Features

Wed
24
Jan

Local student needs help to ‘Take Care of Texas’

Quinton Mendoza teaches about ‘Taking Care of Texas.’

Quinton Mendoza, an eighth grade student at Danforth Junior High, has reached the semifinals of a statewide video contest called “Take Care of Texas.”

The contest requires votes from the public to determine who moves on.

The contest, put on by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, asked students to submit a video that “encourages all Texans to help keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, reduce waste and save a little money in the process.”

Mendoza shot his video with his twin sister Kathryn in a field just off of Flite Acres Road. Quinton starts out the video by saying “We should start taking care of the environment.” His sister says “That sounds like a lot of work,” and Quinton fills her in on the simple ways recycling, shortening showers and scheduling your AC to turn on and off can help the environment.

Wed
24
Jan

CASA Volunteers in the best interest of the child

Jeannette and Bill Sheridan are CASA Volunteers.

Only in rare cases does the public hear the neglected and abused child’s story. That is where the Court Appointed Special Advocates come in. Started in the Central Texas area in 1985, the organization is a voice of the children that are going through the court system and often associated with neglect and abuse.

CASA recruits, trains and supports community volunteers who agree to be an advocate for those children in the court. 

“We are part of a national network, but work independently to serve our local communities’ needs. When there is concern that a child in the care of Child Protective Services needs an advocate in and out of the courtroom, the Texas Family Code states that either an attorney or CASA may be appointed,” Eloise Hudson, the Community Relations Coordinator for CASA of Central Texas, said.

Wed
10
Jan

Polar Bear Plunge at Blue Hole

Dozens of people showed up at Blue Hole Regional Park on January 1st to jump into Cypress Creek as part of the first annual Polar Bear Plunge. At least the creek was still near 72 degrees. (Photo by Christine Middleton)

New Years Day is noted for fireworks, champagne and college football. But there is a new addition added on January 1, 2018. For the first, but not last time, Blue Hole Regional Park held its first Polar Bear Plunge. Only Frosty the Snowman would be comfortable in the frigid temperatures.

The temperature overnight was 26 degrees and, at the 2 p.m. jump-in time, it was in the low 30s. But around half of the 90 people attending actually jumped into Cypress Creek. And it was freezing living up to the name Polar Bear Plunge.

“Absolutely the coldest jump in the area. People said that the Barton Springs and other jumps were cold, but not as cold as Wimberley’s. The cold, freezing air had time to lower the temperature of the water. It was really cold,” Becca Manning, Wimberley’s Parks Director. 

Wed
10
Jan

Katy King spins the Wheel of Fortune

Katy King on Wheel of Fortune. (Photo by Carol Kaelson)

One of the most popular TV Game Shows in the world featured a Wimberley resident on their December 20, 2017 program. Local Katy King was a contestant on the show. Spoiler alert. She didn’t win a car or the game, but she had a great time doing it.

Katy is a member of the Wheel Watchers Club and sent an application into their website and received an email saying that tryouts would be held at the Hyatt Regency in Austin. About 50 others competed with her and 25 of the contestants were picked, after playing the game.  

Of course, WOF producers taped the game’s contestants for perusal. The producers at the tryouts would be the same producers from start to end of their appearance on the show.

Wed
10
Jan

Ruthie Foster to perform at Susanna’s Kitchen

From houses of worship to houses of blues, Ruthie Foster has always been a rafter-rattler.  With a soul-filled voice honed in Texas churches, she can move audiences to tears or ecstasy — sometimes in a single song. Ruthie Foster brings that amazing voice back to Susanna’s Kitchen Coffeehouse on January 18th.

Fri
15
Dec

A Tale of Three Santas

You can find Santa (Tim Thompson) year round at King Feed

As most of know, Santa is way too busy to appear at so many places at once. He has the shop to run and supervise the elves at the North Pole in their toy making. He has been known to ask some of his friends to represent him in order to spread the good cheer of Christmas around to everyone. 

Three Santas in town were nice enough to share some Santa secrets, just enough to enlighten us about the magical world of Christmas. The most tenured Santa in town is probably Ron Campbell who has been doing it 28 years.

“It’s not the suit…you got to do it right. I hate to see somebody doing a Santa that’s not good,” Campbell said. One of his favorite Santa moments was when he was dressed in overalls and a flannel shirt.

Fri
15
Dec

Rogers is making music by hand

Jack holds up his prized Stradivarius copy that he repaired.

Jack Rogers is a luthier, a person who builds or repairs stringed instruments. It comes from the French word for lute. To become one, you have to serve as an apprentice; in Jack’s case it was ten years. 

That’s just a side bar to his story. He graduated from high school and went to college at North Texas, but due to his “procrastination and being lazy,” he decided to be a musician full time.

He grew up with music; his dad stored his violin under the bed. Jack learned to play the violin and the guitar. “At twenty one I could play the violin as if I was breathing… as soon as I picked it up doors opened,” Jack said. “Right away I was a working fiddle player…I couldn’t ignore the call of music.” 

Wed
22
Nov

Time capsule memories from CCC

34 years later Danny Hickman Dave Calkins and Dick Venable recreate the scene in 2017

1983 James Stricklen Dave and Bruce Calkins, Danny Hickman

It’s a Wimberley story with laughter, smiles and “oh yeahs,” that is sure to be repeated to kids, and grandkids for years to come. It all started in 1983, that’s when the Buzzard Bar got its hardwood dance floor at Cypress Creek Café on the Wimberley Square. 

A few of the locals, namely; James Stricklen, Dave and Bruce Calkins, and Danny Hickman built the floor and put in a drawer-like box with articles of the day inside, and then closed and sealed the dance floor. Undisturbed until the present, the box was untouched by the recent devastating fire that gutted the Wimberley icon.

Local Homebuilders, Grady and Kathy Burnette recently bought the location, which is a story in itself. Grady’s grand parents Lynn and Maxine Storm, owned the restaurant back in the 1940s. When the Burnettes heard about the time capsule, they had a little party for the unveiling.

Wed
22
Nov

EmilyAnn hosts Twenty years of Trail of Lights

The entrance to the Trail of Lights is magical this time of year.

For the past 20 years,  EmilyAnn Trail of Lights has been warming the hearts of locals and visitors alike, no matter what the weather. Thousands each year walk the exhibits, with faces lighting up along with the lights. But from tiny beginnings it is now an event not to be missed.

“Norm and I lived near Zilker Park, and I couldn’t wait each year for the Tree Lighting in Zilker,” Ann Rolling the Executive Director of EmilyAnn recalled. The cantilevered flagpole was acquired from the Hays County Courthouse. Norm, her husband saw no reason why a tree like Zilkers’ could not be done. The flagpole tree went up in 1997.

In ’98 they were surprised by the crowds that would travel up the hill, with their flashlights, to see the lit tree. It had become a Wimberley tradition. They got their first Christmas plywood placard, made by Gary Pigg, of the Holy Family with a donkey.

Fri
03
Nov

Kids create A Food Parade for the hungry

Caroline and Joel Regen help carry food in earlier years.

The idea started at the Wimberley Fourth of July parade. The floats always give away candy and other treats during the long parade. The Regen family was watching the parade when 3 year-old Joel looked at his mother and asked, “why in parades do you get things instead of giving…what about people that don’t have food or water or money to buy food?”

The idea of Thanks for Giving Parade became a reality and is now in its fifth year. Both Joel and his 11-year-old sister Caroline are now old hands at this  giving parade.

Both the Regen kids were encouraged by mom, Catherine, and dad, Presbyterian Church’s Rev. Clint Regen, and a plan was developed. The kids would go door-to-door explaining what the parade was all about with a flyer. If the neighbors were not home they would leave an invite to participate in Thanks for Giving. 

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