Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Step Back in Time

I hope you'll indulge me a bit here. I wanted to keep a record of some childhood memories and of a place that I carry with me still today.


This little gem of a town is nestled deep in the Texas Hill Country... and in my heart. As a child,  I felt drawn to this place. My folks bought the original Wimberley house, on the Blanco River, on Flight Acres Road, in the 70's and we would pack up and head for the hills every Friday afternoon and then, much to my chagrin, we would point the car back towards the city lights on Sunday. My Mom was a real estate broker and sold land in the area and she spent weekends showing prospective clients the charms of owning a piece of heaven. In the summers, we would spend weeks at a time here.


I never wanted to leave and I remember being quite put out with my folks on a weekly basis for not letting me live there. It made perfect sense for them to pack up their lives and let their only child live out her days along the river. Couldn't they see how this was the only place she could breathe? Couldn't they understand how her heart shattered every Sunday when they pulled out of the drive?

And believe it or not, I wasn't a very dramatic child. :) It's true, but gosh darn, I wanted to live in Wimberley. I just felt like I belonged there and a very serious injustice was taking place.                              

Mom and I made a trip back there a few weeks ago. I hadn't been back in almost 20 years. I was apprehensive about going back. I treasure the years I spent there and I didn't want anything to change, Of course it had, but the charm and the memories were still there.

I spent many a summer day slouched in an inner-tube lazily floating the waters of the Blanco River. We would load up in my truck


and someone would often drop us off at the bridge and we would float down about 5 miles to my folks' place and stop off for a Coke or a tall glass of sweet sun tea. In later years, we just tied styrofoam coolers to one of the inner-tubes and then we would float down another 5 or 6 miles to a friend of my folks' home and pop out of the water there and then catch a ride back.

I spent many a summer night  shuffling around the old town square to the sound of tunes like, "Silver Wings" and "Luckenbach Texas" and "Family Tradition" during the street dances with bands that always included a fiddle. Alas, they have since built a rock partition right across the square and street dances are a thing of the past. :(


I swung many a tennis racket on the courts and many a leg over the backs of the horses at the stable when we gave trail rides. The tennis courts are abandoned and in a sad state of disrepair now and the road to the stables was roped off. I doubt it even exits these days. I worked at the petting zoo, watching the spider Monkey (Ollie) snack on Life Savors, and chastising the llama when he once again spat on the little boy and made him cry, and gave pony rides on Thunder and Popsicle to small children who's faces lit up, even as their chubby little hands gripped the saddle horn for dear life. I whiled the hours away when business was slow, visiting with friends like, Steve, the patrolman, who kept an eye on hooligans like us.


Anyone who knows me will get a good laugh at that picture. A die hard Aggie wearing a UT shirt. I will say it was a gift when I was but a child, but I hope Aggies everywhere will forgive me and let me keep my diploma.

I hung out at the Marina where we rented paddle boats and mooned over the cute boy who worked behind the counter and played "Bread" and "Chicago" records on the turn table that was propped open with an extra canoe oar. Don't think anyone has had a boat in here in a while:


I blushed when Randy Grace met my Daddy and mispronounced my last name horribly and asked if he could take me out. He had the cutest drawl and blue eyes. :)

I drove all over on a friend's dirt bike and had to fess up to my folks when we wrecked and  I limped into the Sales Office with a pretty good battle wound that leaked gravel for a good week and left me with crutches and  a pretty scarred knee for life. I was happy as a clam though because Scott Harris thought it was really cool. :)

I raked countless leaves and sorted through endless piles gathering pecans from the trees that were scattered across the yard, but the chore was always eased with a friend by my side.


I spent evenings in Hippie Hollow listening to Danny and Ben tell their wild stories as Homer strummed  his guitar and serenaded everyone with his talented voice and musical concertos.

And many a day in river attire, working up an appetite with good friends who were always willing to ham it up for the camera:


I slung many a pizza at Wimberley Willie's Pizza joint and waited with baited breath for my first and only teenage crush to walk through the door.

We hung out at 7-A Ranch which was an old west tourist town

                               Photo Courtesy of Google images advertisement for Wimberley

And lived in cut off's and splashed in Jacob's Well for days on end:


I lied to my folks when I told them I was spending the night at Wendy's house and she lied to hers and said she was spending the night at mine and we piled into a Suburban filled with friends and drove all the way to Austin to go dancing at The Broken Spoke. I was a really good kid and I'm pretty sure that was the only time I lied to my folks. I think I fessed up when I was probably 40.

I recall watching many a movie at the old drive in - The Corral - you drove up and then walked through a cedar fence gate and sat on old wooden bleachers to enjoy a movie under the stars. Popcorn was 25 cents and splinters were free.


You can still go to the show here! However, they still use the old movie reels and movies today are digital and shown on new projectors so The Corral is in danger of closing. There are various businesses in town that are donating percentages of their proceeds to saving The Corral and purchasing an up-to-date movie projector. Its good to know that some things are worth saving.

I remember piling into trucks and heading to New Braunfels to kick up our heels at the Crystal Chandelier a couple  times a month when "Ace in the Hole" aka George Strait - would play. Cover charge: 50 cents!

My folks sold the place in the late 90's, but our kids soaked in a little bit of the Blanco River magic when they were young:

River Rats in the making

And the couple living there now, seem to love it and have taken good care of it:


Wimberley is as dry as I've ever seen it though. You'd be hard pressed to float down the river these days. It would be 'Bottoms Up' all the way!


See? Can you blame me for having wanted  to live there? It's almost scary how fast those memories came rushing back. We enjoyed visiting with old friends and I learned that some things never change because I still was not ready  to leave.

Photo courtesy of Google images advertisement for Wimblerey

But, when I did leave, I took a whole lot of  treasured memories with me.


Nancy said...

This is a fabulous post - I can clearly see why you loved the area so much.

I hope the Golden Corral can be saved. It would be a shame to lose such a valuable icon.

Pauline said...

Beautiful memories, I'm sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks. I also know some wonderful childhood memories that have this same affect on me. Sometimes I wonder where that young girl is now.

Vickie said...

That was a greAT READ.

sherry said...

wow that was such a great trip thru some of your childhood summer days…thx i really enjoyed that

Dar said...

I enjoyed the memories. Wish my childhood was as picturesque and wonderful as yours. Sad that things have changed so much. Nice that you have great pictures of the past though.

Gwynette in NW Arkansas said...

Loved your memories!!!

Denise in PA said...

I can see why you wanted to stay there for ever and ever! I sure would have! Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful memories - I really enjoyed them and the photos.

Cathy said...

I love Wimberley! It's such a gem in the hill country. I'm glad you made it back, if only for a visit.

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