PaperCity Magazine

Round Top Summer 2023

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Page 11 of 67

JACK THOMPSON R ound Top has lost more than its fair share of trailblazers since the first of the year. Cisco Pinedo, Lee Ellis, and recently, Sean McLaren of the Round Top staple McLaren's Antiques & Interiors — unavoidable to miss with its "crashed" airplane and red English phone booths. Sean traveled the world looking for furniture finds and spent a good deal of time reclaiming massive timbers from old homes, which he utilized in creating masterpiece furniture designs. Luckily for the community, the heirs to the businesses created by these visionaries are all committed to push the founders' dreams forward. The one technical exception is Round Top Smokehouse — one of Lee Ellis' babies — which has been taken over by Leonard Botello and Abbie Byrom- Botello of Truth Barbeque, also a trailblazer in the barbeque world. As Round Top continues its measured growth and popularity outside of the shows, a couple of new attractions are now on the scene. The One Square Mile Round Top music festival had its inaugural event in April. Pat Green headlined a full house at the Round Top Dance Hall that Saturday night, and the night before, Blue Water Highway rocked the capacity-filled venue. Look for next year's festival to be bigger and better and spread across more venues. Round Top also now has its first full-time gym: The Halles Gym, owned and operated by my wife, Zuzana (insert shameless plug). Members have access to the property with a gate code and can open the door to the gym with a tap of their phone on the electronic reader. Now, after late nights of drinking at Ellis Motel and eating the decadent food the town offers, you can roll out of bed and hit the Peloton, treadmill, do Pilates, or push a bunch of weights around. Then, repeat the next night. Jim Kastleman Chairman Jim Kastleman 10

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