Mary Etheridge, Joyce Bendele’s Mother

Perry Peacock and Mary Etheridge Peacock, Joyce Peacock Bendele’s parents.

As many know, the contribution women made in the war effort of WWII was invaluable. While the men, for the most part at least, served overseas, there were roles that needed to be filled back home. In addition, many men who were not called up for myriad reasons also served at home in numerous ways. For the next few weeks, we will pay homage to the men and women of this nature who have connections to our community.

Continue reading “Mary Etheridge, Joyce Bendele’s Mother”

Mind those Gutters Boy

This extended dry spell has created widespread challenges for many parts of La Brasada and beyond. And with the frequent reminders almost daily all over the media, it is understandable for some of us “elders” to think back and recall “water management techniques” used from earlier days.
I cannot tell you the year my Grand Parents drilled their water well on our Home Place, but it was already there in my childhood days of the 1950’s. I am told it was originally “sweet water”, but all I can remember is that it tasted bad and would ruin a white shirt, turning it into the color of “rusty red” if washed in it. Then and now, we use that well’s water only for livestock and wildlife purposes.
Such a situation meant washing days began by drawing buckets of water from the hand dug cistern just outside the back door into the various wash tubs arranged in a systematic pattern by my Granny along the back porch. It also meant that cistern was the sole source of water for cooking, bathing, and drinking, drawn into the house by a hand pump. Those details will be used for a different tale or two down the road, Lord willing.
Whenever it did manage to rain over the course of time from about the mid 1950’s to the late 1970’s, I can recall the water gathering process was always the same. We would let the water run off the tin roof for a period of time deemed sufficient by one of my Grandparents. This was to remove any of the unwanted deposits found on roofs everywhere in south Texas, so use your imagination as to the specifics that were washed off.
Then, upon command, whoever was around that could help, would form a gutter brigade and move our spouts so the water run off would be directed into that old cistern. Just sitting here while writing this, I can recall either Granny or Grand Dad saying to me…MIND THAT GUTTER BOY. This meant pay attention and do my assigned task quickly and efficiently in order to salvage as much of that precious commodity as possible.
That lifestyle seems rough and mostly awful to many who will read this. But such was the life of dry land, small scale farmers and ranchers during that time and before. All my Grand Parent’s kids and grandkids moved on to live in places like Pearsall and San Antonio, so we all experienced running water piped to our homes by the municipalities. But “out at the farm”, that gutter process just seemed like a normal part of country life for 3 generations of family member over the course of about 40 years.
It has hard to believe that is has been almost 50 years since minding the gutters was part of my duties while out at our little piece of heaven. And I sure enough hope I don’t ever have to go back to that way of getting my water. But having done so sure does allow me to be reminded of the blessings of living like most of us now are able to do.

New Season New Rifle New Location

Not sure how many of your fine readers are counting, but as I sit and write this Tale, it is exactly 60 days until Opening Day of regular white tail deer season in La Brasada. Certainly, hunting will begin earlier on some ranches with varying permits, but the one available to all us nimrods is November 6, 2022 in our neck of the woods.
Even though it has been over 60 years since I started getting excited about that day, I still look forward to it with high hopes and anticipation.
That is especially true this season because of 3 new aspects. The day itself, of course, but also because I will be toting a new fire stick out in the woods and doing some of my hunting on a new piece of ground.
The rifle is because of a separate firearm acquisition in the last 18 months or so. That one was a replacement for a particular rifle I had used for 30+ years and it was plum shot out. I bought a “new used one” and it has proven to be accurate and “fits me good”. It sits kind of on the smaller end of my collection, size wise. But the opportunity came along to get its “bigger brother” and I jumped at the chance. So far so good in terms of my ability to use it. Same design, feel, and fit.
Certainly, there is NO logical reason for this last purchase. But kind readers please understand that we have come to a Peace Treaty of sorts at Casa Rosenauer. I do not question the number of ladies shoes in our Master Bedroom Closet and The Boss Lady pays little mind to the gun cabinets so long as her personal rifle is kept clean, sighted in, and with an adequate supply of the specific ammo that she shoots like a Sniper.
The third aspect comes from what I participated in for 47 years as a ranch broker, and that is my 30 year lease place sold! I admit to being sad when the news of that upcoming event was announced to me from the Trust Officer in charge of the place. But it is an acquisition by a neighbor on two sides and they are putting back together, as much as they can, a big ranch I broke up and sold decades ago. It is going to a “good home”, and I wish them well with those acres.
Given that event I needed to make another deal and with a bit of fortune a new spot has been obtained. It is smaller than the other one, but closer to my own place. And it joins some big country, all low fenced and lightly hunted. As my wise Granny used to tell me as a child, “Stop fretting over that! Things mostly work out. And if they don’t go your way, maybe next time it will”. Wise council.
We are now clearing senderos, making food plots, setting up feeders, and all the “stuff” that needs doing on a new place. Lord Willing it will be a good situation for both me and the owner. And like I told my family, I don’t need to fret about “looking over” that same old terrain I have been seeing all these years. It will be something new and I AM EXCITED!

Take the “scenic” route

Welcome to “What Happened Last Week at Lytle PD,” not exactly the nightly world news but here you go: Officers handled 51 calls for service and conducted 42 traffic stops. Those stops resulted in 37 citations and 5 warnings.
Officers made 2 arrests last week (both were booked into the Atascosa Co. Jail): #1 – Ofc. Diaz conducted a traffic stop on IH-35 Access Rd. and determined the driver had an active felony dope warrant out of Dimmit County. #2 – Ofc. Diaz received a report of an intoxicated driver. He conducted a traffic stop on FM 3175 @ the IH-35 Access Rd. and determined the suspect to be intoxicated. He was arrested for D.W.I.
We took reports of 5 property crimes: #1 – Camino Real on Benton City Road reported a flatbed trailer was stolen. #2 – The construction company doing site work at Saddle Ridge Estates reported that approx. 200 gallons of diesel fuel was taken from 3 machines, a window was broken as well. That’s a lot of diesel fuel, about $900 worth! #3 – A complainant reported $1,100 in unauthorized transactions on their bank account. Here is a hint: If you use my plan and keep your account on the verge of being overdrawn you will never have that problem. #4 – A Benton St. resident reported that an unknown female entered his residence and took one Miller Lite beer. He captured the incident on his home security system. Yes, this did really happen. I am just going to call this unknown suspect the “One Beer Bandit.” #5 – We ended the week with the report of a theft of a catalytic converter from a vehicle that was parked at the Park & Ride on IH-35 (by Lytle State Bank). The vehicle was a 2014 Camaro so it must have been a skinny thief that got under that car.
The Natalia Mustangs pulled off a victory over our hometown Pirates. Let me be the first to say, “Welcome to Lytle, the Gateway to Natalia.” There is always next year.
Now for some important news: TXDOT will close the NB Entrance Ramp to IH-35 (this is the one by Lytle State Bank). It will be closed from Sept. 21st – Oct. 4th. There will be some construction work on the ramp. A lot of people use this route to get to San Antonio; you can always take Main St. and access NB IH-35 that way. Just tell yourself you are taking the “scenic” route and maybe it won’t be so bad.
The ramp closure caused rumors to run wild. Did a few TXDOT employees have a bet over the big rivalry football game? If Lytle won, they would shut down a ramp in Natalia and if Natalia won, they would shut down a ramp in Lytle. I investigated this rumor and believe it is nonsense that popped into my head as I drafted my weekly report.

Just Dance

My parents hosted the dove season celebration party this weekend, and it was the party of the year as usual. To my dad, dove season is right up there with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everyone knows how Uncle Tommy feels about dove season, so it was cousins galore out there. Watching all those kids running around almost makes you dizzy.
Sure is awesome to spend time with my cousins though, and my best friend who also came. It’s funny how later in life, no matter how good of friends or cousins you are, you probably only get to see each other a couple times a year (unless your kids parties and schedules overlap) because (as it should be) the kids come first. There’s practices and birthday parties, doctor’s appointments, weddings, showers, work, and in between all of that business, there’s a few really special moments when you have this crazy thing called “free time”.
The highlight of the night was awesome live music by my dad “aka Uncle Tommy” and his buddy Barlynn (they used to play in a rock band together and they don’t miss a beat even after all these years). I even overhead some of the little girls talking about “what a great singer Uncle Tommy is”. It cracked me up, seeing how the younger kiddos enjoy it as much as the adults who look forward to hearing those old familiar songs that my daddy sings better than the stars who cut the songs (in my opinion).
Dad and Barlynn both chose the family man life over the life of rock stars, and that’s one more reason we love them so much! I am pretty sure my brother Sherman and Uncle David danced with every girl there. Props to the guys who aren’t afraid to dance! Even my cousin Lewis and Joanie got out there and danced to a special song Uncle Tommy played for them. It took a little coaxing but when Uncle Tommy broke out into a railroad song, the railroad man knew he had to take his girl onto the dance floor.
Unfortunately, at the end of the night, my daughter fell on a rocky driveway and the rocks were really mean. It left a huge gash, but she is so dang tough, she didn’t cry from the injury. While the doctor was threading stitches through her knee, I let her go on a little Amazon shopping spree to take her mind off things, but I am still amazed that she didn’t cry. That’s one tough girl.
Cheers to a little free time, and to the guys who aren’t afraid take girls on the dance floor. Girls love to dance! Dancing with my husband is definitely one of my favorite things to do even after all these years. So if you are looking for a way to charm your wife, take her dancing and don’t make her sit on the sidelines the whole time!

Tinda/Apple Gourd

This coming week will be sort of busy for me as I will be keeping my friend’s dog. He seems to love it here at my house, but since he’s now elderly and (just like old people) has lost a lot of his hearing and the vision in one eye, requires a little more care than he used to. Luckily, he’s been here often enough that he finds his way around just fine.
This past week, when I was leaving my local HEB, I noticed a different type of melon than I was used to seeing. It was close to the watermelons, but much closer to the decorative gourds. Of course, I had to stop and see what they were! The name of them turned out to be Apple gourd, so after thinking about it for a few days, I decided that they would be good copy for this week’s column. After typing “apple gourd” into my search line, I learned a few facts.
This is a small vegetable that appears to be a cross between a (very) large green apple and a pumpkin. The skin coloration is very similar to the small seedless watermelons that are available practically year ‘round, but the shape is looks as if it is actually an apple. Some of the ones pictured in the article were actually the size of a green apple, but the ones here in the store look to weigh about one to two pounds or maybe more.
According to the article, the taste, texture and seeds mostly resemble squash and it’s also called Tinda, in fact everywhere the name appears in the article it is Tinda/apple gourd. The following information that I gleaned in this article is below. I am quoting it as it appears.
“Tinda has a lot of health benefits to offer – read them below—

  1. Tinda/apple gourd has anti-bacterial properties.
  2. Tinda/apple gourd helps in maintaining digestive health by getting rid of gastric issues and constipation.
  3. Tinda/apple gourd helps in weight loss as it is 94% water.
  4. Antioxident properties of Tinda/apple gourd helps control blood pressure.
  5. Tinda/apple gourd leaves also help in controlling blood pressure.
  6. Tinda/apple gourd prevents cancer as it protects from free radicals which cause cancer.
  7. Tinda/apple gourd makes hair healthy and shiny.”
    They are also called Indian squash, round melon, Indian round gourd, apple gourd or Indian baby pumpkin.
    The recipes are mostly Indian in origin, being a variety of different types of curry dishes. They all seem to be long and involved and the ingredients are not listed separately as is usual with recipes. The apple gourds must not be too difficult to grow as there is lots of information and several places to order seeds listed if you desire to grow them yourselves. There are also lots of pictures of them decorated in various ways to use the gourds for decorating purposes, as well as pictures of them as bird houses, scoops and other items.
    Dee’s Chicken and Ro-tel® tomatoes
    Read instructions before beginning!
    1 whole chicken cut into serving size pieces
    ½ to 1 cup cooking oil (for frying chicken pieces)
    1 onion, chopped
    1 bell pepper, chopped
    1 Tbs. sugar
    Cajun seasoning
    Salt and pepper
    1 can Rotel® tomatoes with green chilies
    ½ to 1 can tomato sauce (8-oz can)
    1 can diced tomatoes, (large can)
    1 can sliced mushrooms
    ½ to 1 cup water
    Skin chicken and season on all sides with Cajun seasoning. Heat oil in heavy skillet and fry chicken until nicely browned; remove from pan and set aside. In same skillet, sauté onions and bell pepper; drain off excess oil and add tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and mushrooms. Add chicken to sauce; stir and add sugar and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until chicken is done, and serve over white rice.
    The late Mrs. Bess Polk, who was in an Assisted Living home in Victoria at the time, sent me this Chicken and Rice Casserole which had appeared in her daily paper, The Victoria Advocate. About two weeks after she sent hers to me, a similar one appeared in the San Antonio paper, and it uses regular rice. I have made this many times and everyone seems to love it. The cream of onion soup was not available for a very long time, but I was able to find it again at a new Brookshire Brothers that is now in Cuero.
    Fiesta Chicken and Rice Bake
    1 can cream of chicken soup or cream of onion soup
    1 cup chunky salsa or picante sauce
    ½ cup water
    1 cup whole-kernel corn, drained (buffet size can, or I just used a well drained 15 oz can)
    ¾ cup regular long-grained white rice (uncooked)
    4 boneless chicken breast halves*
    ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
    Preheat oven to 375ºF Mix soup, salsa, water, corn and rice in 2-quart shallow casserole or baking dish. Top with the chicken and sprinkle with paprika. Cover with lid or foil. Bake about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the rice has soaked up all the liquid and the chicken is cooked through. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and put back in the oven for a minute or so, until the cheese melts. *I use cut-up chicken or leg/thigh quarters instead of breasts, and I use 6-8 thighs and it works very well.
    If you want to double the recipe, use: 2 cans soup, 2 cups salsa, 1 cup water, 15-oz can corn, 1½ cups rice (uncooked), 12 to 15 pieces chicken, and to do this you will probably need larger pan.


We finally got to go visit the San Antonio Aquarium last week, and it was really awesome. It’s kind of a combination of an aquarium and a zoo, with many animal interactions throughout it. Along the way, Tucker found dinosaur statues hiding all throughout the aquarium for added fun.
To top it off they have a huge room with 5-6 different jumping castles and slides, which the kids LOVED. Tucker made plenty of new little friends and jumped his heart out.
The next day I got really adventurous and took Tucker and his partner in crime (cousin Audrey) to eat INSIDE a restaurant. I knew this was a mistake. I planned to get it to-go and eat outside picnic style, but they begged and begged me to go eat inside the restaurant. I let them talk me into it; perhaps those scalding temperatures outside sealed the deal. They shrieked about how it would be “so much fun!”
It started off pleasant enough. They were both sitting across from me, smiling ear to ear, being their cute little selves when reality struck. We weren’t five minutes into our lunch before my son picked up his cup the wrong way and sent it flying across the table, creating a waterfall of sweet iced tea over my lap. It wasn’t just like a soft spill, it was a full on cup-emptier. The sweet and polite crew at Billy Bob’s ran to our rescue, with a smile they mopped it all up and seated us at a new, and dry, table.
Within the next five minutes, disaster struck again. I might as well have been sitting in a dunking booth at the carnival that day. It was Audrey’s turn, and before I knew it, her sweet tea and ice came a flying at me. I could hear the lady at the other table burst out into laughter at the ridiculousness of two repeat tea dunkings. I think we provided plenty of smiles to the people there that day at least.
Both spills were truly accidents, but that didn’t make things any less sticky. I don’t know how both of these little turkeys managed to have the perfect accidents that landed so squarely on me, but even they noticed. After I got drenched a second time, they both looked at me and said “Hey your legs are all wet!”
I can’t say I enjoyed it, but it’s a memory I won’t soon forget! I love iced tea, but not on me.

Peanuts and other things

This past week was pretty quiet for me, with only one meeting and then workshop to finish the tray favors for the hospital patients that the Auxiliary provides each month. We were already over half finished with the ones we were working on and after we finished those, we started on something for October. I am not sure how they are going to turn out but can only tell if we try. Last week I gave you Diez y Seis, not realizing I was a week early, and that left me without something to write about this week! So, even though I’ve used it before, here’s how it was in the good old days. (This little verse is also what we used on our tray favors, which were shaped like a book with part of the verse on the outside and the other part inside).
The old song goes like this: “School days, school days, dear old golden rule days. Reading and writing and ‘rithmetic, taught to the tune of a hickory stick”. Those were the tough days of school for both student and teacher. Corporal punishment was the rule of the day, and if you were punished at school, you received an equal or worse punishment at home. The teacher was usually a man, as it was thought they had better control over a class. If a young lady taught, she had to be single, her contract stated she could not go out on dates, she usually had to live in the home of one of the school board members, and her deportment and dress at all times had to be above reproach. And, hopefully, she was lucky and go to live with a member who was good to her and didn’t expect her to live in an attic with no heat in the winter and treated her as one of the family instead of treating her as an indentured servant.
She taught in a one room schoolhouse, she was in charge of keeping the building clean, water had to be hauled from a well in a bucket, which stood in a corner of the classroom, with one drinking cup or ladle for all the children to share. In the winter, she had to be there early enough to build a fire so that when the students arrived it would be warm enough to start classes when it was time. The rest room was an outhouse and I guarantee it wasn’t heated, and probably with pages from the Sears® catalogue for paper! How many boys of that generation learned what women’s underwear looked like from those catalogues?
Most of the children either walked or rode horseback to get to the school. During crop harvesting time, many of the students were not in class, as they had to help with the crops. Anytime there was sickness at home, the oldest girl in the family would not be able to attend school because she would be helping her mother take care of the sick child, parent or grandparent.
Lunches were carried in tin buckets with lids, which had originally contained lard (shortening). There were no thermos bottles to keep milk cold from the time the children left home, usually before daylight to walk or ride to school. Cookies were always home made as was the cake or pie. If they were lucky, they had leftovers from the previous meal, which were eaten at room temperature. Homemade biscuits, bread, cheese, sausage or boiled eggs were common lunches, as was a big chunk of cornbread. Sometimes the sandwiches were simply bread and butter. There were no hot lunch programs in those days, and mama always made everyone eat a good breakfast. In most country families, that meant bacon (home cured, of course), ham or sausage with eggs, and either homemade bread or biscuits and sometimes grits and gravy.
Those children had outside chores, that could include milking cows and feeding animals, as well as inside chores, just as many children do today. After chores and supper came homework, which was done by lamplight or by candle. They needed a snack before beginning chores after a long walk or ride home from school. A little break for a handful of cookies or a sandwich and a glass of milk helped them relax before going on to the next part of their day.
Many of today’s students also have outside chores, especially the ones who are raising animals for a 4H or FFA project. These animals have to be fed, exercised and groomed each and every day. Other students have working parents and they have to help with the laundry and keeping the house clean, and if they are old enough, perhaps starting supper so it is at least on the way when mother and dad get home.
In the area where I live, as well as your area, the ride home from school on a bus can take an hour to an hour and a half. They get out of school around 3:00 or 3:30, and get on the bus, but by the time the children out in the country get home, it may well be close to 5:00. They too are ready for a snack.
We all know that lots of peanuts are raised in the Devine area, but have you ever given peanut butter a thought? It made its debut at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. The original patent was given to Dr. John Harvey Kellog, who initially developed peanut butter as a meat alternative for his patients. However, George Washington Carver is considered by many to be the father of the peanut butter industry. He began his peanut research in 1903 and suggested to farmers that they rotate their cotton crops and cultivate peanuts as well.
Peanut butter accounts for about half of the peanuts grown in the United States.
All peanut butter is made by a similar process, first the raw, shelled peanuts are roasted and cooled, and then they are blanched to remove the skins. Some manufacturers split the kernels and remove the heart of the peanuts as well. The blanched peanut kernels are electronically sorted or hand-picked one last time to be sure only good, wholesome kernels are used in the peanut butter.
The peanuts are ground, usually through two grinding stages to produce a smooth, even textured spread. The peanuts are heated during the grinding to about 170ºF. Once the emulsifiers are added and mixed, the butter is cooled rapidly to about 120ºF or below. This cooling crystallizes the emulsifiers, thus trapping the peanut oil that was released by the grinding. To make crunchy peanut butter, the manufacturer will add peanut granules to the creamy butter. (Source: The Great American Peanut).
Homemade peanut butter is easy to make using an electric blender or food processor. The longer the blending, the softer the peanut butter will be. The peanut butter should be stored in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. Stir to mix the oil before using.
Peanut Butter
1 cup roasted, shelled peanuts (with or without red skins)
1½ teaspoons peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit salt if salted peanuts are used)
Place ingredients in a blender or food processor, and with the lid secured, blend until the mixture becomes paste-like or spreadable. If necessary, stop the machine and scrape the mixture from the sides of the container to put the mixture back in contact with the blades. Continue blending until the desired consistency is reached. For crunchy peanut butter, add 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts after the blending is completed. (Makes approx. 1 cup).
Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
q cup granulated sugar
q cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2½ cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Beat together until very creamy, the shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in the eggs, and then stir in the dry ingredients with a spoon. Roll into small balls, place on cookie sheets, dip the tines of a fork in flour and flatten the rolls in a criss-cross pattern. Bake at 400ºF for 10 to 12 minutes.
Peanut Butter Cupcakes
1 package yellow cake mix
Ingredients needed to make cake (oil, eggs, water, etc.)
½ cup chunky peanut butter
Mix cake mix according to package directions, adding peanut butter when you add the eggs and water. Spoon batter into muffin cups, lined with paper liners you have lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each cup about 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until done. Cool thoroughly. Frost with the following:
1 can chocolate frosting
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
Mix together the frosting and the peanut butter and frost each cupcake. Decorate with candy corn or one of the candy pumpkins if desired.
Hot Chile Nuts
1 pound (3½ cups) raw, Spanish peanuts
¼ cup peanut oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon red pepper
Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Place peanuts in a 13×9-inch baking pan and pour peanut oil over nuts, stirring well to coat. Place in a preheated 350ºF oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove just before peanuts are the desired doneness; they will continue to cook as they cool. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle combined dry ingredients over peanuts and stir until well coated. Store in a tightly covered container.
Spiced Peanuts
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
2 cups pecan halves
1 cup Chinese rice noodles
1 cup raisins
Place butter or margarine in a 9×12-inch baking pan; microwave on HIGH until melted. Stir in seasonings and add nuts and noodles; toss gently to coat. Microwave on HIGH for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring after 4 minutes. Add raisins, stir and continue to cook on HIGH for an additional 2 minutes. Let stand until cooled, stirring often. Yield: 6 cups.
Candied Peanuts
1 cup sugar
2 cups raw peanuts
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon red food coloring (if desired)
2 to 3 drops cinnamon oil (if desired)
Mix all ingredients in iron skillet and boil until water is gone. (Stir frequently). Pour on cookie sheet; bake for 15 minutes at 300ºF. Pour out onto foil lined cookie sheet and allow to cool completely.

County supports Election Administrator’s appointments despite challenge

Lupe Torres, elections administrator for Medina County, addresses the commissioner court on Sept. 8 with his recommendations for a central counting station manager and a tabulation supervision for the November elections.

By Anton Riecher
Medina County Commissioners gave their full support to elections administrator Lupe Torres in his recommendations for two key positions in tabulating ballots this November, despite a challenge from county GOP chair Julie Clark.
Commissioners voted to name Torres as central counting station manager and Lina Perez as tabulation supervisor.
“The manager is basically in charge of the overall process,” Torres said. “When we get all the media back from the polling locations we tabulate the results.”
Clark opposed Torres being named to the position, citing state election law that prohibits anyone but a registered voter in the county from serving.
However, Torres noted that the election code includes an exception that permits employees of the authority establishing the station to serve. That interpretation of the law was supported by first assistant district attorney Julie Solis, on hand for the meeting.
“If (Clark) is referring to me as not being a registered voter here that is correct,” Torres said. “But I am an employee.”
As for Clark’s charge that both Torres and Perez are Democrats, the solidly Republican commissioners’ court voted in support of the election administrator’s recommendation.
“He does a good job,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Larry Sittre said.
Torres noted that the county election board appoints a judge and alternate from each party to observe the tabulation process first hand.
Earlier in the meeting, Clark once again urged the county to support a “declaration of invasion” supported by some other Texas counties and elected officials that cites the U.S. Constitution as granting states the power to expel migrants cross the border in event of invasion.
“The Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Austin, is calling on Gov. (Greg) Abbott to declare the crisis on the southern border as an invasion,” Clark said.
County Judge Chris Schuchart has stood firm in his opposition to the legal wording of the declaration. The county commissioners approved a reworded “proclamation” that excluded the word “invasion.”
Schuchart was not present for the Sept. 8 commissioners meeting.
Clark challenged the commissioners to override the county judge’s objections and approve the measure.
“You took an oath of office,” Clark said. “Do you remember the oath you took? You said ‘I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office and I will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States.’”
Also on hand for the meeting was Sandy Young, county Democratic chair. She urged election participation by all parties. But as to allegations of voter fraud made by one declaration supporter, Young said she was unaware of any such fraud proven locally in the last two election cycles.
Ed Sonnen of Castroville spoke briefly in opposition to the “invasion” declaration.
“This is not an invasion,” Sonnen said. “These are human beings. They breathe like we do. If Jesus Christ were standing here right now I just believe in my heart that before they go through the Pearly Gates he is not going to ask ‘Are you legal or illegal?’”
In other action, the commissioners approved a financial report by County Treasurer Debbie Southwell for the period from July to October showing total combined funds of $33.5 million and total debt of $26.9 million.
In review of subdivision development, Commissioner Sittre took issue with granting preliminary approval of 10 lots in the Sandoval Subdivision, located on County Road 5715 north of Natalia and west of Lytle. All 10 lots were platted with entrances off the main county road.
“I have real issues with that even though it is within the rules and regulations,” Sittre said. “It is a traffic nightmare.”
Action on final approval of Oak Meadows subdivision in Precinct 4 off CR 7755 drew a negative response from a concerned citizen who said the subdivision was platted in such a way as to avoid the requirement of a fire suppression station.
“We’re stacking subdivisions in there, getting farther and farther away from any real water source,” the unidentified speaker told commissioners. “If we continue to do this we’re going to have real problems.”
Sittre said he agreed “100 percent.” However, the county lacks ordinance or zoning powers that would give it authority in the matter.
“With the rules we’ve got and the state fire codes there is nothing we can do,” Sittre said.
The commissioners set Sept. 22 as the date for official action on the proposed Medina County tax rate. The general fund rate dropped from $.23688 per $100 valuation to $.23661. The debt service rate is dropping from $.0624 to $.0552 and the road and bridge rate is being reduced from $.0911 to $.083.
Dates for public hearings on the proposed tax rates will be set on that date.


Been an excellent week or two. Black Creek metropolis got around 4 inches of rain since July 14th and that fell between August 10th and August 25th. Hallylooya!!
Had an oak tree that measured about 5 feet through the center come down on CR 653 just down from Fred Yanta’s hay farm. During the process, one of Ernest Kruger’s (hope it’s spelled right) calves got caught under it and is no longer with us. Took out power lines across the road from it and the fence under it. Took us three days to clear it up.
Ok’d Judge Bubba in Pct 3 to expand his JP office in the old Courthouse so that his clerks could move without running into each other.
We approved 14 contracts with Juvenile facilities so that we could have a place for juvenile criminals to be housed. Their parents did not raise them right and now the County and the State have to.
We also passed a Resolution calling for measures to secure our border, protect our communities and its residents, support the Governor and request the Federal government to do its duty. Fat chance. Just another reason to not vote for Democrat incumbents.
We voted (3-0-1) to go out for bids on constructing a parking lot at the SW corner of 14th St and Ave N in Hondo. Also voted on speed limits and stop signs at several locations so that enforcement would be legal.
Went by our Post Office the other day and whoever is maintaining the grounds needs to be fired. The grass needs mowing, the shrubs need trimming or need to be removed and replaced. Not to mention the mud swallows mess at the entrance.
When asked about improving the condition, you either get a look of indifference or “it’s not my job”. Looks like a third world country type location. Sure would be interested in the job…after January 1.
Saw where Devine, Natalia and Natalia ISD rejected the Appraisal Districts Budget. If more of the taxing entities would reject it, they would have to re-do it. I sure hope enough of them reject it. It hasn’t come to Comm. Ct. yet….and I aint in favor of approving it.
More rain is predicted for this week so, keep prayin. Aint it amazing how we go from a dried up wasteland to a green oasis in a matter of days after the Man-in-charge tends his creation?
Only 69 more days until we get the chance to vote out incumbent Democrats, 116 days until Christmas and 121 days until the lady out on CR 7720 gets her wish.

Bring out the whole family!

Lytle P.D. managed 47 calls for service last week. Officers conducted 83 traffic stops. Those traffic stops resulted in 72 citations and 11 warnings.
We only had one property crime reported last week! It was an internal theft at NAPA Auto Parts. It is always nice when people don’t get their stuff ripped off by some crook, so I really like the low theft numbers.
Officers made three arrests last week: #1 – Ofc. L. Diaz (assisted by Ofc. J. Cortez) conducted a traffic stop on McDonald St. and determined the driver to be intoxicated. He was arrested for DWI. #2 – Ofc. A. Lopez conducted a traffic stop on Adams St. and determined the driver had an active felony warrant (Agg. Assault w/a Deadly Weapon) out of Bexar Co. #3 – Ofc. J. Cortez (assisted by Sgt. G. Hanson) conducted a traffic stop on Mains St. for speeding. The female driver was arrested for DWI. All three of those were booked into the Atascosa Co. Jail in Jourdanton. It may not seem like a lot when you read it, but stopping and arresting an intoxicated driver in the middle of the night is a stressful and dangerous event. Your officers are out there keeping you safe 24/7.
Sorry for the short and boring report, so what else is going on? We are getting close to our annual National Night Out event. It will be held at the Lytle Community Center on Priest Blvd. The date is October 4, 2022, and we will start at about 6 PM. You can expect a free hotdog and something to drink. You can mingle with our officers, and we will also have some folks from the fire department as well. We welcome businesses or organizations that want to set up too. Just call or email so I can reserve a table for your group. In addition to a free hotdog, you will score some other free stuff. Bring out the whole family! Everyone is welcome, even if you don’t like the “police” I am sure you will like a free hotdog.