Gillespie Life


New carnival operator promises clean, family-friendly fun at fair

  Lighting up this year’s special 125th edition of the Gillespie County Fair will be a new carnival.

Promising a family-friendly midway full of games and carnival rides this year will be Rickey and Jaine Moore’s Greater Shows — a new operator on the Gillespie County Fair Grounds scene.

Planned is a “much-improved” carnival over what was hosted here the past few years, according to Mark Raab, who co-chairs the organizing committee with Wallace Britton.

“The Moores promise a clean, safe and quality experience for fairgoers of all ages,” added Edward Stroeher, president of the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association.


Former fair queens share memories from their reigns

REPRESENTING the 62nd Gillespie COunty Fair in 1950 were Queen Betty Stroeher and Duchesses Evelyn Danz, left, and Annabelle Loth.

It’s just about every little girl’s dream to be a princess and wear a shiny crown.

And in Gillespie County 64 young women have done just that by being crowned Gillespie County Fair Queen.

The first queen — Julie Kordzik  — was crowned in 1949 for the 61st Fair and last year, Camry Weinheimer was selected as the 125th Fair Queen for 2013.

Through the years, the Fair Queen and her court have represented the Gillespie County Fair at parades and other functions throughout the area.

As part of this weekend’s celebration of the 125th Gillespie County Fair, former queens and duchesses have been invited to ride in the Fair Parade on Friday morning, Aug. 23.

They will also be honored at a reception on Friday night.

Because the fair association is honoring past courts, a few of the former queens took time to answer the following questions:

1. What did it mean to you to serve as Gillespie County Fair Queen?


Higher education's roots reach deep into city's past

FREDERICKSBURG COLLEGE’S two-story limestone building, founded in 1876, served at one point near the close of the 19th Century as a backdrop for a group photo of Fredericksburg Independent School District students and teachers.

(Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles on higher education in Fredericksburg that are being provided periodically for publication in the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post.) 

By Terry Collier and Cathy Collier

They’ll be walking on the same paths and some of them will be sitting in the same classrooms, but most of the students returning to classes at Fredericksburg Middle School in a few days will be unaware that they are following in the footsteps of college students from long ago.

Getting a college education in Gillespie County is not a new idea.

A roomy, modern structure sitting on a large campus is not just an apt depiction of the Hill Country University Center, located at the eastern edge of town on U.S. Highway 290. It also describes the two-story structure on Travis Street that is now a part of the FMS campus.


Heritage School tabs Skinner as headmaster

Matt Skinner, Heritage Head of School

Heritage School trustees announced that Matt Skinner is the new Head of School. 

Skinner comes to Heritage from Hilton Head Island, S.C., where he served as Headmaster of Hilton Head Christian Academy. Prior to his tenure at HHCA, Skinner served as Headmaster of Landmark Christian School in Fairburn, Ga. From 2003-2011, and Headmaster of Bracken Christian School in Bulverde, Texas from 1996 to 2002.

Skinner also is an ordained minister and served as Executive Pastor of Dogwood Church in Peachtree City, Ga. in 2002. Prior to entering education, he was a CPA for many years and played professional minor league baseball for the Newark Orioles, an organization of the Baltimore Orioles.


New schol year ready for start at FES

Fredericksburg Elementary School is getting ready for the start of a new school year on Monday, Aug. 26.

And with that in mind, school officials have announced information for FES students.

New students

Parents new to the Fredericksburg Independent School District are encouraged to enroll their children as soon as possible. 

In order to enroll, parents should bring their child’s birth certificate, immunization record, Social Security card and the report card from the school last attended.

The registering parent will be asked for driver’s license or photo ID for proof of identity.

Registration hours will be Monday through Friday from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. at the Fredericksburg Elementary School office. 

Due to district in-service, the office will be closed the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 20.



'Country Showdown' slated during Gillespie County Fair

The 32nd Annual Texaco Country Showdown returns to Fredericksburg on Thursday, Aug. 22, the opening night of the 125th Gillespie County Fair.

Scheduled for the outdoor stage next to the race track, this year’s program will feature local and area contestants as they vie for the ultimate grand prize of $100,000.

The event is sponsored locally by radio stations KNAF AM 910 and KNAF FM 105.7/103.1 (“The Deuce”).

Designed to find the most promising country music talent in the United States for the past 30 years, the Texaco Country Showdown gives aspiring artists a chance to launch their professional careers. Thousands of performers compete annually for the Country Showdown title.


Pedernales Brewing to host WWII veteran's Honor Flight benefit Saturday

Pedernales Brewing Company, on Highway 87 South, will host a fundraiser from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, to help send 34 Gillespie County World War II veterans on a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the WWII Memorial and other sites free of cost.

The 34 county veterans going on the Sept. 27-28 trip are: Bill Scott, Bernice Shafer, Betty Blalock, Kermit Eckhardt, Roland Borchers, Joseph Gordon, Larry Payne, Harold Tatsch, Fred Dietel, Lindy Kernan, Leo Itz, Willard Roseberry, Charles Sagebiel, Thomas Whetstone, Art Crenwelge, Marvin Prochnow, Vernon Johnson, Al Stotz, Lenard Tucker, Bob Skinner, Eugene Hartmann, Walter Fuhrman, Norma Taylor, Marvin Daniel, Anthony Knopp, Harold Couch, Edward Stein, Forest Rees, Harry Moldenhauer, Doris Pinner, J.T. Smith, Harold Kusenberger, Felix Neffendorf and Gilbert Esensee.


Misión organizer honored Saturday

GIVING THANKS for the work of Misión de Candelilla in several villages in northern Mexico, Santos Onate (left), a pastor from Coahuila, receives a hand from the group's co-founder Sara Allerkamp (right), who translates into English for over 300 atendees to the Misión de Candelilla Fiesta 2013 fundraiser Saturday at Oak Hills Church and Event Center.

By Matt Ward


Carol Smith and her late husband, Jack, were honored by the board of Misión de Candelilla during their Fiesta 2013 fund-raiser Saturday at the Oak Hills Church and Event Center.

The couple is regarded as two of the founders of the local organization’s medical missions to Coahuila and Chihuahua in Mexico 27 years ago.

“Without Carol, none of us would be here,” Dr. Ottis Layne, said. “Jack and Carol were going and doing agricultural missions to these villages in Mexico for several years before Carol asked Sara (Allerkamp) if she could bring a medical trip into these villages. Without Carol asking Sara and Sara in turn asking me, there would be no Misión de Candelilla.”

Retired teachers from La Porte, Smith and her husband were working with the Southern Baptist HANDS mission, teaching proper soil fertilization and growing techniques in Mexico before approaching Allerkamp to provide medical services.


'Tech Teach' preps college students for classroom

TECH TEACH – Instructor Sara Beal goes over how to create lesson plan objectives while working with a cohort of 18 Tech Teach students. Classes are taught as a part of the TTU at Fredericks-burg’s College of Education offerings at the Hill Country University Center. – Stand-ard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke


Area students are getting on-the-job classroom experience before finishing their university degree, thanks to a program offered by the College of Education at Texas Tech University.

“Tech Teach” gives upper division education majors the chance to simultaneously take their own university courses, while working alongside certified, mentor teachers in the classroom.

Field experiences in the public schools used to be reserved for last-semester student teachers who were about to graduate.

Now, the more rigorous Tech Teach program has the students working at Fredericksburg Elementary and other Hill Country school districts for two full years.

Last Wednesday, Arizona State University instructor Sara Beal and other professors helped a cohort of 18 education students learn state standards, write lesson objectives and lesson plans.


Fair Queen applications due Aug. 14

Coeds interested in competing for the title of 2014 Gillespie County Fair Queen are reminded that applications are now being accepted.

The applications are available in the office at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds, which is open 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. 14, at 7 p.m. at the fair grounds.

Each applicant must be accompanied to 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 2012-2013 school year and are enrolled in a Gillespie County high school for the 2013-2014 school year.

Winners of the contest must maintain good academic standing throughout their reign.


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