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DOWNTOWN KERRVERTVILLE:  If you ever wondered where all the Hippies went, look no further.

Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

Every year for 18 days beginning around Memorial Day folks gather at the Quiet Valley Ranch some nine miles south of Kerrville for the annual Folk Festival. 

This year featured over 80 musicians and some 30,000 Kerverts.


I had been to Laredo and Fort Worth in one week so, despite my newfound appreciation of Interstates, I had my fill. Before heading out of Cowtown I carefully studied my map, first by inches, then by half-inches, and saw Hwy 281 which went due south and avoided I-35 altogether. 
       Naturally I got lost, found myself on a toll road, drove some 25 miles, asked for directions from a Constable parked at a Wal-Mart and was soon back on I-35.
       At Hillsboro just north of Waco I gave Hwy 281 another try and found myself back on I-35.  Jeez... I decided God wanted me to go straight home.  But when I got a good look at the heavy Memorial Day weekend traffic stacked up ahead I determined She/He was just testing my resolve.
       Just then my cell phone rang. It was Brenda of   Bill & Brenda -- two of my closest friends.  She wanted to know if I might be interested in going with them to the Kerrville Folk Festival.
She promised I didn’t have to drive and I’d be excused from all responsibility. How could I say no to that?  (Fast forward to the Festival.)
bunched.jpg (29483 bytes)        Bill & Brenda paid my admission — I think they wanted to see what I would make of all them Kerrverts (that's what the regulars call themselves). With Guide Bill I was given the Kerrvert tour through the sprawling campgrounds with tarps, tents, teepees, vans, busses and motorhomes all bunched together. Apart from shooting photos for Tourin’ Texas, I shot some 3-D photos and later made a montage which includes something from nearly every picture.
       We wandered around for a spell then lit out for the concert area which also held booths selling most anything.  After loitering around a spell I returned to another friend's campsite and listened to an exceedingly intelligent space cadet explain how he could make cement structures that would last longer than forever.  (That's handy, I thought.)  After a few more beers he was fast asleep sitting upright in his chair dreaming of his archaic seeds that folks could find in his cement pyramids when all other plants had died from disease, neglect or a passel of other disasters headed our way.
       (Seemed he was one of these pessimists who could imagine the absolute worst scenario then invent a novel solution you'd have to get from him.  Watching him sleep I kept worrying he might pass on to the after life before he could save this one.)

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       The next day I was back home when a call came from another long-time friend -- John Mulhollan.  He wanted to know if I was up to a little Barbeque out at his favorite sister's place in the Hill Country between San Marcos and Blanco.  (How could I say no to free food and old friends?) 

golf.jpg (21998 bytes)       I knew the Mulhollan boys were major golf nuts I just didn't know how far they were willing to go.   On my arrival I saw them whacking a few hundred golf balls downhill into the cedar brake. 
       I figured one of them just hit it big on the Lottery and were seeding the landscape with little white balls so archaeologists could puzzle over them in the distant future.
       When they ran out I reckoned the fun was over.   But no.  They lit out into the cedar brake hunting them down like Easter eggs. Not being one to shirk my social responsibility I joined in the hunt.  I returned with about 80 or so balls stuffed down the front of my t-shirt and yelled, "Look fellers!"  Pulling out the front shirt-tail I pretended to birth balls like eggs.
       After that little exercise I was itchy all over.  Kicking back with food, friends and a longneck I watched golf balls disappear into the western sky and surmised that I had safely returned from my longest Texas road trip and evereverything was back to normal.

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