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Growing Up in Bandera

April 19, 2023 - 00:00
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Editor’s note: Growing Up in Bandera is available in book form! Visit our office or call 830-796-3718 for more info!

As a youngster being rais There are things that have always been around here in the country that a lot of folks moving in can’t tolerate due to a lack of understanding. Snakes are a good example. There are harmless snakes and dangerous snakes. The trouble is, people who are new to the area don’t know the difference and just kill every one they come across in the belief that a good snake is a dead snake. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be here in the country. Losing the beneficial snakes can lead to other problems.

Similar problems have been around as long as I can remember. City folks moving out into unfamiliar areas in the country without a solid understanding of country life. There are hard lessons to be learned. Family pets turned loose to roam freely will always turn into an unhappy ending. Livestock and and pet dogs are never a good combination as a rancher is forced to protect his livelihood. I have seen this played out over and over through the years.

Just because I greet you when we pass at the post office or the grocery store doesn’t mean you need to acknowledge my existence but it might go a long way to helping you fit into your new environment. I can’t help feeling insulted when you look me in the eye as I say “howdy” and you give zero indication that you even heard me because I’m used to the old ways around here. There’s no law against it but still.....

Sometimes back in the day it would take me thirty minutes or more to go into the post office and get my mail. Now most days it’s more like a minute or two. The passing of every oldtimer or lifelong friend diminishes the chance of me having a short reunion while running errands. It’s sad because the older I get the more those events mean to me. It’s a far cry from the days when Joe Short and Tag Knibbe were behind the counter sorting out the mail and greeting everyone by name.

Progress!!! What an ugly word that has become. The old wooden post on the backstreets holding a stop sign are gone. Now we have steel pipe poles with stop signs that more and more people are ignoring. In comparison the trash along the streets was less of a problem in bygone years because of the type of litter has evolved over time. The modern drink styrofoam and paper containers offer less of an incentive to gather them up than the beer and soda bottles carrying a cash reward did back in my childhood days.

One thing I am certain of as I look back over my Growing Up In Bandera experience and that is the best years are gone forever. Progress has removed the freedoms I enjoyed along our beautiful river. My great grandkids will never enjoy what me and my friends had. The volume of traffic on Main Street has made “dragging main” a lost art. I have removed lots of items off my dislike list as I have aged but progress is not yet forgiven.