Archive for November, 2009


National Geographic Traveler’s list of the top 50 Drives of a Lifetime, featuring the World’s Greatest Scenic Routes, landed on social bookmarking site‘s front page today.

And guess which route is featured alongside drives along the Amalfi Coast of Italy, the Florida Keys, and the Pirate Route of Jamaica? Yep, the Texas Hill Country.

And guess which town gets first mention along that route? Indeed, the “hell-raising Cowboy Capital of The World,” Bandera, Texas.

The article mentions Bandera’s massive chicken-fried steaks, Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar saloon, the Frontier Times Museum, and OST (Old Spanish Trail).

From Bandera the route winds through Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Enchanted Roch, Johnson City, New Braunfels (where my wife is now with our kids at the children’s museum) and San Antonio.

Being featured on the front page of is a rare honor and creates a huge amount of web traffic to the linked web sites. One strategy of some internet moneymakers is to create a web site at a cost of only a few dollars, then post photos, articles, and videos until one is featured on Digg’s front page. They then sell the domain for a big profit.

The Bandera-mentioning National Geographic article appears today alongside “4th Generation iPhone Now Being Tested,” “Puppy VS. Praying Mantis,” and “The Paint-Less Coca-Cola Would Save Earth One Can at a Time.”

29 Nov 2009

Bandera lands on Digg via National Geographic

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Community Journalism


The Medina Bobcat boys beat the Knippa Rockcrushers 60-55 in a tight, physical game that went down to the wire.

The Medina Lady Cats fell 65-39 to Knippa in varsity basketball action on Nov. 24.

You can view my photos from the games in the gallery.

27 Nov 2009

Photos: Medina basketball vs. Knippa

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Sports


The Riverside Players theatre group has been one of the best new additions to the Bandera County arts and entertainment landscape in recent years. I am a big fan of theatre, especially theatre small enough that you’ll probably run into the star players at church or OST.

These actors work very hard to bring their art to our community, and the money they raise is for a good cause.

These images make up a black-and-white set from the photos I took at their Nov. 22 final season performance of A Christmas Carol. You can view the full album in the photo gallery (best quality) or the Bulletin’s account.

26 Nov 2009

Photos: Riverside Players present A Christmas Carol

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Community Journalism


Update: Read Bulletin Managing Editor Jessica Hawley-Jerome’s story on the dachshund rescue, now posted to Four children living in “deplorable” conditions were also taken from the puppy mill property by Child Protective Services.

We received breaking news this morning of a massive seizure by Bandera County Animal Control. Bulletin Managing Editor Jessica Hawley-Jerome and I drove out to the pound to talk with officials and take photos; the result you can see in the surrounding photos.

These sweet-tempered little dachshunds, 43 of them (the largest seizure ever in Bandera County, according to officials), were rescued from an alleged puppy mill in Utopia.

It was a blessing to cross paths with these little fellows and ladies and take their photos for the newspaper. You can see more photos and read Jessica’s story in the Wednesday edition of the Bulletin.

Visit the Bandera County Animal Control web site for information on how you can help give animals a better future here in our community.

23 Nov 2009

43 dachshunds seized in Utopia puppy mill bust

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Community Journalism


Missed me?

As you can see from the surrounding photos, headway has been made in the “camera situation” at the newspaper.

By hook or by crook, I’m back to making the best photos I’m capable of, my hands untied and camera gear ready to rock after a prolonged hibernation.

You can view all of my photos from yesterday’s Bandera Bulldogs vs. Ingleside Mustangs varsity football playoff game over at the Bulletin’s account or in the Photo Gallery (pro tip: is faster, the images are bigger and higher quality and you don’t need a degree in Computer Science just to look at them).

Below are some of my personal picks from the gallery. Let me know what you think: comment below, hit me up on Twitter @BanderaOutlaw, e-mail me at, or call/text me at 830-688-1564.

My friends, it is so good to be back.

(UPDATE: Check out Spencer Smith’s gallery of photos from the Bandera-Ingleside game at

Plenty of rain soaking Bandera County and Texas from Austin to Rockport, which has recorded up to 10 inches.

From the photos below, shot along the Medina River earlier this week and then this morning by my wife Jacklen, you can see how much more water is flowing with our overnight rains.

Have any good wet weather or flooding photos to share? E-mail them to

20 Nov 2009

Well it’s floodin’ down in Texas…

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Community Journalism

Update: Thanks to everyone who sent in their comments about What’s Missing in Bandera County! I’ll have a write up with your responses online this weekend. If you have anything else you would like to share, or a Bandera County article you would like to see written about, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you again!

I recently posted the query on, “What type of restaurant would you like in Bandera?” with choices of Italian, 24-hour Diner, and Buffet. The 24-hour diner is currently in the lead with 40.1% of the vote.

To expand on that and touch on a broader theme, what do YOU guys believe is missing in Bandera County and why? Entertainment, health care, cultural arts, local news and information, whatever specific or broad idea that comes to your mind.

I’m interested in hearing your responses and will write an article about them for I’ll also be hitting up MySpace readers and the Twitterverse for their opinions.

The landscape of Bandera County is changing fast, despite many grognards who have decried otherwise, evidenced by new restaurants and ideas brought to life in the past couple of years. From the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic to the Ital’Yo gelato cafe, the Bandera Dodge House dance parties to the Dogleg Coffeehouse on Main Street.

I want to hear what you think is missing in Bandera County. Leave your comment below, e-mail, tweet me at, or call/text me at 830-688-1564.

Thank you, as always, for supporting The Outlaw!

18 Nov 2009

What is missing in Bandera County?

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Community Journalism

You can read snippets of all my latest adventures and news via the Twitter feed on the right side of this page, or by visiting Daily doses of community journalism delights from all across Bandera County!

I’m getting my gear ready to head out for Castroville for the Medina Lady Cats varsity volleyball bi-district playoff game versus D’Hanis, tonight at 7 p.m. at Medina Valley High School.

See you guys there!

3 Nov 2009

Heading for Castroville and the Medina Lady Cats playoff game

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Sports

As I was getting gas at Shell in Bandera tonight, refilling after my long trip to the big DFW last week, I took notice that the Air-Serv air/water unit was pouring water out onto the ground and into the street.

I went inside to inform the clerk, whose official response was, “Oh, well that’s not our problem. Guess somebody’s going to have a big water bill.”


So I went back outside and fiddled around with the thing until it stopped running like a faucet. The little squeezer wasn’t unsqueezing, so it just kept sending out a steady stream of H2O.

Apparently the Shell clerk didn’t know the fix would be so easy. And apparently she didn’t know the machine has a 24-hour 800 number you can call to report a broken machine.

I came back here to my office and promptly called said 800 number and got voicemail. I left them a friendly message that their Air-Serv unit in Bandera was on the fritz, that I was with the newspaper, and that I was interested in doing a story to “give them some good press about how quickly they responded to the situation.”

We’ll see if they call back.

In the interim, you fine folks help me keep an eye on that Air-Serv at Shell to make sure it isn’t at any given time flooding Main Street. If it is, just pull the little squeezer until it stops, then call the 800 number and remind them to fix it – and to call James at the paper about the story.

It only takes a few minutes to make a difference.

Have any stories to share about witnessing water waste in action? Drop me an e-mail, comment below, or call/text me at 830-688-1564.