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Growing Up in Bandera

December 28, 2022 - 00:00
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There go the school buses rolling by this morning gathering up kids for a day of seeking educational achievements. Living in town in the days of my childhood meant you walked or you were driven by a parent to the school you were attending. Unlike today where we have schools scattered around the area all the public school levels were located on one campus in town.

We lived three blocks from both St. Joseph Catholic School where we received our elementary schooling and Bandera High School. So I relied mainly on the shoe leather express for my daily mode of transportation. In extreme weather conditions my mom had to cram us all into the cab of our old 46 Chevy truck. She sometimes had to make two trips after the kids got bigger. The floor mounted stick shift and starter only added to the problem. At times there were so many feet on the floorboard of the truck that my mom would say, “One of you kids step on that starter down there”. Then off we would go. And we all knew how to shift the gears before we ever learned to drive.

Back in the day before the city of Bandera was incorporated it was pretty easy to understand that everyone including townsfolk were Bandera County residents. That is still true today but not everyone gets it. Even some county officials and city residents don’t accept or recognize the fact that we are all one community. I could show them my tax bills as evidence of the double whammy privilege of living in town but all one needs to do is go on social media to realize that ignorance is totally embraced around here when it comes to local politics. I can explain it to ‘em but I can’t understand it for ‘em.

During the old Stompede Days in Bandera folks reacted differently to the wild activities taking place. Some folks just packed up and left town for a few days. Others would stay and blend in the best they could under the circumstances. Consider the modern day Mardi Gras celebration crowds and then add a few thousand more and you can get an idea of what it was like. It was faster to walk where you wanted to go in town because of the traffic gridlock on Main Street. Yeah, sorta like today sometimes. Back in the day when the post office was located on Main Street where the Bandera Bank parking lot is today it was my job to go get the mail. I knew all the postal workers and they knew me. I didn’t open the mailbox back then. I went to the counter and asked for the mail and Mr. Tag Knibbe always greeted me with a smile and asked how my granddaddy was doing. He knew without me telling him it was box 74 and I was picking up for my Granddaddy Kindla and my mom.

Growing Up In Bandera was a lot friendlier back in earlier times. There are still some friendly places in our town you just need to do a little looking. Stop in at Tripp’s Tire and say hello to Cody. That will give you a fine example of the old Bandera I knew.