Archive for the ‘Smithville Chamber’ Category

SatMay201325

Veterans Memorial Park in Smithville, Texas

Honoring the fallen in Smithville

About halfway between La Grange and Bastrop, nestled on the banks of the Colorado River, lies the town of Smithville, Texas; population: 3,817.

Cornyn

Cornyn

It’s an idyllic Texas town with a brick-and-mortar Main Street that retains the charm of an earlier era.  And though it may be small, Smithville’s contributions to Texas and to the United States are extraordinary.

Since its founding in 1827, this Texas town has established an incredible tradition of military service.  For nearly two centuries, its sons and daughters have answered the call to serve their country.

From the ranks of General Sam Houston’s army, to the war-torn fields of France, to the valleys of Afghanistan – and everywhere in between – Smithville has always stood on the frontlines of history.

This has not been without sacrifice.  Between 2006 and 2011, Smithville and the surrounding region lost seven of its own in Iraq and Afghanistan – three falling in the line of duty in less than twelve months.

In a community of this size, the loss is felt throughout.  As resident Lucille Bartsch put it, “When something happens to somebody, it happens to everybody.”

With each loss, the people of Smithville banded together in an outpouring of love and community strength.  They knew that they needed to do something to permanently honor the memory of their neighbors and make sure their sacrifices would never be forgotten.

Under the leadership of Mayor Mark Bunte, the town undertook an ambitious project to construct a park that would rightfully memorialize these heroes of Smithville, as well as all Texans who have served in the military.  They envisioned a place where the community could gather to “pay homage to all families whose husbands, wives, sons, and daughters have given the ultimate sacrifice,” as Mayor Bunte explained.

After nearly three years of tireless work, the Smithville Texas Veterans Memorial Park will officially open this Memorial Day.  I am honored to have the privilege of participating in the dedication ceremony on Monday morning.

We will dedicate this park to all the men and women who have stood bravely on the frontlines of freedom and fought off the dark and tyrannical forces that would do us harm.  We will dedicate it to the veterans living amongst us, and the veterans who live on in our hearts.

And we will dedicate it to Pfc. Tina Priest, Spc. Joshua Farris, Captain Joshua Meadows, Lance Cpl. Cody Stanley, Sgt. Mario Rodriguez, Staff Sgt. Joe Altman, and Chief Petty Officer Matthew Mills – the heroes of Bastrop County who laid down their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan so that we could live freely.

Liberty is the birthright of all Americans.  But liberty requires constant guardians – it needs brave men and women willing to take up arms in its defense.  Smithville has produced more than its fair share of such guardians.  In doing so, it has come to embody the very best of the American spirit, and this park is a testament to that.

In the face of tragedy, the people of Smithville have shown love and resolve.  At every turn they have shown what great strength can be drawn from living by a simple commandment: love thy neighbor.

While this park cannot fill the hole left in the hearts of the bereaved, I hope that it will bring solace through the fact that the memory of those to whom it is dedicated will never be forgotten.

This Memorial Day, let us rededicate ourselves to the great founding principles of our Republic that so many men and women have given their lives to defend.  May we count each day as a gift from the fallen; may we endeavor to be worthy of this gift; and may God always bless Texas and the United States of America.

For more information check the Smithville Times.

Smithville Veterans Memorial Park

Smithville Veterans Memorial P

 


FriMay201324

Smithville, Texas’ own Playhouse

Three Penny Opera, A Musical, Book by Bertolt Brecht/Music by Kurt Weill – Join the Playhouse cast for this classic musical.  This is a world in which capitalism fosters greed, love doesn’t last, and double dealing is the golden rule while celebrating sinners for their inextinguishable life-force and the pure energy that radiates from their misconduct.  They are bad-bad-bad and they make the best of it.  A romantic comedy that is fun like none other with music like none other directed by john  daniels, jr. (sic) like none other. All this and Mac the Knife too… “Oh, the shark bites with its tooth dear and he keeps them pearly white…”  Opens Friday, May 24, 7:30pm.  Show runs May 24, 25, 30, 31, June 1, 7, 8 (7:30pm).  Tickets are $15.00 at www.playhousesmithville.com or call 512-360-7397 for reservations.
Playhouse Smithville 110 Main Street Smithville, TX 78957 512-360-7397 www.playhousesmithville.com
For more information on Smithville, visit the Chamber page at www.smithvilletx.org
For Lodging visit the Katy House Bed and Breakfast web site at www.katyhouse.com or call 512 237 4262
Sallie Blalock

TueMay201321

Texas Bed and Breakfast Board meeting

It was a great meeting.  We met at Eva’s Escape at the Gardenia Inn,  in San Antonio, Texas.  Our main topic was our upcoming convention, September 8 through September 10, 2013 in New Braunfels at  T Bar M Resort.  There will be a Pre-convention Workshop for those that are interested in starting a Bed and Breakfast,  called “Innkeeping: The Basics.”

For more information call the TBBA Administration Office – 800-428-0368 or email info@tbba.org

The schedule of workshops will be on the Texas Bed and Breakfast Website soon!

I am now back in Smithville and at the Katy House Bed and Breakfast. Sallie Blalock, 512-237-4262

www.Katyhouse.com

Plan to attend this informative and fun convention.

 

 


WedApr201218

DOONBY, filmed in Smithville, TX Opens

Review:by the Christian Movie Guide

DOONBYis a very intriguing story about a holy fool character. The holy fool is a medieval and Renaissance Christ character used in French and even Russian literature as a Christ figure who comes from nowhere to transform people’s lives.John Schneider plays Sam Doonby, who drifts into a small Southern town (Smithville, TX) and starts to protect people from one disaster after another. For instance, two thugs hold up a bar where he gets a job, and Doonby saves the owner from being shot. Doonby saves a baby from being hit by a Mack truck. He also saves a young woman from being killed by a deranged killer who’s escaped a mental asylum in New York. During all this, Doonby attracts a following as a bartender and a singer. Several women throw themselves at Doonby, but he acts with the utmost chivalry and respect.As the story develops, there are flashbacks to Doonby’s youth. Doonby thought his mother was a beautiful blonde angel, but she hung out on the wrong side of town at the wrong bars and with the wrong men. Eventually, she abandons him.

Beneath all the good that’s happening in the small town, there’s the deeper story of who is Doonby. When the girl who loves him refuses to accept love and denies him, the audience finds out the shocking truth.

The first half of DOONBY flows very well. There are some extra plot issues inserted at that point. These issues create a few minor plot diversions. Even so, the Twilight Zone ending is compelling and designed to help people understand the value of life.

DOONBY has a good cast of known veterans and newcomers. Jenn Gotzon does a wonderful job in her role as Laura Reaper, although there are one or two scenes where the direction of her scene is over the top. John Schneider gives one of his better performances, which could have been improved by better direction. Norma McCorvey, who was the legal “Jane Roe” in the landmark American lawsuit Roe vs. Wade that legalized abortion, plays a strong pro-life first role in the movie to help proclaim her faith and change of heart in real life. Overall, however, DOONBY is a movie with an important story that’s interesting to watch.

DOONBY displays a lot of latent talent on the part of the filmmakers. Movieguide® commends them for all their hard work. That said, there’s a lot of drinking, carousing, and some scary violence in the movie, so caution is recommended, especially for pre-adolescents. Even so, DOONBY has a very strong Christian worldview with a pro-life message.

 
(This movie was filmed in Smithville Tx.  The bar, Huebel’s,  near the Katy House Bed and Breakfast was used as the bar in the movie where Sam Doonby found a job.  You will see many areas of Smithville in the movie. For info on the town of Smithville see the chamber page at http://www.smithvilletx.org/   Sallie Blalock)

WedApr20124

Playhouse Smithville presents “The Imaginary Invalid”

With your permission and for your pleasure Playhouse Smithville presents Moliere’s comic satire and farce The Imaginary Invalid. Artistic Director john daniels, jr. (sic) adapts, directs and stars as Argan, the theatre’s most famous hypochondriac. Live music, dance, gypsies, and the Playhouse treatment of a classic comedy, drives this steampunk, grunge rock indictment of the heeling/ healing arts. Come take your medicine!  Plays April 13-28, 7:30pm at Playhouse Smithville, 110 Main Street, Smithville, TX 78957.  Tickets are $10.00 at www.playhousesmithville.com or call (512) 360-7397.
 
P.S. the Playhouse is just a block from our B&B, the Katy House Bed and Breakfast.  It is great fun to have live theater here in Smithville, Texas.  Come check out our great small town. For info on Smithville go to the Chamber of Commerce web site.   www.smithvilletx.org
 

MonFeb201220

Tom Tierney’s Texas Paper Doll Party

Tom Tierney & Kathy O’Tierney invited you to

4th Annual Texas Paper Doll Party

Sat, Mar 31, 2012 from 9:30 PM
to Sun, Apr 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Where:
Tom-Kat Paper Dolls
216 Main Street
Smithville TX 78602

Our Bed and Breakfast is one block from Main Street and the Paper Doll Party. Give the Katy House a call if we can help you plan a trip our way. (512) 236-4262.  www.katyhouse.com

 


ThuFeb20122

Real ‘Jane Roe’ in movie Doonby, filmed in Smithville, TX

Real ‘Jane Roe’ Makes Pro-Life Case in Upcoming Feature Film ‘Doonby’

by Hollywoodland

 

Norma McCorvey, better known as the plaintiff at the heart of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case, wasn’t seeking a big-screen film career.

She simply couldn’t pass up the chance to play a woman who tries convincing a pregnant woman to keep her baby.

McCorvey, who famously had a change of heart regarding abortion following the landmark ruling, has a small but pivotal role in the upcoming feature “Doonby.”

“Doonby” stars John Schneider, Robert Davi, Jennifer O’Neill, Joe Estevez and Ernie Hudson in the tale of a drifter who arrives in a small Texas town and creates a stir when his past is slowly revealed. The film will have several sneak screenings on Feb. 10 and 17 in Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee before opening in late spring/early summer.

By Sallie Blalock:  this movie was filmed in our little Texas town- Smithville, Texas.  Come visit our town and see sites that have been used in 18 movies over the the last 15 years. Our Katy House Bed and Breakfast is only one block from Main Street. Please visit our web site at www.katyhouse.com    The Chamber site is www.smithvilletx.org


WedFeb20121

Smithville TX’s Playhouse presents “Chrome Cruisin ’50′s

DINNER THEATER AT PLAYHOUSE SMITHVILLE

 

Playhouse Smithville brings you this years dinner theatre with a strut:  Chrome Cruisin’ ‘50’s, a time when everything had fenders, fins, and skirts… the cars, the girls, the guys, the TV’s, the Drive-Ins, the politics, the poetry, and the music. A live memorabilia tour, cabaret and dinner theatre by Playhouse Artistic Director playwright,john daniels, jr. (sic).

The Playhouse “gives you a rockin’ good time” with the band Vintage 259.  Matt Torrez, Michael McGary, and Joel Daniels return to drive the sound.  Vintage 259 provided the music for The Playhouses’ first show Little Shop of Horrors. Over thirty songs from the Decade of “I Like Ike!” to spark your memories, and make you want to dance.

Comedy rules in Chrome Cruisin’ ‘50’s as The Playhouse Company revives the humor of early television and comedy teams like Nichols and May.  It’s not all laughs, though.  Just like in ‘50’s, television live drama makes an appearance.  Chrome Cruisin’ remembers the Beat Poets and salutes Sci-Fi film too. 

In the Ed Wood tradition Playhouse Smithville gives you a new 1950’s Sci-Fi classic, “Christmas Time On Mars” written byjohn daniels, jr. and directed by Jon-Michael Williford.  “Well, it is an independent film,” says the Playhouse Artistic Director.

Rock-N-Roll, comedy, drama, poetry, a movie, and a gourmet hot dog provided by Smithville’s own Frankendog (with lots of groovy toppings),  yummy sides and delicious desserts makes the date. 

 

Sam Blasco, Shelby Brown, and Tom and Jo Watts, all of Smithville, join the Playhouse for the first time.  The cast of twenty includes Pam Latham, Lia Nelson, Jim Woodruff, Jim Sanders, A.J. Fuex, Lisa Picciandra, Lisa Holcomb, Geoffrey Goerlitz, Brad Wilbourn, Sydney Hight, Bonnie Watts, and Brandon Flippo.

Brandonon loan from the Blinn College Theatre Department is the technical director and designer for the show.

Playhouse Executive Director, April Daniels will have you waltzing in the aisles and Kayla Jo Williams appears in her twelfth Playhouse production.  (yes, that is every show!)
“So, agitate the gravel, Clyde and cast an eyeball, Daddy-O… its boss at the Playhouse (in Smithville-the word from the bird.)  You can dress the part dig, if you’re hip.”  Limited seating.  Tickets at www.playhousesmithville.com or call 512-360-7397.  Shows Feb. 3-14, dinner at 6:30, show at 7:30.

The Katy House Bed and Breakfast is one block away. If we can help you plan your trip to Smithville give us a call or visit our web site at http://www.katyhouse.com    (512) 237-4262

 


MonAug201129

A Year in France- Living Like a Local, hosted by Smithville Chamber.

 

Join Smithville native, Shelley Row, and her husband, Michael Miron, as they share stories from their year living inFrance.

 Lots of people talk about living abroad, but Shelley and Mike did it! 

  Hear about baking croissants, see pictures of harvesting grapes, and experienceFrance’s very own country western line dance troupe, the Coyote Dancers of Cotignac!    

 Shelley may take home some Texasbarbeque, but she’ll leave behind a bit of inspiration from their French life, adventures and even a little danger.

Don’t miss this chance. Shelley isn’t in town often!

 Smithville Public Library- September 22-  6:30p.m. to 7:30p.m.

This presentation is hosted by the Smithville Chamber of Commerce.

 Shelley is providing this presentation free of charge for her hometown crowd.  Optional donations to the Smithville Public Library are welcome.

 Shelley Row, P.E.   531 6th Street,Annapolis,MD21403  Shelley@shelleyrow.com  www.shelleyrow.com    http://mikeandshelleysfrenchadventures.blogspot.com

Shelley is a transportation engineer and senior government executive. She has inspired audiences at the Department of Transportation, the Transportation Research Board and has upcoming engagements inMichigan,Georgia,Maryland,Washington,D.C.andIdaho.

 


TueJun201121

Smithville, TX Goes Hollywood

 Who would have thought that we would get to meet movie stars and have them stay in our Bed and Breakfast?  Check out  this new  article from the Houston Chronicle. I love the last line: “They are beyond film-friendly,” Patterson says. “There’s something almost magical about filming in Smithville.”

Texas’ quaint Smithville goes Hollywood

By MELANIE WARNER SPENCER
Copyright 2011, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

June 21, 2011, 12:09AM

 Road trippers, business travelers and other rambling types who have driven the stretch of highway between Houston and Austin likely have spied the big “Smithville, Home of Hope Floats sign off of Texas 71. Despite the town’s proud history with the 1998 Sandra Bullock movie, Smithville likely isn’t the first place to spring to mind when most people think about Texas film. Since 2008, however, when Texas writer/director Terrence Malick shot much of his Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or award-winning opus The Tree of Life in Smithville, the sleepy hamlet has served as the backdrop for nine feature films and a variety of shorts, commercials and Web series. “It’s a beautiful town,” says John Patterson, location manager for The Tree of Life. “For six weeks, we filmed in one neighborhood. Part of the idea was having a neighborhood in the ’50s where the boys could run yard to yard without fences and without knowing whose yard they are in.”The film is set in the Midwest and focuses on the relationship of the eldest of three sons, Jack (played by Sean Penn), with his father (Brad Pitt). It tackles questions about relationships, faith, innocence lost and the meaning of life. Smithville offers a wealth of virtually untouched ’50s-era architecture, as well as Victorian, ’60s, ’70s and contemporary suburban streetscapes.The former made it a natural location for the movie, but according to Patterson, Smithville had much more to offer than just a great look. “We really got to know the town,” Patterson says. “Some of the cast and crew lived right in town and rented houses and rode their bikes to the set. It’s a pretty unique way to make a film.” Rather than using the ubiquitous trucks and trailers for hair and makeup, wardrobe and stars dressing rooms, they rented out a house for each department or actor to use as a base. While logistics and location are key, there is one thing that comes up every time you talk to a person who has worked on a film in Smithville: “It comes down to the people who live there,” Patterson says. “They all know it’s a special place. They are happy to be there and happy to show it off.” Quenby Iandiorio, a wardrobe supervisor and set costumer who moved to Austin from Los Angeles in 2010, has worked on three movies in Smithville in the past year: Beneath the Darkness, a thriller starring Dennis Quaid; Doonby, a drama featuring John Schneider; and Natural Selection, a dark comedy starring Rachael Harris by writer-director and Houston-native Robbie Pickering.The latter swept Austin’s South by Southwest film festival in March, nabbing the Grand Jury Prize for narrative feature filmmaking, the festival Audience Award and jury prizes for music, editing and screenplay, as well as breakthrough performance honors for Harris and Matt O’Leary. Iandiorio has both commuted to Smithville and lived there during production. (Beneath the Darkness is due in theaters in October; Doonby and Natural Selection are awaiting distribution deals.)”I totally dug it,” Iandiorio says. “It was a small town, and it’s really easy to get to work every day and change locations. When I was living there, it was magnificent. To be able to ride your bike to set blew my mind, coming from L.A.”While it was at times challenging to find clothing at the last minute, Iandiorio says it’s just part of doing this kind of work in Central Texas. “No matter how much you prepare for a trip, something comes up,” Iandiorio says. “Even in Austin there aren’t the resources that I’m used to having (in L.A.). It’s more challenging to get what the director wants if it’s not already in your collection. But nobody is going to have everything. … You have to shop for it and go secondhand and vintage.”Echoing Patterson’s sentiments, Iandiorio says it’s all about the residents, who are quick to assist the crew and for whom hometown hospitality is matter-of-fact. “Everyone lends themselves to the production,” Iandiorio says. “The small filmmakers wouldn’t be able to do these productions without their assistance. Film commissioner Sheila Tamble really rolls out the red carpet for people and opens up her house. Her husband’s cooking is amazing. Robert would cook for 70 people for lunch at night when we are shooting.” For Tamble, a Smithville native and real estate broker who got into the business quite by accident after showing a house to Malick prior to the shooting of The Tree of Life, it’s about bringing something unique to her community. “What I like is exposing our youth to different opportunities,” Tamble says. “They use the kids a lot in the films. They see the hair, the wardrobe. Our school district, like a lot all over Texas, can’t afford the arts. It’s the best way to show the children up front what it is.”Tamble and other enterprising community leaders in Smithville also recognize the economic benefits of being a film-friendly community. They have made permitting, security and other processes and procedures quick and easy for filmmakers. The mayor allows crews to office out of and hold casting calls at City Hall, and the police department is available to lead directors through the proper steps of a crime scene investigation. In return, thousands of movie-making dollars flood into the town and into the hands of its business owners and residents, who rent out their businesses, homes and guesthouses to crews. They have been known to lend or lease personal property, including planes, vehicles, a bottle of champagne in the middle of the night, farm equipment and even livestock to productions. Tamble’s rooster, Colonel Sanders struts his stuff in Doonby and Five Time Champion. (The latter was an indie favorite at SXSW and Dallas film festivals.)Local nonprofits reap the benefits from the industry, too. Tamble says producers from The Tree of Life, donated fruit trees to the community gardens. During the filming of Beneath the Darkness, Quaid participated in a Blue Santa benefit that raised more than $10,000. And Darkness director Martin Guigui is planning to return in October for the Smithville Music Festival. “The economic impact is something we see more because we are a small community,” Tamble says. “Tree of Life’s impact was about $725,000, not including what cast and crew spent on their own time.”The chamber of commerce has also gotten in on the action, creating a city map that pinpoints locations from the various movies and revamping its website, http://www.smithvilletx.org/, to include up-to-date details on current and past movies. Its tagline is: “A film-, family- and business-friendly community.” “They are beyond film-friendly,” Patterson says. “There’s something almost magical about filming in Smithville.”

melanie.spencer@chron.com
Read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/7618946.html#ixzz1Pwdol9q9


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