'As the Kolaches Turn'
Central Texas musician sings and writes about small-town life. Her new book is a mini-drama about heartbreak and survival in a little Texas town.
Recording artist Donna Beckham of West will be performing in Belton and Eddy this weekend. The country performer also is working on a book, “As the Kolaches Turn,” and she hosts a YouTube travel and music show along with her sidekick — a mannequin.
DAVID STONE | June 8, 2022
Central Texas country music fans have a rare opportunity this week — they can treat themselves to a double-shot of Donna Beckham.
The gal from Whiskey Hollow — don’t bother looking, it’s not on a map — will be performing at two popular locations this weekend. This Friday at noon, Donna will be the featured artist on the Shooter FM 92.9 Acoustic Lunch at Schoepf’s BBQ in Belton. On Saturday, she will be performing at The Kissing Tree Winery in Eddy from 6 to 9 p.m.
“I grew up on a little farm about five miles outside of West,” Donna said this morning. “I was kind of a late bloomer.”
No, Donna wasn’t one of these musicians born with a guitar in one hand and a microphone in the other. Her first time to perform was when she jokingly took the stage at age 19 to perform with old high school buddies in search of a female singer for their band — Ridin’ the Wind. Her “audition” was well received.
“I like being in front of people and sharing my gift,” she said. “I enjoy the spotlight.”
Donna continued to perform with the band during her college years, then decided to take her music a step further. She started writing music and moved to Nashville.
“I released my first album in 2005,” she said. “It was just called ‘Donna Beckham.’ I’ve now released five albums, the last was ‘In the Mean Time’ in 2019 just before COVID.”
Like just about all musicians, Donna took a forced break during the pandemic. She continued to write, but not anything that’s likely to appear on a future album.
“I’m actually working on a book,” she said. “I’ve kind of kept this under wraps, but I’m working on a project.”
OK, it’s our secret!
“I’m working on a mini drama about life in a small Central Texas town,” she said. “Of course I’m changing names to protect the guilty.”
Which small town? That’s actually a pretty simple decipher.
“The name of the book is ‘As the Kolaches Turn,’” she said with a laugh. “It’s about heartbreak and survival in a small town.”
It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that West, Texas, is the setting.
While much of her time these days is spent banging out sentences on a keyboard, that doesn’t mean she’s put her guitar in the closet.
“I kind of had to take a break during COVID, but I’m starting to perform again,” she said. “So many venues are struggling right now — gas prices are keeping folks at home. I want to help, so I’m getting back in.”
Donna offers venues a choice of performances to fit their entertainment budgets.
“I can bring a full band, bring a partner for duets, or do a solo act,” she said. “I’m a country singer, but I add a little Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin as well.”
In addition to singing and writing, Donna also hosts her own YouTube series that combines travel and music.
In Yellow Rose Jypsy, Donna hits the highway with her shotgun rider, a spiffily dressed mannequin. Yep, a mannequin.
“We travel Texas from A to Z,” she said. “That’s Abbott to Zyphyr. I’ve done 10 episodes so far.”
The Abbott episode takes in landmarks from Willie Nelson’s hometown, including Willie’s old church. And, of course, the shows feature plenty of good music.
Welcoming new medical residents
Updated banners welcoming the latest round of medical residents to Temple and its hospitals have been placed on utility poles Downtown and in areas around Baylor Scott & White, the Olin E. Teague VA Center and McLane’s Children’s Hospital. David Stone photo
DAVID STONE | June 8, 2022
Temple’s Chamber of Commerce is preparing to give new doctors and medical residents a big Central Texas “howdy.”
Late last month, 150 new “Welcome” banners went up on utility poles Downtown and around the Baylor Scott & White and VA campuses.
“These are the second version of our ‘welcome’ banners,” said Rod Henry, Chamber president. “We first began putting banners up in 2014, and we decided to go with a fresh look this year.”
In addition to the banners, the Chamber will hold its annual Welcome Showcase on June 23 at the Mayborn Center. New doctors, nurses, medical residents, senior staff and management have been invited to the Showcase for a glimpse of what Temple has to offer as a temporary or permanent home.
“We have 102 local businesses participating, which is about 20 more than we’ve had in the past,” said Kaylee Blumenfeld, events coordinator for the Chamber. “There will be restaurants, local schools, home builders, retail businesses, auto dealers, churches, apartment communities represented.”
“They will be showing our new doctors and medical personnel what Temple has to offer,” she said. “We want to sell them on wanting to stay in Temple after their residency is complete.”
“We will be using every square inch of the Mayborn Center,” Henry said. “Food booths will be offering samples, and all booths will have door prizes valued at $50. I don’t think there is another community that goes to the extent we do to welcome new doctors.”
Henry said that in the past, many medical residents lived in the Austin area and made the drive to Temple for work. That is changing.
“Temple has a lot to offer, and we use the Showcase to give our new doctors and nurses the blue carpet of welcome,” he said. “Temple has grown, and now it’s far more attractive to medical residents.”
Every year, up to 200 new medical residents begin their residency training at Temple hospitals.
“These residents may decide to make Temple home on a permanent basis,” Henry said. “Many of these men and women have young families. We want them to know they are welcome in Temple, Texas.”
A vendor visits with a young family during a previous Temple Chamber of Commerce Showcase designed to welcome new medical professionals and show them what Temple has to offer. Courtesy photo
today’s best bets
Corky's Comedy Open Mic nights are where up-and-coming comics, humorists or regular Joes can get 5-minutes to try our their set, work on jokes, or just try to see if they can make the crowd laugh. This is adult humor and intended for mature audiences, each comic or budding comedian is working to grow as a performer and it is through events like Open Mic that they get stage time and learn how to hone their craft. Many of our performers are touring comics already and come out to support Comedy in Temple or to refine a set but be prepared for some of the newest faces on the stage. Sign up at 7:30 p.m., show at 8.
Lonesome Dove: The Photo Exhibit runs through June 25. The exhibit is a collection of black-and-white framed photos captured by the late Bill Wittliff, renowned photographer, writer, and co-executive producer of the popular Western mini-series.
June 8, Wednesday — Open Mic Night at Fire Base Brewing featuring Maxx Carter.
Thursday Night Trivia at Fire Base Brewing in Temple starts at 7 p.m. We play a special Name That Tune Trivia round in addition to our regular weekly brain games. JD's prizes include flights of beer for each of 4 winning teams, and a $20 gift certificate to the overall winner.
Country & Western Dance at Sammons Community Center. 6-9 p.m. Take a whirl around the dance floor! Come scoot your boots and tap your feet to the lively music of local country and western bands on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month. Coffee and punch provided. Bring a finger food or dish to share during intermission. Singles and couples are all welcomed. 18+ 2nd and 4th Thursday.
Family Lego Night at Temple Public Library. 5 p.m. We know the importance of family fun and we want you to build fun into your family time with this Lego event. Bricks will be provided, but feel free to bring your own.
Lucas Miller is The Singing Zoologist, 10:30 a.m. at Temple public Library. Build your kids’ scientific confidence and curiosity with Lucas Miller! With dazzling visuals, smart songwriting, laugh-out-loud comedy, and accurate science, your kids will have so much fun, they won’t realize how much they’re learning! 3rd Floor in the McLane Room
Kolby Cooper live at Schoepf’s BBQ. 6 p.m. Tickets: bit.ly/Belton-SchoepfsBBQ
Karaoke at Bo’s Barn. 8:30 p.m.
Trivia Night at Fire Street Pizza in Belton. There will be 6 rounds of themed trivia to test your knowledge of all things trivia! Other categories will include Movies, Sports, music, and more! Play from your phone! FREE to play! Join anytime. Winners walk away with FSP swag, free pizzas and bragging rights! 6 p.m.
To include your events in What’s Happening, email information to OurTownTemple@gmail.com. Photos are welcome to for use in the publication as space permits!
In 1915, Temple implemented a fire security system. What did this system include?
ANSWER AT END OF TODAY’S ISSUE
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On this day in 1969, Houston Intercontinental Airport officially began operations. As of 12:01 that morning, it replaced Hobby Airport, which ceased commercial flights. (Hobby was reopened to commercial traffic a couple of years later.) Some 80,000 visitors attended the opening ceremonies. The new airport had its origins in 1957, when the Civil Aeronautics Administration recommended that the city of Houston replace the overloaded Hobby Airport. By 1963 planning for a $125 million facility, on Houston's north side, was under way. The new airport opened only after a succession of eight projected opening dates. By 1972 it was apparent that IAH needed many changes. The terminals were not adequate, the runways needed strengthening, the terminal people-carrying systems were in need of major repair, and the parking space was far too small. A third terminal was completed in the early 1980s. Plans for a fourth were scrapped in favor of a $95 million international facility, which opened in 1990. In acres, Houston Intercontinental (renamed George Bush Intercontinental Airport in 1997) is Texas's second largest airport, behind Dallas-Fort Worth.
TODAY’S TEMPLE TRIVIA ANSWER: Red “In Case of Fire, Break Glass” boxes were placed on telephone poles throughout the city. The poles alerted authorities to the fire. The boxes were removed in 1975.