BitBar turns 1
Popular night spot to celebrate with vintage video games, food, cold drinks, Giant Jenga and a ton of fun!
Johnny (left) and Alpha (right) battle in a spirited game of Pong while Harley and Brooklyn (Texas shirt) look on last night at BitBar in Temple. The popular retro-game night spot, located behind Dynasty restaurant, is celebrating its first anniversary tonight with food, games and drink specials. David Stone photo
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Remember those long-ago days filled with ghost-eating, ape-saving fun? They still exist at BitBar.
Yes, vintage video games such as Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live on every day from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at this popular Temple night spot.
“We feature games from the 70s, 80s and 90s,” said Johnny Huang, one of BitBars’s owners. “We are a retro arcade with beer and liquor, and there’s always something going on.”
Today is no exception — it’s definitely a big day at BitBar. The thriving business off Airport Road is celebrating its first anniversary in Temple. The party starts at 7:30 p.m. with food from several local eateries, including BitBar’s neighbor — Dynasty Chinese Restaurant.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Huang said. “The Temple Chamber of Commerce is coming by to do a ribbon-cutting, and we will have a caricature artist here as well.”
A walk through BitBar is like stepping out of a time machine into an old-school video arcade, but there’s no need for a pocket full of quarters. There’s Galaga, Mortal Kombat, NFL Blitz, Street Fighter and even a Ghostbusters pinball machine, and they are all set for free play.
“You pay a $5 gaming fee at the door, and you can play all night,” Huang said.
“We have two BitBars,” he said. “We opened the first one in Killeen about eight years ago, and then this one. We had hoped to open here in 2020 but that didn’t happen because of the pandemic.”
Huang and his crew — there are about 10 employees at the Temple location — rotate games between the two BitBars regularly, so there’s always a new challenge.
In addition to a sprawling game room, BitBar also features a full-service bar, game tables and a large outdoor patio.
“We have board games at every table, and there’s usually something going on outside as well,” Huang said. “That’s where we play Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four and Corn Hole.”
Huang, the organizer of Bell County Comic Con, called tonight’s anniversary a good time waiting to happen.
“It’s going to be a big party,” he said. “Lot of food and people, and the games are already here — and they are set on Free Play!”
By the way, this year’s Comic Con will be Aug. 6-7 at the Bell County Expo Center.
Brooklyn, a BitBar employee, pours a glass of beer for a thirsty Donkey Kong-playing customer. BitBar is open 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily for customers 21 and older. The retro-gaming tavern is celebrating its first anniversary today. David Stone photo
THURSDAY | MARCH 10, 2022
Temple High soccer coach Matt Corley addresses his team after a recent game against Belton. A 6-1 victory Tuesday against Ellison gave the Wildcats an outright district championship and marked Corley’s 200th victory as Temple’s head coach. Courtesy photo
‘Cats win district; Corley snags 200th win as THS soccer coach
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Matt Corley is chasing Temple High history.
The Wildcats 6-1 victory over Ellison on Tuesday night gave Temple the outright District 12-6A soccer title and sets up a first round playoff in about two weeks against either Waco High or Waxahachie.
The victory also gave Corley his 200th career victory, just 13 shy of tying Dan Heger’s Temple High School record of 213 wins.
“It would be nice to get the record this year, but I don’t think there are enough games left even if we go all the way,” Corley said Wednesday. “But that’s OK, it gives us a target next year.”
Ironically, Corley had a big role in many of Heger’s 213 victories while playing for the Wildcats.
The 1997 Temple High School graduate played soccer as a freshman, along with football and baseball. But at the end of his first year in high school, Corley met with Heger and they decided his focus would be strictly on soccer.
“After I graduated, I went to college at West Texas A&M in Canyon, then I came back to Temple in 2001 as a student teacher,” he said. “I also helped coach the soccer team.”
The next year, Corley became a full-fledged assistant, and in 2006 he was named head coach.
This year’s district title is his second at Temple High — his Wildcats also won it in 2009. His teams have advanced to the Area playoff round three times but haven’t kicked in that door just yet.
Temple wraps up its 2022 season at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Copperas Cove. Win, lose or tie, the ‘Cats are a lock for first place in district.
Waco and Waxahachie played to a 1-1 tie Tuesday night, and going into their respective final regular-season games Friday, Waco was fourth in the district and Waxahachie fifth.
“They could still flip-flop, depending on how they finish their seasons,” Corley said.
Four teams from each district enter the playoffs, so Temple will play the fourth place team from District 11 in Bi-District.
No matter how this season ends, Corley is poised to be at the Wildcats soccer helm for years to come.
“I love it here, I’m from here and we have great facilities,” he said. “Unless Temple ISD says otherwise, I plan on sticking around.”
THS welder wins state contest and scholarship
Our Town Temple
Temple High School welding student Fidel Bocanegra won first place at the Texas High School Welding Series in Huntsville last weekend. He also earned more than $16,000 in scholarships.
Bocanegra is a junior in the welding program in Temple High School’s Career & Technical Education Department. He won first place in the horizontal groove welding event, known as the 2g weld.
Bocanegra was one of about 100 students competing in the event at Huntsville High School.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for them to be able to go and compete,” said Jake Lingo, welding instructor at Temple High School. “Competing at this level is very similar to going out and doing a weld test to get a job. This gives the students a chance to take what they’ve learned here and go into a new environment with new machines against people they don’t know and have to perform. Fidel went and knocked it out of the park.”
Bocanegra also earned an American Welding Society certification during the competition.
He says he was expecting to come out of the weekend with at least that certification and the type of real-world experience described by his teacher. But the scholarship money that comes with his first-place title may end up being life-changing for him.
“I was surprised when I won,” Bocanegra said. “I was expecting to get certified, but I wasn’t expecting to get first place. I was planning to go straight to work after graduation, but now I think I can put that scholarship money toward going farther in my education to help me do even more in the field.”
Bocanegra has also qualified to compete in an underwater welding competition this summer. He will have a chance to put on a dive setup, go underwater and compete against other first-place winners. First place in that competition also earns a full college scholarship.
T-TOWN GRIDIRON GREATS
Temple, TCU star ‘Ki’ Aldrich was the No. 1 pick in 1939 NFL draft
By VINCENT MUNDY, special to Our Town Temple
Southwest Conference legend Charles "Ki" Aldrich — Temple High class of 1935 — was described by Sammy Baugh as “the toughest player I ever knew.”
Aldrich was named All State his senior year as a center and played linebacker with the same rugged tenacity as his Wildcat predecessor, Botchey Koch. He also was the catcher on the THS baseball team, same position as Koch.
Aldrich played college football with the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth and was co-captain on the undefeated 1938 National Championship team. He was named as consensus All-American for the 1938 season.
His TCU football coach, Dutch Meyer, said: “That boy wanted to play football more than anyone I ever knew. He liked it rough.”
In 1939 the Chicago Cardinals had the first pick in the NFL draft and selected Aldrich.
His first two seasons were with the Cardinals before joining fellow Temple native Sammy Baugh on the Washington Redskins. In 1942 the 'Skins beat the Bears 14-6 in the NFL Championship game, avenging a 73-0 loss to the Bears in the 1940 Championship game.
Ki missed the 1944 and 45 NFL seasons as he joined the U.S. Navy during WW II. He retired after the 1947 season and averaged 50 minutes of playing time per game during his pro career.
The era in which football players played full time on both sides of the ball is often referred to as the “Iron Man Era.” Charles "Ki" Aldrich certainly personified that billing.
Ki Aldrich passed away in 1983 at the age of 66 and is buried at Bellwood Cemetery.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1960 and is considered one of the greatest linemen in Southwest Conference history.
If you ever make it to Sam's Southern Eatery in Temple, look for a large, framed poster of him. It is the only recognition of a collegiate football legend in his hometown.
For more about Wildcat football legends, visit the Facebook page Temple Texas Football Legacy
Sam's Southern Eatery in Temple displays this framed poster of Charles Aldrich. It is the only recognition of the football legend in his hometown.
AROUND TOWN: prayers for Ukraine
A prayer service for the people of Ukraine was held during the noon hour Wednesday at Christ Episcopal Church. Several dozen people attended the service. Among those leading the prayer service were, from left to right, the Rev. Rachel Harber, associate missionary to Bell County; the Rev. David Krause, St. Francis Episcopal Church; and the Rev. Becky Sparks, deacon at Christ Episcopal Church. David Stone photo
TODAY’S BEST BETS :
Red’s Taproom Trivia at Fire Base Brewing. 7 p.m.
Get Happy at Corkys Happy Hour, 4-6 p.m.
First Anniversary at BitBar Temple. Are you awesome? We are and we would love to hang out! Awesome Drink Specials, Awesome Games, Awesome People, what else could you ask for on the International Day of Awesomeness! 3501 Airport Road, Ste. B. Retro arcade games.
Bell County Autism Society Ice Cream Social. Meyer Developmental Center in Temple. 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!
Silver Tea to feature stained-glass discussion
Church Women of Temple is inviting the community to a Silver Tea from 2 to 4 p.m. on Monday, April 25.
The Silver Tea will be held in the parish hall of Christ Episcopal Church, 300 N. Main Street.
The tea will feature a talk about the stained glass windows of Christ Church.
Claudia Potter was a medical pioneer at Scott & White. Why is she famous?
SILVER MINES FOR EVERYONE! On this day in 1756, Bernardo de Miranda y Flores, lieutenant governor of Texas, returned to San Antonio after his expedition to Los Almagres Mine in present-day Llano County. He announced the discovery of “a tremendous stratum of ore,” and he proclaimed the promise of “a mine to each of the inhabitants of the province of Texas.” Even though the samples he collected were too small for accurate analysis, his bold guarantee sparked dreams of a rich silver mine for decades. Diego Ortiz Parrilla, presidio captain at San Sabá, soon obtained more samples in an attempt to convince authorities that he should move his garrison to Los Almagres Mine. Those plans died with the destruction of the Apache mission in 1758, but in the confusion, later prospectors erroneously deemed the mine to be near the San Saba River. By the 1830s Stephen F. Austin depicted the legendary “lost” silver mine on maps, and James Bowie was among the fortune hunters who tried to find the mother lode. Finally in the early 1900s, after examining Miranda’s journal, historian Herbert E. Bolton found the site near Honey Creek in Llano County. Even though geologists classified the mine as unproductive, romantic tales of Hill Country riches continued to abound.
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TEXAS’ FIRST NURSING SCHOOL: On this day in 1890, the John Sealy Training School for Nurses, the first formal nursing school in Texas, opened with eighteen students in Galveston's two-month-old John Sealy Hospital. The school was established by a group of philanthropic ladies of that city as an educational entity independent of the hospital. In 1896, however, the school was subsumed by the University of Texas Medical Branch. Training schools subsequently opened in hospitals throughout the state. In the majority of hospitals the actual education students received was secondary to their service in the wards caring for patients. This pattern of training nurses predominated until well into the 1960s. By 1991 UTMB had conferred more than 4,000 nursing diplomas or degrees.
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TODAY’S TEMPLE TRIVIA ANSWER: Claudia Potter was the first woman anesthesiologist in the United States and one of the first women to graduate from the University of Texas medical school.