Gillespie Life

Wed
18
Feb

History's lyrics


Woellhof points out "ghost faces" designed into the sheets. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke

 

Ron Woellhof, Fredericksburg’s now retired friendly antiquer, has lent material for another exhibit at Schreiner University in Kerrville.

“The Medieval Lyric in Illuminated Manuscript” shows off the intricate artistry of pre-printing press-era scribes, who adorned lyric sheets with ornate works of art and some hidden treasures.

“Sheets of the hand-scripted 14th and 15th centuries are among the largest and most beautiful manuscripts that have survived from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance,” said Sara Schmidt, associate professor of library science. “This exhibition celebrates the splendid decoration and form of these manuscripts.”

This is the Logan Library’s third exhibit of illuminated manuscripts from the collection of Ron and Jane Woellhof, who together ran Main Street’s Showcase Antiques from 1976 until last year.

Wed
18
Feb

From corn to cork


Filled bottles await the final sealing, stamping and signing at Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye. — Photos by Phil Houseal

It was a great Hill Country day to take a tour of Garrison Brothers Distillery. It was on our way and combined three irresistible draws: a trip that starts with a wagon ride, ends with a shot of bourbon, and is near a town whose name is a greeting — Hye.

We pulled into the rustic visitor area on Albert Road just a few miles south of the historic Hye Post Office, and lucked out with timing as a tour was just ready to go. You should reserve a spot online, but we happened to find a seat, and took a short ride to the “place where the magic happens.”

Making bourbon is a pretty simple process. After all, people have been doing it for centuries. But when Dan Garrison started Texas’ first “legal” whiskey distillery in 2008, he wanted Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey to be “the best bourbon ever made.”

So it’s made pretty much by hand. Well, 18 hands. Currently nine full-time employees take the product “from corn to cork.”

Wed
18
Feb

It's all grey: '50 Shades' too bland

It takes two to tango — one to lead and one to follow — in the feature film adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The follower, Dakota Johnson as the naïve and bookish Anastasia, is a breath of fresh air anytime she appears on screen and truly gives 110 percent of herself to every scene no matter how much clothing she wears.

However, the leader, Jamie Dornan as the charismatic and mysterious billionaire Christian, can’t dance to save his life.

In relationship-heavy two-handers like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it’s important that both leads utilize the other’s performance to help elevate their own, but Johnson is acting against a brick wall.

There’s only so much an actor can do when given nothing to work with. It’s what makes Johnson’s honest portrayal of the loss of innocence more noteworthy.

Wed
18
Feb

It's all grey: '50 Shades' too bland

It takes two to tango — one to lead and one to follow — in the feature film adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The follower, Dakota Johnson as the naïve and bookish Anastasia, is a breath of fresh air anytime she appears on screen and truly gives 110 percent of herself to every scene no matter how much clothing she wears.

However, the leader, Jamie Dornan as the charismatic and mysterious billionaire Christian, can’t dance to save his life.

In relationship-heavy two-handers like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it’s important that both leads utilize the other’s performance to help elevate their own, but Johnson is acting against a brick wall.

There’s only so much an actor can do when given nothing to work with. It’s what makes Johnson’s honest portrayal of the loss of innocence more noteworthy.

Wed
11
Feb

Student artists display work

First-year art student Camela Patton’s work is included in the annual Student Art Exhibition at Whistle Pik Galleries. Patton, a 10th grader at Ambleside School, created her black scratch paper piece, “Owl Study.” Although she hopes to continue studying art while in high school, she said that she is looking at pursuing a career in some type of architecture. — Standard-Radio Post/Yvonne Hartmann

Wed
11
Feb

Sci-flop "Jupiter Ascending" not worth your time

It’s unfortunate that “Jupiter Ascending,” the latest sci-fi adventure from the Wachowski directing team of “Matrix” fame, wasn’t released last summer like originally scheduled.

The film, which believes itself to be the second coming of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, is more like the Jar Jar Binks of the sci-fi genre, heavily derided, over-animated and just not that good.

It certainly doesn’t seem like the extra seven months taken following its July 18 expected release date helped the overall aesthetic of the film.

To be sure, “Jupiter Ascending” is a terrible film lacking in any semblance of character development, cohesive plot or sense of purpose.

But films like “Jupiter Ascending” are necessary evils that remind us just how fortunate we are for movies like “Edge of Tomorrow” or “Guardians of the Galaxy,” science fiction films with an actual point of view and something interesting to hold on to.

Wed
04
Feb

Sun setting on Pat's Hall


The mighty live oak tree, around which dancers scooted to two-steps and waltzes, stands ready for its new role at the home of what will be Providence Hall School. Owner Kathy Shearer sold this and the adjoining property to the school, which sought to expand to expand its local facilities. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke

 

True Texas dance halls are becoming more rare as time marches on, and the sale of Pat’s Hall means there will be one fewer of the iconic structures in the Lone Star state.

Steve Dean, director of the nonprofit Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc., said owners have to adapt to changing times to survive.

Pat’s Hall was sold recently to Providence Hall, a small Christian school looking for room to expand.

The hall, with its exterior dance floor surrounding a huge oak tree, has been the site of many a good time for locals for generations.

Dean was disappointed to hear of the sale, but said he understands the challenges faced by today’s dance hall owners.

“It’s unfortunate, because Fredericksburg is such a lively, energetic town,” he said. “I wish we could have found an owner who would continue the dance hall.”

Wed
04
Feb

Chastain, Isaac shine in 'A Most Violent Year'

Hollywood is putting serious pocket change into remaking vintage films using modern technology for new audiences.

It seems as though no film is beyond the grasp of remake-hungry directors, though there are still some movies that need to be left untouched.

You just can’t remake “The Godfather.”

“A Most Violent Year,” a little-seen film that the National Board of Review chose as the best of 2014, isn’t a “Godfather” rip-off or remake, but carries with it all the lessons modern filmmakers can learn from the Francis Ford Coppola crime classic.

J.C. Chandor’s third feature film — following 2011’s breakout hit “Margin Call” and 2013’s “All Is Lost” — stars Oscar Isaac as a businessman trying to stay clean in a dirty, corrupt heating oil industry.

The film gets its title from the background in which it is set — New York City in 1981, a disproportionately violent year in the town’s history.

Wed
28
Jan

Challenge accepted and enjoyed


Nancy Bennett of Fredericksburg completes the second day of her 140-day journey as apart of Race Across USA with Jack Cain, who joined the core team in running across California — Photos by Ted Bennett

By Yvonne Hartmann

 

Nancy Bennett likes a challenge.

She completed a cross country bicycle ride in 1998, ran her first marathon in 2001 at the age of 50, and now at the age of 63, is running as part of the Race Across USA.

Bennett is one of 12 core team members taking part in the 4½-month journey and running the equivalent of 117 back-to-back marathons across the country. When it is all done, Bennett and the other team members will have run 3,080 miles in 140 days.

She discovered Race Across USA, which raises awareness of childhood obesity and funds for the 100 Mile Club, while searching for her next challenge. “It sounded really exciting,” she said.

Since running her first 26.2-mile race, she has completed more than 60 marathons, with at least one in each of the 50 states.

“Over 3,000 people have climbed Mt. Everest, but only 252 people have successfully crossed the United States in a footrace?” she said.

Wed
28
Jan

Oyelowo paces shallow 'Selma' with worthy performance

There’s no reason not to like “Selma,” the Ava DuVernay-helmed drama which chronicles the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, during the 1960s led by captivating activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

British actor David Oyelowo makes the most of a poorly outlined script by first time screen-writer Paul Webb, largely succeeding in the attempt to provide a larger picture of King the man while given limited opportunity for character development.

There are better movies yet to be made about King’s life, achievements and character as DuVernay’s third feature film simply scratches the surface of a complex and powerful leader.

“Selma” is the rock dancing along the top of the water of importance, skipping around from beatings in the streets to White House visits, from quiet personal moments to loud public emotions without ever diving into any of them.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Gillespie Life