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(Lars Plougmann/CC)

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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The long-awaited day is here; Austin FC takes the field with LAFC. (Austonia)

It's matchday! Austin FC—Austin's first major league sport team—kicks off its debut season in Los Angeles today after years in the making. We know how much this means to our beloved city and are taking you along with us as we journey to LA!

Austin FC writer Claire Partain and I are excited to bring you game-day coverage straight from the City of Angels. Check back here for updates, and visit our socials: @austonianews for the latest.

5 p.m: Kickoff!

It's finally here! Claire will be updating Austonia's Twitter account live. And we'll post her game recap after the game. Best of luck Verdes!

4:40 p.m: Excitement radiates back home

Watch parties are in plenty supply back home. Austonia's Laura Figi visited Circle Brewing Co. and found a crowd of excited supporters.

4:20 p.m: Austin FC supporters are in the stadium

Although the Banc of California Stadium is hosting the match at limited capacity, we see some green in the stands ahead of kickoff. Just moments away from the Austin FC's debut!

~3:20 p.m: Austin FC's team bus enters the stadium grounds

With a warm welcome from Los Verdes, Austin FC players were welcomed into the Banc of California Stadium.

~1 p.m: Los Verdes in LA

(Rigo Rodriguez/Los Verdes)

Austin FC supporters are making their presence known in LA, including the Los Verdes group.

Los Verdes members started having match-day fun around the area this morning with brunch. We'll be joining them about an hour before the game outside the stadium to share some of their excitement. We'll post immediately to Austonia's Instagram.

11:45 a.m: We landed!

View from hotel room where we're staying; the stadium digital sign can be seen in the right corner. (Sonia Garcia/Austonia)

Switching over to pacific time, we're here and it's almost like no time went by. It's 9:45 a.m. here.

We've been in contact with Los Verdes, an Austin FC supporter group, who is also here in LA counting down to kickoff.

8:20 a.m: LA bound

Like many of you, we've been looking forward to this moment for, let's just say, a very long time. Today, we woke up bright and early, headed to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and hopped on a flight to LA.

A gloomy day in Austin with a very quiet airport, we're headed to sunny skies in California.

As we wait for the game to start at 4:30 p.m., check out Claire's preview of the game with a predicted lineup and timeline of the long journey to get here.


Ingredients:

  • 750 ml Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 16 oz strawberries

Directions: Drop sliced strawberries into glass container filled with Tito's Handmade Vodka. Let sit in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Once desired flavor is reached remove fruit. Enjoy!

Years before the city of Austin went Verde, thousands of the city's soccer fans formed a supporters' group—MLS in Austin—for a team that didn't even exist yet.

Now, as the team's catchphrase suggests, those same fans are #LISTOS as they prepare to see their team on national television at Austin FC's debut on Saturday.

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