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Growing Up in Bandera

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Sheep, goats, cows and chickens along with a few horses in town weren’t uncommon sights in Bandera back in the day. I don’t recall any pigs being kept in town but I know we were not far removed from that either.

There were some old boards and a couple rotten cedar posts by a big oak tree across the street from our house on Pecan and Eighth when we first moved in and my Granddaddy Kindla told me that it was the remnants of a pig pen. I’m not sure exactly when the porkers were purged from Bandera township but they had disappeared by the time I came along.

Numerous properties in town had sheep and goats as I recall back in my early years.

When my younger brother Eddie and I were active in FFA we had sheep and we would let them graze freely in the back lot behind our house. Tom Adamietz kept a cow in a pen just across the fence behind us and I recall goats in a field behind Andy Pyka’s house.

In 1964 the city was incorporated and things started to change and it’s debatable whether the changes were always for the better. Lots of animals have become less visible inside the city limits over the years.

It seems the horses have maintained their status due to the label of “The Cowboy Capital of the World” being bestowed on our town.

Chickens on the other hand have not only survived but have actually gained a higher status in the community without any special designation attached.

On any given day you will find roosters strutting around town while flaunting their right to be seen and heard right along with the gunslinger shootouts and horse parades.

Since the chickens claimed their rights it just made sense that the ducks and geese who reside in the city park would have decided that they too should have equal citizen status and all the benefits that includes.

Those of you who are Growing Up In Bandera with me these days know that they will claim the right-of-way when making the daily trek to the 11th Street parking lot to have a cat food breakfast. Diversity reigns supreme in Bandera.