San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

April 9th, 2010
The Weekend: A wild combo of music, theater, Africa, hiking and pies

Ryan Beaver and his band will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse on Saturday.

Scene Editor

We have become entranced by a local visitor who inhabits our area from March through May. They go by many names — Gallnipper, Gollywhopper, Skeeter Eater, Mosquito Hawk and Texas Mosquito, but they are really just varieties of crane flies.

The crane fly will not hurt you or bite you, although it may fly headlong into your shoulder or forehead. These long-legged, spindly creatures are not diving at you on purpose. They’re just not very good flyers. Their legs are so fragile that they often break off, even when you are gently trying to set them free outside after they have noisily and somewhat drunkenly entered your house.

They do not “eat” mosquitos. They mostly eat nectar. But by the time you see them, they probably aren’t eating at all, anymore. They are dancing around in their tipsy fashion, hoping to mate before they die. Their life span as a flying creature is only a couple of days.

It’s always a relief to see a creature whose fairy-like beauty is tempered with a certain amount of clumsiness. Reminds you that every life has both beauty and handicaps with which to deal.

So, while they seem a bit pesky, we urge you to enjoy their punchy whirling with a bit of wonder and good humor. They aren’t here for long and while they look a bit frightening, they will not harm you. Like many things that are scary, it’s all in the perspective.

If you’d rather be busy this weekend than spend your time watching the crane flies’ slap-happy maneuvers — boy, oh boy, is there a lot of stuff to do.

Here are a few suggestions if you care to fly around a bit.

Friday, April 9

The Wimberley Community Center (14068 Ranch Road 12) will have an opening reception for an exhibit of student art from 5-7 p.m. today. The exhibit is sponsored by the the Wimberley Valley Art League, Arts from the Heart and the Rotary Club of Wimberley. The exhibit features the work of local school kids from third grade through high school. Refreshments and entertainment will be provided. Student art is so diverse and enjoyable to view. The perspectives are illuminating about life and our culture. If you miss the reception, the work will be on display there until May 27 during regular open hours.

Starting at 6 p.m. at Evans Auditorium on the campus of Texas State is a cultural showcase, “A Taste Of Africa.” Attendees will be treated to African fashions, dance, drama and music. It will open up your eyes to the incredible diversity of Africa. The event is free and open to the public. African student organizations will be on hand from Texas A&M, Baylor, Sam Houston State and Texas-San Antonio, just to name a few, bringing exhibits and performances to the event. The whole thing sounds intriguing and fun, so it’s a don’t miss for the evening.

A spinner of musical tales, Mark Jungers, starts out the evening at Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary Street) at 6 p.m. He is followed later in the evening by Scott Biram. Both of these fellas play rock with a more than a dollop of country spices and are always worth hearing.

The Texas State baseball team will take on the Central Arkansas Bears at 6:30 p.m. at Bobcat Field. This is the first of a three-game series this weekend, and the Bobcats have never lost to the Bears on their home turf. Gorgeous weather for baseball, and the Texas State team is a good one, so it might be the ideal way to start out the weekend.

If you prefer your spherical objects to be bouncing in a cage rather than off of an aluminum bat, then you should head over to the Wimberley VFW (Veterans Park on Jacobs Well Road) and catch the Friday night bingo game. The fine women of the Ladies Auxiliary sell delicious concessions and the proceeds go to their many programs for veterans, so you are helping while you have fun. The little basket starts its gyrations at 7 p.m.

The Wimberley Community Chorus presents its spring concert, “Singin’ with the Spirit,” an offering of traditional hymns, spirituals and gospel songs, directed by Anne Jones with accompanist Bruce Billingsly. The event will take place at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on Winter Mills Parkway. The concert is free and open to the public.

Texas State’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present Sarah Ruhl’s imaginative comedy, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” at 7:30 p.m. at the PSH Foundation Studio in the Theatre Center. The story involves a woman who finds out some amazing things about herself after she answers a cell phone belonging to a dead fella. Tickets are $8 general admission and $5 for students. What a pleasure to have such affordable live theater right in our own front yard, so to speak.

The Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12) features the musical talents of Daniels and Animals and the popular Olive Street tonight, while the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) presents the bluesy Shelley King. Her soulful rocket-powered voice will bowl you over.

Saturday, April 10

With the weather being so darn beautiful, you may feel like taking a bit of a walk today, or you could participate in the San Marcos River Walkers-sponsored Prospect Park and City Hike. The walk starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Starting at the Dunbar Activity Center (801 Martin Luther King Street), the path goes through some older neighborhoods before entering Prospect Park, which has a fine walking trail. You’ll pass by some cool scenery, and there are educational signs to explain some of the many features of the park.

The walk qualifies for the Railroad Heritage, 35 on 35, and Museum Walk America special events. You may register at the center any time between 8 a.m. and noon, but must finish by 3 p.m.

Maybe all this beautiful weather has you yearning to get your hands in the soil. If so, you may want to volunteer to do a little work for the Hays County Food Bank’s organic garden. The Community Garden is behind St. John the Evangelist Church on Hopkins Street. The work will go from 8-10 a.m.  Go to the blog at for more info on this program that grows organic produce for the food bank.

The Old Oaks Ranch Fiber Arts Center (601 Old Oaks Ranch Road) is presenting its fourth annual Ranch Day today from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. All sorts of wonders await you there, not to mention fields full of those dazzling blue torches of Texas Bluebonnets. Sculptures, fiber and jewelry artists will join with breakfast and lunch goodies prepared by chefs from the Katherine Anne Porter School. The day will feature weaving, spinning and rug hooking demonstrations. The the kids will not want to miss the Angora bunnies and the Alpaca shearing.

Okay, maybe all this is too much activity for a spring day. Maybe you’d just like to sit on the front porch with a cupcake or a brownie and watch the exquisite blue Texas sky roll on by. But where to get said cupcake or brownie? How about checking out the Great American Bake Sale (Goodnight Junior High School softball turnaround at Broadway and SH 123). This is part of a national campaign that mobilizes Americans to end childhood hunger by holding bake sales in their communities. All sorts of baked wonders will be there for purchase. The sale goes from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., so you’ll have plenty of time to nip in, get some pie and hit the front porch for a lazy nap. And you helped with the hunger thing, too.

If the big 10K hike is a bit much for you there is always the Kid’s Hike at Prospect Park today from 10-11:30 a.m. It’s part of National Environmental Education Week, and it’s good hike for young children or for kids in strollers with their parents to just get out and enjoy the lovely park. The walk is sponsored by the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance.

After a good walk, you deserve a nice piece of pie, and what better place to get it than the 20th Anniversary Pie Social at the Winters-Wimberley House (14068 RR 12)? The social is from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., featuring a pie walk, a pie eating contest, snow cones, hand-made items and fresh springtime herbs as well as, well, pie, of course. Jill Jones with the Three Hand High Band will perform, and there’s a petting zoo and kids activities, too.

The Texas State softball team will take on Nicholls State today at Bobcat field in a double-header at 1 p.m. Right next door, at the other Bobcat Field is the Texas State baseball team in its second of three game against Central Arkansas at 2 p.m. You can’t say there’s no good ball games on today, son. Plus, you get to be out in the fresh spring air.

Texas State vocal students will give recitals today at the Music Building Recital Hall at 4 p.m. Admission is free. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that Texas State is loaded with fine talent and it’s a pleasure to see it blossom.

The “Taste of Africa” banquet will be held at the LBJ Student Center Ballroom at 6 p.m. Admission for the banquet is $15 for the general public. It’s a semi-formal event, so you don’t need a tux, but spruce up a little. There will be African food, poetry readings, performances by Texas State’s Harambee dance group and display booths set up for 25-30 African countries.

The Wimberley Community Chorus will reprise its spring concert, “Singin’ with the Spirit”  tonight at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on Winter Mills Parkway. The concert is free and open to the public.

While the title “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” conjures visions of the guy who was driving in front of you on the freeway yesterday, it’s really a dark and imaginative comedy presented by Texas State’s Department of Theatre and Dance taking place at 7:30 p.m. at the PSH Foundation Studio Theatre in the Texas State Theatre Center. Tickets are $8.

The Countrymen will dish up a big slab of Texas dance music at the Saturday Night Country Dance at the Geronimo VFW Post (6806 North Highway 123) in beautiful downtown Geronimo. A $7 donation at the door forwards the post’s work for veterans. The night will be swingin’ with good old fashioned country dance music. Folks tell us they always have such a good time there.

The smokey, bluesy tones of Amber Lucille grace the Gray Horse Saloon tonight around 9:30 p.m. Zlam Dunk, Buzz n’ Bangs and Equals will shake the rafters with rockin’ jams at the Triple Crown.

Ryan Beaver is yet another tale of local boy makes good. Raised in Emory, TX, he got his business degree at Texas State, then worked in a bank while he let his songwriting pot simmer. The next part of the tale is like something your mom would tell you to do: “You’re so talented, honey, why don’t you send your songs to Lloyd Maines or somebody?” You would roll your eyes and say “Yeah, right, mom.” Beaver did it, without his mom’s suggestion. His talent sparkled through and Maines heard it. You can hear it, too, tonight at the Cheatham Street Warehouse. His fresh take on country will delight you.

Sunday, April 11

Texas State’s women’s tennis team has a match today at 10 a.m. at the Bobcat Tennis Center. The match is the final home appearance for seniors Andrea Giraldo, Kiki Kruse, Nyssa Peele and Amanda Alvarado. At noon, the softball team faces Nicholls State for the last of the three-game series at Bobcat Field.

Texas State’s baseball team plays it’s final game of a three-game series against Central Arkansas at 1 p.m. at Bobcat Field. It’s Little League Day, so area youth teams will be in attendance. They will get to stand with team during the national anthem. Carnival rides and bounce houses will be present. You know how we feel about bounce houses. Whoopee! The game should be a good one, too.

If you haven’t seen the thought provoking comedy, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” it will be presented at a matinee today at 2 p.m. at the PSH Foundation Studio Theatre in the Texas State Theatre Center.

For music today, there are a variety of choices. From 3-5 p.m. the student composition competition recital will be at the Music Building Recital Hall on the campus of Texas state. Admission is free. The Wimberley Community Chorus reprises its free Spring Concert, “Singin’ with the Spirit” today at 3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Wimberley. The dulcet tones of the Ash Family will fill up that venerable old cotton warehouse at Cheatham Street today from 4-8 p.m.

If all this pie and hiking and music and spring merriment makes you want to sing, you can do that today at Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 11902) or Triple Crown tonight at an open mic. Or you can make with the karaoke at the Gray Horse.

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