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Victor Stanzel, a farm boy whose Austrian grandparents immigrated to the Schulenberg area in the 1870s, started carving balsawood into replica airplanes as a youngster.

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.

Published in CULTURE & LIFESTYLE

A few blocks from I-35 in the town of West, the Village Bakery makes kolaches from a recipe developed by the owner’s Czech grandmother. (Photo by Michael Amador)

When I take my place in line, nearly a dozen people are ahead of me in front of the bakery counter at the Czech Stop in the town of West. That wouldn’t be surprising—except that it’s almost 3 a.m. At least I’m not the only traveler who’s addicted to kolaches—delicious, yeast-dough pastries filled with fruit, meat, and sometimes vegetables. Even in the wee hours of the morning on a late-night drive to Austin, I can’t pass up the 24/7 bakery that’s the Valhalla of the kolache world. Some people measure trips in miles. I measure them in how many of the tasty Czech treats I can eat along the way.

Published in FOOD & DRINK
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