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Growing up in Bandera

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Thinking back to the TV shows we watched as kids, I recall most of my favorites were Westerns - Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy and the like.

There were favorite cartoon shows as well.

One show that has withstood the changing tastes through the decades is The Mickey Mouse Show. I watched it and so did my son and my grandkids. Now my great-grandson is a “Mick-Mick,” as he calls it, fan.

Thinking back, I realize my only interest in watching that show decades ago was probably to see Annette Funicello.

Fess Parker in the Davy Crockett TV series was a must-watch favorite because his adventures usually always took place on a river or in the woods. That made it easy for me to pretend I was Davy as I roamed the banks of the Medina River around Bandera.

There was plenty of wilderness available too back in the day. I always wanted one of those coonskin caps and an Ol’ Betsy rifle, but here I am a couple years past 70 and still wishing.

As young boys we had our own version of the Davy Crockett theme song, but like most of our songs we sang back then, it isn’t suitable for print.

Audie Murphy cowboy and war movies were popular at the Bantex Theater and inspired me back in my younger days.

We had an empty lot near our home which had an adequate supply of black wasp nests in the huisache bushes where we could wage war on the enemy.

We dug a few foxholes, and the wasps proved to be worthy adversaries. We launched mud clod hand grenades, and they counter attacked like a miniature kamikaze force that usually sent us running for home.

If I was wounded in battle and told my mom I had been stung, she showed little sympathy. “I told you to leave those wasps alone!”

My mom didn’t believe in awarding Purple Hearts.

My current TV viewing is not unlike some of that early-life stuff I watched. A lot of the Western miniseries and movies are still available daily, and I am a faithful follower.

It doesn’t matter how many times I have seen some of those old cowboy flicks throughout my “Growing up In Bandera” journey, I still prefer them to the modern menu of drama and fantasy.