A WEEKEND AT FREDDY’S

Dec 8, 2014 by

A WEEKEND AT FREDDY’S

I’ve been plugged into Fredericksburg, another Texas Hill Country jewel, for years.  At first it was just a town I went through to get to Kerrville.  The only time we would venture back to Fredericksburg was to go eat the little steak at Shorty’s Diner.  I can remember, in the seventies, walking into the Domino Parlor (or was it Hall?) and the townsfolk would change their conversations from English to German.  Clearly, I was the outsider.  Years later, when a family member built the business center by the hospital, we had to take out a couple of trees for the parking lot.  I thought we would be killed in our sleep.  Those Germans loved their trees and every inch of their German soil.  Good for them.  That pride is the reason Fritztown has retained it’s uniqueness and heritage.  They have always stayed true to their roots.  Fast forward to years later when Houston and Austin discovered it.  I wish I could find my letter in the Austin American Statesman about how people were changing into their denim frocks (as they drove down the highway) so they could promenade up and down Main Street.  (By the way, I wrote the same kind of letter when I went to Marfa.)  That was just about the time the downtown rent started going up.  At one time, I heard the Fredericksburg leases were more than downtown Dallas leases per square foot.  Looking back, it’s about the time an under current of an uppity demeanor started.  Now, I can understand the old born and bred Germans being smug, but it’s a little hard to wrap my head around an elitist attitude just because you were the last one through the gate.  But, that’s a totally different gentrification story …………Back to me….This weekend, I went to Fredericksburg in tourist mode.  I had seen a spot on the Austin news station about the Holiday Home Tour on Saturday.  It just so happened, Dennis had business in Fredericksburg on Friday.  I had heard about the

Those in the know get their viewing space early

Those in the know get their viewing space early

LIGHT THE NIGHT PARADE which happened to be that very same night.  I called ahead and reserved seats (a tip I got watching the TV promo) and we got to town early.  We went first to the Herb Farm, got the holiday room freshener, visited with Doris in the gift shop and came back to Main Street, found a parking place, and walked up and down the street amidst the growing crowd.  People had started staking their claim with folding chairs and backing their trucks into prime parking places.  One could sense, this was going to be a big deal.  Dennis wanted to look for something at a specific store so we split up and I ventured amongst the masses.  It was as if I went back in time.  I was on an Andy Griffith sound stage.  Kids were ice skating, people were buying homemade goods and actually

Dogs in Santa hats are a really big attraction

Dogs in Santa hats are a really big attraction

visiting.  I spotted two men with antlers coming out of their hard hats and had to ask if they would be in a selfie with me.  They quickly decided the unique hats were chick magnets and even better than a puppy.  I pushed on through the crowd, past the boy selling glow sticks, past the extended families and crossed the street where I met D back on the corner.  We moseyed over to the perfectly placed bleachers in front of the historic library and directly if front of the laser light show and master of ceremonies.  We were the last to wedge in and I made a remark to the man who had to get up, step aside, and let us in.  “Don’t you hate those people who get there late?”  Everyone genuinely laughed and I knew we were among friendly people.  We made our way down our assigned row and sat.  I was loving it.  I said hello to the woman next to me and eventually found out she and her friend had been coming up from Houston since ninety two.  She said the first parade they went to consisted of a fire truck and a few cars.  Boy, had things changed.  Now, the floats were eighteen wheelers, a line of connected jeeps, the high school marching band, flat beds with school aged kiddos, a local peace officers float, miniature horses, a fire

I find and visit with the hardcore parade groupies

I find and visit with the hardcore parade groupies

truck, and of course…Santa.  We visited with more spectators around us.  One man had moved there from Germany. ( Of course, you know Fredericksburg was colonized by German immigrants.)  We had a lot of time to visit because the parade goes up one side of the street, then turns around and goes back down the other side of the street…….Now, come on…..have you ever heard of such a thing???  Pretty cool.  We knew the parade was over when the horses pranced down the street and the local police warned people to clear back because cars would start coming down the highway that had been blocked off.  As we walked the couple of blocks back to the truck, I nodded and said hello to strangers—I had really gotten into the swing of this small town life.  I even looked at a gaggle of elderly ladies and said, “Don’t you just love this?”.  Instead of looking at me with a “who’s this stranger talking to us” look, they unanimously chanted back, “Yes!”.   We got to the truck and waited for the last of the returning parade entries to go back to wherever the designated end spot was.  We backed out and drove down Main Street and headed home.  I looked out the window at the people still in their folded chairs, savoring the moment.  The next day, I go with my friend, Teresa, to the Holiday Home Tour.  The homes were

You can get up close and personal at the Light The Night parade

You can get up close and personal at the Light The Night parade

wonderful—reeeeely wonderful.  It’s the epitome of uber cool and a fabulous way to display your wealth.  I’d be interested to know how many of the homes were owned by families of Fredericksburg heritage.  I imagine some were “gate closers”.  But, I digress…..Back to Fredericksburg………back to the small town.  Back to the Norman Rockwell-Kodak town.  Go.  Go make your own memory.  Walk down the wide main street that folklore says was so the settlers could turn around their oxen teams.  Stay in one of the many B & B’s.  Visit the beautiful painted church.  Find a store like Madlyn’s (where I get my Foxcroft shirts) whose owners are third generation German Fredericksburg retailers.  And, you don’t have to wait for Christmas.  Fredericksburg always has something going on.

 

One of the hometown floats

One of the hometown floats

 

 

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We visit with a familiar face on the home tour

We visit with a familiar face on the home tour

 

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