The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, September 06, 1985, Image 13
Friday, September 6,1985
a ride home
AUSTIN — Beginning this week
end, there will be an option to driv
ing home for Austin teen-agers who
think they are too drunk to drive or
fear riding with someone who is.
A dial-a-ride program modeled
after one offered to adults during
the Christmas and New Year’s holi
days will offer high school and ju
nior high students a free, confiden
tial ride home on weekends.
Austin Police Explorer Post No.
26, a group sponsored by the city po
lice department and affiliated with
the Boy Scouts, will conduct the pro
"We’re not encouraging people to
go out and drink. What we are try
ing to do is save a few lives. We are
not going to arrest anybody or give
them a lecture,” said Pete Morin, a
senior police officer and adviser to
Tne National Council on Alcohol
ism says alcohol-related traffic acci
dents are the leading cause of death
among 15- to 19-year-olds.
Craftsman loves nis work as jeweler of the hill country
KERRVILLE — James Avery
sits in his orange leather desk
chair, reminiscing and philoso
He can talk for hours about his
life and his love — the 31-year-
old James Avery Craftsman jew
“I didn’t start this business to
make money,” he says, leaning
back behind his slab-wood desk at
his headquarters north of Ker-
rville. "I started it because I
thought what I had to say and do
White-haired and red-faced,
the 63-year-old Avery is the quin
tessential artist. And he has
turned his creativity into a multi-
million-dollar jewelry business
with widespread appeal in Texas,
Oklahoma and Louisiana.
Emphasizing the less expensive
silver, brass and copper metals,
all of Avery’s jewelry is hand
crafted, with few stones.
Sales hit $15 million last year,
but Avery says his eye isn’t on the
“The only thing that counts for
me is the top line,” he says. “Making
something worthwhile — giving
people the opportunity to work.”
Avery likes to think his jewelry
has a childlike quality.
“It’s somewhat understated, sim
ple. It takes a more direct ap
proach. We stay away from all the
cutesy things. It has a formality
about it,” he said.
He hasn’t pushed diamonds and
other precious gems in his jewelry
because he says he doesn’t want to
“foist something on the market”
just to sell stones.
“It ought to have more meaning
to it,” he explains.
Avery has a somewhat unique
marketing plan. His jewelry is sold
only in stores his company owns, in
some Christian bookstores and on
some wholesale markets.
There are 23 James Avery
Craftsman shops — 19 in Texas,
two in Oklahoma, one in Louisiana
and one in California.
Avery’s jewelry has a heavy reli-
ious accent, with many crosses,
oves and other Christian symbols
adorning his array of merchandise.
“I feel very strongly about it,” he
says of his faith. “I know it’s impor
tant to others and I’m going to say
something in my jewelry about it.”
It was a religious experience
Avery says he had more than 30
ye^rs ago that sparked the idea for
the jewelry business.
“I was a bohemian, a born icono
clast,” he said of his youthful days.
But he said he eventually “came
back to the church — reset my va
lues. I realized I wasn’t going to be
another Da Vinci.”
After the experience, Avery mar
ried a woman from Kerrville and
moved here. Wanting to keep his
life simple, he started making a few
crosses and other jewelry pieces in
his garage. He sold his wares to
girls attending summer camps near
Kerrville, many of whom would
write him after returning home and
order more jewelry.
“Slowly and very surely, 1 started
to grow,” he said.
His first year — 1954 — Avery
rossed $5,500. The second year,
e earned $7,500.
Working alone for the first
three years, Avery said he made
all kinds of knicknacks. But even
tually he eliminated all but jew
elry from his production line.
In 1957, he hired his first em
ployee and since then, his payroll
lias grown to 500 workers. Of
those, 169 are at the Kerrville
headquarters, doing design, fin
ishing and refinery work. There
also is a casting plant in neary
The business probably never
will go nationwide. Avery doesn’t
want it to.
“We don’t have the artisans
that can hammer out the jew
elry,” he said. “I can’t see us get
ting real big and keeping the
He also reads letters written to
him from customers asking him
to create jewelry for them, and
handwritten letters with crude
drawings of jewelry litter his
Austin’s mounted police popular with citizens
AUSTIN — Peculiar things hap
pen when the City of Austin’s
mounted police swing into the sad
The officers find themselves sur
rounded by giggling kids, photo
graphed by tourists, and given the
thumbs-up gesture by downtown
workers. Retirees fishing near the
Town Lake hike-and-bike trail eye
ball the officers and display their
day's catch with broad grins.
Folks at Texas Commerce Bank
supply the officer’s thirsty steeds
with a bucket of water. Avid runners
wave. Even transients, who tradi
tionally have a no-love-lost
relationship with the police, take
time to ask the horses’ names.
It’s taken awhile for the officers to
get used to all this smiling and wav
ing. After all, most of them are more
accustomed to gestures other than
But after the initial shock of being
so warmly received, the six mounted
officers and their sergeant are
rather enjoying basking in the re
flected glory of the horses.
"It’s super PR,” said Officer Ron
Blackmore as he rode his horse,
Brandy, through a downtown alley.
“Everybody likes ’em.”
For their part, the horses handle
the attention with aplomb. Some,
like Brandy, are veterans of con
certs, rodeos and football games. He
is unruffled by crowds, sirens and
Then there are the horses like Of
ficer Darrell Walenta’s Miss Pepe.
She has had less exposure to crowds
and excitement than Brandy, and at
4 years old is “just a baby,” Walenta
said. “But she got into being a cop in
He laughed as he pulled in the re
ins of the frisky horse.
“She’s into it today,” he told
Blackmore. “She thinks the sooner
she makes the circle, the sooner she
can go home.” Blackmore guffawed.
“That’s not the way it works,
Horse-Breath,” he told Pepe affec
The mounted patrol is an experi
mental program that began tnree
months ago. Police in the program
furnish their own horses, trailers
and trucks. The city pays mileage to
transport the horses and an allow
ance for the horses’ food and up
keep. Officers patrol Sixth Street
and the hike-antf-bike trail; near the
University of Texas; and in the 11th
Street area east of Congress Avenue.
The city will decide in October
whether funding for the program
will be renewed, and Blackmore and
Walenta are keeping their fingers
crossed that the money will come
There’s a saying that the Ca
nadian Mounties “always get their
man.” while the Austin officers don’t
make that blanket claim, “You can
see higher up and farther than a guy
in a car,” Blackmore said. “You can
move a little quicker down the alleys,
and go on the hike-and-bike trail
and cut corners, where you couldn’t
in a car.”
They don’t write many speeding
tickets, of course, and they can’t en
gage in high-speed chases — “just a
quick trot, maybe,” said Senior Sgt.
Harold Bilberry, who is in charge of
the mounted patrol.
But the police on horseback do
seem to be effective in fighting
crime, Bilberry said. In May and
June — during the daylight hours
the mounted patrol works — the
number of rooberies, thefts, bur
glaries and forgeries in the lower
Congress Avenue-Sixth Street area
dropped 55.8 percent from the same
period a year ago.
“I don’t know how much we can
attribute that to being a slow time,
but I do feel we’ve had some im
pact,” Bilberry said.
There are a few logistical prob
lems. While a horse is not a gas
guzzler, it does require a parking
place of sorts.
The decided dearth of hitching
osts in Austin has led officers to
itch the horses to telepone poles,
chain link fences and even parking
But if none of those were avail
able, and an officer needed to dis
mount in a hurry to chase someone
into a building, “I’d have to recruit a
willing citizen to control the horse,”
Blackmore said. “So far, we haven’t
had any problem.”
BRENHAM — Washington
County State Bank hardly resembles
its original small two-story office,
where employees neatly hand
printed each transaction in a ledger.
But patrons say some things have
not changed at Texas’ oldest existing
state bank, which recently celebrated
its 80th birthday.
The bank has grown from a few
employees to 60 and from $100,000
in deposits to $110 million.
But senior vice president Billy
Sohns, 70, still finds time to chat
with longtime customers and is often
spotted shaking hands in the lobby
with regular patrons.
Sohns started as the bank’s book
keeper in 1939, back when most of
its customers were farmers.
“When I first started, we did no
tary work, wrote wills and did affida
vits,” Sohns said. “We were just like
lawyers. We were the main institu
tion in the community.”
In addition to bookkeeping,
Sohns also spent mornings peddling
cotton for bank patrons.
“These cotton buyers out in the
fields did business with us,” he said.
“They’d buy some cotton and would
come into town at night and dump
some samples of the cotton on the
“My job was to take the samples to
the mills in town and sell ’em,” he re
called. “We’d then credit the money
to the buyers’ accounts. That way,
they could afford to buy more cot
Sohns said he tried to retire last
year, but he was talked into coming
back to work two days a week.
Last week, an official state histori
cal marker was dedicated at Wash
ington State Bank, proclaiming its
Sohns recalled when he would re
cord every transaction in a ledger at
the end of each day. The bank had
no account numbers or personalized
checks then, he said. Only names
“Things were simple in those
days,” he said.“When a man came up
and cashed a check, you didn’t worry
if it was hot. You knew it was good.”
"<2$’ U av'plauft anyone
who can make a iimna
Mr. Twain admired few things more than a well-turned note
or dance. His special brand of wit and satire highlights the
1985-86 season of the Opera & Performing Arts Society of
Hal Holbrook’s famous one-man presentation “Mark Twain Tonight” is just one of eight
magical performances the Opera & Performing Arts Society (MSG OPAS) will bring to
Bryan-College Station for the 1985-86 season. Several may be available only to season ticket
Each brings its own magic to Texas A&M’s Rudder Auditorium. Make this the year you
experience the magic of MSC OPAS. This year make the magic yours.
The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra September 12, 1985
"Leonard Slatkin and his Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra must be considered major forces on the American muscial
scene. "—Karen Monson, Chicago magazine.
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center October 8, 1985
"The musical success story of the generation!"—Harold Schonberg, the new york times.
Hubbard Street Dance Company November 14, 1985
"...the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees, the fastest gun in the West, the sexiest gal in town...groovy, dreamy, peachy,
perfecto... ’’—Richard Christiansen, Chicago tribune.
Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain Tonight! January 29, 1986
Mr. Holbrook has breathed life into Mr. Twain in this one-man show for almost 30years. His skill at becoming the beloved
story-teller of America's youth is uncanny. He tsT wain. Through him relive the wonder of one of A merica 's great writers and
The Vienna Choir Boys February 11, 1986
"Above and beyond the musical virtues of this group...they put on a heckuva good show.”—John Schuster-Craig,
Young Uck Kim, Violinist February 21, 1986
"... Kim’s real glory is the sound he produces: an individual voice, plangent and expressive. ’ los angeles times.
Katia and Marielle Labeque, Piano Duet March 27, 1986
"Far and away the most exciting two-piano team before the listening public today. los angeles times.
The Houston Ballet performing “Peer Gynt” April 9, 1986
"...fine dancers, spirited, unashamedly popular, and very good at providing the sort of ballet a big public wants to
see. ’’-John Percival, the London times.
MSC OPAS 1985-86 TICKET ORDER
Mail to MSC Box Office • Box J-l • College Station, TX 77844 • For Information, Call: 845-1234
1985 - 86
List my (our) name in the following manner:
D 1 choose to retain same seats as last year.
(Benefactors, Guarantors and Contributors Only)
0 I wish to be assigned best available seats.
.Orchestra Balcony No Preference
I wish to donate of my season tickets for use
□ Check Enclosed (payable to TAMU MSC)
dCharge to my Interbank MasterCard
CH Charge to my VISA
Card Holder's Name.
M 1 1 1 1 1 1 Ml
Programs and performance dates subject to change without notice.
We regret there will be no refunds or exchanges.