ARCHIVE: Holiday Grub Hub (Rudy’s Bar-B-Que)

Iconic Leon Springs restaurant gears up for Thanksgiving

Story by Pamela Price

This story originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of Leon Springs Community News.

We’ve yet to greet the first trick-or-treaters here in Leon Springs, but the folks at the original Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q are already gearing up for the hectic Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. This means, of course, that it won’t be too long before a familiar autumn scene appears on the IH-10 frontage road: a line of cheerful, patient adults wrapping around the historic eatery’s bright red exterior waiting for their holiday goodies.

Although Rudolph Aue’s family didn’t start serving up barbecue at their erstwhile stage stop turned gas station until 1989, Rudy’s smoked meats and trimmings have come to play a starring role in many Central Texas holiday spreads.

In fact, the upcoming holidays are among the few times each year that the Rudy’s crew departs from the restaurant’s standard menu, offering up an assortment of traditional vittles (gravy, dressing, ham, whole smoked turkeys, ham, and pie) alongside their standard and abundant creamed corn, beans, brisket, turkey, chicken, and sausage.

“It’s a family tradition, for us and our customers, to have the holiday items,” said Shannon Walsh, director of marketing. “At Thanksgiving, our most popular items are the turkeys. For Christmas, it’s the hams.”

Walsh added that although the restaurant began taking holiday orders weeks ago informally, the official start date for holiday orders was October 11. That’s a full 45 days before Turkey Day. Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Holiday Grub Hub (Rudy’s Bar-B-Que)”

ARCHIVE: Sidewalks would support local “green” lifestyle

Trish Baker, Leon Springs Resident

Story and photo by Pamela Price

This story originally appeared in the Leon Springs Community News, June 2010 edition.

For Trish Baker, crossing Boerne Stage Road near the Baywater Stage bridge is a daily habit.

“I go across the street to visit friends at the [Stage Run] neighborhood pool and at their home. I go to garage sales, as well,” says Baker, a resident of The Lodge at Leon Springs who uses a scooter. “I travel down it to H.E.B. and to my primary care doctor’s office and also to my allergy doctor at different times.”

One of Baker’s caregivers, Kay Anders, says of Baker, “She loves to go anywhere… or just travel around looking at the plants in the Hill Country. She loved looking at the wild flowers when they were in bloom.”

Does the regular Boerne Stage Road traveler consider the historic roadway safe for pedestrians?

“No, not all, because of the need for a walkway, or sidewalks, away from the highway,” Baker says, adding “Being able to use or cross Boerne Stage, on my own and not feel afraid, or unsafe because of the traffic, is extremely important to me as a stroke survivor… I have been able to make friends in different areas and maintain a sense of independence because of the road. A sidewalk would make so many lives easier and safer.”

As Leon Springs transitions from a semi-rural to suburban community, foot traffic on Boerne Stage appears to be increasing slowly. Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Sidewalks would support local “green” lifestyle”

ARCHIVE: Preserving Leon Springs’ Character

Story by Pamela Price

This article appeared in the Leon Springs Community News (June 2010).

Signs of encroachment in front of the historic von Plehwe property on Boerne Stage Road. (Image copyright 2010 Pamela Price)


For Mike Taylor, chair of the Leon Springs Business Association, the community’s authentic character and green spaces have value.

“From the perspective of a resident and business owner in Leon Springs, and chairperson of LSBA, I love to see all the new businesses coming to our area. Although with that comes more traffic, more pavement, etcetera,” observes Taylor. “Leon Springs still has a Hill Country feel. I hope it stays that way.”

Taylor notes that the community is outside San Antonio’s 1604 loop and has other “natural barriers” that mark Leon Springs as unique.

“Camp Bullis maintains a large amount of green space to the east of IH-10, and La Cantera and Crownridge also buffer Leon Springs from the city on the west. There is a lot of in-fill along the IH-10 corridor, but the fact that it is interstate highway means that we will never have the stoplights of a US 281, for example. It is also nice to see developers maintain, or regenerate, a native landscape when they build out here.”

Taylor’s reference to US 281 brings to mind the sprawling, fragmented Stone Oak area of NW San Antonio. And when it comes to envisioning Leon Springs’ future, Stone Oak is a bleak possible outcome shuttered at by business leaders, residents, activists and conservationists. Although it once had a environment similar to Leon Springs, much of Stone Oak’s natural character has been obscured or destroyed.

“When I used to drive out IH-10, I would become conscious of—surprised even—at how pretty it was as I came into Leon Springs. Oh, so pretty. The look of it suggests why it held such appeal to early European settlers,” says Marlene Richardson, a former Leon Springs resident who has dedicated over two decades of her life to chronicling local history. “If you look at pictures where John Meusebach came from in Europe, you see that it looks like Leon Springs.” Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Preserving Leon Springs’ Character”

ARCHIVE: Leon Springs Salon Collects Hair for Gulf Spill

Story by  Pamela Price

This article appeared in the Leon Springs Community News (June 2010).

Jennifer Hokanson and Lauri Harris


If you think about it, the notion makes complete sense. Human hair is both renewable and porous, making it potentially useful in mopping up that nasty oil out in the Gulf.

“I first learned that human hair is being collected for the spill from my Aveda representative’s email a few weeks ago,” said Jenifer Hokanson of Salon Soliel in The Boardwalk at Leon Springs. “I thought ‘Wow, what a great idea.’”

As the salon’s owner, Hokanson wasted no time in getting started. Near the shop’s entrance sits a wicker hamper lined with an ordinary kitchen trash bag. Inside are hair clippings collected from recent clients. Once collected and combined with more hair stashed in the back of the salon, the hair will be shipped out and woven into “hair mats,” also referred to as “booms.” 

In May, Aveda began encouraging contributions to Matter of Trust, a San Francisco-based, and non-profit organization. The group regularly collects human hair—as well as animal fur and fleece–to create booms for oil spill clean-ups around the world. Matter of Trust also uses the social media site to illustrate how hair is collected and transformed into oil-sopping mops using nylon stockings. Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Leon Springs Salon Collects Hair for Gulf Spill”

ARCHIVE: Drainage work adds millions to Boerne Stage Road price tag


Boerne Stage Road at Stagewater Run bridge on an ordinary Saturday morning (Copyrighted image)


Story and photo by Pamela Price

This article originally appeared in the Leon Springs Community News (May 2010 edition)

Bexar County Public Works had planned to begin significant improvements to Boerne Stage Road from Cross Mountain to the IH-10 intersection this September. However, due to a decision to make further changes to improve drainage capacity along the route, the project will not go out to bid until the first quarter of 2011.

According to Anna Esquivel, a civil engineering assistant with Bexar County’s Infrastructure Services Department, the project now bears a $10.7 million price tag. This is a $2.5 million increase over the last estimate.

“The new numbers reflects significant price increases related to the channelization,” said Esquivel. “We’re working with a 100-year flood plan, and we knew that we needed to improve drainage even further. Flood control funds came available, so we’re finalizing the project plans now.”

Bexar County’s Flood Control Program and Capital Improvement Projects fund the project, designed to improve both water drainage and traffic flow along the roadway, once a part of a multi-state auto route known as the Old Spanish Trail. TCB, Inc. serves as the contractor for the project; AECOM is the consultant.

Rapid growth along Boerne Stage Road has doubled traffic since 2000. This fact, together with difficulties encountered by emergency crews when Leon Creek floods and public demand, initially sparked the county’s decision to make improvements. Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Drainage work adds millions to Boerne Stage Road price tag”

ARCHIVE: Summit Christian Academy Students Brighten Lives of Children in Haiti

Story by Pamela Price

 Originally printed in May 2010 issue of Leon Springs Community News

In the wake of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake in February, one small local school challenged students to think imaginatively about how they could help survivors.

“We don’t like to sell stuff to raise funds because that gets really old, so we asked our students to create ways to give of themselves,” said Shantel Leininger, marketing coordinator for Summit Christian Academy. “We also asked the kids how many of them slept in a bed last night, and then we told them how many children in Haiti had slept in the mud, on the ground.”

Recalling her reaction to learning about the many lives lost and uprooted by the tragedy, kindergarten student Grace Doss replied, “I felt really, really sad and we were praying for them.”

“We challenged the children to go home and ask for extra chores, offer to mow neighbors lawns and pull weeds,” said Leininger. “Then, rather than taking the money for themselves, we encouraged them to donate the funds.”

Doss donated all of her chore money, earned from helping with laundry and yard work. Her parents matched her $15 donation. Other students also asked their parents to reallocate money for family dinners out and ice cream shop trips to help Haitian children, too. Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Summit Christian Academy Students Brighten Lives of Children in Haiti”

ARCHIVE: Retired Trooper Tinkers with Tomatoes

Story and photo by Pamela Price

Originally printed in May 2010 issue of Leon Springs Community News

Henry Brune, Jr. of Leon Springs, Texas (Image copyright 2010, Pamela Price)

Although he retired as a sergeant from the Texas Department of Public Safety two years ago, Henry Brune, Jr. is still engaged with the law enforcement world. Currently he serves as president of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators. Yet when he’s not fulfilling his presidential duties or traveling with his wife, Brune occupies himself in the couple’s ample garden in the Stage Coach Hills subdivision.

“I don’t grow potatoes or corn or anything that I can get cheaper at the store,” says Brune, gesturing to a large plot filled with young plants growing inside large tin cans to ward off pests.

Brune and his wife, Marjorie, moved into this house 1978, and they’ve gardened here ever since. They’ve cultivated vegetables in this location so long, in fact, that the trees in his and a neighboring yard have begun to compete with the largest of two gardens for sunlight.

“We grow things like tomatoes, peppers, okra, sugar snap peas. We’ve got cucumbers over there that grow well on a fence, Brune says. Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Retired Trooper Tinkers with Tomatoes”