Trunk or Treat Is Saturday, Oct. 27

Since Halloween is on a weeknight this year, Coupland’s annual Trunk or Treat was held Saturday, Oct. 27, at 6 p.m. in front of St. Peter’s Church. Folks dressed up in costumes and handed out candy to trick or treaters from decorated vehicles. It was a fun and safe family Halloween event.

On Sunday, Oct. 14, the Coupland Civic Organization (CCO) held its annual Choo Choo Fest, a fundraiser for the restoration of the CCO’s historic caboose. The barbecue dinner was provided by the Old Coupland Inn, and garnered many compliments. A big thank you to Abbey Road, owner of the Old Coupland Inn and Dancehall, for her very generous donation to Choo Choo Fest.

Choo Choo Fest also featured a silent auction, bake sale and the collectible Caboose t-shirts in new colors. Kiddies and parents alike enjoyed riding the Kiddie Express Train.

The CCO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and appreciates all donors. Thanks to Jay Sutton, Durcon, Southside Market, Meyers Elgin Smokehouse, Taylor Sporting Goods, Frills, Friends of the Bride, Patschke & Patschke, and MarLira Tamales. Also thanks to the Dupy family, for their help with the awning over the patio dining area. And again, thank you to Abbey, Old Coupland Inn, for the delicious barbecue dinner.

Report on Caboose Renovation

Barbara Piper, Caboose Coordinator, reports, “The caboose renovation is in full swing. We are pleased to report that following the successful leveling and stabilization of the structure, we have replaced all of the windows in the cupola.” She continues, “Additionally, we replaced all of the rotten and decaying wooden floors.”

Also, there are now authentic doors at the front and back of the caboose. Piper says, “We were fortunate to have had one of the original doors. Dustin Haines, a very talented wood-working genius, used that door as a pattern and made the other door.” She adds, “When we were inside the caboose after Dustin and his crew had completed this portion of the work, it was simply amazing to be able to see inside. The light shining through the glass on the north and south doors as well as the cupola windows makes a vast difference in the appearance.”

Importantly, a new roof is in place to protect the interior. Upcoming projects will be installing windows on the side walls and more interior repairs.

Piper says, “All of this work is attributable to the continued support of the community during our fundraising efforts. A big thank you to all who attend and contribute to our annual Choo Choo Fest!”

Coupland School

On Oct. 8, Texas A&M Agrilife visited Coupland School and presented a program called Rollover Convincer. Students learned about vehicle safety and watched videos about safe driving. The Distracted Driver Simulator showed the students how to stay safe in dangerous situations.

Storybook Character Day is Oct. 31; students dress up as their favorite storybook character.

The annual Harvest Festival will be Saturday, Nov. 3, from 3 to 5 p.m. for games, cakewalk and booths.

Teacher Kathy Hill reports, “Then there will be a homemade turkey dinner with all the great ‘fixin’s’ and a live auction and raffle. Entertainment will be provided by Annie Violette’s Fine Arts classes who will be presenting a Motown Review sure to get you moving!”

The Student Council will sponsor a food drive in November before Thanksgiving. Donations will be given to local food banks. Thanksgiving Luncheon will be Nov. 15.

The UIL Academic Competition will be in Holland on Dec. 11, and in Granger on Dec. 12.

Hill says, “For the past several years, Coupland has earned second place to only Holland in the contests with Holland, Granger, McDade, and many other schools. Our teams are practicing and will show up armed with skills, talent, and knowledge.”

The student council officers for this school year are President Taylor Clark, Vice President Beau Bollinger, Secretary Brenna Floyd, and Treasurer Savanna Miller. Representatives are Bradley Smith and David Durda for the eighth grade, Barret Suarez and Rose Simons for seventh, and Callie Molineux and Braide Nelson for sixth. Hill is the sponsor.

St. Peter’s Church

On Oct. 28, St. Peter’s will hold its annual Kirchenfest, which is German for Church Feast. It will be a reunion of the classes who were confirmed from years past.

Co-Chair Lois Schmidt says, "Don't forget our St. Peter's Senior Citizens Thanksgiving Luncheon on Nov. 13 at 11:30 a.m."

After a delicious, home-cooked meal, attendees will enjoy bingo and '42' dominoes. Schmidt adds, "Come and enjoy the day visiting and playing games."

The Elgin Ministerial Alliance Community Thanksgiving Service will be on Sunday evening, 5 p.m., Nov. 18, at New Sweden Church. St. Peter’s Choir will perform.

Pastor Martin Garrison reports, “The 4th Annual St. Peter's Stuffing Stroll will be Thanksgiving Day at 9 a.m. The event is a walk around town, followed by donuts!”

New Sweden Church

Marilyn Samuelson reports, “Saturday, Nov. 10, the men of St. Peter's Lutheran, Elgin; Bethlehem Lutheran, Lund; and New Sweden Lutheran will meet at 8 a.m. at Lucy's in Elgin for Dutch treat breakfast. This is always the second Saturday of the month. Feel free to join them.”

New Sweden’s Bible Study is the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. Game night continues on the third Thursday, at 7 p.m. Samuelson calls it, “An enjoyable evening of playing cards, fellowship, laughter, and food.”

On Sunday evening, 7 p.m. Nov. 18, New Sweden will be hosting the annual Elgin Community Wide Thanksgiving Service, followed by refreshments.

Samuelson continues, “Then on Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. we have our Thanksgiving Eve service with communion at New Sweden. Our monthly fellowship, a covered dish meal after service, is Sunday, Nov. 25.”

Coupland Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD)

Lieutenant John Roulston-Bates has announced that the CVFD will be celebrating their 40th anniversary next year. They would like to hear from firefighters who were in the CVFD in the beginning years. If you were a Coupland firefighter (or know of someone who was) during those first years from 1979 to the mid-80’s, please call 512-856-0237 or email 1979@couplandfire.org.

Roulston-Bates reports, “We’re gearing up for the fifth year of the East Williamson County Volunteer Fire Academy, which is operated by Taylor Volunteer Fire Chief Billy Hughes, but which Coupland has participated in since its first year. In 2019 Coupland will be providing three qualified guest instructors to the academy, as well as hosting hands-on skills training for the cadets here at Coupland fire station.”

The academy will run from late January to June for one night a week and occasional Saturdays. Cadets will take part in a burn day at a training facility to get hands on firefighting experience. To get information about going through this Academy and becoming a firefighter, attend a Department meeting; the schedule is on the website www.couplandfire.org. Or call 512-856-0237 or email info@couplandfire.org.

Now that Thrall VFD has joined Coupland in Emergency Services District #10, the departments have been working together more closely. Roulston-Bates says, “We have planned the next six months of training, including joint training between the two departments. By doing this we get firefighters from the two towns more familiar with equipment from both departments, as well as building teamwork and cooperation.”

Artist Letitia Eldredge Has Show in Houston

Coupland artist Letitia Eldredge has a show in Houston that began in October--a two-person show with Lee Benner—Eldrede’s partner in creating tile-topped tables, in Paula Siegel’s Mixed Emotions Gallery (95 Tuam St.).

The show will focus on home furnishing—the tile tables, plates, and switch plates. Letitia will also exhibit paintings, oil and gouache pieces, and masks for a total of about 70 works.

Eldredge is featured in a recently published book Collision: The Contemporary Art Scene in Houston, 1972-1985 by Pete Gershon. Eldredge was one of the artists in Houston at that time, and there is a picture of her in performance in the book.

She says, “I was part of the art scene in Houston. Being in this book is very significant to me. It is archival.”

Amazon says, “Gershon presents a narrative that preserves and interweaves the stories and insights of those who transformed the Houston art scene into the vibrant community that it is today.”

There is also a film out, “Jackelope,” that covers Houston art in the 70s.

Eldredge says, “In the film, there are five men and me, as a performance artist.”

The Texas Archive of the Moving Image says, “Jackelope includes appearances by Texas artists [including] Letitia Eldredge . . . with footage of many of these same artists in discussion with each other, giving us a rare glimpse into an often overlooked scene.”

The Contemporary Houston Artists Film Festival was on Sept. 30. Both the Collision book and the film Jackelope were featured in the Film Festival. The related exhibition ‘Contemporary Artists in Houston’ is currently on view at the Glassell School of Art. In Collision, there is a photo of Letitia: “Me and one of my masks.” This photo is the one that is featured in the publicity for the Film Festival.

Eldredge was an important part of the Houston art scene when she lived there in the 70’s and 80’s. She still has connections to fellow artists and galleries in Houston, but now she has established her home and studio in Coupland.

Blackland Prairie Concerned Citizens Meet with their County Commissioner

Blackland Prairie Concerned Citizens Association, a group west of Coupland, just over the county line, held a special called meeting on October 17 with their Travis County Commissioner Jeff Travillion. The meeting was moderated by President Cliff Kessler. Bonnie Kessler distributed a handout listing major concerns identified at previous meetings.

The overall problem is unregulated and possibly illegal development with no permits, water service, or wastewater/septic. Other problems include trash and animal carcasses piled on properties and in ditches, gunfire day and night, loud music day and night, and high-speed traffic.

Travillion pointed out, “The county has very limited land use authority. When health and safety are involved, then we can work through it. Folks that live in the community need to take pictures and identify where the hot spots are. We need to take an inventory.”

He added, “The population in the county is growing significantly. People are moving out of the city and into the county. We have not adjusted enough; we are behind the curve.”

Regarding trying to get more authority for counties to act, he said, “We will be working with our legislative team. There is no legal solution yet.”

He mentioned the Texas Conference of Urban Counties that has an Intergovernmental Relations Program that works to advance the interests of county government in the state policy development process. He assured attendees, “This won’t be my last time here. I will come back with other folks who can talk about possible solutions in more detail.”

The next meeting is Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. in the New Sweden Church Parish Hall. You can follow them on their Facebook page.

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