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Growing up in Bandera

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There are many reasons I am grateful for having grown up in our little town.

The people I had in my life early on were some of the finest folks you could ever expect to meet: classmates, class moms, den mothers and scout leaders to name a few.

The nuns who taught at St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Father Victor, the parish priest, were some great positive role models for someone like me who needed constant motivational encouragement.

That’s not to say there weren’t some stinkers around too because, just like today, there were a few.

I dodged more than my share of bullets while making my way through life’s early stages. Seems there was always that little voice in the back of my mind sending warning signals.

In addition to that, it seems I had human guardian angels watching over me too.

That sharp rap on the knuckles by a nun to get me back on track wouldn’t be acceptable in today’s society. I’m pretty sure the ear pulling by my mom as well as the nuns would be frowned on too.

The most difficult punishment for me was having to stand with my nose up against the chalkboard because I was “looking around” in class.

It was painful not being able to turn around to see which one of my friends was doing all that snickering behind my back.

You need to understand that back in the day it didn’t matter where you were or who you were with; you could expect to be scolded by whatever adult was around when you misbehaved.

At a young age, I just assumed that any adult present was the default authority in any given situation. Rest assured, I no longer hold with that idea today.

I can recall some older citizens from earlier times in Bandera being harsh and sometimes seemingly mean in nature. Looking back and being aware of the hardships they had endured before our modern world made life a little easier makes it a bit more understandable.

I think about the changes they witnessed during their lives. My Granddaddy Kindla is a perfect example. His life was a journey from horse and buggy all the way to seeing a man walk on the moon.

As a young kid, I would have to say our relationship wasn’t always a pleasant one. When I matured and was able to focus on the whole world rather than just my existence, things were a lot better.

I would have to say that being a grandpa, pawpaw or whatever term you use to describe the upper echelon of the male family members has been the best of times while Growing Up In Bandera.

Most of the kids from the old neighborhood around our home still call my wife and I grandma and grandpa, even as they have grown up and now have kids of their own.

They will never fully realize what that means to us.