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The Lead Nov. 17, 2022: The turkey is the king of the early Kerrville holiday decorations!

At least one home doesn't fall for early Christmas decorations, respectfully honors the greatness that is Thanksgiving.

Good morning, Kerr County!

We are on the countdown clock for the Kerrville Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday. Let's be clear — it's going to be cold. And is that a bad thing? The National Weather Service says we'll see decreasing clouds today and a high of 59 degrees. There's a chance of rain on Friday, which could lead to some cold temperatures on Saturday. The high Saturday could be 44. Bundle up on Saturday, and hope PAX has some hot chocolate for the parade.

On today's The Lead Live!

We are headed for a big show today with the following guests:

  • Lora Walters battles Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that leads to developmental disabilities, and she will share her story with us. Lora Walters is an engaging person with a bright smile and enthusiasm.
  • Sarah Derousseau of the Hill County Arts Foundation is stopping by the "Scrooge" us. Well, not really. She's going to update us on the foundation's production of "A Christmas Carol,'' which begins its run on Friday.
  • The Kerrville Public School Foundation Executive Director Jen Wittler stops by to share the latest from their efforts to support education in Kerrville.
  • Clifton Fifer will update us on the latest at the Doyle School Community Center.

We'll also have our usual cast of characters, with Leslie Jones providing an advance of weekend events and Andrew Gay updating us on the economy. Coming Friday, Salvation Army Capt. Jeremiah Romack stops by to tell us about next week's Thanksgiving dinner at the Kerrville Kroc Center.


An important note to our readers

In the coming days, we will be moving The Lead to a new website and email service as Meta begins to sunset the Bulletin platform, which is the current host of The Lead. If you paid for a subscription via Meta Facebook, you will be given a refund in December, which means you will have to re-subscribe to The Lead to receive a premium edition. You will still have access to The Lead's content through Jan. 1, but we hope to transition away from Meta in early December. We will have more details about subscriptions in the coming days.

The gauntlet has been thrown down!

As many of you know, we're getting ready to start our second annual Christmas Holiday Lights Tour, but we saw something Wednesday night that indicated the competition would be intense. Our 2021 grand champion winner, the home at the corner of Bluebonnet Drive and North Lewis Avenue, said not so fast on Christmas and delivered this spectacular Thanksgiving turkey! Yes, they decorated for Thanksgiving. Just a reminder, if you'd like for us to stop by and photograph your home for Christmas just RSVP here:

More on Christmas!

Rose Bradshaw and the crew at SoFast Printing delivered in a big way with a zig-zag Christmas Tree that features the sponsors of the Light The Island Event on Friday night. With a new electrical connection, the 5:30 p.m. lighting of Tranquility Island in Louise Hays Park will take on even more special meaning this year with this display.

Today's events:


  • A River Runs Through it Online Auction — Riverside Nature Center, through Nov. 21. Information: To enter the aucton: The details: Riverside Nature Center is launching a fundraising campaign to benefit Hill Country's environmental education and community outreach programs. To better serve their community, RNC is raising donations with an online auction on the virtual fundraising platform. Some coveted eco-adventure travel and sports items include a guided fly-fishing trip, a three-day kayak or paddleboard package for two, a birdwatching tour and cabin for two, and an Electra Townie 7D Comfort bicycle.

The arts

  • Texas Furniture Makers Show — Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Information: The details: Texas Furniture Makers' Show® is an annual statewide Competition of the Finest Custom Furniture Makers in Texas. The show is held at the beautiful Kerr Arts & Cultural Center.
  • Works We Love Show — Museum of Western Art, 10 a.m. Information: The details: "Works We Love," featuring Fred Harman, creator of "Red Ryder and Little Beaver." Also on display are works from our permanent collection.

Markets and sales

  • Art Mart — Hill Country Arts Foundation, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Dec. 17. Information: The details: The annual Hill Country Arts Foundation showcase of hand-made arts and crafts by area artists. Gift ideas that are perfect for holiday giving.

Live music

  • Charity Gayle — Calvary Temple Church, 6:30 p.m. Information: The details: A night of worship with the talented singer/songwriter Charity Gayle. She is a powerful vocalist with a reminiscent sound and is the author of "Thank You Jesus for the Blood," "Cleansed," and many more anointed worship songs.
  • The Collector's Edition — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Boutique, 6 p.m. Information:
  • Retro Flashback — Southern Sky Music Cafe, 6:30 p.m. Information:

A birdwatching rock star visited Kerrville

Birding author and photographer Richard Crossley chats with some of his fans during a book signing at Wildbirds Unlimited in Kerrville on Tuesday.

In the world of bird watching, there's probably no bigger star than the photographer and conservationist Richard Crossley, whose Crossley ID Guide to Birds is one of the world's top books of its kind.

Crossley was in Kerrville on Tuesday to give chats at the Riverside Nature Center and Wild Birds Unlimited, and he did it in front of standing-room-only audiences.

Through the years, Crossley struck up a friendship with Wildbirds Unlimited franchise owners Linda and Kevin Pillow, and it was the photographer's idea to come to Kerrville.

Crossley signs one of his books on waterfowl during a book signing on Tuesday.

Wildbirds Unlimited owner Kevin Pillow shows off his well-worn copy of one of Crossley's books.

"I hope you understand that Kevin and Linda (Pillow) are very special people and special people create special teams," Crossley told the Wildbirds Unlimited audience.

Crossley's fame comes from the unique styling of his books, with each page dedicated to a specific species. The books provide examples of bird behavior and how to view them. But he also considers the connection of birding essential. He also believes introducing children to the pastime is another component, and he's done it across the U.S.

A native of England, Crossley found his way to the United States to visit New Jersey's Cape May — one of the meccas for birders. He's made his way across the world in pursuit of birds.

Schreiner University receives an early Christmas present

From left, Schreiner University Professor Deb Connor, Schreiner University student Zooey Cooper and Rep. Andrew Murr inspect the Christmas ornament Cooper designed and painted. The ornament will hang on the Texas House of Representatives Christmas Tree.

Schreiner University senior Zooey Cooper was given an unexpectedly challenging task — a Christmas ornament. Now, that doesn't seem so hard, but painting on glass and for a statewide audience isn't always easy.

Cooper's task came from the top — Rep. Andrew Murr, representing the 53rd district, including Kerr County. Cooper's work will ultimately head to Austin for the Texas House of Representatives Christmas Tree. Every ornament is uniform, but each reflects unique elements from the respective districts.

For Cooper, a senior design major from San Antonio, incorporating Schreiner University's centennial year and mountain lion into the glass bulb was hard work.

"It was an honor to do," said Cooper, adding that the project was supposed to be a two-person project, but her partner couldn't commit because of their schedule. So, the task fell to Cooper, with the aid of Professor Deb Connor, who teaches art and photography.

"I really wanted to bring in the festive spirit for Schreiner," Cooper said.

Murr, for one, thought she did it beautifully.

"My experience from previous artists is that it is very difficult to paint on a curved glass surface," Murr said. "Many folks decline to do it for that very reason."


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