I step out of the jewelry store into the sun, quite pleased with my new purchase—a pair of silver teardrop earrings that now dangle delicately from my earlobes. My new, one-of-a-kind earrings had set me back only $40, and best of all, they were handcrafted out of sterling silver by a passionate local artisan.
The 1920s was an exciting decade for American aviation: Barnstormers flew from town to town showing off their daredevil tricks; pioneering pilots set speed and distance records, then quickly broke them; and some of the first passenger airlines tested the skies. Perhaps the greatest achievement of the decade occurred in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic. Young Victor Stanzel of Schulenburg grew up during this golden era of aviation, and that’s when his own ambitions began to take flight.
Most antiques stores discourage eating while shopping. Carousel Antiques and Fickle Pickles in Boerne is different. The shop encourages spontaneous nibbling while browsing and keeps a sample plate of its homemade Fickle Pickles near the cash register. Visitors can pluck a pickle—or two; it’s impossible to stop at just one—and enjoy what many consider to be some of the best pickles in Texas, if not the world. The crisp, crinkle-cut pickles start off sweet but quickly take a spicy turn.
The Texas landscape has often served as both origin and inspiration for the creative mind. The stark, windswept plains of the Panhandle drew painter Georgia O’Keeffe west to Texas in 1912. The humid shores of Port Arthur gave us singer Janis Joplin and modern artist Robert Rauschenberg. Archer City, hometown of author and screenwriter Larry McMurtry, provided a prototype for the human landscapes that appear in many of the writer’s stories. And the late sculptor Donald Judd loved the West Texas community of Marfa so much that he made it the heart of his legacy.
The cowboy rides in from the West,
mulling stanzas, lines and words.
Winter delivers a fleeting rest
from the fences, trenches and herds.
Humble and independent in nature,
his friends are the horse and hawk,
But this trip is for a matter of culture,
to honor a special kind of talk.
Suspicious of the city and its business,
the cowboy girds himself for the crowd.
He wants to give personal witness,
to share his life with the world out loud.
The cowboys on Alpine descend,
the West Texas wind blowing and swirling.
They speak and they sing and they listen
at the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering.