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Growing Up in Bandera

February 01, 2023 - 00:00
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I had known since I was a kid that my Granddaddy Kindla owned and at some earlier time played the violin. Even someone such as myself with very little musical ability beyond singing in the shower knows the difference between a violin and a fiddle is simply the music being played. What I didn’t know until recently thanks to my uncle Al Kindla is that my granddaddy was taught to play by the nuns at the Catholic School. He said they taught piano and violin.

I only recall seeing my granddaddy having his fiddle out of the case one time when I was a kid. We were in his kitchen by the old wood burning stove and he really didn’t play but just drew the bow across the strings a few times and then put it away. According to my uncle, granddaddy was thrown from a mule at one time and it messed up both of his wrists. Evidently that hampered his musical talent . Bandera history is full of local pioneers who were fiddle players but unfortunately my granddaddy isn’t listed among them thanks to some ornery mule.

While attending St. Joseph Catholic School back in the 50’s I never received any instruction from the nuns on any type of musical instrument. We did learn square dancing and often we sang in a group for programs held in the upstairs auditorium. I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket so I was always encouraged to not sing too loud.

Since my school days I have confined my feeble attempts at singing to the shower here at home much to the dismay of family members. Although there was that one late night at The Silver Dollar when my brother Eddie and I decided it would be fun to....... well, lets just say there was no call for an encore.

Back in earlier times every Friday and Saturday night local musicians could be found playing at local watering holes around the area. Wharton’s Dock and The American Legion Hall were a couple immediately coming to mind. That tradition is being carried on currently in various venues by some of my friends and aquaintances who are very talented individuals and groups. It understandably has a different feel now but it’s all good. Bandera has always had a strong connection to music.

Adolph Hofner and the Pearl Wranglers at the Mayan Ranch. Arkey Blue at The Silver Dollar. The Boyd and Robison brothers were locally grown and celebrated talents. Ray Price, Johnny Rodriquez and many other artists were performing at the Cabaret while I was Growing Up In Bandera.