Thinking about all the changes in our way of life since the early 50’s here in Bandera it easy to come up with some favorites. During the hot summer days it would have been nice to have air conditioned classrooms while attending school both at St. Joseph Catholic School and at Bandera High School later on. The library at BHS did have an air conditioner and I have been giving that some thought lately. Could that have been a trick to get us to read more or spend an off period doing some homework?
We have fewer places around town where you can get gas for your vehicles now. We had as many as seven service stations back in the day and they were all full service. There are certainly more food and drink choices available at your favorite fueling spots now but you can no longer buy ammo or fishing lures and you are going to shell out money if you want some air in your tire. You could even buy tires and batteries for your car in the Bandera of old. Those service stations of bygone days were known to be a place for social gatherings too.
Gone are the days of squirrel or varmint hunting along the river around town. Can you imagine what the reaction would be in this day and time if people saw a kid walking along the street with a rifle heading to the river? No more .22 rifles allowed in the school parking lot while nestled in a gun rack in the back window of a pickup truck. Fifty plus years of progress and now just mentioning a gun will cause some people to go into panic mode.
We used to have a couple of locals riding on the city garbage truck on trash pickup day and it was hauled to a local dump site. If I forgot to put my trash cans out on the street Billy Clyde would go into my back yard and get them. Billy Clyde never had to pay for a beer while he was in The Silver Dollar if I was there at the same time. Bandera friends taking care of each other is how we rolled.
Today we have automated trash trucks operated by someone who won’t pick up anything that falls on the ground out of the trash bin while dumping. Luckily we have old retired people walking around in the mornings cleaning the streets and parking lots. It’s pretty disgusting to see trash and a lack of landscaping care of some businesses along our main street today.
I really miss seeing the oldtimers sitting around town like my earlier years of Growing Up In Bandera. The latest version of that part of our society chooses to sit around the coffee shops and talk about all the work they need to do. Then they head out the door and go fishing or hunting leaving the work they had planned for a rainy day. Those fishermen are my people.
Editor’s Note: Want more Growing Up in Bandera? Purchase your copy of Growing Up in Bandera! The book is available at The Bandera Bulletin’s office or by calling 830-796-3718.