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Growing Up in Bandera

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Recently while attending a service at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Bandera I reflected on all the changes that had taken place since I frequented that historic place serving as an altar boy.

Upon entry the most obvious and immediately felt is the addition of air conditioning.

Serving mass while wearing a cassock wasn’t a pleasant task during the summertime back then.

The paintings adorning the walls have changed since my childhood days giving the interior a fresh look.

As I sat looking at the altar I silently wondered if the little trap door in the wall behind it was still there and in use. That is where it was assumed altar boys disposed of the left over communion wine.

I can assure you every drop of that wine was “disposed of” in the general vicinity of that little door but maybe not as directed.

I remember I sometimes had to scuffle with Tommy Callahan to get in my share of the wine disposing when serving mass with him.

One thing that stood out as not having changed came to me as I sat in that old hardwood pew. My old bony butt hurt for two days after that latest visit. Are personal cushions acceptable in church these days?

Kneeling for me is durn near impossible now and when everyone around me started standing up I noticed they were already sitting back down by the time I managed to get on my feet.

The outside area surrounding the church has changed dramatically.

Nice lush lawns and paved parking lots have replaced the open caliche areas that once served as playgrounds and staging points during fire drills for St. Joseph’s Catholic School students.

Angel Martinez and I would have been hard pressed to find a suitable spot to draw a circle for shooting marbles if things were like that back in the day. Do kids even shoot marbles anymore?

Father Victor and the nuns who were teachers at St. Joseph’s Catholic School were a big part of our early lives while Growing Up In Bandera.

I needed more than the normal amount of motivation when it came to schoolwork and they eagerly provided it. Later in life I came to appreciate that about them.