25 years of Lone Star photos
A popular wildlife photographer will be signing his new book tonight, and we've got a glimpse of his work! Plus: It's First Friday and there's a lot going on.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 3, 2021
A “Wild Focus” book signing by Temple’s own Earl Nottingham will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at Precious Memories’ downtown location, 17 N. 2nd Street. A limited number of books will be available.
A young interpretive volunteer holds her pet rooster at Barrington Farm in Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site. The image was captured by former Texas Parks & Wildlife photographer and Temple resident Earl Nottingham.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
A young Earl Nottingham often dreamed of being a doctor. His parents worked for VA centers in Marlin and later Temple, and living in a medical community, many of his friends’ parents were physicians.
Yes, a career in medicine seemed to be in order. But, there was one big problem.
“As I got older, I was in a fog during some of my classes — in one ear and out the other,” Nottingham said Friday. “I excelled in music and art — not math or science.”
During his days at Lamar Middle School, he learned that art was indeed in his future.
“After school I would go across 3rd Street to a little photo studio — Photography by Brady,” he said. “I would hang out there and pick his brain, and one day he let me help develop a print in the dark room. Something clicked, and there was no turning back.”
As a teen, Nottingham followed his love for the arts. He was lead trumpet in the early 1970s version of Highlighters, Temple High School’s jazz ensemble. He also took photos — lots of photos.
“I was a photographer for The Rambler, the school newspaper, and for the yearbook,” he said. “I took a lot of the photos that ended up in the Cotton Blossom.”
After graduating in 1972, Nottingham polished his photo skills at the Art Institute of Atlanta, then came home to put that knowledge to work.
“I came back to Temple thinking I knew it all,” he said. “I got a job at the Telegram. It was a job, but it really wasn’t what I wanted to do. Colleagues urged me to get a degree, so I started looking for the best photography school out there.”
The search led to East Texas State University in Commerce and its renowned photography program.
“I didn’t realize it until I started looking, but East Texas was one of the best schools for a photographer in the country.”
With degree in hand and a camera close to his eye, Nottingham went to work. First it was freelance gigs such as industrial work and weddings, but on a whim he sent in a few photos to Texas Highways, a state travel magazine. The editors were impressed, and soon he was a regular contributor at both Texas Highways and Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine.
“A staff position opened up at Texas Parks & Wildlife in 1996, and I had made some inroads as a freelancer,” he said. “I retired in March after 25 years.”
That’s 25 years of capturing the essence of Texas’ wildlife, landscapes and people. He became the chief TPWD photographer and his work is recognized throughout the state.
Over the years, Nottingham has snapped more than 100,000 images of Texas waterways, woodlands, mountains and deserts, and every environment in between. After retirement, he decided to put those photos into book form.
“Wild Focus: Twenty-five Years of Texas Parks & Wildlife Photography” was released in November, and the initial printing is nearly sold out.
“Putting this together was a chore,” he said. “The photos were there — they are the work of my 25 years with Texas Parks & Wildlife. I just had to go through them all and pick out about 200.”
“The book is divided into three sections — wild places, wild things and the faces of Texans who have made a difference with their land,” he said. “The ‘faces’ include those who have helped conserve Texas’ open spaces. There are a lot of landowners out there who have done great things with their property.”
“I’ve also highlighted the faces of people who are involved with Texas’ many state parks, fisheries and historic sites.”
The photographs in “Wild Focus” encompass the mission of Texas Parks & Wildlife, Nottingham explained.
“There are a lot of parts to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, and I tried to represent each part in the book,” he said. “Cultural and historic sites, environmental portraits of the people associated with those sites — it’s all included.”
Not only does Nottingham’s “Wild Focus” photographs capture the natural beauty of Texas, they also show nature’s fury — wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods.”
Nottingham will be conducting his first “Wild Focus” book signing today at Precious Memories Florist & Gift Shop’s downtown location, 17 N. 2nd Street. Although the event is being held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., those hoping to purchase “Wild Focus” might want to arrive early.
“It’s been selling fast,” he said. “I’ll have a limited number with me. They will be available on Amazon in a few days. Texas A&M Press will be printing a second run soon.”
So, now that he is retired, what’s next for Nottingham?
“I’m trying to figure out what Earl version 2.0 is going to look like, but I’m still taking photos,” he said with a chuckle. “I’ve been focusing on Texas all of these years so I might do some traveling. But, I’ve been getting requests from Texas landowners to photograph their private property, so I’m not through with the Lone Star state just yet.”
At 121.5 pounds, "Splash" held the record for many years as the largest blue catfish ever caught. Earl Nottingham photo
Two crested caracaras take flight in the image captured in Starr County. Earl Nottingham photo
Anglers fish for crappie on a cold morning on East Texas’ Caddo Lake. Earl Nottingham photo
A field of bluebonnets near Blooming Grove. Earl Nottingham photo
Update: Tonight’s First Friday deals
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
December’s First Friday has arrived, and it will feature extended shopping hours, great bargains, live music and a chance to help local kids have a very merry Christmas.
Here’s a list of some of tonight’s activities and specials:
The Hub will be open until 9 p.m., and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos. Grown-ups will be served free beer and wine.
Main Street Courtyard will be the scene for the Artist-2-Artist Showcase, an art sale with a variety of vendors. In addition to art, the group will be collecting toys for children in need.
Darling Décor & More will be showing off their recently expanded shop — they are now open at 100 and 110 N. Main — and they will be offering discounts on some Christmas-themed items.
The downtown Precious Memories Florist & Gifts Shop will hold a book-signing event by Earl Nottingham and will be offering a sampling of locally made salsa and peanut brittle.
Twice Upon a Clothesline will be open for First Friday shopping till 8 p.m., and all full-priced items will be 50 percent off the regular price.
Noel Johnson, a local artist, will hold an art sale on the sidewalk next door to O’Briens Irish Pub.
The Parlour Antiques & Oddities will be open with a reception for shoppers featuring free snacks and beverages. Shoppers will also be allowed to spin their prize wheel for discounts and cool prizes.
If shopping makes you hungry — or thirsty — you are in luck. Several downtown restaurants and nightspots are having First Friday specials.
Bird Creek Burgers will offer half-priced appetizers (excluding chili) and happy hour all day. They will also have a special guest appearance by Santa Claus.
O'Briens Irish Pub will present multiple live bands Friday night, including ‘The Midnight Tradesmen’, ‘The Maeflies’, and Matthew McDonald. The Pub will also offer 20 percent off an appetizer when you mention First Friday.
Mo’s Railyard Saloon will offer $2 frozen margaritas throughout the evening at 8 W. Ave. B. Mo’s also will be holding a Christmas Toy Drive, so those who bring an unwrapped toy will get their second drink free. In addition, they’ll put on a live show by Sammy G at 10 p.m.
Want pizza? Treno Pizzeria & Taproom will offer discounts on selected beers and wines, and Treno’s chefs will be baking up tasty pizza pies.
Head to Fire Base Brewing for a special Christmas block celebration and the 4th annual Blue Santa Christmas Toy Drive Party. This event will include a food truck, games, giveaways, vendors, and entertainment by Sammy G. Make a child's Christmas this year by donating a new, unwrapped toy at the brewery.
BJ’s Brewery and Tasting Room will have the ‘Flexin’ Texan’ food truck on-site and lots of cold craft brews on tap for First Friday guests.
Green Door will offer 20-percent off an appetizer when you mention First Friday and will host a live piano show by Russell Boyd.
Mexiko Cafe will hold a Christmas block party featuring the live band Astron + 55. The party will include lots of vendors, and please be on the lookout, because the Grinch will make a special appearance and will try to steal the Christmas spirit. Kids will be given the opportunity to interact and take free photos on their parents’ phones/cameras with The Grinch.
Tour Temple & Corky’s Wine Bar will be closed in the early evening for a private event, but will open later, at 10:00 p.m. for a karaoke night with DJ Bryan Houge. Tour Temple will offer their normal Friday-evening Temple Brew Trail Tours.
Nami Japanese Steak & Sushi will offer First Friday discounts on selected sushi rolls, appetizers and drinks.
At Cheeves Brothers Steak House, take your pick of half-price appetizers from 5-7 p..m in their bar and lounge. They also will offer half-priced specials on selected beers, wines by the glass and call-level liquors.
The Yard Food Truck Plaza will offer 10 percent discounts at Chock Full of Cheese, Taqueria Mi Lindo Nayarit and Llama’s Cajun Cuisine.
La Dalat will offer 10-percent off appetizers and $3 for coffee or hot tea to anyone who mentions First Friday.
Two groups from Academie Musique will be performing tonight at several locations.
Virtuoso Violins will start their First Friday tour at 6 p.m. with a stop at The Hub. They also will perform at Nami’s Japanese Steakhouse at 6:25 p.m., Ras Kitchen at 6:50 p.m., Bird Creek Burgers at 7:15 and Treno’s Pizzeria at 7:35 p.m.
Making the rounds for the first time will be the Academie Adult Show Choir.
This group will start at Precious Memories at 6:20 p.m. before moving to Darling Decor at 7 p.m., The Hub at 7:40 p.m. and Nami’s at 8:20 p.m.
Rescue Elves extend donation deadline
Temple Fire & Rescue is extending the deadline to drop off donations for its annual Rescue Elves Program to Wednesday, Dec. 8.
“It’s been a difficult two years for many families, and this holiday season we have received an overwhelming number of children in need,” said Fire Chief Mitch Randles. “We hope extending the deadline will allow citizens more time to donate, sponsor a child, and help more families.”
Residents are encouraged to donate new, unwrapped toys to any Temple fire station. Monetary donations will also be accepted.
Families will be able to pick up gifts during a drive-thru event on Saturday Dec. 11 at Central Station, 210 N. 3rd Street in Temple.
WHAT’S HAPPENING, CENTRAL TEXAS?
Central Texas largest and most complete calendar of event:
Temple Public Library
TEEN CRAFT CORNER: Every 4th Monday at 5 p.m. Join us for Teen Craft Corner! Take a break from the stresses of school and life, and create something fun during our monthly craft program! Our crafts will include projects such as string art, painting, learning about artists and their techniques, mixed media, and so much more! All supplies provided. (254) 298-5557
GREAT BOOKS ADULT BOOK CLUB: 2nd and 4th Mondays at 6 p.m. Seminal texts of Western civilization, pre-20th century philosophers, scientists and novelists. Readings span from Homer and Plato to Nietzsche and Freud. (254) 298-5557
BABY BOOKWORMS (Ages 0-12 months: Every Tuesday at 11 a.m. A half-hour of book sharing, rhymes, songs, exercises and parachute play. (254) 298-5557
SCHOOL-AGE STORY TIME (K-3rd Grade): Every Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. A half-hour of short films, stories and constructive play. (254) 298-5557
PRESCHOOL STORY TIME (Ages 3-5): Songs, stories, and a variety of literacy activities. (254) 298-5557
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (Ages 12-18): First Thursday of the month at 5 p.m. Looking to explore the world of D&D but not sure where to start? Join us at the Library for our Beginners Dungeons & Dragons Program!
Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum
FACING THE INFERNO: THE WILDFIRE PHOTOGRAPHY OF KARI GREER: Colorful, intimate, and intensely dramatic images that capture the work of wildland firefighters in this new exhibit that runs through Jan. 15. Amazing photography. First responders and immediate family will be admitted free through Dec. 3.
December 3, Friday — Mark Richey at Bo’s Barn. 8 p.m.
December 3, Friday - Christmas and Holiday Season First Friday downtown Temple. 5 p.m.
December 3, Friday - Sammy G’s Toy Drive Block Party at Fire Base Brewing. 7 p.m.
December 3, Friday - Clint Walker Blues Band is back at O’Briens Irish Pub. 9 p.m.
December 3, Friday - Karaoke Night at Spare Time. Pick your favorite tune and come ready to WOW the crowd! Join us every Friday from 9 pm to midnight! Don't forget to enjoy our full-service restaurant and bar while you wait for your turn!
December 3, Friday - Late-Night Karaoke at Corky’s. Join DJ Bryan of Hogue Productions who brings you the favorite hits for the crowds singing pleasure. Whether you want to watch the singers, or try it out yourself, Friday Night Karakoe is fun for one and all. 10 p.m. to midnight.
December 3, Friday - Stations of the Nativity at Saint Luke’s Catholic Church, 2807 Oakdale in Temple. The Stations are followed by cookies, hot chocolate and activities for children including stories, cookie decorating, and advent themed crafts in the Parish Hall. Join your friends and families at St Lukes for fellowship and create a new family advent tradition this year. 7 p.m.
December 3, Friday - Nolanville Night Market Grinch Fest. Whoville characters, photo ops with The Grinch. Artisans and vendors. 6 p.m.
December 3-4 - Christmas on the Chilsom Trail, Central Avenue and East Street in Belton. 6 p.m.
December 3-5 — Disney’s Aladdin Jr. at Temple Civic Theatre.
December 3,4,10,11 — “A Christmas Carol” at Tablerock Amphitheater in Salado. 7 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - The Elks Hoop Shoot, funded by the Elks National Foundation, is a free throw contest for children 8-13. Celebrating 50 years of developing gritty kids. Held at the Ralph Wilson Youth Club.1515 S. 21st St., Temple. 11 a.m.
December 4, Saturday - Fleece Fun Over Cocoa Class at Sammons Community Center. 10 a.m. to noon. Bring your grandchildren to Sammons to create a memorable experience by working together to make a fleece scarf! Enjoy some hot chocolate and refreshments to celebrate the completion of your unique creation. Each person who signs up will walk away with their very own handmade scarf. All materials are provided. Pre-registration is required. $7 Per Person, all ages welcome!
December 4, Saturday - Photos with Santa at Horny Toad Harley-Davidson. Bring your own camera or smartphone and get Free photos with Santa! Limited 3-photos per group.11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Proctor Victory Garden's Mobile Mercantile full of artisanal pickles & pepper jellies will be at Barrow Brewing Company’s Christmas Market during The Salado Stroll. Drop by 108 Royal Street in Salado to sample our briney faire! Noon to 7 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Todd Snider, Cultural Activities Center, 7:30 p.m.
December 4, Saturday — Marcus Lindsey at Bo’s Barn, 9 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Preschool Story Time at Temple Public Library. 10:30 to 11 a.m.
December 4, Saturday - Barrow Brewing Christmas Market, Salado. Noon.
December 4, Saturday - Santa at the Depot, Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum, 5-8 p.m. Put on your jammies, grab your favorite stuffed animal and come enjoy a magical evening with Santa at the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. Visitors can marvel at the sights and sounds of the holiday season as they wander through the winter lights on the Santa Fe Plaza and enjoy Christmas music. Enjoy delicious hot chocolate available for purchase from Kona Ice while waiting to see the man in the big red suit! TICKETS ON SALE at https://bit.ly/3CfFHFE. ALL tickets are ADVANCE purchase only. Tickets are required for admission. Limited ticket quantity is available. Tickets are $5.00 per person, children 2 and under are free. Ticket includes visit with Santa and a gift bag for children. General museum admission will be closed on December 4th to prepare for Santa's visit.
December 4, Saturday - Lance Wade Thomas rocks O’Briens. 9 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Temple Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert featuring soprano Priscilla Santana and tenor Brian Joyce. Temple High School. 7:30 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Chisholm Trail Christmas Ball featuring Rick Trevino. Bell County Expo Center. 6 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Game of Thrones Trivia Night at Fire Base Brewing. Free to play. 7 to 9 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Epically Hogwarts Holiday at Mayborn Science Center in Killeen. 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
December 4-5 - Kris Kringle Mart presented by KC Council 3444, 2218 W. Avenue D, Temple. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
December 5, Sunday - Organ & Piano Christmas Concert at First United Methodist in Temple featuring Dr. Carl Bradley on the organ and Sam Davis on the piano. 4 p.m. in the church sanctuary.
December 5, Sunday - Adoration & Benediction at Saint Luke’s Catholic Church, 2807 Oakdale in Temple. 9 a.m. to noon.
December 5, Sunday - Elks Rest Memorial Service at BPO Elks Temple Lodge No. 138. 2613 Airport Road in Temple. Please plan to attend in honor of our Absent Members! 1 p.m.
December 6, Monday - The 75th Annual Christmas Parade and City Christmas Tree Lighting will begin at 6:15 p.m. This year's theme is “The Magic of a Traditional Christmas." Details will be made available on templeparks.com.
December 6, Monday — Belton Lake Parade of Lights at Dead Fish Grill. Watch boats on the lake decked with Christmas lights. Hot chocolate and chocolate bombs filled with marshmallows. 6 to 9 p.m.
December 7, Tuesday — Baby Bookworms ages 0 to 12 months at Temple Public Library. 11 to 11:30 a.m.
December 7, Tuesday — Tarok Card Party and Lessons at Czech Heritage Museum & Genealogy Center. We play for fun! Come learn to play Taroks, the 1400s European card game Czech brought to Texas in the 1800s. It’s just as popular today and tournaments are held all over Texas. Jimmy and Carolyn Coufal are award-winning tournament champions who teach and advise us purely for the love of the game. No fees or admissions. Just come join us! 7 to 9 p.m.
December 10, Friday - TISD Jazz Band – Merry Christmas and All That Jazz at Meridith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy Auditorium, 5:30 p.m.
December 10, Friday — Vista’s Jingle Jam 2021 at Vista Community Church. Join us for the most fun, biggest, Christmas party of the year for your whole family. We'll play games, sing Christmas songs, have Christmas cookies and cocoa, and hear the Christmas story in a way kids can understand. And it is totally FREE! We’ll have a Jingle Jam session at 5:30pm and 7pm.
December 10, Friday - Bone at O’Briens. 9 p.m.
December 10, Friday —Branded Heart at Bo’s Barn. 8 p.m.
December 10-12 — Disney’s Aladdin Jr. at Temple Civic Theatre.
December 10-12, The Texas Nutcracker, performed by Classical Ballet Conservatory of Lisa's Dance Connection, performance at the Cultural Activities Center.
December 11, Saturday - Holiday Bazaar at Holy Trinity Catholic High School, 6608 W. Adams Ave. in Temple. Photos with Santa, Santa’s Workshop, food, perfect last-minute gifts. Vendor spots still available. www.holytrinity.com. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - Photos with Santa at Horny Toad Harley-Davidson. Bring your own camera or smartphone and get Free photos with Santa! Limited 3-photos per group.11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - Proctor Victory Garden's Mobile Mercantile full of artisanal pickles & pepper jellies will be at Barrow Brewing Company’s Christmas Market during The Salado Stroll. Drop by 108 Royal Street in Salado to sample our briney faire! Noon to 7 p.m.
December 11, Saturday — Winter Wonderland at Wilson Park Recreation Center. Santa’s coming to visit all the good little boys and girls at the Wilson Park Recreation Center. 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Join us for cookies, hot cocoa, gifts, and pictures during this special family event.The event is FREE; however, registration is required. Register today here: https://bit.ly/3CZEKBV.
December 11, Saturday — Downtown Temple Holiday Market & Food Truck Frenzy. Its Holiday Season! We are excited to partner our market series with another Food Truck Event! Come join us in Downtown Temple and spread some holiday joy by supporting local businesses in our area!We will have plenty of vendors, food trucks to satisfy anyone's cravings, live music and activities for kids! Come find that perfect gift for your loved ones - whether it be a new piece of jewelry, some unique bath products, or a fun knickknack. 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - 5th annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Troy Community Center. Shop with local small businesses. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - Tucka Texas Takeover with LJ Echols, Fat Daddy and Mr. Smoke. VFW Post 1820, Temple. 7 p.m.
December 11, Saturday — 35 South at Bo’s Barn. 9 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - Holiday Laser Light Show at Barrow Brewing Co. in Salado. Part of the 61st annual Salado Christmas Stroll. 7 p.m.
December 12, Sunday - Temple High School Band Winter Concert in the THS Auditorium, 2:00 p.m.
December 13, Monday - Temple High School Orchestra Christmas Concert at THS Auditorium, 7 p.m.
December 14, Tuesday - Temple High School Choir Holiday Gift at THS Auditorium. 7:30 p.m.
December 17, Friday - Matt Cearley & The Rowdy Few, O’Briens. 9 p.m.
December 17, Friday — Hyway Traveler at Bo’s Barn. 8 p.m.
December 17, Friday — “It’s a Wonderful Life” at The Beltonian Theatre. 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
December 18, Saturday — “It’s a Wonderful Life” at The Beltonian Theatre. 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
December 18, Saturday — The Real Gun Show at Bell County Expo Assembly Hall. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
December 19, Sunday — The Real Gun Show at Bell County Expo Assembly Hall, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
December 19, Sunday – When Harry Met Sally… (1989), free movie at Cultural Activities Center. Boy meets girl, boy sees other girls, and girl sees other boys. Maybe boy and girl should have seen each other. “I’ll have what she’s having.” The event will include a pre and post-movie discussion with Dr. Joseph Taberlet. 2 p.m.
December 18, Saturday - Shinyribs, Cultural Activities Center, 7:30 p.m.
December 18, Saturday — People’s Choice at Bo’s Barn. 9 p.m.
December 23, Thursday - Santa & Elvis at Fire Street Pizza. 6-9 p.m.
December 25, Saturday — Christmas Dance at Bo’s Barn featuring Secondhand Rose, 8 p.m.
December 20-25: “The Polar Express” at The Beltonian Theatre. Visit https://TheBeltonianTheatre.com/Movies for show times.
December 31 - January 1 - Texas Elite Pole Vaulting. The Expo Explosion, the second largest indoor pole vaulting event in the country. Bell County Expo Center’s Garth Arena.
December 31, Friday - New Year’s Eve at O’Briens with the Jason Custer Band. 10 p.m.
December 31, Friday - New Year’s Eve at Bo’s Barn with the Craig Howell Band. 9 p.m. $25 includes cover, party favors, champagne, and breakfast with black-eyed peas.
January 29, Saturday - Parker McCollum Red Dirt Mardi Gras at Bell County Expo. 8 p.m.
LIST YOUR EVENT! Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.
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