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Growing up in Bandera

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Time to do some updating for giving directions in Bandera. Things aren’t looking the same as back in the day. As you head north up Main Street don’t look for the I.E. Adamietz Insurance building where you would hang a left then go four blocks to get to our house on the left. Besides being a place to buy insurance it was the place where all of the Bandera boys turning draft age went to report. Even if you knew where that so named building was located years ago you won’t be able to find it today. It is the latest victim of progress along Main Street in The Cowboy Capital of the World.

I no longer reside at the house on the corner of Eighth and Pecan but I’m only a few blocks away. Thankfully the old homeplace is still in the family so I get to visit sometimes. I can still visualize the wood rail horse corral, cypress board barn and the chicken pen with a roost and hen nests out in the back lot although they all disappeared many years ago.

That horse corral area was a natural fertile garden spot for many years providing vegetables for our family. The chicken coop was a place I avoided because there were always fleas that somehow avoided my mother’s ongoing battle to eradicate them. I remember someone suggested throwing banana stalks and horehound weeds in the hen house as a remedy but as I recall, the fleas didn’t leave until the chickens were gone.

The folks who know what I’m talking about when I mention The Half Circle Courts are becoming fewer and fewer. That is just one example of an old place with a new name that I can’t seem to get the hang of even after all these years. Billings Courts is now gone and has been replaced by Rusty Wheel Park. Where once stood Pillow’s Courts there is now River Oaks Inn. Seems we have lost all of our Courts along the way.

What once were modern many years ago have now become weathered, rundown and unsalvageable buildings in many cases. God bless the folks who have been able to rescue some of our historical buildings and preserve them for future generations.

The smell of Mayes’ Laundry on 10th Street is no longer in the air as I retrace my steps when walking to Granddaddy Kindla’s house long ago. Some memories and a concrete slab are all that remain of Kinsey’s Laundry on 9th Street after the flood in 1978 took everything else down the river. For me Growing Up In Bandera gets a little tougher each year as the history of old Bandera continues to rapidly fade.