Gillespie Life


Symphony of the Hills to play concert Thursday

With a musical theme of “storm and stress,” the Symphony of the Hills will present a concert featuring the works of Rossini, Prokofiev and Offenbach tomorrow, Thursday, Feb 27, at the Cailloux Theater in Kerrville.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., preceded by a wine reception at 6:30 p.m.

Pieces were selected for this program that each tell a dramatic story, according to Jay Dunnahoo, conductor and artistic director.

“For example, ‘Peter and Wolf’ is a story of young boy, some animals, a sinister wolf and some hunters,” Dunnahoo said. “There is considerable stress in this tale as the wolf swallows a duck, Peter captures the dangerous wolf and the hunters later assist Peter in taking the wolf to a zoo.”


Homegrown Fredericksburg: Water Works Sprinkler Company

35 YEARS OF BUSINESS -- Water Works Sprinkler Company, owned by Tina and Jeff Landis, offers help to local residents seeking effective irrigation and lighting for the lawns and homes. -- Standard-Radio Post /Danny Hirt

By Danny Hirt —

Watering the lawn is always a hot topic in and around Fredericksburg. Residents want to make sure their grass receives enough of the precious liquid to stay green and healthy.

That’s where Tina and Jeff Landis step in with their business, Water Works Sprinkler Company.

While the couple had been installing watering systems for many years (under the name Fredericksburg Landscapes and Sprinklers), the company’s roots go back a total of 35 years when Franklin (Tex) Loth owned it.

The Landises bought the business from Loth in 2002.

For more on this story, read this week’s print and online editions of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. If you are a print subscriber, your full online subscription is free. All you need to do is call 830-997-2155 to get a password. If you are not a subscriber, call 997-2155 or click on the ‘Subscribe’ button on the left side of the home page and sign up today!


Former NASA director due here for SystemsGo benefit

Tom Moser, former NASA director, lead engineer, and project manager for Apollo, the shuttle program, and the International Space Station, will present a program on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Hill Country University Center.

The event is a fundraiser for SystemsGo, the aeroscience program started at Fredericksburg High School and now used in 50 schools across Texas.

Seating is limited. Tickets are $35 per person and available at The evening begins with a wine and social hour at 5:30 p.m. A seated meal at 6:30 p.m. includes grilled pork chop, grilled veggies, twice-baked potatoes, Mexican cornbread, and dessert. The program starts at 7:15 p.m.

Moser has managed and led aerospace business expansion in the private sector, supported the development of commercial space systems, and managed large complex programs involving advanced technology both domestically and internationally.


Music Club to host Yon, Hester for Sunday concert

Kristen Yon

Fredericksburg Music Club is presenting violinist Kirsten Yon in concert on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 3 p.m. at the Fredericksburg United Methodist Church.

Seating will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Yon’s performance will include works by Handel, Ravel and Faure.

She will be accompanied on the piano by Timothy Hester. 

Kirsten Yon is currently in residence at the University of Houston where she is associate professor of violin.

Past engagements include serving as associate professor of violin at Texas Tech University, a position she held for eight years. 

An acclaimed teacher, performer and clinician, she received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Institute of Music before pursuing her doctor of musical arts degree at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

During her degrees, Yon studied with Stephen Shipps, William Preucil, David Updegraff and Kathleen Winkler.


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.


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