Raising funds for a mission trip to Costa Rica next summer, talented members of the Lutie Watkins Memorial United Methodist Church in Llano served a delicious dinner and performed famous songs from Broadway hits like “Fiddler on the Roof” (above) in three dinner theater presentations of “A Taste of Broadway” last weekend (see more pictures on page 8 and lots more on the “Highland Lakes Weekly” Facebook page).
Huey O’s is a unique restaurant in a striking little building, festooned with music-related memorabilia, on Hwy 2147 in Cottonwood Shores. Inside, you’ll be greeted by the aroma of the “world’s best burgers” and by the welcoming words of the energetic and enthusiastic owner, Huey Sherrill.
Huey is a former “Army Brat” who has lived all over the world and a musician who honed his “people skills” by performing in a variety of music venues. He subsidized his music career by working in the restaurant business, eventually becoming a waitstaff trainer for the Chili’s chain.
He arrived in the Highland Lakes area a few years ago, and helped the Garner family start the Sportsman’s Café, east of Marble Falls (it’s no longer in business, but was known for its excellent hamburgers while it was open). In 2013, he opened the first “Huey O’s” at the “yellow gas station” on Hwy 181 in Marble Falls; the successful business moved to Cottonwood Shores in 2015.
Huey was just getting started in his new location, with his now-famous hamburgers and his friendly greetings to all who entered, when he was diagnosed with malignant skin cancer. His life since then has been punctuated by doctor’s appointments and chemotherapy treatment, but his upbeat personality and his faith in God have kept him going. The restaurant is still open and Huey is still there every day, cooking his trademark “World’s Best Burgers” and joyfully welcoming every customer as he hurries from task to task at the little restaurant.
I admit it! I cheated this week, and went on a three-day vacation in Massachusetts and Rhode Island with my globe-trotting flight-attendant daughter. This week’s paper will be sadly lacking in current pictures, but my plan is to fill it up with photos from last spring’s highlights as sort of a celebration of “Spring Around the Lakes.” I do feel some regret at missing the Buchanan Chamber’s “Las Vegas Night” and a couple of good music events, but I really enjoyed my amazing weekend.
I lived on the eastern edge of Pittsfield, Mass. from 1966 to 1969, and have wonderful memories from those years. We were on the last street of a then-new subdivision, and just a few hundred feet away was an unused “sandpit” and a wooded hill – the perfect playground for a hyperactive ten-year-old. Our yard became the headquarters for neighborhood games of hide-and-seek or kick-the-can, with thirty or more kids sometimes participating. It was like a Norman Rockwell neighborhood to me.
Of course, I wasn’t driving back then, and most of our family trips were to upstate New York to see family friends, or to Maine, where my grandparents lived. I had seen Boston once from the back seat of our ’63 Chevy wagon, but never explored it. And I had never been to Rhode Island, for me the last unvisited state east of the Mississippi River. I made sure to cross the border on Monday, and even stopped in Coventry to see the old home of General Nathanael Greene. I have pictures to prove it!
I still have three of the “lower 48” states to visit: Wisconsin, North Dakota and Nevada; but it was quite a big deal for me to cross off one more from my “bucket list” this week. And it was great to explore Boston and visit my old home town of Pittsfield. I hope you’ll enjoy the paper despite the lack of attention I paid it this go-round.
This just in! I saw on Facebook that Sweet Berry Farm has strawberries, and will be opening this Friday. Check their Facebook page or call 830-798-1462 for up-to-date details.
There are benefits to being behind schedule and still unfocused. If I had managed my time better, I never would have known about that.
I broke my “Wednesday” rule again. Partly because I missed last Friday’s “One Act Plays” program at the Herman Brown Free Library, and partly because I heard that Sommer Floyd would be singing there at the “Seuss Birthday” celebration, I decided to make a trip to Burnet.
One of the reasons I wanted to get to the One Act Plays is because I heard that one of them was based on a story by Mike Royko. I hadn’t heard his name for nearly 20 years, but he was one of my all-time favorite newspaper columnists, an old-fashioned blue-collar Democrat from Chicago who had a way with words, a great sense of humor and (occasionally) some remarkably conservative views. He died back in the days when I still read the Austin American-Statesman front-to-back every day (before I got a computer!), and I really missed him for a while (Thomas Friedman and Paul Krugman – or even William Raspberry -- just didn’t measure up).
The other reason (besides the colorful hats that the librarians wore) was the presence of Sommer Floyd. I’ve known her off and on for about 15 years, and have been very much impressed by her successful singing career. I have a copy of her “Ray of Light” CD, and really enjoy listening to it while I drive. I knew that she had been in Nashville and elsewhere for a while, and wanted to get a picture while she was back in town.
But I shouldn’t waste all my space just rattling on; I have quite a few things I need to mention here.
Llano County celebrated its Centennial in 1956, and the milestone date helped boost the spirits of residents who began the year in the grips of a terrible drought. A front-page article in the January 3, 1957, issue of The Llano News described the recently-ended year by saying “Elections and Constructions are top 1956 Local Stories,” and describing the drought as “old stuff.”
The “elections and constructions” were mainly public works projects approved by voters: a county hospital, a new “gymnasium, a band hall, administrative offices and homemaking rooms” at the high school, a new city water facility and a dam “one and one-half miles upstream from Llano.”
Leonard Turbiville was elected sheriff, replacing Travis Bawcom (who had not run for re-election). The First Christian Church was dedicated, and church member Lula Hayward donated a tract on the shore of Granite Shoals Lake to be used by the church as a district camp. A new educational building was dedicated at the Kingsland Community Church, and a new Baptist Church was about to be dedicated in Llano. Work was nearly complete on a new building for the First Assembly Church. Mrs. Clyde L. King was named chairman of the newly-organized County Historical Survey Committee.
Enchanted Rock was inspected and surveyed as a possible site for a state or national park. T.D. Tanksley, who was to be honored as one of five “Outstanding Young Texans” for 1956, was succeeded as County Extension Agent by Louis Amsler Jr. Mr. Tanksley had coached three livestock judging teams which won state championships and represented Texas in national competitions. Two years in a row his teams had won the Sweepstakes award at Texas A&M, competing with 850 schools from around the state. The Llano Jaycees were planning a motorcade to Abilene to cheer for him as he received the award (another of the five honorees was none other than future president George Herbert Walker Bush, described as an “executive in the oil industry in Midland”).
I had a great weekend, celebrating my 60th birthday with several family members, but I have a bunch of “business” items that I want to mention, so I’ll try not to ramble.
The deadline for registration in Central Texas College’s free classroom-training for plumbers is February 24. If you are an early reader of this paper, you may still be able to call 830-265-8754 and reserve a spot. It sounds like a great deal; I hope it will benefit many in the Highland Lakes area.
My friend Hoss Anderson will be hosting his Fish Head Karaoke program from 6 p.m. to whenever at the Brass Hall in Marble Falls on two Thursday evenings in March. The dates are March 2 and March 16.
The “KATTL” band from Bandera, which won top honors in the “Battle of the Bands” at last fall’s FiestaJAM in Marble Falls, will be back to open for Cameran Nelson at the Uptown Sound Theater on Friday, March 17.
A free Weather Spotter Training class will be conducted by the National Weather Service (NWS) from 5:30-7:30 pm. on Tuesday, February 28, at the Llano Public Library. As technologically advanced as our modern detection systems are, we still depend on actual people telling us if it is hailing in their neighborhood and how large that hail is, or if a specific area has received an unusual amount of rain in a short period of time. This information helps to save lives and property and is an easy and effective way any citizen can contribute to the greater good of our community. This training happens only once per year and is free of charge. Even if you do not want to be a “spotter” the presentation is fun and informative and well worth the time spent.
County Commissioner Mike Sandoval (Llano County Pct. 3) will hold a town-hall meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall in Kingsland so residents can share ideas, voice concerns, etc. Light refreshments will be served.
The Llano Library has several events planned for next week. At the free technology class (3 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21), you can learn “How to Save money Using Online Services: Groupon and Living Social.” At the “Website Basics” workshop (5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22), you can learn how to create and manage your own website. And at the next “Back to Basics” workshop (5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 23), you can learn how to build and improve your garden soil. Call 325.247.5248 to R.S.V.P. for these workshops and to learn about future events (Or visit www.llano-library-system.net)
The Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation (MFEDC) has partnered with the Rural Capital Workforce Solutions Board to receive a grant that will bring close to $30,000 in TWC training funds here, matched by an even greater investment by the city. Funds are available to provide nearly 200 hours of Central Texas College credit courses for 12 plumbers and 12 electricians. The first course begins the week of February 20 for 12 plumbers. Each course requires a commitment of two 3-hour evening classes per week over a period of several months. Individuals must be 18 years old and eligible to work in the U.S. Call 830-265-8745 or 830-385-2601 for more information and to register for the program. Training for 12 electricians will begin in the summer.
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Highland Lakes Weekly
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