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: Catching the Bus: Leon Springs Elementary School faculty gears up for new year

Story and photograph by Pamela Price

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

LSE teachers Shirley Wittneben, Vicki Eoff and Taelor Swaney climb aboard a luxury bus as part of their in-service training. Image copyright: Pamela Price, 2010

While area children gathered up pencils, paper and erasers in anticipation of autumn, teachers at Leon Springs Elementary School climbed aboard a luxurious charter bus to start the school year off in high style–and learn a thing or two on the ride.

The August 16 bus trip kicked off the school’s annual back-to-school training. Earlier that morning, principal Kathy Dodge-Clay welcomed new and seasoned teachers to campus for a full week of activities.

In the library, it was hard to miss the week’s theme, “Hop on the Energy Bus.” Images of traditional yellow buses graced the official schedule and table decorations– just as they had the invitations sent to teachers earlier in the summer.

“On our campus, we have many veteran teachers. I feel that it’s important to invite them back to school every year,” said Dodge-Clay, who has served as principal at Leon Springs for 12 years. She added that this year she’s welcoming a record number of new teachers, too. Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Catching the Bus: Leon Springs Elementary School faculty gears up for new year”

ARCHIVE: Poetry in Nature: Rosslyn St. Clair Profile

Story and photographs by Pamela Price

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

Rosslyn St. Clair with her sunflowers (Image copyright: Pamela Price, 2010)


In a quiet neighborhood off of IH-10 West at the very point where the highway climbs into the Texas hill country, a local grower cultivates a variety of succulents, edible and ornamental plants to sell at San Antonio-area markets.

Because Rosslyn St. Clair’s home is also her private nursery, there’s a delightful tumble of pots, beds, greenhouses, and containers surrounding the modest house. Herbs, hanging baskets, flowers—one finds a little bit of everything in the yard. There’s visible evidence of her commitment to growing organically, too.  For example and on a recent evening, bags of leaf mulch sat near the home’s entrance, waiting to be distributed.

“I started Flor Hermosa Nursery in 1999,” says St. Clair. “My first greenhouse was my garage. I would move plants and drag them out during that first winter. I now have five small greenhouses of varying shapes and sizes.” Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Poetry in Nature: Rosslyn St. Clair Profile”

ARCHIVE: Lively Live Music Venues Rock Leon Springs

Story and photograph by Pamela Price

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

The stage at Scenic Loop Cafe (Image copyright Pamela Price)

Live music has been part of the Leon Springs community at least since the days when locals and Camp Stanley soldiers mingled at the old “B-29 Club.”

Recently and as the community has become suburban in character, a crop of new restaurants pairing music and food has appeared. Of these, the majority are open-air, family friendly venues that provide residents of all ages a chance to enjoy live performances under starry skies.

To help readers explore the combo food and music scene better, we’ve put together this overview of neighborhood hotspots. For more detailed information on upcoming musical acts–including ticket prices, please visit the venues’ respective websites except where noted.

Leon Springs Dance Hall – The big, eye-catching barn went up alongside IH-10 in the early 1990s, giving then-upstart musicians like The Dixie Chicks a place to perform. Things at the dance hall have been comparatively slow the last several years, but that will change in August. Thanks to a new booking agent, the venue will feature local and national acts Thursday through Saturday evenings. Owner Richard Ojeda promises Sundays will be family friendly with cheap eats, snow cones, popcorn and a moon bounce, too. 24135 W IH-10 • 210-698-7070 • Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Lively Live Music Venues Rock Leon Springs”

ARCHIVE: Getting Out of the House (Dominion Business Center profile)

Story and photograph by Pamela Price

Bobby Freeman (Image copyright Pamela Price)

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

The world of work is changing rapidly. Take for instance the rise of telecommuting, which is increasingly popular not only because employees enjoy the flexibility and convenience it affords but also because entrepreneurs and business owners have discovered it’s budget-savvy.

Trouble is, if you’ve spent your week working in pajamas at your “virtual office,” then your real house isn’t always presentable for clients or teleconferencing. And then there are the inevitable distractions—phone marketers, the doorbell, Facebook, telenovelas—and, perhaps most troublesome, the loneliness one can encounter when stuck at home all day.

“People want to work from home but not ‘be’ at home,” said Bobby Freeman, co-owner of the Dominion Business Center. Freeman opened the company in May with partners Ryan Kohnen and Dennis Stanko, “Sometimes when you’re working from home, you need to get out and see life, conduct some business.”

The Dominion Business Center provides support for folks in that predicament via a cheerful suite of conference-style rooms in a building at 4 Dominion Drive. The bulk of the center’s clients include computer firms, marketing and public relations professionals, entrepreneurs, and consultants. One local title company uses the site now for some closings.

“It’s a professional meeting space where my staff and I can gather. We all run virtual offices most of the time, working from home, coffee shops and restaurants,” said Debi Pfitzenmaier of PfitzPR. “Frankly, I got tired of smelling like coffee, having business meetings at restaurants and, as my business grew, I really didn’t want to continue using my home address as my business address. Dominion Business Center gave me a professional and affordable option. I can host clients there, give presentations and hold face to face brainstorming and collaborative meetings.” Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Getting Out of the House (Dominion Business Center profile)”

ARCHIVE: Farmer’s Market Celebrates Local Food, Nurtures Community


Image copyright Pamela Price


Story and photograph by Pamela Price

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

When it comes to open-air markets featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s the large, urban Pearl Farmer’s Market that gets most press coverage locally. As it happens, the more intimate Leon Springs Farmer’s Market is slightly older and has its own dedicated fan base. Plus, seeing as it’s situated between Leon Creek and the emerald-green hills from which the community’s namesake spring gurgles forth, the market’s air is fresher, too.

Admittedly, this reporter is partial to our community’s Saturday morning market, having been a customer since it’s inception. In interest of full disclosure, I’ve helped prepare the market’s newsletter and pitched in with special projects over the last two years, too.

It doesn’t take an insider to appreciate the market’s unusual history, however. Founded in August 2007, the market came to be when then-city council candidate Mario Obledo promised Leon Springs voters that he’d create a market for them even if he didn’t win election.

Yes, Obledo lost his bid for the District 8 seat, but Leon Springs landed a market manager. Continue reading “ARCHIVE: Farmer’s Market Celebrates Local Food, Nurtures Community”

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”