Gillespie Life


A ‘Thank You’ in bronze

VIETNAM — The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument will be dedicated on March 29, and will contain the dog tags of Texans killed or missing in action in Vietnam. — Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument

Local Vietnam vets reflect on services, unveiling of Texas vietnam War monument

By Richard Zowie— To honor the Texas Vietnam War veterans who went and served, those who didn’t return home and those who remain unaccounted for, the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument will be dedicated at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 29, on the 41st anniversary of when the last U.S. combat troops left Vietnam.

The event in Austin is free and open to the public.

The monument is at the Texas Capitol grounds in the northeast area. The 14-foot-high bronze sculpture depicts an infantry patrol. It is also accompanied by an online “Living Monument” that features stories of Texans affected by the Vietnam War.


T-shirt sales to support spinal surgery for child, 3

MOTHER Crystal Bedford embraces three-year-old Marley, who suffers from a rare disease. The community may support the family by ordering T-shirts to help with expenses of an upcoming spinal fusion surgery.

“Sweet Marley,” the three-year-old child with a rare disease, will undergo a spinal fusion surgery on Monday, Feb. 17 at Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin.

Marley Bedford, the daughter of Crystal and Jonathan Bedford, suffers from Rhizomelic Condrodysplasia Punctata (RCDP), a disease affecting fewer than 100 children nationwide, but one that causes congenital cataracts, severe bone and joint deformities and mental retardation.

While previous 5K runs helped support the family defray medical costs, this month’s major surgery put a crimp on organizing a road race.

But the public can support the family by ordering an “I’m sweet on Marley” T-shirt (order deadline is Friday). Adult shirts are $15 and kids’ sizes are $12 each. Shirts may be ordered through the “Smiles for Marley” Facebook page or by emailing the family at


FHS drama to perform comedy 'The Marvelous Playbill' Feb. 8-9

SCARING patrons to his play with wild characters, Chanfalla (at right, played by Chip Zowie) acts out for Carmen (standing, played by Makayla Gonzales) and Josephina (played by Daisha Pfiester) during a dress rehearsal for the Fredericksburg High School Theater 1 class production of “The Marvelous Playbill,” slated for Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 8-9 at the FHS auditorium. — Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

The Fredericksburg High School Theatre 1 class will perform “The Marvelous Playbill,” written by Tim Kelly on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 8-9, at the FHS auditorium.

The Saturday performance will be held at 7 p.m. and the Sunday matinee will begin at 2 p.m.

General admission seating is $4 for adults and $2 for students, while faculty members and those ages 10 and under are free.

All proceeds benefit the Fredericksburg High School Drama Department.

“The play depicts a poor theatrical producer, Chanfalla, in 16th century Spain, who comes up with an unusual play to perform for the citizens of the town, Castile,” FHS drama director Randi Jackson said. “He announces that only true blooded citizens can see the performance and with that, chaos arises within the group. Human vanity cunningly makes Chanfalla and his traveling family of performers rich! This one-act comedy full of action is sure to delight all.”


Gillespie County now accepting 'HOT' fund applications

Applications are now being accepted by the County of Gillespie for the $120,000 in Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds it plans to divide up at the end of next month.

Organizations who prove they can use the money to put “heads in beds,” thereby pumping money into the local economy, will get their chance at a portion of the funding when deliberations commence in March.

Until then, the applications (which became available Jan. 29) will be due by the close of business on Monday, March 3.

A final decision on who gets what is expected to be made by the Gillespie County Commissioners Court at its regular session set for 9 a.m. on Monday, March 24, in the county courtroom of the courthouse.

HOT funds are supplied by taxes collected by the county from overnight visitors in hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and inns located in the unincorporated areas outside Fredericksburg.


A touch of modern in traditional Fredericksburg

By Austin Eck —

The floor was slanted so the blood and water would flow out of the building. The meat hooks hung from the ceiling, holding carcasses waiting to be carved by the butcher and sold to costumers of the Henke Butcher Shop in Fredericksburg. Little natural light entered from the outside.

But that was decades ago.

The same building that once saw a butcher perform his art is now the home of the town’s first modern art showcase, Dan Pfeiffer’s Art Gallery.

“What I did was remodel the entire place, so we could make it into an art gallery,” said Pfeiffer, owner of the gallery and woodworker. “But, anything above these fabric covered walls, we tried to keep it all the same history.”

The meat hooks still dangle from the ceiling but now hold pieces of art. In the corner the chimney still rises up, the rendering pot just needs a fire below it.


Exploring the 'Red Planet'

THE YOUNGEST PERSON working on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) team, Fredericksburg’s Rebekah (Bekah) Sosland said working on the “Opportunity” squad is the same as being in a family and tackling issues together. The team’s success in finding ways to extend the life of the rover is one of the reasons it is still operational, she said. “Sure, she has some arthritis and some parts of her simply don’t work anymore, but she is still finding incredible discoveries every day! We are getting closer and closer to proving that life is out there in our universe and I believe we will find it in my lifetime.”

Mars Exploration Rover team member Rebekah Sosland was an eighth grade student in Fredericksburg when NASA’s exploration rovers “Spirit” and “Opportunity” landed on Mars in January 2004.

Teens didn’t have Facebook or Twitter to share news back then. Bekah, 14 years old at the time, learned about it on the next morning on her school’s Channel One video news.

“I wasn’t particularly interested in space at the time,” she said last week from inside NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., where she now works.

“I remember I was talking with friends, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed this thing bouncing and rolling on a red surface. I watched as it stopped and opened up, and it had this rover inside,” she said.

That animation portrayed how NASA landed the Mars rovers three weeks apart, using airbags to cushion the impact at the start of the missions, which were expected to take three months.


Pacific War museum to unveil statue of Admiral Chester Nimitz

The Admiral Nimitz Foundation and National Museum of the Pacific War will unveil an eight-foot bronze statue of Adm. Chester Nimitz in what will be known as Nimitz Platz on Friday, Feb. 7, at 10:30 a.m.

Nimitz Platz is located between the Nimitz Museum and Command Post, at 340 East Main Street.

The statue was sculpted by Rip Caswell of Troutdale, Ore., and was commissioned by the Navy Order of the United States.

 “I owed my very best to this sculpture after what members of Nimitz’s generation sacrificed for this country,” Caswell said. “I saw it as my way to give back.”

The statue is one of two cast. The other sits on Ford Island, Hawaii overlooking the USS Arizona.


Harper Library nets grant to help collect rainwater

A GRANT for $7,613 to buy and install a rainwater collec-tion system at the Harper Li-brary was presented last week by the Lower Colorado River Authority and Central Texas Electric Cooperative. On hand for the presentation were, in front from left, Tomi Pugh, president of the board of the Harper Library and li-brary director; Sandra Kibby, LCRA board member; (se-cond row) Steve Dyer, LCRA representative; Barbara Hofmann, CTEC representa-tive; Doylene Bode, CTEC board member; Kathryn Jenschke, Harper Library board vice president; Pau-lette Leyendecker, Harper Library board treasurer; Mary Kampa, library representative; Steve Dodge, Harper Library board member, and (in back) library representatives Tony Winans and Karen Conway.

A community development grant to help the Harper Library install a rainwater collection system on its property was presented last week.

The Lower Colorado River Authority and Central Texas Electric Cooperative provided the $7,613 grant to help the library purchase and install the system’s gutters, rainwater storage tank, pump house, down spouts and jet pumps.

The system will serve as a water conservation model for area residents.

“Our focus is on bettering the community, and we want this rainwater system to serve as an example for people,” said Tomi Pugh, Harper Library board president and library director.

“We think that demonstrating the effective use of rainwater collection and its use fits perfectly with our other projects that benefit the community, such as recycling and participating in the Adopt-a-Highway cleanup program,” Pugh said.

The rainwater collection system is Phase 1 of the library board’s project.


Becker Vineyards, Hill Top Café uniting for Jan. 26 dinner

Hill Top Café and Becker Vineyards invite the public to join them for another vintner dinner, this one on Sunday, Jan. 26.

The four-course dinner kicks off with a wine reception beginning at 5 p.m. Johnny and Brenda Nicholas, Hill Top Café proprietors, and Nichole Bendele, Becker Vineyards’ public relations coordinator, will be present to meet and greet guests.

Brenda Nicholas (who is also the culinary director) and chef Marvin Hobson created the following menu around the Becker Vineyards wines:

Reception: Becker Vineyards Provencal Tallent Vineyard 2012.

First course: Braised oxtail soup with parsnips, kale and potato dumplings, paired with Becker Vineyards Albarino Peter’s Prairie Vineyard 2012.

Second Course:  Locally-grown roasted rainbow and golden beets with native spiced pecans, Texas chevre and hearts of palm in a prickly pear cactus vinaigrette, paired with Becker Vineyards Prairie Rotie 2012.


Nolen appointed director at Providence Hall School

Lynn Nolen, M.S., has been appointed as the director of the Providence Hall School by the board of directors.

She will begin her duties July 1.

Leslie Spraggins, the current director, and Elizabeth Beall, co-director, will coninue in positions as development directors for the school.

Spraggins said, “Lynn has the qualities we are looking for in appointing a director for Providence Hall — leadership, integrity, vision and experience with traditional learners and students with learning differences.”

“We are very excited to have someone of this caliber lead our school,” Beall added.

Nolen is currently the director of learning services at The Hockaday School in Dallas, having served in this position for 10 years.


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