A lot of well-known people live here or own property here or have other close ties to our area. The Bush Museum of the Pacific War is in Fredericksburg, and the Bush family has many ties here. (I once heard a local hospital official bragging that he used to routinely see “W” in the showers at a country club in Midland.) The LBJ Ranch is at Stonewall. Karl Rove lists his residence as Ingram (and votes there); Kinky Friedman also resides there. Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (ex-CIA) has a ranch between Kerrville and Fredericksburg. Business writer Roger Cameron has what looks like a fortress here. Well-known jewelry designer James Avery has his business and residence near Kerrville.
Over the years, I’ve also been told about many celebrities owning property here. George Strait has a ranch here. Patrick Swayze has/had an Arabian horse farm near Kerrville. Madeline Stowe and Brian Benben have a ranch here. Producer Lynda Obst has a ranch here; I remember my ex-husband telling me the local police chief’s former wife worked for her in some capacity. Robert and Shelly Duval own property here. I’ve been told that Kevin Costner and Jane Seymour own property here. Tommy Lee Jones (former Harvard suitemate of Al Gore and the inventors of the Internet) owns property nearby and used to sometimes phone my ex-husband on business. Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey are well-known homeowners in Austin who come here frequently; they are said to particularly enjoy the scenic Willow City Loop area. Luckenbach, with its country music stars, is here. (One of the p.i.s working for Ed Hodges that the Texas DPS refuses to discipline, despite my providing them with absolute proof of wrongdoing, owns a ranch close to Luckenbach.) Bill Ham, whom I was told is a major music producer, who apparently always travels with bodyguards, and whose wife was supposedly murdered in Austin years ago, owns property very close to mine. Johnny Nicholas (whose son died under suspicious circumstances at Colorado School of Mines) lives here and has a restaurant here. CBS News reporter Lara Logan is involved in a local divorce that has attracted attention from the tabloids. This is only a partial list, by the way.
Then there are the many current and former state and federal officials and employees who either live here or own property here. A number of the families of LBJ’s former Secret Service agents that my ex-husband grew up with have retired here. Retired FBI and CIA agents live here. All or most of the highest-ranking Texas DPS officers and officials seem to have retired to this area—so many, in fact, that the Texas Rangers have been raising funds to build a museum here (but their charity recently received a very low rating from a watchdog group, according to the San Antonio Express-News). For some reason, the FBI and certain community leaders are currently pushing the building of an FBI gun range and weapons training facility near the Kerrville landfill, even though the construction of a similar facility by the FBI just south of San Antonio had recently been announced and the location of the proposed Kerrville facility is causing serious controversy there due to its proximity to the local high school and residential areas.
While I’ve admittedly only listed a sampling of names here, there is one name I can’t drop—because I don’t know it. Back in the 1980s, when I was married, I remember my former father-in-law complaining constantly and bitterly about a “wealthy Japanese businessman” who was repeatedly out-bidding him for local property when it came onto the real estate market. I was never told this man’s name, however, and eventually my ex-husband’s family stopped talking about him, so I assumed he probably was a victim of the Japanese financial recession. I do recall that the time period when this guy was buying up local property was the same time that my former father-in-law (an attorney) said he was helping many celebrities buy property here.