Boerne – Market Days

Created Monday, 30 August 2010 03:47

Boerne – Market Days

Boerne Market Days – Every Second Weekend of the Month!

The town of Boerne is one of those established in the mid-19th century by German settlers on what was then the edge of the frontier, which began roughly about where the Hill Country begins. Boerne was, in it’s first incarnation, called Tusculum. It was one of the so-called ‘Latin’ settlements – formed by free-thinking, well-educated German intellectuals fleeing the collapse of the ’48 revolution. A candid observer might venture the opinion they were considerably over-educated, for the conditions then existing on the frontier – but fortunately the intellectuals were leavened with the addition of more hardy and practical types – and Boerne has thrived ever since. It is just a hop, skip, and a jump from North San Antonio, and we could not resist the lure of last weekend’s Market Days. Well, we might have, given the heat – but it’s South Texas in August, it will be brutally hot, and if that would stop anyone, nothing would happen around here at all. We packed plenty of water and sports drinks and ventured forth, to Boerne’s Town Square, edged with tall pecan trees and – mercifully, a lot of benches in the shade at either end.

There were four rows of vendors, with a fifth facing the street – and everything from art – fine art, folk-art, scenic painting, sculpture in metal, pottery, to knick-knacks, toys, exotic plants (where else would you find a pitcher plant but at the Country Lane Nursery) . . . and not least – a genuine Texas long-horn skull adorned with turquoise. There was a booth full of skin-care products locally manufactured from Nubian goat-milk, and another of gourmet foods, by Shayne Sauce; pastas, pickles and jams galore. The best part is that they will be opening a regular outlet in Artisans’ Alley next month, to meet all of your jam and specialty pasta needs. All this, and musicians getting into their own groove

Not being able to wait quite long for lunch, our companions (a trio of hungry teenaged boys) hit the food booths, and promptly discovered that the funnel-cakes were very good, and also very large. Well, this is Texas, of course. The plates of home-made potato chips were also Texas-sized – how can you pile that many chips onto one plate? That’s an art, that is. And who could not walk away without trying a puffy corn-taco gordita, which was simply overflowing with excellently spiced chicken and guacamole. Fabulous, absolutely fabulous.

After exploring all the booths, we ventured a little way down Main Street, or Hauptstrasse, as far as the river – alas, by then it was the hottest time of the day! At least we could duck into the various stores along the way, especially the antique stores. We made a pair of fabulous discoveries along the way – hey, Boerne does wine! The Boerne Wine Company has a terrifically high-end, high-style tasting room about halfway between the Town Square and the river. We couldn’t indulge in any tastings that day – well, because we had the boys with us, and Boerne Wine has serious tastings, more than just a sip from a thimble and at a price – but the staff was absolutely wonderful and helpful. This is how to tell a good place, incidentally – the staff was marvelously cordial to two casually dressed women and three rather moderately rowdy boys – who very obviously weren’t going to be customers that day.

The second fab discovery was at the Shell Station on the corner of Main Street and SH-46, which has a meat counter and a BBQ stand which has the best BBQ around; and apparently the best jerky and home-made sausage, too. It’s called the Riverside Market. We stopped in for some soft drinks, being parched with thirst – and once inside, it smelled so enticing – the food of the gods, I swear – that we stopped in on our way home and bought some ribs and sauce on the side to take home for later consumption. It was ambrosial. Remember – Boerne, Shell Station, on Main Street, and SH-46, just as you cross the river. It’s a word of mouth thing, apparently. Check it out – just an ordinary gas-station quickie mart, but it’s the second time that I’ve found one of those to be a treasure-house of culinary delights.

Art,Antiques, Furniture, Jewelry, Plants, Home decor, Clothing, Specialty foods, Home & Garden, And much more!

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Walking in the Gardens of Stone

Created Monday, 30 August 2010 03:24

Walking in the Gardens of Stone

One of the curious things about living in this part of Texas – well, just one and among a very long list of such curiosities – is that one encounters small graveyards all over; a quarter acre here, a half acre there, a dozen weathering and almost indecipherable markers standing up like accusing fingers under the shade of a cypress tree, embedded among suburbia – or even alongside a otherwise embarrassingly ugly commercial avenue – like whole maraschino cherries in a slab of Corsicana fruitcake.

Well, I think it’s curious, anyway – I never noticed anything of the sort where I grew up. That would have been in a part of southern California which didn’t much offer anything of the sort, having been built up mostly after WWII. Such communities as I knew were organized according to modern principals of city planning, and in deference to a population which exploded astronomically after 1942.

By contrast, in Europe, graveyards were almost always in association with churches – the local prominent citizens being given pride of place within the church itself, memorialized with ornate tombs or brasses let into the floor or the walls – all very tidy, and usually in the heart of the village, or in the city which had grown up around an original village.

The Texas arrangement seems odd, at first – after these two extremes – but sensible, once considered in the context of how 19th century frontier towns grew. What with one thing and another – in-town real estate was just too valuable to use for a graveyard of any sort, extensive or not. Graveyards were on the outskirts, perhaps next to a major road, whether the town was a country seat or not. And those which had a city like San Antonio engulf them . . . as I said, this means that the old town or parish cemetery turns up in the oddest of places.

The Davenport cemetery, which is outside the 1604 Loop on the old Nacodoches Road, just after it crosses Salado Creek is one of those that we noticed at first – a dozen graves and a couple of cedar trees, a lonely view of fields and distant trees. When it was first established, there would have been nothing more than that – but suburbia creeps ever closer; originally, the Davenport cemetery was for the little settlement now called Bracken. The founder is buried there, between Wife #1 and Wife #2.

Country graveyards are full of those untold dramas – but now, nothing left but a monument, a name, some dates, maybe some information added as an extra. A mid-19th century grave (marked with a modern stone), of a man killed by Indians – that’s in the old Catholic parish graveyard, in Fredericksburg. That particular cemetery was heartbreakingly full of the graves of babies and children; it’s a wonder anything grew at all, for being salted with the tears of parents.

In another Catholic cemetery, on the Old Austin Road in Selma – right next to Specs’ – there are many graves that speak of long lives, well lived, only a comparative handful cut short, like that of a young man in his twenties, whose friends or family had left carefully arranged cans and bottles of Bud Lite. Favorite beverage, left on last year’s Day of the Dead? In that cemetery, and in the Wetmore community cemetery, on Stahl Road, the names are familiar – they are the names on the road-signs all around. Friesenhan, Stahl, Uhr . . . Look around – take that side street, go in through that gate. The stories there, in that little old pocket graveyard may beat anything on TV this summer.

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Toyota Creates Jobs for Texans and Bolsters the Local Economy

Created Friday, 06 August 2010 17:20

Toyota Creates Jobs for Texans and Bolsters the Local Economy

Friday, August 06, 2010 | San Antonio, Texas

Gov. Rick Perry today credited the strong relationship between Texas and Toyota for creating jobs for Texans and strengthening San Antonio’s economy. The governor spoke at a ceremony celebrating the launch of the Toyota Tacoma, now being built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc. (TMMTX) in San Antonio.

“For almost four years now, pickup trucks have been rolling off the Toyota assembly line here in San Antonio, creating jobs for Texans and bolstering the local economy,” Gov. Perry said. “The partnership between Texas and Toyota has been extremely valuable, and I am confident it will continue to yield great benefits for us all in the years to come.”

Toyota currently has $1.4 billion invested in its San Antonio plant, which employs more than 2,800 Texans, including 1,000 newly hired with the addition of the Tacoma line. Established in 2003, TMMTX already manufactures the Tundra full-size pickup.

The Texas economy continues to receive national attention. Last month, CNBC named Texas America’s Top State for Business. Texas was also recently named the “Best State to Do Business” by CEO Magazine for the sixth year in a row, and six of Texas’ metro areas were listed as “America’s Recovery Capitals” by Forbes and Moody’s Economy.

No other state is home to more Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, and Texas is the nation’s leading exporting state for the eighth consecutive year. Texas created more private sector jobs than any other state in the nation over the last 10 years. Additionally, Texas’ unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 percent in June, well below the national average.

For more information about TMMTX please visit
http://www.toyota.com/about/our_business/engineering_and_manufacturing/tmmtx/

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Federal tax credit still an option for some buyers

Created Thursday, 05 August 2010 22:31

Federal tax credit still an option for some buyers

The federal tax-credit deadline to have a house under contract has come and gone for most homebuyers, but not all.

Members of the military who have served outside the U.S. for at least 90 days between Dec. 31, 2008, and May 1, 2010, have until April 30, 2011, to enter into a contract on a home, according to the IRS.

The IRS also makes clear that only one spouse of a married couple need meet that overseas requirement for either spouse to be eligible for the deadline extension.

In addition to the Federal Tax Credit, San Antonio area Veterans may also qualify for additional cash rebates available exclusively from real estate agent Randy Watson of Mission Realty via the Military Relocation Incentives Program.

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