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From vendors to decorations, Weihnachtsmarkt has it all

By Myra Lee Adams Goff

November is the time to start thinking about Christmas. After all, a White Christmas is just around the corner. Well, we can dream. Weihnachtsmarkt, the Sophienburg’s biggest event of the year is this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Civic Center. Tune in to Cable 3, WOAI San Antonio Living Show tomorrow at 10 a.m. and watch Patsy Wotipka talk about how she and co-chairman Linda Dietert, with the help of about 300 workers, put on this huge Christmas market.

Approximately 40 vendors plus the Sophienburg’s Sophie’s Shop will feature everything from vintage linens to a pet boutique offering clothes, jewelry, and cosmetics for your pooch and other animals. There will be food for sale in the foyer plus a beautiful Santa with whom the kids can have an affordable photo. No need to go to a mall. (You can have a photo made without going into the market)

Unlike most shows, this one features outstanding decorations. The theme is Nutcracker Extravaganza. Wayne Rahe, Jean Dorbandt, and Carol Stein claim that they are crazy with hot glue guns carrying out that theme in a glitz and glitter way. Greeting you on the outside porch will be six-foot nutcrackers, standing like sentinels and ushering you inside. In the foyer will be that traditional 16 foot Christmas tree, but decorated with guess what! Yes, with nutcrackers and musical instruments. So come to the Civic Center this weekend. You’ll not only find unique shopping, but you will help the Sophienburg financially to preserve our NB history.

November is also a time when lots of New Braunfelsers are absorbed in football games. Texas schools in particular are in a football frenzy, even prompting a new TV series. My story of historic insignificance could be called “Friday Night Lights Out.”

It was November, 1949, and the NB Unicorns were playing the Brenham Cubs in Brenham for the Bi-District football game. The year before, the Unicorns had played in the State finals and hoped to repeat that success. But this is not a Unicorn football story; it’s a Unicorn band story.

In 1949, the school district had no school buses available and had to charter private buses. After the Unicorn win, score 27-13, band members piled into two buses for the long ride home. It was close to midnight. On board were Band Director Lee Kohlenburg and Superintendent E. A. Sahm. One bus was following the other as we left the town lights behind and headed home. The buses took the wrong road home, heading to LaGrange instead of Giddings.The first bus turned down a narrow country lane and the other followed. We were lost and drove on this lane about five miles.

Unexpectedly we came upon a railroad crossing. The first bus slammed on his brakes and the second bus hit him from behind. Crash! The first bus had his motor in the back and the second bus had his motor in the front, knocking out both motors. Do you think we were unhappy about this situation? No. We piled out of the buses and spied a country graveyard next to the tracks. Carroll Hoffmann, drum major, remembers the event well. We built a fire, combined our leftover snacks, sang, screamed, told ghost stories, had a pep rally led by band member Cora Jane Becker as cheerleader.

Way off in the distance, one tiny light was visible. The Super and some students headed out and finally reached a farmhouse, called to NB and notified parents. We arrived home the next morning on new buses at about 8 o-clock. A great time was had by all.

The photo is of the 1929 Unicorn Band. E-mail: director@sophienburg.com