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Growing up in Bandera

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Every time I fire up my bar-b-que pit, I have returning memories of family and community events from back in the day.

The early Clark/Kindla family reunions and get-togethers always took place on the river by Bennies U Bar Guest Ranch.

Many years ago, the St. Stanislaus Church Festival also was held annually on the river near the Silver Spur bridge.

The community events like the annual Hunter›s Supper have taken on a persona that are completely unlike what I remember as a kid. What was once an event created to show appreciation for people who enjoyed an activity that helped our local economy seems more like a fundraiser now.

I guess it has just outgrown the Los Gringos band and locals pitching in to cook the meat and making the beans and potato salad.

I still enjoy going out and visiting with folks, but I see less and less of my old, familiar friends.

I don’t mean to be critical, it’s just a different feel, and I’m guilty of having a love of something that is difficult to let go of in my life.

Imagine going to a dance or other social gathering and knowing just about everyone there. That’s the way it used to be.

Now I go in searching for a familiar face.

Being engaged in the community on several levels now, I also realize the need for change.

It’s hard to explain to people who didn’t experience the life we had as youngsters in the 50s and 60s in Bandera.

When people greet me with, “How you doing?” I always respond with, “I’ve felt better and had less.”

That pretty much sums up my current life.

Memorial Day has always been the date of the big event in Bandera as far back as I can remember in the Stompede Days.

The rodeo, the gunfighters, and the parade still bring the crowds, although we no longer hang a sheepherder or horse thief down on the courthouse square.

I don›t know why, unless it has something to do with political correctness.

I would love to see our rodeo events raised to a level where national competitors would come seeking a championship bearing our Cowboy Capital Champion brand.

My “Growing Up in Bandera” years have seen a shift from the wool-and-mohair glory days of raising sheep and goats.

As the years rolled by, there were more cattle and newer breeds brought in. My personal favorite is still Hereford.

I guess it was just a natural transition that horses are a lot more plentiful and are a big part of many people’s lives as they enjoy seeing Bandera and the surrounding area from horseback. Not unlike some of my ancestors from earlier times in the Cowboy Capital of the World.