June 26-29, 2008: The Dreamland Festival in Nashville
May 30 - June 1, 2004: A Trip to the Wichita Mountains
Return to Index for 2008

June 13-16, 2008
Texas Folk Life Festival


This weekend, we have driven down to San Antonio to visit with Ron and Prudence at Ruckman Haus, to see Frank and Joe and Linda at the Texas Folk Life Festival, to see Guy Blair on Sunday and Monday, and to see Ron, Prudence, Nancy, Karl and Guy off to Big Bend on Monday.

We arrived late Friday afternoon. Frank and Joe were doing a performance that evening at the Folklife Festival, but we knew we'd be spending the day with them on Saturday, so we just hung out with Ron and had dinner with him a little later. Prudence had been up in Arlington visiting her mother, and she, Nancy and Karl were going to drive down here sometime Saturday.

We got the English Room for our first night here. Below I have provided a link that will take you to the Ruckman Haus web site where you can take a look at the English Room, and also navigate to the rest of the site should you wish to learn more about Ruckman Haus itself or even make a reservation. Just close the new window that will open up when you have finished, and you will return here to the photo album. Here is the link:

       English Room

For our second two nights, we were in the Luxembourg Room, a very nice room with a new balcony, and you can take a look at this particular room using the link below. Don't forget to close the popup window when you are done so you can return to the photograph album:

       Luxembourg Room


The Texas Folk Life Festival


Getting to the Folklife Festival

On Saturday morning, we coordinated with Frank and Joe and met them at the parking area southeast of Hemisfair Park at the Alamodome. Frank and Joe had paid parking, since they were performing, while we parked just across the street at Bill Miller's BBQ Restaurant (which was renting out part of its parking area for the occasion). We greeted them and Linda there at the corner of Durango and I-37, and prevailed on another kindly performer arriving early to take a group picture. Left to right are Fred, Frank, Linda Kirkpatrick (cowgirl poetry), myself, Linda's friend Anne and Frank.

Frank and Joe had obtained admissions for Fred and I, which was very nice of them, and so we were all able to walk under I-37 to the participants' entrance and right into the festival about a half-hour ahead of the general public.


Performances at Stage 1

Frank, Joe and Linda began their day with two performances at Stage 1, a small performance stage in the southeast part of the festival. When we got there, the stage was not quite set up, and we found that in between their first two performances, there would be a more modern singing and dancing group from one of the local theatre organizations. During our first couple of hours at this stage, Fred and I took quite a few pictures and movies.

First up will be three movies, capturing portions of our friends' performances in front of an appreciative audience. Take a look at these movies using the movie players below:

Frank Roberts: "Geronimo's Cadillac"
Cowgirl Poet Linda Kirkpatrick:
"The Men Who Ride No More"

Cowboy Poet Joe Wells:
"Jake and the Rancher's Prayer"

We also took a lot of pictures in and around the performance stage of Frank, Joe and Linda performing and just waiting around. Not all of these were really great, so I've selected the best of them (mostly taken by Fred) to include here. To see the full-size images, just click on the thumbnails below:


Folklife Participants in Costume

Of course, one of the things you expect to see at the Texas Folklife Festival are Texans in "cultural" attire (which, in this day and age, means anything other than blue jeans or shorts and t-shirts with printing on them). Wandering around the festival during the day, we certainly saw a lot of different dress styles- some of particular ethnic groups and some just frontier-style (as Frank and fellow he is talking to are attired in the picture at left). You can see a selection of the ethnically-dressed participants by clicking on the thumbnails below:


Performances at Stage 2

In the early afternoon, Frank, Joe and Linda moved their performances to Stage 2, a much larger performance area on the other side of the Texas Culture building. Here, they had a much larger audience as they were right in the thick of the activities of the Festival.

Frank's performance of "Grandma's Feather Bed" (excerpt)

We also took some additional candid shots of Frank, Linda and Joe.


Miscellaneous Scenes at Folklife

As I said earlier, in between the two performances that Frank, Joe and Linda gave at Stage 1, there was a modern performance by a local theatre/singing group. I thought you might want to see part of that performance, one of the songs from the musical "Grease" called "Summer Love." Fred made a movie of part of that song.

And I captured what I thought was an interesting contrast in a picture of one of the participants, outfitted as a nineteenth-century Texan, watching this performance from the twentieth century. Take a look at that picture here.

Quite often when Frank and Joe do these performances, kids just love to have their pictures taken with what to them are authentic cowboys (not that Frank and Joe aren't pretty close to that). Today was no exception, as you can see in the picture at right.

Throughout the day, Fred and I took miscellaneous pictures of activities and people at the festival. You can see the best of these pictures if you click on the thumbnails below:


Dinner with Frank and Joe

Fred and I left the festival about three-thirty to go back to Ruckman House and greet Prudence, Karl and Nancy when they arrived from Arlington. We took the opportunity afforded when we learned they had stopped for a while in Austin to go throw the frisbee in San Pedro Park. Then we came back to visit with everyone when they arrived.

Frank, Joe and Linda were through at the festival about ten, and they wanted to have dinner at the 24-hour Mexican restaurant in the Mercado, so we held off on eating and joined them down there for a late supper. Frank and Joe and Linda had more performances Sunday, and they left to return to Leakey right after that, so on this trip they didn't get the opportunity to visit with Ron and Prudence.


Sunday at Ruckman Haus

We spent a relaxing Sunday with Ron, Prudence, Karl and Nancy and a few of the guests at Ruckman Haus. Ron made waffles for breakfast and, as usual, they were quite good. I sat at breakfast and chatted with a couple of the guests from Louisiana.

During the day, Prudence and Ron asked Fred and I to take some pictures of the rooms that had changed significantly, the new patio and the newly planted East garden. We were happy to comply. Some of these pictures may be used in an update of the web site sometime this summer. It is certainly not necessary to put all of these pictures here in this album, but I thought I might take one or two of each subject and include them here, just so you can see how Ruckman Haus has changed, what with all the new construction they've done.

So have a look at them if you wish; I will use the standard thumbnails to provide you access to them.

Front Hall and Stairs


Second Floor Hall


French Room
and Balcony


Sun Room


Luxembourg Room Balcony


East Garden


East Garden Waterfall


House and Garage Apartment


West Deck


Guy Blair arrived just before ten in the evening; he has come down to San Antonio from Green Bay to go to Big Bend with Prudence, Ron, Karl and Nancy this coming week for their vacation. We picked him up at the airport and just barely made it to the restaurant in time to have dinner with everyone else. We had a chance to talk with Guy on the way from the airport, and for a while this evening; it is always good to see him.


The Vacationers Leave for Big Bend and We Leave for Dallas

On Monday morning, the Ruckmans had to see to their one guest and bring in their house sitters for a familiarization. The rest of us got the big cooler out of the basement and put it on the jeep carrier. Then we went off to Sam's Club to fill the cooler with ice and bottled water for their trip. Guy also needed a hat for the sun, so we made an additional stop at a regular Wal-Mart so he could find just the perfect hat.

We got back to the house about eleven, and had the jeep all loaded. About an hour later, right about noon, Karl, Ron and Guy headed out in the jeep, With Nancy and Prudence following in the SUV. As for Fred and I, we loaded out own stuff in the car and we were off for home just a short while later.

We were sorry that our visit with Guy was so short; we hope for a longer one sometime soon.



The Ruckmans had boarded Max and Cassie, the German Shepherd and the the Labrador Retriever. We heard from Prudence right after their return that while they had all enjoyed their vacation, Max, unfortunately, had died. The vet at the kennel had found a tumor on Max's spleen which had accounted for his lethargic behavior in the few weeks prior, and they had just gotten permission from Ron and Prudence to operate and remove it when Max suffered an apparent heart attack. Prudence and Ron will miss Max very much, with his death coming on the heels of Misty's death late last year.

June 26-29, 2008: The Dreamland Festival in Nashville
May 30 - June 1, 2004: A Trip to the Wichita Mountains
Return to Index for 2008