Christmas with Michael Martin Murphey: What Forever’s For

  Nov 29, 2017–For Michael Martin Murphey, changing up his Cowboy Christmas Show would be “like coming to town and not singing Wildfire.” “The audience would kill us if we changed it,” said the American music legend during an interview about his Dec 2 show at the Rockbox Theater in Fredericksburg. Not that he hasn’tContinue Reading

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch

Nov 22, 2017–’Tis the season of nutcrackers, ballerinas, and dancing sugarplums, whatever those are. So of course Regan Mann of Fredericksburg Dance Company wanted to toss a little grinchiness into this sometimes syrupy season. Sure, her dancers will offer a Nutcracker Ballet. But she is adding a different seasoning for audiences–a show with tap dancing.Continue Reading

Engaging the world

Nov 15, 2017–As Thanksgiving brings its predictable menu of comfort food, dispensed in your family tradition, I started thinking about how as we grow older we tend to seek out stronger flavors. The pungency of goat cheese and truffles. The tang of red wine and black coffee. The picante of peppers. I used to speculateContinue Reading

Bystander at the Birth of eSports

Nov 8, 2017–I was at Ground Zero for the birth of eSports, and didn’t realize it. The year was 1982. The location was Ottumwa, Iowa. More specifically, it was inside a storefront video game arcade called Twin Galaxies. After a challenging day teaching at Evans Junior High, I would often stop in to play aContinue Reading

Radney Foster: Telling stories differently

Nov 1, 2017–“I like being a storyteller.” Honestly, I didn’t know much about singer/songwriter Radney Foster before interviewing him. But when those were the first words out of his mouth, I knew I was meeting a kindred spirit. Foster–who will be doing an acoustic show in Luckenbach on Nov 10–is best known for his earlyContinue Reading

Beginnings: Chicago-style horns and harmonies

As published in the Kerrville (TX) Daily Times Spotlight Oct 19, 2017–The big, bright, brash sound of the seminal rock band Chicago had such an impact on Mason Swearingen, he remembers clearly the first time he heard it. “My earliest childhood memory is sitting in my parents car and hearing Saturday in the Park onContinue Reading

Still not hip

Oct 25, 2017–I attended my high school class reunion this past weekend, and as I reentered the shifting sands of adolescent memory, I confirmed I am still not, never was, and never will be “hip.” The concept of hipness is one of those things you cannot define, but you always recognize. Like great wine orContinue Reading

Nickels, Times, and Dollars

Oct 18, 2017–As my granddaughter dropped scavenged coins into her piggy bank, I realized I am seeing the last generation that will use this method of saving. Coins are obsolete. I hate to calculate the time spent first as a student, then as a teacher and parent either learning or trying to teach the valuesContinue Reading

Throw off your clothes

Oct 11, 2017–Why are clothes so uncomfortable? I was coming home from a board meeting and thinking how I couldn’t wait to get out of my belt, button-down, and boots. It struck me–what is this insanity, that in order to be perceived as successful, requires us to wear clothes that bind, itch, constrict, and irritate?Continue Reading

Tejas Rodeo: True Taste of Texas

Oct 4, 2017–When we first moved to the Hill Country, there was a small rodeo arena on Hwy 16 south of Fredericksburg. I remember pulling in with the kids and letting them experience the dust, grit, and bellowing of bulls, broncs, and barrel racing. There is no greater thrill for a 5-year-old boy than toContinue Reading