A good crowd gathered at the Lakeside Pavilion on Monday, September 11, for the Marble Falls Noon Rotary Club’s annual Day of Remembrance, held this year in conjunction with the “Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit hosted there for the weekend by Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home to honor the nearly 600 Texans killed in the War on Terror since 2001. This photo was taken just before the ceremony began at noon. See more photos on page 7 and on the “Highland Lakes Weekly” Facebook page.
It seems to me that, not long ago, February was one of the “slow” winter months. I’m pretty sure that things slowed down for me in the middle of December when I first started this paper, and didn’t start getting really busy again until at least the beginning of March. It’s not that way anymore!
I tried to get everything in my Upcoming Events article, but since I finished those pages a few hours ago, I’ve come across quite a few other events that should have been in it. I’ll try to catch up here.
But first, I want to draw your attention to the ad for CelesteCare of Llano, on page 9. If you’re not one of the first readers of this week’s paper, the Open House and Ribbon-Cutting will already be over. CelesteCare wants you to know that you can arrange for a tour even if you missed the public event. Just stop by or give them a call.
And I also want to mention something I found on Facebook. I was introduced to Facebook several years ago when my sister informed me that we could play Scrabble online. Then when I couldn’t fit all my pictures in the paper, I was delighted to find that I could upload huge albums to Facebook, and anyone could see them at their own convenience. Recently, I’ve discovered that there is a fascinating and/or horrifying political world on Facebook, and it seems less like a blessing. But the other day, I saw a speech by one of the actresses in the new movie, “Hidden Figures.” It was so uplifting that I decided I had to see the movie; that evening I noticed the marquee on the Lantex Theater, which said that it would be showing there at 7:30 on Friday (also 4 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday). I have nothing on my calendar yet for Friday evening, so I hope to go and see the movie!
There never seems to be two weeks exactly the same on this job. After “hibernating” for a few days last week and feeling well-rested for a little while, I had a busy, busy weekend. That means more fun, but less sleep. On Saturday, the big deal was the bicycle race at 8 a.m. in Oatmeal. I wasn’t sure if some of the roads would be blocked, so I made sure I got there early. Then on Sunday I had a few adventures that kept me busy most of the day.
I guess my biggest Sunday adventure was Alan Warren’s new radio show. Now the owner of Big Chief RV Resort, Alan Warren is a veteran TV and radio guy who for years had his own hunting and fishing show from out near Junction. I guess it’s still in his blood, because since he’s become an RV enthusiast, he decided that the world needed a good RV radio show. It airs from noon to 2 each Sunday on KNTH AM 1070 in Houston, and you can listen online anytime at thervshowusa.com. I was on the second half of the second hour, talking about the Highland Lakes area. I knew that I had lost my train of thought a couple of times before I listened and confirmed it. I’ve always said that although I have a great face for radio, my voice is better suited for newspapers. Now I’ll have to add that my mind is better suited for something that can be proofed and edited before anyone sees it (and even then, a lot of nonsense slips through the cracks!)
Still, I was excited to have the chance to brag about my neighborhood to people from all over the country, and I really do think I’d get better with a little practice.
The RV Show USA is not the only positive publicity we’re getting these days; I happened across a film crew last Thursday at Spyke’s BBQ, as they were filming a segment on Hill Country dining (or something like that; they were busy filming, so I tried not to bother them too much; I’m hoping they’ll email me soon with more details. Also, Bob Phillips, of the hit TV show ‘Texas Country Reporter’ recently filmed part of a show at the Trailblazer Grille in Burnet. I hear that it will be airing on the weekend of February 25-26th on ABC & RFD-TV networks.
Excerpted from The Llano News, September 28, 1939
The fascinating front-page story was titled, “50 Years in Business – Merchant Recalls the Old Days.” This article will quote directly from that.
Geo. M. Watkins, like the town in which he built his business career, started from scratch. Neither the youth nor the community had much but natural resources back on October 1, 1879, when Milton and Ann Watkins and their family of San Marcos moved to Llano.
The family bought 100 acres from Frank Holden for the modest sum of $2.50 an acre, and they and the Holden family were the only residents in what is now that part of Llano lying north of the river.
Until the home could be constructed, of lumber hauled from Austin, the family lived in a deserted blacksmith’s shack on the present site of the Southern Hotel. The shack was partitioned with canvas and the earthen floor was strewn with hay. There the Watkins family lived until their home was completed. It stood near the Rockwell Bros. Lumber Yard, and of it remains only a crumbling chimney.
The burden of the family support fell largely on the square shoulders of Geo. M., then a youth of 16. His father, although a hale and hearty man – a tinsmith by trade – could not do heavy work because of his hands, injured in the Civil War.
Geo. M. cleared, split rails, and fenced a forty-acre field, planted, plowed and reaped. He hauled wheat to a mill at New Braunfels and performed all the chores and tasks necessary to farming.
This past week has been the closest thing to hibernation that I’ve ever experienced, and I’m feeling a whole lot healthier for it; after a really hectic Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week, I slept eight hours or more for five straight nights. I don’t know if I’ve ever done that before! I covered the stock show, the Opry and a couple of other events on Saturday, but I didn’t have any appointments on Sunday, and Monday was a holiday. I did get a few ads built and a couple of stories written (one of them is the history article that’s in this paper; you’ll have to wait for the other), but for the first time in several years I never even started my car all day.
Of course, I’m behind schedule again on deadline night (Wednesday), and I may be totally exhausted again very soon, but right now I feel good!
Unfortunately, I was right last week when I said I’d probably forgotten some things I meant to mention in my Scatterthought column. One was just some memories of Pastor Rodney McGee, who was a real friend to my family when we first moved to Burnet (he’s still around, but he is no longer the pastor at Hill Country Fellowship – it was the gathering two weeks ago in his honor that got me thinking about him; his last day preaching at HCF was the next morning). Another item was the memorial dedication for Texas Ranger Stanley Keith Guffey, who was killed during the rescue of a kidnap victim in Horseshoe Bay back in 1987. The City of Horseshoe Bay and the Former Texas Rangers Association will honor Ranger Guffey’s heroism by dedicating a memorial in front of the police station at 1 Community Drive (just off Hwy 2147, near Ferguson Road). The public is invited from 2 to 4 p.m. this Saturday (January 21) for the dedication (and I should have mentioned that last week).
A little earlier this Saturday, the Keep Kingsland Beautiful organization will be meeting at 10 a.m. in the Prosperity Bank parking lot to conduct a clean-up along their adopted stretch of Hwy 1431. If you’d like to help, please call Shelly Comerford at 830385-6833. Lunch will be provided by Mr. Gatti’s after the cleanup.
The shocking front-page headline in The Llano News on August 8, 1935, said: “Death takes Roy B. Inks.” The article elaborated. “Roy Banford Inks, Llano’s outstanding public-spirited citizen whose invaluable services to the community will be missed greatly, passed away shortly after midnight last Sunday in a San Antonio hospital. At the time of his fatal illness, Mr. Inks had just completed another task in behalf of this section. As a member of the Colorado River Authority board of directors, he was called to Washington for a meeting with government officials which resulted in authorization for the project. Leaving Washington, he arrived in Llano on Sunday night, July 28, an ill man. He would not, however, admit he was ill, but went about his business until Wednesday, when the pain was more than he could stand. Thursday evening he was carried to San Antonio where he underwent an operation for appendicitis. From this operation he never recovered, his strength having been further sapped by pneumonia, which he had before leaving Llano.” He died August 4, five days shy of his 47th birthday.
According to the article, Roy Inks was born in Burnet County in 1888. He came to live with his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Watkins, when he was very young, and attended Llano schools until he graduated from high school in 1902 (at age 14!) and moved to Austin to take a job with wholesale grocers Nelson Davis & Son. He traveled back and forth to Austin until the company opened an office in Llano in 1915; he served in the military during World War I, then married Myrtle Moss in 1919. The couple had two children, Mildred and Jim Moss Inks. Roy Inks served several terms as mayor of Llano; he took over management of the Watkins-Inks Motor Company in 1933.
Llano County was still recovering from the June 14 flood; a small news item reported that contractors had purchased 780 sacks of cement and 5,000 feet of lumber from Spencer-Sauer Lumber, according to manager A.R. Weber. The driving of eight concrete piles was expected to begin in a few days at the site of the new Pecan Creek Bridge.
I think I have noticed a pattern; when I start writing this column right away (as soon as I finish delivering the previous week’s paper), I seem more focused on the mistakes I’ve noticed (or had pointed out to me) in the new paper. If I wait until the last minute (more common lately), I’m trying to fit in a mention of all the things that didn’t get mentioned somewhere else (and forgetting to mention a lot of things I’d been thinking about earlier).
This week is the worst of both worlds; I started writing even before my deliveries were done last Friday, because I had hurried too much and made too many mistakes in last week’s paper, but now I’m getting back to it just before my drop-dead deadline when I can’t even see straight (let alone THINK straight!)
I switched computers about a month ago, and my new computer’s wireless keyboard seems to skip letters when I don’t hit the key hard enough. I wasn’t careful enough in proofreading last week’s paper, and there were several words with missing letters that didn’t get fixed. Also, I made two inexplicable mental errors: I put “May 1935” in my history article headline, when I was writing about “June 1935,” and I wrote the wrong date for the Dubious Brothers’ gig at Trailblazer Grille (even though my notes were accurate; it’s from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday,
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Highland Lakes Weekly
P.O. Box 911
Kingsland, TX 78639