Little Longhorn Saloon, famous for its honky-tonk atmosphere and "chicken shit bingo" contests, has lost one of its favorite people: former owner and "Honky Tonk angel" Ginny Kalmbach.
Ginny was the second owner of the bar, which has been closed for the duration of the pandemic. She died at age 85 on Dec. 30.
She was well-loved by her peers and coworkers, who called her "one of the most special people on the planet" on the Little Longhorn Saloon's Facebook page.
Fans of the bar flooded the comments, lamenting the loss of "Grandma Ginny."
The dive bar, located at 5434 Burnet Road, was originally called Dick's Little Longhorn Saloon after the original owner Dick Setliff when Kalmbach was hired as a bartender. She became very close with Setliff's family and even took care of Setliff and his wife when they were diagnosed with cancer.
When Setliff died in 1982, Kalmbach found herself a beneficiary in his will. Kalmbach inherited the bar and renamed it Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon.
When Kalmbach took over, she introduced live country music to the venue, just like the music she grew up with. Kalmbach gave bands and musicians a place to perform, including local musician Dale Watson, who performed his first gig at the bar in 1993.
She started the famous "chicken shit bingo" in 2000 with Watson, a tradition that has transcended the pandemic and continues virtually. The bar is home to a host of appropriately-named chickens: Terry, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline and "Dolly Pardon."
She ran the bar with her husband, Don Kalmbach, who passed away in 2002, and her daughter Sharon, who often joined her mother on the dance floor when things slowed down.
The bar was inherited by Terry Goana in 2013, when Kalmbach retired. Goana still runs the bar to this day and has been letting bands continue to use the venue to perform and stream virtually.
The bar is accepting donations through GoFundMe to keep the saloon's doors open until Goana feels it is safe to reopen its doors again.
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Communities are rallying together after an 18-year-old shot and killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Funds from organizations all around the state–including from Austin’s own Los Verdes–are being raised to support families affected by the tragedy. Here's how you can help.
If you are looking for ways to help, please consider donating blood. Your donation can help ensure we have supplies immediately available for the victims of this tragic shooting.— University Health (@UnivHealthSA) May 24, 2022
Our donor room has availability the rest of the week. Please schedule online: https://t.co/0F2lKDqYzO
Austin-area residents can donate blood with We Are Blood.
South Texas Blood & Tissue was able to send a total of 25 units of blood both to the school and local hospitals to support treatment. After an emergency blood drive on Wednesday, the blood center is hosting a Memorial Day blood drive and should have appointments opening the following week.
The largest blood transfuser in the San Antonio area, the University Health System, is also asking members of the community to donate blood. Appointments may be scarce due to demand.
The Los Verdes community is heartbroken at today's senseless act of gun violence in Uvalde that ended 15 lives too early. We are currently raising funds to support the families who lost loved ones today, and you can join by donating here. https://t.co/52L1ZtbSND— Los Verdes (@LosVerdesATX) May 24, 2022
There is a growing list of verified fundraisers through GoFundMe, where almost $2 million has been raised so far for families and victims of the tragedy.
- The VictimsFirst fundraiser is raising $2 million to provide “100% of what is collected” to the victims’ family members.
- Austin-based Los Verdes Supporter Group is raising $100,000 for the families “affected by the horrific school shooting at Robb Elementary.”
- Allison McCullough, the aunt of victim Makenna Lee Elrod, is raising $50,000 for her family.
- The Alithia Ramirez funeral fund is working on raising $8,000 for the young girl’s funeral.
- More are being added by the hour.
An official account with First State Bank has been set up for donations through UCISD to assist the families of this tragedy.— Uvalde CISD (@Uvalde_CISD) May 25, 2022
Please know that the FSB account, is the only verified location to make any monetary donations. No other source is currently recognized. pic.twitter.com/psQb6fD6Ls
Uvalde CISD has opened an account to support families of the victims with the First State Bank of Uvalde. Checks to donate should be made payable to the "Robb School Memorial Fund" or through Zelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The League of United Latin American Citizens has created a fund for victims, which it says will donate 100% to families and University Health has also organized the Uvalde Victims Relief Fund to help provide care for victims.H-E-B has also donated $500,000 to aid victims and is collecting donations for its Spirit of Giving Fund, which supports philanthropic efforts in the wake of Texas tragedies. Starting Wednesday, shoppers at H-E-B, Central Market, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda can donate at checkout or online.
By Patrick Svitek
Beto O'Rourke caused a dramatic scene on Wednesday when he angrily confronted Gov. Greg Abbott at his news conference about the Uvalde school shooting, yelling, "This is on you."
After Abbott was done giving his initial remarks, O'Rourke approached the stage and told Abbott he was "doing nothing" to combat gun violence. He said the Uvalde massacre, in which a gunman killed 19 children and two adults, was "totally predictable."
Some of the Republican officials onstage with Abbott quickly denounced O'Rourke, telling him to go away. Another man onstage used expletives to criticize O'Rourke for interrupting the event. O'Rourke was eventually escorted away amid the unruly scene.
“I can’t believe that you’re a sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told O'Rourke at one point.
.@BetoORourke just showed up and shook things up. @statesmanpic.twitter.com/Z1FtBwUEdJ
— Luz Moreno-Lozano 🦇 (@LuzMorenoLozano) May 25, 2022