Local WWII veteran Shafer visits Tomb of the Unknowns

LOCAL VETERAN Bernice Shafer takes a seat at the Nurses Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Shafer, who served as a U.S. Army nurse in World War II, was one of many Fredericksburg and area WWII vets who took an Honor Flight to the nation’s capital. She also visited the Tomb of the Un-knowns to pay her respects to a service member who died in her arms; she never knew his name. — Photo courtesy Cam King

By Richard Zowie —

Sixty-eight years ago, Bernice Shafer served as a nurse in World War II in the Philippines toward the war’s end.

Even after the war ended, she carried a memory that haunted her for many years.

Shafer, along with about 30 local veterans, visited the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 28. She helped lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, in Arlington National Cemetery, her way of paying her respects to the nameless, mortally-wounded soldier she comforted in his final moments nearly seven decades ago.

She spent two years as a nurse in the U.S. Army and would later serve three years in the reserves of the Army Air Corps (now the Air Force).

Following basic training in Camp Carson, Colo. (now called Fort Carson) in 1944, Shafer received orders to go to the Philippines in 1945.

“General Douglas MacArthur cleared the path for us to go there,” she said.


'Miracle Worker' to debut

WATER! — Anne Sullivan, played by Christina Fait, tries to teach the sign for “water” to Helen Keller, played by Meredith Harper. The two are part of the cast of The Miracle Worker, which opens Friday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m., at the Fredericksburg Theater Company. The production continues weekends through Oct. 27. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

Opening night for the Fredericksburg Theater Company production of “The Miracle Worker” will be Friday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m.

The play will be performed for three weeks on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and then Sunday matinee performances at 2 p.m.

The final performance will be Sunday, Oct. 27.

The Tony Award-winning play focuses on Helen Keller, who, though born being able to see and hear, loses both of those senses at an early age due to an illness. Left unable to hear, see or even talk, she then receives guidance from her teacher, Anne Sullivan.

Ashleigh Goff, who is directing the FTC production, described the nature of the show — especially the set — as “very abstract.”

“There aren’t complete walls, but you can tell where walls go,” she explained. “All of the different characters have such big personalities. They all must work cohesively together. It’s also physically very challenging.”


Agave Gallery: Petite space packed with western delights

AGAVE GALLERY owner and artist John Bennett poses with his "Belle Starr" bronze, one of a series of vintage cowgirl statues he made. While Bennett has moved on to other projects, he said the cowgirl bronzes proved popular. Those followed his cowboy artwork. -- Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke —

Agave Gallery feels a little bit like your first apartment, as it is on the small side, but the treasures inside spark huge reactions.

Visitors are welcomed to the gallery — housed in an 1880s limestone Sunday house — by a well-kept native plant garden. For 15 years, the building was a wedding chapel. Artist John Bennett and wife Cathy live in what used to be a radiator shop behind the gallery, which they opened eight years ago.

Inside, Bennett’s detailed, flowing sculpture work takes prominence, but the subdivided rooms have artistic delights around each corner.

Bennett’s work is filled with natural-looking, moving subjects, but what is hidden is the meticulous detail and work style of each piece.


Firefighters firing up fish fryers

A dinner of golden fried fish with all the trimmings, prize drawing and live auction will be offered by the Stonewall Volunteer Fire Department and First Responders on Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Stonewall Chamber of Commerce grounds.

In addition to the fried fish, the menu for the Annual Fall Fish Fry includes French fries, sweet rice, beans, cole slaw, all the trimmings and a dessert.

Cost of the meal is by donation.

Serving begins at 5 p.m.

To go along with the fish fry on Saturday night will be a prize drawing and live auction.

Drawing for prizes will be held throughout the evening.

Prize tickets are $5 each or six for $20.


FISD trustees slate meetings

October will be a busy month for the Fredericksburg Independent School District board of trustees as they will hold meetings discussing the superintendent search and potential capital projects.

The meetings will be held at the Central Administration Building, at 234 Friendship Lane.

Superintendent search

On Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m., the board will discuss a presentation by the Texas Association of School Boards and approval of leadership qualifications and characteristics, regarding the search for a new superintendent.

The new search became necessary when longtime superintendent Dr. Marc Williamson announced he will retire at the end of the fall semester.

Butch Felkner of the TASB has been working with FISD in their search for Williamson’s replacement. A meeting was recently held to gather public input for the search.


Daily Update for Tuesday, Oct. 8


  • The Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association annual stockholder's meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.
  • No public comment was aired last night before the Fredericksburg City Council during a public hearing on the proposed annexation of 33 lots comprising Stone Ridge Subdivision Unit No. 8. A second hearing is set at the city's next regular session at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Gillespie County Law Enforcement Center.
  • City officials also discussed, but took no action on an ordinance related to the parking of vehicles near residences.



FISD holds public forum for superintendent search

By Richard Zowie— The latest step in the Fredericksburg Independent School District’s search for a new superintendent was a Tuesday, Oct. 1 public forum.

The forum consisted of Texas Association of School Boards executive search services director Butch Felkner meeting with three groups: staff, then the public, then the school board. He stipulated that those speaking or sending in comments did not need to give their names, so as to not influence trustees. The new hire will replace Dr. Marc Williamson, who is retiring after this semester.

Felkner asked the public three questions. He explained to the small gathering that these questions were for information purposes and that there were no right or wrong answers.

First question: What do you consider to be the top one or two strengths of this district?


'Horns up!'

Hill Country Marching Fest drawing bands here

By Lisa Treiber-Walter— Going “toe-to-toe” and “note-to-note” against each other will be some 17 high school marching bands here this Saturday, Oct. 5, during the annual Hill Country Marching Festival.

Music fans are invited to visit the Fredericksburg High School (FHS) Stadium to watch the Class 1A to Class 4A bands march their contest shows in a halftime-like performance that runs throughout the afternoon.


FHS alumni return home for 16-13 win

STILL IN SHOCK, Elizabeth (Libby) Klein reacts to being crowned the 2013 Fredericksburg High School Homecoming Queen during halftime of the Billies’ 16-13 varsity football victory over Llano Friday evening at FHS Stadium. The senior, who has Down syndrome, was a unanimous selection after the rest of the homecoming court deferred their votes. Klein was escorted during the homecoming ceremony by FHS varsity football player Lane Williams. — Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

Libby Klein named 2013 Homecoming Queen

By Matt Ward— Elizabeth (Libby) Klein was crowned the 2013 Fredericksburg High School Homecoming Queen during Friday night’s halftime ceremonies of the Billies’ football game against Llano.

The senior, who has Down Syndrome, was a unanimous selection after the rest of the homecoming court deferred their votes.

The Battlin’ Billies defeated the Yellowjackets 16-13 in the homecoming bout to improve to 4-1 on the season. (A  game report is found in today’s Sports section.)

Homecoming ceremony

Halftime of the Friday night game featured the introduction of five homecoming queen nominees who were escorted across the FHS Stadium field and through an honorary tunnel of swords held by uniformed members of the FHS Junior Naval ROTC, while music was played by the FHS Band.


Prosit! 33rd Annual Oktoberfest begins Friday

Fredericksburg's signature event to be filled with German flavor

By Yvonne Hartmann— Three days filled with singing, toasting and dancing will be featured Friday through Sunday, Oct. 4-6, when the Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance hosts its annual Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest activities take place on Marktplatz in downtown Fredericksburg.

Oktoberfest hours are from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, from 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $7 for adults, $1 for children 6-12, and free for children under six.

Two-day passes are $12, and three-day passes are $16.

Advance ticket sales are available on the website at

Oktoberfest continues to grow and more seating has been added in a new area, Strassen Zelt (Street Tent), located on Adams Street.


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