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Growing Up in Bandera

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Early to bed and early to rise is supposed to make a man healthy, wealthy and wise. I’m fairly healthy for 70-plus in years. Wealthy is still an elusive dream. Wise? Well, it depends on who you ask I would suggest asking my grandkids so you get what I would view as a favorable answer. Please avoid asking my wife, as she is known to have a sarcastic sense of humor at times.

Early to rise is a holdover from my working days. I still enjoy watching the world come to life in the morning. We don’t use an alarm clock because I’m as trustworthy as any mechanical device. My little dogs want to take a stroll in the yard usually around four in the morning. As I’m standing there in the darkness, I am amazed at the crowing of roosters in the neighborhood with sunrise still hours away. Could there be, like me, some other old retired roosters with no real sense of time living in my neighborhood? I still love hearing the crowing because it takes me back in time to my childhood days when chickens were as much a part of our daily Bandera lives as horses and cattle.

When it comes to wealth, it can be attained in various ways. My wife and I always tried to use caution when making our family financial decisions. Well, except maybe that one time involving a new bass boat. But not all wealth comes in the form of money. After spending a lifetime of living here together in Bandera along with family and lots of good friends, we have an enormous amount of wealth that money can’t buy. If going back and starting over meant losing that, I would have to pass.

My morning walks are filled with things that make me realize what a special place this is where we live. My classmate and friend Butch Bradford will usually honk and ask why I’m not fishing as he heads off to the taco house before going to work That sometimes inspires me to go home to get a rod and reel before walking to the river for some casting and wondering what Butch might be doing by that time. The ducks and geese down at the river quacking and honking as I snicker and tell them what Butch is probably doing is a fitting start to a beautiful day.

Walking along 11th Street in the mornings will provide some interesting sights as those same geese and ducks make their way up the hill from the river to enjoy breakfast courtesy of some nice anonymous ladies in the parking lot. At times they can be observed fighting off mangy cats, buzzards and that pesky rooster who always looks like he had a rough night at The Silver Dollar. If you recall, Arkey Blue warned us that Growing Up In Bandera on the backstreets wasn’t always easy.