If you really want to see what is so different about the Bandera of today when compared to the town back in the day just take a seat along Main Street. Watch the creeping traffic flow as it passes by and take note of how long you get to visually inspect each vehicle.
That blinking light at the intersection of 16 and 173 on the south end of town by The Corner Drug Store didn’t seem to hinder the flow of traffic like the series of modern traffic signals we have today. The number of older ranch trucks and cars you would have observed back then far outnumbered the shiny newer vehicles on the roads. New or older, almost all of them carried evidence of the times when so many of our streets and roads were unpaved.
The parking lot in front of the old high school on Cherry Street was like something out of a modern vintage car collector’s dream. There were a lot of what could be best described as clunkers that could be had for a couple hundred bucks. If you spot one of them today it will most likely be shining as bright as any new car fresh off the assembly line. Don’t go to the new high school parking lot looking for clunkers because they are few and far between today.
Most vehicles traveling down the road were instantly recognizable in the old days. Bennie Adamietz and his green and white 58 Chevy car were a regular sight and he always had his left arm hanging straight down out the window as he cruised through town. Freddie Flach and his 59 Apache Chevrolet pickup could be seen daily making a trip to his ranch on Privilege Creek. I later bought that old truck and we named it Old Freddie. I paid $150 for it. I drove it for a couple years and only added a battery and brake shoes. Oh, and a quart of oil every week. Later I sold it for $200 and saw it occasionally as it was being restored by the new owner.
Many years ago while Growing Up In Bandera it wasn’t unusual to see cars being push started by hand or by another car or truck. Can’t do that today because we have become too modern. Seems like simplicity has been removed from our lives. Can’t push a plastic rear bumper with a plastic front bumper without an air bag blowing up in your face. I fear we may have met the enemy and it is us.