E-MAIL YOUR LETTER TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
July 8, 2004 Ira,
I wanted to let you know that I am still around and still working on the Kelly/Kelley
Family History. Have made progress and now have Professional Genealogists in Salt
Lake City, UT at work on the history with me. More about that later.
Dodie, Thanks for the genealogy update (not posted). For general information, our 3 x great grandfather was Tobias Kelly born in AL abt. 1805. He pledged and Oath to the Republic of Texas in 1837 and received 1/3 league of land in Coryell Co, TX. --Ira
July 8, 2004 Glad
to see you're back in the saddle. --Hugh D. Lester
July 8, 2004 Ira, Good to have you back. -- JJackson
Jan, Glad to be back & thanks for the donation. --Ira
July 8, 2004 Dear Ira, First let me say, "welcome back". I've been wondering from
time to time where my monthly (monthly?) newsletter filled with new destinations,
adventures and witty writing has been. Now I know.........
let me say Thank You! If you will send me your address I'll send you a nice signed
and numbered print. (They don't sell anyway.) About Nigel the Land Rover... I didn't
know nothing about them machines. The salesman said "You interested in a good
deal on a used Land Rover?" "I already have a good Hog Dog what do I need
with another critter?" So he straightened me out on that score and and well...
there's no good excuse. But it'll be all mine sometime next year, then I can get the
windows to stay up without duct tape.
July 8, 2004 Ira, I'm so glad
your Funny Bone is all healed up! WHY DON'T HE WRITE?
made me laugh out loud ... for a long time. (What a relief. I'm not the only one whose
plea's for "more time to pay" don't seem to translate well when I'm talkin' to
those new-found friends in India.)
getting kinda lightheaded what with all the kind words and such from folks. If
I'da known this was going to happen I mighta quit writing for a spell some time
back. Truth be told it makes me want write more real quick like. Like Ollie
was telling me when I was stuck in the big middle of the last missive, "You've got
two personalities. Use one of them. Better yet, you do the alter-ego part and
I'll get this thing done quicker than thought."
July 7, 2004 Hey
Ira! Well, I KNOW you will be OK NOW.....cause your back in the territory you love!
That - I can sure identify with! Ira, you get your strength from this
"Enchanted" land - so stay put - put on a big smile and enjoy life again!
I'm sorry about you and Holly - but life ALWAYS comes up with "Suprizes" and
sometimes they are great - and sometimes - they STINK!
Pam, Thanks for the kind words. (blush) For the folks who were out of the old loop -- The Writer's Rendezvous was an annual event on Triple Creek Ranch for all of the writers for Enchanted Rock Magazine. Barbecue, beer, tall tales -- all of the rituals Texans hold sacred. Actually Cork and I have been planning a similar event: Tourin' Texas at Triple Creek Ranch. Anyone interested? (Details later.) --Ira
July 7, 2004 Dear Ira: Sorry to hear about you "getting single again", however, it has been my experience that it isn't all a bad thing. But a truly good thing is that you are publishing again and we look forward to seeing you pop up on our screen pretty regular. --Jackie Wayman, Cleburne TX
Jackie, Well, I've been throwed a time or two before and fortunately my funny bone is on the mend. --Ira
July 7, 2004 Ira - Thanks for the plug in your letters to the editor. Also, I appreciated the "links" to your site and the opportunity to read some of your writings. After reading some of your experiences, I have decided to keep looking over my shoulder to see if you are following me in in effort to obtain material for your next writings. You know, "Dumb and Dumber" or "Whachawannadothatfor?". Thanks, Lyndell Rogers, Merkel (Abilene), Texas
Lyndell, Who knows I just might be there. Remember, "If you don't care where you are you ain't lost." --Ira
June 5, 2004 I
have read your article about all the events in Gruene, Texas, however, I am lodging a
complaint that I feel you should know about since you seem to "taut" the events.
Lyndell, Jeez, I
don't know why you are all over me for something that happened at Gruene Hall. Yes I did
have a good time at Gruene Hall and I hardly feel responsible for something that happens
two years and five months later in a business I have absolutely no control over.
Ira, Sorry to dump on you.
Perhaps you should think about re-visiting Gruene to re-validate your experience or
remove the site from the Internet.
Lyndell, With your permission I will post your letter to the editor, my response and your reply which I appreciate. -Ira
Ira, Thank you. You are welcome and I appreciate your kindness. --Lyndell
May 24, 2004
Ira, What with life getting in the way, it just dawned on me that I
hadn't received your newsletter in a while. Checking in, I discovered you have been
going through major "life changes". Having done this myself SEVERAL times,
you have my sympathies and best wishes.
Darlene, You don't need to subscribe again, I just need to get my head straight and write again. --Ira
April 4, 2004 I have lived in Texas for the last 20 years but have seldom traveled outside the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It's time I got to know this wonderful state. I would enjoy receiving your newsletter. Thank you, Mike Funk
April 8, 2004 Just was browsing through the internet and found one of your articles about your visit to Richland Springs in San Saba Co. It just occurred to me that I haven't gotten a newsletter from you in awhile. Are you still doing it or did I get dropped from your mailing list? Charlotte Epps
Charlotte, You didn't get dropped. And I apologize to you and everyone else for the long delay. Please see the Commentary page... -- Ira
March 23, 2004 Thanks! I love your site and look forward to recieving your newsletter. -- Rita & Ken
March 4, 2004 Ran across your site by accident, looks very interesting, looking very forward to the news letter. --Johnny Shouse
May 1, 2004 Child of Kerr County---finding this site is, well, actually finding an oasis in the Oregon rainforest. THANK YOU! --Clare
February 8, 2004 Love the site! Best regards, G.D. Sanders
February 18, 2004
Not only am I interested in your unique interpretations of my homeland of Texas, I am
thrilled to discover how many other people's lives were directly affected by the people of
Sara Lynn, Sorry but I don't have any. I once had some 8mm footage of Hondo and G. Kooch (?) pickin' and grinnin' on the Post Office porch, but it got stolen. --Ira
February 28 2004 Were trying to locate information and pictures of six of our former sheriffs. We feel fortunate to have located as many as we have. If you feel you might run across some info and would like to pass it on, I would appreciate it. Also would like to get on the newsletter list. -- Nila, Llano Co Sheriffs Dept
Nila, Thanks for joining up with Tourin Texas! I don't have any photos myself but I'll ask around and if any of the readers can help I'm sure they will. --Ira
February 15, 2004 Please include me in your list to receive the newsletter. Love to "road-trip.: Thanks Judy O'Rourke
January 29, 2004 Hi Ira, I happened across your Touring Texas newletter and of course it brought back more than a few memories---I am not sure if you will remember me- I bartended in Ben Archer's bar while in school there. I didn't finish at Southwest but went on to Tech and finished there in 78. I have been in Virginia since 85. I recently reconnected with Boyd and he visited me out here on the coast of Virginia a few times last year.....how time slips away... anyway, I hope you will add my address to your mailing list for the newletter and I hope this finds you well. Sincerely yours, Debra Brown
Debra, I tended bar at Ben's Fat Friar's too and remember you well. Thanks for the note. BTW Boyd's letter is posted below. --Ira
January 29, 2004 \\\///
January 27, 2004 Hello there. Absolutely love your website!!! Just found it tonight. We had to move away from San Antonio last year, and I miss it so much. Please add my husband and I to your e-mail list for the newsletter: Thanks! Stephanie
December 28, 2004 Hi Ira! There is a Texas Dept of Highways sign on Interstate 45 (Between Dallas/Houston) that reads TEXAS OSR NORMANGEE. Do you know what OSR stands for. I have checked THD websites to no avail. --Jerry LaRose
Jerry, Normangee is located in East Texas, Off Interstate 45, Served by Farm Roads 39 and 3, and the Old San Antonio Road (OSR), South of Jewett.
June 28, 2004 Hey Ira, Just checking to see what happened to your monthly newsletter. Do you still offer this? Sure did enjoy while available. -- Allan C.
Allan, Please see the Commentary section for my response.
Jan. 29, 2004 I'm glad you liked the painted doors at the OUTRIGGER in Palacios.The Outrigger has a website up and announces the quarterly ARTISTS in ACTION dates, so if you're ever down this far.... Liked your article on the coast. Finally got to your website. I'll admit to enjoying my Andy Warhol moment. So to better enjoy this moment, I'm compelled to give you my right and proper name. Courtney L. Grigsby. I looked at where I signed and can see how somebody 'd have a time making out what I wrote. Keep ridin' and writin' for those of us who don't. --C.L. Grigsby in Palacios, Texas
December 9, 2003 Hey there Ira, A somewhat minor yet important correction to your cover story in the April 2003 issue: Kelvin Rueb was and still is 6' 8" tall while his now deceased (January 30, 1984) twin brother, Kevin, was 6' 4". Kelvin is now in Kerrville prize hare raising and still playing occasional guitar and Kevin is still dead but quite well remembered. Its funny how even the most innocuous of facts still tend to stand out...there you go. -- Take care. Sincerely, Boyd Pidcock
[ Boyd, thanks for the correction. It may be an innocuous fact for some folks. But if your 5'6" like me, another four inches of height is a substantial improvement. Great to hear from you after all these years [mid 70s] --ira.
November 25, 2003 In the 2003 spring bluebonnet preview, in the Packsaddle section, you mention turning on county road 302 to look for mountain heather. Wrong plant. It is the mounatin laurel that cover the side of Long mtn that is so pretty when in bloom. Also farther down the road is the cabin of the Whitlock masscare. Loved your story and pics on the Llano River Run. I have always heard of the 700 Spring country, but havent been there. --Kathy, Native Kingland girl.
November 8, 2003 Ira, do you really believe your tip jar will fill after readers in and around those seven communities read your first paragraph? It's apparent that you have a gift, but, in my opinion, this article does not reflect it. -- S. Merlin McAnelly, M. D.
[ Well, Doc... Perhaps the next installment will be more to your liking. --Ira]
November 7, 2003 Ira: hello from Iraq. We haven't corresponded for awhile. Last time we talked I was working with KBR in Houston and commuting back and forth to my home outside of Belton. That seems like a long time ago, but I guess only a couple of years, eh. I enjoy your travels and descriptions very much, and my wife and I have been in a couple of the "towns" in this month's article...keep up the good work. Two other Texans here would like to be on your monthly list to receive your newsletter. Addresses are: [withheld by Ira] -- J. David, Bagdad
[ Consider it done. I can't possibly imagine the circumstances y'all are having to contend with, but just maybe a little bit of Texas will brighten up your day now and again. -- Ira]
November 6, 2003 Ira: Just a note to tell you how much I enjoy your tales of adventure..... I always receive the newsletter at work and it never fails to come but at the most opportune times..... in the middle of the day I can just travel away and no one is the wiser.... Always a treat.... I do enjoy your sense of humor and view of the world. Your ability to describe or re-tell an event is sometimes so vivid it is like peeking into someone's mind....... I too enjoy the old and aged buildings; shadows of towns that once held life and drama and who knows what else..... so I really enjoyed this trip immensely.... Thank you for sharing.... I hope all is well with you and yours..... Hazel
[ Hazel, Thanks for the kind words. While you're peeking into my mind, if you find an old set of car keys let me know. -- Ira]
November 6, 2003 Ira, love your updates! I do have a question about your website. You have your pics cascading at the top (overlapping one another); would you mind sharing what software you used for this? Thanks and keep 'em coming! --Susan
[ Susan, I don't mind sharing at all. The software can be found here: http://www.anfyteam.com/ -- Ira]
November 6, 2003 Hi Ira! Just wanted to send a "thank you" for the wonderful newsletter! Im sure I speak for everyone you send the letters too. You really have some great pictures and articles on your webpage, and I wanted to say thanks for all your hardwork and dedication! I live just south of Dallas and I love traveling and visiting small Texas towns. Llano is my favorite place on Earth, and I hope to live there someday! We have to visit at least once every summer..........Thanks again, Vicky Brandon
November 6, 2003 Ira, LOVE your Tourin' Texas!!! Please change my email address to my new one, so I don't miss a thing!!! Thanks! Kimberly
October 1, 2003 Dear Ira, I really enjoyed your newsletter
this time. Of course, I enjoy all the other ones too, but this one really hit me in a soft
spot, ...my head. All you did was take me back about 45 years to my college days in San
Marcos, you may remember the college they used to have there, Southwest Texas State.
Sadly, it has been dismembered by some outsiders and no longer exists. Instead, they put
up a new school in its place; I think it is a branch of TSU in Houston. I talked to
the president once, and tried to get her to name the school after a grain, but Rice was
already taken. Then I suggested that it be named after a color, like Maroon and Gold
University, but Brown University was already taken. I agreed with her that no regionally
named school ever became famous, for example, Southwestern, Northwestern, Univ. of
Southern Cal California, but she thought those were not significant. But as you sometimes
say, thats another story.
[You sure do write
good! I started SWT in 1959 and graduated in 1983. Frankly I think the name change was kinda
silly. I mean, do you want to graduate from a famous school or a good one? I
had some right smart teachers at SWT -- one, a Phd from Rice University taught me
epistemology and another, Dr. Edgar Laird (born in the same place as me -- San Saba -- and
delivered by the same doctor -- Ira Stone -- is a Rhodes Scholar. Changing the name
won't make them better teachers or the students any more intelligent.
September 29, 2003 Hi
Ira, I was surfing the web looking for information on Richland Springs TX when I came
across the notes in your web site,. I wish to use the photo of the bank
provided to you by the residents of Richland Springs for a web profile I'm doing on a WWII
veteran and resident of Richland springs.
September 29, 2003 Mr. Kennedy: I have really enjoyed reading your
internet articles on the small towns in Central Texas. I must make it a point
to visit my surrounding towns as well. Just a quick FYI: your April 2003 article on Lockhart included a photo
of Mary with a girly Jesus. The reason Jesus is girly is because it's really not
Jesus at all. It's Mary, as a young girl, and the woman is her mother, Saint Ann.
She is revered by the Catholic Church for having raised Mary, who was God's choice
as a mother to His son. So, yeah, don't get too anxious about having seen a very
feminine version of Jesus. It was actually his mother. I'm sure it freaks out
a lot of people to see such a feminine version of Christ.
September 16, 2003 Hi Ira, Thanks for the reply. I looked over your website and enjoyed the
writings. I had originally heard of your Luckenbach travel story on my Jerry Jeff Walker
email list. My girlfriend who lives with me now on Lake Austin was from Fredericksburg and
worked with Velanne as a travel agent before Velanne went to Luckenbach. When I saw your
had published the Enchanted Rock Magazine, I knew you sounded familiar.
[Small world indeed. Velanne and I went to SWT together and met up again during her tenure at Luckenbach. My Mom and Dad retired in Granite Shoals as well, and Mike Kelley was out at my place on the Whitman Ranch in Burnet County when I worked at The Highlander newspaper with Dana. In fact, Dana and I worked on a story for The Highlander that won second place for Enviornmental Coverage from the National Newspaper Association. ...About that cold beer, my favorite spots apart from Fuzzy's Corner are the Granite-O-Bar in Llano and Knot in the Loop just off HWY 16 to Willow City. Call and most likely I can be there (325-247-3260) --Ira]
September 16, 2003
As soon as my husband goes back to work in a couple of weeks I would like to donate
some money to your cause. I have certainly enjoyed reading about the different
places in Texas and so has my husband.
[Celebrity? I reckon I'm the most famous unknown artist in Texas. --Ira]
September 3, 2003
Dear Ira, I really enjoyed your newsletter about the area around Llano,
Enchanted Rock, Willow City, etc. I could almost imagine I was there with you guys in
Nigel taking it all in. Your photos are outstanding. You have a way of writing about
something that to some people is absolutely nothing, and making it into something
beautiful. Some how God has given you this gift to do this. Thanks a million.
September 3, 2003 Outstandingly funny. Maybe I loved it cause its in my backyard, but I think you're really good. --bjf
September 2, 2003 Dear Ira: You are not hearing things. I have heard those drums late at night all the way over to the Franklin Ranch on Big Sandy creek. Good trip as always. May run in to you the next time I attend a fiddle contest in Llano. I like that town. -- Froggy
June 27, 2003 Dear Ira, First of all, you must have been starved for entertainment when
you struck out for Laredo. I can certainly empathize with you about getting lost in that
metropolis. Out of boredom, I agreed to drive a truck for a friend of mine to Laredo to
pick up a load of onions and from there to Brownsville to complete the load with cabbage
or some other vegetable. (I was the Olds, Pontiac, Buick, GMC and Jeep dealer in
Weatherford at the time.)
June 24, 2003 Dear Ira, I have to give you
credit, you made the June issue just barely interesting enough that I read the entire
thing. You warned me on the first page not to bother so I guess I shouldnt complain.
June 24, 2003 Ira, I really enjoy reading
about your trips through Texas. I also enjoy the way you write. You have such a good way
of putting things. Its great!
24, 2003 Ira, my love.... Next time you are going on a road trip,
give me a call. I am in no shape to drive myself around the country and am always looking
for someone to do the driving. I am a rather plumpish 54 woman, married, 2 adult sons and
lots of time on my hands. I love the west. Just finished an 11 day 4,100 mile road trip
through all of southern Utah and western Colorado. Beyond AWESOME. My driver was 80 year
old army buddy of my late beloved Dad. And we made it home to PA ALIVE!! :o)
June 24, 2003 Shoot! I wish I had realized where you were touring. Its a route I (unfortunately) take frequently to work my day job. Too bad you missed the most fascinating vista out there in the Middle-o-Nowhere. If you had taken a hard right in Charlotte (a notorious speed trap which I hope didnt get ya)onto the road to Pearsall you would have passed through a vast and solemn graveyard strewn with row after row of giant pteradactyl carcasses. (Those travelers suffering less sensory deprivation might perceive them as huge rusted out mobile irrigation machines.) The air of reverence here is reinforced with a profusion of monolithic spires soaring to the sky in worship of their most feared diety the wind. (Again, less impaired travelers might see those as huge windmill farms.) Actually, all that is rather photogenic. So...if you ever lose your mind (or your way) and go there again ... -- Linda
April 25, 2003
I have been lucky enough to make it to Texas
twice in the past year and you just can't believe how refreshing those to trips were for
April 25, 2003 Im an old Texas girl, born and raised, and now living in Phoenix for about four years. You sure do make me homesick, Ira, and raises the question of why I left that beautiful State in the first place. Well be coming "home" soon, and I just cant wait; but for now, we have to live vicariously through you. Thanks. --Susan Rains
April 25, 2003 Ira, We really enjoyed this month's letter and we especially appreciate the references to the Lockhart Antique Emporium and our web page (www.indiancreekantiques.com). Hope to see you again sometime. -- John & Mary Porter
March 12 Dear Mr.
Kennedy & Ms. Intrepid, I just happened to stumble onto your website as I
was hunting around for a place to stay in the Texas Hill Country. I must say I was
delighted with what I found and had more than a few good laughs at your travel
musings. After reading your newsletter and still in a quandry about where I could
stay in the hill country, I decided to put the two together and inquire of you, wise sage,
your ideas on great places to stay. My problem is this: I am trying to find
lodging for 10 adults & 7 kids! My siblings and I are trying to find the perfect
spot so we can celebrate our parents 50th wedding anniversary.
February 28 It was interesting to read your thoughts about Bartlett
Texas in your news letter. I spent about 6 months there in the mid 70's as a VISTA
volunteer. I am a lot older and wiser know, but before my time is up am planning a
trip back to Bartlett to see how it has held up all these years. Living there I was able
to see the dark side of the place. Unlike you, I hope Bartlett continues to thrive
pretty much the way it is or has been. Some things are better left unchanged. --Ray
February 22 Dear Ira: One of my favorite trips especially the CLICK ROAD. I mentioned before I shared a deer lease on the Franklin Ranch. My son and nephews spent many hours in Big Sandy looking for fossils and points. Deer hunting became secondary, they were easy but Indian sign took some doing. Keep taking those trips. -- Froggy
appreciate sitting in my chair here and seeing SO much. You may want to
change that date of Hurricane Carla to 1961. I remember it well. I have been
many, many places; Indianola/Magnolia and Lighthouse Beaches are really my
favorites. Wonderful stuff... Church in Cuero is St. Mark's Lutheran .
Thanks for the entertainment. -- Nancy
February 15 Please send us copies of your newsletter, we love it. You are just the thing we were looking for, we are avid "day trippers". Thank you in advance. -- Tim & Deloris Stevenson
February 13 Your java roll of the images on your site
ought to have a click where they can be turned off!. They dissolve too fast -- a pesty
thing. --terri o
February 13 Love reading your articles. Hopefully someday well be on the road more full-time. Anyhow, Ive changed e-mail services. Could you update my record... Thanks. Joyce
February 13 enjoyed the article, makes me wonder why i have not spent more time touring the hill country. jm
February 13 Im still laughing my head off, after your tour of Bandera... I dont want to miss another adventure like that.What a breath of fresh air. Thanks for making my day, Shirley
February 13 Hi Ira, I have moved to Memphis to help my son with his new baby. My new email address is: xxxxxx Please transfer my newsletter to my new email. I dont want to miss hearing of your travels. Thanks, Helen D. :-)
February 12 Love the website. Wanted to
suggest...that perhaps, maybe, ....... how much trouble would it be to have and
maintain a link that lists various Bed and Breakfasts that a A+ rated throughout your
escapades ??? We are always looking for really good ones
throughout Texas. Just a thought Julie L., Pearland, Texas
29, 2003 To Whom It May Concern, The Junior class of Richland
Springs High School would like to provide you with the information that our town has been
renovated and is not a ghost town anymore. As far as graffiti on the bank building, it has
been replaced with stained glass windows.The downtown cafe has been painted and is now in
business. Recently Richland Springs has also added a new City Hall, a city park,
R.V. grounds, and a new Rodeo and Fairground facility is in progress. The reason the
Seniors no longer draw graffiti is not because we care who sees it, but rather
because we have grown to respect the new additions to our town. So please come visit
again, and update your website. -- Sincerely, The Junior Class of Richland Springs
January 13, 2003 I love a good road trip. Especialy through my beautiful state of Texas. I love all the litte side roads and small towns. I have been looking for just such a thing as would get me arround Texas and on all the little side roads. Bless you for makin it possible. --Rena
January 8, 2003 Great newsletter! I don't get back
to Texas as often as I would like, but it sure makes me homesick for The Lone Star State!
Just reading your newsletter and seeing your pictures brought back great memories of
the ads on the radio for the Taylor Motor Company ("Great Prices, Great Deals"
That Dog'll Hunt!) and those Saturday night dances at the Possum Creek Inn in beautiful
Theon. (I doubt if you'll find Theon on many maps.)
January 8, 2003 I really enjoyed this episode of Touring Texas. Having being born in Lone Grove Texas, the first time I saw the coast, I thought I had gone to hell with a lot of water. I first saw the coast at Seadrift and Port OConner. They were about the most desolate and weather beaten towns I had ever seen. Since that time, I spent 26 years living and working in the coastal area near Galveston. I am glad to be back in the Hill Country, but do miss the good seafood and fishing. I dont know if my sister ever subscribed to the newsletter or not. I told her about it. In case she hasnt, please send her a copy. Have a great day. -- Tommy