Surprising San Angelo

A full-color, photography book showcasing San Angelo, Texas, paired with the histories of companies, institutions, and organizations that have made the city great.

A full-color, photography book showcasing San Angelo, Texas, paired with the histories of companies, institutions, and organizations that have made the city great.


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Photography by Melissa Davis-Crump<br />

Narrative by Becca Nelson <strong>San</strong>key<br />

A publication of<br />

The City of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

HPNbooks<br />

A division of Lammert Incorporated<br />

<strong>San</strong> Antonio, Texas

The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Visitor Center.<br />

First Edition<br />

Copyright © 2016 HPNbooks<br />

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, without permission in writing<br />

from the publisher. All inquiries should be addressed to HPNbooks, 11535 Galm Road, Suite 101, <strong>San</strong> Antonio, Texas, 78254, (800) 749-9790, www.hpnbooks.com.<br />

ISBN: 978-1-939300-99-7<br />

Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 2016931684<br />

<strong>Surprising</strong> <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

photographer: Melissa Davis-Crump<br />

author: Becca Nelson <strong>San</strong>key<br />

designer: Glenda Tarazon Krouse<br />

contributing writer for <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> partners: Becca Nelson <strong>San</strong>key<br />

HPNbooks<br />

president: Ron Lammert<br />

project managers: Tim Lippard, Larry Sunderland<br />

administration: Donna M. Mata, Melissa G. Quinn<br />

book sales: Dee Steidle<br />

production: Colin Hart, Evelyn Hart,<br />

Christopher D. Sturdevant, Tony Quinn<br />

2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Contents<br />

4 Legacy Sponsors<br />

5 Introduction<br />

6 Chapter 1 Who We Are<br />

22 Chapter 2 Where We Go<br />

46 Chapter 3 How We Live<br />

66 <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Partners<br />

126 About the Photographer<br />

127 About the Author<br />

128 Sponsors<br />

C O N T E N T S ✦ 3

Legacy<br />

Sponsors<br />

These companies have made a major contribution to the book as part of our Legacy Program.<br />

This book would not have been possible without their leadership and participation.<br />

These are our top contributors and we thank them for their support.<br />

Ethicon<br />

3348 Pulliam Street<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Texas 76905<br />

325-482-5200<br />

www.ethicon.com<br />

First United Methodist Church<br />

37 East Beauregard Avenue<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Texas 76903<br />

325-655-8981<br />

www.firstmethodist.net<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Cultural Affairs Council<br />

36 East Twohig Avenue, Suite 200<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Texas 76903<br />

325-653-6793<br />

www.sanangeloarts.com<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Ballet<br />

15 West Beauregard Avenue<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Texas<br />

325-653-8877<br />

www.sanangelocivicballet.org<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony<br />

72 West College Avenue<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Texas 76903<br />

325-658-5877<br />

www.sanangelosymphony.org<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Theatre<br />

1936 Sherwood Way<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Texas 76901<br />

325-949-4400<br />

www.angelotheatre.com<br />

4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Introduction<br />

In a downtown city office on a hot spring day, title ideas for this book were mulled, dissected and discarded. “<strong>Surprising</strong> <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>,”<br />

a punchy, apt description of our community, emerged. That’s partly because, given its origins, no one could have imagined <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

as it is today.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> – or <strong>San</strong>ta Angela, as it was first named – formed in the late 1860s partly because of its abundant natural resources. Forts<br />

on the western frontier mushroomed to protect mail lines and frontier settlements; what would become <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> was selected as the<br />

site for Fort Concho because of its serendipitous location at the confluence of the North Concho, Concho and South Concho rivers.<br />

Col. Benjamin Grierson of the 10th U.S. Cavalry at Fort Concho called it “a resort for desperate characters.”<br />

Founded in 1867 (seven years before Tom Green County was organized), Fort Concho was comprised of 1,600-plus acres and more<br />

than 40 buildings. Shortly after it was occupied, Bartholomew “Bart” DeWitt bought 320 acres of land where <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> is now located.<br />

He established a trading post and named it <strong>San</strong>ta Angela, in honor of his late wife, Carolina Angela.<br />

DeWitt borrowed the money to purchase <strong>San</strong>ta Angela from Marcus Koenigheim, who wanted the land back when DeWitt was<br />

unable to pay off the loan, said Suzanne Campbell, head of the West Texas Collection, a depository for historical records.<br />

“Koenigheim … tried to trade (the land) for a wagon load of whiskey to Joe Levy (of S. Lapowski & Bros.), but Joe Levy refused<br />

because he said the whiskey was more valuable,” she said.<br />

Peppered with brothels and saloons, gamblers and ladies of the evening, the area was “a little rough,” Campbell said. In 1885, the<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Standard newspaper reported the area boasted 16 saloons, and the average consumption of whiskey per person per year<br />

was nearly 20 gallons.<br />

The nearby burg of Ben Ficklin, established in 1868 when Maj. Benjamin F. Ficklin bought 640 acres surrounding a spring that<br />

provided the fort its drinking water, was wiped out by flood in 1882. <strong>San</strong>ta Angela, renamed <strong>San</strong> Angela – and eventually <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

– became the new county seat.<br />

Long an entrepreneur’s dream because of the soldiers who patronized local businesses, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> also became a haven for farming<br />

and ranching. Cattle and sheep ranching were introduced in the 1860s and 1870s, respectively. <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> was further diversified with<br />

the establishment in 1888 of the <strong>San</strong>ta Fe Railroad and the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient (KCMO) in 1909. From the 1890s until the<br />

late 1960s, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> was the undisputed wool capital of the world.<br />

The area hit pay dirt with the great gushing oil well <strong>San</strong>ta Rita No. 1, which kept <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> residents relatively comfortable during<br />

the Great Depression, while much of the nation suffered financially.<br />

Today, under the heavy cloak of a years-long drought, water is no longer in abundance, but the area’s economy and population<br />

have benefited from another oil boom and a continued military and agriculture presence. As city government searches for alternative<br />

water sources, the desert oasis of 100,000 people flourishes with traditional and unconventional art, a plethora of entertainment<br />

options, a distinct but dichotomous culture, and a rich history. <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s many pieces seem incongruous in theory, but, woven<br />

together like a cherished family quilt, the whole is sui generis. (We would have to explain to Col. Grierson’s troops that means “unique<br />

in its characteristics.”)<br />

“It’s colorful, fascinating,” Campbell said of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and its history. “It had a certain Wild West flavor, but is so much more than<br />

that now.”<br />

Becca Nelson <strong>San</strong>key<br />

I N T R O D U C T I O N ✦ 5

1<br />

Who We Are<br />

Who are we? For someone who’s never lived<br />

anywhere but <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, that’s a difficult question to answer. But<br />

travel to another state or another city, and it’s clear why people relocate<br />

from <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> only to return months, years or decades later.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> is unforgettable.<br />

This community proves that having a rich history and a penchant for<br />

the creative are not mutually exclusive. In fact, here the two go handin-hand.<br />

Thanks largely to Goodfellow Air Force Base and <strong>Angelo</strong> State University<br />

– both of which attract residents from all walks of life from the world<br />

over – <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>ans are diverse in careers, backgrounds, ethnicities and<br />

cultures. Perhaps that is why <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> steadfastly offers big-city<br />

opportunities while maintaining its quaint, small-town charm.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>ans are resourceful and loyal. In times of hardship,<br />

strangers become friends, and worries turn to action. Whether the<br />

tragedy is human loss or drought, residents have a history of banding<br />

together for support and solutions.<br />

We are a city unlike any other, a desert oasis not as it initially seems.<br />

We are surprising <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.<br />

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More than 120 years after its deactivation, Fort Concho National Historic<br />

Landmark still enjoys a flurry of activity. A host of events throughout the year<br />

are held on the fort’s 40 acres – from Buffalo Soldier Heritage Day to Frontier<br />

Day to National Cowboy Day, all of which educate the public about the Concho<br />

Valley’s charming heritage. Among the staples at these events are living history<br />

demonstrations from period costumed volunteers, chuckwagon fare, live fiddle<br />

music and 1800s baseball.<br />

C H A P T E R 1 ✦ 7

C O N C H O<br />

P E A R L S<br />

Centuries before Fort Concho and the Concho Valley were<br />

established and the Concho River and historic Concho Avenue<br />

were named, Spanish explorers discovered in the murky waters<br />

in and near what would become <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> a trove of shells,<br />

with startlingly beautiful, round gemstones nestled inside.<br />

Spanish explorers in the mid-17th century first unearthed the<br />

Concho pearls. After word of their discovery spread, Deigo De<br />

Guadalajara followed suit to harvest them.<br />

In the late 1960s, Bart Mann and Jack Morgan made the pearls<br />

their business, traversing the Concho River to collect the shells.<br />

The men utilized the pearls to craft unique jewelry pieces that<br />

adorned the necks, fingers and earlobes of customers in the<br />

Caribbean and throughout the United States.<br />

Five percent of the world’s pearls occur naturally; the Concho<br />

River is one of the few places on Earth where they grow organically.<br />

“Natural pearls are exceedingly rare almost anywhere in the<br />

world, and despite our lack of water in the area, there are some<br />

pearls still found” here, said Mark Priest, owner of Legend<br />

Jewelers, which showcases and sells the pearls in handmade<br />

jewelry. “What separates those pearls from even the rare natural<br />

pearls found in other places is the fact that ours have colors, from<br />

a light pink to a vivid purple.”<br />

Priest worked with Mann and Morgan at their jewelry store,<br />

Bart Mann Originals, before he and Morgan opened Legend<br />

Jewelers – appropriately located on historic Concho Avenue.<br />

After Morgan’s death, Priest continued Legend’s tradition of<br />

highlighting the area’s most-celebrated gemstone.<br />

“Part of the reason the store is named Legend Jewelers,” Priest<br />

said, “is because the pearl is as much a legacy to the area as anything.”<br />

8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

F O R T<br />

C O N C H O<br />

Bob Bluthardt is not a <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> native,<br />

but having spent the better part of three decades<br />

at Fort Concho, he knows a thing or two about<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>: what was important when the fort<br />

was established in 1867, and what is important<br />

more than a century post deactivation.<br />

That something is water.<br />

“You can’t last three days without water,” said<br />

Bluthardt, the fort’s manager. “The confluence<br />

of the three rivers made this area extremely<br />

critical and potentially livable.”<br />

The rivers were close enough that soldiers<br />

could drink from them, but not so near that<br />

they would rise up and flood the fort.<br />

In its heyday, Fort Concho was headquarters<br />

for the renowned 4th and 10th cavalries and<br />

was home to prominent commanders such<br />

as Benjamin Grierson, Ranald Mackenzie and<br />

William “Pecos Bill” Shafter. Members from all<br />

four infantry units of the famed Buffalo Soldiers<br />

also were stationed there.<br />

During special events, particularly the fort’s<br />

signature Christmas at Old Fort Concho, a visit<br />

to its grounds is an experience akin to time<br />

travel. Volunteers in period costumes welcome<br />

guests into buildings restored to their 1800s<br />

glory, while historical re-enactors—many of<br />

them on horseback—fire cannons and perform<br />

military maneuvers on the parade grounds.<br />

In its prime, the fort’s 1,600 acres were<br />

dotted with more than 40 limestone buildings;<br />

23 of those structures remain.<br />

In the 1960s, the U.S. Department of the<br />

Interior declared the fort a national historic landmark<br />

because of the number of buildings that<br />

had survived and the fort’s historical relevance.<br />

“It’s a true honor because there are hundreds<br />

of thousands of historical sites in the country;<br />

only 2½ percent are national historic landmarks,”<br />

Bluthardt said. “We are in the same category as<br />

the Alamo. That’s pretty cool.”<br />

C H A P T E R 1 ✦ 9

B O B<br />

B L U T H A R D T<br />

S A N A N G E L O FAC E S<br />

Bostonian Bob Bluthardt is a self-proclaimed big-city guy. But for the past 32 years, he’s immersed<br />

himself in small-city life, including as director of Fort Concho National Historic Landmark.<br />

The native New Englander has assimilated into the West Texas culture and, of course, its rich and<br />

colorful history.<br />

“There aren’t many communities where you can go and stand (in one spot) and say, ‘This is where<br />

it began’… and find it in the same relative condition it was a half-century before,” Bluthardt said of<br />

Fort Concho.<br />

With his affable manner, twinkling eyes and ever-present blazer and tie, which he wears with a casual<br />

air, Bluthardt – if not for his Northern diacritic – could pass for a native Texan. A former teacher,<br />

Bluthardt earned a master’s degree in museum education and, in the 1980s, submitted job applications<br />

throughout the nation. Other than what was portrayed on the television series “Dallas,” Bluthardt knew<br />

little about Texas. Nonetheless, he chose <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and Fort Concho, with plans to stay a couple of years.<br />

He started as the fort’s director of education, eventually landing the director’s gig in 1998.<br />

Keeping <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s premiere tourist attraction going is his primary responsibility. Only 30 percent<br />

of its income comes from City coffers. “Because of that, nothing is guaranteed for us; we always<br />

have to hustle,” Bluthardt said.<br />

Running a historical site built in the 19th century as a public facility that serves people with the modern<br />

conveniences of the 21st century also is tricky, Bluthardt said, adding with a chuckle, “It’s almost<br />

like you’re taking a Model T to drag race it.”<br />

Bluthardt is content with the challenging nature of his career and the place he, his wife and teenage<br />

daughter call home.<br />

“I was as foreign to this city as you can possibly be, but I was welcomed and treated congenially,”<br />

he said.<br />

Offering another trademark Bluthardt grin, he added, “If only you could take the summers down<br />

about 20 degrees.”<br />

1 0 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

C H A P T E R 1 ✦ 1 1

1 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Fruits and veggies get no fresher than this: The night before or the<br />

morning of a Concho Valley Farmers Market sale, its growers harvest<br />

… meaning the produce is no more than a few hours removed from the<br />

vine, stalk or ground. Bursting with homegrown goodness – and flavor!<br />

– the vendors peddle ripened tomatoes, melons, greens, peppers and<br />

such thrice weekly under the shade of the Farmers Market Pavilion.<br />

The price is nice, too … $1 per bundle or bowl of produce.<br />

C H A P T E R 1 ✦ 1 3

R A S H D A<br />

K H A N<br />

S A N A N G E L O FAC E S<br />

Rashda Khan is more accustomed to being the writer than the subject.<br />

The West Texas transplant has been a writer for 20 years, first as a journalist, then as a food<br />

columnist and now as a published author.<br />

Stacking her arms on the table of a downtown coffee shop where she sat nursing a Diet Coke, Khan<br />

mused about the gear-change of writing objectively to writing creatively. Ultimately, she said, her journalism<br />

background helped her in her foray as a writer of romance novellas and paranormal fiction.<br />

“It taught me the value of education, the value of deadlines, and it taught me there’s no such thing<br />

as writer’s block,” she said. “I wrote romances because I wanted a break from newspaper work. I always<br />

thought I’d do a cookbook, but my stories sold, so I thought, ‘Maybe that’s a sign from the universe<br />

(to) do what you enjoy.’”<br />

The awards she has earned for her novellas and novels indicate Khan can excel while finding her<br />

sea legs. She’s as excited about her success as she is unabashed about her love for West Texas – a drastically<br />

different place than her native Bangladesh.<br />

“Sometimes when I go to the greener states, it hurts my eyes,” she deadpanned.<br />

Khan also has found her niche in the community as part of the West Texas Peace Ambassadors, of<br />

which she is a founding member and representative of the Muslim faith. The Peace Ambassadors were<br />

formed post-9/11 to bring together the three Abrahamic faiths.<br />

“There was a lot of dialogue needed at that point,” Khan said. “I’m more comfortable being in the<br />

background than the limelight, but I felt like it was needed. And it was a good decision.”<br />

Despite plans to stay in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> just a couple years while working at the Standard-Times, Khan<br />

went out with friends one night to learn to dance the two-step – and met a cotton farmer who became<br />

her husband.<br />

“It’s very hard to move farmers,” she said. “But, more than that, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> is the type of town<br />

that grows on you. When you think <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, you think of cowboys, gun racks and deer hunters. They<br />

are here, but that deer hunter could be making chandeliers out of antlers.”<br />

Mentioning plans to attend opera night at a Mexican food joint, she said, “It sounds strange, but it<br />

makes sense in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.”<br />

Above: The building bespeaks justice. Built in 1928 for<br />

$240,000, the imposing Tom Green County Courthouse<br />

reflects an era of prosperity before the Great Depression,<br />

along with the importance of county government to local<br />

residents. An exemplary example of classical revival<br />

architecture, the structure’s front façade sports 18 stony<br />

white columns. A frozen angel keeps watch out front,<br />

suspended over a glistening fountain. Carved into the<br />

granite are these words: “To the memory of the heroic<br />

pioneers of West Texas, this building is dedicated.<br />

Men’s homage and their love shall never cease<br />

to follow them.”<br />

1 4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

The brand of football proffered by the<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Bandits – our professional indoor team – makes the<br />

NFL look downright pedestrian. Combined scores typically soar<br />

into the triple digits. Quarterbacks fling spiraling darts on nearly every<br />

play. Players, footballs and free souvenirs routinely end up in fans’ laps.<br />

Each timeout is marked with wildly entertaining fan contests and<br />

giveaways. No wonder it’s billed as the “greatest show on turf.”<br />

C H A P T E R 1 ✦ 1 5

1 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Goodfellow Air Force Base<br />

C H A P T E R 1 ✦ 1 7

C Y N T H I A<br />

J O R D A N<br />

S A N A N G E L O FAC E S<br />

Cynthia Jordan has recorded 17 albums, penned a No. 1 song on the Billboard country music charts<br />

and published four books. Despite those heady achievements, the prospect of being profiled in a book<br />

about <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> – a city Jordan knows better than most natives – thrilled her.<br />

Jordan met her husband, a West Texas oilman, in her native California. The couple moved to<br />

Nashville, then East Texas, before settling in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> in 2005. Since then, Jordan has worked fervently<br />

to promote the city with her writing, music and events.<br />

In 2014, she published “Pearl,” a book of historical fiction based in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> in 1923, when the<br />

oil boom hit and brought with it working men with extra cash and women of ill repute to spend it on.<br />

In researching <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s history for “Pearl,” Jordan discovered a powerful feminine theme.<br />

<strong>San</strong>ta Angela, for whom the city was named, was a champion of women’s education. Maria de Agreda,<br />

known as The Lady in Blue, was a Spanish nun believed to have appeared to the Jumano Indians here,<br />

teaching them about Christianity without physically leaving her monastery.<br />

Jordan spearheaded the first Lady in Blue celebration in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, a music and dance event held<br />

annually. It’s one of several projects in which she’s immersed herself since her song “Jose Cuervo” –<br />

performed by Shelly West – catapulted her into the music scene in the early 1980s. Jordan then wrote<br />

and recorded Christian music for children, a gear-change that drew some criticism because it came on<br />

the heels of her famous song about tequila.<br />

“Shakespeare said a man in his time will wear many different hats,” Jordan said. “We’re the guest,<br />

the star, the mother, lover, daughter, sister. You’re all of it, and every role is different.”<br />

So what makes Jordan different from the masses who write books that are never read and record<br />

songs that are never heard?<br />

“I don’t do it for me or what I can get out if it,” she said simply. “’Jose Cuervo’ was (written)<br />

because I like to watch people have fun and laugh. All the piano music I did was to help people relax<br />

and enjoy lovely music. I think, honestly, all of us have a purpose, and if you figure out what that is,<br />

shame on you if you don’t share it.”<br />

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C H A P T E R 1 ✦ 1 9

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R E N É<br />

A L V A R A D O<br />

S A N A N G E L O FAC E S<br />

In a white stucco building that formerly served as a church in the historic <strong>San</strong>ta Rita neighborhood,<br />

René Alvarado lives and works among his stories. He is not a writer, but an illustrator of his dreams,<br />

experiences, interpretations and anecdotes. They swathe the walls of his home, competing for attention<br />

like flamboyantly clad models on a runway.<br />

Alvarado’s imagist style is an anomalous marriage between humans and animals, and objects, florae,<br />

faunae and shapes, their layers unified in riots of azure, crimson, amber and turquoise.<br />

“You’re going to love it or hate it,” Alvarado said of his work. “The hating part I don’t mind at all.<br />

If there were no reaction, I’d be offended.”<br />

One of 10 living children in his family, Alvarado was born in the small village of Coahuila, Mexico,<br />

but immigrated to Wyoming with his family as a child. Unable to speak English, Alvarado used art to<br />

communicate. At 42, he speaks English with ease, but his habit of using art as a language – and as a<br />

salve – has persisted.<br />

When Alvarado was 10, he and his family moved to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. After graduating from high school<br />

here, he attended the <strong>San</strong> Antonio Art Institute, but abandoned his schooling upon its closure.<br />

“There’s a lot to be said for being naïve and lost when you’re young,” Alvarado said from a chair<br />

at his dining room table, a piece festooned with a bowl of billiard balls beneath a chandelier of black<br />

Christmas ornaments. “When the school closed, I was depressed. (The resulting artwork) was my reality<br />

and my own visual language, and people wanted it.”<br />

Living in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> the past three decades, Alvarado has established a name for himself here as<br />

well as a presence in galleries in Austin and Dallas. But to continue to grow as an artist, Alvarado knows<br />

he must cover more ground.<br />

“There’s no clarity to what I’m doing,” he said. “I want to dive into the murky waters and see what<br />

I can dig out.”<br />

Despite his plans to grow personally and professionally, Alvarado said <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> will remain<br />

his home.<br />

“<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> is my retreat,” he said. “Why does a person have to leave to make something<br />

of themselves?”<br />

Beneath the easels dotting his living room and studio, scattered brushes, paint spatters and streaks<br />

mar the hardwood floors.<br />

“I’m just going to leave them,” Alvarado said, glancing down at the stains. “I’m starting to feel more<br />

at home here.”<br />

C H A P T E R 1 ✦ 2 1

2<br />

Where We Go<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s population has burgeoned and its pace has quickened. But word of<br />

mouth still seems to travel as fast as it ever has in this friendly, close-knit West<br />

Texas community. Newcomers, many of them from Goodfellow Air Force and<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> State University, learn quickly about our abundance of – and affinity for –<br />

scrumptious, homemade Tex-Mex fare served up in cozy, family-owned eateries.<br />

They learn that, despite <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s small-town feel, it has more than 30 parks,<br />

including one with a world-renowned outdoor water lily garden and another<br />

sprinkled with colossal sculptures. Lake Nasworthy and Love Municipal Pool<br />

become virtually magnetic during scorching summers, and a state-of-the-art public<br />

library is a peaceful escape for readers. Dotted with the Cactus Hotel, City Hall, the<br />

Texas Theatre and Concho Avenue, downtown is both a historic trove and a hub<br />

for nightclubs, dining and shopping. The RiverStage amphitheatre has become<br />

synonymous with the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony’s July 3 Pops Concert, which features<br />

the state’s fourth-largest pyrotechnics display and tens of thousands of spectators.<br />

What <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> lacks in physical size, it more than compensates for in an<br />

assortment of always evolving leisure pursuits sure to pique the interests of<br />

newcomers and natives alike.<br />

2 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

S A N A N G E L O ’ S C I T Y H A L L<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s City Hall is pictured here<br />

directly at the end of the street.<br />

It’s been called a <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> gem – one that until now was<br />

long overdue for a good, hard polishing.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s City Hall at 72 W. College Ave. was built in<br />

1928 by famed El Paso architect Adolphus G. Trost.<br />

Killis Almond, a <strong>San</strong> Antonio architect whose firm was<br />

tasked with rehabilitating the historic building beginning in<br />

2012, noted the building’s original construction budget was<br />

slashed during the work, so the third and fourth floors were not<br />

completed at the time. Those levels weren’t completed until the<br />

1950s or ’60s, Almond said, when the city had outgrown the<br />

space in which it had been working for a few decades.<br />

“I’ve been doing restoration and preservation work the past<br />

35 years, and I’ve never seen a building yet I didn’t feel I could<br />

improve and rehabilitate into a well-functioning structure,”<br />

Almond said.<br />

When Almond was hired to renovate the building, the basement<br />

had been gutted to rid it of black mold. Almond’s crew<br />

demolished the second, third and fourth floors before installing<br />

modern plumbing, electrical systems, lighting, heating and air<br />

conditioning, and resizing doorways. The elevator remained<br />

where it was; the crew reused its antique hoist and rebuilt a cab<br />

and hoisting mechanism.<br />

“You basically get a feel (now) of what was there, but it’s not<br />

a restoration; it’s a rehabilitation … to work for modern city<br />

services,” Almond said.<br />

City Hall’s heart – its auditorium – was long home to productions<br />

such as symphonic concerts and balletic “Nutcracker”<br />

performances. It has also seen appearances from celebrities<br />

ranging from Elvis Presley to former President Bill Clinton. The<br />

auditorium was remodeled in 1981, but had since gone largely<br />

untouched insofar as upgrades.<br />

As of 2015, the auditorium was in the midst of extensive renovations<br />

that will transform it into a modern showplace that<br />

will serve as the anchor to a performing arts campus.<br />

“Your first impression of the building sitting up on the hill is<br />

magnificent,” Almond said of City Hall. “It’s like it stands<br />

watching over the whole downtown. It is a major focal point.”<br />

One that, soon enough, will once again glitter throughout as<br />

it did in its heyday.<br />

C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 2 3

2 4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> State<br />


C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 2 5

2 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Opposite, top three photographs: The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Visitor Center<br />

could just as easily be called “Downhome-Uptown-Goodtimes”<br />

HQ. That’s the tagline for the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Convention and<br />

Visitors Bureau, the outfit that, on behalf of the Chamber of<br />

Commerce, tells visitors where to go, what to see and what to do.<br />

The center itself – with its wavy roof, manicured grounds and<br />

flowing fountains – is a must-see spot: warm, open, airy, inviting.<br />

Much like West Texas.<br />

This page: Closed since 1983, the mission-style Texas Theatre<br />

remains a <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> standout. Its equipment made <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

one of the first communities in the nation to play motion pictures,<br />

and its stage was larger than Dallas’ famed Majestic Theatre.<br />

The theater underwent a major overhaul in 1962, but the 1970s<br />

ushered in a new era. As more homes acquired TV, vintage<br />

theaters diminished in appeal. Faded paint on the back of the<br />

Texas Theatre’s exterior still touts the venue as “the largest and<br />

finest in the West.”<br />

C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 2 7

S A L L Y<br />

M E Y E R S<br />

S A N A N G E L O FAC E S<br />

Inside <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s sprawling, state-of-the-art downtown library, among the thousands of tomes<br />

and the friendly, familiar faces, Sally Meyers was hard at work on her birthday. The longtime librarian<br />

and director of children’s programs at the Tom Green County Library earnestly insisted there was<br />

no place she’d rather be.<br />

The walls of Meyers’ basement office are a clean off-white, but posters, paintings and clusters<br />

of stuffed animals add splashes of color.<br />

“Oh, gosh, look at the mess,” Meyers said. “I’m one of those people who doesn’t throw anything<br />

away.”<br />

That’s understandable. From the basket of seashells to the trove of children’s books to a postersized<br />

photo of children reading in the library, the mementos in Meyers’ office are tangible keepsakes<br />

of the memories made over her 23 years there … and of the growth spurt the children’s<br />

department has experienced.<br />

A thousand preschoolers visit the main library each month for its four weekly story times, which<br />

Meyers leads with the aid of puppets, toys, music and carefully selected books. An endless parade<br />

of others also patronize the library, especially since its 2011 move from the cramped confines of<br />

the Edd B. Keyes Building to the airy spaces of the former Hemphill-Wells department store. “What<br />

I love about this building is that everybody comes here,” Meyers said. “It’s everybody’s library.”<br />

The thought of being a librarian hadn’t occurred to Meyers when she earned her degree in education,<br />

but the transition from preschool director to her current job made sense. “I thought (working<br />

at a preschool) was the best job I ever had until I got this one,” said Meyers, who teaches Sunday<br />

School at the church where her husband, Craig, is an associate pastor. “I love kids because they’re<br />

so honest, and the books I work with are so stimulating and open their minds. You can just see a<br />

sparkle in their eyes when you read something that makes a difference in their lives.”<br />

The benefits, Meyers said, are mutual. “We learn from the kids,” she said. “I’m constantly growing.”<br />

Laughing, she added, “Can you tell I love my job?”<br />

2 8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Even under the cloak of darkness, Stephens Central Library’s jagged, turquoise-paned windows<br />

glow with warm light, beckoning visitors inside to search its trove of tomes. <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s<br />

library in 2011 moved into the sprawling former home of the Hemphill-Wells<br />

department store. A customized, cheerful design along with a full<br />

menu of free offerings make the library the city’s premier<br />

learning destination.<br />

C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 2 9

D O R O T H Y<br />

D O U T H I T<br />

S A N A N G E L O FAC E S<br />

Dorothy Douthit once drove a vehicle with a bumper sticker that read, “I wasn’t born in Texas,<br />

but I got here as fast as I could.”<br />

Douthit, 53, was born in Michigan but “always wanted to come to Texas,” she said. “I grew up<br />

watching ‘Bonanza’ and ‘The Lone Ranger.’ I’ve always been fascinated with horses.”<br />

A lifelong musician and graduate of a renowned music academy, Douthit visited <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> in<br />

the 1980s and was thrilled to discover the city had fiddle contests, a rodeo and orchestral strings in<br />

its schools. She moved here soon after.<br />

“It was everything I thought Texas should be,” she said.<br />

Douthit promptly established roots. She played principal violin in the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony for<br />

two decades and for 14 years taught music in the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Independent School District, where she<br />

also founded the mariachi program.<br />

In addition to her musical prowess, Douthit has become a local celebrity, renowned for her cooking<br />

and storytelling. She blended those hobbies with her passion for the old West, becoming a fiddler at<br />

Fort Concho National Historic Landmark. There, she parks her 1906 chuckwagon and whips up her<br />

signature, award-winning fare. Then she grabs her fiddle to entertain audiences while they eat.<br />

In 2011, Douthit and her business partner Lisa Truesdell opened Fiddle Fire Café – a diner,<br />

catering base and events venue – in a former firehouse a few blocks from the fort. Douthit<br />

envisions hosting dinner theaters in the space, with entertainment from her Concho Classics String<br />

Quartet.<br />

From Fiddle Fire’s dining room, a cozy space outfitted with a small stage and Texas battle flags<br />

adorning the walls, Douthit mused about her professional evolution. “I go with the flow with things,”<br />

she said. “I feel like I’m creative enough to evolve. I’m happy doing what I’m doing.”<br />

While discussing her business plans, Douthit offhandedly said “fixin’ to.” When the Southern<br />

vernacular was pointed out, she laughed raucously but displayed no embarrassment at the slip.<br />

“I was meant to be here,” she said, by way of explanation. “It feels like home. To me, the<br />

living’s easy down here.”<br />

3 0 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Clockwise, starting at the top, left:<br />

Dining choices on Knickerbocker Road.<br />

Ice cold beverages, chips and dip at Henry’s Restaurant.<br />

Julio’s Burritos.<br />

Miss Hattie’s Restaurant & Cathouse Lounge.<br />

Eggemeyer’s General Store.<br />

C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 3 1

C A C T U S<br />

H O T E L<br />

No other building in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> stands out – or captures in<br />

bricks and mortar – the city’s essence quite like the 14-story<br />

Cactus Hotel.<br />

For <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> natives, the hotel is both a multipurpose<br />

structure and a reference point that can be spotted on the city’s<br />

horizon from 15 miles away. In addition to housing more than a<br />

dozen small businesses and nonprofit organizations, it’s the goto<br />

setting for intimate concerts, elegant soirees and weddings.<br />

For non-natives, Conrad Hilton’s fifth hotel is a must-see<br />

tourist attraction, one of the best-preserved landmarks of its kind.<br />

A front-page story in the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Morning Times on May<br />

31, 1929, announced the hotel’s grand opening as a gala day. “It<br />

marks the culmination of a year of planning and organizing,<br />

building and constructing and is a monument to the faith Hilton<br />

Hotels has in the progressiveness of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s people,” the<br />

story read.<br />

In addition to providing lodging to travelers, the hotel –<br />

renamed the Cactus in the mid-1930s – was a place of residence<br />

to local renters. Stars, including Frank Sinatra, Bobby Kennedy,<br />

Bob Hope and Ann Miller, also at one time have traipsed through<br />

the stately structure.<br />

The building’s dichotomous nature – its seamless blend of<br />

Renaissance and Southwestern designs that invoke awe from<br />

average folks and celebrities alike – makes it a historic West<br />

Texas treasure.<br />

3 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

S A N A N G E L O<br />

M U S E U M O F F I N E A R T S<br />

With its modern rectangular shape, sloping<br />

roof that cuts an impressive form across the<br />

downtown skyline and rooftop deck with an<br />

expansive view of local jewels such as the<br />

RiverStage, Love Municipal Pool and the<br />

Concho River, the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Museum of Fine<br />

Arts is an impressive sight to behold.<br />

The inside doesn’t disappoint, either.<br />

Before opening at its present location in 1999,<br />

the museum was housed in Fort Concho National<br />

Landmark. Dallas architect and <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> native<br />

Bud Oglesby designed the new structure to reflect<br />

elements of its former home – from the exposed<br />

wood planks to the high ceilings.<br />

SAMFA’s state-designated cultural district –<br />

the largest in Texas – comprises the fort, the <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Visitors Center and the nearby neighborhood.<br />

Since SAMFA received its designation,<br />

the area surrounding it – which before the<br />

museum’s construction had fallen into a blighted<br />

state – has experienced a visible resurrection.<br />

“I think the museum played a part,” Howard<br />

Taylor, the museum’s executive director, said in<br />

a phone interview while strolling the streets of<br />

New York City during a trip to discuss with<br />

architects plans to make the museum even bigger<br />

and better. “We are trying to do things to<br />

help the whole city, but also the area in which<br />

the museum is located. … With 65,000 people<br />

a year coming to the museum, (improving it<br />

creates) a lot of life and activity that encourages<br />

other good things to happen.”<br />

Some 22,000 students – half of whom are<br />

minorities – visit the museum each year for its<br />

exhibits and 300 annual events.<br />

“The museum is for everybody,” Taylor said.<br />

“Every time you come to the museum, it looks<br />

like all of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. We work constantly to<br />

make sure” of that.<br />

Asked how else SAMFA fosters pride in the<br />

community, Taylor is quick with an answer.<br />

“I sum it up in one sentence: The museum is<br />

not just about art on walls; we’re about art in<br />

our lives, and the community is the greatest<br />

work of art. That’s our slogan we try to live by.”<br />

C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 3 3

R O G E R<br />

A L L E N<br />

S A N A N G E L O FAC E S<br />

On three acres of studios, tucked behind a colorful fence of crayon-shaped pickets, among dangling<br />

stained glass, etched stonework and glazed pottery, artist Roger Allen lives and breathes what<br />

he has dubbed “the art spirit.”<br />

Allen, 71, moved to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> in the 1960s to teach high school art. While teaching, Allen<br />

bought an old chicken farm on the north side of town and, with two other artists, went to work building<br />

studios.<br />

“The next thing I knew, we were leasing studio rooms for other people to work,” Allen said.<br />

Sitting in his pottery studio at the Old Chicken Farm Art Center, Allen held a lit cigarette in one<br />

hand and, with the other, doodled on a scrap of paper. Names or words he mentioned in conversation<br />

emerged from the paper, juxtaposed with small, haphazard sketches.<br />

“I’ve got probably a thousand sheets of paper just like this,” he said, stabbing lightly at the<br />

paper with his pencil.<br />

Sometimes Allen’s scribbles spawn themes for his hallmark functional pottery – plates, goblets<br />

and bowls. Some of his pieces are intricate designs in a kaleidoscope of colors; others, such as the<br />

StarKeeper Series, depict black, Native American-like figures seemingly on stilts, their heads aligned<br />

with stars.<br />

Ironically, Allen’s own pain inspired the harmony between man and nature portrayed on the<br />

StarKeeper wares.<br />

“In ’89 or ’90 I had a major operation,” Allen said. “I loved (working with) hot metal, but it’s<br />

also hard work; I had nearly worked myself to death. I was going through a divorce and had no<br />

insurance and basically sold half my dream” with the selling of half the farm.<br />

“When I finally got back on my feet, I took all these sketches I had. I was having a pity party<br />

for myself and scribbled a story. … The plates illustrate it.”<br />

Allen’s StarKeeper Gallery serves as the Chicken Farm’s headquarters. Four apartments, two<br />

houses, 20 studios, a fine-dining restaurant and a bed-and-breakfast also dot the property.<br />

In addition to showcasing and selling a hodgepodge of art – paintings, pottery, metal, wood,<br />

glass and fiber – the Chicken Farm is home to intimate yard concerts and First Saturday events that<br />

blend art and music.<br />

“Obviously, I didn’t think it would last this long,” Allen mused, “or that I would.”<br />

3 4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 3 5

Above: <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> was founded by men on horseback. But it was the iron horse that ushered it into the<br />

20th century. <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s rich railroad history – from <strong>San</strong>ta Fe Steam Engine No. 18’s arrival to throngs<br />

of thousands on Sept. 30, 1888, to the present day – is meticulously detailed at the Railway Museum of<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. Stationed in the Orient-<strong>San</strong>ta Fe Depot that citizens saved from destruction in the 1990s, the<br />

museum houses artifacts, models, photos and, of course, rolling stock.<br />

Below: Dixie Jewett’s sculpture, titled Merriweather is featured in Sunken Garden Park.<br />

Opposite, top: Concho River night lights.<br />

Opposite, middle: <strong>San</strong>ta Rita Park.<br />

Opposite, bottom: Pearl on the Concho, a mermaid sculpture.<br />

3 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

T H E<br />

R I V E R S T A G E<br />

Nestled between a municipal swimming pool,<br />

an art museum, a courtyard and a river, the<br />

outdoor amphitheater formally known as the<br />

Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial RiverStage is home to<br />

a handful of annual musical performances—<br />

most notably the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony’s<br />

July 3rd Pops Concert—and has hosted such<br />

musical greats as B. B. King and Willie Nelson.<br />

Commonly referred to as simply “the<br />

RiverStage,” the fan-shaped venue was built<br />

in 1986. As many as 900 spectators may view<br />

the 114-foot-wide stage from a concrete slab<br />

directly below it, and 8,000 people can take in<br />

performances from tiered, grassy rows carved<br />

into a hill.<br />

The July 3rd Pops Concert was the first event<br />

held at the RiverStage in 1987. In the past twoplus<br />

decades, the venue has become synonymous<br />

with the Pops Concert’s pairing of patriotic<br />

symphonic music and dazzling pyrotechnics.<br />

“The RiverStage works well because it’s in<br />

the heart of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. Being an open-style<br />

amphitheater, people can come and sit on<br />

either side of the stage,” said Courtney Mahaffey,<br />

executive director of the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony.<br />

“The symphony has been blessed that we have<br />

up to 35,000 people who are able to witness<br />

this event because of where it’s located.”<br />

The City of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> acquired the<br />

RiverStage in the late ’90s and regularly rents<br />

it to local arts groups, including the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Broadway Academy and the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic<br />

Ballet. <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s two high schools, Central<br />

and Lake View, have made the RiverStage their<br />

go-to performance spot for orchestra and band<br />

concerts. Private events such as weddings and<br />

quinceañeras also are held there.<br />

“When the weather’s nice, it’s hard to beat<br />

an outdoor concert at the RiverStage,” said<br />

Carl White, director of the City’s Parks and<br />

Recreation Department. “You can just sit down<br />

with your family, watch the performance and<br />

just have a good time.”<br />

C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 3 7

K E N N E T H<br />

L A N D O N<br />

S A N A N G E L O FAC E S<br />

With his hobbies – make that unprecedented talents – in designing pyrotechnics and water lilies,<br />

Kenneth Landon admits he’s a West Texas anomaly.<br />

“I’m driven to make it happen for the people I do it for,” Landon said succinctly.<br />

“It” is the fantastic fireworks show Landon orchestrates each year for the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony’s<br />

July 3rd Pops Concert; the equally magnificent Fourth of July pyrotechnics display he spearheads at Lake<br />

Nasworthy; and the world-renowned International Waterlily Collection he created and manages at Civic<br />

League Park.<br />

“If they’ve asked me to do (something) noteworthy, I’m going to make it above average,”<br />

Landon said.<br />

Dubbed the “Indiana Jones of waterlilies,” Landon, a native <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>an, majored in industrial<br />

engineering and minored in botanical science at the University of Texas, where he curated and collected<br />

waterlilies for the university. By age 25, Landon had amassed the largest collection of lilies in the world,<br />

he said.<br />

Landon, 68, grew lilies in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, which attracted the attention of city officials, including former<br />

Parks Superintendent Jimmy Rogers, who asked Landon to replicate his collection in a public space.<br />

Within four years, the collection was an international showcase. For decades, it has been among <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong>’s preeminent tourist attractions.<br />

In addition to leading Lake Nasworthy’s pyrotechnics show for more than two decades, Landon has<br />

synced his fireworks with the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony’s patriotic tunes since the Pops Concert’s inception.<br />

“It’s one of the top close-proximity displays in Texas,” Landon said of the Pops Concert. “George W.<br />

Bush and several others have been here for that one. We put on a show second-to-none. I’ve had many<br />

people go to other displays that said this is the knockout.”<br />

Landon has been making fireworks since he was 20 years old, noting he “was real good at pyrochemistry<br />

in school.” As an afterthought, or maybe just for further clarification, he added: “You really<br />

can’t take a course in (pyrotechnics); you can only go so far.” So Landon branched out on his own, eventually<br />

making fireworks for President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.<br />

“I don’t care about the notoriety,” he said. “I just do the things that make people happy.”<br />

3 8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

C I V I C L E A G U E P A R K<br />

The New York Times in 2011 called <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> an<br />

“odd refuge” for the internationally renowned, brilliantly<br />

colored water lilies that bloom in Civic League Park.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> is just fine with that backhanded compliment.<br />

A water lily aficionado for more than 50 years, Kenneth<br />

Landon is the International Waterlily Collection’s curator,<br />

director and founder. At the request of former Parks<br />

Superintendent Jimmy Rogers, Landon in the early 1980s<br />

turned Civic League Park into a water lily haven. A fence<br />

was installed to keep out varmints, and Landon enlisted<br />

the help of the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Garden Club as a sponsor.<br />

Landon began showcasing the lilies in the park in<br />

1986. By 1989, they were known internationally.<br />

Two years later, the International Water Lily Water Garden<br />

Society named Civic League Park the nation’s premier spot<br />

for lilies.<br />

In 2010, the International Waterlily and Water<br />

Gardening Society Symposium gathered in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> for<br />

its annual symposium.<br />

Members “usually go to cities of 2 or 3 million … (to<br />

places such as) China, France, England,” Landon said.<br />

“The members that came told me of all the places they’d<br />

been worldwide that that particular symposium (in <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong>) was the finest they’d ever been to.”<br />

On his property, Landon collects lilies from throughout<br />

the world and grows his own – including worldrenowned<br />

hybrids of his own design. One such, the<br />

Texas Dawn, is the official state water lily. Landon<br />

seasonally changes out the species that float in Civic<br />

League’s seven pools, displaying a thumbnail of his vast,<br />

personal collection.<br />

“I could fill Lake Nasworthy in a hurry if they’d give<br />

it to me,” he said. “I collect lilies like some people<br />

collect antiques.”<br />

Landon names the lilies after notable people of varying<br />

prominence, including the late western author Elmer<br />

Kelton, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Mayors J. W. Lown and Dwain<br />

Morrison, local television legend Pat Attebery, and<br />

Australian actress Mia Wasikowska, who played Alice in<br />

Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland.”<br />

With the seventh pool and pavilion installed at the park<br />

in 2014 and an intricate misting system that drops the<br />

park’s temperature several degrees – providing a respite for<br />

the lilies, fauna and visitors during sweltering summers –<br />

the International Waterlily Collection “is kind of a classy<br />

place,” Landon said. “And it’s right here in our city.”<br />

C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 3 9

On a sweltering summer day, there’s no cooler<br />

spot in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> than Love Municipal Pool.<br />

Originally constructed by the Works Progress<br />

Administration in 1938, the pool underwent a<br />

massive, $3 million transformation in 2011.<br />

Today, locals can ease into the water via a<br />

beach entry, frolic under spray toys, slip down<br />

two slides or swirl around the vortex pools.<br />

What for decades was a mere cement watering<br />

hole is now an aquatic escape.<br />

4 0 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 4 1

Wake boarding on Lake Nasworthy.<br />

4 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 4 3

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C H A P T E R 2 ✦ 4 5

3<br />

How We Live<br />

There is more<br />

to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s<br />

residents than<br />

meets the eye.<br />

Yes, we don the requisite boots,<br />

spurs, pearl-snap shirts and 10-gallon<br />

hats (our rodeo uniform, if you will)<br />

to support the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Stock Show<br />

& Rodeo. But we also can – and do –<br />

immerse ourselves in the arts,<br />

attending a parade of ongoing events<br />

in ballet, theatre, symphonic concerts, museum exhibits and lecture series.<br />

We celebrate our heritage with events such as the annual Cinco de Mayo and<br />

Fiestas Patrias celebrations, and, at Fort Concho, we honor our history and the<br />

very foundation of our community.<br />

On Friday nights, we stream into football stadiums to watch the home team’s<br />

helmeted heroes clash with enemy forces from Abilene, Midland and Odessa. We<br />

dedicate Sundays to our faith, packing the pews of nearly 150 churches. We stay<br />

active, walking, biking and running along the Concho River, in parks or near<br />

Lake Nasworthy, or by racing in numerous cycling, running and triathlon<br />

competitions that benefit <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s nonprofit charities.<br />

We are a West Texas ranching and farming hub, but hard work isn’t all we<br />

know. We seek entertainment, culture, education and affirmation in our faith,<br />

and we have a distinct desire to improve – both ourselves and our city – this<br />

surprising place with small-town personality and opportunities galore.<br />

4 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

C H A P T E R 3 ✦ 4 7

S A N A N G E L O<br />

S T O C K S H O W & R O D E O<br />

There’s a reason <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> has enjoyed<br />

a successful livestock show and rodeo for<br />

nearly a century and counting – and it’s not<br />

just the requisite raucous midway and fried<br />

carnival fare.<br />

“No. 1, it’s <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s rodeo,” said Tom<br />

Thompson, marketing director for the <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Stock Show & Rodeo Association. “You<br />

probably won’t find a more professionally run<br />

rodeo in the industry.”<br />

Having celebrated its 83rd run in February<br />

2015, the rodeo has had ample time to develop<br />

its reputation. The first <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> rodeo was<br />

the brainchild of J. Culberson “Cub” Deal,<br />

manager of the precursor to the Chamber of<br />

Commerce. Deal hoped the event would give<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s economy a needed boost, and the<br />

first rodeo was held in an expansive outdoor<br />

pen in 1932.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s rodeo and the stock show<br />

now rank among the nation’s largest and most<br />

prestigious.<br />

“Anyone who’s in the rodeo industry has<br />

heard of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>,” Thompson said. “Anyone<br />

who is a contestant professionally has <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> on their (competition) schedule.”<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s stock show is among the<br />

nation’s 10 largest, with more than 11,000<br />

entries from 6,000 exhibitors. The rodeo<br />

portion lures about 1,100 contestants from<br />

throughout the nation as well as Australia,<br />

Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, South<br />

America and New Zealand.<br />

The event translates to full hotels, crowded<br />

restaurants and bustling businesses, providing<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s economy a far larger stimulus than<br />

Deal likely ever imagined. The SASSRA<br />

contributes about $30 million to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s<br />

economy annually; up to $10 million of that<br />

comes from the stock show and rodeo,<br />

Thompson said.<br />

“Rodeo is always fresh,” he noted. “No<br />

roper does it the same every time; it’s man<br />

versus beast.”<br />

4 8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s Stock Show & Rodeo now ranks<br />

among the nation’s largest and most prestigious.<br />

C H A P T E R 3 ✦ 4 9

July 3rd Pops Concert<br />

5 0 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

C H A P T E R 3 ✦ 5 1

For three days each June, Lake Nasworthy morphs from an idyllic body of water to a thundering racetrack. The Showdown<br />

in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> has, in less than a decade, rocketed to the upper echelon of the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series. The sport’s<br />

ace racers skim across a liquidy quarter-mile in less than 4 seconds, reaching speeds of more than 250 mph. After<br />

the racing, the legion of fans who religiously follow the sport make a big splash in the local economy.<br />

5 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

R I V E R<br />

F E S T<br />

River Fest made a splash from the beginning.<br />

Launched in 2013 to celebrate the<br />

completion of an overhaul of the Concho River’s<br />

downtown banks and to mark the 100th<br />

anniversary of <strong>San</strong>ta Fe Park, River Fest was<br />

never meant to be more than a fling. Instead, the<br />

hodgepodge of activities drew more than 7,000<br />

people, followed by requests for an encore.<br />

“The first year we had to scrape around to<br />

make it work,” said Carl White, director of the<br />

city’s Parks and Recreation Department.<br />

Despite scattered showers, about 2,000<br />

more people attended River Fest 2014 than<br />

the year prior. The activities included a beefedup<br />

kids’ court with inflatable bounce houses, a<br />

petting zoo and pony rides; a Color Run;<br />

concerts; a washer-pitching tournament; and a<br />

car show and chili cookoff, all held in<br />

conjunction with yearly staples such as Lily Fest<br />

(a showcase of the International Waterlily<br />

Collection) and the Girl Scouts’ Race on the<br />

River (a canoe race and fundraiser).<br />

Following the success of River Fest’s second<br />

year, organizers are planning for an annual<br />

offering that entertains locals and showcases<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and its river to out-of-towners.<br />

“Other than the July 3rd Pops Concert, we<br />

don’t really have another event that’s about one<br />

of our most signature features, which is the<br />

river,” White said. “People see the need for this<br />

event in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.”<br />

C H A P T E R 3 ✦ 5 3

5 4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Diez y Seis de Septiembre<br />

celebration honors Hispanic heritage<br />

The Southside Lions Club has for 40-plus years honored the area’s Hispanic<br />

heritage by celebrating Mexico’s independence from Spain with a two-day familyfriendly<br />

fete. Sept. 16 marks Mexico’s request in 1810 for freedom from Spain. Held<br />

at El Paseo de <strong>San</strong>ta Angela, the colorful commemoration includes a lively grito<br />

re-enactment, food booths, live mariachi music and young folk dancers whirling<br />

their ribbon-lined dresses in an ever-moving, vivid rainbow.<br />

C H A P T E R 3 ✦ 5 5

For more than 30 years, the West Texas<br />

Rehabilitation Center – which provides outpatient<br />

therapy in communication, hearing and motor<br />

skills regardless of patients’ ability to pay – has<br />

served up heaping plates of fried fowl with all the<br />

trimmings at the Spring Chicken Affair. Bringing<br />

together an army of volunteers who prepare<br />

10,000 pieces of chicken, hundreds of pounds of<br />

mashed potatoes and coleslaw, and a sea of tea<br />

has paid off – literally – for the center, raising<br />

hundreds of thousands of dollars.<br />

Spring Chicken Affair<br />

5 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

C H A P T E R 3 ✦ 5 7

Simply Texas Blues Festival<br />

M A N N Y<br />

C A M P O S<br />

S A N A N G E L O FAC E S<br />

A late afternoon meeting at <strong>Angelo</strong> State University, where he works two jobs, was Manny<br />

Campos’ first break of the day; he used the opportunity to multitask, bringing with him a T-shirt he<br />

planned to exchange at the campus bookstore.<br />

An adjunct instructor of political science and assistant coordinator of <strong>Angelo</strong> State’s Hispanic<br />

Servicing Institution, Campos also is an in-demand musician who makes swapping his podium and<br />

desk for his keyboard and microphone look easy.<br />

Campos, 30, credited the seamless juggling act to “very careful time management.”<br />

“Now that I have less time, more opportunities present themselves,” he said with a laugh.<br />

“That’s the way life works, I guess.”<br />

Campos grew up in Sonora, where he was constantly exposed to neighborhood jam sessions.<br />

“Everybody sang or played an instrument,” he recalled, adding that he was also involved in band<br />

and choir in junior high and picked up the saxophone and keyboard.<br />

“I moved here and started connecting with musicians through ASU,” Campos said. “I got more<br />

comfortable (performing) as I got more connected.”<br />

Campos’ third job is piano accompanist for First United Methodist Church’s Spirit Youth Group.<br />

He works with the church’s young performers throughout the year, then travels with them out of<br />

state or abroad for their annual production of “Godspell.”<br />

“I’ve seen these junior high through high school kids … move people to tears presenting the<br />

gospel in a very contemporary way,” Campos said. “There’s something powerful going on.”<br />

Campos, who prefers to play blues, roots and rock, is a popular local musician in his own right.<br />

“In a way it all ties together,” he said of music and teaching. “It’s a performance having to<br />

teach, lecture and be prepared in front of an audience of students or music fans. And you have to<br />

have confidence.”<br />

That’s something Campos doesn’t lack. Demure when discussing his accomplishments, he quickly<br />

added there’s much more he’d like to achieve, from earning his doctorate to working on more<br />

original music.<br />

“I think the world is still at my feet,” he said.<br />

And with that, Campos headed to the bookstore to make his exchange before going back to work.<br />

5 8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

There’s nothing like singing the blues to get <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> in a happy frame of mind. Each<br />

May, just as West Texas nights start to get a little sultry, the Simply Texas Blues Festival<br />

slams into <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. Music aficionados flood downtown, park their lawn chairs in the<br />

middle of cordoned off streets, and settle in for hours of energetic blues performances.<br />

The burgeoning blues fest boasts a battle of the bands, a blessing of the bikes from the<br />

Catholic bishop, a car and motorcycle show, and a hodgepodge of arts, crafts and food.<br />

C H A P T E R 3 ✦ 5 9

6 0 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O<br />

The West Texas Hunting & Outdoorsman Expo

H I G H S C H O O L F O O T B A L L<br />

If the vast sky is any indication – a palette saturated in shades<br />

of pink, violet, orange and sapphire, a burning sun lazily sinking<br />

below the horizon – God loves high school football.<br />

And so does <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.<br />

Best exemplified in the book, movie and subsequent TV series<br />

“Friday Night Lights,” West Texas football fans traditionally kick<br />

off their fall weekends with a Texas-sized helping of school spirit.<br />

Jammed elbow to elbow and knee to knee into metal bleachers,<br />

the Central and Lake View high school faithful cheer on their<br />

respective teams, whether at home or in unfamiliar stadiums<br />

behind enemy lines.<br />

“The people really support each other,” Lake View head football<br />

coach Doug Kuhlman said. “It’s not just the players’ parents,<br />

it’s not just the faculty, it’s not just administration. We do have<br />

other people there from the community” at the Chiefs’ games.<br />

On the strength of its 3,000 students, Central High School<br />

can boast of fans turning out in droves for home games.<br />

“We fill up the home side or the end zone,” head football<br />

coach Brent Davis said. “If we play a district rival, they’ll bring a<br />

lot of fans and we’ll fill the stadium up.”<br />

Davis and Kuhlman have both coached in South Texas. West<br />

Texas’ enthusiasm for the gridiron is unparalleled, they say. That<br />

passion for football, in turn, feeds the players.<br />

“With the fan base comes high expectations,” Kuhlman said. “It<br />

doesn’t matter what year it is – whether you’re expected to have a<br />

good year or you don’t have the talent level pool to draw from as<br />

in the past, people still expect good football being played.”<br />

C H A P T E R 3 ✦ 6 1

A M I<br />

M I Z E L L - F L I N T<br />

S A N A N G E L O FAC E S<br />

Ami Mizell-Flint is not the archetype <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>an. That hasn’t stopped her from making this<br />

her home.<br />

Born in New York and reared in Florida, Mizell-Flint was raised in the Jewish faith. She and<br />

her first husband, a Border Patrol agent, moved to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> in 1998. He died three years later,<br />

leaving Mizell-Flint to raise their two young children alone.<br />

“Everybody expected me to move … but no place felt like home like <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>,” she said.<br />

Mizell-Flint has entrenched herself in the community as a volunteer, leader and do-gooder. She’s<br />

the community relations manager for Mosaic, which supports people with intellectual disabilities,<br />

along with being a Girl Scout troop leader, a freelance writer for the Standard-Times, an <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

State University graduate student, a member of Congregation Beth Israel synagogue and a <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Independent School District trustee.<br />

“Of all the things I do, being a member of the school board is one of my favorites,” she said. “I<br />

love being part of the decision-making and making a difference for my kids and the other 14,000<br />

kids in the district.”<br />

A few weeks shy of her oldest daughter’s high school graduation, Mizell-Flint at age 42 earned<br />

her bachelor’s degree in marketing from <strong>Angelo</strong> State University, then promptly enrolled in its<br />

graduate school business program.<br />

“It was never really on my bucket list to do that, but … between the professors prompting me<br />

and their MBA program being completely online, I decided it was a sign for me to do it.”<br />

Mizell-Flint is not only a student, but a teacher. Upon learning she is Jewish, her children’s<br />

classroom teachers often ask her to speak to their classes about Judaism.<br />

“They find this may be one of the few opportunities for the kids in Texas to learn about the<br />

Jewish faith,” Mizell-Flint said. “So I’ve talked about it almost every year.”<br />

A year after her husband’s death, Mizell-Flint met and later married John Flint, a Methodist;<br />

they have had two more children. Ranging in age from 5 to 18, the Mizell and Flint children learn<br />

about the Jewish and Christian faiths.<br />

“What works in our house is to be God-focused, and the religion aspect of it is just an added<br />

bonus,” said Mizell-Flint, a founding member of the West Texas Peace Ambassadors, which was<br />

formed post-9/11 to spur dialogue and understanding between the three Abrahamic religions.<br />

“Being part of the Peace Ambassadors, we’ve been able to expand their faith-based education.”<br />

Practicing two faiths – each distinct from the other – has, she said, shaped her children into<br />

well-rounded people.<br />

“I believe there’s no right or wrong way,” she said.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, she said, has been a more accepting place than other places she’s lived in Texas.<br />

“People (in other cities) would ask me my faith before asking me my name,” Mizell-Flint said.<br />

“<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s very interested in getting to know the person first.”<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Theatre<br />

6 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

C H R I S T M A S<br />

A T O L D F O R T C O N C H O<br />

The idea for Christmas at Old Fort Concho struck Tilly<br />

Chandler – and then her sleeping husband – in the middle of the<br />

night more than three decades ago.<br />

“It started with John Vaughn, who was the director (of Fort<br />

Concho), saying, ‘I need you to figure out a social event that will<br />

draw people to the fort,’” Chandler said. “Karen Pfluger, who’s a close<br />

friend, said, ‘Why don’t we do one of the houses in a German motif<br />

and serve German cookies?’ I thought that was a neat idea, but it<br />

wasn’t big enough. Then, in the middle of the night, I thought, ‘We<br />

need to decorate the whole fort’ to represent <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s heritage.”<br />

Chandler recalled elbowing her sleeping husband, excitedly<br />

declaring, “I’ve got it!”<br />

“I went to the computer and worked for 4 ½ hours and put it<br />

all down – all the committees, the play, how to decorate the<br />

houses, what the budget was,” Chandler said.<br />

“Initially the Fort Concho Board wasn’t too enthused about it,<br />

and the City Council really wasn’t enthused about it, so we had<br />

to plug for a while to get them to come on board. The City<br />

Council said, ‘Well, maybe you can do it, but you can’t have<br />

drink and praying.’ And I just smiled because I knew we would<br />

have both. And we did.”<br />

The first Christmas at Old Fort Concho was Dec. 3-4, 1982,<br />

and included horse and buggy rides, volunteers dressed in<br />

period costumes, a Yule log campfire and Christmas pageant.<br />

Some 10,000 people attended.<br />

Today, the event is the fort’s biggest fundraiser. Approximately<br />

30 to 35 percent of its visitors attend from outside <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

and even from around the country.<br />

“If you hang on to (an event) long enough, it can become your<br />

brand,” said Bob Bluthardt, the fort’s site manager.<br />

Chandler is proud the fort’s signature event was her baby, but<br />

“what feels really good is when I take my grandchildren or greatgrandchildren<br />

to activities and see how they love it,” she said.”<br />

Then I think, ‘Oh man, it was worth every ounce of work.’ When<br />

I see it through their eyes, it’s so meaningful to me that it’s still<br />

going and successful.”<br />

C H A P T E R 3 ✦ 6 3

P A T<br />

A T T E B E R Y<br />

S A N A N G E L O FAC E S<br />

After nearly a half-century as a television anchor at KLST, Pat Attebery is accustomed to<br />

strangers treating her like a friend.<br />

“When she was growing up, my daughter would not go with me to the grocery store,” Attebery<br />

said. “She’d say, ‘Mother, it takes you three hours to get a loaf of bread.’ I’ve had people come up<br />

and tell me about their kids or wedding coming up, and say, ‘I don’t even know you, but I watch<br />

you every day.’”<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s first lady of television, the ageless Attebery takes it in stride.<br />

“In doing the type of show I do, you put yourself out there as someone who’s willing to talk to<br />

people,” she said.<br />

A native of New Mexico, Attebery was a single mother when she and her three children moved<br />

to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> in the 1950s. She worked for an insurance company and was an avid football fan, so<br />

when KLST guests didn’t show up, Attebery was able to fill in and talk, she said.<br />

“When the two hosts left, they asked me to host the show,” she said. “The rest is history.”<br />

Though Attebery has made a career of interviewing <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>ans from various charitable<br />

organizations, her propensity for community involvement is a byproduct of how she grew up.<br />

“I just feel that the more you give, the more you find you’re the one who benefits,” she said.<br />

Since moving to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Attebery has taught Sunday school; chaired a United Way<br />

campaign as well as its board of directors; and served on more than a dozen other nonprofit boards,<br />

including those for the Adult Enrichment Center and Meals for the Elderly. She remains a loyal<br />

volunteer for the West Texas Rehabilitation Center, the Salvation Army and the Retired Seniors<br />

Volunteer Program.<br />

“I think <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> is the most generous and giving community that anyone could ask for,” she<br />

said. “We can go on the air with a need and before we’re off the air, people are phoning in asking<br />

how they can help. Donations are given graciously, not grudgingly.<br />

“I can’t think of a better place to live.”<br />

That’s why Attebery stayed on the air at KLST and in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> despite no longer having<br />

family here. Asked if she gets lonely, she laughed.<br />

“I don’t have time to feel lonely,” she said.<br />

6 4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

C H A P T E R 3 ✦ 6 5

6 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O


Profiles of businesses, organizations and families that have<br />

contributed to the development and economic base of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Ethicon .........................................................................................6 8<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Cultural Affairs Council ..................................................7 2<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony ......................................................................7 3<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Ballet ...........................................................................7 4<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Theatre .......................................................................7 5<br />

Insignia Hospitality Group ...............................................................7 6<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Area Foundation .............................................................8 0<br />

The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Performing Arts Coalition (SAPAC) .............................8 2<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Chamber of Commerce .....................................................8 3<br />

The Roman Catholic Diocese of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> .........................................8 4<br />

City of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> ..........................................................................8 7<br />

Shannon Medical Center and Shannon Clinic .......................................8 8<br />

Howard College ..............................................................................9 0<br />

Tom Green County Library System .....................................................9 2<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Independent School District ..............................................9 4<br />

Fort Concho National Historic Landmark ............................................9 6<br />

Baymont Inn & Suites ......................................................................9 8<br />

First United Methodist Church ........................................................1 0 0<br />

Pinkie’s Liquor Store .....................................................................1 0 2<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Museum of Fine Arts .....................................................1 0 4<br />

Miss Hattie’s Restaurant & Cathouse Lounge .....................................1 0 6<br />

Western Towers.............................................................................1 0 8<br />

Harrison Roofing Co., Inc. ..............................................................1 1 0<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> State University .................................................................1 1 2<br />

Baptist Retirement Community ........................................................1 1 3<br />

Armstrong, Backus & Co., LLP ........................................................1 1 4<br />

Gray’s Transmissions, Inc. ..............................................................1 1 5<br />

M. L. Leddy’s ...............................................................................1 1 6<br />

Downtown <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Inc. ............................................................1 1 7<br />

Texas Bank ..................................................................................1 1 8<br />

Education Service Center Region 15 .................................................1 1 9<br />

Lee, Lee & Puckitt Associates, Inc. ..................................................1 2 0<br />

A m e r i c a n C l a s s i f i e d s ...................................................................1 2 1<br />

Southland Baptist Church ...............................................................1 2 2<br />

Republic Services ..........................................................................1 2 3<br />

The Franke Family ........................................................................1 2 4<br />

Melissa Davis-Crump Photography ...................................................1 2 5<br />



Huseman Logistics, Inc.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Community<br />

Medical Center<br />

Wayne T. Franke<br />

MJWT Consulting<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 6 7


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the world with solutions led by the spirit and<br />

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of thousands of lives every day, bringing better<br />

surgical care to more patients in more places.<br />

Ethicon serves worldwide as an advocate for<br />

patients, ensuring they understand and have<br />

access to the highest quality healthcare by raising<br />

awareness and providing education on healthcare<br />

issues and different treatment options. We<br />

invest in programs that improve health, education<br />

and the quality of life in the communities<br />

where we live and work. We donate medical<br />

devices to help thousands of people by responding<br />

to disasters, medical relief efforts and<br />

basic health needs in underserved communities.<br />

We also adhere to the highest standards for<br />

environmental responsibility, taking care of our<br />

planet to preserve it for future generations.<br />

With this support we help build stronger,<br />

healthier communities around the globe.<br />

6 8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Ethicon’s solutions are changing lives around<br />

the world—including the life of a small boy in<br />

Argentina named Samuel. Using an innovative<br />

solution from Ethicon, surgeons in Argentina<br />

were able to perform for the first time a<br />

revolutionary, lifesaving liver transplant on<br />

infant Samuel, who is now a healthy, thriving<br />

child. Ethicon associates raise money and<br />

volunteer for Operation Smile missions to<br />

heal the smiles of children around the world.<br />

Thousands of children today have a new<br />

smile and a bright future. These are just two<br />

examples of thousands upon thousands of<br />

ways Ethicon products and associates make a<br />

difference in our world, each and every day.<br />

From leading edge sutures and endocutters<br />

to comprehensive provider solutions, our focus<br />

for almost a century has been to deliver<br />

innovations that matter to our customers<br />

and ultimately make a difference to patients.<br />

Yet wherever we are in the world, the people<br />

of Ethicon are united in a promise to improve<br />

the health of our communities, contributing<br />

to nonprofit charitable organizations whose<br />

focus aligns with ours worldwide.<br />

The opening of our first Endo-Surgery<br />

Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, launched our<br />

world-class professional education program to<br />

broaden mastery of minimally invasive surgery.<br />

Today, we advance surgical knowledge and<br />

techniques in multiple international institutes,<br />

at clinical conventions and online. Ethicon is<br />

proud to have educational institutes, innovation<br />

centers, manufacturing facilities and sales<br />

centers in more than fifty countries that create<br />

the world’s most diverse global surgical solutions<br />

and medical device company, enabling the<br />

improvement of millions of lives by collaborating<br />

around the globe to advance surgery.<br />

At Ethicon, we truly care about improving<br />

patient' lives around the world. That spirit and<br />

the commitment of our people are the foundation<br />

of our company. By volunteering, donating<br />

products and supporting global and nonprofit<br />

organizations such as United Way, we live our<br />

belief that there are as many ways to give back<br />

as there are people in need.<br />

It is important to us that patients understand<br />

and have access to the highest quality healthcare.<br />

So we help raise awareness and provide<br />

education on healthcare issues and different<br />

treatment options. That way, patients can make<br />

informed decisions about solutions that lead to<br />

healthier living.<br />

We invest in programs that improve health,<br />

education and quality of life in the communities<br />

where we live and work. We consider charitable<br />

requests from organizations that meet the<br />

needs of underserved populations and focus on<br />

improving healthcare.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 6 9

We understand a healthy community and a<br />

healthy planet go hand in hand. That is why we<br />

have the highest standards for environmental<br />

responsibility. Our goal is to comply with regulations<br />

while we also reduce our environmental<br />

impact. We have a responsibility to take care of<br />

our planet and preserve it for future generations.<br />

At Ethicon, our teams of highly trained<br />

associates are ready and waiting to support our<br />

customers and our patients. Whether an expert<br />

is needed to answer questions in the operating<br />

room or someone is needed to assist with staff<br />

training and education, consumer education<br />

initiatives, or health plan initiatives, our associates<br />

are specialists in their field and are here<br />

to help every step of the way. Our associates<br />

have a deep understanding of our innovative<br />

solutions, clinical specialties, professional<br />

education, consumer initiatives, and healthcare<br />

economics. And they are always looking for<br />

ways to support the best patient outcomes.<br />

Our wide range of solutions for surgeons—and<br />

for open and minimally invasive approaches—are<br />

designed to help make procedures faster and<br />

easier to perform, as well as safer and more<br />

effective. In the field of general surgery, we continue<br />

to look for ways to improve our devices<br />

based on input from surgeons around the world.<br />

Many general surgery procedures now utilize<br />

minimally invasive approaches. With over one<br />

million cholecystectomies performed in the<br />

U.S. each year, more than ninety-five percent<br />

are performed using a minimally invasive<br />

approach. More than 450,000 appendectomies<br />

are performed annually with over eighty<br />

percent done laparoscopically. Other general<br />

surgeries, from reflux procedures to ventral<br />

hernia repair, also have accepted minimally<br />

invasive approaches, which can be made less<br />

difficult and more efficient to perform using<br />

certain procedure-enabling devices.<br />

Regardless of whether the surgeon uses a<br />

laparoscopic or open approach to the procedure,<br />

wound closure plays an integral role in<br />

patient outcomes. While the fascia and skin<br />

heals, it is important to choose a wound closure<br />

device that provides the necessary strength and<br />

support to maintain wound integrity and<br />

addresses complications such as dehiscence<br />

and surgical site infections.<br />

Ethicon makes a range of devices and<br />

solutions that may be useful for general surgery<br />

procedures. These include access devices,<br />

featuring the Endopath Xcel ® Trocars, which<br />

offer high-performance and abdominal wall<br />

retention for stability; energy technology,<br />

including Harmonic ® Devices for precise, multifunctional<br />

applications; and Enseal ® Devices,<br />

which deliver large vessel sealing (up to 7mm).<br />

Both accomplish this with minimal thermal<br />

tissue insult; stapling and cutting technology,<br />

featuring our Echelon Endopath line of<br />

straight and articulating endo-cutters, which<br />

combine strength for rigorous procedures<br />

with innovative designs needed for surgical<br />

precision, efficiency and convenience; ligation<br />

technology like our Ligamax 5 5mm endoscopic<br />

clip applier, which gives surgeons the<br />

closed clip length the same as you get from<br />

our 10mm applier, Ligaclip ® ER320 clip applier;<br />

endo devices like our Endopouch ® specimen<br />

retrieval bag, designed for the minimally invasive<br />

removal of tissue; hernia solutions featuring<br />

macro porous, partially absorbable mesh materials<br />

such as Ethicon Physiomesh ® flexible<br />

composite mesh and Ultrapro ® hernia system<br />

and Ethicon Securestrap ® 5mm absorbable strap<br />

fixation device; wound closure technologies that<br />

add strength and protection to any incision,<br />

7 0 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

including Stratafix knotless tissue control<br />

devices, Dermabond ® Portfolio, and Plus antibacterial<br />

sutures.<br />

Ethicon employees, members of the Johnson<br />

& Johnson family of companies, share a J&J<br />

DNA that embodies a commitment to caring<br />

and responsibility to our communities. We are<br />

passionate about doing what is right. Ethicon<br />

and Johnson & Johnson employees bring<br />

a unique set of experiences from dozens of<br />

cultural backgrounds, linked by Our Credo<br />

of shared values that help us touch the lives<br />

of millions of people every day.<br />

We collaborate in teams and continually<br />

share and refine critical skills and methods.<br />

We value the unique perspective and approach<br />

each person brings, and we foster an environment<br />

that celebrates and leverages diversity.<br />

We welcome everyone to be authentic about<br />

who they are and the perspective they offer,<br />

ensuring every member of the team has a<br />

chance to make their mark and drive their<br />

career growth.<br />

The Ethicon facility in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Texas<br />

celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2014 and<br />

continues to serve as a thriving leader in<br />

the city’s manufacturing industry, processing<br />

more than 200 million surgical sutures a year.<br />

Ethicon’s quality statement clearly articulates<br />

the “can-do” spirit of its employees, a spirit<br />

that has driven the success for the fifty plus<br />

years the plant has served <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>: “Our<br />

goal is to be the best healthcare company in the<br />

world in everything we do through a process of<br />

market-driven continuous quality improvement.”<br />

Ethicon’s product portfolio includes surgical<br />

sutures and needles as well as a wide array of<br />

products used in surgery, including but not<br />

limited to drains and reservoirs, surgical staples,<br />

vascular staplers, skin adhesives, laparoscopic<br />

hand instruments, gastric bands, vessel sealing<br />

shears, hemostats, hernia mesh devices and<br />

trocars. These medical devices are used in<br />

all aspects of surgery—bariatric, breast, cardiovascular,<br />

colorectal, gynecologic, neurosurgery,<br />

ENT, orthopedic, thoracic, spinal, trauma<br />

and urology. With its state-of-the-art product<br />

line and thousands of doctors trained at its<br />

educational institutes, Ethicon’s steady contributions<br />

to the medical field are life changing<br />

and unparalleled. From leading edge sutures<br />

and endocutters to comprehensive provider<br />

solutions, our focus for almost a century has<br />

been to deliver innovations that matter to our<br />

customers and ultimately make a difference<br />

to patients. Wherever we are in the world,<br />

the people of Ethicon are united in a promise<br />

to improve the health of our communities.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 7 1





Above: White House Chef Walter<br />

Scheib, who served under Presidents<br />

Clinton and Bush, speaking to Concho<br />

Valley Culinary Arts Students.<br />


Below: (Left to right) Serge Merlot,<br />

2015 Grammy nominee for best<br />

jazz album, Tierney Sutton, and<br />

Kevin Axt.<br />

PHOTO BY M. W. “MIKE” ERB.<br />

The people of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> have promoted<br />

arts and entertainment since the early days of<br />

civilization on the Concho River. In 1978 a group<br />

led by J. Willis Johnson formed the Concho<br />

Valley Arts Council to foster the arts in <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong>. In 1985 the group became the <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Cultural Affairs Council and set up shop<br />

at Fort Concho National Historic Landmark.<br />

The Council has partnered with the City of<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> since 1989 to provide subgrants to<br />

local arts organizations with the City’s Hotel<br />

Occupancy Tax Revenue. In 1992 the Council<br />

received a $50,000 grant from the National<br />

Endowment for the Arts to assist itself, the<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Ballet, the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Museum of Fine Arts Children’s Museum and<br />

the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony in renovating<br />

space in the Cactus Hotel. Since its inception<br />

the Council has invested more than $1.2 million<br />

in public and private funds in area arts and<br />

nonprofit organizations. The Council has<br />

provided core support through the City Hotel<br />

Occupancy Tax to the <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Theatre,<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Broadway Academy, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Civic Ballet, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Museum of Fine Arts,<br />

and the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony. SACAC also<br />

supports local nonprofit organizations through<br />

private funds and funds provided with the<br />

Texas Commission on the Arts Subgrant<br />

Program that aid local organizations such as<br />

Art in Uncommon Places, Concho Christmas<br />

Celebration, Downtown <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Fort<br />

Concho, Girl Scouts, Healthy Families, Hospice,<br />

Mosaic, Promises for Families, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Art<br />

Club, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Piano Club and the Upper<br />

Colorado River Authority.<br />

The Council boasts Texas’ longest-running<br />

wine tasting. The first festival was held in 1984<br />

at Park 2400. In 1994 the Council began the<br />

Texas Food and Wine Festival Gourmet Dinner<br />

with Chef Stephan Pyles and has since hosted<br />

renowned chefs such as David Garrido, Dean<br />

Fearing, Olivier Calluaud, Laurie Williamson,<br />

and White House Chef Walter Scheib.<br />

The Council celebrated its twenty-fifth<br />

anniversary in 1994 with the unveiling of the<br />

Pearl of the Concho sculpture by Jayne Charless<br />

Beck. In addition, the Cactus Jazz Festival,<br />

later known as the Cactus Music Series, was<br />

born. For the past twenty-two years, the Cactus<br />

Music Series has brought world-class musicians<br />

including B. B. King, Winston Marsalis, Kat<br />

Edmonson, Los Lonely Boys and Freddy Cole<br />

to local classrooms and venues. Through work<br />

with subgrants to local arts organizations and<br />

nonprofits, the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Wine and Food<br />

Festival, the Cactus Music Series, and educational<br />

outreach programs, the Council has enhanced<br />

the art and culture of the Concho Valley and<br />

hopes to continue its mission for years to come.<br />

7 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O



The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony Society was<br />

founded in July of 1949 with the mission of<br />

inspiring, engaging and educating diverse<br />

audiences through the experience of top-notch<br />

orchestral music. With the Symphony’s initial<br />

organization, planning for the first orchestral<br />

performance moved quickly. The first concert<br />

was held November 14, 1949, in what was then<br />

known as the Municipal Auditorium. Dr. Eric<br />

Sorantin of <strong>San</strong> Antonio was the first conductor<br />

of the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony Orchestra.<br />

Dr. Sorantin played a critical role in the<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony’s foundation, and under<br />

his direction progressive steps were taken to<br />

establish the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony Society as<br />

the cornerstone of performing arts in the Concho<br />

Valley. In 1959, Dr. Sorantin established what is<br />

now known as the Sorantin International Young<br />

Artist Competition, which each year awards one<br />

overall winner a cash prize and opportunity to<br />

perform with the symphony. A strings winner<br />

and piano winner also receive cash prizes.<br />

In 1967, Dr. Sorantin retired and Charles<br />

Blackman of Dallas became the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Symphony’s conductor. Blackman organized<br />

the first <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony Chorale during<br />

his tenure. In 1973 the Symphony partnered<br />

with Abilene Philharmonic to share musicians,<br />

guest artists and a conductor, George Yaeger.<br />

The partnership dissolved after five years.<br />

Gene Chartier Smith became conductor in<br />

1978, followed by Ron Spigelman in 1997 and<br />

Hector Guzman in 2002.<br />

The first Symphony Gala was held in 1968,<br />

and the subscription concert series increased<br />

from five concerts in 1979 to seven in 1984;<br />

that same year, the symphony played to its first<br />

standing-room only audience. In 1986 the<br />

Symphony performed to its largest audience ever:<br />

more than 3,000 people attended the Texas<br />

Sesquicentennial Pops Concert at what is now<br />

known as Foster Communications Coliseum. The<br />

following year, the Symphony presented to an<br />

audience of 10,000 people its first outdoor July<br />

4th concert. Now known as the July 3rd Pops<br />

Concert, the annual event at Bill Aylor Sr.<br />

Memorial River Stage has become one of the<br />

Symphony’s hallmark events, drawing an<br />

estimated 35,000 people and becoming one of<br />

the largest celebrations of its kind in Texas.<br />

The Symphony employs two full-time and five<br />

part-time staff members. Its offices are housed<br />

in historic <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> City Hall, adjacent to<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> City Auditorium, where the orchestra<br />

performs its concerts.<br />

For more information about the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Symphony, visit www.sanangelosymphony.org.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 7 3



Above: The thirty-first annual<br />

production of The Nutcracker,<br />

choreography by Meghann Bridgeman.<br />

Below: Fall 2014 production of<br />

The Jazz Affair in the Historic Texas<br />

Theatre with choreography by<br />

award winning choreographer<br />

Gina Patterson.<br />


<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Ballet (SACB) was founded<br />

in 1983 as a nonprofit organization to produce<br />

an annual Nutcracker. Elta Joyce McAfee served as<br />

fundraising chair, and the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony<br />

Orchestra played the well-loved score. Key<br />

founders include Ann Southall, Debbie Carter,<br />

Teresa Branon, Mary Lynn and Gene Smith.<br />

The Ballet’s strong foundation was built by<br />

past artistic directors including Mary Lynn<br />

Kusior, Teresa Branon, Valentine Boving, Kay<br />

Hall Brown, Susan Olson, Leath Nunn, Eckhard<br />

Heidrich, Brynar Mehl, Joy McCarthy, and<br />

Meghann Bridgeman. Gene Smith served as<br />

music director, and past executive directors<br />

include Suzie Abbott and Tara Rainey.<br />

SACB is currently led by Executive Director<br />

Tanya Pfluger, who has played a vital role in<br />

the administrative development and donor<br />

relations of the organization and Artistic Director<br />

Gina Patterson, an internationally recognized<br />

award-winning choreographer. A multitalented<br />

professional staff includes: Ballet Mistress Suzanne<br />

Smith; Production Manager, Webmaster, and<br />

Instructor Eric Midgley; Marketing Manager and<br />

Instructor Sara Beth Terral; Office Manager March<br />

McFadden; Wardrobe Mistress Margaret Lupton;<br />

costume and office assistants, additional teaching<br />

staff, Pilates, yoga, and salsa instructors.<br />

SACB’s mission is to foster creativity, selfesteem<br />

and discipline, while encouraging dancers<br />

toward joy in their art. They employ a classical<br />

curriculum, from creative movement through preprofessional<br />

levels, and offer professional dance<br />

education in a wide range of classes including<br />

ballet, choreography, creative movement, tap,<br />

Pilates and yoga. An active tuition assistance<br />

program is offered to ensure all students have<br />

access to dance education. The Susan Templeton<br />

Kinney Scholarship Fund assists students in<br />

their pursuit of professional dance careers.<br />

With an annual budget of over half a million<br />

dollars and academy enrollment exceeding<br />

200 students. SACB has greatly expanded its<br />

performance repertoire to offer five contemporary,<br />

youth, and classical ballet performances<br />

annually as well as creative workshops and arts<br />

education. SACB collaborates with internationally<br />

known dancers, choreographers, musicians<br />

and artists, bringing critical arts enrichment to<br />

their students and the larger community.<br />

In July 2011, SACB played a founding role<br />

in establishing the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Performing Arts<br />

Coalition, which has begun construction on a<br />

state-of-the-art performing arts center, and looks<br />

forward to a fall 2016 occupancy. This center<br />

allows expansion of SACB’s programs and<br />

performance season and, through collaboration<br />

with other arts organizations, furthers the impact<br />

of the arts into our community and beyond.<br />

Please visit www.sanangelocivicballet.org and<br />

follow them on social media.<br />

7 4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

ANGELO<br />


A dramatic society hoping to secure funds for<br />

a town clock with their performance, A Regular<br />

Fix, led to the founding of <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Theatre<br />

128 years ago on the grounds of Fort Concho<br />

National Historic Landmark. Despite difficult<br />

economic times and two world wars that<br />

suspended many other artistic efforts in the<br />

community, <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Theatre persevered<br />

and continued to perform. Formally incorporated<br />

as a nonprofit organization in 1951, <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Civic Theatre is one of the leading core arts<br />

organizations in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. As the state’s longestrunning<br />

community theatre, <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Theatre<br />

has a legacy of excellence and service.<br />

The theatre’s mission is to culturally enrich,<br />

educate and entertain through the art of theatrical<br />

performance, as well as encourage community<br />

participation in all aspects thereof. The <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Civic Theatre Board of Directors in 1980 raised<br />

the funds to purchase and renovate the historic<br />

Parkway Theatre on Sherwood Way, and the<br />

group has entertained and educated the public<br />

there ever since.<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Theatre utilizes its rich history<br />

and foundation to educate and entertain Concho<br />

Valley residents and tourists from across the<br />

nation. The theatre provides artistic and theatrical<br />

opportunities to community members and tourists<br />

of all ages through youth education programming,<br />

community workshops, summer and winter<br />

programs for children, play readings, vocal<br />

training, outreach to nonprofits that serve women,<br />

children, seniors and veterans. The theatre<br />

leverages partnerships with the Elks Lodge,<br />

Promises for Families, <strong>Angelo</strong> State University,<br />

BE Theatre, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Broadway Academy, <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Museum of Fine Arts, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic<br />

Ballet, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Cultural<br />

Affairs Council, and the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Performing<br />

Arts Coalition to provide high-quality experiences<br />

for arts patrons of all ages.<br />

Support from the Texas Commission on the<br />

Arts, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Health Foundation, <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Cultural Affairs Coalition, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Area Foundation, and countless local businesses<br />

and private donors allow the theatre to provide<br />

noteworthy entertainment to the citizens of<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. Performances have included Hamlet;<br />

Dial M for Murder; The Wizard of Oz; One<br />

Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; A Christmas Carol;<br />

Tuna Does Vegas; Fiddler on the Roof; To Kill a<br />

Mockingbird; and Always Patsy Cline. The theatre<br />

also regularly hosts local musicians such as<br />

The Divas and The Tone Pirates.<br />

For more information on <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic<br />

Theatre, contact the theatre at 325-949-4400 or<br />

visit their website at www.angelotheatre.com.<br />

Above: Left to right, Stewart Atkinson,<br />

Madison Hayslette, Brian Carter,<br />

Stoddard Owens, Lance Turner,<br />

Tyler Tennell, Elisa Gregonis,<br />

Christina Collier, Judy Sutton,<br />

Heather Walker, and David Pederson<br />

during a performance of Is There a<br />

Comic In The House.<br />

Below: Tyler Tennell, Jesse Wooten,<br />

and Jon Mark Hogg perform in<br />

Arsenic and Old Lace.<br />


S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 7 5



GROUP<br />

Darpan and Ankur Bhakta wanted to<br />

grow their own business into a professional<br />

structured organization and, once they completed<br />

college at Oklahoma State University<br />

and Texas Tech University, respectively,<br />

they founded Insignia Hospitality Group, Inc.<br />

in 2004, in Midland/Odessa.<br />

Operating a company was much simpler<br />

then, as competition was minimal and corporate<br />

positions were not available. Though<br />

logistics were a little trickier—company<br />

meetings were held in the general manager’s<br />

office, oftentimes while the general manager<br />

worked the front desk. Insignia was able to<br />

focus on operational efficiencies and people<br />

management, effectively establishing a strong<br />

foundation that led to the success the company<br />

enjoys today.<br />

The year 2006 was a banner year for Insignia<br />

as it became an official Marriott-approved<br />

management company, an affiliation that has<br />

significantly facilitated the company’s growth.<br />

In addition to Marriott International, Insignia<br />

has partnered with Intercontinental Hotels<br />

Group and Hilton Hotels Worldwide. The<br />

company prides itself on operating efficiencies<br />

and processes that result in financial success.<br />

The ability to be adaptable in a fluctuating<br />

and complex environment while receiving<br />

recognition from its franchisors, partners and<br />

peers as being operationally savvy has played<br />

a pivotal role in the company’s success.<br />

Insignia’s greatest accomplishment is developing<br />

a team of strong, confident leaders<br />

within its company. Highly skilled, well-trained<br />

personnel at its individual properties are the<br />

company’s heartbeat; empowering leaders to<br />

make difficult management decisions without<br />

hesitation while having infinite corporate<br />

support has made this possible. Insignia boasts<br />

an extremely high retention rate among its<br />

staff. Its knowledgeable managers and consultants<br />

at its various properties build and<br />

maintain strong relationships, which lead to<br />

burgeoning revenues.<br />

Darpan and Ankur do not believe certain<br />

key individuals shaped the company into<br />

what it is now. Rather, every associate who<br />

has been part of Insignia since its inception<br />

has played a significant role in bringing to<br />

fruition the Bhaktas’ company vision. Insignia<br />

Hospitality Group is a management company<br />

wherein every associate is committed to<br />

service excellence.<br />

7 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Insignia prides itself on abiding by an eleven<br />

stars theory of guiding principles: character,<br />

integrity, honesty, vision, values, ethics, teamwork,<br />

tradition, leadership, perseverance and<br />

commitment. These eleven stars are not trainable;<br />

Insignia strives to embody them.<br />

In 2010, Insignia opened SpringHill Suites<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> at 2544 Southwest Boulevard. The<br />

hotel has 4 floors, 96 suites and 1,750 square<br />

feet of meeting space. Spacious guest rooms<br />

are divided into work, living and sleeping<br />

areas. SpringHill also offers complimentary<br />

buffet breakfast and is in close proximity to<br />

nearly a dozen restaurants. Insignia’s second<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> hotel, The Courtyard by Marriott,<br />

is slated to open in summer 2015 at 2572<br />

Southwest Boulevard. The four story hotel<br />

will have 94 rooms and 9 suites, 4 meeting<br />

rooms and 3,836 square feet of meeting space.<br />

Other amenities include an outdoor pool, a<br />

whirlpool, fitness center, and a bistro with<br />

Starbucks coffee and breakfast options in the<br />

morning and dinner and cocktails in the<br />

evening. The hotel also will be conveniently<br />

located near eight restaurants.<br />

Insignia’s impressive portfolio also includes<br />

Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Sulphur<br />

Springs; Hampton Inn & Suites, Fairfield<br />

Inn & Suites By Marriott and TownePlace<br />

Suites, all in Hobbs, New Mexico; Residence<br />

Inn by Marriott in Katy; Fairfield Inn & Suites<br />

by Marriott, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Hotel<br />

& Suites and Holiday Inn Express & Suites, all<br />

in Odessa; SpringHill Suites and two Holiday<br />

Inn Express & Suites locations in Midland;<br />

Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Pecos;<br />

Courtyard Lubbock Downtown in Lubbock;<br />

Hampton Inn Alamogordo in Alamogordo, New<br />

Mexico and Kingwood Courtyard in Kingwood.<br />

Although hotel management is the nucleus<br />

of Insignia’s work, the company also provides<br />

hotel development services including design,<br />

construction, planning and renovation. Insignia<br />

currently has more than half a dozen hotels<br />

under construction. Insignia’s consulting and<br />

development departments, though different,<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 7 7

work in tandem to ensure successful hotel<br />

openings as well as longevity in the market.<br />

Insignia Hospitality also gives back to the<br />

communities in which it serves. The company<br />

has a history of involvement in Rotary Club<br />

International, Habitat for Humanity, United<br />

Blood Services (as a host for blood drives),<br />

art nights hosted by its hotel SpringHill Suites,<br />

the Chamber of Commerce, United Way and<br />

Meals on Wheels. Insignia also adopts local<br />

classrooms to provide back-to-school supplies.<br />

Insignia has received various awards and<br />

recognition during its time in the hospitality<br />

industry. In 2013, Insignia received the<br />

prestigious Marriott Horizon Award, which<br />

recognizes the best up and coming Marriott<br />

partners. Award recipients exemplify a commitment<br />

to quality as well as commitment<br />

7 8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

to their associates and guests, as shown on<br />

their hotel’s satisfaction scores. Insignia also<br />

received the Full House award in 2014. This<br />

award is given to franchisees who operate<br />

each of the brands within Marriott’s CFRST;<br />

Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn,<br />

SpringHill Suites, and TownePlace Suites. The<br />

company was also presented with an award<br />

for being the strongest collaborator in the<br />

development realm. Many of the individual<br />

properties have earned awards within their<br />

respective brands, including those based on<br />

service scores as well as sales initiatives.<br />

Insignia Hospitality Group, Inc. is headquartered<br />

in Midland at 401 North Tradewinds<br />

Boulevard. For more information about<br />

Insignia or any of its properties, please visit<br />

www.insigniamgmt.com or call 432-699-0989.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 7 9



Above: The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Area<br />

Foundation Building.<br />

Below: The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Area<br />

Foundation (SAAF) staff, 2014.<br />

The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Area Foundation<br />

(SAAF) is a community foundation<br />

created to provide a way to make<br />

charitable permanent contributions<br />

and help improve the quality of life<br />

of those in the Concho Valley.<br />

Established in 2002 by visionary<br />

community leaders, the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Area Foundation exists to build a<br />

legacy of philanthropy by attracting<br />

and prudently managing endowed<br />

gifts in order to match donor interests<br />

with community needs of our area.<br />

With an initial grant from the<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Health Foundation of $1 million dollars<br />

and the creation of the first fund established<br />

in 2002, SAAF began searching for others whose<br />

desire was to create a true legacy of their gift<br />

and insure the power of continued giving to<br />

support causes for which they were passionate.<br />

“The Foundation is committed to working<br />

closely with donors to understand their needs<br />

and to reach new milestones in serving the nonprofit<br />

community,” states Founding Chairman<br />

of the Board F. L. “Steve” Stephens. Stephens<br />

played an important role in hiring the<br />

Foundation’s first CEO and President Matt<br />

Lewis. Lewis is passionate about his work with<br />

donors, community leaders and elected officials<br />

to improve <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and the surrounding area.<br />

8 0 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

While still a very young foundation, SAAF<br />

has grown its asset size to over $100 million<br />

and has granted more than $50 million to<br />

support hundreds of local charitable organizations.<br />

Throughout the seventeen counties surrounding<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, SAAF has<br />

been instrumental in improving<br />

lives and making communities<br />

stronger. More than 250 endowment<br />

funds have been created and<br />

thousands of local donors have<br />

contributed to support causes<br />

they care about and have confidence<br />

in SAAF as a wise steward<br />

and fiduciary of its assets.<br />

Helping students achieve solid<br />

foundations for their futures and<br />

preparing them to be successful<br />

in life and work has been a passion of SAAF.<br />

With over 100 scholarship funds established<br />

through the Foundation, more than 2,500<br />

area youth have received over $5 million<br />

dollars in scholarships since inception. Future<br />

generations will benefit by these wonderful<br />

legacies created by donors as existing funds<br />

continue to grow along with the addition of<br />

new scholarship funds.<br />

SAAF has also been instrumental in making<br />

significant improvements to the community,<br />

such as the revitalization of a downtown<br />

historic building, converting 80,000 square feet<br />

into a modern inviting library. On the corner<br />

of Beauregard and Irving, Stephens Central<br />

Library was the Foundation’s first of many<br />

projects and as the fiscal sponsor, SAAF helped<br />

raise the more than $17 million needed to<br />

complete this transformation. Stephens Central<br />

Library opened in April 2011 and has become<br />

one of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s landmark institutions.<br />

SAAF continues to manage the endowment<br />

fund established to support the operations of<br />

the library and other nonprofit organizations<br />

such as the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Museum of Fine<br />

Arts and Fort Concho have also established<br />

endowment funds at SAAF as a way to build<br />

sustainable income for their organization.<br />

Today, over fifty designated funds support a<br />

multitude of charitable endeavors.<br />

The ability to respond quickly to community<br />

needs is a testament to SAAF’s commitment to<br />

the area. In 2011, an unprecedented outbreak of<br />

wild fires created an urgent need to support<br />

area volunteer fire departments and SAAF acted<br />

promptly to create a special fund dedicated to<br />

replenish resources depleted while responding<br />

to the emergency needs of the community.<br />

West Texans answered with generous support<br />

and the Fire Fund<br />

received and granted<br />

more than $340,000<br />

to over forty volunteer<br />

fire departments.<br />

SAAF provides a<br />

myriad of meaningful<br />

opportunities to help<br />

donors accomplish their individual philanthropic<br />

goals, work to simplify their charitable<br />

giving and help identify organizations that<br />

provide vital community services. With the<br />

work of dedicated staff and the generosity of<br />

the community, SAAF was recognized in<br />

2011 as one of the fastest growing foundations<br />

in the nation by CF Insights and continues to<br />

be a leader in orchestrating change through<br />

philanthropic impact by helping make significant<br />

improvements to the community and<br />

addressing needs in education, community<br />

development, the arts, health/human services<br />

and many more causes.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Area Foundation is located at<br />

221 South Irving and at www.saafound.org.<br />

Above: The Stephens Central Library.<br />

Left: The foundation contributes each<br />

year towards scholarships.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 8 1



The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Performing Arts Coalition<br />

(SAPAC) was created in 2011 by four existing<br />

entities seeking to establish a new performing<br />

arts campus centered around the historic City<br />

Auditorium in downtown <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. The<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Theatre, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Ballet,<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony and the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Cultural Affairs Council started SAPAC after a<br />

rigorous feasibility study was completed which<br />

determined the size and scope of the campus.<br />

Architects have been hired, construction firms<br />

selected and drawings completed during the<br />

2011-2014 timeframe. Fundraising for this<br />

$18 million dollars project began in 2011 and<br />

has reached its goal, so construction can<br />

begin and be completed by late 2016. Plans<br />

include the rehabilitation, refurbishment and<br />

expansion of the back stage for the historic<br />

City Auditorium, which will seat 1,250 people<br />

and be able to accommodate Broadway style<br />

shows, ballet, theatre and symphonic performances.<br />

Through generous gifts and grants, this<br />

space will be named in honor of a benefactor and<br />

will be now known as the “Elta Joyce Murphey<br />

Performance Hall and Stage at City Auditorium.”<br />

Across the parking lot will be a repurposed former<br />

Coca-Cola warehouse, which will provide<br />

for a smaller 300 seat theatre, 7 ballet studios,<br />

along with appropriate back of house facilities,<br />

black box theatre and additional parking. <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> has a history of supporting the performing<br />

arts over the past century and this project<br />

will support this quality of life addition to a<br />

great arts community.<br />

8 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Thanks to 1,100 businesses and the over<br />

1,600 individuals who represent those organizations,<br />

the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Chamber of Commerce is<br />

strong, active, and making a difference daily in<br />

the lives of individual businesses, the community<br />

and the region.<br />

The Chamber will celebrate its 100th<br />

anniversary in 2016. It meets a stringent<br />

accreditation by the United States Chamber<br />

of Commerce, has a long history of strong<br />

volunteer leadership, and a very capable,<br />

well-trained staff. The solid support of the<br />

business membership<br />

is the final component<br />

of the Chamber’s<br />

strength, which<br />

remains resilient year<br />

after year with a<br />

ninety percent retention<br />

rate, active<br />

participation and<br />

feedback from the<br />

members, and an<br />

overall approval rating<br />

from the organization’s<br />

supporters<br />

exceeding ninetyfour<br />

percent.<br />

During 2014 the<br />

Chamber Board of Directors adopted a new<br />

Values Statement that reflects the culture of<br />

the Chamber:<br />

• Service—to serve the members, other businesses<br />

and the community in carrying out<br />

its mission.<br />

• Integrity—to adhere always to high ethical<br />

standards of honesty and accountability.<br />

• Excellence—to seek continuous improvement<br />

in working toward the highest quality<br />

in programs, communications and outcomes.<br />

• Relevance—to focus on those programs,<br />

projects and activities that most help businesses<br />

be successful within the resources of<br />

the Chamber.<br />

• Diversity—to maintain a strict adherence<br />

to openness, inclusiveness and respect<br />

with regard to all facets of the membership<br />

and community.<br />

• Professionalism—to use professional welltrained<br />

staff and board officers and directors<br />

in providing courteous and timely responses<br />

to requests for information and assistance.<br />

This Values Statement was added to the<br />

Chamber’s mission: “The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Chamber<br />

of Commerce is a membership association<br />

whose purpose is to foster and promote a<br />

business and tourism environment, which<br />

assures the economic growth and wellbeing<br />

of our members and our community.”<br />

And the Chamber’s Vision Statement reads:<br />

“To be the leader in business and tourism<br />

by working in unity with all segments of<br />

the community.”<br />

The Chamber will continue to evolve and<br />

serve as it enters its second 100 years.<br />

—President Phil Neighbors, CCE<br />




Left: One of the largest convention<br />

groups hosted by the Chamber’s<br />

Convention & Visitors Bureau in<br />

2013 and 2014 was the Teachers of<br />

Young Children, with over 500 in<br />

attendance both years.<br />

Below: The 2014 chamber-led<br />

advocacy trip to Washington D.C.<br />

included city, county, and chamber<br />

officials. Pictured left to right,<br />

County Judge Steve Floyd,<br />

Mayor Dwain Morrison, Chamber<br />

President Phil Neighbors, SAISD<br />

Superintendent Dr. Carol Ann Bonds,<br />

City Councilmember Charlotte<br />

Farmer, U.S. Congressman Mike<br />

Conaway, Chamber Government<br />

Affairs Chair Jim Hughes, and<br />

Chamber Chairman of the Board<br />

Rick Mantooth.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 8 3


constructed in 1884 after the Reverend<br />

Mathurin Parrier became the town’s first<br />

resident priest. In 1888 the Sisters of Charity of<br />

the Incarnate Word founded <strong>Angelo</strong> Catholic<br />

School, known then as Immaculate Conception<br />

Academy. When the Catholic community<br />

outgrew the church facility, Sacred Heart<br />

Church was constructed in 1906. The current<br />

building was dedicated on August 1, 1961,<br />

two months before the creation of the Diocese<br />

of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. Sacred Heart officially became<br />

the diocese’s cathedral on December 21, 1964.<br />

Above: Sacred Heart Cathedral.<br />


Right: Most Reverend Michael J. Sis,<br />

Bishop of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.<br />


Pope John XXIII established The Roman<br />

Catholic Diocese of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Texas, on<br />

October 16, 1961, piecing it from the dioceses<br />

of Amarillo, Austin, El Paso and Dallas-Fort<br />

Worth. The growth of the church and the vast<br />

distances that needed to be traveled necessitated<br />

a new diocese, or church territory. When establishing<br />

the diocese, Pope John XXIII, whose<br />

birth name was <strong>Angelo</strong> Roncalli, saw on the<br />

map a city that shared his name and is rumored<br />

to have said, “That’s where it’s going to be.”<br />

The Most Reverend Thomas Drury of Ireland<br />

was the diocese’s first bishop. From 1962<br />

to 1965, Drury oversaw the construction of<br />

several churches, consecrated Sacred Heart<br />

Cathedral, and had the diocese placed under<br />

the principal patronage of St. Michael the<br />

Archangel and the secondary patronage of<br />

St. Pius X. Since Drury, the following have<br />

served as the diocese’s bishop: The Most<br />

Reverend Thomas Tschoepe, 1966-1969; The<br />

Most Reverend Stephen Leven, 1969-1979;<br />

The Most Reverend Joseph Fiorenza, 1979-<br />

1984; The Most Reverend Michael D. Pfeifer,<br />

OMI, 1985-2013; and The Most Reverend<br />

Michael J. Sis, who began his tenure in 2014.<br />

The Cathedral Church of the Sacred Heart,<br />

originally Immaculate Conception Church, was<br />

the first Catholic Church in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. It was<br />

St. Mary Parish was an offshoot of Sacred<br />

Heart Church. Initially St. Mary’s of the<br />

Immaculate Conception, it was dedicated in<br />

1930, the same date as the first Mass at the new<br />

church. After the catastrophic flood of 1936,<br />

the church provided shelter, assistance and<br />

other relief efforts. It became a parish in 1961.<br />

St. Joseph Church was organized in 1936<br />

as a mission of Sacred Heart Parish, with<br />

construction subsidized by Joseph Sullivan,<br />

a Boston philanthropist who wanted to start a<br />

church for Mexican-Americans in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.<br />

After fire destroyed the building in 1952, a new<br />

building modeled after early Spanish mission<br />

architecture was constructed seven blocks<br />

north of the old church. It was dedicated in<br />

1957 and became a parish in 1961. A modern<br />

church was later built and dedicated in 1983.<br />

8 4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

The old buildings were used as classrooms for a<br />

number of years. Renovations were completed<br />

in 1994 thanks to generous support from the<br />

late Eva Camuñez Tucker.<br />

Construction on Holy Angels Parish began<br />

in 1960. Organized as a mission of Sacred Heart<br />

Church, the bishop of Amarillo designated<br />

it Holy Angels Parish in 1961. It then became<br />

a parish of the Diocese of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> upon<br />

the creation of the new diocese. Mass was<br />

celebrated in the school gymnasium before<br />

groundbreaking for a new church building<br />

started in 1981. The new church was dedicated<br />

a year later. Construction on a newer church<br />

building began in 2002.<br />

St. Margaret Parish was created in 1965<br />

as a mission of Sacred Heart because many<br />

local residents lacked transportation to Mass.<br />

St. Margaret of Scotland Mission became a<br />

parish on November 16, 1981, the date of<br />

the feast of the parish’s namesake, St. Margaret<br />

of Scotland.<br />

Three Catholic schools remain in the diocese:<br />

St. Mary’s Central Catholic School, Odessa;<br />

St. Ann’s Catholic School, Midland; and <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Catholic School, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. The first Catholic<br />

school in the area started in 1887, when the<br />

Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word moved<br />

to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> to open a school. Named<br />

Immaculate Conception Academy, the school<br />

has operated ever since, albeit under different<br />

names. It was incorporated as a parish school<br />

in 1942 and renamed Sacred Heart School.<br />

A new building was completed in 1953.<br />

A second Catholic school, Holy Angels<br />

School, was built in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> in 1962.<br />

In 1967 the Texas Education Agency granted<br />

the school full accreditation, and in 1976,<br />

Holy Angels School and Sacred Heart School<br />

became <strong>Angelo</strong> Catholic School. The school<br />

campuses merged at the Holy Angels location<br />

in 2013.<br />

Christoval is home to Our Lady of Grace<br />

Carmelite Monastery and Mount Carmel<br />

Hermitage, which house sisters and brothers,<br />

respectively. The hermitage has been active<br />

since 1990 and the monastery since 2000.<br />

These communities provide constant prayer<br />

support for the needs of all people.<br />

The Newman Center at <strong>Angelo</strong> State<br />

University has provided Catholic campus<br />

ministry to students and faculty for fifty years.<br />

Catholic Outreach Services, sponsored by the<br />

five <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Catholic parishes, provides<br />

the needy with services including food,<br />

clothing and assistance with rent, utility and<br />

medical bills.<br />

In 1983, Christ the King Retreat Center was<br />

established. Since 2005 the center has hosted<br />

Catholic and non-Catholic weekend retreats<br />

and programs such as ACTS, Engaged<br />

Encounters, Marriage Encounters, Cursillos,<br />

Permanent Diaconate Training, Beginning<br />

Experience, Confirmation Retreats, Walks to<br />

Emmaus, and Natural Family Planning. It is<br />

an oasis of spirituality for West Texas.<br />

Above: The sisters of Our Lady of<br />

Grace Carmelite Monastery.<br />


Below: Students learning at <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Catholic School.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 8 5

Above: Volunteers at Catholic<br />

Outreach stock shelves with food for<br />

the needy.<br />

Below: A monk in prayer at<br />

Mt. Carmel Hermitage.<br />

The history of Catholicism<br />

in the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> region predates<br />

the dioceses from which<br />

the Diocese of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> was<br />

carved, the formation of the<br />

area’s churches and the first<br />

missionaries. When these missionaries<br />

arrived here, they<br />

found the native Jumanos to<br />

be eager for baptism and religious<br />

guidance. They claimed<br />

a woman had visited them,<br />

preaching the Gospel in their<br />

native tongue. Sister María de<br />

Jesús de Ágreda, a Franciscan<br />

nun who lived in Spain (whom<br />

the Jumanos called The Lady<br />

in Blue) reportedly made over 500 local visits<br />

through a phenomenon called bilocation.<br />

The Diocese of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> covers a 37,433<br />

square mile swath and twenty-nine counties.<br />

The diocese has 45 parishes, 21 missions, 64<br />

priests, 18 women religious and 73 deacons<br />

serving about 75,000 Catholics of all ages<br />

and backgrounds.<br />

Upon his appointment as the new bishop<br />

of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> in December 2013, Bishop<br />

Michael J. Sis presented an introductory<br />

message at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, outlining<br />

points he viewed as important<br />

in his new ministry. Those included<br />

supporting parents in their vocation<br />

of marriage and family life; supporting<br />

priestly life and fraternity;<br />

appreciating and promoting the<br />

deacons, religious and lay leaders;<br />

further integrating youth into the<br />

church; sharing Catholicism while<br />

understanding and respecting other<br />

faiths and promoting interfaith<br />

working relationships; building<br />

bridges among different cultures;<br />

and defending the right to life.<br />

The diocese operates with the<br />

following mission statement: We,<br />

the people of God, of the Catholic<br />

Church in the Diocese of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>,<br />

are called by Baptism and nourished in<br />

Eucharist to holiness and to proclaim<br />

the good news of Jesus Christ, inviting<br />

all people into a loving relationship<br />

with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,<br />

united as sisters and brothers in service<br />

to the world.<br />

For more information about the<br />

Catholic Diocese of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, visit<br />

www.sanangelodiocese.org.<br />

8 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

CITY OF<br />


“To be the Texas standard for opportunity,<br />

prosperity and the quality of life.”<br />

The City of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s vision statement<br />

casts a clear, descriptive and audacious course<br />

for where we—<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s municipal<br />

government—want our community to be. The<br />

challenge is in the “how”—as in, how do we<br />

help <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> get there?<br />

Here is some of what city government does to<br />

ensure ours remains a community of opportunity<br />

offering the best chance for the most prosperous<br />

and highest quality of life in the Lone Star State:<br />

• Opportunity: Many City services aim at<br />

helping citizens realize their full potential.<br />

Neighborhood & Family Services, for instance,<br />

leads an annual Neighborhood Blitz that<br />

rejuvenates older neighborhoods so they<br />

remain vibrant places to live. Planning &<br />

Development Services preserves the integrity<br />

of neighborhoods, including their historic<br />

charm, by facilitating orderly growth and<br />

development. The Women, Infants and<br />

Children program provides free assistance<br />

teaching pregnant women, new mothers,<br />

their babies and young children to nourish<br />

their bodies and live in healthy ways.<br />

• Prosperity: The Economic Development<br />

Department pursues job growth and business<br />

retention by working with the City of <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Development Corp. and using half-cent<br />

sales tax revenues to attract new industry.<br />

Further, Economic Development staff looks to<br />

strengthen the local economy via partnerships<br />

with key community entities such as the<br />

Chamber of Commerce, <strong>Angelo</strong> State<br />

University and its Small Business Development<br />

Center, Howard College, Workforce Solutions<br />

of the Concho Valley and Downtown <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong>, Inc. Those efforts include fortifying <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong>’s largest employer, Goodfellow Air Force<br />

Base, so its missions remain vital to the U.S.<br />

Air Force. Community & Housing Support<br />

helps low-income residents realize the dream<br />

of homeownership through a combination of<br />

grants and low-interest loans. Paving the way<br />

for <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> to flourish are core City services<br />

such as police and fire protection, streets, water,<br />

building inspections and storm water drainage.<br />

• Quality of life: Those core services lay a<br />

foundation for a grade-A lifestyle that is<br />

complemented by amenities such as the<br />

recently refurbished <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Regional<br />

Airport, the downtown Concho River Walk and<br />

the bustling Texas Bank Sports Complex.<br />

Visitors are drawn by the lure of attractions<br />

such as the famed International Waterlily<br />

Collection, glistening Lake Nasworthy, and<br />

Fort Concho National Historic Landmark,<br />

where men in woolen uniforms still march<br />

in formations, ride horses and fire cannons<br />

(sans cannonballs) some 150 years after <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong>’s founding.<br />

For more information on the beautiful City<br />

of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, please visit cosatx.us.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 8 7



AND<br />


In the 1930s two pioneers changed the face<br />

of healthcare for the people of the Concho<br />

Valley. J. M. and Margaret Shannon brought<br />

tough work ethics, a keen business sense and<br />

frugal natures to West Texas. Their dedication<br />

to their land, their neighbors and to each other<br />

laid the foundation for the establishment of<br />

Shannon West Texas Memorial Hospital, which<br />

grew to Shannon Medical Center and has<br />

matured to a healthcare system including<br />

physician clinics located throughout the<br />

Concho Valley.<br />

Shannon Medical Center and Shannon Clinic<br />

are focused on providing exceptional healthcare<br />

to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> area family, friends and neighbors.<br />

Not only does Shannon strive to provide<br />

the best possible care, but they have also made<br />

it their mission to make access to top-notch<br />

healthcare as convenient as possible.<br />

As the Concho Valley continues to grow with<br />

new businesses and families, Shannon continues<br />

to expand with more providers, locations and<br />

access to healthcare in the community. Shannon<br />

offers 18 locations, 30 specialties and more<br />

than 200 providers. To help simplify the process<br />

of finding a new physician, Shannon offers a<br />

Doctor Matchmaker service to assist patients.<br />

Patients may simply call the Matchmaker Line<br />

at (325) 481-2343, let the matchmaker know<br />

what kind of physician they are seeking, and<br />

someone will help find the appropriate provider<br />

to meet their needs.<br />

Information about each Shannon provider is<br />

available using the Find a Physician tool at<br />

www.shannonhealth.com. Patients can search<br />

providers by name or specialty. Shannon offers<br />

a free mobile app, called Shannon Health in<br />

app stores, allowing mobile access to the entire<br />

site, including urgent care wait times and<br />

the physician directory. Shannon also offers a<br />

special concierge line for patients seeking a new<br />

OB/GYN provider. Patients can learn more<br />

about the New Beginnings line and the Shannon<br />

Babies program at www.shannonbabies.com.<br />

When illness strikes at an inconvenient time,<br />

Shannon offers four Urgent Care locations that<br />

offer extended morning and evening hours,<br />

8 8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

seven days a week. The North Urgent Care<br />

location also offers walk-in pediatric care<br />

Monday through Friday. Urgent Care wait<br />

times are available on the Shannon website<br />

at www.shannonhealth.com. While providers<br />

work hard to keep wait times minimal, sometimes<br />

varying factors can cause the time to<br />

fluctuate. If the wait time at either location<br />

exceeds forty-five minutes, patients can utilize<br />

Call Ahead Care, which allows them to receive<br />

a time of when to arrive at the clinic so they<br />

may wait in the comfort of home.<br />

Additionally, Shannon continues to add<br />

more specialists to its network of providers<br />

each year. This allows patients and their<br />

families to receive the proper care and<br />

treatment here at home instead of traveling to<br />

a larger city. Shannon provides a Women’s &<br />

Children’s Hospital focused on care for these<br />

patients, and, as a Children’s Miracle Network<br />

Hospital, has a dedicated pediatric unit and<br />

serves more than 15,000 children each year and<br />

provides services like outpatient chemotherapy<br />

and other specialty treatment for children.<br />

Shannon also offers several “Centers of<br />

Excellence” including The Brain & Spine<br />

Institute for neurology and neurosurgery, the<br />

Shannon Regional Heart Center for cardiac<br />

care, the Shannon Orthopedic Center, and<br />

the Shannon Oncology Center. Each includes<br />

physicians, ancillary services and other facets<br />

for full scope of care consolidated into one<br />

location for patient convenience. As the Level III<br />

Lead Trauma Center in the Concho Valley,<br />

Shannon Medical Center has specialists on call<br />

around the clock and is the only Emergency<br />

Department within 100 miles that provides 24/7<br />

neurosurgery coverage.<br />

For businesses in our community, it is<br />

becoming increasingly important to minimize<br />

costs, especially those associated with employee<br />

injuries. The Shannon Occupational Medicine<br />

& Injury Clinic treats injured employees in an<br />

efficient, cost-effective manner at the Shannon<br />

Clinic North location, 2626 North Bryant.<br />

This Clinic is solely dedicated to occupational<br />

medicine patients and has support from and<br />

access to the entire spectrum of Shannon<br />

providers. This allows diagnostic access on an<br />

expedient basis with the support of more than<br />

200 providers representing more than thirty<br />

medical specialties. The Clinic’s mid-level<br />

providers can treat injuries including lacerations,<br />

eye injuries, minor burns, and strains,<br />

and also offer a wide range of services including<br />

employee screenings, cost-effective post-injury<br />

rehabilitation services and services designed to<br />

help employers meet and document compliance<br />

with Department of Transportation (DOT),<br />

OSHA, and workers’ compensation regulations.<br />

Shannon is here for you and your family<br />

whenever the need arises. With convenient<br />

options, the Shannon family wants to take care<br />

of your family and ensure they have the best<br />

possible experience at the same time. Patients<br />

may contact us at www.shannonhealth.com.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 8 9


In 1973, twenty-eight years after its creation<br />

in Big Spring, the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> site of the Howard<br />

County Junior College District (Howard College)<br />

held its first class at Goodfellow Air Force Base.<br />

In 1981, Howard College of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> took<br />

over operation of the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Independent<br />

School District’s (SAISD) student nursing program<br />

and, five years later, became a 2,500 square<br />

foot campus.<br />

Following a string of moves responding to<br />

its continuous growth, Howard College, in 2001,<br />

relocated to the West Texas Training Center<br />

(WTTC), a 100,000 square foot facility it shared<br />

with the SAISD Career Technology Education<br />

programs, <strong>Angelo</strong> State University and the City<br />

of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. In academic years 2006-2007<br />

and 2007-2008, Community College Week named<br />

Howard County Junior College District one of<br />

the top twenty-five fastest-growing community<br />

colleges of its size in the nation, due partly to<br />

the growth of its <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> campus. Further<br />

exemplifying its progress, Howard College, in<br />

2008, completed renovations at the West Texas<br />

Training Center. An addition also was secured at<br />

St. Johns Hospital for Howard College’s medical<br />

training programs and simulation labs.<br />

Another large expansion was completed in<br />

the fall of 2014 with the opening of a 45,000<br />

square foot addition adjacent to the WTTC.<br />

Approximately two years in the making,<br />

the sizeable construction project includes a<br />

new academic classroom building that houses<br />

multiple faculty, dean and administration<br />

offices, classrooms including one for distance<br />

learning, a computer lab, lecture hall and conference<br />

room. The 17,014 square foot student<br />

services building features testing<br />

rooms, a business office, and offices<br />

for financial aid, records, admissions<br />

and advising, plus a library.<br />

In 2011, Howard College received<br />

a multimillion dollar grant to be disbursed<br />

over five years under the Title<br />

V Science Technology Engineering<br />

and Math (STEM)—Hispanic Serving<br />

Institutions Program, a part of the<br />

U.S. Department of Education. The<br />

grant funds e-Science and Technology<br />

Across Rural Texas (E-START), which<br />

aims to offer summer enrichment<br />

activities, improve STEM course<br />

selection, augment professional<br />

9 0 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

development, update equipment and<br />

infrastructure, as well as strengthen<br />

ties to four year institutions, including<br />

ASU, of which Howard College enjoys<br />

a strong collaborative relationship.<br />

The Howard County Junior College<br />

District serves thirteen counties in<br />

13,000 square miles and hosts about<br />

100 distance learning courses each<br />

semester. It offers more than forty-five<br />

areas of study to 4,000 plus students<br />

each academic year. In addition to its<br />

two-year associate’s degrees, Howard<br />

College has a host of certificate programs<br />

that allow students to hone<br />

their career technical training skills.<br />

Dual credit courses, for which students simultaneously<br />

earn high school and college credit, are<br />

offered in most school districts in the thirteen<br />

counties served, including the SAISD.<br />

In addition to offering core classes including<br />

math, history, English, etc., Howard College<br />

has CTE courses as a dual-credit option.<br />

Oftentimes the dual credit students attend<br />

Howard College after high school graduation to<br />

continue their educational journey. Having<br />

never seen themselves as college students, these<br />

learners soon discover that higher education is<br />

within their reach.<br />

As reflected in its motto “to be a leader in<br />

education…for learning, for earning, for life!”<br />

Howard College’s instructional offerings include<br />

workforce training and continuing education.<br />

Thanks to several working relationships, including<br />

one with the Concho Valley Workforce<br />

Board that resulted in multiple Skills<br />

Development Fund grants to train employees,<br />

Howard College executes its mission to build<br />

communities through innovative education for<br />

lifelong learning.<br />

In 2012 a joint initiative between Howard<br />

College, the City of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and the Concho<br />

Valley Council of Governments led to a $1.2<br />

million government grant to build a regional fire<br />

training facility. Scheduled to open in 2015, the<br />

center will serve as the training headquarters for<br />

the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Fire Department and thirteen<br />

county fire departments. Through a partnership<br />

with Howard College and the SAISD, it also<br />

will host dual-credit classes in firefighting and<br />

emergency medical services.<br />

Howard College’s Emergency<br />

Medical Services (EMS) program,<br />

one of thirty-five in<br />

the state that is nationally<br />

accredited, trains the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>,<br />

Sweetwater and Big Spring<br />

Fire Departments. The program<br />

was supported and grew to its<br />

current state with collaboration<br />

from the City of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Fire<br />

Department. Passing rates for<br />

its EMS students have surpassed<br />

state and national averages by<br />

fifteen percent.<br />

In 2013, Howard College<br />

became a Regional Testing Site<br />

for the National Certification<br />

Examination scheduled by the<br />

Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Services<br />

(NACES) for nurse aide program graduates,<br />

allowing all students—including those enrolled<br />

in SAISD’s dual-credit program—to test locally.<br />

Though renowned for its health professions<br />

programs, Howard College also has established<br />

a presence as a job-training provider in a<br />

variety of other career fields. Over the years,<br />

Howard College has partnered with area<br />

businesses to provide training for numerous<br />

new or upgraded jobs, including associate<br />

systems engineers, engineer technicians and<br />

tire technicians, plus phone representatives and<br />

production leaders.<br />

For more information about Howard College,<br />

visit the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> campus at 3501 North U.S.<br />

Highway 67 or at www.howardcollege.edu.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 9 1


COUNTY<br />


Above: Stephens Central Library.<br />

Below: Storytime.<br />

From the very beginning, the Tom Green<br />

County Library System has been the product<br />

of a dedicated, generous, and passionate<br />

community. The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Woman’s Club<br />

laid the groundwork for the establishment of<br />

a city library system in 1904. Members<br />

collected 500 volumes of history, biography<br />

and reference and housed the materials in a<br />

centralized location. In 1921, an enterprising<br />

citizen proposed the idea of a county library<br />

to the Judge. A provisional library opened,<br />

and momentum grew for a formalized library<br />

system. In 1928, county<br />

commissioners provided<br />

a dedicated space for<br />

county library operations.<br />

In subsequent<br />

years, the library outgrew<br />

itself and relocated three<br />

times. Bookmobile service<br />

was introduced, and<br />

two branch libraries<br />

materialized. All of these<br />

events were necessitated<br />

by steady demand for and<br />

ever-growing usage of the<br />

county library system.<br />

Bolstered by the active<br />

Friends of the Library<br />

group, the Tom Green County Library System<br />

continues to thrive. The community’s enduring<br />

love for their public library makes <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s<br />

libraries truly special.<br />

Perhaps the grandest gesture of community<br />

support can be seen in Stephens Central<br />

Library. An idea initiated by local officials and<br />

over six years in the making, the impressive<br />

adaptive reuse project became a reality thanks<br />

to private donations. Over $17 million was<br />

raised to turn a former department store<br />

into the new downtown library. The library<br />

upgraded from a scant 24,000 square feet of<br />

space to an expansive 85,000. In April of 2011,<br />

Stephens Central Library opened its doors to<br />

an enthusiastic public.<br />

Stephens Central is the quintessential library<br />

of today. The extraordinary facility boasts a<br />

book store, café and dining area, art displays<br />

and an expansive multi-use community room<br />

with rooftop access.<br />

The library welcomes<br />

hundreds of<br />

people through<br />

its doors daily and<br />

hosts regular programs<br />

for children,<br />

teens and adults.<br />

Movie screenings,<br />

educational events,<br />

and computer classes<br />

are weekly activities.<br />

Books, audio<br />

visual materials and<br />

magazines line the<br />

shelves, but you do<br />

not have to be in the<br />

library to access the<br />

9 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

collection. Reading material is available twentyfour<br />

hours a day through a vast selection of<br />

downloadable audio and eBooks. Forward<br />

thinking but bound by traditional values, the<br />

library places the patron at the heart of its<br />

operations. Online resources and self-service<br />

conveniences exist alongside print materials<br />

and personalized assistance. Patrons can renew<br />

books, place holds, and manage accounts from<br />

home or simply call the library for assistance.<br />

The library’s scope of service is broadened<br />

by two branch libraries: <strong>Angelo</strong> West Branch<br />

and North Branch Library. The branches offer<br />

the same quality of services, programs and<br />

resources, but on a scaled back level. Each<br />

library has its own<br />

unique culture and<br />

offers thoughtfully<br />

curated collections<br />

reflective of their<br />

distinct patron base.<br />

Patrons enjoy the<br />

many conveniences<br />

afforded by a three<br />

branch system, and<br />

many prefer the intimate<br />

environment<br />

found at a neighborhood<br />

library. Though<br />

the libraries are<br />

smaller in size, full<br />

access to the system<br />

wide collection is<br />

not restricted. Patrons can request materials<br />

from any branch, have materials delivered to<br />

any branch, and return materials to any branch.<br />

This shared system approach to operations<br />

greatly extends the library’s impact and services<br />

throughout the community.<br />

Tom Green County Libraries have evolved<br />

over the years. Spaces are bigger, materials<br />

more diversified, technology, programs and<br />

services vastly expanded, but the library’s<br />

mission remains the<br />

same. Providing the<br />

tools and resources<br />

that will afford each<br />

resident of the county<br />

the opportunity to<br />

succeed in a quest<br />

for knowledge, information,<br />

and personal<br />

enrichment is our<br />

promise to the community.<br />

These days, this<br />

personal enrichment<br />

comes in many forms.<br />

Whether mastering a<br />

new language using an<br />

online database, learning<br />

a new skill at a<br />

workshop, or attending a lecture on hiking<br />

the Appalachian Trail, Tom Green County<br />

Libraries continue to provide quality resources,<br />

services and abundant opportunities for<br />

learning and growing.<br />

Above: Stephens Central Library<br />

conference room.<br />

Below: Stephens Central Library<br />

reading room.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 9 3


2,000 people. SAISD’s administration building<br />

is located at 1621 University Avenue.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> ISD’s board of education and<br />

administrators oversee a $100.5 million annual<br />

budget. The district has twenty-five school<br />

campuses and three Head Start schools located<br />

in more than 2.1 million square feet of buildings<br />

on 401 acres of land. Bus routes traverse more<br />

than 500,000 miles each year. From August<br />

2013 through May 2014, the district’s Child<br />

Nutrition Department served 3,170,185 breakfasts<br />

and lunches. During the summer of 2013,<br />

as part of its summer meal program, the district<br />

provided 43,347 meals at no cost to children.<br />

The school bond election of 2008 provided<br />

for much-needed renovations and new construction<br />

on eleven campuses. One hundredseventeen<br />

million dollars was poured into<br />

work at Holiman, Bradford, Reagan, Glenmore,<br />

<strong>San</strong> Jacinto, <strong>San</strong>ta Rita, Crockett and Goliad<br />

Elementary Schools, as well as Lee Middle<br />

School and Central and Lake View High Schools.<br />

The extensive overhauls were completed in 2014.<br />

In 1903 a group of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> residents<br />

voted to create a public school. From that<br />

meeting, the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Independent School<br />

District was formed and organized. The district<br />

started with four “ward” schools in the city’s<br />

North, South, East and West sides of town.<br />

The first school board was elected during the<br />

district’s inception. Feliz E. Smith became the<br />

SAISD’s first superintendent, serving from 1905<br />

to 1940. The district has had just eight superintendents<br />

in its 111 year history. Dr. Carol Ann<br />

Bonds, the district’s current superintendent, has<br />

held the district’s top position since 2006.<br />

In 1967 the Lake View community, which<br />

had its own school district, merged with the<br />

SAISD to form <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s only public school<br />

district, currently educating more than 14,000<br />

students per year and employing more than<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> ISD is particularly proud to offer<br />

unique programs and courses to our students,<br />

such as Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, and 3-D<br />

Computer Animation. As an early college district,<br />

SAISD offers pre-Advanced Placement and<br />

9 4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Advanced Placement classes in English, math,<br />

science, social studies, foreign language and art.<br />

The district also provides dual credit technical<br />

and academic classes from Howard College and<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> State University, allowing students to<br />

accrue hours at a local higher-education facility<br />

that count toward their college degrees while<br />

simultaneously receiving high school-level<br />

credit. Additionally, the district supplies its<br />

intellectually advanced students an academically<br />

challenging gifted and talented program.<br />

Student success continues in major universities<br />

across the nation as well as such Texas universities<br />

as <strong>Angelo</strong> State University, A&M, Texas<br />

Tech, SMU, TCU, and the University of Texas.<br />

The SAISD’s teachers, students, and programs<br />

have a history of excellence. During the<br />

2013-2014 academic year, three of the district’s<br />

principals and two of its schools were honored<br />

at local, state, and national levels. Central High<br />

School’s band and orchestra both earned<br />

Sweepstakes, and Lake View High School’s band<br />

earned First Division ratings. Both high schools<br />

earned myriad state, district and regional<br />

awards for swimming, gymnastics, soccer, football,<br />

baseball, volleyball, track, power lifting<br />

and softball.<br />

Achievements at the academic level also<br />

were significant. Central was named a UIL<br />

district champion in science, computer science,<br />

literary criticism, social studies, speech and<br />

debate. Teams in the latter categories won the<br />

regional meet and placed at state. At Lake View,<br />

the calculator team was named district champion,<br />

number sense and math teams earned secondplace<br />

district honors, and three students were<br />

regional qualifiers. Both schools’ One Act Plays<br />

received recognition.<br />

In 2014, for the fifth consecutive year, the<br />

district received the State Comptroller’s highest<br />

honor for financial transparency. For the<br />

eleventh year in a row, the district also earned<br />

the highest possible ranking on the Financial<br />

Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST), the<br />

Texas Education Agency’s financial accountability<br />

system for the state’s school districts.<br />

The SAISD’s five year plan includes continuing<br />

to offer students opportunities for achievement<br />

at the highest levels; maintaining fiscal<br />

responsibility; enhancing communication with<br />

its stakeholders; securing a staff responsive<br />

to the student body of whom it serves; and<br />

preserving a secure environment for students,<br />

teachers and staff.<br />

For more information about the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Independent School District, visit its website at<br />

www.saisd.org.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 9 5





Before <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and Tom Green County,<br />

there was Fort Concho. Following the Civil<br />

War, a spike in westward expansion throughout<br />

Native American lands spurred conflict<br />

among settlers and tribes. In response, the<br />

Army located forts throughout the west, with<br />

several along the West Texas frontier; Fort<br />

Concho, established in 1867 at the confluence<br />

of Concho Rivers in what is now <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>,<br />

and near mail and stagecoach lines, was one<br />

of those forts. It replaced Fort Chadbourne,<br />

abandoned because of lack of water. With<br />

construction issues hampering its progress,<br />

building continued throughout the next decade.<br />

The last structure—the chapel—was completed<br />

in 1879.<br />

Fort Concho’s 1,640 acres could accommodate<br />

eight companies of troops, 350 to 400<br />

enlisted men and 35 to 50 officers at any one<br />

time. The troops maintained the post and scouted<br />

and campaigned against native tribes and<br />

thieving or destructive civilians. <strong>Surprising</strong>ly,<br />

the fort had a balanced representation of<br />

black and white enlisted men; half of its troops<br />

were the Buffalo Soldiers (the name given to<br />

the black soldiers by the Indians). Women and<br />

children, most of whom were the families of the<br />

enlisted men and officers, also lived at the fort.<br />

9 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Fort Concho closed in 1889 when the threat<br />

to the frontier was over. Unlike many forts,<br />

which were not intended to be permanent and<br />

crumbled into disrepair after abandonment,<br />

Fort Concho remained intact largely because<br />

of its limestone structures. It continued to be<br />

used after Army abandonment serving civilian<br />

purposes, such as apartments, warehouses and<br />

hotels, to accommodate <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s growing<br />

population of 2,500. In 1905 it was suggested<br />

that the city buy the site for $15,000—a price tag<br />

not in the city’s budget. In 1913 the <strong>San</strong>ta Fe<br />

Railroad gave a third of the Parade Ground to<br />

the city. Ten years later, the Daughters of the<br />

American Revolution announced plans to save the<br />

fort, but the group was not able to raise enough<br />

funds. In the late 1920s, Ginevra Wood Carson<br />

assumed the project’s reins, moving the West<br />

Texas Museum to Fort Concho’s Headquarters<br />

building. Her vision and perseverance spurred a<br />

eighty-year trend of property purchases, building<br />

restoration, and exhibit and program creation.<br />

However, while saving the buildings, the<br />

civilian modifications added a layer of difficulty<br />

to preservation. By post World War II, the<br />

majority of Fort Concho was privately owned.<br />

The South Ward School (later Fort Concho<br />

Elementary) had been built in the middle of the<br />

Parade Ground; officers’ quarters had become<br />

private homes renovated for modern times<br />

and new streets slashed throughout the site.<br />

The growth of a modern city interfered with<br />

the fort’s historic integrity.<br />

In 1961, when the site was named a national<br />

historic landmark, logistics of preserving the<br />

site came together. Carson’s successors raised<br />

the funds to purchase building after building.<br />

By the 1970s, Officers’ Quarters 7 was restored<br />

into offices and a research library, and the<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Junior League established the<br />

fort’s education department. Additional property<br />

acquisitions were secured, and soon a master<br />

plan was established that would fulfill preservation<br />

visions. Property purchases continued in<br />

the following decades, and preservation efforts<br />

and building upkeep persist to this day.<br />

Today, the City of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> owns Fort<br />

Concho National Historic Landmark and<br />

provides thirty-five percent of its operating<br />

funds. Robert Bluthardt, an employee since<br />

1982, became the fifth director in 1998. The site<br />

encompasses 40 acres and 24 mostly original<br />

buildings, making it one of the nation’s best<br />

preserved forts. To cover the remainder of its<br />

operating costs, Fort Concho hosts regular programs<br />

spotlighting military history, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

and West Texas’ heritage, and the lives<br />

of soldiers and officers. Christmas at Old Fort<br />

Concho is the fort’s largest and most popular<br />

event. Created more than three decades ago,<br />

the weekend event offers food, entertainment,<br />

history, and shopping, and draws crowds from<br />

throughout the state, nation, and world.<br />

Though Fort Concho was not built to accommodate<br />

today’s foot traffic, special events and<br />

modern conveniences such as Internet, electricity<br />

and plumbing, it remains standing—a forty-acre<br />

blast from the past tucked away on the south side<br />

of a thriving, bustling city. Though preservation<br />

and maintenance work must continue, the fort<br />

serves homage to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s earliest pioneers—<br />

just as Carson envisioned it would.<br />

Fort Concho is located at 630 S. South Oakes<br />

St. It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through<br />

Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Fort<br />

Concho offers guided and self-guided tours for<br />

a nominal entry fee. For more information about<br />

the fort, visit fortconcho.com.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 9 7


INN & SUITES<br />

In 2005, KT Plus Investments, Inc., was<br />

looking to invest in property in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.<br />

They purchased the land on the corner of<br />

Fourteenth Street and North Bryant Boulevard<br />

with a vision to help grow and develop the<br />

north side of town, an area with fewer options<br />

compared to other parts of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.<br />

It was not until December 2012, amid the<br />

West Texas oil boom, that KT Plus Investments,<br />

Inc., was provided the opportunity to place<br />

a hotel on the property they purchased years<br />

ago. In the spring of 2013 the decision was<br />

made to move forward with a Baymont Inn<br />

& Suites, a member of the Wyndam family of<br />

hotels. The groundbreaking took place in early<br />

August of 2013 and construction commenced<br />

soon thereafter.<br />

The Baymont Inn & Suites officially opened<br />

on February 12, 2014, with one major mission<br />

in mind: to provide a clean, comfortable, inexpensive<br />

home away from home for travelers.<br />

Privately owned and operated, Baymont’s cozy<br />

guest rooms feature plush, deluxe bedding, a<br />

microwave and refrigerator for warming and<br />

storing food and beverages, and a thirty-two<br />

inch LCD television. Guests also may enjoy free<br />

WI-FI available throughout the hotel as well as<br />

a self-service business center open twenty-four<br />

hours a day, seven days a week. Other amenities<br />

include a complimentary daily breakfast, a<br />

workout facility, a refreshing outdoor pool and<br />

cozy hot tub—depending on what the weather<br />

calls for. Free parking that accommodates<br />

large trucks and buses, same-day dry cleaning,<br />

laundry services and meeting space also are<br />

available. For businesses, the hotel also has a<br />

600 square foot meeting room that accommodates<br />

forty people banquet-style—an ideal<br />

setup for small meetings or social events.<br />

The hotel also has a mind for safety. Alarms<br />

are audible in all public areas, self-closing doors<br />

have deadbolts and view ports as well as an<br />

electronic room key system. The hotel also<br />

has emergency lighting, smoke detectors, fire<br />

extinguishers in hallways and all public areas,<br />

multiple exits, sprinklers, video surveillance<br />

and twenty-four hour security.<br />

Baymont has a smoke-free policy and, with<br />

the exception of service animals, does not allow<br />

pets. Children seventeen and younger stay free<br />

with a parent. Check-in is after 3 p.m., and<br />

check-out is before 11 a.m.<br />

9 8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

The expansive property in front of the<br />

Baymont Inn & Suites includes a boulevard<br />

leading up to the hotel from North Bryant,<br />

which provides convenient access to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s<br />

major highways, as well as downtown <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong>. Local attractions such as <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Stadium, Lake Nasworthy and <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> State<br />

Park also are within short driving distance.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> visitors and Baymont Inn &<br />

Suites guests are invited to spend their leisure<br />

time viewing Native American rock art in Paint<br />

Rock, approximately 32 miles east; dinosaur<br />

tracks and bison at <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> State Park,<br />

about 4 miles away; or, enjoy more history<br />

at Fort Concho National Historic Landmark,<br />

2 miles northeast. According to the hotel’s<br />

website, nearby dining options cover a variety<br />

of world cuisine—from Chinese to Italian to<br />

Mexican. Popular chain restaurants including<br />

Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Chili’s also are<br />

within quick driving distance.<br />

Kevin Allbright and Tom DeLaughter are<br />

the founding partners of KT Investments, Inc.<br />

Louis Blanek became a partner shortly thereafter.<br />

Jeff Atkinson joined the team in the spring of<br />

2013. The foursome sees <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> as a place<br />

to expand and further invest beyond Baymont<br />

Inn & Suites, which has seen 100 percent<br />

growth since it opened and employed a staff<br />

of twenty-one people. Baymont Inn & Suites<br />

location also has two convenient pad sites<br />

that could be used for future restaurants, food<br />

service companies or retail spaces, all of which<br />

would provide more opportunities for north<br />

side development.<br />

Of twenty-three reviews listed on the online<br />

travel website TripAdvisor in October 2014,<br />

twenty rated Baymont Inn & Suites in <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> as “excellent” or “very good.” Cleanliness<br />

and sleep quality were rated with four and a<br />

half out of five stars, while location, rooms,<br />

service and value rated four out of five stars.<br />

Guests remarked on the website about the<br />

hotel’s knowledgeable, friendly staff; quiet,<br />

clean, spacious rooms; outstanding customer<br />

service; smooth check-in and check-out<br />

processes; and affordability.<br />

According to Baymont Inn & Suites’ website,<br />

the hotel chain strives to treat its guests like<br />

neighbors. “We call it hometown specialty,” the<br />

website states, “and it comes complete with all<br />

the comforts of home and more.”<br />

For more information about Baymont Inn<br />

& Suites, visit them at 1418 North Bryant<br />

Boulevard, call (325) 617-7990, or visit their<br />

website at http://www.baymontinns.com.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 9 9



CHURCH<br />

First United Methodist Church has been part<br />

of the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> community for more than<br />

133 years, offering the love of Christ to all who<br />

come to seek God’s word. The church’s mission<br />

is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the<br />

transformation of the world.<br />

Methodism spread on the frontier thanks to<br />

Methodist ministers such as Andrew Jackson<br />

“Parson” Potter, who in 1880 arrived in the<br />

Concho Valley and established the Union<br />

Sunday School at Ben Ficklin. The Union<br />

Sunday School moved to <strong>San</strong>ta Angela, a<br />

settlement called “Over the River” after the<br />

1882 flood. Potter preached in the saloons with<br />

a six-shooter on his side, a Winchester on the<br />

pulpit, and a Bible and a songbook in hand.<br />

Potter built the first church building in <strong>San</strong>ta<br />

Angela, later renamed <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. The church<br />

was the first of any denomination built between<br />

Mason and El Paso. Originally a frame structure<br />

of forty by sixty feet, it was soon evident it<br />

would not serve indefinitely. In 1897 a site was<br />

purchased at Beauregard and Oakes, where<br />

First United Methodist Church still stands. The<br />

structure was built in 1904 when the church<br />

had approximately 750 members.<br />

When fire destroyed the church in 1945,<br />

a massive rebuilding campaign was launched.<br />

In 1946 the cornerstone for the Gothic-style<br />

church, designed by architect Mark Lemmon<br />

of Dallas and built by Templeton-Cannon of<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, was laid. The sanctuary features<br />

flying buttresses, the arch of aspiration, and<br />

stained-glass windows on all sides. Its magnificent<br />

organ was installed in 1949.<br />

In 1954 the parsonage at 2711 Live Oak was<br />

completed. The old Sunday school building was<br />

razed and the four story educational building was<br />

added in 1962. In 1972 a historical marker was<br />

placed in front of the Education Building. Further<br />

expansion included a former drugstore building<br />

on Twohig, which was torn down to construct a<br />

playground for the Mom’s Day<br />

Out program in 1991. A year<br />

later, the church purchased the<br />

Cactus Hotel for its parking<br />

garage—likely the largest piece<br />

of property ever bought by or<br />

for the church—and requested<br />

the county pass the deed of<br />

the hotel to the Historic City<br />

Center, Inc. In 1997, construction<br />

on a gymnasium began to<br />

be used for games, dinners, programs,<br />

youth activities and worship<br />

services. More building<br />

acquisitions, restorations and<br />

new construction followed in<br />

subsequent years.<br />

First United Methodist is renowned for its<br />

outstanding music programs and is a community<br />

leader in its missions outreach. The church<br />

sponsors Boy Scout and Cub Scout packs and<br />

has a dynamic youth choir/drama team, Spirit.<br />

Children’s Ministries at FirstChurch include<br />

FirstLook for preschoolers; 252 Basics for elementary-age<br />

children; Vantage for sixth graders;<br />

KidServe for third through sixth graders;<br />

FirstKids Club, a Mom’s Day Out year-round<br />

1 0 0 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

program; and an annual summer Vacation<br />

Bible School.<br />

The 11th Hour Worship Service is a contemporary<br />

worship service that began in 2004<br />

under the leadership of Reverend Laura Heikes.<br />

The 11th Hour service offers a laid-back,<br />

family friendly worship experience with<br />

contemporary worship led by the 11th Hour<br />

Praise Brand.<br />

Education opportunities for youth and<br />

adults are also a major church focus. Youth<br />

classes include confirmation classes for children<br />

beginning in the seventh grade and Youth<br />

Sunday School to help students apply knowledge<br />

gleaned from independent study into<br />

everyday living. There are also a plethora of<br />

special classes for adults including Bible study,<br />

faith development, finances, grief, and single<br />

parenting, to name a few.<br />

Outreach programs are among the church’s<br />

top priorities. Volunteers each April and<br />

October help restore houses for low-income,<br />

elderly homeowners through the Helping Hands<br />

Community Workdays. Methodist Assistance is<br />

open Monday through Thursday, and a food<br />

pantry is always available. Somebody’s Rusty<br />

provides showers, food assistance and Laundry<br />

Love for the homeless population in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.<br />

The church supports Lincoln Middle School<br />

with supplies, with faculty lunches, and offers<br />

mentors to its students. First United Methodist<br />

also delivers for Meals for the Elderly; participates<br />

in Operation Christmas Child, a shoebox<br />

gift ministry that serves children in more than a<br />

hundred countries; and raises hunger awareness<br />

during the Superbowl with Souper Bowl of<br />

Caring; and a seven week summer meal<br />

program for low-income children, Kids Eat<br />

Free. Outside the community, mission trips are<br />

held in Costa Rica and McAllen.<br />

Samuel Hunnicutt, the church’s thirty-seventh<br />

pastor, has been with First United Methodist<br />

since 2013. Traditional worship services are held<br />

at 8:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Sundays, and contemporary<br />

worship is at 11 a.m. A contemplative<br />

service of candlelight prayer and communion is<br />

at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays.<br />

For more information on First United<br />

Methodist Church, please visit its website at<br />

www.firstmethodist.net.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 0 1

PINKIE’S<br />

LIQUOR<br />

STORE<br />

Above: Left to right, A. W. “Sam”<br />

Ellington and Mike Ellington.<br />

Below: Front row, left to right,<br />

Cally Ellington Meeker, Julieta<br />

Ellington, Adelaide Drake Ellington,<br />

Stacy Ellington and Jack Ellington.<br />

Back row, left to right, Alvin Ellington,<br />

Mike Ellington, Mary Drake Ellington<br />

and Michael Ellington, Jr.<br />

The Pinkie’s Liquor Store story in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

begins in 1944, when A. W. “Sam” Ellington<br />

and Tom “Pinkie” Roden opened the first<br />

Pinkie’s Liquor Store on US Highway 87 on a<br />

county precinct line that marked the boundary<br />

of the only wet area in Tom Green County.<br />

When the O. C. Fisher Dam was completed<br />

in 1952, the highway had to move, and so<br />

did Pinkie’s. At the same time, Sam bought<br />

the ownership interest of Pinkie in the<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> stores and Samco, Inc. was born,<br />

the company which owns and operates Pinkie’s<br />

in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> today.<br />

Also during the 1950s, two more Pinkie’s<br />

outlets were added. The second store<br />

purchased from “Dutch” Wilke was located on<br />

the Mertzon Highway (US Highway 67) and the<br />

third store, formerly Pat’s Liquor Store, was<br />

located on Arden Road (Ranch Road 853).<br />

Sam next located a new Pinkie’s on the<br />

Menard/McCullough County line. Menard<br />

County was wet and dry territory stretched<br />

northeast through Brady and Brownwood<br />

almost all the way to Fort Worth. Sam also<br />

opened a store in Rowena when the southwest<br />

precinct in Runnels County voted wet. This<br />

precinct ran near Ballinger and was the closest<br />

wet area to Abilene. Business was good until<br />

Abilene and Ballinger voted wet.<br />

In 1962, Mike Ellington, second of four<br />

Ellington children, graduated from Texas Tech<br />

and joined the Ellington family business.<br />

In December 1964, Brownwood voted wet,<br />

and Samco opened two stores creating the fifth<br />

and six stores owned by Samco.<br />

In October 1970, Mike formed a new<br />

corporation, Mical, Inc., a contraction of<br />

Michael and Cally, the next generation of<br />

Ellingtons. Through this vehicle, Mike bought<br />

Doc’s Liquor Store in Amarillo from Ewing<br />

“Doc” Cates. In November 1972, Randall<br />

County voted wet and Mical, Inc., opened<br />

Doc’s #2 in December and Doc’s #3 in February.<br />

Hubert Odom, Mike’s godfather, owned<br />

Cecil’s Liquor store on The Strip—the wet area<br />

just south of Lubbock. Mical, Inc., purchased<br />

that store in 1980, revamped it completely and<br />

changed the name to Doc’s. The Ellingtons now<br />

operated ten stores.<br />

An old acquaintance of Mike’s from <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong>, Frank Smith and his wife, Gloria,<br />

operated a restaurant and pool hall in Lubbock<br />

across the street from Texas Tech. Frank wanted<br />

to expand into new markets and invited Mike<br />

to participate. This evolved into a chain of five<br />

1 0 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

estaurants located in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Amarillo,<br />

Abilene, and two in Corpus Christi.<br />

With the success of the restaurants, Mike<br />

sold the liquor stores in Brownwood, Amarillo,<br />

and Lubbock. Life was good. Then the<br />

economy went south, banks and savings and<br />

loans disappeared, and the oil patch dried up.<br />

Mike ended up selling one restaurant in Corpus<br />

Christi and closing the rest.<br />

The Pinkie’s stores in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> survived<br />

and moved forward. Then, in September 2003,<br />

Tom Green County voted to allow sales of wine<br />

throughout the county. Pinkie’s lost sixty percent<br />

of its wine business overnight. In response, Mike<br />

put his support behind an election to allow<br />

the sale of all alcoholic beverages within the city.<br />

In September 2005, Precinct 4 in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

voted wet. On November 1, Pinkie’s opened a<br />

7,500 square foot store at 4239 Sherwood Way.<br />

The following March, Pinkie’s opened a<br />

10,250 square foot store at 1415 South Bryant.<br />

In addition to the largest selection of liquor,<br />

wine, and beer in our area, the store also<br />

houses The Market @ Pinkie’s, which sold<br />

various gourmet foods.<br />

The summer of 2013 brought the completion<br />

of an expansion to the South Bryant store,<br />

adding about 6,000 square feet and allowing<br />

for an expanded wine department and a<br />

full kitchen. In addition to gourmet food<br />

products, The Market @ Pinkie’s now sells fully<br />

prepared, grab-and-go meals to take home to<br />

heat and eat.<br />

In 2009 the American Beverage Licensees,<br />

the nation’s leading trade association for retail<br />

alcohol beverages license holders, honored<br />

Mike with its prestigious Brown-Foreman<br />

Retailer of the Year award for Texas.<br />

Above: Pinkie’s 1415 South Bryant.<br />

Below: Pinkie’s 4239 Sherwood Way.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 0 3




Above: The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Museum<br />

of Fine Arts across from the<br />

Concho River.<br />

Below: The Sacred Visions:<br />

Masterpieces of Spanish Colonial<br />

and Mexican Religious Art.<br />

The Museum was founded in 1981 and<br />

was located in the historic 1864 Quartermaster<br />

Building at Fort Concho National Historic<br />

Landmark. It opened in 1985 with exhibits<br />

from the National Portrait Gallery and the<br />

Library of Congress. The Museum has<br />

since held over 350 exhibits. Over 150 have<br />

featured Texas artists, half of which have been<br />

women and a third minority. The overall<br />

exhibit program encompasses all mediums,<br />

cultures and time periods. Ceramics Monthly<br />

has cited the Museums’ biannual National<br />

Ceramic Competition as “the premier clay<br />

show in America.”<br />

In 1992 and 2005 the Museum received the<br />

Citizen of the Year Award from the Chamber of<br />

Commerce. In 1995 the Museum was awarded<br />

the National Community Service Award from<br />

the American Institute of Architects. In 2003<br />

the Museum received the National Award for<br />

Museum Service from the Institute of Museum<br />

and Library Services, the country’s highest<br />

honor for museums and, in 2011, they received<br />

the Award of Excellence in Museums from the<br />

Texas Historical Commission.<br />

The Museum’s audience in West Texas covers<br />

fifteen counties. The population is 194,000<br />

(fifteen percent rural) with <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> as the<br />

major trade center. <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>'s population is<br />

89,000 while most of the smaller surrounding<br />

towns have populations of 1,000 to 3,000. The<br />

nearest major metropolitan area is <strong>San</strong> Antonio<br />

located 230 miles away. Education programs<br />

are done in close collaboration with the local<br />

and outlying school districts. Up to fifty percent<br />

of children in the school district come to the<br />

Museum annually.<br />

The Museum has an intense interest in the<br />

community manifested in exhibits held every<br />

five years beginning in 1985 called Visions<br />

and Choices. These exhibits allow everyone in<br />

the community to show their ideas for the<br />

community’s future. Many of the ideas have<br />

become tangible and resulted in massive efforts<br />

of preservation and renewal.<br />

1 0 4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

The Museum has a rapidly growing<br />

collection with 300 works of contemporary<br />

ceramics. There are also historical ceramic<br />

works from Asia and more than sixty<br />

contemporary paintings and sculpture by Texas<br />

artists. The collection includes over 100 major<br />

works of Spanish Colonial and Mexican<br />

religious art. The Museum has lent extensively<br />

to other museums in Texas.<br />

Funds in the amount of $8,000,000 were<br />

raised for a new building, which opened in<br />

1999 and received international acclaim. The<br />

Museum is implementing a new strategic plan,<br />

restoring older buildings that it owns for<br />

community use and is currently leading the<br />

development of a TCA designated 200 acre<br />

Cultural District.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Museum of Fine Art is located at<br />

1 Love Street in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and on the Internet<br />

at www.samga.org.<br />

Above: Artist Shozo Sato<br />

performing a traditional Japanese<br />

Tea Ceremony for a group of students<br />

during their visit to the exhibition<br />

Eastern Illumination: Japanese<br />

Masterworks and American Art<br />

Inspired by Japanese Traditions.<br />

Left: The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Museum of<br />

Fine Art’s Contemporary American<br />

Ceramics is a part of our<br />

Permanent Collection.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 0 5




Above: Kenneth Sloan Gunter.<br />

Kenneth Sloan Gunter, owner and proprietor<br />

of “Miss Hattie’s Restaurant & Cathouse Lounge”<br />

was born and raised in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. He was a<br />

well known preservationist and credited with<br />

saving the historic downtown district particularly<br />

Historic Concho Avenue, which was the first<br />

street in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. His efforts showed others<br />

that the old, in distress buildings could be<br />

brought back to life and with that the historic<br />

district would have a new life as well.<br />

In 1975, when the buildings at 30/32 East<br />

Concho collapsed, Ken was motivated to take<br />

action and started the preservation effort on<br />

Historic Concho Avenue. His interest was twofold:<br />

his family-since 1925-owned and operated<br />

businesses in the downtown area, and Ken’s<br />

grandfather, A. A. Gunter, in the early 1900s<br />

moved to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> from Guntervilles, Alabama<br />

where he had established a very successful steamboat<br />

operation but did not like the carpetbagger<br />

mentality following the end of the Civil War. The<br />

building at 32 East Concho Avenue, was known<br />

as the A. A. Gunter Domino Hall, and was one<br />

of the buildings that had collapsed. A. A.’s wife,<br />

Myrtle, a devout Methodist, refused to have<br />

such activities as card playing, dominos, and<br />

drinking in her house, so A. A. bought 32 East<br />

Concho for the sole purpose of enjoying his<br />

dominos and card playing friends. Today, 32<br />

East Concho is the parking lot of Miss Hattie’s.<br />

Although Ken could not save the buildings<br />

at 30/32 East Concho, he was able to buy the<br />

remaining lots as well as the adjacent buildings<br />

at 20, 22, 24, and 28 East Concho. With this<br />

purchase the preservation and restoration of<br />

Historic Block One on Concho began.<br />

The building, which today is Miss Hattie’s,<br />

was one of the first permanent buildings in<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. It was built during the economic<br />

boom of the 1880s and was the home of the<br />

original <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> National Bank Building.<br />

The building was restored and registered in<br />

1981 and is the only local, privately owned<br />

1 0 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

uilding to be listed on both the state and<br />

national registers as a historic landmark. The tin<br />

ceiling is the original ceiling, which had been<br />

plastered over but discovered during the<br />

restoration efforts. The brick walls also date<br />

back to the 1880s as do the rock walls, which<br />

were made of the same rock quarry as the rock<br />

used to build Historic Fort Concho.<br />

The legendary tunnel, which was rediscovered<br />

during renovation of 26 East Concho, confirms<br />

the stories of ranchers and farmers who came<br />

to town and told their families to do their<br />

shopping while they tended to their banking.<br />

Once in the bank, they used the tunnel and<br />

went underground and up to the Bordello where<br />

they took care of their banking business. With<br />

the deposits and withdrawals complete, they<br />

rejoined the family for dinner.<br />

Ken continued his restoration efforts restoring<br />

buildings at 18 and 30 West Concho as well<br />

as the buildings at 18 and 18 ½ East Concho.<br />

The building at 18 ½ just happened to be Miss<br />

Hattie’s Bordello, which had been closed by the<br />

Texas Rangers in the 1950s. Ken’s restoration<br />

efforts brought life back to the Bordello by<br />

opening it as a museum and used the name<br />

Miss Hattie’s to tie the history of the bank, the<br />

tunnel and the Bordello together.<br />

Miss Hattie’s Restaurant is famous for more<br />

than its history. At Miss Hattie’s they find great<br />

pleasure in entertaining their guests with live<br />

music on Friday and Saturday nights in the<br />

Cathouse Bar and Lounge. Miss Hattie’s never<br />

pretends to be anything other than what it is—a<br />

restaurant focused on great food and welcoming<br />

hospitality including appealing service. Texas<br />

Monthly voted Miss Hattie’s Brothel Burger as<br />

one of the best burgers in Texas. Miss Hattie’s<br />

surrounds their customers with beautiful things<br />

but know the importance of simple…yet<br />

delicious west Texas food like their twenty-one<br />

day aged mesquite smoked ribeye steaks and<br />

bacon wrapped jalapeños.<br />

Please visit www.MissHattiesRestaurant.com<br />

for directions, the menu, to book a special<br />

event, and much more.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 0 7


Above: Tower erector Wilbur<br />

Anderson (left) with crew. Second<br />

from right is Richard Killingsworth,<br />

c. 1950.<br />

Below: Wilbur Anderson (left)<br />

delivering a Guyed Tower to the<br />

erection site, c. 1950.<br />

Founded in 1946, Wilbur L. Anderson Inc.,<br />

dba Western Towers, produces and installs<br />

telecommunications towers for specialized<br />

applications including the railroad and energy<br />

industries, military, law enforcement and<br />

homeland security. With Christ as the company’s<br />

cornerstone, Western Towers strives to<br />

provide innovative products that exceed its<br />

customers’ expectations.<br />

The company’s namesake, Wilbur L. Anderson,<br />

was born in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Texas, in 1911 and<br />

became interested in radio at a young age. As a<br />

boy, the nearest radio station was in Fort Worth,<br />

so Wilbur built a crystal radio to listen to<br />

lightning strikes. At sixteen, he became the<br />

station engineer for <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s first AM radio<br />

broadcast station, and in the mid-twenties<br />

he built the Concho Valley’s first radio tower.<br />

West Texas Utilities agreed to put it up but was<br />

unsure how. When asked how the tower was<br />

erected, Wilbur replied, “I don’t know. I had to<br />

go to school.” He was still in junior high.<br />

Wilbur went on to create <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s first<br />

radio system for law enforcement, drive-in<br />

movies, the city’s first cable television system,<br />

and virtually every early communications venue<br />

in the Concho Valley. In 1946, he designed and<br />

produced his first guyed communications tower,<br />

the precursor to today’s product line.<br />

In the early 1990s the <strong>San</strong>ta Fe Railway<br />

issued an RFP for a forty foot tower that could<br />

be lowered to the ground for antenna and coax<br />

servicing. The tower had to be serviced in<br />

any weather condition by one person weighing<br />

a maximum of 130 pounds. At the time, the<br />

cellular build out was in full swing and the RFP<br />

was widely viewed as a distraction, but rail<br />

fans Charles and Daniel Anderson thought the<br />

project might be interesting. After ample headscratching<br />

and prayer, the original design was<br />

submitted to engineering, and the engineers’<br />

design was given to Western Towers’ senior<br />

welders Tino <strong>San</strong>chez and Curtis Brooks. After<br />

studying the drawings, <strong>San</strong>chez remarked,<br />

“Hasn’t this guy ever seen a pair of scissors?”<br />

<strong>San</strong>chez took a piece of welding chalk and drew<br />

his design on the welding table. Charles copied<br />

the new design and faxed it to the engineer.<br />

The engineer realized the <strong>San</strong>chez design was<br />

superior to his own and approved it. <strong>San</strong>chez<br />

and Brooks fabricated the first railroad tilttower<br />

and, when tested, Charles’ nine year old<br />

daughter could successfully raise and lower the<br />

tower with one hand.<br />

The real surprise was when<br />

<strong>San</strong>ta Fe Railway supplied Western<br />

Towers with the purchase order for<br />

2,000 tilt-towers to be fabricated<br />

within two years. Twenty-two years<br />

later, Western Towers is the leading<br />

supplier of tilt-towers, providing<br />

the rail industry tens of thousands<br />

of ATC and Positive Train Control<br />

Tilt-towers.<br />

Western Towers employs thirtysix<br />

people who work at four locations<br />

throughout the United States.<br />

The company’s annual revenue<br />

over the past five years averages<br />

$7.7 million. And the company is<br />

still going strong: Purchase orders<br />

received in 2014 were sixty-four<br />

1 0 8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

percent higher than the amount received in<br />

2010. Also, average purchase orders received<br />

from 2010 to 2014 were fifty-one percent<br />

higher than the average number of purchase<br />

orders received from 2005 to 2009. Western<br />

Towers’ local financial impact is estimated at<br />

$6,987,750 annually.<br />

Western Towers’ corporate headquarters is<br />

located at 320 West Twenty-Sixth Street in<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. The main fabrication plant is<br />

located in Harriett, Texas. The shipping point<br />

for fabricated products is the Western Towers<br />

yard in Crowley, Texas, and its financial operations<br />

are located in Durham, North Carolina.<br />

Key personnel include Charles A. Anderson,<br />

president and co-owner; Daniel Anderson,<br />

vice president and co-owner; Courtney Beach,<br />

CFO; Alicia Davis, office manager; Jacob<br />

Anderson, fabrication; Aaron Woods, field<br />

services; James Bird, marketing manager; and<br />

Sean Gallagher, engineering.<br />

The company is a strong believer in giving<br />

back to the city where its foundation began.<br />

Western Towers helps sponsor local Troops of<br />

American Heritage girls and Trail Life boys, which<br />

are Christ-centered youth camping and outdoors<br />

skills organizations. The firm also donates to the<br />

Wounded Warrior Project, Meals for the Elderly<br />

and the Salvation Army. Western Towers employs<br />

disabled veterans whenever possible.<br />

For more information about Western Towers,<br />

visit www.westerntowers.com.<br />

Charles and Daniel, owners of Western<br />

Towers, would like to extend special appreciation<br />

to Mayor Dwain Morrison and City<br />

Manager Daniel Valenzuela for the leadership<br />

they have given the City of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> in recent<br />

years. <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s business climate is the best<br />

it has ever been.<br />

Above: Children of the Western<br />

Towers family at the annual<br />

Christmas celebration in 2014.<br />

Below: Mr. and Mrs. Tino <strong>San</strong>chez<br />

at the Harriett Plant Dedication on<br />

July 28, 2012. <strong>San</strong>chez was a critical<br />

part of tilt-towers design.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 0 9


ROOFING CO.,<br />

INC.<br />

Harrison Roofing Co., Inc.’s eighty-seven<br />

years of flawless work and devotion to West<br />

Texas is evidenced in homes and commercial<br />

and municipal structures throughout <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> and the surrounding areas. Since 1928<br />

the family-owned business has made its mark<br />

on <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> spectacles including Foster<br />

Communications Coliseum, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Central<br />

High School, the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Museum of Fine<br />

Arts and the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Visitor Center. Though<br />

founded in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Harrison Roofing also<br />

has a branch in <strong>San</strong> Antonio allowing it to<br />

expand its reach to customers in Central and<br />

South Texas.<br />

Harrison Roofing prides itself on operating<br />

its <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and <strong>San</strong> Antonio offices with<br />

integrity and honesty. Customers are provided<br />

the most cost-effective solutions to their roofing<br />

needs. The business’ experts will first assess<br />

the customer’s roof to determine if careful<br />

modifications can extend its life. A comprehensive<br />

report is offered after each inspection.<br />

If Harrison Roofing’s inspectors can salvage a<br />

customer’s roof, they will not attempt to sell a<br />

new one. Harrison Roofing also works closely<br />

with major insurance companies to protect its<br />

customers’ investments. With more than 120<br />

years of combined roofing experience, Harrison<br />

Roofing’s team members can provide a trained<br />

eye, and the honesty and expertise necessary<br />

to determine whether a customer’s home has<br />

sustained damage from extreme weather.<br />

For customers who choose to replace their<br />

roofs, Harrison Roofing will install a new one<br />

correctly the first time—without sacrificing<br />

quality, aesthetics, or energy efficiency. Harrison<br />

Roofing’s myriad of roofing applications include<br />

Duro-Last, which is water, chemical, fire and<br />

wind resistant and an ideal choice for flat surfaces;<br />

metal roofing, which provides strength<br />

and durability and also offers customization to<br />

match a particular architecture style; composition<br />

shingles, an economical roofing application<br />

alternative that balances style and durability;<br />

tiling, which juxtaposes sophistication with<br />

energy-efficiency, longevity and durability; and<br />

DaVinci Roofscapes, designer roofing applications<br />

that boast a fifty year limited warranty.<br />

Regardless of the application, Harrison Roofing<br />

provides seamless, efficient installation and little<br />

to no inconvenience to customers and their<br />

daily activities.<br />

The business’ commercial roofing specialties<br />

include roof inspections, consulting, repairs,<br />

replacement, installation, maintenance, preventative<br />

maintenance, waterproofing, energy<br />

1 1 0 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

savings and environmental solutions. Roofing<br />

types include Duro-Last; customized architectural<br />

metal; built-up roofing; tile; and slate.<br />

Harrison Roofing is a certified vendor of<br />

TIPS/TAPS, a co-op that provides school<br />

districts and municipal groups economical<br />

acquisition of goods and services. This designation<br />

allows Harrison Roofing to offer affordable<br />

and competitive prices.<br />

Harrison Roofing’s team includes Ronny<br />

Harrison, president. Harrison began roofing for<br />

his grandfather, O. D. Harrison, Harrison<br />

Roofing’s founder, and his father, William Lee<br />

Harrison, when he was fifteen years old. He has<br />

been involved with the ins and outs of the<br />

family business since 1968. Clint Harrison,<br />

senior vice president and treasurer, worked<br />

with his father Ronny for three years in the<br />

1990s and returned in 2000. He currently oversees<br />

the business’ sheet metal department, a<br />

role that requires him to stay current with sheet<br />

metal trends and technology related to all areas<br />

of the roofing industry. Jeremy Harrison, senior<br />

vice president and secretary, has been with the<br />

company since 1994 and, with his brother, is<br />

a fourth generation Harrison Roofing Company<br />

employee. Jeremy’s focus is on the company’s<br />

commercial roofing operations. Rickey Polk<br />

joined Harrison Roofing in 2008 as <strong>San</strong><br />

Antonio branch manager. His extensive knowledge<br />

of roofing lends further credibility to the<br />

company’s eighty years of industry expertise<br />

and extraordinary customer service. Business<br />

Manager Tracy Stewart has been with the company<br />

since 1991 and oversees payroll, accounts<br />

receivable, accounts payable, financials, insurance<br />

and customer service. Damon Davis joined<br />

Harrison Roofing in 1983, and serves as safety<br />

manager, estimator and senior field supervisor.<br />

Harrison Roofing Company is a member of<br />

the Better Business Bureau; National Roofing<br />

Contractors Association; Texas Construction<br />

Association; Roofing Contractors Association of<br />

Texas; The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS);<br />

the U.S. General Services Administration;<br />

and the National Federation of Independent<br />

Business. Harrison Roofing is certified, bonded<br />

and insured in the State of Texas. Satisfaction<br />

is 100 percent guaranteed.<br />

For more information about Harrison<br />

Roofing, please visit www.harrisonroofing.com<br />

or visit its <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> office at 1317 South<br />

Hill Street or its <strong>San</strong> Antonio office at 7825<br />

Mainland Drive. Phone numbers for these<br />

respective locations are 325-653-6786 and<br />

210-545-2332, or toll-free at 1-800-997-9727.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 1 1



Above: A family-centric floor plan at<br />

Plaza Verde residence hall helps<br />

freshman students network and feel<br />

more at home. Plaza Verde is also<br />

ASU’s first “green” building as it was<br />

created with sustainable materials<br />

and designed for energy efficiency and<br />

rainwater reclamation.<br />

Right: The student section is “all in”<br />

during a Rams basketball game at<br />

the Junell Center. Students wear<br />

paint and themed-costumes and<br />

chant to create a charged home<br />

game atmosphere.<br />

Named for five straight years to The Princeton<br />

Review’s annual list of the nation’s “best colleges,”<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> State University offers a quality education<br />

and fulfilling college experience for<br />

students from West Texas and throughout<br />

the world.<br />

A member of the Texas Tech University<br />

System (TTUS), ASU sits in the heart of<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, a community of 100,000 people<br />

that offers big-city amenities with a smalltown<br />

feel. Students can choose from more<br />

than 100 academic majors and concentrations<br />

that lead to 43 undergraduate degrees and<br />

21 graduate degrees.<br />

Several ASU academic programs have<br />

received national recognition, including<br />

physics, criminal justice, nursing, agriculture<br />

and teacher education, and a new civil<br />

engineering program for 2015. The university<br />

has also been acknowledged for its academics<br />

and support services geared<br />

toward military veterans.<br />

Students also benefit from<br />

ASU’s strong financial aid program<br />

with nearly seventy-five percent<br />

receiving some sort of aid. Also,<br />

our Carr Scholarship Program<br />

is one of the largest endowed<br />

scholarship programs at a regional<br />

university and provides academic<br />

scholarships to nearly one-third of<br />

ASU students.<br />

In addition to academics, ASU<br />

offers a complete college experience<br />

with its nationally recognized<br />

intramurals program, more than<br />

100 student organizations, stateof-the-art<br />

student fitness center,<br />

modern residence halls and<br />

award-winning University Center.<br />

Diversity is another ASU hallmark<br />

with 219 Texas counties,<br />

42 states and 25 countries represented in the<br />

student body. ASU has also been designated<br />

a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S.<br />

Department of Education.<br />

ASU athletic teams regularly compete for<br />

titles in NCAA Division II and the Lone Star<br />

Conference in five men’s sports and eight<br />

women’s sports. For the first time ever this<br />

fall, the Rams will<br />

play their home<br />

football games on<br />

campus at the new<br />

LeGrand Stadium at<br />

First Community<br />

Credit Union Field.<br />

ASU’s tag line is<br />

“From here, it’s possible,”<br />

a unifying motto<br />

for the entire TTUS<br />

that demonstrates the<br />

value of education<br />

and helping students<br />

achieve their dreams.<br />

1 1 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

As a professional inspirational speaker and<br />

author, Dr. Bill Thorn was used to being away<br />

from home for work. Twenty five years ago,<br />

Bill spoke at Baptist Retirement Community<br />

and brought his wife, Jessie. After the talk, Jessie<br />

told Bill how much she loved the community.<br />

The couple had barely made it to Ballinger when<br />

they turned around to go back. Within twentyfive<br />

minutes, they had purchased a house on<br />

campus and made it their home.<br />

“The staff has been outstanding. And being<br />

on the inside, it was the best move that we have<br />

ever made,” Bill said. “And I’ve found that these<br />

years, which have been my productive years, up<br />

into my nineties, have been because I’ve had<br />

people who have helped us to do that, and for<br />

that I am eternally grateful. After twenty-five<br />

years, I’d do it again in a minute.”<br />

Baptist Retirement has grown from its<br />

beginning as a small hospital into a large<br />

continuum of care retirement community<br />

(CCRC). CCRCs offer an innovative and<br />

independent lifestyle that is different from<br />

other housing and care options by providing<br />

independent living, assisted living, memory<br />

care and skilled nursing to meet residents’ needs<br />

in a familiar setting as their needs change.<br />

Now in its sixth decade of serving seniors in<br />

the Concho Valley, Baptist Retirement is home to<br />

more than 600 dynamic senior adults. The community<br />

offers all levels of care found at a CCRC,<br />

and also offers hospice, home health services,<br />

outpatient therapy, Green House ® home residency,<br />

among many others. Baptist Retirement is<br />

currently enhancing the campus to serve seniors,<br />

now and in the future, who choose an active<br />

lifestyle in a spiritually enhanced atmosphere.<br />

In 2010, Buckner Retirement Services and<br />

Baptist Memorial Ministries affiliated to bring<br />

Baptist Retirement into the Buckner family. With<br />

the addition of these two communities, Buckner<br />

Retirement Services provides seven senior living<br />

options across Texas.<br />

For additional information, please visit<br />

Baptist Retirement Community on the Internet<br />

at www.baptistretirement.org.<br />






S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 1 3


BACKUS &<br />

CO., LLP<br />

Armstrong Backus partners.<br />


For more than fifty years, the accounting<br />

firm of Armstrong, Backus & Co., LLP, has<br />

operated with one goal in mind: providing<br />

clients’ exceptional service. The credo has<br />

served the business well and directly contributed<br />

to its longevity.<br />

The business began in 1961 when William<br />

H. Armstrong, CPA, opened a <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

office to practice public accounting. While<br />

at a client’s office, he met fellow CPA,<br />

Mason L. Backus, and in 1963 the two<br />

formed a partnership that soon became<br />

Armstrong, Backus & Co. As is true today,<br />

the men envisioned providing personalized<br />

service focused on meeting clients’ goals and<br />

maximizing their potential.<br />

In addition to tax planning and preparation,<br />

auditing and assurance, financial services, and<br />

business consultation, the company expanded<br />

its portfolio to meet the needs of clients by<br />

offering accounting and payroll services.<br />

The additional services and growing reputation<br />

for outstanding client relations brought<br />

increased business and the need for additional<br />

space. Since 2009 the staff has more than<br />

doubled and revenue increased 126 percent.<br />

The firm opened an office in Midland in 2012,<br />

and in 2014 completed a remodeling expansion<br />

project in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.<br />

The respected reputation of Armstrong,<br />

Backus & Co. reaches beyond the walls of<br />

the firm and touches the community.<br />

Volunteerism and involvement are expected<br />

from staff and modeled by partners, who<br />

serve or are serving on numerous boards<br />

and committees, including West Texas Boys<br />

Ranch, United Way of the Concho Valley,<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Ballet, American Cancer<br />

Society, <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Stock Show & Rodeo,<br />

Adult Literacy Council, ASU Athletic<br />

Foundation, and countless more.<br />

What began as a chance encounter more<br />

than five decades ago between two hardworking<br />

CPAs and a handful of clients, then<br />

burgeoned into a leading West Texas public<br />

accounting firm, with eight partners and almost<br />

seventy staff members serving thousands of<br />

clients every year. The firm has grown but<br />

the emphasis remains unchanged—building<br />

long-term relations and trusted partnerships<br />

focused on each client’s specific need.<br />

For more information on Armstrong, Backus<br />

& Co., LLP, visit the company’s website at<br />

www.ArmstrongBackus.com.<br />

1 1 4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

GRAY’S<br />


INC.<br />

Gray’s Transmissions, Inc., was founded in<br />

1974, but the groundwork for <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s<br />

premier forty year old automotive shop was<br />

laid when Henry Gray, who attended Los Angeles<br />

Trade Technical College, began teaching his older<br />

sons, Paul and Gary, auto mechanics after school.<br />

Operating on a shoestring budget, the<br />

business began in the hometown of Henry’s<br />

wife, <strong>San</strong>dra. First known as Gray’s Automatic<br />

Transmissions, the business opened in the<br />

building across the street from its present<br />

location, 1202 Pulliam Street. With his sons’<br />

help, Henry has trained a gaggle of men to<br />

remove, replace and rebuild transmissions.<br />

With their interest in vehicles piqued, the<br />

Gray family continued the family trade, either<br />

contributing to the business or starting over<br />

elsewhere. Nathan Gray learned to build torque<br />

converters at a trade school in Reno, Nevada,<br />

and his oldest brother moved to Austin to start<br />

his own shop. Their daughter worked as the<br />

business’ secretary during high school, and<br />

<strong>San</strong>dra—a longtime educator—now serves as its<br />

vice president. She also shares public relations<br />

duties with another Gray son, Travis, who<br />

rebuilds transmissions. Other key individuals<br />

who played a role in shaping the business<br />

include Jim Weaver, Kit Kolb, Norvell Allen,<br />

Warren Davis, Dwain Clemons, Julio Garcia, the<br />

late Ricky Goltl, Willy Clark and Jimmy Hanson.<br />

The family’s hands-on involvement in the<br />

company has not wavered. Nathan, the shop’s<br />

manager and frontman, completely computerized<br />

the business and found innovative ways<br />

to work smarter as transmissions become<br />

more technologically advanced. His brother,<br />

Gary, is the business’ rebuilder and go-to-guy<br />

for transmission conundrums, while Travis<br />

researched interlock devices and helped the<br />

company become Drager installers and<br />

maintainers. Though semi-retired, Henry<br />

remains chief.<br />

Gray’s Transmissions, Inc., is customer focused<br />

and strives to treat everyone just as they<br />

would expect to be treated. From the first<br />

handshake, to the repair, the business is<br />

dedicated to exceeding customers’ expectations.<br />

An S Corporation since 1995 and a member<br />

of the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Chamber of Commerce, Gray’s<br />

Transmissions, Inc., received the Chamber’s<br />

Business of the Month Award in 1991 and its<br />

Celebration of Our Diversity Award in 2001.<br />

In 1998 the business was featured in the<br />

Standard-Times during Black History Month.<br />

Gray’s Transmissions, Inc., also was voted a<br />

favorite in its category in the Standard-Times<br />

Readers Choice Award for the second year.<br />

For more information on Gray’s Transmissions,<br />

Inc., visit www.graystransmission.com or call<br />

325-655-6614.<br />

Left to right: Henry, <strong>San</strong>dra, Travis<br />

and Nathan Gray.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 1 5

M. L. LEDDY’S<br />

Commission recognizing the renovation and<br />

conservation of its historic buildings in Fort<br />

Worth and <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and the company’s<br />

support to the state’s economy for ninety-three<br />

years and counting.<br />

M. L Leddy’s boot makers still work from<br />

ledgers where the measurements of more than<br />

250,000 customers have been recorded. Each<br />

craftsman has a specialty, from stitching tops<br />

to building heels. They produce, on average,<br />

nine pair of boots a day.<br />

Owner Wilson Franklin embraces the<br />

knowledge passed down from his father,<br />

Jim Franklin, and uncles, Hollis and Dale<br />

Leddy, as he grows the family business; his<br />

sister, Beverly, and wife, Martha, also work for<br />

the company, as does his daughter, Josilyn,<br />

who represents the fourth generation.<br />

Right: M. L. Leddy’s grandchildren,<br />

left to right, Marie Franklin<br />

Robertson, Wilson (current owner),<br />

and Rusty Franklin, Beverly Franklin<br />

Allen (current employee).<br />

Despite a constantly changing world, M. L.<br />

Leddy’s sticks to what works—tradition. At its<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and Fort Worth locations, valued<br />

Leddy customers have remained loyal to the<br />

ninety-three year old brand that refuses to<br />

sacrifice quality for quantity.<br />

M. L. Leddy was a quintessential entrepreneur<br />

who left cotton farming when he realized<br />

all his hard work would amount to a five dollar<br />

loss on his crops.<br />

In 1918, Leddy went to work for J. F. Schaeg<br />

in Brady, Texas, repairing saddles and learning<br />

boot making. In 1922 he purchased the Schaeg<br />

Harness and Saddle Shop and soon thereafter,<br />

the boot shop next door.<br />

In 1936, Leddy moved his business to 24<br />

and later 14 South Chadbourne in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. In<br />

1941 a location was opened in the historic Fort<br />

Worth Stockyards, where saddle production continues<br />

today, while boots are made in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.<br />

In 2007, after twenty-three years on West<br />

Beauregard, the <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> store was relocated<br />

to 222 South Oakes Street in the 1925 structure<br />

first known as the Spangler Planing Mill. In<br />

2014, Leddy’s received the Historic Business<br />

Texas Treasure Award from the Texas Historical<br />

M. L. Leddy’s is fortunate to employ many<br />

talented <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> natives, especially company<br />

controller Mike Morrison who was hired by<br />

Hollis in 1977. Mark Dunlap and Sammy<br />

Farmer, managers of Fort Worth and <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

stores, respectively, who both worked at Leddy’s<br />

starting in middle school. Other longtime<br />

employees include production managers Judie<br />

English, who retired in 2013 and Gary Tucker.<br />

For more information about M. L. Leddy’s,<br />

visit the company’s website at www.leddys.com.<br />

1 1 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s history dates back to the sixteen<br />

century, when the Spanish discovered the region<br />

at the confluence of three rivers and later set<br />

up an Indian mission. In 1867 the U.S. Army<br />

established Fort Concho in the same area to<br />

protect frontier settlements. Called <strong>San</strong>ta Angela<br />

before the U.S. Post Office changed its name,<br />

the town serviced the fort and its personnel.<br />

The first buildings were comprised of flimsy<br />

materials that could be repurposed or quickly<br />

torn down and rebuilt, so owners, business<br />

locations and types were ever-changing. When<br />

the 1882 flood wiped out Ben Ficklin, survivors<br />

moved to <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, which then became the<br />

county seat.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> also became a shipping center<br />

with the introduction of the <strong>San</strong>ta Fe Railroad<br />

in 1888 and the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient<br />

in 1909. It was the first Permian Basin town<br />

to prosper from the discovery of oil in the<br />

1900s. The town experienced further growth<br />

after tuberculosis patients relocated here when<br />

their doctors recommended living<br />

in a warm, dry climate.<br />

As <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> grew, the structures<br />

that housed its downtown<br />

businesses became permanent fixtures,<br />

with several designed by<br />

famed architect Oscar Ruffini.<br />

William S. Veck, “The Father of<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>,” owned a mercantile<br />

and saloon at 222 South Oakes<br />

Street and started the town’s first<br />

private bank in 1880, which later<br />

became The Citizen’s National Bank.<br />

The bank relocated, but the two-story<br />

building served as office space for<br />

several years until it was ravaged by<br />

fire in 1885; it is now the parking<br />

lot for M. L. Leddy’s, a longtime boot<br />

and saddle producer, which exists in<br />

the former Pickwick Hall, created as<br />

a social venue in 1884.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> National Bank, later<br />

renamed Citizen’s National Bank,<br />

opened in 1884 on saloon property<br />

at 26 East Concho Avenue. A tunnel<br />

underneath the bank led to nearby<br />

Miss Hattie’s Bordello. In the 1980s,<br />

the late Ken Gunter saved the building<br />

at 26 East Concho, along with<br />

several other Concho Avenue structures, then<br />

restored, preserved and registered them as Texas<br />

Historic National Landmarks. The bank is now<br />

Miss Hattie’s Restaurant and Saloon, owned by<br />

Gunter’s wife, Brenda.<br />

Other historic downtown buildings include<br />

The Bank Exchange Saloon at 35 East Concho<br />

Avenue, now Eggemeyer’s General Store; the<br />

Cactus Hotel at 36 East Twohig, Conrad Hilton’s<br />

fourth hotel, built in 1929; The Three Sisters<br />

Buildings at 114, 116 and 118 South Chadbourne<br />

Street, built in 1888 and 1889; Roosevelt Hotel,<br />

52 North Chadbourne Street, built in the early<br />

twentieth century and originally known as the<br />

Rainbow Hotel. One of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s most notable<br />

buildings, The Texas Theatre, was built in 1929<br />

at 33 West Twohig and, at the time, was the ninth<br />

largest theater in the state.<br />

For more information on Downtown <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Inc., a nonprofit devoted to preserving<br />

and promoting the area of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> for which<br />

it is named, visit www.downtownsanangelo.com.<br />



INC.<br />

Below: North side of Concho Avenue<br />

featuring the Veck Sterrett Bank,<br />

A. J. Potter’s Bakery, S. Lapowski and<br />

Bro., <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> National Bank and<br />

Johnson and Taylor. Photograph taken<br />

about 1887.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 1 7


Texas State Bank of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> opened on<br />

February 16, 1963, at 2201 Sherwood Way with<br />

nine employees, 108 stockholders, and $500,000<br />

in exchange assets and cash. With three other<br />

banks in town, all of which were downtown, it<br />

was <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>’s first suburban bank. The bank<br />

is proud to be locally owned and operated and is<br />

committed to helping West Texans realize their<br />

visions for a prosperous future.<br />

The original founders and directors were Ted<br />

R. Brown, Henry C. Charless, R. C. Crabb, Arch<br />

Lewis, W. I. Marschall Jr., J. Mark McLaughlin,<br />

Douglas Pond, Armistead D. Rust, and Ed H.<br />

Schuch. McLaughlin continues to serve as the<br />

chairman of the bank’s board of directors. One of<br />

the bank’s original employees, Ann Hoelscher,<br />

also still serves as senior vice president/cashier.<br />

Texas Bank’s headquarters remain at Sherwood<br />

Way. It was originally a round building designed<br />

by architect Donald Goss; Douglas Guenthner<br />

was the contractor. An after-hours drive-through<br />

and walk-in facility were built across the street,<br />

and a 30,000 square foot tower was added to the<br />

original structure in 1979.<br />

The bank’s assets increased six-fold during its<br />

first decade in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and have continued<br />

to steadily grow ever since. Thanks to good<br />

management, loyal customers and prudent<br />

investing, Texas Bank survived the serious economic<br />

downturn of the 1980s, when federal<br />

regulators shuttered several local banks.<br />

In 1998, Texas Bank celebrated its thirty-fifth<br />

anniversary, dedicating a landscaping beautification<br />

project on the bank’s west side. Two old<br />

buildings were torn down to accommodate more<br />

parking, landscaping and a statue to celebrate<br />

the bank’s West Texas heritage. A year later,<br />

Texas Bank’s first branch opened at 4206 College<br />

Hills Boulevard, and another branch opened in<br />

2009 at 1815 North Chadbourne Street. These<br />

three strategically placed locations allow Texas<br />

Bank to better serve the entire community.<br />

Texas Bank is full service, offering a full array<br />

of products and services including checking<br />

and savings accounts, CDs, IRAs, consumer<br />

and commercial loans, and trust services. Texas<br />

Bank employs approximately sixty-five people<br />

and has more than 10,000 customers. Its 2014<br />

year-end assets were $259,571,350. The bank<br />

invests extensively in technology to provide<br />

customers with the latest in banking services and<br />

products, while still emphasizing the importance<br />

of good old-fashioned customer service.<br />

Texas Bank is a strong supporter of the<br />

community through financial giving and<br />

volunteerism. Bank officers and employees are<br />

involved in worthy causes including United<br />

Way, American Heart Association, West Texas<br />

Boys Ranch, Meals for the Elderly, Concho<br />

Valley Regional Food Bank, Rotary, Kiwanis,<br />

Lions Club, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council<br />

of the Concho Valley, West Texas Rehab and<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> State University.<br />

For more information about Texas State Bank<br />

of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, visit www.txbank.com.<br />

1 1 8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O



REGION 15<br />

Education Service Center Region 15 is one<br />

of twenty regional service centers in Texas.<br />

Education Service Centers were established<br />

by the Texas Legislature in 1967. They are<br />

non-regulatory and have a clearly defined<br />

purpose as outlined in Chapter 8.002 of the<br />

Texas Education Code:<br />

• Assist school districts in improving student<br />

performance in each region of the state;<br />

• Enable school districts to operate more efficiently<br />

and economically; and<br />

• Implement initiatives assigned by the legislature<br />

or the Commissioner of Education.<br />

Region 15 provides an array of services to the<br />

forty-three public school districts/charters located<br />

within the eighteen county area surrounding<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. This service area spans more than<br />

25,000 square miles and includes over 48,000<br />

students and 7,000 district employees. Services<br />

provided range from professional development,<br />

technical assistance with state and federal compliance,<br />

child nutrition, business office support,<br />

data services, bus driver certification, and technology<br />

support—including Internet services.<br />

Region 15 is dedicated to excellence in<br />

education through leadership, partnership,<br />

and service.<br />

Region 15 strives to provide the best possible<br />

services to our districts/charters and works<br />

as a “team” in improving education throughout<br />

the region. A number of cooperatives and<br />

shared services arrangements are offered to<br />

provide efficiencies to the districts/charters.<br />

The service center partners with <strong>Angelo</strong> State<br />

University and Howard College in teacher<br />

preparation programs and other areas that<br />

impact public education.<br />

Region 15 also houses the Early Childhood<br />

Intervention program in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>—serving<br />

children from birth to three years old, who have<br />

developmental delays. The service center also<br />

provides Head Start services to school districts<br />

in Brown, Coleman, McCulloch, and Runnels<br />

Counties. Together we all ‘Make a Difference’ in<br />

the lives of area children and their families.<br />

Above: Education Service Center<br />

Region 15 is located at 612 South<br />

Irene Street overlooking the<br />

Concho River.<br />

Left: Texas counties in Region 15<br />

service area.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 1 9

LEE, LEE &<br />



INC.<br />

Ancestors of Lee, Lee & Puckitt Associates,<br />

Inc.’s senior partners arrived in West Texas via<br />

horse-drawn wagons and settled on the land<br />

that, more than 100 years later, the ranch real<br />

estate business’ partners continue to operate.<br />

Land was in their lineage, the Texas soil in their<br />

blood, so it made sense to found a company that<br />

makes land a part of other families’ heritages.<br />

Loyalty to Texas and a resolve to serve its citizens<br />

has been the company’s backbone the past fifty<br />

years of its existence.<br />

Lee, Lee & Puckitt Associates, Inc., originated<br />

in Bronte and operated there from 1962 to<br />

1976, at which time its <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> headquarters<br />

was constructed. The company has operated in<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> since 1977 with a steadfast mission<br />

of providing experience, knowledge, and ethics<br />

in the ranch real estate industry.<br />

In the early days of the firm’s existence, a<br />

$1 million ranch sale was a remarkable accomplishment<br />

that usually involved thousands of<br />

acres. Today, $1 million will buy less than<br />

1,000 acres. In contrast, in the firm’s early days,<br />

a month’s pay typically would secure an acre of<br />

land. That same job today can purchase one to<br />

five acres per month, a strong indicator that<br />

land prices are more reasonable now than they<br />

used to be.<br />

The business’ founders and key individuals in<br />

its early days include Martin Lee, who has been<br />

with Lee, Lee & Puckitt Associates, Inc., since<br />

1962; Tom Lee, who became part of the firm<br />

in 1973; and Lee Puckitt, who joined the team<br />

in 1987. The men—along with Lee Hortenstine,<br />

Kevin Reed, and associates Elaine Lee and<br />

Lane Puckitt—have a combined real estate<br />

experience of more than 100 years. The sales<br />

force has served and currently serves customers<br />

from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and regularly<br />

communicates with clients from throughout<br />

the world. The company has transacted at least<br />

1.5 million acres of land acquisitions. The<br />

Internet has allowed the firm to reach the entire<br />

world and has thereby been the most significant<br />

advancement Lee, Lee & Puckitt has experienced<br />

in its history of business.<br />

Giving back is Lee, Lee & Puckitt Associates,<br />

Inc.’s primary goal. The company has a long history<br />

of service to the community, whether as volunteers<br />

for myriad charitable organizations,<br />

churches, ranch industry organizations, and civically.<br />

The firm loves <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, its churches<br />

and the nation, and will help in any way it can to<br />

ensure that each is successful and free. It also<br />

cherishes the relationships it has established in<br />

its many years in the ranch real estate industry.<br />

For more information on Lee, Lee & Puckitt<br />

Associates, Inc., visit www.LLPtexasranchland.com<br />

or www.LLPranchland.com or contact them<br />

directly at 325-655-6989.<br />

1 2 0 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

Thrifty Nickel Want Ads started in 1970 as a<br />

freely distributed, single broadsheet, in Colorado<br />

Springs, Colorado. Pat and Milton Houston of<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> became entrepreneurs and bought<br />

into the franchise in 1983 when they opened<br />

Thrifty Nickel at 1604 West Beauregard Avenue.<br />

Now known as American Classifieds, the company<br />

has proven that a free publication can, and<br />

does, employ a staff and circulate money within<br />

the local economy. With American Classifieds,<br />

buyers and sellers unite. Individuals and businesses<br />

place ads for their items and services;<br />

buyers receive free copies of the ads and connect<br />

to the sellers to exchange goods for money.<br />

In 1985, American Classifieds moved to<br />

its current location at 15 North Tyler Street.<br />

Despite quadrupling in workspace, the long<br />

hours and tedious work of typing, designing<br />

ads and rolling and throwing papers was not<br />

over. Customers, however, were able to get<br />

quick results selling their unwanted items for a<br />

nominal fee, and the paper grew in size and<br />

accounts. Thrifty Nickel became a household<br />

name in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.<br />

to sell items. If the item does not sell after four<br />

weeks, it runs again for an additional four weeks<br />

until it does sell.<br />

Five years after going digital, Thrifty Nickel in<br />

2005 changed its name to American Classifieds,<br />

a decision made by the franchise’s owner, who<br />

wanted a fresher, broader brand. By year’s end,<br />

American Classifieds published a forty to fortyeight<br />

page paper, circulated more than $1<br />

million dollars in the local economy and distributed<br />

25,000 papers to more than 500 locations<br />

in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, the Concho Valley—even Del Rio.<br />



With the dawn of the Internet in 1996,<br />

Thrifty Nickel’s customer base exploded. With<br />

every classified print ad, a free duplicate ad<br />

is placed online. “Run It Till It Sells” allows<br />

customers to place private-party ads for difficult<br />

American Classifieds continues to evolve with<br />

more Internet and social media services for<br />

classifieds and display advertising. All displays,<br />

classifieds, and our entire print edition are<br />

online twenty-four hours a day, seven days a<br />

week. American Classifieds was founded on the<br />

principle that success requires ingenuity, perseverance,<br />

and commitment to value. Throughout<br />

the past three decades, an impressive legion of<br />

advertisers, individual sellers, buyers, and a<br />

loyal following of readers have depended upon<br />

its unique value. American Classifieds thanks<br />

each and every one for choosing the Concho<br />

Valley’s premier source for print advertising.<br />

For additional information or to place an<br />

advertisement, please visit www.angeloads.com.<br />

Left: New edition distributed<br />

every Thursday.<br />

Above: Current location,<br />

15 North Tyler Street, since 1985.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 2 1



CHURCH<br />

Southland Baptist Church began as a dream<br />

and an act of faith in 1978 when a group of<br />

families set out to start a church in the growing<br />

southwest section of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>. Fifty families<br />

joined on the first Sunday. Almost four decades<br />

later, through God’s grace, Southland has become<br />

a thriving place of worship, ministry, and<br />

missions that touch thousands in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> and<br />

around the world.<br />

With Martus Miley as pastor, Southland<br />

initially met at LaQuinta Inn. A year later, they<br />

moved into the Village Cafeteria, and by 1981<br />

they moved into their first building. From 1983<br />

to 1984, an education wing was added to<br />

the building, and a new worship center was<br />

completed in 2000, when Bill Shiell was pastor.<br />

The church completed a renovation of the<br />

education space in 2008, two years after Taylor<br />

<strong>San</strong>dlin became pastor.<br />

Southland is much more than buildings.<br />

Throughout almost forty years, Southland has<br />

engaged in hundreds of ministries and touched<br />

thousands of lives. Many members of Southland<br />

have felt called to serve ministries including those<br />

in jails and soup kitchens. They have taught<br />

English as a second language classes, delivered for<br />

Meals for the Elderly, and volunteered for Faith<br />

in Action. With five full-time and two part-time<br />

ministers, Southland’s thriving ministries include<br />

choirs, orchestras, retreats to Laity Lodge, mission<br />

trips, Mom’s Day Out, Bible studies, youth retreats,<br />

children’s camps, Festival of Faiths, Vacation Bible<br />

Schools and more. Groups have traveled to places<br />

as diverse as Brazil, Haiti, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Costa<br />

Rica, Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arizona,<br />

Wyoming, Minnesota, and Illinois—all to share<br />

the good news of Jesus Christ.<br />

Southland’s commitment to the world is greatly<br />

enhanced by the church’s partnership in the<br />

gospel with Terry and Kathy Waller. The Wallers’<br />

ministry, Water for All International, has drilled<br />

more than 3,000 wells throughout the world and<br />

has ongoing operations in Bolivia, Ethiopia and<br />

Uganda. Terry’s innovative well drilling design<br />

has provided the opportunity to conduct<br />

local drilling classes for a variety of<br />

churches and ministries; in the past five<br />

years, hundreds of missionaries and<br />

indigenous pastors have attended Water<br />

for All drilling classes.<br />

Southland Baptist Church’s mission<br />

is to provide a faith family that strives to<br />

be transformed by God’s grace, nurtured<br />

in Christ’s love, and sent in the Spirit’s<br />

power to join God in his redeeming work<br />

around the world. For more information<br />

about the church, please visit its website,<br />

www.southlandbaptist.org.<br />

1 2 2 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

In the early 1990s, Republic Services Inc.,<br />

formed as Republic Waste Services, consolidating<br />

several waste collection companies.<br />

Republic has served <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> the past thirtysix<br />

years. The company’s nationwide operations<br />

combine decades of tried-and-true practices<br />

and expertise from the most successful companies<br />

in the industry.<br />

Through its collection operations, recycling<br />

centers, transfer stations, landfills and landfill<br />

gas-to-energy projects, the company focuses on<br />

providing reliable environmental services and<br />

solutions for commercial, industrial, municipal<br />

and residential customers. Republic and its<br />

31,000 employees—ninety-eight of whom are<br />

local—believe in applying effortless solutions<br />

to customers’ recycling and waste challenges<br />

while respecting and protecting the planet.<br />

Republic’s landfill gas-to-energy projects<br />

are vital resources in communities’ renewable<br />

energy infrastructure. The use of landfill gas<br />

provides the economy and environment significant<br />

benefits, including the capture and use of<br />

methane, which thereby reduces air pollution<br />

and the offset of fossil fuels, which reduces<br />

dependence on foreign oil. Nationally, Republic<br />

has seventy-three landfill gas-to-energy projects<br />

and two landfill solar energy projects.<br />

In <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, TrashAway Services Inc., part<br />

of the J. C. Duncan Disposal Company, began<br />

commercial container service operations in<br />

1976 with the purchase of one collection<br />

truck. The following year, the City of <strong>San</strong><br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> awarded the city’s residential waste<br />

disposal contract to TrashAway, and in 1978,<br />

TrashAway entered into an agreement to<br />

operate the City of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> <strong>San</strong>itary<br />

Landfill. In 1995, Republic Services acquired<br />

TrashAway/Duncan Disposal. In 2015, Republic<br />

will partner with Butts Recycling to implement<br />

curbside recycling for the City of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.<br />

Republic serves 30,000 homes and 2,500<br />

commercial customers in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, including<br />

more than 9,000 service men and women a year<br />

at Goodfellow Air Force Base and more than<br />

14,400 students at <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Independent<br />

School District. Republic provides solid waste<br />

disposal and special waste disposal services,<br />

including exploration and production (oil and<br />

natural gas) and recycling. Locally, the company<br />

owns a fleet of 46 collection trucks with 31<br />

daily collection routes in a radius of 34,500<br />

square miles and annually manages about<br />

180,000 tons of waste.<br />

Republic Services is dedicated to supporting<br />

and being a good neighbor to the communities<br />

it serves. The company invests where it lives<br />

and works through customer engagement, philanthropic<br />

giving, volunteerism, infrastructure<br />

investments, and by operating at the highest<br />

standards in more than 240 markets. In 2014,<br />

Republic donated more than $150,000 in sponsorships,<br />

scholarships and volunteer services<br />

throughout <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, benefiting <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

State, local schools, civic organizations and<br />

recycling partners. Republic also has utilized<br />

local vendors when purchasing goods and<br />

services that total more than $1.75 million.<br />

For more information on Republic Services,<br />

visit their website at www.republicservices.com.<br />





S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 2 3


FAMILY<br />

by Wayne T. Franke<br />

Top: Franke Family Christmas<br />

in 2014.<br />

Above: Henrietta and Bernie Franke.<br />

Right: Why they could not make the<br />

Christmas picture.<br />

My career began at<br />

the GTE Southwest headquarters<br />

in 1968 on<br />

Johnson Street while I<br />

attended <strong>Angelo</strong> State<br />

University. After almost<br />

thirty blessed years<br />

with GTE, I retired in<br />

1998 and formed MJWT<br />

Consulting to focus on<br />

legislative and business<br />

development advocacy,<br />

both of which were a<br />

significant part of my<br />

positions with GTE. Through the last fortyseven<br />

years, my career has taken me all over<br />

the United States, as well as to Moscow, Russia,<br />

where, in 1987, I was invited to cook chili for<br />

a group of U.S. and Russian dignitaries at<br />

the U.S. ambassador’s home.<br />

Though my career has taken me many<br />

places, I have never been anything more<br />

than an “ole boy from <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>.” To me,<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> has always been…Franke family<br />

picnics at the park behind the old central fire<br />

station; the Concho Rivers as they meander<br />

through town; watching Twin Buttes Dam being<br />

built; seeing O. C. Fisher Reservoir full only<br />

one time in 1957 and the lake making Rowan<br />

and Martin’s television show twice because of<br />

its dryness; a full Lake Nasworthy with skiing<br />

and weekend family picnics; <strong>San</strong>ta Rita Park in<br />

the middle of as beautiful a residential area<br />

as there is in Texas; Sacred Heart Cathedral,<br />

Holy Angels Church, DeCoty Coffee Co., and<br />

Porter Henderson Implement Co.<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> is the old Miss Wool Pageant,<br />

Central High School and Lakeview, and the<br />

extreme pride I have in my alma mater, ASU.<br />

It is Sherwood Way—known as “The Drag”—<br />

while in high school; playing baseball at Holy<br />

Angels School; little league baseball downtown;<br />

baseball at Old Bobcat Stadium and at the<br />

current Bobcat Stadium on Johnson. It is the<br />

Cactus Hotel, Texas Theater, and Parkway<br />

Theater of days gone by. <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> is Bernie<br />

and Henrietta Franke, the parents of Ann,<br />

Karen, Teresa, Kye, Brenda, and myself; our<br />

grandparents, Valentine and Annie Kozelsky<br />

and Herman and Mary Franke; our aunts and<br />

uncles: Landis and Augusta Franke, Oscar and<br />

Gertrude Heinrich, Joe and Dorine Kozelsky,<br />

Julius and Dottie Kozelsky, Bobby and Georgia<br />

Mae Pohl, Roy and Anita Schaefer, Milton and<br />

Irene Braden, Eddie and Virginia Klepac,<br />

and last but not least, Uncle Henry Kozelsky<br />

who, in 1944, died in action at age nineteen<br />

in WWII’s Battle of St. Lo, France. In short,<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> is…home.<br />

1 2 4 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

West Texas photographer Melissa Davis-Crump<br />

grew up with a quiet admiration of the ‘magical’<br />

way cameras worked. This fascination eventually<br />

grew into a love for the ‘extension of the<br />

imagination’ that a simple photographic image<br />

could become. Melissa became dedicated to<br />

capturing memories in a creative and truly<br />

artistic way. Now, in her growing business, she<br />

has combined that fascination and dedication<br />

with a deep desire to help others and to fulfill<br />

her clients’ ever-changing needs. Melissa strives<br />

to better serve her clients by learning about<br />

them and their individual needs before every<br />

photo assignment. She also continues her<br />

professional growth by participating in educational<br />

opportunities, taking part in professional<br />

forums, maintaining friendships within the<br />

industry, and attending trade shows and<br />

conferences. Melissa also continues to learn<br />

about technology, marketing, and branding in<br />

an effort to push her business to the next level.<br />

She has found her website, www.daviscrumpphotography.com,<br />

as well as Facebook, to<br />

be very effective tools in promoting her<br />

work and business.<br />

Melissa is incredibly proud that Melissa<br />

Davis-Crump Photography has become and<br />

will continue to be a staple in West Texas of<br />

exceptional quality photography and dedicated<br />

customer service. Her goal is to offer amazing<br />

photography services and packages to everyone<br />

no matter what their budget is. She feels everyone<br />

deserves to have a permanent, tangible<br />

collection of their memories and history.<br />

Melissa continues to consider her clients to<br />

be part of her family and wishes to extend her<br />

sincerest appreciation to those customers who<br />

have trusted her with their most important and<br />

personal of memories. It is because of those<br />

people that Melissa Davis-Crump Photography<br />

continues to grow.<br />

Melissa Davis-Crump Photography offers<br />

many wedding and event packages with a<br />

wide range in time and price depending on<br />

your needs. They also offer several portrait<br />

packages as well as commercial services.<br />

Melissa Davis-Crump Photography also offers<br />

photo editing and restoration services. They<br />

also offer a large selection of merchandise<br />

including prints and albums.<br />




Above: Melissa Davis-Crump.<br />

Melissa specializes in wedding/event photography<br />

and couple portraiture, but enjoys shooting<br />

it all. She is a firm believer that sometimes<br />

the most creative images come from shooting<br />

outside comfort levels. Melissa also freelances<br />

for local, regional, and national publications as<br />

well as covering major community events.<br />

The mailing address for Melissa Davis-<br />

Crump Photography is P. O. Box 2122,<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Texas 76902. Melissa can be<br />

contacted by calling 325-340-0295 or emailing<br />

melissa@daviscrumpphotography.com. For<br />

more information please visit the website at<br />

www.daviscrumpphotography.com.<br />

S A N A N G E L O P A R T N E R S ✦ 1 2 5


M E L I S S A<br />

D A V I S - C R U M P<br />

Melissa was born and raised in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>,<br />

Texas. Melissa graduated in 2007 with a<br />

Bachelor of Arts degree in visual journalism and<br />

radio/television communications from <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

State University. In May 2010 she graduated<br />

again from ASU with her second bachelor’s<br />

degree in art graphic design and marketing. She<br />

has also taken courses at the New York Institute<br />

of Photography.<br />

At <strong>Angelo</strong> State, she was a photo lab assistant<br />

for over two years. Melissa worked very closely<br />

with students to help teach them how to<br />

correctly use 35mm manual cameras, process<br />

35mm film, and print photos. Melissa was also<br />

an active member of the Kappa Pi art fraternity<br />

while attending <strong>Angelo</strong> State.<br />

During her college career, Melissa worked as a photographer for the <strong>Angelo</strong> State newspaper<br />

and entered her photos in several exhibits and shows. She won an award in 2009 from the<br />

Texas Intercollegiate Press Association for her editorial photography. Melissa has worked for<br />

two commercial photography labs. She worked as lead photographer for a West Texas based mixed<br />

martial arts magazine and her photography has been published in nationally distributed magazines.<br />

Melissa has been an active member of Texas Professional Photographers’ Association (TPPA),<br />

Southwestern Professional Photographers’ Association (SWPPA) and Wedding & Portrait<br />

Photographers International (WPPI).<br />

Melissa has been with her supportive husband and assistant photographer, Harold, for over a<br />

decade now. Together, they have a beautiful and funny daughter, Alivia, who is a huge source of<br />

support and inspiration.<br />

1 2 6 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O


B E C C A N E L S O N S A N K E Y<br />

Becca Nelson <strong>San</strong>key was born in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Texas,<br />

and has lived there more than thirty years.<br />

Growing up an only child, <strong>San</strong>key developed an<br />

active imagination and creative spirit at a young age.<br />

Throughout elementary and middle school, she crafted<br />

her own magazines out of stapled notebook paper, and<br />

filled notebooks with her own fictional stories.<br />

A journalism class in which she enrolled during<br />

her sophomore year of high school inspired <strong>San</strong>key to<br />

pursue a career in print media. She was a member of the<br />

newspaper staff her junior and senior years of high<br />


school and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> State University.<br />

At age 21, <strong>San</strong>key began working at the Standard-Times as a sports stringer during high school<br />

football and basketball seasons. That stint led to steadier work at the newspaper’s community services<br />

desk, where she edited obituaries and wedding, engagement, and anniversary announcements and<br />

occasionally reported. <strong>San</strong>key eventually became a copy editor, then briefly worked in the newspaper’s<br />

marketing department manning two of its magazine-style publications before returning to<br />

the copy desk.<br />

She has been a freelance writer for the Standard-Times since 2008 and began writing for <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong><br />

Lifestyles Magazine, based in Weatherford, Texas, in 2011. She also has had articles published in Erath<br />

County Living, Wichita Falls Living, Midland Living, The Abilene Reporter-News, and West Texas Angelus.<br />

A lifelong animal lover, <strong>San</strong>key volunteered for years for a local animal rescue and served on<br />

the board of directors for a nonprofit rescue support organization. She also has a heart for foster<br />

children, and is a volunteer photographer for Heart Gallery of Northwest Texas, a nonprofit that<br />

displays portraits of children awaiting homes in foster care. In 2013, she started her own business,<br />

Be Free Photography.<br />

<strong>San</strong>key lives in <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> with her husband, Brian, their five rescue pets, and their children,<br />

Gavin and Savannah. They are expecting their third child in 2016.<br />

A B O U T T H E A U T H O R ✦ 1 2 7


A m e r i c a n C l a s s i f i e d s ...................................................................1 2 1<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> Civic Theatre .......................................................................7 5<br />

<strong>Angelo</strong> State University .................................................................1 1 2<br />

Armstrong, Backus & Co., LLP ........................................................1 1 4<br />

Baptist Retirement Community ........................................................1 1 3<br />

Baymont Inn & Suites ......................................................................9 8<br />

City of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> ..........................................................................8 7<br />

Downtown <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong>, Inc. ............................................................1 1 7<br />

Education Service Center Region 15 .................................................1 1 9<br />

Ethicon .........................................................................................6 8<br />

First United Methodist Church ........................................................1 0 0<br />

Fort Concho National Historic Landmark ............................................9 6<br />

Gray’s Transmissions, Inc. ..............................................................1 1 5<br />

Harrison Roofing Co., Inc. ..............................................................1 1 0<br />

Howard College ..............................................................................9 0<br />

Insignia Hospitality Group ...............................................................7 6<br />

Lee, Lee & Puckitt Associates, Inc. ..................................................1 2 0<br />

M. L. Leddy’s ...............................................................................1 1 6<br />

Melissa Davis-Crump Photography ...................................................1 2 5<br />

Miss Hattie’s Restaurant & Cathouse Lounge .....................................1 0 6<br />

Pinkie’s Liquor Store .....................................................................1 0 2<br />

Republic Services ..........................................................................1 2 3<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Area Foundation .............................................................8 0<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Ballet ...........................................................................7 4<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Chamber of Commerce .....................................................8 3<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Cultural Affairs Council ..................................................7 2<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Independent School District ..............................................9 4<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Museum of Fine Arts .....................................................1 0 4<br />

<strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Symphony ......................................................................7 3<br />

Shannon Medical Center and Shannon Clinic .......................................8 8<br />

Southland Baptist Church ...............................................................1 2 2<br />

Texas Bank ..................................................................................1 1 8<br />

The Franke Family ........................................................................1 2 4<br />

The Roman Catholic Diocese of <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> .........................................8 4<br />

The <strong>San</strong> <strong>Angelo</strong> Performing Arts Coalition (SAPAC) .............................8 2<br />

Tom Green County Library System .....................................................9 2<br />

Western Towers.............................................................................1 0 8<br />

1 2 8 ✦ S U R P R I S I N G S A N A N G E L O

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