Monday, June 22, 2015

Bandera, Texas

There are several members of our band that also belong to other RV singles groups.  One of these groups is sponsored by Family Motor Coach Association called Singles International.  They have a dance every year and invite ALL singles to come join in learning new dances, finding new dance partners, and dancing the evening away for 10 days, April 5th to the 16th.

We arrived early to meet Gene since he wanted to show us his Texas. The first stop was San Antonio.
 Gene, Joanne, Cheri, Me, Jean, and Paul

 We took the boat ride along River Walk

The next day, we went sightseeing around Bandera. Everyone wanted to see the blue bonnets.  I wanted to lay in them.
Me hamming it up with Gene, Lyn and Anne


Lyn, Donna, Paul, Jan, Bob, Joanne, Me, Jean

Have you ever heard the song, Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) recorded by
 Waylon Jennings?   Well, it is a real place.
I am still in shock.  I kept waiting to see this famous town. Little did I know that it consist of a blacksmith shop, general store, dance hall and post office.  How do you like this sign showing us where to park!!!

 The gang- Jan on the bull, Joanne, Jean, Paul, Donna, Me, Gene, Anne, and Lyn
That was a real bull.

The next day we went shopping and to the Bandera museum. They had an exhibition about black rodeo champions that was very interesting.
Bill Pickett invented the practice of bulldogging or steer wrestling.  He was born to former slaves.  He got the idea of bulldogging by watching dogs do the same thing when they were herding cows.  In 1903 when an unruly Longhorn steer tried his patience, he did something drastic-he rode his horse alongside the Longhorn then jumped on the back of the steer and grabbed its horns.  The steer resisted until Pickett bit the steer's lover lip, at which point the steer became downright docile.  Pickett wrested it to the ground with a compliant thud.  He was inducted in the 2010-2011 Texas Heroes Hall of Fame.

Cleo Hearn has been a member of  Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association since 1959.He was the first Black to go to college on the rodeo scholarship.  He also helped establish the American Black Rodeo Association called the Cowboys of Color Rodeo Association, to be inclusive of other cultures.

 Our new love... Quiet and manly

 Everyone told us that we had to go to the Eleventh Street bar.  So off we went, on several evenings.

 Yes... those or bras on the ceiling of the bar.

You have to go on Wednesday because they have a "burn your own" and live music.  So that means dancing.
Wednesday Steak Night at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar

Another reason we came early is because two of our friends had met at the Toucan Jim's Bar in Center Point. They have live music and a pirates theme. If you see their website you will see words like The Islands, Beaches, Tropical Getaway which sounds exciting until you realize that you are in the middle of Texas Hill Country with no beaches for miles and miles. Our friends wanted to celebrate their two year anniversary with friends.  Of course, we had to dress the part.
 Me, Jean, Lyn, Anne and one half of the couple, MJ.

RoadsignToucan Jim's
I know you are wondering when we are going to get to the dance... just hold your horses.

On Easter, there was an Easter Hat Parade.
Me, Jean and Lyn

and we went to the Western Heritage Cowboy Church in  Pipe Creek, Tx. This is a Baptist Church with beautiful singing. When you ask just why a cowboy church, you are told that it is a church coming from the days when in west most started in a barn, an arena or even in a field with cowboys on horseback instead of pews. The Baptisms are generally done in a stock tank.  The sermons are short and simple.  It is common to see a horse tied up out front. However the day I went, the parking lot was full of pickups and only the men wore cowboy boots.

 It was raining very hard so they had the children go out and all adults had to set out the eggs.


That is the largest ceiling fan I have ever seen.

I asked one day if anyone knew how to tune a ukulele because I was having problems.  It turned into a jam session everyday at my rig.  It was such a hit that the SI (Singles International) is making that (the jam session) a part of their schedule from now on.

At the dance rally, there was lessons in everything from Two Step, Cowboy Cha Cha to line dancing.  I did not go to many of the lessons except for the line dancing ones because none of the men that are in my traveling group went. That pretty much means I wouldn't have a chance to practice what I had learned down the road. Another time perhaps. 

The big fun was dress up nights.  One night was pajama night...

Jean, Lyn and Me

Jean, Paul and Me

Will aka Jane and MJ

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves night...
 Jean and Me

 Jean, Gene and Me

Jean, Will aka Jane and Me.

If you have not guessed, I was a thief

There was lots of dancing

 And eating

Jean, Lyn, and I made dinner for Paul and Bob since they are always helping us with our RV's.  I was in charge of decorating so I decided on a cowboy theme.  I found this plastic ribbon that looked like barred wire to tie the napkins with.

One day we went to a western festival that was in the town.

More to come. It was a fun time.   
Next installment will be about our travels east.