Editor, County Press
REFUGIO — Sally Scull approached Bart Wales, pulled one of her pistols and said, “I’m looking for husband number six.”
Scull and a host of character actors from deep in the heart of Texas history made their first appearance this year at the second annual Texas Independence Wine Classic on Saturday and Sunday.
Bart Wales, museum curator and organizer, said the actors will be coaxed into returning.
“Everybody just loved the actors so it’s something we’ll continue,” he said.
Scull, who was portrayed Teri Harris of Corpus Christi, was the quick-tempered and legendary figure who drove cattle across South Texas and changed husbands at least five times. The historic figure, who has a historical marker at the entrance of the Refugio County Courthouse, is a colorful part of the county’s history.
So legendary was Scull, markers were stolen from the original site near the Hwy. 202 and Hwy. 183 intersection northwest of Refugio before it was moved to the courthouse.
Scull was one of nine historic figures in Texas history portrayed at the festival from the South Texas Historians near Corpus Christi.
Along with Scull, Judge W.L. Rea, county judge in the 1800s, mingled with the crowd. Rea, whose descendents remain in Refugio, was re-enacted by Charles Perron.
James Power, re-enacted by Joel Smith, was also a colorful county figure. Upon meeting “Power,” Morgan Bellows texted her friend Sarah Shay, who is a descendent of the Irish-born Texan empresario and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
“I just met your great-great-great-grandfather,” Morgan wrote.
“Not quite what I expected,” Sarah responded.
“The re-enactors were truly one of the highlights of the Classic,” said Lori Bellows, organizer. “The work exhibited by two artists was also amazing.”
Local and area artists Richard Ward of Bayside and Ben Gale of Victoria displayed unique, hand-crafted bowls and furniture, most created from local mesquite wood.
Organizers Bellows and Wales said the addition of the amateur wine making contest called attention to a lot of area talent.
Rick Voak won overall with his cabernet and local winemaker Mike McGuill took second with his Mustang grape wine.
“The judges were impressed by all the entries,” Bellows said.
The rain that dripped from the sky both days of the festival didn’t seem to matter inside the two giant, white tents as live music permeated the grounds at Heritage Park behind the museum.
“Walter Baxter was in charge of the seven different bands who performed,” Bellows said. “He did a magnificent job finding excellent bands.”
This year, four wineries participated including Lolita’s Lavaca Bluffs, Texas South Wind Vineyard and Winery of Refugio, Darcy’s Vineyard of Hallettsville and Braman Winery of Refugio.
“The turnout was far better that what we expected, given the bad weather... and we may have even made some money,” Wales said.
The festival will continue to spotlight “boutique” wineries in the area. Boutique wineries are mom-and-pop businesses that concentrate on quality with a hands-on approach in their varieties, not quantity.
“We want to become the wine festival for all the boutique wineries,” Wales said.
Two more wineries are expected to start their operations before next March, Wales said.
“The best thing about this year’s Wine Classic is that so many people shared their talent,” Bellows said. “I look for the Wine Classic to continue to grow and become more and more successful.”