pointed out a spot right before the curve that was patched. He said that he must have hit it just right and it caused him to go out of control. I then told him if it happens during my ride, I probably won’t have control of what comes out of my mouth. Finally, we get the green light and we’re off. I am instantly thrown back in my seat when he accelerates. Going 70 mph in a race car is completely different than 70 mph in my own car. For one, I felt every single bump we went over. I eventually got
used to his acceleration on the straightaways and breaking for the curves, at which point I was very grateful for the harness. The more laps we went around, the bigger my smile got. I can’t remember how many laps we had gone around, when it happened – the spin-out. I’m guessing we hit that patch of asphalt just right because all of a sudden we were spinning. I instantly brought my arms and legs up to my chest thinking if I make myself as small as possible it wouldn’t be as bad. As we were spinning I looked out the mesh “window” at the car behind that was coming straight at me. I don’t remember if I squealed or spoke any sailor words, but I just knew this was going to hurt. And then nothing happened. Everything was silent. My immediate thought was, “Thank GOD my Mom isn’t here watching this.” She would have had a heart attack! I slowly let my legs and arms drop and looked over to the driver. His word to me - “Whoops.” Whoops?!? I think I had finally started breathing again at this time. I am so grateful that the program (Rusty Wallace Racing Experience) had a spotter watching out for us. And I’m so thankful for good breaks. After a few normal laps, we swung into the pit lane and my ride was over. Then I had the joy of getting out of the car, which was much harder than getting in. For those who don’t know, race car doors do not open. You get in and out through the window. With all the adrenaline going through my system and having my arms and legs feeling like jelly from the spin-out, I was barely able to haul myself out. Luckily I did, and I was tempted to kiss the ground, but decided that would probably hurt my driver’s feelings. I’m sure I was a sight to see walking away from the car, because I’m pretty sure my eyes were as big as saucers, but I also had the biggest, goofiest grin on my face. It was really quite a ride. Somehow I made it across the track and back to my car, even on shaky legs. Once I settled into the safety of my comfortable car, I just sat there for a few beats, trying to get my heart rate back to a somewhat normal pace. Especially, because I had to call my Mom to let her know I survived. All-in-all, the ride-along was one of the best adventures I’ve done in my life. I’m glad that I’m smart enough to realize that me getting behind the wheel of one of those cars isn’t a wise choice. I’m sure my lead foot would have had a field day, but then I would have had an even harder time driving normally after my experience. My cruise control really came in handy that day!
If you are interested in going fast, too, scan the code below, make an appointment at www.racewithrusty.com. There are many options to get your adrinaline fix including the ride along experience, or get behind the wheel and drive it like you stole it!
Perfect By Kendall D Aaron | firstname.lastname@example.org
King David was one of the baddest dudes in the Bible. This guy took on Goliath with a slingshot when he was still a young man. He became one of Israel’s most celebrated soldiers, and everyone knew that you wanted David as your wingman if you were going into battle. Nobody could stop him, and eventually he was vaulted from a soldier to ultimately the King of Israel. He established Jerusalem and served God with an unwavering passion and dedication. And then he slept with his servant’s wife. When I was reading this in the Bible, I scratched my head. I mean, the KING OF ISRAEL, hand selected by God Himself goes off and pulls some bone-headed move? Really? And then it got worse. King David tried to hide his sin, and when that failed, he had his servant killed on the battlefield. With him out of the way, David married this woman and had a child. God was furious and caused the child to die. David mourned passionately, not only the loss of his son, but he mourned for his sin. David continued his rule, but his personal life was pretty much a wreck after this. God had promised that David’s rule would eventually come to an end with a rebellion that would come from within his family, and this happened as David was old and feeble. David is credited with writing much of the book of Psalms, one of the most beautiful books in the Bible. His devotion to God was evident throughout his life, albeit with some pretty substantial stumbles along the way. God’s grace is a beautiful and powerful thing. It never ends. King David transformed the landscape of the world, and yet he had his servant killed, slept with his wife, and lied about it. Can you imagine if this would have happened to, say, the President of the United States? Or a congressman? Or even your neighbor down the street? Our culture is one that loves the tabloid-esque nature of a “scandal.” We love to read about it, gossip about it, and condemn the culprit. We celebrate that their career is unceremoniously destroyed, their family is ruined, and the person is left a smoldering mess. When someone famous is caught up in a scandal, sometimes we enjoy the sight of them being “brought down to size.” When their career is destroyed and they are no longer “famous”, then they are just like us – normal citizens. When someone down the street goes through something scandalous, we gossip and whisper and point fingers. We say things like “I feel so bad for his children” while we are standing their badmouthing those children’s mother or father. It’s a vicious part of our nature, and it’s unfortunate. Ephesians 4:29 tells us “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” That it may minister grace. I like this verse because it reminds us that we are just as responsible to give grace to others. No, we cannot do it with the effectiveness of God, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t try. So, back to your friend down the street that is caught up in a “scandal.” Guess what? It could be you in that position. Yes, I know you’re perfect, but it doesn’t take much for a good person to get caught up in a situation they could never imagine they would be. And when they are caught up in it, what do they need? Your gossiping, rumor spreading, or celebrations at their expense?? Nah, what they really need are your prayers. Or your hand to hold. Or your shoulder to cry on. What an extraordinary opportunity to extend the love of Christ to someone who truly, really needs it during a particularly tough time. As I mentioned, King David was one of the more prominent characters in the Bible. The guy did it all for God. He made some really stupid mistakes, but he was still King David. He still battled incessantly for God. He still led in a righteous way. Not many people knew of his sins, but even the ones that did, still understood the fabric of his character. And this is really a good lesson for us all.
The Graves Group
Horses and history in the Hill Country!
Luxury (and potential luxury) properties with acreage, where horses are always welcome – and riders have space to ride! Left: This 5 bedroom, 4 bath home on 5.92 acres in Fair Oaks Ranch features a grand entry and 2 story living area with wet bar, custom remodeled kitchen plus 2 dining areas and luxurious master with sitting area and soaking tub. The covered patio and balcony are perfect for evening breezes. There is a large barn and oversized workshop or RV garage. The property backs up to seasonal Post Oak Creek. Priced at $647,500 Center: 38 acres of pure Texas Hill Country history, including 2 habitable homes and 2 project homes, located in Center Point. In days gone by, this property has served as a horse farm, dairy and guest ranch, and charming vestiges of its varied past remain. A versatile property offering almost unlimited possibilities! Priced at $430,000 Right: 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath stone home on almost 39 acres with gorgeous frontage on Spring Creek. Large living area with massive fireplace and custom ceiling treatments. Shop/quarters in garage and equipment barn. Gated, fenced and cross-fenced with abundant wildlife. Priced at $1,195,000
Denise Graves, Realtor®, CLMS, CRS, ABR, GRI I Office: 830-331-9898 I Cell: 210-260-2176 I www.thegravesgroup.com
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May 4th 2013 2nd Annual Customer Appreciation/Anniversary Day
Drip Irrigation How to Seminar How to Grow Roses Seminar by San Antonio Rose Society Custom Container Seminar Native Plant Society of Boerne Representatives from: Greenleaf, Jackson Pottery, Monrovia, Gardenville and Nature’s Guide. Ralph Fair
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10 1604 To Downtown
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