May Day Celebrations

I had all but forgotten an annual celebration that we did back when I was a kid in elementary school. The May Day Celebration and the May Pole Dance. It may still be something that is recognized and I’ve just missed out on it. Or did the separation of church and state put a lid on it? We didn’t erect a maypole back at Pond Springs School in Jollyville. We just used the flagpole. Continue reading May Day Celebrations

Learning Life’s Lessons

I was probably in the 3rd grade and Kenny was in the 5th. Mr. Henniger was the principal at Pond Springs School at the little three room school we attended in Jollyville. After we ate our lunch each day, Mr. Henniger had a chest type freezer in his office where he kept ice cream bars. If you had a nickel you could buy a ice cream sandwich or a fudgsicle to eat out on the playground. He would go in and we would all line up and watch as he unlocked the freezer with a key on the big key … Continue reading Learning Life’s Lessons

Cecil Lewis Knew How To Have Fun

If I start talking about a telephone used for fishing, there are a few that wouldn’t have a clue what I’m talking about. But it would also prove they aren’t from Smithwick. A telephone is actually an electrical generator box that was used with the old-timey crank telephones. For whatever reason if you were in the lake and you possessed one of these boxes and you dropped a couple of wires over the side of the boat and started cranking on telephone, for some reason the fish (only catfish) would come to the top of water and take a short … Continue reading Cecil Lewis Knew How To Have Fun

Hydroponic Gardening

We took our boys to Disney World back in the mid 80’s. I don’t remember that much about the usual stuff that you see there. What I was most attracted to was Epcot Center. Actually I don’t remember that much about Epcot. But I do recall the demonstration on hydroponics. I loved seeing plants growing without soil, either directly in water and plant food or pea gravel medium. Almost immediately when we got back home I had to get myself into building a greenhouse and start hydroponic gardening. Of course there were books on the subject but it was before … Continue reading Hydroponic Gardening

The Treehouse Of My Youth

I was running a little ahead of time for a doctor appointment this morning in Austin. I decided to drive by the place we called home from 1958 until 1965. What was back then a small wooden structure built on uneven ground, up a canyon that was 65 acres comprised of mostly shin oak scrub brush and rocky soil with a scattering of live oaks that has now given way to yet another suburban neighborhood. The street leading off of a then unpaved country lane is now Talleyrand Dr. The rocky little trail up to our house is now Rolling … Continue reading The Treehouse Of My Youth

Texas State Hog Farm Cedar Park, Texas

When I was growing up in Jollyville, during the 1950s and 1960’s there was a large hog farm that was operated by the state right out along US 183 between Jollyville and Cedar Park. The farm started along where the Lakeline Mall Home Depot is and continued along the north side of the highway to about where Avery Ranch Blvd or maybe even farther west. It probably continued north to approximately where Parmer Lane currently runs. I have read that the state owned portion of this farm was 308 acres with an additional 1,140 leased acres. I remember there were … Continue reading Texas State Hog Farm Cedar Park, Texas

Swimming Holes on Bull Creek

This is swimming weather. A hot and sunny afternoon like we had today transports me back in time. Before we moved back to Marble Falls, we spent almost a decade living near Jollyville in two locations. From 1958 until 1965 we lived down Spicewood Springs Road, where I’ve written about breaking Shetlands, raising Angora goats, playing with copperheads and rattlesnakes and had every kind of adventure young boys could have ever wished for. The beautiful Bull Creek meandered up through a nice peaceful valley from Lake Austin just below the Loop 360 – Pennybacker Bridge to the head of it … Continue reading Swimming Holes on Bull Creek

There Were These Giant Earthworms……..

When I was a small boy growing up in Jollyville and going to school at Pond Springs Elementary, after a heavy night of rain when we would show up to school the next morning all over the playground would be these foot long earthworms crawling everywhere. We would gather them up and chase the girls around the school yard. When the sun was out they would go back underground, not to be seen again until the next heavy rain. I don’t remember ever seeing that phenomenon anywhere else. I researched and found several places around the world that has earthworm … Continue reading There Were These Giant Earthworms……..

Pond Springs School In Jollyville

I attended a three room school in Jollyville for my first 7 years. First – Third in one room. Forth – Sixth in another. Seventh & Eighth in the other. By the time I got to the 7th grade there were only 2 grades per room with the 8th grade being eliminated (sent on to Round Rock) and the 7th grade was moved into the Principal’s office. It was a big Principal’s office, but it doubled as the mimeograph room, the ice cream store and storage too. (Picture included below) More on the ice cream store at a later date. … Continue reading Pond Springs School In Jollyville

My Harvey Penick Story

This really isn’t about Harvey Penick per se, instead involves his daughter. I used his name because it will grab ahold of just about anyone that has ever played the game of golf or has connection to The University of Texas. Below tells the Harvey Penick Story, and what he has meant to the game of golf: Mr. Penick owed a ranch down the road from us when Kenny and I were growing up down on the Bull Creek out of Jollyville. This would have been in the early 1960’s. I think it was Mr. Penick’s weekend get-away, but … Continue reading My Harvey Penick Story