Nurturing quilts uplift spirits in the courtroom

When children enter Judge Lynn Tepper’s family courtroom in Dade City, they’re often welcomed with healthy snacks, stuffed animals, and lots and lots of books. Another staple in Tepper’s courtroom of late: Dozens of homemade quilts, stitched with an assortment of bright colors, shapes and other unique designs. The quilts are given to adoptive parents and caregivers of infants and young … [Read more...]

Rattlesnake fest not hiss-tory after all

New organizers have stepped forward to take over the management of the San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival & Run, an event that had appeared to be headed toward extinction. The Thomas Promise Foundation will be taking over reins of running the festival, that has been a mainstay in the City of San Antonio for a half-century. The San Antonio Rotary Club had been the festival’s primary … [Read more...]

Festival may slither back to life

The San Antonio Rotary Club is considering four organizations that are interested in taking over the annual San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival & Run. The club announced earlier this month that the 50th festival, held in October, would be its last. “We pulled out all the stops for the 50th annual festival to honor and celebrate this longstanding community fundraiser,” Betty Burke said, … [Read more...]

Glimpsing the upbeat in a gloomy 2016

You don’t have to be a disappointed supporter of Hillary Clinton to have arrived at the notion that 2016 can’t end soon enough. I mean, lots of us got there long before Nov. 8. Simply put, 2016 was, in many respects, a rough year, and not just because of the rancor of the election. We needn’t revisit the particulars here. That’s for the news services, networks and major dailies. Let’s … [Read more...]

Stitching together a life’s big moments

Perhaps it was how she was brought up, or maybe it’s just in her genes, but Sherry Lee Steiert never was interested in being a poster child for polio. Never mind that she’d have made a good one. Struck when she was just 7 years old and paralyzed for a time from the waist down, Steiert survived to create a life that was exceptionally normal — a marriage, four lively children, a career or three — … [Read more...]

Rattlesnake fest hits half-century mark

They weren’t bringing in rattlesnakes that they’d found out in fields or carting in live gopher tortoises to race — but they were having old-fashioned fun at the San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival & Run. Kids scaled up rock walls, people had close encounters with alligators and bands played continuously. The festival, held in San Antonio’s City Park, celebrated its 50th anniversary with a … [Read more...]

A half-century of old-fashioned fun

A half-century ago, the San Antonio Jaycees got together and hatched a plan for a fun way to raise money to support local causes. They figured they could hold a festival, with rattlesnakes as the centerpiece. Over the decades, the leading organizers have changed — and so have some of the particulars — but the essence of the annual event remains the same: Every year, on the third weekend … [Read more...]

Celebrating San Antonio’s small-town charms

When you’re young and restless, Betty Burke says, San Antonio is the sort of town you leave. It’s small. It’s sleepy. It’s a long way from anywhere. It scarcely helps that its mascot is the Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake, the deadliest serpent in North America. More about that in a moment. So you go. To college. To a fast-paced career. To bright lights and busy streets. To places that, … [Read more...]

Music, barrel train rides, food and fun

The old phrase — ‘There’s something for everyone.’ — really rang true at the San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival & Run at San Antonio Park. There was a man who was eating fire, musicians keeping the crowds entertained, and children riding in a train fashioned from barrels. Shoppers could peruse booths featuring everything from homemade soaps to honey, to paintings and horseshoe … [Read more...]