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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Time Machine: Kerrville in 1968

Tivy High School Cheerleaders Kerrville 1968
Tivy Cheerleaders, 1968, taken on the front steps of the old Tivy High School on Tivy Street.
Left to right: Budsy Mosty, Linda Lehmann, Kathy Reader, Julie Nelson,
Judy Jones, Karen Reader, Heather Sutherland, and Lisa Masters.
Click on any image below to enlarge.
This week I traveled fifty years back in time as I scanned a packet of Kerr County negatives taken in 1968.
Tivy Boosters Kerrville 1968
Tivy Boosters
Scanning negatives on my computer is especially fun. Since the image is reversed, where the light parts of the image are dark and the dark parts of the image are clear, it's often hard to figure out what the subject of the photograph is until it's scanned. My computer turns the negatives into positives, translating the highlights and shadows back as you'd expect them to be.
I remember many of the folks in the photographs, though I was about six years old when most of the photos were taken. I'm hoping you'll remember a few of them, too.
Cricket swarm in Kerrville Texas 1968
Crickets!
Most of the photos were taken in the summer of 1968. They range from photos of high school students, to a photo of a very lucky parachutist.
A group of civic leaders are seen buying memberships in the Tivy Booster Club. Coy LeMeilleur is seen selling memberships to Kerrville mayor Francis Swayze and Mrs. W. C. Talbert, while Winkie Murray is selling to D. R. Voelkel, then Kerrville's city manager, and H. H. Weid. The group was showing off bumper stickers that proudly proclaimed "I'm a Tivy Booster."
Four Tivy Golden Girls Kerrville Texas 1968
Golden Girls, 1968
There were several shots of that summer's plague: a swarm of crickets. There are photos of firemen and helpers using fire hoses to wash crickets down the storm drains of Earl Garrett and Water Streets, and of Jake Bierschwale, maintenance director for the Kerrville Independent School District, standing beside a particularly thick group of crickets. When I was a boy I remember the late-summer invasions of the crickets. I will never forget the smell.
Photos of pretty girls were also popular. Separate photos of Tivy cheerleaders and Golden Girls were in the packet.
David McCutchen and Irene Arreola Kerrville Texas 1968
McCutchen and Arreola,
at M-System Grocery
Four of the 18 Golden Girls were shown with the "new sign" at Tivy High School in August, 1968: in the back, Susan Nelson and Maribless Lehmann; in the front, Kay Bennett and Tricia Gwynn.
The Tivy cheerleading squad was also pictured, standing on the steps of the old high school on Tivy Street. From left to right, they are Budsy Mosty, Linda Lehmann, Kathy Reader, Julie Nelson, Judy Jones, Karen Reader, Heather Sutherland, and Lisa Masters.
Another photo shows two people very dear to me and my family: the late David McCutchen handing prize money to Irene Arreola, who won $100 at the "M" System grocery store.
Leo Herrera parachutist Kerrville Texas 1968
Leo Herrera parachutist Kerrville Texas 1968
Leo Herrera
As for the very lucky parachutist, it took awhile to figure out what the photos meant.
There are a series of photographs of a man and his parachute near the intersection of Sidney Baker and Main Street, one of the busiest intersections in town. In the photos you can see the high-power lines along the street. What on Earth was happening for a man to parachute into traffic among so many cars?
Leo Herrera parachutist Kerrville Texas 1968
The man's name was Leo Herrera, and he's wearing a t-shirt that reads "...State Sport Parachute Club, Inc." In one of the photos, he's bundling up his parachute, standing on the curb of Sidney Baker Street.
Leo Herrera parachutist Kerrville Texas 1968The Kerrville Daily Times reported in this way: "Leo Herrera smiles with relief as he gathers up his parachute after landing in the middle of Sidney Baker a few feet south of Main following his second parachute drop at Louise Hays Park. Malfunction on the part of his parachute caused it not to open properly and Herrera had to open his reserve chute to make a landing, narrowly missing some power lines above the street. Although he landed on asphalt, he sustained no injuries."
Mr. Herrera was one of several parachutists who were scheduled to land in Louis Hays Park as part of the July 4th, 1968, celebrations.  His was a close call.
Over the next few months I hope to take you on other time travels back to Kerr County in 1968.
Until next week, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who has fond memories of Kerr County as it was in the late 1960s. This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times August 25, 2018.





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