“HOLLYWOOD” hangs high on the hill over its namesake subsection of Los Angeles to remind any unaware driver headed north on “the 101” where they are.
If you’re coming over the hill on Sidney Baker just past Rio Robles Mobile Home and RV Park, or on Water Street passing Mamacita’s to your right and forget where you are, fear not. You are in “WELLS FARGO.”
The bank has two of the most visible signs in Kerrville, after the symbolic “sign” of the hollow cross overlooking Atkisson Chevrolet, Lowe’s and I-10 (as well as both of the Wells Fargos themselves).
In New York, Trinity Church’s spire was the first architectural detail to define the manmade skyline until the Woolworth Building and a few others came along. So instead of a collection plate with scattered five and ten cents, a store could conveniently collect those. And you’d walk out the door with more stuff than you came in with. At least, that was the prevailing thought.
Today, you can look across from Manhattan to Brooklyn from some vantage points and still see multiple spires. They are nestled in neighborhoods that still have corner grocery stores selling Lotto tickets, cigarettes, and pint-sized whiskey bottles that will fit nicely in a hip pocket. Aside from those, there are countless “storefront churches” that have no spires, sell no goods, yet offer priceless treasure within their doors.
We keep our high-protein, low-fat goodies at Broadway Bank on Main between Clay and Quinlan where, every time you enter, you are greeted by name by a teller or someone behind a desk. There is no bulletproof glass. (There isn’t at Wells Fargo either, by the way.) Karen had an art show last year, and in our mailbox at home was a hand-written card from someone at the bank with the newspaper clipping covering the show. We had missed seeing that story altogether.
I’m in PAX, staring out the copious front windows and across Earl Garrett Street at the SCHREINER sign on its eponymous building. A local entrepreneur (female, I might add, importantly) has created a mash-up of 1950s and 21st Century Kerrville and made it work. As the owner of Pint & Plow likes to say, “Kerrville is the new Kerrville.”
The Downtown Farmers Market in front of the historic A.C. Schreiner home happens later this afternoon. Its maroon banners — best seen while biking or walking — hang from a few lampposts along Water between Sidney Baker and Quinlan. Usually they’ll have live music, beer, a few crafts and a lot of locally-sourced food, including a hummus made in Boerne that “will last a few weeks if you don’t double dip,” the vendor told me.
And he was right.