Archive for June, 2010

Winds and clouds are picking up outside the newsroom this evening as the effects of soon-to-be-hurricane Alex hit the Hill Country. Let’s jump right into the news.

Have news to share? Post a comment below, drop me an e-mail, or call/text me at 830-688-1564.

(Above photo, Bandera athlete Roslyn Reeves flips a goat during the goat tying event of the Bandera County 4H Youth Rodeo held at Mansfield Park on June 25. Click for full size.)

Bandera County Top Stories

A 32-year-old San Antonio man lost his life on Park Road 37 last week after he was clocked doing over 90mph by a state trooper. Daniel Estrada burned to death in his ’03 Corvette after losing control while possibly eluding police: the Bulletin was told it was “not labeled” a high-speed pursuit, but quoting the incident report, the Express-News reports that Estrada failed to negotiate a curve during an “attempt to elude police at a high rate of speed.”

PR37 was closed for hours as emergency responders tried to clean up the wreckage.

Read the Bulletin’s coverage here, and check out KENS5′s video coverage here.

Bulletin Managing Editor Jessica Hawley-Jerome leads off the newspaper this week with a story about the friendly competition turned war between La Cabana Mexican Restaurant and the now-defunct M&M Diner in Lakehills. Accusations abound of trespassing, slander, vandalism, and all manner of Machiavellian discord

Other Bulletin headlines include:

Bandera County In The News

Twenty-six years ago, Bandera attorney Billy Walker’s sister was raped and murdered. KABB Fox 29 News last week featured an interview with Walker about what happened, and why he and his family are working to keep Gerald Rodger Sorensen behind bars. See the Bulletin’s coverage in last week’s paper, here.

Baxter Adams, owner of Love Creek Orchards in Medina, Texas, was featured Thursday by Country World Newspaper in “Apples to Apples: Orchard sets the standard” by Clay Coppedge. The extensive interview focuses on how Adams has overcome challenges from both nature and national competition to be a successful apple grower in the Texas Hill Country. “It keeps me working year-round, but that’s the way I like it because I really do enjoy it. It’s a blessing to get up every day and be able to do what you love doing.”

KENS5 News had great coverage of this year’s Riverfest on their web site, via two slideshows by photographer Jeff Anastasio: one for the overall event, one for the cool autos of the car show. You can see the Bulletin’s photo page in the lifestyles section of this week’s paper and some extras in their online album.

The Wimberley Texans are the team to beat in Bandera High School’s 26-3A district, according to Christopher Lyke of, as reported in the San Marcos Daily Record.

The Silver Spur Dude Ranch, Mayan Dude Ranch, other dude ranches and the Cowboy Capital were all given star treatment in the July edition of Texas Highways Magazine. The article says Bandera “still holds the reins on the state’s ‘horsepitality’ industry.”

Bandera County was named with Blanco, Kendall and Kerr counties as having one of the highest per-acre median prices ($8,375) in the Hill Country by the Express-News. “The best properties are not being discounted,” one source said. Read Jennifer Hiller’s article, “Buying Land,” online.

Other Bandera County News Snippets

(Above photo, Krystian Osbourn pitches for the Bandera Little League 12U softball team during their Friday evening match against Uvalde.)

Hill Country Elementary’s Scholars Program presented the play Stellaluna earlier this month. See the story and photo on the Bandera ISD web site.

The Hill Country State Natural Area near Bandera was given a glowing review by Pam Elliott over on

A visit to Bandera and Utopia is listed as one of the many activities participants will enjoy during the two-week English in Austin! Program, a training program to help those interested in developing their communicative skills to give presentations or more effectively communicate in any environment outside a language classroom.

According to folks over on, the night fishing at Medina Lake is pretty lonely this time of year.

There’s always plenty of interesting historical Bandera ephemera to be found on eBay. Just search for Bandera, TX. Seen this postcard of a Bandera cowboy punching cattle on the back of a massive Jack Rabbit? You ain’t lookin’ hard enough, pardner!

Start making plans now for the upcoming National Day of the American Cowboy celebration in Bandera County. Ranch rodeo, cowboy breakfast, Western arts and crafts, music, dancing and the usual Bandera fun.

Blogger Jozlin writes here about her beginner’s experience running at the Bandera High School track. I’m a fan of the jogging at the BHS track whenever I want a workout and Bandera Fitness is closed.

Do you have your ticket for the Reading Express summer program at the Bandera County Library?

The Bandera County Board of Realtors blogs over on

Want to know what events are upcoming in Bandera County for the month of July? Visit the Bandera Convention & Visitor’s Bureau calendar of events page.


Dale Green of Bandera is both a Twitterer and an aspiringfilmmaker on YouTube, producing humor and horror shorts. Don’t miss the perfectly edited and acted Emergency Broadcast System #1.

YouTubers ka07056 and kiahkimpo each posted some fun-on-the-water videos last week, the first of 44-year-old Keith barefoot water skiing on Medina Lake and the other of a sweet upside down water skiing jump on the lake.

Facebooker Chavela Trumble gave a good review to Rancho Cortez, which they suggested for “a real cowboy ranch experience…really cool, lots of fun for kids too.” Also, enjoy this video by YouTuber Slurvas of his group’s trail ride at Rancho Cortez last week.

Also, don’t miss this scuba diving video from 2007 in Medina Lake. “You know how you catch a dorkfish?” “Corndog.”

Swedish visitor and YouTuber Slurvas posted last week a series of videos from the Bandera-area rodeos.


(Above photo, the kids get to get goofy for the camera at the end of the Bandera County 4H Horse Project Youth Rodeo at Mansfield Park held June 26.)

Here on this week, I posted over 400 photos from the Bandera County 4H Horse Project Youth Rodeo at Mansfield Park this weekend, as well as my album of images from the Bandera All Classes Reunion with Charlie Montague and friends.

YouTuber JT1008 posted a photo slideshow of his motorcycle ride through the Hill Country, including Bandera.

Judith McCollum posted this photo of Miss Clara Mae from their visit to the Lost Maples State Natural Area in Vanderpool, Texas.

Facebook & Twitter

KENS5 News anchor Jeff Vaughn tweeted his enjoyment of a visit to the Hill Country last weekend, including Medina and Bandera.

Triple H Equitherapy of Pipe Creek tweeted about their June 2010 Newsletter.

Lindsay Hovel of Los Angeles tweeted of her visit to Utopia, “…where morning rush hour means waiting for a herd of cattle to cross the road on your way in to work…” Apparently the scorpions are also keeping her on her toes, a common complaint across the county this summer.

Bandera Electric Coop. tweeted this week some ways to save on your electric bill, as well as a job notice for a Key Accounts Specialist.

The Pear Ratz, South Texas Revolution, Julius Henry Arlt vs. The Sinister 6ix, the Pauline Reese Band, and Josh Peek all Facebooked their upcoming shows in Bandera County.

Reported by The Bandera County Outlaw

(Above photo, the Silver Sage Corral Thrift Store in the Bandera Village shopping center.)

If you’re a friend on Facebook, you: heard my recommendation for awesome quesadillas and cielo, tiera y mar in Bandera (Mi Pueblo Restaurant!); learned where you can still find online my archived photos from 2007 and earlier; got the tip to visit for their Fourth of July computer games sale; shared your recommendations for news to feature in this week’s Bulletin newspaper; had the chance to assist on a modeling photo shoot here in Bandera; were linked to my photos of the Bandera County 4H Horse Project Youth Rodeo last week, and saw live photos posted from the event; participated in a lively discussion about what books you’re now reading; saw my live photos from the five-hour line at the La Cantera Apple Store for the iPhone 4 launch; read my mini-review of the new iPhone 4; read my story for the Bulletin about BHS senior/singer/songwriter David Kassai and his new single on iTunes; learned where the best barbacoa tacos in the world can be found (Bit of Mexico); saw my photo gallery from the 2010 Bandera All Classes Reunion with Charlie Montague and friends; and learned what business in Kerrville serves some of the best sizzling hamburgers (Brown’s Drive-in Burgers).

If you’re tweeting along with me on Twitter @BanderaOutlaw, you: saw my recommendations to KENS5 News anchor Jeff Vaughn for best coffee, burgers and tacos in Bandera; got up-to-date retweets about tropical storm/hurricane Alex from the San Antonio meteorologists; were linked to the Washington Post article on the Supreme Court’s ruling re: Second Amendment as soon as it was posted; heard about Bandera County being added to Monday’s flash flood watch; were linked to an awesome photo story on 9-pin bowling in the Hill Country by Dan Oshinsky of KENS5; found out via fellow Bandera County tweep @Janice_830 that HEB had Honey Bunches of Oats cereal on sale for $1.11 with coupon; were linked to the KENS5 coverage of the Corvette wreck on Park Road 37; were first to see my photos from the Youth Rodeo at Mansfield Park, including live photos from inside the arena; saw live updates from Riverfest; learned my #FridayFollow recommendations was @MissionsMiLB for their fun, valuable, interactive tweets on San Antonio Missions baseball; saw live tweets of police activity from over the scanner; saw my photo for the Silver Sage Corral’s web site of their Thrift Store in Bandera Village; saw live tweets from the iPhone 4 launch at La Cantera’s Apple Store; were linked to the Country World Newspaper story on Love Creek Orchards in Medina as soon as it went online; were linked to the Bandera ISD Back To School Headquarters; were linked to KABBFOX29′s video coverage of the Wright murderer’s potential parole; were linked to my album of photos from the Bandera All Classes Reunion as soon as it went live; and saw a newspaper headline “you have to see to believe.”

For all the latest Bandera County buzz, catch up with me on Facebook, Twitter @BanderaOutlaw, here on the home of the Bandera County Outlaw at, or weekly in the Bandera Bulletin newspaper.

If you have news to share, drop me a e-mail, hit me up on Facebook, or call/text me at 830-688-1564. If you’d like to comment on this week’s news, feel free to speak your mind below or over on Facebook.

29 Jun 2010

Bandera County Online News Roundup for June 30, 2010

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Community Journalism, Sports

It was great fun to be invited out this evening to photograph the Bandera County 4H Horse Project Youth Rodeo at Mansfield Park. I’m rarely afforded the chance to shoot youth sports like this, so to spend the full evening shooting events from goat tying to poles was a real treat.

These young athletes are an impressive bunch – I have no doubts I’ll be shooting them in the professional rodeos around Bandera in years to come.

You can find my full set of photos from tonight’s rodeo, sorted into separate folders for each event, in the Gallery:

Bandera County 4H Horse Project Youth Rodeo at Mansfield Park – June 26, 2010

27 Jun 2010

Photos: Youth Rodeo at Mansfield Park

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Sports

Hope you have a great birthday Michael!!! We love you!!! Lovey, Zac, & Kaylei.

(This Lordy, Lordy Look Who’s 40 is brought to you courtesy of reader Medina Coach Lovey Sockol. Have a birthday or anniversary shout out to share? E-mail me at

24 Jun 2010

Reader says: Lordy, lordy look who’s FORTY!!!

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Community Journalism

From those I spoke with, it was a unanimous verdict that Charlie Montague and friends rocked 11th Street during the Bandera All Classes Reunion.

It was great to visit with so many friends and fellow Bandera High School alumnus. There aren’t many of my generation who chose to stay here post-graduation, but most agree, being back in ol’ Bantucky feels like coming home.

The concert was a great fun to shoot, and as always, you can view my photos in the Gallery:

Bandera All Classes Reunion at 11th Street Cowboy Bar with Charlie Montague, Boyd Bros., Tomerlins – June 12, 2010

Lots of Bandera County news to report this week, so I’m publishing the weekly news roundup a day early. Have news to share? Post below, drop me an e-mail, or call/text me at 830-688-1564.

(Above photo, Art Crawford and Lisa Beck perform at the Silver Sage Corral 25th Anniversary Open House.)

Bandera County Top Stories

A special grand jury indictment was handed down Monday for Bandera County Sheriff Weldon Tucker, who is accused of abusing his power by misusing a county search and rescue boat.

Tucker’s attorney, Charles O. Grigson, issued a press release Tuesday morning stating Tucker is “shocked and disappointed” at the indictment. This news came to us after the newspaper was finished, but we pulled the front page from press and put a late-breaking update in.

You can read that update here, and read the Express-News coverage here.

There are already 20 comments as of Tuesday morning on the Express-News site.

(Update: KSAT 12 News, which broke the story Monday, just posted a reaction story with video online. Reporter Charles Gonzales was in town today doing interviews.)

Gunslingers and Bandera, Texas, were shown love this month in Cowboys & Indians magazine, featuring portraits by yours truly of Lew Pewterbaugh (Bunkhouse Leather) and Nalene Dillingham-Stolzer (Mac & Ernie’s Roadside Eatery in Tarpley). It was a lot of fun to shoot these two great Bandera County personalities for the magazine.

Other Bulletin headlines this week include:

Bandera County News Across The Web

In The News

Riverfest is splashing down at the Bandera City Park this weekend, courtesy of the Bandera Business Association. Lots of good music, good food, beautiful cars, and river fun to be had. Riverfest is one of my personal favorite annual events in Bandera County. Don’t miss the Great Hill Country Anything That Floats Regatta.

Bandera baseballer Davis Morrow was honored with a Third Team nod in Class 3A by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association for their All-State Team.

Congratulations to the Bandera High School Alternate Graduates Class of 2010! Twenty-three students earned their high school diploma through alternate programs this year via Bandera ISD.

The Bandera County Jail housed an alleged murderer recently, according to the Fredericksburg Standard Radio Post. Brandon Louis Harber, 19, of Blanco, is one of two men charged with the November murder of a Kendalia man. He was transferred to the Bandera jail after being magistrated in Fredericksburg.

Bandera County was featured in the travel section of Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman, earning a full subhead from a story about San Antonio as the most popular tourist city in Texas. The descriptions of our rodeo fun are priceless.

Robyn Barnes wrote about how prospective luxury homeowners are setting their sights on Pipe Creek, Bandera and Medina in her article, “Hill Country Flight Moves West.” This coincides with Forbes Magazine naming Bandera County as the sixth most popular place in the United States where America’s money is moving, reported here last week in my June 16 roundup.

Bandera Middle School was recently recognized for their “superior implementation” of the Teens in the Driver Seat Jr. High program. The program teaches peer-to-peer safety for young drivers.

Former Pipe Creek resident Kendall Webster was featured last week in the Boerne Star for her role as the Fair Oaks Ranch animal control officer.

What’s happening this week in Bandera County? Check out the Bandera County Convention & Visitor Bureau’s weekly calendar.

Other Snippets

The Bulletin editorial staff, Jessica Hawley-Jerome and I, picked up some sweet awards this weekend at the Texas Press Association’s 2010 Better Newspaper Contest. You can read the full list of press awards we won this year over at

This year marks my 11th as a career journalist in Bandera County. I started working in this newsroom (back when it was The Review) my sophomore year at Bandera High School, and I have since survived countless owners, publishers, coworkers, and readers both engaged and enraged. Journalism and this community run through my veins as sure as blood.

Thank you for your support and readership as Jessica and I work weekly to bring you the best news coverage in the county.

Topping us for sweepstakes in our division were the Alpine Avalanche and the Smithville Times, both wildly impressive papers next to whom we’re proud to be mentioned.

Here’s an awesome historical find on eBay: an “Old West Bandera County Texas Sheriff Law Badge” that reads “Sheriff Bandera Co Tex William H. Burns 1932 1951.”

You can read a bit about Sheriff W.H. Burns on the Old Old News page for Bandera, TX, on TXGenWeb. Burns is featured in two Associated Press stories from the 1940′s, “Medina Man Held in Slaying of Kin” and “Riot in Town, Bandera, Texas.” Lots of other interesting news clips from Bandera County’s history there, going all the way back to 1885.

As of Tuesday morning, there were seven bids for the badge on eBay. The item is being sold out of Coopersville, MI, and the auction ends on June 25.

Did you know you can read the complete text of John Marvin Hunter’sPioneer History of Bandera County” on Google Books?

Caroline Clemmons blogs over at Skhye’s Ramblings about her research around Bandera and the Lost Maples State Natural Area for her book, The Texan’s Irish Bride.

The Texas Archeology Society set up camp last week on the Eagle Ford Ranch between Hondo and Tarpley for their annual week-long Field School. Around 400 folks from across the state, professionals through newcomers, came to study the area.

Factoid: The most published article in the category of Recreation and Sports – Rodeo on is, you guessed it, about Bandera, Texas, the Cowboy Capital of the World.

The Door In The Wall, Inc., of Lakehills, is a non-profit run completely on community support that uses a multimedia approach to encourage people with disabilities to try new experiences. Their goal is to “educate their able bodied peers to enable them both to live together with new respect and understanding.”

Whisper, Stripes McGee, Taz, and Shadow, all kittens from Lakehills posted to Craigslist, may still be available to a good home.

As of June 14, Pipe Creek’s Christian Riordan, 12, was the leader in the speckled trout upper coast division of the Academy Sports & Outdoors Starteens Scholarship Trout Division ages 11-17 in the 2010 CCA / Texas Ford Dealers / Tilson Home Corporation State of Texas Angler’s Rodeo. That’s a lot of sponsorships, but the $20,000 scholarship he could win is worth the plentiful proper nouns. He leads first-runner-up Thomas Shelton, 13, of Houston, with a 7lb 1oz catch.


Gary P. Nunn’s performance this weekend at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar was shown much video love on YouTube by hdbrock34. He has a string of videos posted from Nunn’s Bandera show.

This dung beetle is supposedly hard at work in a cow pasture here in Bandera, courtesy of Glowens.

Here’s a double backflip into Medina Lake, posted to YouTube by ModHuffVids.

A deer was spotted near Medina Lake this week. There’s an axis joke in there somewhere.


I posted to the Gallery a trio of event photo albums: Bandera County Relay For Life, Bella Fool performing at Blue Gene’s, and the Bandera High School Choir Talent Show benefiting Cancer Research.

Want to see some beautiful wedding photography out in Medina, Texas? Visit Peacock Photography’s blog to view Kristina and Dave’s wedding there.

I found this copy of 100 Years in Bandera, 1853-1953, by J. Marvin Hunter, behind the glass at Half Price Books in San Antonio last week. The sale price was marked at $100.

The Fordging Ahead blog posted Monday a set of photos from their visit to a dude ranch here in Bandera. Bandera superstar steer Oreo is the first photo featured!

Zedekiah12 posted a lovely photo of the Medina River off Three Mile Bridge on Sunday.

Check out the Bing photo and image search results for Bandera, Texas, to get a broad perspective on how the world sees Bandera, and how residents and visitors both have photographed the town and its events over the years. I love this image of a lizard saved at a Bandera golf course from one of those deep outdoor ashtrays.

You can buy a copy of an aerial photography map poster of Lakehills over on eBay for around $11. Same for an aerial photo map of Medina.

Facebook & Twitter

Bandera Electric Coop. tweeted a job opening they have for a Member Accounts Associate. Deadline to apply is June 28.

The Buck Wild Band tweeted their upcoming Aug. 27, 8 p.m., performance at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar in Bandera.

Willow The Dog was tweeted during a dip in Medina Lake this weekend.

Mike Sanders of the Country Boys Union band posted to Facebook his upcoming show at 11th Street Cowboy Bar on Saturday, June 26, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The Toman Bros band posted to Facebook upcoming show dates in Bandera County: June 23, 24 at Bandera Saloon; June 26, rodeo dance in Utopia; June 27, 11th Street Cowboy Bar.

Reported By The Bandera County Outlaw

If you’re a friend on Facebook, you were linked over to the Cowboys & Indians magazine article on Bandera featuring my photography, got the breaking news of Sheriff Tucker’s indictment, saw live photos posted from the Saturday San Antonio Missions game, got live updates from the Texas Better Newspaper Contest, and were linked to the Bandera County Online News Roundup for June 16 featuring Jessica’s story on animal welfare at Bandera County Animal Control.

If you follow me on Twitter @BanderaOutlaw, you saw my photo of the historical 100 Years in Bandera book for sale at Half Price Books, were first in line to read the Cowboys & Indians magazine feature on Bandera when it hit the net, participated in a discussion on journalism ethics re: free meals, were linked to the KSAT 12 News breaking coverage of Sheriff Tucker’s indictment and the related Express-News story, got live updates from the San Antonio Missions game Saturday at Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium, were invited out to the Silver Sage’s open house, saw live tweets from the Texas Press Association’s summer conference with speakers Robert Rivard of the Express-News and Dem. Gov. candidate Bill White, learned about a two-year-old boy found abandoned in his carseat in Helotes on Friday night, saw my #FollowFriday recommendation of San Antonio photojournalist Johnny Garcia for his live news photo tweets, received live updates from City Council as they chose a municipal judge, and learned what a BMPR is.

For all the latest Bandera County buzz, catch up with me on Facebook, Twitter @BanderaOutlaw, here on the home of the Bandera County Outlaw at, or weekly in the Bandera Bulletin newspaper.

If you have news to share, drop me a e-mail, hit me up on Facebook, or call/text me at 830-688-1564. If you’d like to comment on this week’s news, feel free to speak your mind below or over on Facebook.

Here’s a trio of photo albums from April and May I just this week had the chance to process and post to the Gallery:

Bandera County Relay For Life – May 1, 2010

Bella Fool at Blue Gene’s – April 17, 2010

Bandera High School Choir Talent Show benefiting Cancer Research – April 15, 2010

Welcome to the third edition of my weekly Bandera County Online News Roundup, a new feature here on Have news to share? Post below, drop me an e-mail, or call/text me at 830-688-1564.

Bandera County Top Stories

Animals left behind – This week’s headline story comes courtesy of Bandera Bulletin Managing Editor Jessica Hawley-Jerome. Her lead article for the newspaper talks about how “the county’s left hand does not always know what its right hand is doing” when it comes to Animal Control, and how the animals are paying the price.

I shot the photography for the story, and I can back up 100% the veracity of Jessica’s account.

You can see my images from our visit to the county and city facilities in the Gallery.

You can share your view with the community on this or any other topic by writing the newspaper. Letters to The Editor may be e-mailed to, mailed to P.O. Box 697, Bandera, TX 78003, or delivered to our office at 1110 Main St. in Bandera.

Other stories from the Bulletin this week include Smile, you’re on BISD camera (16 security cameras installed at Bandera High School), Motorcyclist killed in two-vehicle collision, City gives blessing for Sister City Partnership pins, Electronic pollbooks latest in voting technology.

Bandera County News Across The Web

In The News

John Woestendiek, former newspaper reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner turned book author and blogger at ohmidog!, visited the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch in Medina on Monday and shared kind words and photos from his experience on his blog.

He visited with Nancy Parker-Simons, rescue ranch caretaker, local author and prolific blogger at her Cousin Nancy web site, who wrote about his visit here.

Woestendiek left Baltimore last month on a cross-country trip with his dog Ace. Bandera County was one stop along the way as he visits “those parts of [the country] that are dog-friendly and in the red zones of that Verizon wireless map.”

The Dallas Morning News posted Sunday a glowing review of Karen Valby’s book, “Welcome to Utopia – Notes From a Small Town.”

The book was written after Valby time spent in Utopia, Texas, in 2006 producing an article for Entertainment Weekly.

The review in part reads, “She came, she confesses, with an agenda: Her editors sent her to find a place ‘somewhere in America without popular culture.’ For the most part, she finds what she’s looking for – after all, the nearest movie theater is a 50-minute drive away in Uvalde. She also discovers a town with a rich inner life, one that is a microcosm of the challenges small towns face all over the country, be it the loss of loved ones, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, or young people longing to escape to the excitement of bigger cities, in this case San Antonio and Austin…”

You can read an excerpt from the book thanks to National Public Radio and WBUR. The Austin American-Statesman interviewed Valby last week. For more Welcome to Utopia links, see the Videos section of my June 4 news roundup.

As of June 16, Welcome to Utopia has a 3.5 out of 5 star rating on My copy is on its way.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review posted Monday this excellent article about Lakehills resident Chuck Felton, recalling the “terror of TB, life at Cresson Sanatorium.” Felton documents his 16 months at the tuberculosis sanatorium, begun at the age of 17, on his web site, which has become an exhaustive resource for those who experienced sanatoriums in the 1900s.

Other Snippets

In a slide show posted Monday entitled “Where America’s Money is Moving,” Forbes Magazine highlighted Bandera County as the No. 6 county in the nation for difference in per-capita income between incoming households and existing households. The arriving average household income per capita is $37,849, with most folks moving here from Bexar County.

Are you interested in Bandera’s sister city Strzelce Opolskie and the Sister City Partnership Program? Visit the Cowboys from Strzelce Opolskie blog to see how our friends from Poland live and their interactions with Bandera, including host family profiles.

Bandera ISD released information on a Summer Tennis for Bandera County program led by Bandera High School Tennis Coach Ginger Postert. You can e-mail her for more information.

Bonjie Wernecke, founder and director of Door of Hope Ministries, will be a guest speaker at the Women of Wisdom Retreat in Pipe Creek at the Mount Zion Christian Mission July 9-11. Other speakers include Pastor JoAnne Squyers of His Hands Church in Boerne and Andrea Jackson, author of “Living for God & Not for Yourself.”

This poor bloke lost his iPhone at the Mini Mart in Bandera. $350 reward offered, no questions asked. Have you spotted it?

The Medina United Methodist Church maintains a strong online presence, including weekly audio services posted by Pastor Bill Stegemueller. This week’s series is on “Death in Adam… LIFE in Christ.”

I ran across a copy of author Selby Parker’s book “The Man From Bandera” for sale on eBay Australia, and thought to share the Bulletin article Jessica Hawley-Jerome wrote about Parker in 2006. Parker has penned several books, historical and fictional, set in the Bandera area.

Did you know that the No. 3 reason gives for why folks should visit the metropolis of San Antonio is to “Get out of dodge” and “Head to the hills and check out Bandera, Texas”? Travelocity’s editors say Bandera is “the place to get your cowboy groove on. With your choice of dude ranches, you’ll be roping cattle and horseback riding like a pro.”

Bandera Electric Coop. tweeted a link to their Together We Save program. Peak price hours for electricity run 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., which is the perfect time to sneak off to the Medina River, if you ask me.

According to Jim Rose Remembers Radio, Bandera singer-songwriter Bruce Robison celebrated his birthday on June 11. He was born in 1966.

I couldn’t help but mention this delightful Vintage Egg Beater on sale through eBay by a seller from Pipe Creek, Texas. Don’t miss the built-in splash guard.


Go behind the scenes of Bandera High School alumnus and filmmaker Reagan Peterson’s new movie College House with this video on Facebook. I saw some other Bandera graduates in the video, including stage actor Bryce Jeter and filmmaker Than Niles. I wrote this story about Reagan’s Call Center Series of webisodes for the Bulletin in March. He and I were in Business Professionals of America together at BHS on the web design team.

An Oak Wilt trenching program is highlighted in this video near Bandera, TX, by Dr. Dave Appel, program leader, Texas AgriLife extension, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology with Texas A&M. The video was posted June 10 by the Central Texas Conservation Partnership, a collaboration between public and private natural resource organizations.

Douglas78213 posted a couple of videos of Angel Cove at Medina Lake from 2009 when the water hit 50 feet low. The lake looks vastly different in these two videos posted this week by fumo7887 and lollygagger402.


I posted a month’s worth of fresh Bandera County news and event photo galleries here on Monday night. Includes Bandera, Medina, Utopia high school graduations; Lady Bulldogs softball vs. Ingleside; transformer blow-out in Bandera; Fox Family Living Center ribbon cutting; Medina One Act Play presents Dancing at Lughnasa (their state championship-winning play); proclamation signings by County Judge Richard Evans for boating safety, Older Americans Month; and the CCRA Memorial Day PRCA Rodeo at Mansfield Park.

Medina coach Lovey Sockol posted this photo on Facebook of a massive scorpion killed in her house. Lots of chatter on Facebook and Twitter this month about home invasions by scorpions. I’ve had good success with Philip’s Pest Control for keeping out scorpions and spiders both. Cats, chickens, and meerkats (video proof!) are good scorpion killers. Good sense always helps: keep stacked rocks, wood, leaves and debris away from your house; seal windows, doors, and vents; don’t leave shoes or clothes on the floor and keep bedsheets from touching the floor; and shake out your shoes and clothes before putting them on.

Photographer Ashton Rodgers blogged on Sunday this gorgeous landscape photo taken near Bandera. Rodgers recently moved to San Antonio to work with Helotes photographer Andy Mahr, according to his blog. You can view Rodgers’ portfolio on his web site.

Gerard Martinez of Lubbock shared photos of his visit to the trails of Bandera, Texas, on his blog, The Boy Who Loves To Run.

Blogger and admitted party girl Daisy of the A Daily Dose of Daisy blog posted these photos from her visit to Bandera this week.

The Knoxville News Sentinel posted this photo online, where “A youngster enjoys festivities in Bandera, Texas, the ‘Cowboy Capital of the World.’”


Corina is one of many who have given Bandera alumnus Charlie Montague a universal thumbs-up for his concert Saturday night at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar celebrating the Bandera High School All Classes Reunion. Montague’s debut CD is available at The Cowboy Store in Bandera. I’ve continued to listen to the CD this week, and it just keeps growing on me – the robust variety and richness of the music just keeps me coming back for another listen. If you like country music, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not grabbing this CD and supporting a Bandera High School graduate living the dream.

Aaron Peavy shared on his Facebook that he picked up first place in the modified division and third in the stock division during the Belt Sander Races last weekend at Jake’s in Pipe Creek. Between the belt sander races, snails (as in, to eat), free Wi-Fi internet access, and “kar-dee-oke,” Jake’s is landing some impressive punches in the fight to differentiate itself from the rest of Bandera County’s watering holes. I admit with shame that I have yet to attend my first belt sander race. I don’t think my photography portfolio (also, here) will be complete until I do, so it’s definitely on my Life To-Do List.

The Greek Tavern picked up a five-star (best) review over on’s Buy Close to Home yellow pages. Bulletin + Outlaw intern Megan Greebon wrote about the restaurant for the newspaper last month.

The Silver Sage Corral Adult Activity Center will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an open house event this Saturday, 4-7 p.m. I’ll be there snapping photos for the newspaper.

Charlotte Browning of the Longhorn Saloon posted to her Facebook that the Cowboy Luau Longhorn River Rodeo will be held this Saturday at 2 p.m. She says there will be rodeo events on kayaks and tubes.

If anyone can tell me the story behind Fast Buck’s songWhen The Moon Goes Does On Medina Lake, I’ll Be Going Down On You,” please don’t hesitate to share. Randy Condran via Facebook linked over to this song.

Reported by The Outlaw

If you’re a friend on Facebook, you got the first link to my blow-out Bandera County photo update here on, got the preview of this week’s headline story for the Bulletin a day before it hit the web, found out where you can buy photos of Bandera High School’s graduation ceremony, saw the first photos (and so far, only published photos) of Charlie Montague’s concert at 11th Street Cowboy Bar, saw a live photo update from the Bandera All Classes Reunion, and submitted your picks for Most Interesting Person on your Facebook Friends List for an upcoming feature story.

If you follow me on Twitter @BanderaOutlaw, you were linked over to the amazing Express-News images of last week’s flooding in Comal County as soon as they were posted online, learned that PB&J is a staple in the newsroom at the Bandera Bulletin, were linked to the WOAI News 4 story on a missing two-year-old who was found with the family dog, and were linked straight to the Bandera County photo blow-out update at when it went live.

For all the latest Bandera County buzz, catch up with me on Facebook, Twitter @BanderaOutlaw, here on the home of the Bandera County Outlaw at, or weekly in the Bandera Bulletin newspaper.

If you have news to share, drop me a e-mail, hit me up on Facebook, or call/text me at 830-688-1564. If you’d like to comment on this week’s news, feel free to speak your mind below or over on Facebook.

I spent today processing photo albums for the month of May after getting the newspaper out. There’s plenty of Outlaw photojournalism to be enjoyed here, so I’ll get right to the links in the Gallery.

Quicklinks: Graduation ceremonies for Bandera High School, Medina High School, Utopia High School.

From the Gallery:

Bandera Lady Bulldogs softball vs. Ingleside Mustangs – May 8, 2010

Transformer Blow Out near Mansion in Bandera – May 8, 2010

Fox Family Living Center Ribbon Cutting – May 13, 2010

Medina One Act Play presents Dancing at Lughnasa – May 20, 2010

County Judge Richard Evans signs Boating Safety, Older Americans Month Proclamations – May 24-25, 2010

Bandera High School Graduation Ceremony – May 28, 2010

Utopia High School Graduation Ceremony – May 29, 2010

CCRA Memorial Day PRCA Rodeo at Mansfield Park – May 30, 2010

Medina High School Graduation Ceremony – June 4, 2010

After a great response to last week’s Bandera County online news roundup, I’m happy to carry on this weekly feature on

If you would like to see more of this content on, drop me a line on Facebook, leave a comment on this post, e-mail me at, or call/text me at 830-688-1564 and let me know!

Bandera County Top Stories

Leading off this week with the Bandera All Classes Reunion coming this Saturday, June 12, 8:30 p.m. at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar. I got to preview headline singer and Bandera boy Charlie Montague’s debut CD when I interviewed Byron Boyd this week for the Bulletin, and it should be one heck of a show. Read my story for the Bulletin online, then visit the Facebook event page to see who all will be there (340 confirmed guests so far, including myself).

I’m sad to report former Bandera High School softball coach John Qualls has died, as reported in the Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune. Facebook lit up this week with kind words and tributes to whom many called their most influential coach. Services will be held Friday in Mount Pleasant. Coach Qualls was always good to us newspaper folk, and even had me come out and take photos of his softball girls at batting practice so he could better show them how to improve their game.

Headline news this week from included Bandera grad to rock class reunion, Escaped prisoner captured (found hiding under his bed!), Bandera votes itself a Film Friendly Community, Grand juries take no action on sheriff, and the controversial No speech for senior class president.

In sports, the Bulletin had pieces on the Utopia girls taking fifth at the state golf tourney, a recap of the Pitch, hit and run competition, and an update from Bandera ISD Athletic Director Larry Prince on summer camps for athletes.

Other Bandera County Clips from across the Web


Nothing new courtesy of YouTube, but if you haven’t seen them already, check out the very nice, professional video promoting the Twin Elm Guest Ranch, which is hosting rodeos every Friday night at 8 p.m. I was born and raised in Tarpley, so driving past the dusty rodeos at the Twin Elm arena is a memory that goes back to my childhood.

Travel Texas did a great video on Bandera and Wimberley back in October 2009, featuring pickin’ by “honkey-tonker” Arkey Blue, OST’s John Wayne Room, and trick ropin’ by Kevin Fitzpatrick. Those of us who have lived here all our lives take for granted the world-famous menagerie of personalities we host here in the Cowboy Capital.


Veronica from Orlando tweeted her photo of the old haunted Silver Spur Dance Hall

Lakehills and San Antonio photographer Robert Hillis tweeted this photo of a summer night on Medina Lake. You can view Robert’s great photography at Memories of Your Lifetime Photography.

Entertainment & Events

Art and Lisa, Bandera County singers nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year by the Texas Music Awards this year, announced on Facebook that they will be performing tonight (Thursday) at Blue Gene’s at 8 p.m.

You can always stay ahead of Bandera County events by keeping an eye on the Bandera Convention & Visitor’s Bureau events page. Subscribe to their newsletter as well for monthly previews of what events are coming up in the county. They recently redesigned their entire web site for the first time in as long as I’ve been visiting them online, and the Western styling is great. Visit their home page for links to their Facebook and Twitter accounts as well.

Facebook & Twitter

Speaking of which…

Hill Country Travel Center posted on Facebook about Bandera as a good destination for Father’s Day fun.

Bandera Electric Coop. tweeted about their 2010 scholarship winners. Bandera County recipients included Karley Griffin and Sean Scott from Bandera High School, Mary Rizzi from Medina High School and Christopher Vanderveer of Tarpley from Utopia High School. Two college students from Bandera, Ashley Jennings at UT-Austin and Juraluck “Best” Songsangkhan at A&M-College Station, also received scholarships.

Eric from Los Angeles got stuck in Bandera, according to his Facebook, and walked into one of our local saloons to find cowboys playing poker and watching So You Think You Can Dance. One of his friends quipped, “I’m not even sure you could get a country song out of that.”

Bandera real estate agent Larry Wood and photographer Stephanie Hill of Calamity Jane Photography are regular tweeters. Visit their profiles for fresh Bandera County tweets.

Reported by The Outlaw

If you’re a friend on Facebook, you were the first to see my photos from last week’s violent wind and lightning storm; saw my photo from a motorcycle wreck on Hwy. 16 N and participated in a lively discussion about helmet laws; read about the Express-News’ annual Reader’s Choice special, with link to their awesome online best of the best map, and talked about the best food around Bandera County; and were one of the first to hear about the sad passing of former Bandera softball coach John Qualls.

If you follow me on Twitter @BanderaOutlaw, you heard about the drunk cowboy thrown out of the Medina High School graduation ceremony; discussed how to scorpion-proof your home; stayed ahead of Tuesday’s weather; heard about the Freedom Rally in Hondo; and got my recommendation for good eats in Hondo, highlighting the Hermann Sons Steak House (their Mexican chicken fried steak is unique and delicious).

For all the latest Bandera County buzz, catch up with me on Facebook, Twitter @BanderaOutlaw, here on the home of the Bandera County Outlaw at, or weekly in the Bandera Bulletin newspaper.

If you have news to share, drop me a e-mail, hit me up on Facebook, or call/text me at 830-688-1564. If you’d like to comment on this week’s news, feel free to speak your mind below or over on Facebook.

I’ve considered adding a feature to linking out to Bandera County news and featured finds from across the Internet. In keeping my ear to the ground as a community journalist, I’m always finding interesting tidbits here and there on the web – I figure other locals may find them worth a visit as well.

If you would like to see more of this content on, drop me a line on Facebook, leave a comment on this post, e-mail me at, or call/text me at 830-688-1564 and let me know!

Bandera County Top Stories

Probe of Bandera sheriff’s office continues – Express-News writer Zeke MacCormack reports Sheriff Weldon Tucker ‘dodged questions’ yesterday about whether or not he took a county boat out for a fishing trip. Reader comments below the story, equally pointed.

Headlines from include: Horse and rider killed in car crash, Bandera mom appears on Dr. Oz Show, Iraq veteran commits suicide. Managing Editor Jessica Hawley-Jerome wrote the car crash and Iraq veteran stories, and I wrote the Bandera mom story – the subject of which is my own wife! (Click here to view Jacklen Taylor’s segment on the Dr. Oz Show, about the 7:30 minute mark)

Tootie Pie Company, formerly of and originated in Medina, TX, was featured on WOAI’s San Antonio Living last week. Video after the link.

Other Bandera County Clips from across the Web

In The News

Bandera native Jack M. Hunter was featured in the Palestine Herald for his artist reception to be held at The Museum for East Texas Culture. He was born in Bandera in 1930.

The National Weather Service held a gathering at the Bandera EMS training room last week in search of Bandera County weather spotters, reported by KSAT12.


Welcome to Utopia – Utopia, TX is shown much love via YouTube by New York writer Karen Valby, who did a great piece for Entertainment Weekly in 2006 and since turned her experience there into a book, Welcome to Utopia: Notes from a Small Town. I remember reading the EW article when it came out, but I didn’t know a book was forthcoming. I’ll definitely order a copy from Amazon so I can see what a New Yorker picked up studying Buffalo country, just past the west end of Bandera County. I’m excited by the prospect of turning her experience here into a feature story for the paper.

YouTuber ML66B posted his video of Jake Hooker and The Outsiders performing Green Snakes on the Ceiling at Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar Saloon in Bandera, TX.

YouTuber medicmaw1 posted this video from Bandera County Relay For Life featuring music composed by Bandera High School choir director Catherine Holmes, performed by the Bandera High School Jazz Choir, as well as photography and video by Monica Wilson, Spencer Smith and Bill Lamb.

Don’t miss this video from Medina Lake last weekend of a 17 year old fellow, who cannot swim, diving into the water with a life jacket and proceeding to freak out. I never learned to swim, and I guarantee, I’d have been flailing like Vishnu in a fly-swatting contest.


KENS5 YouNews user mercysmith submitted this photo of an “historic tree gone with the wind” in Bandera, blown over during the Wednesday evening storm that violently blasted across Texas with gusts up to 60mph.

Photographer and tweeter jshelton754 shared this gorgeous sunset photo of Medina Lake after Wednesday’s storm passed.

Tweeter StockC of Dallas, TX shared this photo of the soda fountain at the Bandera General Store.

Dean Hamby was featured with his low-fence axis taken near Medina, TX, with beams of 33″ and 32.5″ – shared in the Trophy Room on‘s Facebook profile.

San Antonio journalist-turned-PR account executive Natalie Tejeda was spotted floating Medina Lake last weekend.

Austin tweeter Barbara Jansen shared this photo of Wednesday’s stormy skies over Utopia, TX.

Entertainment & Events

11th Street Cowboy Bar of Bandera was given an anonymous five-star review on, highlighting the venue as a great bar, dance hall, and “must-visit on steak night.” The bar’s weekly Wednesday Night Steak Night event has been featured in media across the country.

Texas musician Josh Peek tweeted about upcoming shows in Pipe Creek, TX, and Utopia, TX.

Facebook & Twitter

Local pastor Ed Sullivan tweets this week about the storm blowing out a slew of electronic equipment at church.

Mico tweeter Brian Huffman shows some #FollowFriday love on Twitter to myself and KSAT reporter Jennifer Dodd. Thanks Brian!

#FF love for @Esquiremag keeping us men sharp in intellect and fashion, and @BigRedinTejas for his unyielding social and sports commentary.

Via their Facebook, the Bandera Convention & Visitor’s Bureau shares that tonight, the first Friday of the month, Fat Boyz at Bandera Village is hosting their monthly car lovers gathering. Also, Twin Elm and BR Lightning Ranch are turning up the action with their weekly summer rodeos every Friday.

Reported By The Outlaw

If you’ve friended me on Facebook, you learned about Bandera Class of 2010 graduate David Kassai releasing his first single on iTunes – Until The Music Dies; you saw live photo updates from Bandera City Council and Bandera County Water Board; my own storm photo from Wednesday as well as live reactions from Bandera County folks to the big storm; my photo updates from the 2010 CCRA Memorial Day Rodeo; and you got to read and participate in a lively discussion about teen drinking and consequences (NSFW – language).

If you follow me on Twitter @BanderaOutlaw, you got a play-by-play of the big storm that hit Wednesday, with updates from here at the Bulletin office and off the police scanner, from fellow Bandera County Facebookers and Tweeters, as well as retweets of the San Antonio broadcast and print journalists covering the storm; also, you saw a live top-story brief from Bandera City Council, and updates from Utopia High School and Bandera High School graduation ceremonies.

For all the latest Bandera County buzz, catch up with me on Facebook, Twitter @BanderaOutlaw, here on the home of the Bandera County Outlaw at, or weekly in the Bandera Bulletin newspaper.

If you have news to share, drop me a e-mail, hit me up on Facebook, or call/text me at 830-688-1564. If you’d like to comment on this week’s news, feel free to speak your mind below or over on Facebook.