Gillespie Life

Wed
04
Mar

Climbing the ladder, rung by rung


Among the daily duties of Fredericksburg Elementary School assistant principal Patricia Rivera (background) is to meet with school counselor Kelli Rode (foreground) to discuss students, policies or any problems that might arise. Rivera began her career at Fredericksburg Independent School district as a part-time school nutrition worker. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

By Richard Zowie

When she was a little girl, Patricia Rivera liked to pretend she was a teacher.

“I always thought that I’d want to grow up to be a teacher,” said Rivera, a Mexican native and a 1987 graduate of Fredericksburg High School. “I grew up in a large family of seven girls. Due to financial reasons, college wasn’t really an option for us.”

Today, Rivera is the assistant principal of Fredericksburg Elementary School.
Getting to her current position has been a ladder with several rungs to climb.

She began working for Fredericksburg Independent School District in 1996, part time in school nutrition. A year later, she worked full time. She recalled a conversation she had with then-FMS principal Dr. Marc Williamson, who would later serve as FISD superintendent.

Wed
04
Mar

Top young shooters advance to state


Young marksmen take aim Saturday afternoon during the 30th annual Gillespie County 4-H BB Gun Competition. — Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

By Matt Ward

Multiple weather delays slowed action early Saturday, but did not stop 21 youth from advancing to state competition after earning high marks at the 30th annual Gillespie County 4-H BB Gun Competition.

Originally slated for an 8 a.m. start time, organizers pushed back the meet two hours until 10 a.m. before postponing the match a second time, with events finally getting underway around 1 p.m.

Eighty shooters in the first grade through 15 years of age took part in the contest held in the Show Barn at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.
Competing in the contest were eight-year-olds in the third grade and up. First and second graders are not eligible to compete, only participate.

One of the highlights of the awards program on Saturday afternoon was the presentation of the Houston Brown Memorial Award to Charles Schmidt, who finished the contest with 465 points.

Wed
04
Mar

Promising 'Serena' can't stay on track

Pair a three-time Academy Award-nominated actor with an Oscar-winning actress and put them in a hauntingly beautiful period film and it would seem like a recipe for instant success.

Yet “Serena,” the third on-screen pairing between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, takes major missteps that equal or slightly outpace its positive strides, making for an uneven and mundane film as a whole.

Most of the blame, as it were — because conceptually, this is a film that should have fared significantly better — should be laid at the feet of Danish director Susanne Bier and screenwriter Christopher Kyle for their mismanagement of the film adaptation of the 2008 Ron Rash novel of the same name.

Wed
25
Feb

Warmth from up north


Bill Downs, an Austin, Minnesota resident, caulks around a window at the most recent Habitat home on Park Street. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

People who think retirees check out and live a leisurely life of luxury don’t know the Care-a-Vanners.

Dick and Linda Aide quickly tired of “touristy stuff” after they left the working world in 1997. The Wisconsin-based snowbirds felt the need to do something besides tool around in their RV and visit sites that catered to visitors in Texas and Arizona.

They visited Texas, visiting the LBJ State Park and Fredericksburg museums. They liked the town, but wanted to do something constructive. They began to research the Habitat for Humanity program.

Now the Aides are two of around 400 “RV Care-a-Vanners” who construct homes around the nation, using part of their “down time” to transform the face of some communities. Over the past month, 19 people in 10 RV rigs have set up camp at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park’s RV station and come into town to construct House No. 15 for the Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity program.

Wed
25
Feb

What we talk about when we talk about 'Birdman'

It shouldn’t come as a total shock that “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” — a very inside acting film — would continue the trend of movies like “The Artist” and “Argo,” winning the Best Picture prize at Sunday’s Academy Awards.

Now three of the last five films to win the most prestigious award in Hollywood are about Hollywood, actors or some combination of both, and that’s certain to upset a lot of members of the general public, whether they’re indie die-hards who were mystified by Richard Linklater’s 12-year filming odyssey “Boyhood” or patriotic Clint Eastwood backers supporting a box office smash hit in “American Sniper.” But when you watch or re-watch “Birdman” — now out on DVD and Bluray — it’s important to realize just how complete a film “Birdman” is and what exactly we should be talking about when we talk about “Birdman.”

Wed
18
Feb

History's lyrics


Woellhof points out "ghost faces" designed into the sheets. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke

 

Ron Woellhof, Fredericksburg’s now retired friendly antiquer, has lent material for another exhibit at Schreiner University in Kerrville.

“The Medieval Lyric in Illuminated Manuscript” shows off the intricate artistry of pre-printing press-era scribes, who adorned lyric sheets with ornate works of art and some hidden treasures.

“Sheets of the hand-scripted 14th and 15th centuries are among the largest and most beautiful manuscripts that have survived from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance,” said Sara Schmidt, associate professor of library science. “This exhibition celebrates the splendid decoration and form of these manuscripts.”

This is the Logan Library’s third exhibit of illuminated manuscripts from the collection of Ron and Jane Woellhof, who together ran Main Street’s Showcase Antiques from 1976 until last year.

Wed
18
Feb

From corn to cork


Filled bottles await the final sealing, stamping and signing at Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye. — Photos by Phil Houseal

It was a great Hill Country day to take a tour of Garrison Brothers Distillery. It was on our way and combined three irresistible draws: a trip that starts with a wagon ride, ends with a shot of bourbon, and is near a town whose name is a greeting — Hye.

We pulled into the rustic visitor area on Albert Road just a few miles south of the historic Hye Post Office, and lucked out with timing as a tour was just ready to go. You should reserve a spot online, but we happened to find a seat, and took a short ride to the “place where the magic happens.”

Making bourbon is a pretty simple process. After all, people have been doing it for centuries. But when Dan Garrison started Texas’ first “legal” whiskey distillery in 2008, he wanted Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey to be “the best bourbon ever made.”

So it’s made pretty much by hand. Well, 18 hands. Currently nine full-time employees take the product “from corn to cork.”

Wed
18
Feb

It's all grey: '50 Shades' too bland

It takes two to tango — one to lead and one to follow — in the feature film adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The follower, Dakota Johnson as the naïve and bookish Anastasia, is a breath of fresh air anytime she appears on screen and truly gives 110 percent of herself to every scene no matter how much clothing she wears.

However, the leader, Jamie Dornan as the charismatic and mysterious billionaire Christian, can’t dance to save his life.

In relationship-heavy two-handers like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it’s important that both leads utilize the other’s performance to help elevate their own, but Johnson is acting against a brick wall.

There’s only so much an actor can do when given nothing to work with. It’s what makes Johnson’s honest portrayal of the loss of innocence more noteworthy.

Wed
18
Feb

It's all grey: '50 Shades' too bland

It takes two to tango — one to lead and one to follow — in the feature film adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The follower, Dakota Johnson as the naïve and bookish Anastasia, is a breath of fresh air anytime she appears on screen and truly gives 110 percent of herself to every scene no matter how much clothing she wears.

However, the leader, Jamie Dornan as the charismatic and mysterious billionaire Christian, can’t dance to save his life.

In relationship-heavy two-handers like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it’s important that both leads utilize the other’s performance to help elevate their own, but Johnson is acting against a brick wall.

There’s only so much an actor can do when given nothing to work with. It’s what makes Johnson’s honest portrayal of the loss of innocence more noteworthy.

Wed
11
Feb

Student artists display work

First-year art student Camela Patton’s work is included in the annual Student Art Exhibition at Whistle Pik Galleries. Patton, a 10th grader at Ambleside School, created her black scratch paper piece, “Owl Study.” Although she hopes to continue studying art while in high school, she said that she is looking at pursuing a career in some type of architecture. — Standard-Radio Post/Yvonne Hartmann

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