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Growing Up in Bandera

December 14, 2022 - 00:00
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I have often wondered what my life would have been like if I hadn’t been raised in Bandera. What if I had been unable at the age of 5 to talk my parents into moving back here after they had kidnapped me at a couple months old and took me to California? I can’t imagine my life as a surfer or movie star. The Good Lord was watching over me.

The elementary education I received from the nuns at St. Joseph’s Catholic School carried me through high school where I was known to do just enough to get by. The education I received by going under the old Bantex Theater to see the graffiti done by some pretty talented amateur local artists did need some tweaking. Even as a youngster I knew enough to not go home and ask about some of those words I saw inscribed on the concrete beams. The pictographs were pretty much self explanatory. The balcony in the theater would soon provide the next level of education for me.

I am constantly changing the style of pocket knife I carry. Mostly it depends on the agenda I have laid out for myself. Every task will require that I choose the right tool for the job. When volunteering for the Silver Sage San Antonio Food Bank distribution I find that my little “peanut” Winchester knife is more than adequate to cut tape and plastic strings. My dad showed me many years ago how to peel a pecan with a trusty old Case pocket knife but I have come to love my inertia nut cracker so I leave those old knives with sentimental value in the safe. I have inherited some old Case knives from my dad, father-in-law and an old friend that will be passed on the the next generations. They are quality made and prized possessions but for cutting purposes they require occasional sharpening to maintain their edge. Using the more modern throwaway knives of today with their razor sharp blades is not recommended for pecan peeling. It’s a good way to lose a thumb.

I still have my Uncle Henry knife in it’s original leather case that I wore on my belt for many years during my working for a living days. That will be one that I can pass on to one of my great grandsons. Or maybe even my great granddaughter since she is a rough and tumble sort of girl.

I have to wonder what the city dwelling kids were learning from their elders back when I was Growing Up In Bandera along side the old ranchers and farmers. I’m pretty sure my education which included things blow flies, screw worms, hauling hay, rebuilding water gaps, castrating hogs and herding sheep and cows wasn’t going to be mirrored on their résumé. Thank God I’m a country boy.