In 175 years, New Braunfels has accumulated a lot of history and stories — stories members of the 175th Commission are collaborating to preserve.

In honor of the anniversary, the Historical Committee of the 175th Commission began recording a new collection of stories Tuesday afternoon that will be recorded over the next three months. Titled the Heritage recordings, the collection will feature Herb Skoog as the host. 

Skoog will interview different seniors native to the area with unique stories about New Braunfels, helping forever preserve the history of the town.

As the organizer of the collection, Karen Boyd, the Historical Committee Chair of the 175th Commission, said Skoog was an obvious choice for the series’ interviewer as the “voice of New Braunfels.”

“Herb here is our expert interviewer, and the Sophienburg has been gracious enough to allow us to use their recording studio every Tuesday as well as providing us with an audio technician,” Boyd said.

There will be 12 recordings in the series, which will be kept on file at the Sophienburg in its archives. One copy will also go to Skoog, one to the subjects of each recording, and one to the Herald-Zeitung in preparation for a special 175th anniversary magazine. 

“We were just going to get everyone together, and have a chat, but Fred Willard said, ‘This all should be recorded, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear from these people directly,’ and it evolved from there,” Boyd said.

Boyd worked with the committee to come up with 12 subjects for the series, and asked Skoog for help in coming up with the questions for each topic.

“Herb (Skoog) and the Sophienburg really took it to the next level,” Boyd said. 

As the first subjects of the series, Mary and Raul Padilla spoke about their early years in New Braunfels and about their experience as Hispanics in town.

“When they reached out to us about this, we thought it sounded really neat, and like a great opportunity,” Mary Padilla said, holding a photo of her great grandparents. “We really appreciated the opportunity to come speak about our lives and to meet Herb, who we heard on the radio when we were younger.”

As the former radio DJ and Wurstfest Association PR director, Skoog said he is always happy to lead interviews and enjoys speaking with New Braunfelsers about their memories and experiences in town.

“This is our 41st year of recording the Reflections series,” Skoog said. “This historical series is really neat, and these folks are outstanding,” he said gesturing to Mary and Raul Padilla and Boyd.

It’s important to record these voices of New Braunfels for future generations, Boyd said.

“We are excited to be able to share these stories with everyone,” Boyd said.

The Historical Committee, which has been consistently meeting for the past two years, will also be releasing a special coffee table book containing 365 unique images of New Braunfels for the anniversary, which will be available for advance sale at the 2019 Wihnachtsmarkt.

For more information about the 175th anniversary, go to www.since1845.com.

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