Raising funds for a mission trip to Costa Rica next summer, talented members of the Lutie Watkins Memorial United Methodist Church in Llano served a delicious dinner and performed famous songs from Broadway hits like “Fiddler on the Roof” (above) in three dinner theater presentations of “A Taste of Broadway” last weekend (see more pictures on page 8 and lots more on the “Highland Lakes Weekly” Facebook page).
I had a wonderful dilemma last weekend. There were so many Veterans Day events that I couldn’t possibly attend them all. But even though I “only” made it to parts of six, I was absolutely delighted to see the way the Highland Lakes area celebrated this holiday. I consider those events to be the big story of last week, and I deliberately skipped other events that I might normally have attended because I wanted to save some space to honor the folks who honored our heroes. You’ll see pictures from eight Veterans Day events in this week’s paper (friends sent pictures of two more), and if my schedule had allowed it, there would be even more. Everybody else got lower priority.
That’s not to say that nothing else happened, and I have some other events covered, too. I hope you’ll enjoy the paper!
I have lots of items to mention here; I’ll do as many as I can.
Valentine’s Lakeside, on Euel Moore Dr. in Kingsland, is hosting a free “Hill Country Music Jam” from 1 to 8 p.m. this Saturday. They’ll have several out-of-town musicians there, but they are inviting local musicians to bring their instruments and join in the fun.
The new Pet Supermarket, next to the new Bealls in Marble Falls, will be holding a Grand Opening this Saturday, with food, drinks and a raffle for gift baskets, a $100 gift card and other great prizes! Plus, the first 50 customers to make a purchase will receive a goodie bag with samples and a Grand Opening Coupon Book. Also, the Hill Country Humane Society will be holding a “Show-n-Shine” there with several of their adoptable pets.
Things seem to be going a little better this week. I had an easier schedule last weekend even before the clocks fell back, and I’m feeling more rested and healthier than I have in recent months. And November, for several different reasons, has always been one of my favorite months. The weather finally starts to get cooler; ad sales always seem to be good (that’s a more recent benefit) and two of my favorite holidays are on this month’s calendar.
One of the many good things I noticed about Texas when I arrived here 25 years ago was that there is real respect shown for those who put their lives on the line to serve their country. I appreciate that even more now that my three kids have been in the military, and I love to see the many different events that honor our heroes on Veterans Day. I have especially enjoyed the annual school event in Burnet; if I remember correctly, it started at Shady Grove Elementary School when Charles Williams was principal (probably when my youngest daughter was in 3rd or 4th grade then). Maybe I’m a couple of years off, and maybe it had already been going on before I noticed, but I’ve been going every year for nearly 20 years (my son was in my front-page picture in November of 2012, when the event was held at Bulldog Stadium). It’s at the R.J. Richey campus now, and it’s been held indoors the last couple of years, but there are still usually more than 100 veterans who line up to introduce themselves to the large and appreciative crowd. To me, this is America at its best.
Then there is Thanksgiving, a holiday that seems to be losing ground to Halloween and Christmas, but a holiday which still is celebrated in the Highland Lakes area, and seems to accentuate the generous spirit that I see in so many of my neighbors here (not only in November, either; September was an amazing month for giving, and I was tremendously proud of my Highland Lakes neighbors who did whatever they could to help those affected by the hurricane). It seems obvious to me that if we stop to count the many blessings we enjoy here, that we will be more willing to cheerfully help those in need; November offers the perfect opportunity to start counting.
Mike Leamon and Lisa Morgan are “corporate refugees” from Austin who decided to invest their retirement nest egg in real property in Kingsland. After they purchased a somewhat-neglected little trailer park next to Packsaddle Elementary School, they began spending more time here. As their hands-on management style and pride of ownership transformed the “Twin Rivers” property into a vibrant little neighborhood, they developed a genuine appreciation for the Kingsland community. In 2015, they saw a “For Sale” sign off RR 2545 and fell in love with a little lake, built during the 1960s by well-known Kingsland rancher Shirley Williams. They purchased the 11-acre property which included the four-acre “Granite Lake,” and spent much of the next two years clearing the land and planning their future.
The plan they came up with was a “tiny home” overlooking the scenic lake; they moved to Kingsland this past summer. They decided to bring in a few more of the compact cottages for a “friends and family retreat,” as well as “short-term vacation rentals” which will help pay for the dream property. They were so impressed with Platinum Cottages’ charming, 399-square-foot luxury homes that Lisa decided to become a dealer this fall. They now have six tiny homes on the west side of their lake; one is their home, two are beautifully furnished model homes (which will double as vacation cottages) and the other three are straight-from-the-factory homes available for sale. The only catch is that you can’t leave them by Granite Lake; you’ll have to find your own piece of paradise to settle down.
Two national issues and one state issue dominated the front page of The Llano News on September 6, 1917. The U.S. Army was mobilized for World War 1, Prohibition failed to win a majority in Llano County, and the Texas Senate zeroed in on a mysterious $156,000 loan in Governor James Ferguson’s impeachment trial.
The first 30,000 American draftees were called to active service on September 5, and the Provost Marshal’s office reported that the mobilization was proceeding “without a hitch.” An elaborate banquet was held on the courthouse lawn to honor local draftees and their families. Joe McGinnis, Elmer Crockett and Raymond Hargroves were the first three Llano boys called up; they left on the train on Wednesday morning.
Frank Flack, originally from Llano and more recently from San Saba, was promoted to Sargeant-Major. Frank Wallace, one of the early volunteers from Llano, sent a letter to his mother from France, reporting a pleasant trip with no seasickness and a good first impression of the European country. The letter took two weeks to get from France to Llano.
I’m sure that you’ll all be interested to hear that I have a brand-new excuse for any sloppiness or disorganization in this week’s paper. It’s the Houston Astros! I hadn’t been paying much attention to Major League Baseball this season before Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area in late August. I knew the Astros were having a good year, but I didn’t really start to notice them until after I heard that the team had donated $4 million to hurricane relief efforts. Then it seemed like they were winning every home game they played, and I started to wonder if this might be “the year.” It was, and a couple of those World Series wins (especially Game 7 on Wednesday) made me very unproductive for several hours. I started typing this column about half an hour after the game ended, and it’s now 11:45 p.m. I’ve got six more pages to put together by my 8 a.m. deadline (plus proof-reading, etc.), so you can be sure it won’t be a methodical process. There will probably be some glaring errors, but you can blame them on the Astros!
Actually, I had an excuse ready before the World Series got started. You probably remember when the cold front blew in last week; to quote the old Abba song, “there was something in the air that night,” and my allergies have been in high gear ever since. I haven’t been able to function very well for more than a week, and I really didn’t want to be seen in public most of the time. I missed a lot of events, but fortunately I was able to make it to several very photogenic Halloween events. That explains the preponderance of Halloween photos in this paper.
Well, I cheered up a little bit last weekend. Sure enough, things got worse. I really thought (for a little while) that I was having a good weekend, but I realized my mistake before I was halfway through it.
I don’t want to bore you with a litany of my miscues, but I do want to apologize for one of the smaller ones. I somehow replaced the “N” in Kaiden Winskey’s last name with an “R.” He was the Student of the Month at the Kingsland Boys and Girls Club, and I wanted to give him some positive publicity. I’m sure the misspelling didn’t help.
For the rest, I’ll just have to ask that you don’t rely on me too much. I haven’t yet forgotten to publish a paper, and there haven’t been any empty pages in the papers I’ve published, but everything else that I could possibly forget, I have (and some things that don’t even seem possible). I’m hoping that you’ll enjoy what DOES get into the paper, and don’t worry too much about the many things that don’t.
I have quite a few items to mention here, so I’ll try to get back on track.
This will be the last weekend for the Western Trappings on the Llano art exhibit at the Llano County Historical Museum in Llano (open 11 to 5 Wednesday through Saturday).
There are several family-friendly Halloween events that desrve mention. Of course, Kingsland will hold its big Halloween Carnival from 4 to 7 p.m. this Saturday (see ad on page 7). Bertram will hold its community event on Vaughan Street next Tuesday (Halloween Night), and Sunrise Beach will hold a community Trunk or Treat event at McNair Park from 6 to 8 p.m., also next Tuesday.
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Highland Lakes Weekly
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