New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 2, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
Millionaire restores West Texas hamlet
New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung
Tuesday, Dec. 2,1980
NANCY® bv Ernie Bushmilier
By JAMES R. KING
LAJITAS, Texas (AP) — When you enter the saloon in this remote West Texas town on the Rio Grande and ask questions of a tall man in a cowboy hat, you may be relieved that he does not fire shots into the floor around your feet and say, ‘‘Dance, stranger! ”
Instead, more than likely he’ll smile and direct you to the town’s “chief of public relations.”
For despite its small size and obscure location, I^ajitas is no hick town where cowboys come to drink hard liquor and chase loose women. ‘‘We couldn’t be considered hicks,” says Ray Mimier, the town’s director of public relations.
Old West towns may not have needed PR men in Wyatt Earp’s time, but Wyatt Earp didn’t drop more than $12 million to attract visitors to Dodge City like wealthy Houston investor Walter Mischer has done here.
“The whole town is built on the premise of a Western movie set,” says Mimier, and although the town itself has not yet been used in a movie, the production crew of the film “Bar-barosa”, starring Willie Nelson, lived here while filming in the surrounding countryside in September and October.
Mischer, a Houston millionaire who bought the entire community of nine persons and 1,280 acres from rancher Rex Ivey back in 1959, could not have
picked a more appropriate place to satisfy lusts for a 19th Century Western fantasy.
I^ajitas, formerly a smugglers’ rendezvous point, is located on the Texas side of the Rio Grande on the western edge of the Big Bend National Park, between Contrabando Canyon and the Rattlesnake Mountains.
Since he bought it, Mischer has restored a small church and an opry house, turned an old Army fort into a motel that still looks like an old fort and built 13 condominiums and a replica of an Old West town, complete with an old fashioned hotel that charges modern day rates of $30 a night. Mischer did not have to do anything to the century-old trading post.
Tourists can buy cowboy boots and other Western wear in the dry goods store, clomp up and down the genuine boardwalk, ride horses in the mountains and drink “red-eye” in the “Badlands Saloon.”
Mimier says visitors who tire of playing cowboy can hike into the wilderness, ride rafts or canoes down the Rio Grande, lie in the sun or frolic in the Lajitas swimming pool.
Wait a minute. Doc Holliday didn’t get to relax in a swimming pool after he helped clean up Tombstone.
“What can I tell you — ifs not really part of the Western motif,” Mimier conceded. “But the perimeter of the pool
is made of natural fieldstone, local to the area.”
Mimier said the population of I^ajitas has risen to 30 permanent residents, mostly people whose jobs are linked to the tourist trade, and it is still growing. Bulldozers and construction workers were erecting new $24,000 to $35,000 condominiums as Mimer spoke. Residential lots go for $2,200 to $8,500, depending on the size and the view.
Of the 13 condominiums built so far, five have been sold and the others are in a “rent pool,” Mimier said.
“This is Walter Mischer’s personal project and he wants to make this the Palm Springs of Texas.” Mischer Corp. literature compares the restoration here to that in colonial Williamsburg, Va.
A Mischer Corp. press kit on Lajjtas described it as having “a brawling, lusty history shot through with shoot-ups, shoot-outs, lynchings, Indian massacres, outlaws on the run, damsels in distress, Mexican revolutions....”
Visitors to the trading post, run by Bill Ivey, son of the rancher who sold this land to Mischer more than 20 years ago, often ask about the pockmarks on the adobe wall inside the historic structure. They look like bulletholes.
But Ivey, who graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in economics and not public relations, said, “I think most of them were made by people driving nails into the wall to hang pictures.”
IX)S ANGELES < AP) — Ronald Reagan’s limousine stops for red lights.
That’s what the driver of a Secret Service station wagon learned Monday, when Reagan’s motorcade stopped abruptly for a traffic signal.
The Secret Service wagon, which was directly behind Reagan’s car, ran into the back of the president-elect’s car, bending the rear bumper. Grillwork on the front of the Secret
Service car was smashed, and the seven-car motorcade pulled over to the side of the road.
The station wagon, loaded with weapons to be used in case of attack, had to be left behind while the rest of the motorcade proceeded to Reagan’s Pacific Palisades home.
A Secret Service spokesman said the accident ocurred because of a brake problem in the station wagon. Reagan, who was sitting in the back seat of his car at the time, was not injured.
By STELLA WILDER
Tuesday, Dec. 2
Born today, you will be ambitious even as a child, and yofl should not be far into adulthood before you reach
success. You are a hard worker; indeed, many consider you a perfectionist, for you will not rest until you have satisfied yourself that you can do no better. Sensitive, somewhat moody, inclined
All in the Family Sanford and Son
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toward introspection, you nevertheless enjoy the company of others and, in fact, do your very best work in front of an audience. You are artistic, but in no way opposed to transforming art into a commercial success.
You are exceptionally cooperative in spite of your changeable nature. Though you seem temperamentally unsuited to joint enterprise, when involved in joint effort, you usually end by giving more than anyone else to the endeavor.
Also bom on this date are: Julie Harris, actress; Adolph Green, noted lyricist.
To see what is in store for you tomorrow, find your birthday and read the corresponding paragraph. Ix't your birthday star be your daily guide.
Wednesday, Dec. 3
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)—Take your cue from the recent past and you’ll not repeat mistakes that have slowed you down.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan.
19)—Important decisions must be made shortly. Use your time today to investigate some minor points.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)— Seek support for a new project still in the idea stage. Contracts should be read by an expert!
Pisces (Feb. 19-March
20)—You should be able to regain support recently for-
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PEANUTS® by Charles M. Schulz
IVE REAP A LOT ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN WHEN HE WAS AN ATTORNEY...
NOT ONCE, ON THE PAY OF ATRIAL, WAS HE UNABLE TO FINO THE COURTHOUSE
GARFIELD™ By Jim Davis
CI NEE!? A )
MAYBE I'LLTAKE UP A HOBBY. MAYBE TLL LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE. MAYBE I'LL PARTICIPATE IN A SPORT
MAYBE TLL STAY BORE P.
IT TAKES LESS EFFORT
(g) 1980 United Feature Syndicate, Inc
DR.SMOCK® by George Lemont
felted. Make your apologies all around; go on from there.
Aries (March 21-Apr ii
19)—Business concerns take time and effort today. Don’t be sidetracked by minor matters on the home front.
Taurus (April 20-May
20)—Insist on quality and you’ll not have to wade through quantity to find what you want. Co-workers cooperate.
Gemini (May 21-June
20)—You should be able to lead from a position of considerable strength today.
Children give joy at evening.
Cancer (June 21-July
22)—Good news early in the day sets the mood for genuine success during p.m. and evening. Friends prove
Leo (July 23-Aug.
22)—Make plans for a change. You can negotiate terms later on without jeopardizing the project as a whole.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)—Take a chance! There are excellent opportunities for gain — but they may be hidden from view.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)—Though it may be difficult, keep your promise today. Children may depend on you for more than material support.
Scorpio (Get. 23-Nov. 22)—Wait no longer to diversify! If you keep all your eggs in one basket, you invite trouble. Expand!
TUMBLEWEEDS® by T K. Ryan
‘ A i ^
I to. -
MARMADUKE B by Brad Anderson
“I hate to bother you, Dottie, but could you please scratch my left ankle?”
TARZAN® by Edgar Rice Burroughs
61 Littoral zone
15 Actor Lloyd
65 Bete —
19 The Old Sod
1 US President
2 Ms Fitzger
27 Embers: 2
4 Cut into three
30 — egg
35 Ski resort
6 Banff s river
7 — Baba
8 Sharp taste
10 Treats ore
42 Compass pt
45 Did the job
18 Pianist Peter
47 Italian area
UNITED Feature Syndicate Sunday's Puzzle Solved
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29 Radio part
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