Gillespie Life


Feathered friends find a new family

Birds need love, too. Stacey York gives her cockatoo a hug to show her she did a good job after a demonstration. York runs an exotic bird haven, located outside the Fredericksburg city limits, with her family that takes in abused and neglected birds. There are currently 26 birds at the haven. — Standard-Radio Post/Autumn Bernhard

By Autumn Bernhard —

Cockatoos, ducks and chickens, oh my.

While some people might think that is a lot to handle, Stacey York calls it Monday.

York runs an exotic bird haven located outside the Fredericksburg city limits.

“Currently, we have 26 exotic birds,” York said. “We have everything from cockatoos to diamond doves.”

The bird haven is family-run by York, her daughter and her husband.

“We take in birds that have been neglected, abused, or people just do not want them anymore,” York said. “Due to their past, all the birds are a little neurotic and have certain ticks about them. Also, all the birds are very protective of themselves to try to prevent any further abuse.”


FUMC to host 'Coming Home' concert Sunday

The old First Methodist Church sanctuary will once again be filled with musical life, as a service of old-time singing will be hosted by the Music Ministry of the Fredericksburg United Methodist Church on the grounds where its first rock church building was built in 1853.

The singing will take place at 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 3.

Now a part of the Pioneer Museum complex, the old church is located at 312 West San Antonio Street.

“The FUMC Chancel Choir will present some older songs that congregations love to hear,” said Don Doss, FUMC director of music ministries, “and the younger generation will enjoy some interactive family fun led by special musical guests, Justin, Michelle and Gabi Graves.”

“There will be singing and fun for all ages as well as the memorable time of returning to the location of the first church building,” Doss added.


Rescue at the Rock

THE INTERPRETIVE RANGER — Park ranger Scott Whitener has had to help his share of hikers during his time at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. — Standard-Radio Post/Austin R. Eck.

By Austin R. Eck—  When the harsh Texas sun beats down on the dusty red granite rock, it gets hot, and when the occasional shower wanders through the Texas Hill Country, the rock gets slippery.

Those factors and others make the climb to the summit challenging for some, and somewhere during the 425-foot climb or in the 1,600 acres of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, visitors will get into trouble.

“Most of our incidents are broken ankles, twisted ankles and fall-on-their-head injuries,” said Scott Whitener, Enchanted Rock park ranger.

When park visitors are hurt, lost or dehydrated, it is up to park rangers and law enforcement agencies from both Gillespie and Llano counties to help assist in the process.

Typically, it starts with a phone call to 911, Doug Cochran, park superintendent said.


Fiesta benefit for Misiòn de Candelilla to feature art, music

Jill Holland of Fredericksburg is one of several artists who have donated pieces for the Misiòon de Candelilla fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Oak Hills Church and Event Center. — Submitted photo

Silent auction items include playhouse, dinner art and more

The committee for the seventh annual fund raiser for local Christian mission group, Misión de Candelilla, is working to finalize plans for this year’s event, to take place from 6-9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 2 at the Oak Hills Church and Event Center.

Attendees will be greeted by an all-female mariachi group, “Las Coronelas” and John Hierholzer, honorary fiesta committee chairman and pastor at Hill Country Evangelical Free Church. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to look at more than 50 silent auction items while enjoying a cool beverage.

“We are grateful to our community for their generous donation of items for our silent auction,” said A.J. Rodriguez, silent auction chairman. “Hager Construction is donating a 4-foot-by-6-foot-by-5-foot durable wooden playhouse with a deck which will catch the eye of any parent or grandparent.”


'Secret restaurant' known for its food

Glenn Jung, Rathskeller Restaurant head chef, puts “a little of this and that” into a Carbonara dish that includs jalapeño peppers, roasted bell peppers, bacon, butter and garlic. The restaurant also serves dishes from Jung’s family recipes. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

By Richard Zowie— In the basement of the old Keidel Memorial Hospital, at 260 East Main Street, is a place many visitors might not know exists.

A walk down the steps reveals, in the confined quarters, a restaurant that serves not only German food, but foods from a wide variety of countries.

“It’s kind of like a secret,” Tula Smajstrla said. “We’re not here only for locals or only for tourists. We’re a laid-back, family-style restaurant, here not only for locals but also for tourists.”

Tula co-owns the “secret” — Rathskeller Restaurant — with her husband, Sean. They opened Rathskeller in July 2000 after originally having The Oak House on South Washington Street.

Sean described their first restaurant as being “very formal” and said they wanted to do something lighter with Rathskeller.

“We also wanted something on Main Street, because in Fredericksburg, you really need to be on Main Street,” he said.


Gillespie County Fair Queen contest applications now available

Applications for the 2014 Gillespie County Fair Queen Pageant are now available, it has been announced by officials with the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association.

The applications can be picked up in the fair office at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Applications are also available online at

Completed applications should be turned in to the fair office or brought to a mandatory meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 7 p.m. at the fair grounds.

Each applicant must be accompanied at the meeting by at least one parent or guardian.

The queen’s contest is open to all sophomore and junior girls who attended a Gillespie County high school during the 2013-2014 school year and are enrolled in a Gillespie County high school for the 2014–2015 school year.


'Birthday Bash' benefits Good Samaritan Center

The Good Samaritan Center’s Cheryl Moore, diabetes educator Audelia De La Cruz and Barbara Gainer worked the gate at Waylon’s Birthday Bash at Luckenbach recently. Luckenbach hosts the event every year on Father’s Day in memory of Waylon Jennings. Proceeds from the event benefit The Good Samaritan Center’s diabetes program. Also volunteering her time, but not pictured, was Regina Rosenwinkel. — Submitted photo

Funds raised at Waylon’s Birthday Bash in Luckenbach on Father’s Day will go to help diabetes patients at The Good Samaritan Center.

The event raised $1,789, all of which will go toward purchasing blood sugar testing strips that will be given to the center’s patients at no charge.

Jennings, who brought national attention to Luckenbach with his song “Luckenbach Texas,” passed away in February 2002 due to complications from diabetes.

Now, Luckenbach honors Jennings and all of his songs by hosting this annual celebration of his life and music.

“Luckenbach first came to us with the idea of supporting our diabetic patients with their proceeds from this event about 10 years ago,” said John Willome, executive director of The Good Samaritan Center. “I think they wanted to find a way to give back and honor a man who meant so much to them.”


Ministering with technology

A camera control station is located in an office adjacent to the sanctuary at FUMC. – Submitted photo

Outreach efforts include online streaming of services

In the last decade, many churches have begun to use the Internet to reach out to current and potential members, and today, most families looking for a new church community do their “shopping” online.

Fredericksburg United Methodist Church is using technology to reach these “shoppers,” said Don Doss, FUMC director of music ministries.

“About 70 percent of a congregation’s first-time visitors find the church’s website before they attend a service,” Doss said. “Given today’s digital generation, an online presence isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity.”


‘Hidden gem’ gets a new look, sign and trails

The Friends of the Fredericksburg Nature Center built a stairway along the road as part of phase three of their project to make Cross Mountain Park safer. The road is notorious for washing out and being too steep to climb. — Standard-Radio Post/Autumn Bernhard

By Autumn Bernhard


After three years of work, it has now become easier to climb to an inspiring view over Fredericksburg.

The Friends of the Fredericksburg Nature Center finished its upgrade of existing hiking trails and built additional paths in the city-owned Cross Mountain Park late last month.

“Before the trails were redone, they were very unsafe,” said Bill Lindemann, Friends of Fredericksburg Nature Center president. “In fact, one man fell while going up one of the trails and his wife could not lift him. Her screams were heard by a neighbor of the Cross Mountain Park and rescued them. The trails had not been touched since they were built in the 1970s by the Gillespie County Historical Society (GCHS).”


Mark Hierholzer to perform ‘German Folk Music’ concert

A piano concert featuring “German Folk Music” will be presented by Mark Hierholzer on Friday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will be held at Hill Country Evangelical Free Church, 107 East Lower Crabapple Road.

Admission for this concert is $10 for adults and $5 for students. 

Hierholzer has directed the German choirs in Fredericksburg for 27 years.

He is also the director of the Fredericksburg Chorale.

Both of the German choirs have been singing German folk music since the early 20th century.

With this, Fredericksburg has developed a rich, true German heritage built on the foundation of authentic German folk music, Hierholzer said.

“The folk music of any land paints pictures of landscapes both in nature and in the human heart,” Hierholzer said. “It tells something distinctive and unique about the people of the land.”


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