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Meet the Beckendorfs - Joe Beckendorf

Posted by Ben Beckendorf on

What made you all come to Fredericksburg and what were the early days like?

We had family here. My grandfather on my mothers side was a rancher and my grandparents ranch thirteen miles north of Fredericksburg was mother grew up in this community. My dad grew up in Mathis Texas and the Hill country  was a better fit for his art. Fredericksburg was a small, friendly community. When someone honked the horn, it was because they were waving at you! 

How else has the city changed since you all arrived?

Fredericksburg has gone through a tremendous change. You used to know everyone in town. When I was growing up if you did something wrong at school and didn't tell your parents they would have several different versions of the story by the end of the night. But here were people looking out for you. You would call on your neighbors. Even when there is a hardship today, people still come out to support you.

Joe Beckendorf

What’s a fond memory you have of traveling for art sales?

I have so many great memories. It was always fun, my parents always made things fun. They thought of the kids, that’s why we were excited to go along. We got to meet interesting people, we had tickets to Astros games and got to go to Astroworld visiting Houston. There were all kinds of nice perks. 

Once when I was young we drove through a large Hurricane . Our family was coming up from Corpus Christi and we were near the eye of the storm. When we checked accounts in Austin, the people were huddled in the back asking how we got there. 


Did you attempt to draw because of your Fathers talent?

I certainly did. It was very obvious to me that it would take several lifetimes to hone my art skills to still be even close to the skills of my fathers, so it didn’t make much sense to do so.

What was your favorite work of your dad’s?

The art pieces that I own and ones I was out when him, these are the most special to me. The bison from the Denver Zoo, for example. I picked art pieces that were not his norm and they made them special for us.

What was your favorite adventure with your dad?

We went to West Texas for a few weeks on a ranch that was very remote. The best times were going to some of the locations with him, he always made it a point to have fun when he was working and with family. We were photographing prairie dogs near Fort McAvitt and noticed a raccoon nearby acting strangely. Dad noticed that there were some berries that had fermented. The only thing wrong with the raccoon, dad said, was that he was “drunk as a skunk.” 

I was never afraid when I was with dad, he was a big guy that always had things under control. We always got to go into zoos after hours with him and even around the big cats we never felt like we were in any danger. He had so many stories. You could go on a drive with him and he could keep you entertained for hours.

What was the one thing you remember most that your dad taught you?

He was a teacher all the time. There was something to learn about everything. He loved to teach anyone anything. He was one of those guys that loved learning and loved sharing that with others.

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