Gillespie Life


Ugandan crafts to be featured in weekend sale

“Threads of Blessing” tapestries will be exhibited this weekend at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, located at 601 West Creek Street.

The exhibit will be held Saturday, Oct. 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

These tapestries have been created by village farming women who have been taught the stitches by a team sent to Uganda by the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas.

Each woman designs and executes her own tapestry and receives 100 percent of the money from its sale.

With the proceeds, the women are able to buy anti-viral medication, seeds for farming, and pay for tuition for a child’s education.

The mission team goes to Uganda each June. For $75 per participant, the team is able to provide bus fare to the workshop site, meals and lodging for three days, and all the supplies that will get the woman started on her own business.  Most of the women are supplied scholarships by the team.



Heupel image wins national award

FREDERICKSBURG nature and wildlife photographer Jim Heupel holds a framed print for which he was recognized by the North American Nature Photography Association.

Jim Heupel, local nature and wildlife photographer, was notified that his image “Stormy Seas, A Mother’s Touch” was selected as a “Showcase” winner in the North American Nature Photography Association’s 2014 juried competition.

The image shows a mother walrus on a rocky island outcrop, surrounded by stormy seas, with her flipper appearing to calm a walrus pup while last year’s pup looks on.

Heupel took the photograph last September, some 600 miles below the North Pole at the northern edge of the Svalbard Archipelago while on an international photo expedition to photograph polar bears.

“I like to show wildlife in action or exhibiting some type of character,” Heupel said. “This image really was touching to me, personally. The photograph was especially difficult to get as the rubber zodiac I was in was bobbing quite a bit in the same heavy seas.”


Schaefer co-authors third book on eating disorders

Jenni Schaefer, daughter of Joe and Susan Schaefer of Doss, has co-written her third book focusing on helping those who suffer from eating disorders.

“Almost Anorexic” was penned by Schaefer and Jennifer J. Thomas, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The 336-page paperback, is published by Hazelden Publishing/Harvard Health Publications and became available in July 2013 for $14.95. A Kindle edition is also available on

“Almost Anorexic — Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem?” reveals why unhealthy relationships with food are much more prevalent than full-blown anorexia and that they can be dangerous as well as emotionally painful.


Ambleside School welcomes York as new principal, eyes expansion

RUSS YORK has taken over as the principal at Ambleside School, and in addition to leading its educational efforts, will also oversee an expansion into the high school grades next year. —Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke— Ambleside School welcomed Russ York to lead its educational efforts in Fredericksburg, and the new principal will oversee an expansion into the high school grades next year.

“I love it here,” York said of the move with his wife, Heather, and three daughters, ages five, three and one. “We grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but have really enjoyed the move to Fredericksburg.”

York said he was attracted to Ambleside for its educational philosophy and methodology.

“Having a founding philosophy as a measuring stick provides a constant guide to all our endeavors,” York said.

York referred to the Charlotte Mason method of teaching, considered one of just a few educational models, along with the Waldorf and Montessori, with a grounded philosophy.


FHS NJROTC cadet among top in nation, receives Legion of Valor Bronze Cross

CADET COMMANDING officer Austin Beals, a senior at Fredericksburg High School, shows his Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement, received from retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Don Mason in a ceremony held at the school on Sept. 18. Beals has applied for admission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

By Richard Zowie— In his fourth and final year of the Fredericksburg High School Navy JROTC program, Cadet Commanding Officer Austin Beals has received the highest award a cadet can earn from an outside agency — the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement.

The honor was presented to Beals at the FHS gymnasium on Wednesday, Sept. 18, by retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Don Mason.

“It was great and fantastic to win,” said Beals, whose parents were in the audience. “It began as a smaller event, but other people found out about it, and it turned into big event with a whole bunch of people here.”

Beals began serving as the JROTC’s commanding officer, a year-long position, on May 1.


Goffs make theater a family affair

FOR THE GOFF FAMILY, which is Kerry (left), eight-month-old Logan (center) and Ashleigh, working in theater is a family affair. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

By Richard Zowie— The day before his freshman year at McMurry University in Abilene, Kerry Goff entered a Starbucks and met a young lady named Ashleigh Chisholm.

Kerry is a fifth-generation Fredericksburg resident while Ashleigh is from Abilene. But, they had one common interest: theater. Ashleigh was working in the MCMU theater department while Kerry was there to earn a degree in directing.

The two became friends, began dating and, shortly after Kerry graduated in 2010, became husband and wife.

And now, for the past three years, the two have worked at the Fredericksburg Theater Company. Kerry is the artistic and technical director while Ashleigh directs the Freddyburg Youth Theater. She currently is directing “The Miracle Worker,” which is in rehearsal.


Homegrown Fredericksburg: Blumenhandler Florist

WITH HIGH SCHOOL homecomings just around the corner, Blumenhandler Florist owner Dianne Blount, left, pins a corsage-and-ribbon arrangement on her daughter, Stacey York. —Standard-Radio Post/Danny Hirt

By Danny Hirt— From a lifelong affinity for flowers, Dianne Blount has turned her Blumenhandler Florist into a multi-faceted business that offers so much more than just pretty blossoms.

“I loved flowers when I was young,” she said. “I wanted a flower shop.”

Years ago, while her husband, Don, was serving in the military in the state of Washington, Dianne attended a local community college there to further study her interest in flowers.

She mentioned that while there, she was offered a temporary job at a flower shop on a military base “just for Mother’s Day.” But because Dianne’s work was so good, she was kept on well after the holiday rush.

“In four months’ time we turned that shop around,” she said. And it wasn’t long after that that she was offered the head position at the store.

“The shop was very, very productive,” Dianne said, adding that the business became “more visible” by moving to an on-base shopping center.


Korean War veteran reflects on 555 days as a POW


By Richard Zowie— “It was a hell of an ordeal.”

Those succinct seven words are how Fredericksburg’s Jack Ledford described the 555 days when he was forced to move across the Korean Peninsula with North Korean and Chinese forces.

An Army Airborne paratrooper and veteran of six battles in the Korean War, including the Inchon invasion and the Chosin Reservoir, Ledford spent February 1951 until about summer 1952 as a prisoner of war.

“There were incidents that happened, incidents of unbelievable cruelty,” said Ledford, an Oklahoma native who grew up in Llano County and, after the war, worked in real estate and insurance in Fredericksburg. “Nobody would believe it. You adapted and as I told everybody, you just kept a low profile and remembered: don’t be argumentative and don’t threaten anybody. In time, we hoped maybe it would get better.”


Habitat for Humanity 'raising the roof' - Donations still needed

Earlier this summer, Habitat for Humanity launched a “Raise the Roof” fund drive to raise money for Home #15.

To date, Habitat has raised over $16,000, but officials say they have a way to go before that roof can be put on.

“Since 1995, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg has helped 14 area families achieve the American dream of home ownership,” said board president Larry Berkman.  “It is truly wonderful when a community cares enough to help its own citizens’ dreams come true. Hopefully, that dream will become reality next February for another family.”

Next February is when the all-volunteer group of Habitat home builders, the Care-A-Vanners, will pull into Fredericksburg in their RV’s to bring Home #15 to the “dry-in” stage.

A building lot is ready and waiting for these snow-birds’ helping hands, Berkman said.

After that, local volunteer builders will finish the house for move-in by a local family by the end of the year. 


Viva Texicana fiesta, concert on tap Sept. 28

The first annual “Viva Texicana” Hill Country Fiesta, celebrating Hispanic heritage in the Texas Hill Country, will be held Saturday, Sept. 28, from 4-9 p.m. at Pioneer Museum, located at 325 West Main Street.

The event will be an evening of family-friendly fun hosted by Stephanie Urbina Jones, a third generation Hispanic-American country singer-songwriter and featured artist on the TV show “Troubadour Texas.”

Festivities will kick off at 4 p.m. with an hour-long performance by Mariachi Nuevo Estilo ADM, recent “America’s Got Talent” performers whose style mixes traditional Mexican music with some of today’s top hits.

A special “Fiesta Fun Zone” with free children’s activities will take place from 4-6 p.m. featuring educational and cultural arts, crafts and games, including piñatas, mariachi musical chairs, a tortilla toss, fiesta rubber ducks, storytelling in English and Spanish and more.


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