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A Return to
Practical Etiquette and
Methods that Win in Business,
Relationships and Life
group training for
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the younger set,
she conducts age
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socialgracestx.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | (830) 285-3518
8 From The Publisher
32 The Great American Hot Dog
34 Old Timer
16 Art Of
EXPLORE magazine is published by Schooley Media Ventures in
Boerne, TX. EXPLORE Magazine and Schooley Media Ventures are not
responsible for any inaccuracies, erroneous information, or typographical
errors contained in this publication submitted by advertisers. Opinions
expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EXPLORE and/or
Schooley Media Ventures. Copyright 2020 Schooley Media Ventures,
Boerne, TX 78006
I have been married for 38 years,
we relocated to Corpus Christi
12 years ago. Love living on the
coast with my husband, dogs,
cats, chickens and rabbits. I enjoy
art, music, reading and spending
time with my husband. We have
a married son and a married
daughter I also have 6 grand
daughters, and one married
grandson and 2 great grandsons.
Matt Kersh is a freelance writer
out of Boerne, Texas that
focuses on almost exclusively
on the local music scene. Kersh
is an accomplished musician
who plays hundreds of shows
throughout Texas and the
Southwest United States.
Texas born and bred. HR
Professional, Chef, cake artist,
recipe developer, writer, and
frequent insomniac. Habitual
do-gooder and chronic
optimist, living my best life in
Boerne. Be kind. Make wise
choices. Be happy. I love you!
Samuel holds a master
of divinity from a large
Southern Baptist seminary
in Fort Worth. He completed
coursework for a Ph.D. in New
Testament before he left, too.
He served various ministries
from 2005-2016 before
getting into something more
straightforward and honest -
Local alumnus and advocate,
Casey Janes Bonham highlights
her talents and purpose with
insight and focus on social work.
She prides herself on having
a network focused impact on
life, struggle and victory. Casey
is a licensed social worker
with an additional Masters in
from Baylor Texas. As a Texas
native, she dedicates her life to her family, professional evolution,
community therapy and specialty court treatment.
Old Timer Just Old Timer
The Old Timer tells us he's
been a resident of Boerne
since about 1965. He enjoys
telling people what he doesn't
like. When not bust'n punks
he can be found feeding the
ducks just off Main St. or
wandering aimlessly in the
newly expanded HEB. Despite
his rough and sometimes
brash persona, Old Timer is
really a wise and thoughtful
individual. If you can sort
through the BS.
Benjamin D. Schooley
Benjamin N. Weber
6 | EXPLORE
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33125 Interstate 10 W. Boerne, TX 78006
Monday - Friday 9:00a.m. - 6:00p.m. Saturday 9:00a.m. - 3:00p.m. Sunday Closed
DEAREST EXPLORE READER,
It’s 2:28am on a Tuesday and I’m sitting on the roof of my
The world is quiet and sleeping, which is what I
should be doing as well. But my brain wouldn’t shut
off tonight, and for some strange reason, surveying
the rooftops of my neighborhood sounded like a cool
way to pass a few hours of insomnia. Plus it’s almost
tolerable in the temperatures department.
No this isn’t some strange habit of mine. I’ve actually
never done this in my life. Like most of you, I pass a
sleepless night by reading or watching mindless TV, but
for some reason, tonight I just felt the need to get away
and do something different. I have no idea why.
So here I sit on the roof working under the moonlight.
Somewhere a dog is barking. The occasional bat swoops
through. A cat is slowly prowling in the bushes across the
street. The moon is huge tonight, making the night bright.
The view is interesting from up here. These houses,
which I have driven past for the better part of the past
decade, look entirely different from up here. The rooflines,
the chimneys, the trees in their backyards that I rarely
can ever see from the road are all interesting to absorb
visually. It’s the same houses on the same boring street in
the same sleepy neighborhood, yet my vantage point is so
different and I’m enjoying it.
I was having coffee with a friend many years ago, and
I don’t really even remember what we were talking
about, but he said “Look Ben, your perspective about
this issue will either become your prison or your
passport. Choice is yours.” Man, I love that quote
because it’s pretty damn true.
After my younger brother passed, I began a very long
struggle with my entire concept of TIME and how I spend
it. My goodness have I wasted a ton of time. I try to not
do that anymore. But I had a very particular perspective
on the topic of “time”, and honestly it was my prison. I
was doomed to certain crummy situations and to shitty
relationships and a laundry list of frustrations. It simply
was what it was, and (shoulder shrug)….oh well.
But because of that traumatic loss of my brother and
some other things, I stopped one day and changed my
perspective and began to look at my situation a bit
differently. And then the strangest thing happened once
I had found my new perspective: TIME became my
passport and no longer my prison.
I quit talking to people that weren’t adding value to my
life. I cut my work hours. Dramatically. I traveled like
a crazy person and there was rarely a weekend I was at
home. I stopped thinking “Oh, I’ll get to that next year”
and instead said “I want to do this. NOW. Let’s go” and -
voila – I found that I began packing in adventures into my
life at an unprecedented rate and created quite a bit of my
All with a slightly different perspective.
I have found the entire topic of perspective to be such an
important one, and I’m sure you could identify countless
situations where its impact on your own life is visible and
tangible. Is your job kicking your butt? Is your marriage
in the crapper? Teenagers wearing you out? Feeling old
and fat while you read this on your couch with a beer in
your hand? Did you just realize that you haven’t gone on
a trip in 5 years? Hmm – well, what perspective are you
viewing these situations from? Probably the same one
you’ve always viewed them, and so I’ll ask you “How is
that working out for you?”
“Change” in our lives is a bloody awful process
typically. Changing our thoughts or changing our
behaviors is just a sloppy mess for most of us. We
have a perspective that we have either been taught or
learned, and we are quite comfortable with our vantage
point, even when it hurts us.
So sometimes, it’s good to just climb up on the roof your
house and take a different look at things.
I have a friend that struggles with some of her past. She
is a wonderful person and I think extremely highly of
her. She’s a great mother, is very involved, is successful
professionally, and is well liked socially. The one person
that doesn’t really like her is…herself. She doesn’t think
she deserves happiness, so she works very very hard to
remind herself frequently that she doesn’t deserve these
good things she is experiencing in her life, and will
actually work subconsciously to ruin the good things. It’s
quite odd, yet I read that it’s also rather common.
So I was thinking about her tonight, too. And I was
thinking about perspective, and change, and was thinking
about how I wish that I could help her more than I am to
see how valuable she is to those that love her.
But, no matter what I’ve done or said, she has been unable
(or refused) to see her worth. But the more I thought
about it, I began to think that perhaps sometimes we
simply can’t change our own perspective. We simply
cannot fathom a different vantage point to a situation or
we are emotionally unable to climb the ladder. Perhaps.
However, she knows that she has this dysfunctional
perspective. She’s talked about it. She knows it hurts
her. She knows it’s there. She wants to get rid of it, but
it’s hard-wired into her. So with that in mind, maybe
sometimes your own perspective honestly can’t change. So
what do we do?
Maybe all she needs to do is surround herself with people
that shower her with GOOD. And love. And light. Maybe
she just needs to find perspective not even with her own
eyes. Maybe she needs to view herself through the optics
of those that love her. Let them show her how she looks
to them. How valuable she is to them. How they love her.
Even if her own eyes won’t see it, maybe using others’
perspectives is even possible.
I don’t know. I’m not a therapist.
All I know is that, friends and neighbors, this life is not
long. I’m 44, and I was 24 like last week. It screams past
you so fast and before you know it, I’m talking about
my kids leaving for college and possible down-sizing
options. That’s insane to me. And at 44, I find myself still
struggling with some things that I might have identified
as problems in my life when I was 24. I have either failed
to find a better perspective to my struggles, or I have
refused with my endless list of excuses.
But then I think about TIME, and I shake my head at the
absurdity of it all. We all have a finite amount of TIME,
and wasting it by “kicking the can” is no way to do this
thing called LIFE.
So stop doing that. If not for you, then do it for me? I
want you to know that you have value and are loved. I
guarantee it. And I know life can be hard and exhausting,
but I also know you only get one life and I don’t want you
to waste it thinking otherwise.
And if I think highly of you, maybe you’ll think highly of
me? Maybe the next time you wake up in the middle of
the night, you’ll think of how weird I am that I’ll climb
onto the roof of my house at 2:28am and ponder life’s
And you’ll remember that in that moment, I actually
thought about YOU. And maybe that’s the perspective
you’ve been looking for.
Welcome to September. Every month in 2020 I type
these I say “Boy, sure am glad to be done with THAT
month!” but man, things sure seem to be dragging
on. Here’s to a new season, a new school year, and
hopefully, a new perspective.
8 | EXPLORE
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Get out and enjoy the great Texas Hill Country!
The most comprehensive events calendar. Send submissions to email@example.com
September 19: Fall Art Festival Hill Country-area artists
display and sell their work in historic downtown Comfort.
Browse for paintings, ceramics, and jewelry.
August 20-September 23: “The Savannah Sipping Society”
In this delightful, laugh-a-minute comedy, four unique
Southern women, all needing to escape the sameness of
their day-to-day routines, are drawn together by fate—
and an impromptu happy hour—and decide it’s high time
to reclaim the enthusiasm for life they’ve lost through
the years. The comedy is written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas
Hope, and Jamie Wooten, and directed by Wendy
Ferrell. Seating is now assigned, and tickets must be
purchased over the phone. Located between Marble Falls
and Horseshoe Bay at the traffic light, the Hill Country
Community Theatre is a handicapped accessible theatre.
Hill Country Community Theatre
September 5: Doss VFD Fish Fry Delicious golden fried
catfish and all the trimmings are served up every year on
the Saturday before Labor Day at the Doss Fire Station’s
annual fundraiser, which is in its 37th year.
September 4: First Friday Art Walk Tour fine art galleries
offering special exhibits, demonstrations, refreshments,
and extended viewing hours the first Friday of every
September 11-13, 18-20: “Smokey Joe’s Cafe”
Fredericksburg Theater Company presents this jukebox
musical featuring nearly 40 of the greatest songs ever
recorded and a live orchestra. “Smokey Joe’s Café” isn’t
just great pop music—it’s compelling musical theater.
September 12: LuckenRod Classic Car and Rod Show Get
ready to dance at this live honky tonk music festival that
also has a classic car show, awards, food, and beer.
September 26: JC Art Walk Local galleries open with
current exhibitions, featuring artists highlighting their
September 5: BBQ Cookoff On the Saturday before
Labor Day, celebrate the holiday at this annual barbecue
cookoff and arts and crafts fair. The day includes live
music, relaxing fun, food, and entertainment for all ages.
The event is held along the banks of the Llano River
underneath the cool shade of age-old pecan trees.
September 1-5, 8-12: KACC Art Exhibits On view
this month at the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center:
“Photoquest,” an annual photography exhibition
featuring the members of the Hill Country Camera Club;
“James Partain Retrospective,” featuring the work of the
acclaimed photographer; and “Happy Accidents,” and
exhibit featuring KACC members.
September 1-5, 8-12, 15-19: “Robert Pummill’s Texas: The
Land and the Legacy” An art exhibit showcases more than
60 of Pummill’s masterpieces, including his iconic Texas
landscapes and Western historical works.
September 5: Run for Riverside 5K The sixth annual 5K
run and walk along the Kerrville River Trail offers live
music, door prizes, and refreshments. Strollers, leashed
pets, and all ages are welcome.
September 15-16: Carden Circus For over 50 years the
Carden family has been bringing an astonishing and
awe-inspiring show to people across the country. From
amazing feats of athleticism with aerial acrobats to
magnificent elephants and tigers, there’s entertainment for
the entire family.
September 26-27: Triathlon Festival Run, bike, or swim in
eight different distance events at this athletic festival that
also includes a free kids’ run.
September 27: Bob Wills Texas Playboys The worldfamous
Texas Playboys continue their legacy under
the direction of Jason Roberts, with a one-of-a-kind
afternoon of traditional Texas Swing.
September 4-6: Rock’N Riverfest Gather at the Llano River
for a day of fun with jet ski races, vendors, food, music,
a car show, pet parade, and children’s activities. At dark,
the city of Llano puts on a brilliant fireworks show. Bring
your blankets and chairs to claim your spot and enjoy this
patriotic holiday with the whole family.
September 12: Llano County Wild Game Dinner Enjoy
a benefit dinner hosted by the Llano County Junior
Livestock Show Association. Along with dinner, there is a
raffle with numerous items up for grabs.
September 18-19: VFD Barbecue Cookoff In order to
support the Llano Volunteer Fire Department, this
cookoff has a $10,000 payout for brisket, chicken ribs, and
ribeye steak competitions.
September 4: Jim Messina Live in Concert Jim Messina has
played a pivotal role in the rock industry since first hitting
the scene in the late ’60s as the bass player in Buffalo
Springfield. Since then, Messina has formed and played
alongside bands like Poco and Kenny Loggins. Most
recently, Messina has assembled a group of musicians that
he has played side by side with over the years, touring the
country and playing sold-out shows.
September 4, 11, 18, 25; Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Friday
Afternoon Club at Gruene Hall A Gruene Hall tradition,
now in its 22nd year, where hipsters, oldsters, suits,
locals, and drifters mix it up to start their weekend rite
(pun intended). This quintessential Friday happy hour
celebrates the warmer weather with great beer prices,
prize giveaways, and the best in Texas tunes broadcast live
by KNBT 92.1 FM Radio New Braunfels.
September 19-20: Old Gruene Market Days Held every
month except January for over 30 years, Old Gruene
Market Days features more than 100 artisans offering
handmade items made by the vendors themselves,
including uniquely crafted items and packaged Texas
foods. There is free parking and admission and free live
September 23-27: Comal County Fair and Rodeo As the
largest fair in Central Texas, this celebration features
numerous events to please everyone in the family. The
Comal Master Gardeners Association has a booth where
visitors learn about gardening practices for the area.
The parade down Seguin Street is on Friday, and other
festivities include the Fair Queen Contest, carnival,
antique tractor pull, a barbecue cookoff, live music, and
kids’ events such as stick-horse races, a pig-wrangler
contest, mutton bustin’, and the kids’ rodeo clown
September 26: Cody Johnson in Concert Country music
artist Cody Johnson has landed two releases in the
top 10 of Billboard’s country albums chart and earned
recognition as the only unsigned artist in history to sell
out NRG Stadium at RodeoHouston.
September 26-29: River Revival Music Festival Splice
Records collaborates with Lone Star Beer to create
an annual camping and music festival that is open
to the public—complete with live music from Texas
musicians, the surrounding Southern regions, and bands
from beyond Guadalupe River. Meals, beverages, and
campsites are all included in the ticket price and please
feel free to bring your own cooler and camping supplies.
September 12-16: Texas Water Safari Billed as the
“World’s Toughest Canoe Race,” the Texas Water Safari
is a 260-mile long canoe and kayak race from Spring
Lake in San Marcos to the city of Seadrift on the Texas
coastline. Teams travel day and night, nonstop, to
compete, but teams who occasionally stop for sleep must
reach mandatory checkpoint cutoff times and cross the
finish line by the 100-hour deadline. Cheer the teams on
at riverside parks as they set off on this grueling race.
September 5-6: Grape Stomp Celebrate the traditional
way of separating juice from skins (white wine process)
or wine from skins (red wine process). Guests can stomp
grapes for fun and put their “stomp” prints on the back
of their souvenir t-shirt.
10 | EXPLORE
1499 S. Main Street, Boerne, TX 78006 Next to Dog & Pony Grill 830-331-1391
MUSICIAN OF THE MONTH:
By Matt Kersh :: Photography by Mack Eveland
Music has a truly beautiful way of bringing people together. More than anything
else in the world, the power of music holds a truly unique ability to unite all kinds
people that would not normally be able to connect with one another easily.
Let’s go back to some unknown point in 2013. I had
recently returned home to Texas, largely due to an
incredibly intense season of depression post-divorce
in California, and the other large part due to the fact
that I finally knew it was time to listen to my heart and
come back to where I came from to pursue my passion
of living and breathing music full-time. I had just met
Brent Michael Wood, whom I wrote about for the first
issue of 2020, and he and I got along well immediately.
He connected me with covering one of his regular gigs
at Sherlock’s. It was a really cool place, by the way, and
one of the actual music venues in the Hill Country that
unfortunately hasn’t survived.
That’s neither here nor there, but I was at Sherlock’s
playing that night, and there were two guys there that
were absolutely giving life to my set that night. Cheering
after every song, buying drinks and food, and just making
it all a whole lot of fun. These fellas were named Cliff
Norwood and Corey Skiles. Cliff, it turns out, was (I
suppose I should say is) one of the most supportive people
around the live music scene. And not just of live music in
general, especially of original artists/songwriters.
Cliff was good buddies with another singer songwriter
who I hadn’t yet met. There was a regular gig this guy
had at Cooter Brown’s in San Antonio on a weeknight,
and Cliff invited me to come out and meet him. After
having been out of Texas for a number of years, despite
my deep roots here, I was due to get to know more
folks in the industry.
I showed up at Cooter Brown’s that night and met Jesse
Stratton. Within an hour of meeting, he had me up on
stage to play “Amarillo by Morning” which featured Jesse
tearing up a solo on the song...on the saxophone. What a
cool way to start a musical friendship.
Jesse Stratton’s life has been about music since shortly
after the time he could walk. He’s a product of the
Texas Hill Country by way of Blanco, Texas. By the
time he was 4, his parents had bought him a drum set.
“I remember drumming along to their favorites like
Marshall Tucker Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival,
Bob Marley, Tom Petty; just to name a few. I taught
myself basic piano starting at about 10, and then dove
into the saxophone in the school band when I was 12.
Within a few years after that, my dad taught me some
chords on his old guitar. I started writing songs before
I even really knew how to play that well.”
Since then, Jesse has penned literally hundreds of songs
on a handful of different instruments about life. “I can't
really imagine a life without music. The only way I know
how to picture the world is through the lenses of music. It
has always been on my mind and in my heart.”
Stratton’s musical journey has run the gamut of genres.
“I’ve been in marching band and in a heavy metal band...
and everything in between, but I’ve always been drawn
to the heartfelt, raw, emotional side of things, no matter
the type of music.” Jesse’s band today is a predominantly
“country” band, but their sound is much more diverse
than that narrow of a label might lead some to believe.
“I truly search for the sound that I feel best portrays every
song I create, frequently running through 5 or 6 different
feels for any given song before I even present it to the rest
of my band. Then they all add their own flavors and it
becomes something we can all be proud of, packed with a
lifetime full of influences from each of us.”
Upon listening, one absolutely gets a sense of the
eclectic nature of influences upon Stratton’s musical
sensibilities. He counts both Robert Earl Keen and
Tom Petty as massive impacts on him stylistically
and as a songwriter, and they represent related but
very different breeds of the same era. In terms of
contemporary acts that have shaped him, he names The
Turnpike Troubadours and Whiskey Myers at the top of
the list, which are both fantastic bands, albeit on quite
separate strands of the Americana/Red Dirt scene. This
variation of styles makes for a really interesting and
flavorful experience for the band’s listeners.
“Among the best rewards of playing, is the sight of
someone smiling when they relate to a line I've written,
and the sound of someone singing along. Watching a
dance floor full of fans and friends, who are all able to
forget about their troubles together, if only for one show,
or if only for one song. The struggles are almost too many
to count, and are hardly worth recounting at all, because
I don't know (or want to know) any other way. I will say
that one of my biggest struggles is that I write more songs
than I have time to sing, which might seem silly, but it
really is a genuine weight on me. I love the songs I write,
and I am pulled to share them with the world. In other
words... quit requesting cover songs, people!”
Stratton is no stranger to juggling a lot of priorities and
responsibilities. He has a lovely bride and is a father
of 4 beautiful children. “I am very happy to have such
wonderful things to juggle. I do my very best to not
let any distractions get in my way when I'm at home,
because sometimes I'm gone a lot. I work 4 days a week
in the medical field, and play 2-5 shows every week. If
I'm not playing or working, I stay home. The good thing
is, my family loves coming to shows, and we play music
together at home, so the songs are a part of who we are.
The hardest part is writing new material, because I usually
do that when everyone else is in bed, which doesn't leave
much time for sleeping. I'm lucky to be a father and a
husband. I wouldn't want it any other way.”
In thinking about how challenging this time has been
for the world and how it has affected the music industry,
Jesse had these sage words to share: “I don't know what
the current state of things is going to end up doing to
the music industry, but if you want to help the musicians
you know, I think it's pretty simple. If there is a song you
enjoy, or if you hear something that resonates with you,
do whatever you can to share that with others. Because
sharing that feeling, whether it's hope or happiness,
sadness or beauty; that experience of sharing it together,
above all else, is what keeps music alive.”
Jesse and his family now reside in Wimberley. They enjoy
taking hikes and road trips together, playing Zelda on
Saturday mornings, and listening to baseball on the radio
while swinging in the backyard. “Every day we spend
together is an adventure of the best kind.”
12 | EXPLORE
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ART OF YOGA
By Kristine Duran
The popular practice of yoga has been at a steady incline since the 1970s,
but in the last five years we have seen it grow into a $27 billion industry.
Yoga is no longer associated with the stereotypical crunchy granola types.
Practitioners range from stay-at-home moms to CEO’s who are looking for
anything from stress relief to therapeutic practice or a spiritual form of
physical fitness. Instructor Rachel Villanueva is showing the Hill Country
how to do all three with the least amount of intimidation at her cozy yoga
nook, The Yoga House.
“Yoga is one of the things that helps me keep things in perspective. It helps me manage
my stress and my life. I feel like I’m a better parent, I’m a better wife, I’m a better friend,
I’m a better person.”
Rachel reluctantly began practicing yoga with her mother when she was 15 years old.
After a while, she began to enjoy the benefits and once she was old enough to drive, her
mother gifted her with a pass to practice on her own. “But after I became an adult, it was
really easy to say, ‘I want to spend my money on clothes, not yoga.’ So I went through
Her personal practice fell to the wayside once she started college. After graduating with a
degree in psychology, Rachel began working at the United Way on a call line for nonprofit
“During that time, there was no money anywhere and all of those non-profits were dry.
Instead of telling them the truth, we’d have to give them empty referrals. So I had to give
out numbers that I knew were not going to work and that was really hard.”
She endured many angry call backs where she was called awful names, leaving her
stressed and upset about her job. “I’d look around at my coworkers and they’d be really
good on the phone, but when their family would call, they would just bite their heads
off. Their relationships were not good and they didn’t feel good because they didn’t have
a place to put those emotions. I didn’t want to feel that way.” In the midst of her stress,
she remembered something her mother used to say: “If you’re going on a date, where
comfortable shoes. No matter how nice they look, if they hurt your feet, you’re going to
Rachel says, “Sometimes people don’t realize that the way they feel translates to how you
act. A lot of times, it just takes like 20 minutes of moving and breathing and I feel like
myself again; happy, good and comfortable.” So she began practicing yoga again.
Soon after, Rachel left her job to begin working in retail at Lululemon, a high-end yogafocused
retailer. She quickly realized that this is the community she loved and wanted to
pursue a career in, so she began teacher training and became certified. She was teaching
at studios and out of clients’ homes, but her real goal was to open up her own space
where clients could receive quality with paying an arm and a leg.
“I wanted to take yoga classes other than where I taught and it was getting really expensive.
Sometimes you go and it’s $15-$20 a class. Sometimes you think, I could eat with
that money or go to a movie. A lot of gyms have yoga and it’s cheaper, but it’s not the
same. The fluorescent lights are on and people are on their cell phone and it’s hard to
connect and go to a quiet place when you’re surrounded by a bunch of distractions.”
After Rachel gave birth to her son, her motivation only grew. She shared her idea with
her parents who enthusiastically volunteered part of their home to be her new studio.
Their split-level house sits on a hillside, meaning the first story of their home is underground.
There are no neighbors on either side of the house, providing the ideal spot to
be free from distractions, save for the crickets and birds. The downstairs area had become
a storage area for her parents, so they had no problem lending it to their entrepreneurial
daughter. Rachel says, “Part of it was me selfishly not wanting to go back to work.
It kind of worked out really nicely since I had a lot of people that I taught privately.”
Rachel has made her mark in town by being completely beginner friendly and approachable.
She spends 50% of the time on her mat because she’s found that people are very
visual. The other 50% is spent walking around to adjust alignments for everyone’s safety.
At The Yoga House, only English is used instead of Sanskrit, as many people are intimidated
by the use of Sanskrit. The casual environment is completely unpretentious and
encourages questions and comments during the session. But don’t underestimate her
because she knows how to challenge those with advanced practice as well.
The intimate space only fits ten people a class where Rachel can tailor-make her practice
each time so that each person receives individualized attention. “The classes are interesting
because there’s that dynamic of a group. Sometimes it’s really not motivating by
yourself and it’s extra motivating with other people.”
She is also available for private practice if group exercise is not your thing. Many of her
clients come to her for injuries, a number of them being from motorcycle accidents.
“There’s a lot of anatomy and science involved with yoga if you’re going to teach it safely,”
Rachel says. She is skilled at getting in tune with each client, learning what feels good for
them and where they are hurting.
With very little advertising, The Yoga House is steadily growing by word of mouth. “I
was afraid that since it was out of a house that no one was going to come, but the exact
opposite is happening. People want more of a connection, which is cool,” Rachel says.
Many clients are repeat offenders who often bring their friends along who also become
regulars. Although Rachel loves to see the business growing, she doesn’t see herself ever
taking the business out of her parents’ home. She says, “I want to stay true to myself and
attract people who are looking for a more personalized and unique practice.”
For Rachel, Yoga has always been a reminder of being connected. “You start to breathe and
move right, synchronizing things together. You just start to feel better. You feel good in
your body. You don’t have any aches and pains and you can move comfortably.” There are
also the aesthetic benefits of yoga that Rachel doesn’t discount. “That’s probably as exciting
because those are things that you can see and measure. Everyone has a reason why they
start yoga, but I find that it’s always something else that keeps them coming back.”
The Yoga House
9417 Aqua Drive
Boerne, TX 78006
16 | EXPLORE
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I have been sitting here in the sun thinking about old. I am thinking about it because
I am old and though kind people are always faking surprise when I tell them my
age, by almost any standard except that of Noahic flood patriarchs, I am old. The
Bible says that man has three score and ten and in some cases he may get ten more
but it is not too specific about what you have to do to get them.
All I know is that I have used up all those years and am pushing into unknown
territory as far as what God says about it. Sometimes I think Hve has let me live
this long so that I may fully understand how miserably I have failed to live up to
the standards he has set for us, but I cannot really say that is true. I believe in
His grace; in fact, I desperately rely on it. For a long time I thought that I needed
to be doing something, and that is alright for those who think that and actually go
out and do something positive in a missionary sort of way. But I think you have to
make up your mind that good is better than bad and set your sights on doing your
best to prove it. Like Patsy Yoakum used to say, “Good is better than bad because it
is nicer”. But maybe I’ll have more to say about that later because when you get old
you think about such things a lot.
I think, though, that old has been oversold. A lot of people act as if it is some sort of
accomplishment, like getting rich, or having a fantastic set of wheels. As if, maybe,
a lot of people have died off from lack of trying. There might be a trifle of truth
in that if you consider too much eating and drinking and riding of a motorcycle
without benefit of helmet are evidence that a person has let his mind wander off
the goal a tad.
Every time I turn around I find somebody pushing some product or lifestyle that, if
carried to the implied conclusion, would have you living forever. There are plenty
of advertisements for products that will cure everything imaginable, and some that
will not. There are literally thousands of products out there from green Japanese
pond scum to the latest products from Swiss scientists, all of which, if used long
enough and in sufficient quantities will cure everything. Drug companies are
regularly on TV and in magazines, advertising prescription medicines. They want
you to go down to your doctor and ask him to put you on their junk. I suppose some
federal law is involved here, but there are pages and pages of fine print advising you
about the wonder drug and how the side effects, however dire, can be monitored by
a regular blood test to see if your liver is being wiped out. And all these medicines
which will solve all, bear the cost of all high class advertising. If the FDA had a lick
of integrity it would ban all such advertising.
Whoever thought up the phrase “golden years” to describe these latter days ought
to be taken out back and shot. There is nothing golden about levering yourself out
of bed in the morning, every muscle in your body crying out for mercy, wondering
if you can even make it to the bathroom without collapsing, checking your body
parts one by one to see if they will hold together another day. And when you look
in the mirror it is no golden boy you see, but rather you mutter, “Can that actually
One of my earliest memories goes back into the great depression years. There is
this color advertisement in the Saturday Evening Post, or was it Colliers, or maybe
Liberty? Who knows. There is this fine looking gray haired couple standing by the
fence in front of a brand new looking house, smiling like jack eating briers and saying
“We retired on thirty dollars a month because we bought Pie-in-the-Sky Insurance.”
They were probably growing their own pond scum, too. I am glad to still be here and
to be able to assemble my old parts in the morning, but do not give me this golden
boy malarkey. You do not see any adds like that now. Insurance companies are into
low key financial planning and stuff like that. The gray haired couple leaning on
the fence has been replaced by an old geezer and youngish looking female. He is the
one smiling and muttering something about Viagra. Old is NOT Viagra. Old is lonely
and tired, drinking coffee and reading the obits.
Old is neither a place nor a state of mind, as some think. Old is an anticipation.
Old is a waiting game in which one goes through a period of assessment. There is
nostalgia. There are regrets. There are moments of joy and moments of depression.
And there is anticipation. No one really knows what happens after death. Those
who believe in God have what might be a generalization, but they know no more
than that it is a place which Christ prepared for them. It is difficult for us with our
limited minds to get much past an idealized earth and an anthropomorphic God.
We look with various degrees of anticipation. Some of us long for it. Some look
forward to what it will really be like, but want to wait awhile more to find out. There
is a bit of trepidation, too. There are a lot of what if’s.
When I was in the Navy during WWII, I was sent to Camp Shoemaker in California
to await orders. It was called an ‘outgoing unit’. Most of us were going out into the
Pacific, but it was a big place and there were a lot of places we could be sent. While
most of us wanted to get going, there was some trepidation too. We had been told
a lot, but we did not know what it was really going to be like. Just so are we in the
‘outgoing’ unit of life. Awaiting orders. Waiting and wondering when our name will
come up. If we think about it, we will say when we get up, “Could it be today?” Or
when we go to bed, “Could this be the night?”
Old is about health. It is about pills, pills, pills. Doctor’s waiting rooms, procedures,
regimens, paperwork, insurance, and doctor’s waiting rooms. Interminable waiting.
Old is counting up the time spent going to friend’s funerals, funeral home visitations,
taking medicine, waiting in waiting rooms, doing tests and finding that to be the near
20 | EXPLORE
sum of your social life. Old is not easy. Values change. Goals change. Some of our false
faces are eaten away and we find we are not always who we think we were and we find
other people suddenly appear stripped down to the essential personality.
Old, for most people seems to be a fight to hang on as long as possible. For some
people this is okay. Some people have no hope for an eternal home. There is no
belief in a spiritual body which transcends death. This life is all there is. It may be
ending miserably but it is all they have. Sometimes I feel that Christians who make
these last ditch stands are somehow denying the hope they have in Christ. Just
last week we got a note from the wife of a friend who had recently died. She said
“Oh, he is so much better off.” Of course he is, but I do not know if he went willingly,
joyfully. A physical body wracked with pain and without hope for recovery is better
off, whether for heaven or hell, or nothing at all. Let me go when it is time. Do not
hold on to me when I am no longer able to make such decisions. I am old, yes, old,
but let me die young.
Sometimes I think about how many years I have left and wonder how I may best
use them. Of course, it would help if I knew how many they were, but I can make
an educated guess. My father lived to be 87, my mother to 102. I have a brother
who is 88 and still functioning pretty well, another brother 80, and a kid brother
71. Insurance companies will give me until about 90. So I should have a few years
yet. But what to do? I think the answer is to keep doing what I am doing. When you
get right down to it, it is not too important what you do, but rather what you are,
or maybe how you do what you do. I have known many people who are into some
helping job, a minister perhaps, or a social worker, counselor, that sort of thing, and
are doing a terrible job. Selfish, arrogant, irritating – doing more harm than good
and giving the profession a bad name. So I think I will just play it one day at a time
and try to be more caring, helpful, and compassionate. These are areas where I
have not always done too well, so I think I will work on that.
When you get old you cast back over your life and try to see what things you have
done, your successes and failures, and find that they come back to you in a series of
picture postcards. The really meaningful times are not really that many. Most of
ones life has been spent in downtime or in maintenance. When you add up the time
you have spent sleeping, eating, grooming, going to work, waiting for the light to
change, sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, etc, there is not a lot of time left to do
something really meaningful. So who you are has been demonstrated by how you
treated the people you did deal with. I don’t think God gives a hoot if you find a cure
for cancer but treat your wife with disrespect, your co-workers with condescension,
and your bank account as the end game.
I am interested in almost everything, but do not know too much about anything.
While it gives me a lot to think about it is very frustrating. I may know enough
about physics to envision a new invention, but don’t have the detailed knowledge to
put it together. I may like to write, but do not have the willingness to put in the time
and effort to do what is necessary to publish. I may love golf better than I do pie but
have not the athleticism to do it well. I may be fascinated with archaeology, but do
not have the time to properly study and practice it.
There is no good way to end this for every person is born alone and dies alone. I
can speak for no one else. I will not seek out that good and final moment, but I shall
not go with the reluctance that would signify my disbelief in that house with many
mansions that God has prepared for me.
Vain dreams move on ‘til time has flown
And life has lost its vigor
The horn has blown its final tone
to call the lonely digger
So stack some stones upon my bones
to mark my trysting place
But let no groans in grievous tones
Mistake the fate I face
From Oh,so far the gates ajar
I see through joyous tears
Across the bar I ken that star
I’ve sought these sullen years
No mournful sigh, no keening cry
don’t waste a one on me
for when I die no tearful cry
Must rue my reveille’
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MOORE ON ART: NIKI BAKER
By Deva Moore
Magic, yes pure Magic!!! That is the feeling, the vision, the vibe and the emotion that one feels when looking at
one of Niki Baker’s art works. Niki is rather new to living in Boerne but Boerne is not new to her. Niki and her
family have been visiting Boerne for years while visiting her husband’s family in nearby Bandera and venturing
over to the lure of Boerne often. She and her husband recognized the beauty of the town and dreamt of a time
and place to settle there…Wandering the country has always been a way of life and talent. Niki and her husband,
along with their 3 beautiful children have lived in many different parts of the United States and her art is a part of
Niki cannot remember a time when art did not influence her life. As a mere child of
four, she found her love of art emerging in drawings and sketches of magical Disney
characters and every young girl’s dream---horses!!! Niki would spend hours just drawing
her favorite Disney character and when it struck her she would draw a nice horse or
two….Her work improved and she knew there would always be a place for art in her life,
art that she provided.
Niki moved seamlessly from sketching and drawing to using color, textures and tone to
develop her own style and magical art. She always had art classes and in middle school and
high school was certain of a professional art career. Under the amazing tutelage of her art
teacher, Rebecca Slaton, Niki found a satisfying future in art. Her teacher allowed Niki the
freedom to express herself in a captivating manner in any medium. She discovered that her
love for art was much more than just paint on paper, it told a story to share.
Niki moved her art career fast forward by taking classes at Kansas State University where
she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Art Degree. She realized that she could teach art to the
younger age groups in school but to teach at a higher level of students she would need
to obtain her Masters and for the moment that was not in her immediate future so she
claimed her position as a successful art teacher and settled down. Niki’s art is not settled
by any means. She found that paint and canvas was not enough and so she found that by
adding texture and metallic to her acrylic and oil paints she could create a medium that
added such dimension to her work it was astounding. Her landscapes came alive, her
stills became animated; her subjects sparkled with personality. Niki was happy with her
discovery and soon she had a collection of art enviable by all.
Niki does commission work and is planning to open a public studio in the near future.
The current world issues have slowed her but not stopped her. She teaches some classes
upon request and is currently exploring options to enlarge the public’s access to her. Niki
has a small studio at her home where she loves to go and create. Her ritual is to take her
coffee to her studio, light a candle to set a tone open the blinds to get lots of light, set up
some music of choice for the day, organize her supplies to the feel of the day and start
with a blank canvas. Niki says the hardest part for her is the first stroke. After that first
stroke her artistic talent instinct just takes over and masterpieces emerge. How does this
author know this… by seeing her work and interviewing her for her techniques. Niki
and her husband have plans to build a larger studio where she can teach classes regularly
or have painting night outs for those desiring to express themselves through art. Niki
is a supporter of painting nights with a subject for all to paint but she is more in awe
of classes that give the budding artist a direction and let them choose their own road
through color, dimension, design and texture. For time being it would be necessary for a
group to contact her and she will come to a location to mentor a class, teach some art or
give a relaxed night out of art. Her contact info will be at the end of this article.
After some years of acrylic and oil painting, Niki turned her talent to faux decorative
finishing. It was a lucrative use of her talent and she could share her abilities with
others in a day to day use with the beauty that was Niki. She enjoyed seeing what others
envisioned as artistic and she loved being a part of the process. She would consult with
her client on what their vision was for a room or space in their home and then she would
create that vision with paint, texture, design and arrangement for their home. Color
desires played a great part in the execution of Niki’s abilities and soon she was sought
after for her unique results and exceptional ability. Giving new life to walls, cabinets,
furniture and household objects was a skill to add to her skill set, and Niki had a giant
skill set. But still Niki found time to create on canvas.
Niki and her family enjoy the outdoors and frequently can be found observing nature,
hiking, or just enjoying the beauty that is the outside world. Niki will see something
that catches her eye and will snap a picture of it or borrow her husband’s phone for a
timeless pause in the moment for later reference. Then back in her studio, Niki will
sketch and then paint that exact moment on canvas. The colors, the energy, imagery,
design, light and tones will be perfectly recreated for perpetuity. Niki has found that by
adding metallic, texture and tones the art becomes a living masterpiece. It changes with
direction, lighting and position. It comes alive. Like all great artists, she knows when a
painting is completed and never another stroke to be added. Then she signs her name
and it has a life of its own. Niki says her favorite work that she has completed is called
“Over the Edge” and is a beautiful piece. Over the Edge is a stark piece illuminating a
steep cliff of mountains as a backdrop for the forest. The sheer force of the glistening
snow, the steep mountain range and the dark ominous trees take your breath away.
Niki gave this piece away as a celebration of launching her new website after moving to
Boerne. One had to register to win and she had many who entered to win hoping for a
chance to own a Niki Baker original.
Niki has found that certain art projects can be done in roughly 30 minutes but many take
up to a week to complete to her satisfaction. She has learned how to integrate venetian
plaster and marble into her textures and design and is happy with the way it all works
together to provide a work of art like no other.
Niki currently does not participate in any shows as her time is limited with her family
and the recent move but shows are on her list. She is currently exploring galleries in the
area for an outlet to showcase her art and meet and share with other artists.
Niki likes heavy paints who have body and substance. She enjoys using paints and
techniques that show movement and have movement. She is not a shallow painter but a
painter who uses depth and understands the use of her artistic ability to make the most
of each stroke of her brush, palette knife and trowel to provide a complete painting. Niki loves
24 | EXPLORE
her ability to get out of the box and the reward is her creation. She told me that her work
consists of many layers of design until she reaches the perfect finish to her project. Using her
techniques, her textures, her colors, dimensions, designs, and lighting the finished product is
stunning and the only question left is who buys it and where it will hang.
Niki, sometimes, is in a mood to paint quick and looser and sometimes it is a small
and slow painting. In any case, Niki shows off her ability to impress. She feels that no
interruption is her best space and she can lose herself in her work. Niki says “nature
is consistent, it may change a bit but it is always consistent in what it has to offer. It is
reliable but consistent. It is peaceful and enchanting.” Niki likes earth tones but loves to
explore vibrancy and contrast.
One thing about Niki Baker’s art is it is imaginative. It creates a scene and allows the
viewer to actually feel that they are in the picture smelling the smells, seeing the view
first hand and feeling the nature. Boerne has added another talented artist to its town.
Niki Baker and her family are definitely an asset to the talent that is Boerne. If you want
to set up a class, have a specific painting for your home, visit Niki Baker Art or just see
what is available for your own collection you may reach Niki at 346-232-7789, contact
her at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Boerne Businesswomen page on Face book
or check out her Facebook page Niki Baker Art. Another awesome artist here in Boerne
that you should not miss!!!
WWW.KENDALLCOUNTYINFO.COM/EXPLORE | SEPTEMBER 2020 | 25
George E. Metz III, DDS • Michael Hoeppner, DDS
25 FM 3351 South
Boerne, Texas 78006
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26 | EXPLORE
FROM THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON EARTH,
WE MISS YOU!
512 RIVER RD. | BOERNE, TX | NEXT TO LITTLE GRETEL
By Christine Friesenhahn
In Texas, like everywhere else, there are four main food groups. Ours
are Mexican Food, Barbecued Brisket, Chicken Fried Steak, and Chili.
Some would argue that Margaritas and Beer are their own distinct
food groups, but they should be considered as seasonings. You may
add more or less of each, to any of the others, to suit your taste.
When we want the best brisket, we know where to go.
When we want the best chicken fried steak, we know who
has it. Figuring out where to go for the best Mexican Plate
is ultimately more difficult.
Place “A” has the best flour tortillas, but their enchiladas
are weak. Place “B” has amazing refried beans, but their
rice tastes like dirty socks. Place “C” has salsa I would
drink out of a mug, but their tacos appear to be made of
canned dog food. I’m not making that up.
I find myself dreaming up the end-all be-all Mexican
Combination Plate. The corn tortillas will be homemade,
a little bit thick, and will have good corn flavor. The
picadillo will be made of actual beef, not canned
processed corned beef, and it isn’t really necessary to
provide an extra ladle-full of grease. The taco shells will
be fried on site, just before being filled and sent to the
table. The salsa will be fresh and flavorful, with some heat
to it, but it won’t melt my lips off of my face. The rice will
be fragrant, devoid of peas and carrots, and not a sticky
glob. The flour tortillas will not be thin, flavorless discs
from a plastic bag, but will be thick, soft, and chewy, and
a little bit salty. They will be made with lard. So will the
nicely browned refried beans, which should have a little
bit of a crust on them. From the lard.
I am not advocating eating lard on a regular basis. In fact,
due to the fact that it is a saturated animal fat, I advise
against it. There are some dishes though, that just aren’t
as good made with anything else. Pie crust and fried
chicken. And authentic Mexican food.
If you are going to eat Mexican food out on a regular
basis, stick with healthier choices such as grilled meats
and seafood, fresh corn tortillas, borracho beans and
grilled vegetables. Caldo and tortilla soups are good
choices, as are grilled fish or shrimp tacos.
But every once in a while, such as the morning after a
really good time that you can’t seem to remember, or on
Sunday, nothing satisfies like a plate of bona fide, cheesecovered,
made-with-lard Mexican food.
And by lard, I mean pure animal fat—Manteca–not
vegetable shortening. You just will not get the same flavor
or mouthfeel from shortening that you will get from lard.
Yes, you can substitute shortening, butter, or even olive
oil. But– and here is the really important part–you will
not get the same results.
Another thing you will notice about many Mexican
recipes, is that they call for cooking in a cast iron skillet.
This is because traditionally, many of these foods are
cooked in a large, cast iron vessel called a comal. It
resembles a giant, cast iron wok. If you want the best
approximation to that authentic flavor, then cast iron
cookware is the only way to go.
Including a recipe for every Dream Mexican Plate
favorite could easily fill a small book. Since we are giving
praise to the lard this week, I am including three classic
Mexican offerings that rely on it to be the best version
of themselves—flour tortillas, refried beans, and pan de
polvo…plus a recipe for picadillo to round out a meal.
28 | EXPLORE
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and minced
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 teaspoons cumin
2 cups water
1 tablespoon beef base
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
Add the ground meat, cooking until no longer pink. Add
the garlic, onion, peppers and jalapeno. Cook for a few
minutes more. Stir in the salt, pepper, and cumin. Add the
water and the beef base, and reduce heat to medium low.
Simmer slowly until most of the liquid has cooked out
and the remaining juices are thick. Serve in your choice
of taco shells, nacho chips, chalupas, or whatever your
favorite method of getting it into your mouth.
THICK AND CHEWY
6 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons lard
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
Add the lard, and using your fingers, cut in the lard until
the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir the water in with
a fork until a sticky dough is formed. Using your hands,
knead the dough inside the bowl 10 or 12 times, until it
forms a well incorporated ball. Cover with a damp paper
towel and let it rest for 15 minutes. Divide the dough into
balls. Use walnut sized for snack-sized 4 inch tortillas, and
use twice that to make 8” tortillas for tacos. Allow to sit
another 15 minutes.
Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat.
To roll out your tortillas: place a ball of dough on a heavily
floured surface...Using a rolling-pin, roll the dough one
time in one direction, then turn the dough a quarter turn
and roll again. This will help ensure a uniform circle. Roll
each ball a few times until the dough is thin–it should be
a about 4 inches in diameter if you used a walnut sized
ball, and 8” if you used a larger piece. The first time or two
that you make these, you may want to roll all of the dough
out before heating your skillet, and keep the rounds
between wax paper while you wait to cook them.
Cook until large bubbles start appearing, about 30
seconds, and flip it over to cook the other side. Stack the
tortillas on a plate while you finish the batch, but do not
place them in an oven.
You may use your favorite borracho bean recipe for these,
but canned pinto beans will work just fine if you don’t
have the time or inclination to cook up a batch.
4 cups cooked pinto beans, including some juice
1 teaspoon salt (if using canned beans or unseasoned
1/4 cup lard
Place beans, and salt if using, in a blender or food
processor and process until smooth. Heat lard to medium
high heat in a cast iron skillet. Gently spoon the beans
into the skillet. Cook without disturbing for 5 minutes.
Stir just to turn the bottom up a little, and cook for 5 more
minutes. Continue turning and cooking in this manner,
until the beans are bubbly and have a nice brownness to
them. Often served with a sprinkling of shredded cheddar
cheese, and popular as a breakfast taco on flour tortillas.
PAN DE POLVO
Mexican Wedding Cookies
4 cinnamon sticks
4 pieces of star anise
1/2 cup boiling water
10 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 cups shortening
2 cups lard
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pour water over cinnamon and anise, and allow to steep
for 30 minutes.
Mix the flour and baking powder together in a bowl
and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the
sugar, lard, and shortening until smooth. Add the tea
to the creamed mixture, and blend until smooth. Stir in
the salt. Add the dry mixture, a little bit at a time, until
a nice smooth, and not sticky dough is formed. Roll out
on a piece of waxed paper, to a thickness of between 1/3
and 1/2 of an inch. Use any small, 1-2 inch cookie cutter
that you’d like. Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Mix
together cinnamon and sugar and set aside. When cookies
are hot out of the oven, but cool enough to handle, gently
toss them in the cinnamon sugar.
WWW.KENDALLCOUNTYINFO.COM/EXPLORE | SEPTEMBER 2020 | 29
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THE CONEY ISLAND DOG:
Steamed bun, topped with a beanless, all-meat chili,
diced yellow onion, and yellow mustard.
Just because the kids are back in
school doesn’t mean you have to
put your grill into storage. Labor Day
is one of the largest get-together
holidays of the year. Though this year
might be decidedly different. Fire up
your grill, backyard fire pit, or even
microwave and impress your friends
and family with these unexpected
twists on the typical dog.
THE SEATTLE DOG:
Cream cheese and grilled onions on a toasted bun.
THE CHICAGO DOG
Chopped onions, sliced/diced/wedged tomatoes, both a
dill pickle spear and sweet pickle relish, yellow mustard,
pickled sport peppers, celery salt, and a steamed poppy
THE CINCINNATI DOG
Chili topped with cheese mustard and a small amount of
THE KANSAS CITY DOG
A Kansas City-style hot dog includes
sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese.
THE MICHIGAN DOG
Steamed bun, topped with a runny beanless, all-meat
THE NEW YORK DOG
Mustard and sauerkraut. Often cooked in a warm water
bath by street vendors - they have also been given the
semi-affectionate moniker "the dirty water dog."
THE JERSEY DOG
Diced stewed potatoes, roasted peppers and brown mustard
32 | EXPLORE
EXHIBITING TOYS FROM THE 1950’S TO THE PRESENT
$7.00 for Adults • $5.00 for Children
1020 N. Main St., Boerne Texas, 78006
Thursday - Friday 10 - 5
Saturday 10 - 5 • Sunday 12 - 5
WWW.KENDALLCOUNTYINFO.COM/EXPLORE | SEPTEMBER 2020 | 33
JUST OLD TIMER
We’ve made it to September and the shit continues.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this pissed
off at the universe, and that’s saying something. The
collective stupidity of our society is almost too much
to process. This is coming from an 80-something year
old man that would surely be taken out by Kung Flu.
But this endless paranoia and madness has aged me
horribly and I’m aggressively ready for it to end.
The thing is – it’s already over. Our infection rates for
this stupid virus are already back to the levels that they
were BEFORE it was even a national discussion, yet we
continue with this mask insanity and schools closed and
businesses being destroyed everywhere. A bunch of you
are going to try to spout your media paranoia talking
points at me, so save your breath. I assure you I don’t care.
Numbers are numbers.
All this said, I’m struggling this month because I’m
royally pissed off and I can’t seem to shake it. I typically
enjoy this little column and have fun with it, but this
month I just want to yell at all of you. I want to grab both
sides of your face and scream and rant and be angry…but
I know that’s not probably what you want. So I won’t do
Instead…this took me a while…because I’m pissy and
didn’t want to come up with something “fun”…but after 3
Jack Daniels...I finally figured that I should get over myself
for a minute and ponder other local issues to discuss.
So with that in mind, we’re going to think about 5 things
that would make this fall so much better. We’re going to
erase the first 9 months of 2020, and I’m going to find a
happy thought in my heart as we envision how amazing
the ending for 2020 could be with just a few minor
fellow residents without a packed and trashed Boerne
Lake. Oh, and the County Commissioners are going to
close all river access to non-residents, too. Sorry not sorry.
BERGES FEST IS ON. AT THE TOWN SQUARE.
If you’re scared of people right now, you can stay home.
The rest of us are going to load up our crew and hit
the Town Square on a Saturday night. That’s right, the
Square. Our favorite City Manager is gone, so whatever
beef exists between the City and the Berges Fest people is
officially squashed. We’re going to two-step in the Square
with a beer and the carnival lights with our favorite girl,
and we’re going to have us one hell of a time. We might
even ruin their precious grass in the Square (the original
reason for Berges Fest getting the boot). We’re going
to enjoy some rides, eat a candied apple, and win that
favorite girl a giant teddy bear. That’s what we’re going
to do. We’re going to get back to living, and I believe
that should begin with Berges Fest. In the Square. Like it
should be. Dammit.
With that in mind, here we go:
CLOSE THE DAMN LAKE TO NON-COUNTY
Have you seen the lake lately? Good LORD. Government
officials, in their infinite wisdom, close damn near
everything that’s fun to do in the world. So people look
for cheap things to do in the area. And then they open
Google Maps and say “Honey, what the hell is Boerne,
and did you know they have a lake?” So they load up their
19 relatives in a beater truck, roll out to our lake with 3
dogs and a BBQ pit, and proceed to beat the hell out of
our lake, leave dirty diapers everywhere, and then wave
BYE as they cruise back down I-10.
Yeah, that’s over now. On September 1, 2020, Mayor
Handren is going to sign an Executive Order closing
Boerne Lake to all but county residents. Don’t like it?
Then move here. But we must protect our recreational
areas, and we’ve all seen the destruction lately, so prepare
to enjoy some great fall afternoons at the lake with your
34 | EXPLORE
WE’RE GOING TO STOP FREAKING OUT OUR KIDS
Masks for schoolchildren is over, effective the minute
you read this. Taking 7 year old kids and strapping masks
across them might be the most insane thing I’ve ever
seen. Kids will be allowed to be kids. That’s an Old Timer
DICKENS ON MAIN – ALSO HAPPENING
We’re going to forgive our favorite Mayor Handren for
his decision to shut down Dickens on Main this year.
We’re going to forgive him because he’s going to undo
that silly decision. He’s going to remember that our
local retailers have been absolutely smashed to pieces by
the government over-reach into their ability to earn an
income, and he’s going to remember that he needs those
retailers more than they need him. We’re going to pack
out Main Street, listen to some great music, have a hot
toddy while we stroll, and we’re going to replenish these
good people’s bank accounts that have patiently stood
around waiting for their customers to return.
It’s going to be the best Dickens on Main EVER. Why?
Because we’re really, really going to appreciate being able
to attend this year. Why aren’t we scared at home under
our couches? Because we know that every year we attend
Dickens with countless people spreading flu germs and
yet we take that risk. Why? Because we like LIVING.
THE CITY IS GOING TO STOP TAX COLLECTIONS
FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR AND IMMEDIATELY
REFUND ANY PAID 2020 PROPERTY TAX
The City is going to recognize a few things: they’re
going to understand that the government took away the
incomes for the vast majority of people. They’re going
to realize that while people could not earn money, the
government demanded their tax money. That’s evil shit no
matter how you look at it. So the City is going to sit down
and say “You know what? How about if we give everyone
a 90-day break from property taxes?” And they will
discover that this is a good idea. People will have some
free cash right as they enter the holiday season, they’ll be
able to have a bit more for Christmas and travels, they’ll
be able to spread some of that money around locally,
and the City will understand and remember that it is the
LEAST important spoke on the wheel. It serves US. And
it should be reminded of that from time to time.
There you have it. Damn, that was hard for me to get
through. I’m on my 4th Jack Daniels so it’s bedtime now,
but maybe you at least smirked imagining what a fun
fall and holiday season we COULD have. Now, what are
the odds that any of my great ideas come to fruition?
Remember, the answer is always ZERO. But don’t worry –
I’ll not stop trying.
Hang in there – 2020 is almost over. Here’s to better days.
WWW.KENDALLCOUNTYINFO.COM/EXPLORE | SEPTEMBER 2020 | 35