Photo of the Week       Well, life has definitely slowed down a little since Kingsland’s big Aqua Boom festival, but I’m finding that perfection in the newspaper business (at least for me) remains an elusive goal. I do feel more rested, and I’ve made progress in catching up on some personal details (house-cleaning, healthcare updates, vacation planning), but I’ve continued to make mistakes and forget appointments. I hope people will continue to be patient with me, because (even with all the embarrassing mistakes) I’m having a great time!

John Hallowell, Editor       I’ll mention again this week and next that there will not be a paper on August 4; that’s my vacation week. I’m going to try to ignore my telephone and my computer that week; I’ll be playing catch-up for a couple of weeks after that.

       One of the highlights of my more-relaxed week was the opportunity to read all the way through Dana Wright’s wonderful new book, “Saving Stories: Afternoons with Darrell.” I am probably biased, because I consider Dana and Darrell (Llano’s celebrity songwriter Darrell Staedtler) both good friends, but I enjoyed the book tremendously. Not only did I learn a lot more about Darrell’s impressive country music career (and a little more about Dana’s noteworthy “new” career as a writer), but I feel suddenly more motivated to write some books of my own. My research style won’t be the same as Dana’s; I feel much more comfortable with old newspapers than with real people who might not really like what I write, and I’m better at reading than listening, anyway. But I believe that my “history” research shares the goal of Dana’s interviews: saving stories with a lasting value that otherwise might have been lost and forgotten. I hope I can do as well as Dana has done in pursuit of that goal (see a little more about Darrell and the book on page 6).

       I pride myself on not publishing bad news in my paper, and the recent passing of my friend, Joe Randerson, is definitely not “good news.” But his long life and amazing adventures ARE good news, and I felt very honored to have interviewed him and written a story about him. I felt honored again last week when I saw that my article was making the rounds on Facebook (I think maybe my friend, BJ Henderson, was responsible for that). I may have helped to “save some stories” already!

       There are a bunch of current events that I want to mention here. First of all, the new Kingsland 4-H Club will hold its first meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 24, in the cafeteria at Kingsland School (136 Real St., behind Kingsland Health & Fitness Center). Contact Sharla Mueggenborg at 325-247-0657 for details.

        Kingsland will also have its own Boys and Girls Club, starting in August at the First Baptist Church (I think I mentioned that when I first heard it, but I’m still very happy about it).

       Burnet’s 109-year-old First State Bank will be recognized with a Texas Treasure Business Award from the Texas Historical Commission (THC) during the Commissioners Court meeting next Tuesday (around 11 a.m. on July 25). This award pays tribute to businesses that have provided employment opportunities and support to the state’s economy for 50 years or more; that means there are quite a few eligible businesses in the Highland Lakes area, but the bank is the first one to get this recognition in Burnet County.

        The YWCA’s Summer Series will continue at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, at the Kingsland Community Center. It will feature “The New Tobacco” (including vapes). Teens, parents and concerned citizens are urged to attend.

       The YMCA of Highland Lakes (formerly Galloway Hammond) in Burnet is looking for swimmers who would like to participate in one of two programs.  A new Masters Swim Team will be formed for ages “18 to 100” beginning July 31 (no prior competitive swimming experience is necessary). Details and cost information will be provided at a 7 p.m. meeting at the Y on July 27. Swimmers aged 6 to 18 are invited to join the Texas Waves swim team. A special introduction meeting for new potential swimmers and existing team members will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25. Programs are also available at the Y for swimmers who are not ready for the swim team and want to build skills to join later.  The coach for both teams will be James W. Cole, a former national record holder and collegiate swimmer. Interested parties may call Coach Cole at the Y at (512) 756-6180.

       The Burnet Chamber and Workforce Solutions will host a Job Fair at the Burnet Community Center from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 17. Employers are invited to set up booths.

       Hill Country artists are invited to submit their work by July 31 for the Spicewood Art Society’s annual Arts Roundup, scheduled for October 28 & 29, at LaCabana Grill (on Highway 71 east of Spicewood). The juried art show, drawing from the work of central Texas artists, features two days of music, food and fun. Last year’s Roundup drew 750 people. All art must be original works by the artist. Applications are being received through Zapplication ( More information will be posted at

       The Burnet Chamber and Workforce Solutions will host a Job Fair at the Burnet Community Center from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 17. Employers are invited to set up booths.

        It’s time to buy tickets to the Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center’s 4th Annual “Rifles, Racks & Deer Tracks” fundraising event, a dinner and auction to be held on Saturday, October 21, at the Freedom Flyers Hangar in Burnet (3202 S. Water Street). There will be a delicious BBQ dinner (catered by Peete's Mesquite), music by Ben Watson & the Hired Guns, live and silent auctions, and a one of a kind Classic Car display by Lakes Area Rods & Classics. There’s also a raffle for a 2017 Polaris Ranger XP and a variety of amazing guns. You don’t have to be present to win.

        The Falls on the Colorado Museum is hoping to raise $12,000 for reconstruction and display of “Rockie,” the name now attached to parts of a 700-year-old bison skeleton found in Burnet County. The museum has been designated as “Rockie’s Keeper” by her discoverer, Ryan Murray. The Rockie Exhibit showcases the head skeleton, humerus, and one rib bone of a mature female bison. According to Museum board member Dr. Thomas Hester, retired University of Texas professor of Archeology, Rockie was one of many bison that expanded into central, coastal and south Texas during the “Little Ice Age,” a period of cooler weather. Native Americans developed tools and techniques geared to hunting these bison and to processing their hides well before the arrival of Spanish settlers in Texas. Museum director Darlene Oostermeyer invites donors to come by the museum to visit Rockie's new home and to make donations. The museum is a 501(c)(3) entity. Donations can be mailed to: The Falls on the Colorado Museum, P.O. Box 1333, Marble Falls, TX 78654.


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