Michelson Lockhart’s ‘Most Worthy Citizen’
By Kyle Mooty
LULING – The previous Lockhart Chamber of Commerce Most Worthy Citizen, Joyce Buckner, said Jeffry Michelson was always visible at Lockhart High football, basketball, baseball, and softball games, volunteered on several fund-raising projects, serves as Chairman of the Board at First Lockhart National Bank, and is a member of the Lockhart City Council.
But it was Michelson who was kept in the dark about winning the 2022 Most Worthy Citizen Award at Saturday night’s 88th Chamber of Commerce Banquet, a Night Full of Stars, held at the Luling Civic Center.
“Wow, I’m shocked,” Michelson said upon receiving the honor. “This is a true honor.”
A two-time past Chairman (2001, 2012) of the Board of the Chamber, Michelson said, “I love this community and wouldn’t do it for anyone else.”
Buckner noted that Michelson “comes from a long line of public servants.”
Michelson’s grandfather, Sam Glosserman was the Chamber’s 1983 Most Worthy Citizen, and his father, Buddy Michelson, was the 1997 winner. He is married to Shelly Michelson.
“He loves his community,” Buckner said of Michelson. “Very few attend (games) as much as this guy. If there is any event of any kind happening in Lockhart, you most likely have seen him. He never forgets a name or a face. Therefore, he knows no stranger. He’s been in various organizations his whole life. He either volunteers his time or helps raise as much money as possible.”
Michelson spearheads the Lockhart Education Foundation’s fundraiser 50 Lions Who Can Cook.
“He doesn’t let up because he thinks his job isn’t done,” Buckner said. “Of course, he’s on City Council where he hopes to make Lockhart the best community to live in, and that common sense and kindness should always prevail.”
Michelson is also Chairman of the Board at First Lockhart National Bank.
Also awarded at the banquet were the Business of the Year, Bubba business of the Year, Non-Profit Spirit Award, Chisholm Trail Spirit Award, Business Spirit Award, and two new Heart of the Community Awards. Outgoing Board Members and the Chairman’s Award were also presented.
The Business of the Year Award went to The Original Black’s Barbecue, which was accepted by third generation pitmaster Kent Black. The Original Black’s BBQ began in 1932 in Lockhart and enjoyed a 90th anniversary celebration last spring. It is the oldest same family restaurant in Texas. The Original Black’s BBQ also has locations in Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels. Kent and Candy Black’s sons, Barrett Black and Eric Lenderman, help run some of the locations.
“This is not my award,” Kent Black said. “This is the business’ award. When you’ve been around for 90 years, you have a lot of help.”
Black introduced his mother, Norma Jean Black, who is “91 years young.”
“She (Norma Jean) still comes down to the restaurant and when she comes in it’s like Elvis,” Kent Black said. “I’m third generation and have been blessed with the opportunity to take over the business and keep up the principles and keep up the recipes.”
Kent and Candy Black also have seven grandchildren.
Kent Black thanked his staff and customers.
“You have supported us for many years,” Kent Black said. “And, thanks to Lockhart for allowing us to do business here.”
The Agribusiness of the Year went to Lockhart Auction, Inc., and its trio of owners – Bubba Bennight, Madison Bexley, and Jim Schwertner.
The Agribusiness of the Year Award was presented by last year’s winner Tom Owen.
“For as long as I can remember there has been an auction barn in Lockhart,” Owen said. “The auction barn is a very important part of the community. Farmers and ranchers depend on it.
Five years ago, Lockhart Auction Inc. was purchased. After it was sold, the number of livestock sold has more than quadrupled. It has continued to grow. These new owners are really making a difference.”
Bexley, who became part-owner at 22 after graduating from Texas A&M, added, “To have such a welcoming and open community made an impact.”
The Nonprofit Spirit Award went to 4:12 Kids. Founded in 2019, Chamber Chair Winn Smith said 4:12 Kids “…serves the children in Lockhart and Caldwell County. Their mission is to encourage, empower and equip children to pursue positive choices. The organization has no paid staff and is run entirely by a volunteer board. Just last year it did the following: the annual Easter EWgg Hunt, Prom Dress event, School Backpacks filled with supplies, Thanksgiving Food Baskets, and also delivered Christmas gifts to homes. This year, they’ll be giving a scholarship to a local student in May. They do a lot. It’s fitting that this is the second time they’ve won this.”
4:12 Kids Executive Director Charity Kittrell said the community helped serve 2,991 children in 2022, almost double from the 1,500 served in 2021. She added that the Back to School event helped 1,056 kids.
The Business Spirit Award went to Domingo Sanchez and his businesses, El Rey Crawfish & Oyster Bar and Guadalajara Restaurant.
“Everyone knows the hard work and dedication it takes to run a successful restaurant in a small town,” Smith said. “Domingo Sanchez has taken that challenge to another level, running not only one but two of the most popular restaurants in town. To boot, he has been able to provide live entertainment, and he is a consistent supporter of the Chamber.”
The Chisholm Trail Spirit Award was presented to Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, which was accepted by Ray Chandler and Delfino Sanchez. Art Villareal is the Constable of Precinct 4.
“For 49 years, it has been the privilege of the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce to promote and produce our annual Chisholm Trail Roundup,” said former Chamber Chair B.J. Westmoreland. “It would not be possible without the dedication of countless volunteers within our community. In that spirit, it is my pleasure to award the Constable’s office for their continued efforts to make CTR possible and safe.”
The Individual Spirit Award went to the emcee duo of Stephanie Riggin and Kenneth Sneed, who also have guests at the monthly Chamber luncheons laughing.
“For as long we can remember, Kenneth Sneed and Stephanie Riggin have been the colorful emcees of the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce luncheons,” Smith said. “Their dedication of this organization and this community is unmatched, whether it’s Chisholm Trail Parades, Friends of the Library, Chamber luncheons, A Christmas to Remember, or any of the other things they volunteer their time for.”
Riggin said her and Sneed consider it their privilege to emcee the Chamber luncheons.
“We love doing it,” Stephanie Riggin said. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Sneed responded, “Thank you from my bottom, too.”
The Chamber added new Heart of the Community Awards, one going to Wilson & Riggin Lumber Co., and the other to Westy’s Pharmacy, both businesses closing in 2022 after several decades of service.
“It was a unanimous decision that we had to do something for these businesses,” Smith said.
Mark and Stephanie Riggin have been married for 43 years and have been the face of the lumber company until it closed on June 24, 2022. Originally established in 1935, the Riggins found it time to move on.
“They have begun the next phase of their journey after a lifetime of serving Lockhart and this community,” Smith said. “Whether it’s the years of Chisholm Trail Parade floats that wowed visitors, or helping the community get through unprecedented storms, they have always put the community first. There will be new businesses in Lockhart, but there will never be another Wilson & Riggin Lumber. Your business will always be a legacy in our community, and we will never forget the sacrifice and hard work that you have given.”
Stephanie Riggin again thanked the community, adding, “We miss seeing everybody so much. We love this community.”
Westy’s Pharmacy was run by third-generation owner Brad Westmoreland. His grandfather began working at the original pharmacy at the turn of the 20th century, and 122 years later it closed on Dec. 23, 2022.
“Westy’s Pharmacy and the legacy they have created will live on forever in Lockhart,” Smith said. “One of the best things about Westy’s is that they always supported nonprofits in the area. They have always put the community first.”
Brad Westmoreland said Lockhart was once a town where you told people you lived in Central Texas, maybe near Austin, but that now he proudly says, “I’m from Lockhart, Texas.
“It’s a jewel and I want you to keep it a jewel,” Brad Westmoreland said. “It’s really, really special to live in this town. It has meant so much to me and my wife, Jackie, because we were born here when there was a Lockhart hospital. There have been so many great things that have happened, friendships that we’ve established, relationships that you develop.”
The Chamber also gave special awards to Missie Hagan, Chairperson for 2022, and Outgoing Board Members Charlene Tiner, Chelsea Cox, and Raquel Barron.
Chamber Director of Operations Kim Clifton thanked Eric DeHoyos and his staff at Pegasus School for providing the meal served at the banquet, volunteers, vendors, silent auction donors, Lockhart City Council, Caldwell County Commissioners, and the Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors and staff include Chair-Elect DeHoyos, Christine Ohlendorf, Greg Neal, Elizabeth Schmidtberger, Darla Damron, Brian Avery, Suzy Falgout, Clifton McCrury, and James Bowman, and Administrative Assistant Samantha Salina.
“It’s an honor to be nominated as chairman of this wonderful organization,” Smith said. “I’ve studied the list of the past chairs. Growing up in this community, It’s an honor to be on that list. All are wonderful people. I hope I can make as much difference as they have.
“I think we’re in the middle of one of the most important decades for our community. It’s no secret that we’ve experienced a level of growth in our community that has been unprecedented. I intend to help the Chamber of Commerce and its members to make the most of these opportunities.”
The banquet enjoyed a packed house at the Luling Civic Center, capped off by a performance from the band Uptown ATX.
This year’s Lockhart Chamber Banquet Award winners:
Outgoing Board Members – Charlene Tiner, Chelsea Cox, and Raquel Barron.
Chairman’s Award – Missie Hagen.
* Heart of the Community Awards — Wilson-Riggin Lumber and Westy’s Pharmacy