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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
August 31, 2011     Hays Free Press
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August 31, 2011

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+ : ~ V:,~II~ ~%i~/:::~jL~~,'~'~ ~ ~. ~., t M ED RESULTS Sales tax revenues boom in Kyle, but slide in Buda. - Page 1D August 31,2011 Page 1C September in the garden IT'S ABOUT eptember is finally here .'~- and each daywe come kJcloser to a change in the seasons. Boy, am I happy. Gardeners can actually start gardening again, and get to work setting up their fall vegetable gardens. Many of our favorite and easy-to-grow fall and winter crops belong to the brassica family. They're also known as 'cmcfferg or cross-bearing because their petals resemble a cross. This is a large and very important family and includes cabbage, See ASK CHRIS, pg. 2C ~j~ ODDS & ~as, that was rain that 11 last week. Though it snt near enough, at least we know there is such an item. I did catch a tub of water for the houseplants. Seems like everyone is staying close to home, not much going on in the com- munity. Barbara Hanna, Gladys Sorrells, Bobby Jean and Erwin Hagedorn of St. John Lutheran Church of Uhland attended Grace Lutheran Church Women's MiSsion League in San Mar- cos (the ladies did) and Er-. win attended the churches' executive committee meet- ing. They all enjoyed learn- ing what Grace Lutheran Church missions have on their agenda and what they are working on. Prior to the meeting they joined the group for a delicious meal and fellowship. Speaking offo0d, Clar- ence Heideman and Ade- lene Wisian of San Marcos carried in some pizza and Danny and Sharon Heide- man brought a homemade lemon pie. What more can you ask for other than the fellowship and visiting? Thanks.I hope no one gets brave enough to have an outdoor barbecue next week. We sure do not need sparks flying, but do hope everyone has a very enjoy- able Labor Day weekend. We sure will miss going to Canyon Lake, like we "used" to do in the "good o1' days." There were reports of two mishaps involving cattle on the road. One accident happened on Highway 21, involving an 18-wheeler and another on FM 2720 involving a small car. No serious injuries to the drivers, but the cattle were not so lucky. Cattle are looking for green grass and the roadsides still have a few sprigs. Drive carefully. What a nice surprise! Coming to visit with Raymond and Myrtle Heideman on Sunday afternoon were Bert and Louise Stuenkel of Austin . and Gene and Ann Stu- enkel of Niederwald. A lot of"yesteryears" were remembered. The Stuenkel brothers are sons of the late Monroe and Nola Holz Stu- enkel and had not visited for some time. What a nice way to spend an afternoon. Come again, and by the way, they are my cousins. Robert McLaughlin works on his computer in his room at Marbridge, a facility for adults McLaughlin has seen many changes at Marbridge since he arrived in 1959. with cognitive disorders and PHOTO BY BRAD ROLLINS developmental disabilities. O u 50-year-resident revels in the history of ranch BY BRAD ROLLINS "arbridge was a working ranch in 1959 when Robert McLaughlin .came there to live, a place where the residents- 18 developmentally disabled yotmg men - awoke at 5 a.m. and worked throughout the day. A year later, the ranch expanded its op- erations as a flfll-fledged dairy farm. "Then we had to start getthlg up at four" to milk the 85 cows before sunrise, McLaughlin, now 70, says with a laugh. "It was hard work but it's been a good life." Of the 250 or so residents who live in one of Marbridge homes today; McLanghfin has lived the longest - more than five de- cades - at the Manchaca home for people with cognitive disorders and developmen- tel disabilities. In his years there, he has seen many changes including closure of the farm business in 1970, the opening of a nursing home in 1982 and, later, assisted liv- ing and independent living areas. "Coming here is probably the best thing that ever happened to me," McLaughiin said. Ed and Merge Bridg- es founded Marbridge in 1953 for their son, Jim, and six other de- velopmentally disabled MCLAUGHLIN young men. McLaugh- fin arrived six years later, when he was 18 and having trouble participating in public schools in San Saba, where he lived with his aunt and uncle follo~ng the death of both his parents by the time he was 10 years old. Now spread across 170 acres on Brodie Lane near the Hays County line, Marbridge has long retired its agriculture program, al- though it does still have horses on campus for equestrian-based therapies: "The idea used to be that young people would come here and live and learn to work on a ranch and sbmeday they could get a job on a ranch. There aren't that many ranch jobs around anymore so the programs have kind of changed over the years," said Barbara Bush, Marbridge's ad- missions coordinator. Instead of ranching, residents choose from 150 different classroom and field programs ranging from archery and hor- ticulture to crafts and choir. Marbridge's drum therapy program was developed by Jan Berry, one of the Beach Boys who was severely injured in an automobile accident in 1966 that left him partially paralyzed: The real difference for residents who live here is the sense of community with other people navigating a strange world. "The social interaction is huge here. Oftentimes these people with cognitive disorders feel isolated but here they have neighbors and they have friends," Bush said. Benny Binion pleaded ~ cylinder of the gun, whipped tion. If you got those things, guilty to income tax eva- ~IS WEEK IN out his pocket .38 and shot the there's always plenty of money sion on Sept. 5, 1952 and ~S H|STOR would-be assassin,to death, around." spent the next three and a half That was Binion s last con- A friend called on the )leers in Leavenworth, where firmed kill but not the end of aged gambler in the hospital at last he learned to read. ~,::~ :.::~ the bloodshed in Big D. With shortly before his death from ' "I never went to school, ~:~z~!~,~ ~ ~:i~'~,~':i~:i~:'~ii~ fellow gamblers dropping like congestive heart failure on not even grade school be- flies in 1946, he headed for Christmas Day 1989. The visi- cause I was sick a lot as a Las Vegas with his wife Teddy tor was aware of the patient's kid," explained Binion, born . in rural North Texas in 1904. On the chance fresh air might cure a chronic lung condition, he traveled with his horse- trader father. But the elder Binion did not have a head for business, and at the age of 15 the boy took his place as the breadwinner. Young Benny was as tough as he was smart. His own son Ted recounted the time his two-fisted sire whipped 14 men with a car bumper. "That got written up in the newspa- per, and that's when he actu- ally got famous." Binion became a bootlegger by chance after moving to E1 Paso in the early 1920s. While spreading gravel on a parking lot, he noticed the attendant was selling booze on the sly. So he imported a load of li- quor from Oklahoma and took away the fellow's customers. The repeal of Prohibition prompted Binion's return to North Texas, where he went into the numbers racket, the illegitimate ancestor of the current lottery. Dur- ing the Texas Centennial in 1936, he hosted high-stakes craps games in Dallas hotels. After the tourists left town, he catered to rich oilmen who, according to Ted, "came because Dad would run a high limit and also because he was known to run honest games." Binion was by necessity a walking arsenal in those dan- gerous days. He packed two .45 automatics and a small .38 revolver with a filed-down hammer. In his golden years, he was content to carry a .22 magnum but always kept a sawed-off shotgun handy. In 1931 the rough-and- ready gambler got into an argument with a bootlegger sitting beside him on a log: "This guy was a real badman with a reputation for killing people by stabbing them," said Ted. "He stood up real quick and Dad felt like he was going to stab him, so he rolled Jane, their five kids and a tidy nest egg. Binion claimed late in his colorful life to have forgotten how much money he took to Nevada, but his other son Jack remembered a mysterious piece of luggage entrusted to an older sister. "If the hotel caught fire, she was supposed to get that suitcase out." Five years after settling in Las Vegas, Binion opened The Horseshoe on Fremont Street. His partner was a local char- acter called Dobie Doc, whose chief qualification was an amazing ability to survive on back off the log, pulled his cat naps. For many years, he gun and shot upward from the presided over the count at the ground." ..... end of the three daily shifts. The bullet passed through the antagonist's neck caus- ing him to bleed to death: Binion claimed ~elf-defense even though the victim had not pulled his knifei an.ap- parent sticking point for the jury which convicted him of first-degree murder. Since the deceased was considered a menace, the judge let the de- fendant off with a suspended sentence. Binion was strolling down a Dallas street five years later, when a rival numbers opera- tor called him over to his car. Just as he reached the open driver's side window, the motorist raised his pistol and fired, wounding him in the armpit. Binion grabbed the To pay the legal fees from his fight against racketeer- ing charges in Dallas and the losing battle with the IRS, Binion sold his control- ling interest in the casino. He was denied a gambling license after his stretch in Leavenworth, but that was an annoying technicality that did not prevent the fam- ily from regaining control of The Horseshoe in 1964. The Binion Philosophy boiled down to three of his fa- vorite sayings: "If you want to get rich, make little people feel like big people." "Good food cheap, good whiskey cheap and a good gamble:" "I don't know what everybody's got against inflation and corrup- recent near-death experience, when he swore he saw Jesus Christ. "Well, I guess you'll see him again," commented the friend. "From what I've been told," Binion drawled, 'Tm supposed to go the other way." "It doesn't matter what you've done so long as you repent," the other man said trying to boost his spirits. "That's the problem," the gambler sighed. "There's some of it I can't repent. I've tried, and I just can't!" In the latest chapter of the Binion family saga, the drug overdose death in 1998 of son Ted was ruled a staged homicide. His girlfriend and her secret lover were tried, found guilty'and sentenced to long prison terms but the convictions were overturned on appeal. At their retrial;the likely killers walked because, as several jurors admitted, the forensic evidence did not measure UP to what they watched each week on a popular television show. Old Benny would have been fit to be tied! Bartee Haile welcomes your comments, questions and sug- gestions at haile@pdq, net or P.O. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549. Come by www.twith. corn for a visit and follow Bar- tee on Facebook! ~: BUDA King Ranch Chicken Casseroles will be for sale by the Onion Creek Senior Citizens in September. Two sizes will be available - $12 (serves 4-6) and $17 (serves 8-10) and ready for pick up on Tuesday, Sept. 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Get your order in See BUDA BITS, pg. 2C Make the most of our ......... CHECK IT The Buda Public Library has been a hive of activity, with programs ranging from launclfing paper :rockets to art classes to digital photography. Not only have the chil- dren and teens of the library been busy with these great classes, they also spent an awesome amount of time reading. From May 26 to August 6, the children of the library read 12,845 books for a total of 337,110 minutes. The library's teens also did a great job reading, with 152,390 minutes. They created bookmarks, post- ers, reviews, songs, book trailers, newspapers and other projects inspired by their reading. The library would also like to thank all the wonderfffl volunteers that led programs, shelved books, and much more this summer. We couldn't have made it without you. Higher test scores can get students into a better col- lege and get better schol- arships. The Buda Public Library wants to make sure students are ready for these tests, so we've subscribed to ePmp, an online college test prep tool. It covers the SAT, ACT, PSAT, PLAN and more. You can take practice tests, have them scored, and watch videos that explain all the questions you missed or didn't answer. An indi- vidual annual subscription to ePmp starts at $400; you can use it for free through the library, on any computer with the Interuet. All you need is a library card. ooo The Buda Book Bud- dies ~ meet on Tuesday, September 27 at 6 p.m. This month's book is "Clara and Mr. Tiffany" by Susan Vreeland. Storytimes start again the first full week of September: New Bilingual Story- time: Mondays at 11 a.m. for 3-5 year olds, starting September 12 Toddler Storytime: Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. for 18-36 month olds Homeschool Storytime: Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. for kindergarten-5th graders Preschool Storytimes: Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. for 3-5 year olds