The older I get the more difficult it becomes to watch a way of life fading away. From this lofty perch of seventy- five years the changes I’ve seen can’t even be imagined when explained to some of the younger generations. I can only imagine what my Granddaddy Kindla must have been seeing and thinking as he looked back at an earlier Bandera from the ripe old age of ninety.
He was around as the horse and buggy days were giving way to the automobile in Bandera. I’m sure the horrors of WW I were still as clear in his mind as the Viet Nam War events are now to my generation. What a journey he had as a kid leading the life of our early pioneers and then watching tv as a man walked on the moon. I still believe the worst change for him was probably the addition of traffic lights on Main Street.
My dad talked about days along the river as he was growing up in the 20’s and 30’s. The cave that he and some childhood friends dug in the caliche bluff high above the river bank was still being visited by me and my friends in the 50’s and 60’s. In recent years it has begun to disappear due to erosion. The Great Depression and WW II were highlights in his mind’s rearview mirror without a doubt. Less than two months before his passing we all watched in horror as two planes flew into the twin towers bringing a change to the whole world as we knew it.
I experienced many things that were disappearing fast around Bandera in my younger years. Outhouses were still in use but were becoming scarce. I helped my mom on several occasions by hauling firewood for building a fire under the big cast iron pots on laundry day. I still see a few clotheslines around today but they were a lot longer back in the day.
All three levels of the Bandera public school district were on one location in town during my school years. Today it is the site of the middle school only. I could write a book from my current point of view on the many changes that have taken place in the school system.
I was disappointed when they moved the football stadium out of town to the new high school location. I understood why they had to do it but what I don’t understand is why the heck they still had the home field side of the stadium facing the evening sun.
The high school parking lot is always full on school days but you won’t see .22 rifles on gun racks in the back windows of the pickup trucks now. No moon hubcaps or spinners to be seen on the wheels of cars. The cars are mostly shiny newer models unlike the clunkers we drove back in the day. I wonder how many students today have bought their ride with their own money?
The world is just moving too fast as I am in my later Growing Up In Bandera years. There is so much more that is changing in our town simply because so much more has been added. I fear we have met the enemy and it is us.
Editor’s Note: Want a copy of Growing Up in Bandera? Contact the Bulletin today to purchase your own copy!