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Growing up in Bandera

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I often hear statements, mostly from the younger generations, about how things never change around Bandera.

Well let me clue you in on a few changes that have taken place since my age offers me a loftier view of the past.

The majority of the streets in town and county roads were not paved back in the day.

If you had stopped to ask me directions while referring to a street name, I would have been as lost as you were back then. I can’t recall when I became aware of the gravel street in front of our house having the 8th Street name attached.

It was simply the street leading me to the Martinez’ boys home if I was looking for a baseball game or the challenge of “keepsies” marbles.

In the next block going south was the Mustang football field close to “The Swing” swimming hole and just across the street from the bamboo lot. On 11th Street at Cypress was the house across from the old funeral home where the Tucker boys lived.

The little wood-frame building that 11th Street Cowboy Bar now occupies was a barber shop sitting next to Pop’s Bar and Grill.

If you want to reference something that hasn’t changed in that area, you can make a note about Stein’s Clothiers.

I call the little tin building out back at that location “The Cat House.” A quick drive through the parking lot next door will explain.

The name of the Bandera Ice House has remained for generations but resembles little in appearance of what I remember as a youngster. It truly was an ice house, even before the time when my dad was delivering ice at a young age.

As ice houses were later becoming known as convenience stores, we had The Chuck Wagon and Pack Saddle on the other end of town too.

Having been a service station attendant at the Phillips 66 and Free State Oil Co. in Bandera during my teen years, I can assure you the gas stations of today ain’t your grandpa’s service stations.

If you don’t believe me, then pull up to a pump and push the talk button and say, “fill ‘er up please,” like we did back in the day.

Changes that used to take generations seem to happen just overnight now.

Make note of your present-day “Growing Up in Bandera” because tomorrow when you wake up, it could be gone forever.