Livestock shows were still making the front page of The Llano News in March of 1954. A front page story on March 4 told how Stanley Keese had showed the “Champion Hereford Breeding Bull in the junior breeders portion of the Austin Livestock Show” and his Hereford breeding heifer had placed third to two entries from the senior calf division.
The Farm Bureau’s “drouth committee” filed a request to the state for reinstatement to the Drouth Emergency feed program, pointing out that Llano County had received less than one inch of rain in the previous 120 days, and that nearly all the ranchers were having to buy feed for their stock.
A lengthy meeting in the basement of the Llano Hotel led to an “almost unanimous” decision to plan a rodeo for 1054. Four committee members were appointed to decide whether or not a traditional Homecoming would be held that year, after two consecutive years of insufficient funding.
A weather report indicated that temperatures had dropped from a high of 92 degrees on February 26 to a low of 26 on March 1.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower designated March as National Red Cross Month, and Mayor H.J. Hoerster issued a proclamation calling for $1,750 in donations from residents of Llano County.
System Grocery & Market advertised “3 big days of specials,” including sliced bacon for 57 cents per pound and ground meat for 34 cents per pound. A ten-pound bag of Gold Medal flour was 89 cents. Quality, Carter’s and Donop’s grocery stores offered similar specials.
Woodall’s Service Station (“On San Saba Highway”) announced it’s “Official Opening.” Corner Drug advertised “Vaccines and Livestock Products” for “Calf Branding Time.” Hap Sawyer and Spencer Weber offered a 5-pound bag of “New Purina Dog Chow” for half-price at Llano Feed & Supply. Smith & McCullough Lumber Company offered Mesh Poultry Netting for $5.95 per roll.
There were no pictures on the front page of the March 11 paper, a rare occurrence in the 1950s. Instead, 17 small articles were scattered around the page. One of the most interesting was at the bottom of the page; it told how Mr. and Mrs. Bob Waldrope had moved to Llano from Round Mountain and purchased the Texas Café from Mr. and Mrs. Sam Lackey. The Waldropes had two sons; one of them (Don Waldrope) was employed by the Miles Buttery Funeral Home.
Other articles that week reported that the Central Texas Electrical Co-op was considering the relocation of its headquarters from Fredericksburg to Llano, that the Llano city council had written a “sharply worded” letter to the telephone company (complaining about poor service in rural areas – especially around Kingsland), that the Red Cross Bloodmobile was in town hoping to collect 140 pints of previously pledged blood donations, and that the Rodeo had been scheduled for June 3, 4 and 5.
Another article reported that only 568 vehicles were registered in Llano County, and that the deadline for registration was April 1. It warned that “such a slow registration flow” would lead to a last-minute bottleneck similar to the previous year’s, when 1,101 owners tried to get their vehicles registered in “a last-minute rush.” There had been 2,416 vehicles registered in 1953, and more were expected in 1954. Those who missed the April 1 deadline would be fined.
There were At least four car dealers in Llano in 1954. T.G. Houston Motor Company advertised new 1954 Fords, “with New Ball-Joint Front Suspension” for “the smoothest ride you’ve ever experienced in a low-priced car.” Ratliff Motors (“Dodge and Plymouth”) offered a chance to win an all-expense-paid two-week vacation which included the use of “an elegant new ’54 Dodge.” Rabb Motor Company advertised Pontiacs and GMC Hydra-Matic Trucks (“Half-ton beauty with a two-ton punch”), and Scrutchin Chevrolet advertised “the lowest-priced line of them all.”
Lange Tin and Plumbing Shop advertised “a new complete bathroom and other improvements while you pay FHA easy terms.” E.S. Yett advertised termite control with a five-year guarantee. Mollie Janner and Maggie Myers advertised a delicious-sounding “Sunday Dinner” at The Hill country Inn (“All for $1.00”), and the Waldropes offered “free donuts with each cup of coffee” at the Texas Café.
Major James M. Inks announced the release of a novel, called “Eight Bailed Out.” The article pointed out that he was the son of former mayor Roy Banford Inks, and was currently employed in Washington, D.C., as liaison between the Air Force and the State of Maryland.
The top news story on March 18 reported that, due to “a mild epidemic of yellow jaundice” in Llano County, the Red Cross Bloodmobile would not be accepting donations from the 140 citizens who had pledged to give blood. Dr. Henry Hoerster reported that he had treated about a dozen people for jaundice, and Dr. G.L. Danby reported “20 to 25 cases” since December.
Another front-page story announced the upcoming of a Grand Opening at the Hill Country Motel, a “modern tourist court built by Mr. and Mrs. John Thomas of Llano,” located next door to the Hill Country Inn. Lawrence Brown sold his CHN Trucking Company to Crawford Childers and Clarence Cole, both from Brady. The new company would be called Cole and Childers Insured Trucking, but it would keep all the former employees and promised to have three 34-foot trailer trucks available for service at all times. Mr. Childers would move to Llano to manage the company.
A full-page ad “paid for in the interest of Llano Public and Llano Schools” gave quite a few interesting facts about the school system. There were 812 students in 1954; there were 36 teachers (including the superintendent and principals) and 21 other employees. The total budget, including $22,878.79 in cafeteria receipts, was $226,242. The district used 12 buses and four cars along 550 miles of routes.