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2015-01-15

More than one thing ...

Letters to the Editor

As a relative newcomer to Bandera - having been here 32 years - and a Bandera City resident and Main Street business owner, I have a great appreciation for all the things which make our small town unique.
What began as a center for ranching and wool and mohair production has evolved into an energetic dude ranch and tourist destination. Along the way, savvy business owners have hung their hats and economic futures on the Cowboy Capital brand, to capitalize on our Western landscape and being home to many honored rodeo champions.
Over the years I have watched with admiration the gargantuan efforts of individuals and organizations to promote this brand, and congratulate them on Bandera's recent inclusion in the Congressional Record as the Cowboy Capital of the World.
That being said, please consider the many worthy and interesting reasons people live in and visit Bandera, in addition to the love-affair with our Western image meticulously crafted over the years. Many towns have seen opportunities pass them by because they focused on only one of their attributes, while the tastes and interests of the public moved on and left them behind. I don't see how putting Bandera's economic and marketing eggs into multiple baskets is a threat in any way to the Cowboy Capital brand.
I encourage the forward-looking Bandera City and Bandera County leaders, business owners, organizations and individuals to include eco-tourism, for example, and opportunities for exploration and appreciation of the natural world in their promotion of Bandera as well.
Many of us live and visit here because of Bandera's small-town amenities. We are here because we have helpful neighbors, who are gracious and kind; because of the peace and quiet we have in our slowed-down corner of the world; and because of who we can be here. Many people who visit my business say they want to be here so they can perfect the art of sitting on their porches, sit around a campfire and name the constellations with their family and friends.
Perhaps this was what John Hegemier was expressing in the quote cited in a previous opinion letter. I would like to consider that Bandera is more than one thing and give John the benefit of the doubt as he takes on the job of being our mayor.

Gail Stone
Bandera