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Growing Up in Bandera

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Editor’s Note: Copies of the “Growing Up in Bandera” book are available in the Bulletin’s office and can be shipped anywhere in the county. Call 830-796-3718 for more information.

Looking at what is going on in our modern world is enough to make any sane person disgusted. When we turn on the boob tube now we no longer get real news but rather opinions from people who don’t realize that people are different in different parts of the country. Even the “local” news out of San Antonio seems foreign to me.

Bill McReynolds was on the air at WOAI Radio back in the mid 60’s and did agri-business and weather week days around noon and most farmers and ranchers came in from the fields for lunch and listened faithfully every day. There was plenty of bad news when his reporting was about the drought we had in the 50’s here in Texas. There was no opinion on what was happening but rather reporting facts so farmers and ranchers could plan accordingly. When shearing time came around it was important to know current prices for wool and mohair but it was also very important to know the long range weather forecasts. If you know about shearing sheep and goats then you get the connections.

We are fortunate to have a beautifully preserved old Wool and Mohair building in our town. It’s a great antique mall now and I love going in to shop and visit with the people working there and occasionally running into the owners, Mason and Rochelle Hunt. The whole place is Bandera friendly. Each time I walk in the door instantly a flood of memories hits me with thoughts of bygone years when accompanying my Uncle Phil Kindla with his load of wool. The smell of the wool and mohair is still in the air. Or is it just me and my memories? A lot of legendary country music stars got their start working as D.J.’s down here in Texas. Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush and Charlie Walker just to name a few. I listened to Charlie Walker every day as I commuted to San Antonio for work. The number one setting on the push button selector of my radio in my old 58 Chevy was 630 AM KMAC. I was a faithful listener to “The Ol’ Cotton Picker”.

Over on KBER Radio you could tune in and hear Eddie Daniels spinning the discs. Back in earlier times he was a hometown Bandera native boy known as Eddie Kalka. I was younger and never really knew Eddie but I was familiar with his brother Anthony “Tater” Kalka because he ran around with my Uncle Tommy Kindla. Now that was a pair to draw to for sure.

My current Growing Up In Bandera music tastes are pretty much unchanged from back in the day. Thanks to Willie’s Roadhouse old traditional country music is still favored but there are some exceptions. Some of the early rock n’ roll and easy listening on XM radio can be found programmed in my Ram truck. You’re not going to hear anything that’s gonna vibrate your car as you drive by me though. That’s guaranteed!!!