Posts Tagged ‘Utopia’

Here are my photos from Bandera County Sports and Events during the month of September 2012, available as always in the Gallery:

Medina Bobcats football vs. Center Point Pirates – Sept. 1, 2012

Utopia Lady Buffs volleyball vs. Comfort Lady Cats – Sept. 4, 2012

Bandera Bulldogs football vs. Devine Warhorses – Sept. 7, 2012

Bandera Lady Bulldogs volleyball vs. Devine Arabians – Sept. 7, 2012

Medina Bobcats football vs. Menard – Sept. 7, 2012

Bandera Bulldogs football vs. Llano Yellowjackets – Sept. 14, 2012

Medina Bobcats football vs. Brackett Tigers – Sept. 21, 2012

Bandera Lady Bulldogs volleyball vs. Wimberley Lady Texans – Sept. 25, 2012

Bandera Bulldogs vs. La Vernia Bears – Sept. 28, 2012

Medina Lady Cats volleyball vs. Center Point Lady Pirates – Sept. 28, 2012

8 Nov 2012

Photos: Bandera County Sports and Events – September 2012

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Sports

Here’s a fresh set of all my Sports and Event photos from February 2012, available as always in the Gallery:

Medina Lady Cats basketball vs. Johnson City Lady Eagles – Feb. 7, 2012

Bandera Lady Bulldogs soccer vs. Wimberley Lady Texans – Feb. 10, 2012

Cowboy Mardi Gras Parade – Feb. 11, 2012

Utopia Buffaloes basketball vs. Knippa Rockcrushers – Feb. 14, 2012

Bandera Lady Bulldogs softball vs. Poteet – Feb. 20, 2012

Banderian Idol at Bandera High School – Feb. 28, 2012

Varsity Lady Buffs action versus the Lady Tigers from Nov. 29, 2011! All of my photos are up for viewing in the Gallery:

Utopia Lady Buffs basketball vs. Brackettville Lady Tigers plus Players in Progress – Nov. 29, 2011

30 Dec 2011

Photos: Utopia Lady Buffs vs. Brackettville plus Players in Progress

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Sports

Here are all of my photos from the Utopia Lady Buffs JV vs. San Antonio – Stacey volleyball game on Oct. 7, 2011, available in the Gallery:

Utopia Lady Buffs JV volleyball vs. San Antonio – Stacey – Oct. 7, 2011

12 Nov 2011

Photos: Utopia Lady Buffs JV vs. SA-Stacey – Oct. 7, 2011

Author: James Taylor | Filed under: Sports

Another catch-up album for me from the Utopia – Gervin game back on Sept. 9, 2011. You can find all of my photos from the game in the Gallery:

Utopia Lady Buffs JV and varsity volleyball vs. Gervin Academy Lady Coyotes – Sept. 9, 2011

Continuing to catch up on posting older albums from earlier this year!

You can find all of my sports and event photos from May 2011 in the Gallery:

Bandera Lady Bulldogs softball vs. La Vernia Lady Bears – May 13, 2011

Relay For Life at Bandera High School – May 15, 2011

Bandera High School Baccalaureate Service – May 26, 2011

Bandera High School Graduation Ceremony at UTSA – May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Chamber of Commerce Parade – May 28, 2011

Utopia High School Class of 2011 Graduation – May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend CCRA Pro Rodeo at Mansfield Park – May 29, 2011

And bonus, from early June:

Medina High School Class of 2011 Graduation Ceremony – June 3, 2011

24 Sep 2011

Photos: Sports and Events, May 2011

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

The varsity Utopia Lady Buffs dominated tonight against Brackett! Looking forward to a great season of volleyball from the ladies on the West Side.

You can find all of my photos from the JV and varsity games in the Gallery:

Utopia Lady Buffs volleyball vs. Brackett Lady Tigers – Aug. 23, 2011

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.