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Growing Up in Bandera

February 08, 2023 - 00:00
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I often joke about the gossiping in Bandera back in the day. I don’t believe we were much different than any other small Texas town in that respect. The telephone party lines, the coffee shops and bars were some of the most obvious but there were others more off the mainstream.

The little back room at the Red Goose Pool Hall where dominoes were played nightly was often a place to pick up some local news not likely to be published in the paper. As I sat watching my dad play Moon my young ears would perk up as some cigar smoking or tobacco chewing individual gave his version of the latest hot scandal going around town. It was about this time my dad would tell me it was time for me to be getting on back home.

If a person wanted the latest on the Bandera Bulldogs football game or what the current hunting season situation was looking like the place to be was a local barber shop. After my granddaddy Kindla stopped cutting my hair I was introduced to Jimmy Evans’ shop in the Frontier Hotel complex.

Later on I went to Wayne Wharton’s shop which had become the headquarters for all things in Bandera sports talk. Things often became rowdy when Wayne’s brother Ray along with Wayne Ruede, Wiley and Carel “The Toad” D’Spain and others gathered in the shop to give their version and opinions. There were unsubstantiated rumors of men losing an ear when Wayne Wharton was recreating a play of the Friday night football game with a razor in his hand. I personally was only nicked a few times. After a little dab of witch hazel I was good to go. I often frequent the

OST which has been my favorite place to eat in Bandera since back in the day. Along with its table of knowledge it is the most likely spot where I will run into longtime friends. As a kid when I was with my dad we always went to The Best Yet which was run by my dad’s childhood friend Smith Wright and his wife. On the other end of town The Ranch House Cafe was a popular eating place too but I was only in there once that I recall with my friend Darrel Faglie because his girlfriend worked there.

The Chicken Shack run by Sid Skinner was a really popular place too before it became a victim of a fire. It was located on the corner where Boyles owned Zeke’s would later appear. Currently that location is occupied by Carquest Auto Supply.

All of the places I have mentioned with the exception of OST and Carquest have disappeared and are now just a part of my Growing Up In Bandera story. Some changes to the face of Bandera will be good. Some not. One thing is certain, the changes will keep coming.

Editor’s Note: Want more Growing Up in Bandera? Get the Growing Up in Bandera book! Contact the Bulletin at 830-796-3718 for more information.