Things seem to be going a little better this week. I had an easier schedule last weekend even before the clocks fell back, and I’m feeling more rested and healthier than I have in recent months. And November, for several different reasons, has always been one of my favorite months. The weather finally starts to get cooler; ad sales always seem to be good (that’s a more recent benefit) and two of my favorite holidays are on this month’s calendar.
One of the many good things I noticed about Texas when I arrived here 25 years ago was that there is real respect shown for those who put their lives on the line to serve their country. I appreciate that even more now that my three kids have been in the military, and I love to see the many different events that honor our heroes on Veterans Day. I have especially enjoyed the annual school event in Burnet; if I remember correctly, it started at Shady Grove Elementary School when Charles Williams was principal (probably when my youngest daughter was in 3rd or 4th grade then). Maybe I’m a couple of years off, and maybe it had already been going on before I noticed, but I’ve been going every year for nearly 20 years (my son was in my front-page picture in November of 2012, when the event was held at Bulldog Stadium). It’s at the R.J. Richey campus now, and it’s been held indoors the last couple of years, but there are still usually more than 100 veterans who line up to introduce themselves to the large and appreciative crowd. To me, this is America at its best.
Then there is Thanksgiving, a holiday that seems to be losing ground to Halloween and Christmas, but a holiday which still is celebrated in the Highland Lakes area, and seems to accentuate the generous spirit that I see in so many of my neighbors here (not only in November, either; September was an amazing month for giving, and I was tremendously proud of my Highland Lakes neighbors who did whatever they could to help those affected by the hurricane). It seems obvious to me that if we stop to count the many blessings we enjoy here, that we will be more willing to cheerfully help those in need; November offers the perfect opportunity to start counting.
I definitely count my job as one (or maybe a few thousand) of those blessings, and I greatly appreciate the patience and kindness of my readers, many of whom want me to keep on doing it despite my many mistakes. There are so many ways that this “job” brightens my life!
I know I’m a little bit strange this way, but I really enjoy reading old newspapers, and when I make a “discovery” of any link from years gone by, I get really excited. And that’s why a little news item in the 1917 Llano paper made my day this past Monday. All it said was that two young men from Kingsland had moved to Bisbee, Arizona, but that aroused my curiosity because I remembered that Shirley and Ellen Williams had gone there when they were first married. I decided to look up Bisbee’s history on the internet.
Well, the first thing I read was that there were huge deposits of copper in Bisbee, and that at one time, it claimed to be “the biggest city between St. Louis and San Francisco.” The demand for copper during World War 1 added to the boom. Then I read about the “Bisbee Deportation,” when the Phelps Dodge Company sent 2,000 hired “policemen” to round up workers who were suspected of trying to organize a union. During the summer of 1917, about 1,300 workers and family members were kidnaped, loaded onto trains and dropped off in Tres Hermanas, New Mexico, with a stern warning not to come back to Bisbee! Apparently, there were some job openings that fall, and those young men from Kingsland (and two others from Llano) had gone looking for work. (Shirley Williams had gone to Bisbee before the deportation, and didn’t work in the mines; he earned a living there by using his Model T Ford as a taxi.)
I always say that I never put bad news in my paper, but (to me) bad news that’s 100 or more years old becomes educational history, and I was fascinated (and a little horrified) to get that kind of a glimpse into life in “the good old days.”
I had sort of a blast from the more-recent past when I went to check out the “Walk Thru the Bible” at Packsaddle Fellowship last Saturday. I had been expecting a sort of museum display, where visitors would walk around looking at pictures and writings from Old Testament days. Instead, when I walked in, I saw an old friend from Burnet giving an entertaining overview of Old Testament history to his seated audience. Dino Maisano used to be the manager at The Woodlands Baptist Retirement Center, and was actually one of my advertisers in the early days of this paper. He now works for “Walk Thru the Bible,” and gives presentations all over Texas.
Commissioner Mike Sandoval has announced that his November Town Hall meeting will be held at the Kingsland Library on Tuesday the 14th. It will start at 6 p.m. and go no later than 7:30.
The Kingsland Knights of Columbus Council 13245 is holding its Annual Tamale Fund Raiser during November and December to support charities in Llano and Burnet Counties. Tamales are $7 per dozen. Call Angelo at 830-598-5500 to place your order. Deliveries will begin December 8.
Weakday Ministries had been planning a chili cook-off in Burnet in October, but had decided to have a bigger, better event in December. I received an updated invitation this week; the event (now called “Holiday Trio”) has been set for Saturday, December 16. In addition to the chili cook-off, there will be a pie contest and an “Old-Fashioned Caroling.” The address that I see is 909 N. Vandeveer, which seems to be the location of Burnet’s Methodist Church. They are looking for chili cooks right now; you can apply at weakdayministries.com. Proceeds benefit Weakdays and the LACare food pantry.