Gillespie Life


Say what? ‘Minions’ makes the most of imperfect situation

Absolutely no one should be surprised by now that little yellow lemming-like creatures have taken the Hollywood landscape by storm.

Minions are everywhere. From lunchboxes to every other commercial it seems like, to their first feature length animated adventures, the henchmen (is it right to call genderless characters men?) from the innovative “Despicable Me” franchise have rightfully taken center stage with “Minions,” a 95-minute prequel to the events of the original “Despicable Me.”

Because there’s likely an infinite number of Minions out there in the animated universe, directors Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin (who also voices all the Minions) smartly chose to focus viewers on three distinct Minions — fearless leader Kevin, banana-obsessed future rock star Stuart, and diminutive, yet enthusiastic, Bob.


‘Our Way Of Life’ portraits will be displayed at Vereins Kirche

Walter Doebbler kneels by his stock pond in one of many portrait shots in the “Our Way Of Life” book by the late Philip Montgomery. — Submitted photo

A portion of the collection of the framed black-and-white (duotone) photographs from the book, Our Way of Life were donated recently by Carol Montgomery, widow of Philip Montgomery, to the Gillespie County Historical Society. 

These framed photographs make up the exhibit featured at the Vereins Kirche beginning July 15 and continuing through Jan. 15, 2016.

The book can be purchased at the Vereins Kirche or the Pioneer Museum Store. 

The late Philip O’Bryan Montgomery was a Dallas-area native, businessman and philanthropist, but he always viewed Fredericksburg as his second home. 

He worked as an intern in the mid-1970s for the Fredericksburg Standard, and it was there that he worked on the project that resulted in the book and the photos.  The book was published in 2014. 

The book features photographs and interviews of 28 local families, all bearing names of those who helped shape the community into what it is today.


Magic-less Mike: Quality, clothes stripped away in subpar sequel

Calling something “XXL” implies bigger and better.

Double entendre aside, the sequel to the 2012 indie smash hit “Magic Mike” was supposed to blow away female audiences over the Fourth of July weekend like a massive fireworks display.

Moviegoers who came out to the Channing Tatum-helmed male stripper fiesta got their fireworks show, but “Magic Mike XXL” feels closer to the premature explosion from San Diego’s 2012 disaster when 20 minutes worth of fireworks went off in about 15 seconds.

Somehow, someway this film got made as Tatum and writing partner Reid Carolin pieced together a couple of general scene ideas and crammed them into a buddy road trip movie.

Tatum, whose “Magic Mike” character supposedly rode off into the sunset and left stripping behind at the end of the original, hops right back on the Kings of Tampa bandwagon within the first 15 minutes to join his old stripper buddies for “one last ride.”


Nancy Bennett runs cross-country to raise awareness for childhood obsesity

With the White House in Washington, D.C., in the background, Nancy Bennett of Fredericksburg is just yards from the finish line of the 4½-month Race Across USA on June 2. Bennett was among the seven core team members completing the 3,080 miles in 140 days after leaving from California on Jan. 16. Purpose of the race was to raise awareness of childhood obesity and funds for the 100 Mile Club. — Photo by Ted Bennett

By Yvonne Hartmann —

Nancy Bennett has crossed the United States on a bicycle, completed a marathon in each of the 50 states and has now run from one coast to the other.

“For me, this was a once in a lifetime experience,” Bennett said.

Bennett recently returned home to Fredericksburg after participating in the Race Across USA, an event designed to raise awareness of childhood obesity and funds for the 100 Mile Club.  

In all, Race Across USA raised $54,265 for the 100 Mile Club. Bennett was the biggest fundraiser, bringing in $10,154.

The journey

Twelve core team members began the journey on Jan. 16 in Huntington Beach, California and seven, including Bennett, completed the run on June 2 at the White House in Washington, D.C.


Local Farmer's Market offers produce, socializing

Gary Rowland sells many vegetables and tomatoes every Thursday at the Fredericksburg Farmer’s Market. Currently there are 22 vendors that attend the market weekly at Marktplatz. — Standard-Radio Post/Autumn Bernhard

By Autumn Bernhard —

“Meet the farmer that planted the seed that grew a tomato that went to market for you to choose to put on your table for you to eat.”

That is the slogan of the Fredericksburg Farmer’s Market (FFM) and it stands true to it every Thursday, rain or shine, from 4-7 p.m. at Marktplatz.

FFM offers the public an opportunity to support local agriculture and provide fresh produce to shoppers.

“If people come to the farmers market, they are getting fresher, more wholesome produce,” said Gary Marburger of Marburger Orchards. “The fruit here is picked with more maturity than the stuff in stores.”

This year, the summer market continues until Aug. 27.


Market days

 FFM kicks off with the ringing of a bell to signal the start of the weekly market held at Marktplatz.


‘Ted 2’ reminds viewers why comedy needs originality

Comedy requires originality. It’s as simple as that.

There’s absolutely not a single shred of originality in “Ted 2,” an amalgamation of leftover “Family Guy” setups, hokey premises and half-hearted humor that leaves viewers disappointed from the outset.

Honestly, “Ted 2” shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to those who’ve followed the career trajectory of Seth MacFarlane, the mastermind (and vocal talent) behind the cult classic “Family Guy.”

After being left for the television scrap heap, “Family Guy” viewers brought the fledgling, but hysterical comedy back from the dead and vaulted MacFarlane to semi-stardom, where he used his Hollywood connections to make “Ted,” a raunchy and raucous comedy about what happens if a stuffed teddy bear comes to live and basically follows the career path of Justin Bieber.


FTC opens Evita

With her husband, Argentine president Juan Perón (Jeff Jeffers), at her side, Argentine First Lady Eva Perón (Kristin DeGroot) serenades the underprivileged working class with “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina.” The Fredericksburg Theater Company production of the musical “Evita” will run June 26-28 and then July 3-5 at the Steve W. Shepherd Theater at 1668 South U.S. 87. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

The Fredericksburg Theater Company production of “Evita,” based on the life of former Argentine first lady Eva Perón, opened June 19 and will run two more weeks.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, June 26-28, and July 3-5, at the Steve W. Shepherd Theater.

A special 3 p.m. matinee performance will be on Saturday, July 4.

Tickets, $29 for adults and $12 for children 17 and under, can be purchased online at

Reservations can also be made at the box office, 830-997-3588. An answering machine will capture requests after hours.


'Inside Out' the thinking man's animated movie

If Christopher Nolan made a children’s movie, it might end up something very similar to “Inside Out,” the latest Disney/Pixar blockbuster to hit theaters.

The ultimate thinking man’s kids’ film (both figuratively and literally), director Pete Docter’s third feature film is incredibly layered and cerebral in much more complex ways than his other features, 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.” and 2009’s “Up.”

On the surface, “Inside Out” focuses on the emotional states (Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger) of a pre-teen girl named Riley, whose family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco abruptly and without warning. Much of the film is viewed from inside Riley’s brain, with Riley herself reduced to nothing more than a secondary character. Visually, the difference between the real world and the one in Riley’s head is defined by brightness, with real world scenes more tampered down than the vividly bright world of her mind.


Wounded Texas vet to share story

By Richard Zowie —

Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris thought he’d died.

Serving in the 10th Mountain Division in his second deployment in the U.S. Army, Harris sustained third-degree burns over 35 percent of his body and lost his ears, the tip of his nose and three fingers on Feb. 19, 2007, when an improvised explosive device (IED) struck the armored vehicle he and other soldiers rode in.

The explosion injured the driver and killed three of Harris’ fellow soldiers. It also fractured his left collarbone and C-7 vertebrae and left him with hearing loss.

The severity of his injuries resulted in him being placed in a medically-induced coma for 48 days.

“There are still days now I think maybe this is just a dream, maybe I’m really in a coma somewhere,” he said. “Sometimes I think maybe this is heaven. I wonder if I’m living in an alternate timeline.”


Latest ‘Jurassic Park’ installment shows what good sequels should look like

Sequels that genuinely work, or even come remotely close to living up to the original film, are few and far between.

While last weekend’s smash hit “Jurassic World” isn’t exactly a modern carbon copy of Steven Spielberg’s 1993 masterpiece “Jurassic Park,” so much of what made the original feature awe-inspiring, terrifying and innovative is preserved in what very well may be the summer’s best blockbuster film.

Brash, loud and in your face, “Jurassic World” gives viewers everything they could possibly want from a return to Isla Nublar, scene of the original film’s theme park turned prehistoric demolition derby, but cranks everything about the original up to 11 while expounding on what might happen if the doomed park actually opened for business.


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