Homeplate Peanut Butter

For those of you that know me well, you are aware that the sport of baseball is a passion of mine. A few weeks ago I was surfing through Twitter and Instagram, as I do almost daily. I came across a new company named HOMEPLATE Peanut Butter. I began to read about it and realized it was headquartered in Austin Texas. I had met or come in contact with several of its founding members in my past as a business executive or at local baseball games. I am not sure exactly how Clint Greenleaf, the CEO and Co-Founder and I started talking, but the company ultimately offered samples for review. What you have to understand is I am not a fan of peanut butter, my wife is though. I agreed to “sample” the peanut butter and write a review and actually thought I would just let my wife tell me her thoughts.


Card From Clint with Three Homeplate Flavors

Card From Clint with Three Homeplate Flavors


It was probably three or four days later that I received my care package from HOMEPLATE with a nice card from Clint. “No goopy oil layer, or gritty, chalky texture, just wholesome, great tasting peanut butter.” This was the quote on their website and helped me decide to try their peanut butter. The first jar I opened was the honey flavored peanut butter and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I ate the entire jar in three or four days and remember, I really am not a peanut butter fan. What was I going to do?


The Ultimate Honey Flavored Homeplate Peanut Butter

The Ultimate Honey Flavored Homeplate Peanut Butter


Then I remembered that Clint sent around two dozen packets of the honey flavored peanut butter. I thought I was becoming addicted and had to pace myself, only allowing no more than three a day until they ran out also. My wife had opened the crunchy, as she is more inclined to consume peanut butter with nuts, rather than a creamy style as I eat. She told me the crunchy was excellent.


Individual Packet of Honey Flavored Homeplate Peanut Butter

Individual Packet of Honey Flavored Homeplate Peanut Butter


After I ran out of the honey flavored, I started in on the creamy HOMEPLATE peanut butter. It was very tasty also. I guess I have been missing out for all these years. I decided I would do a little taste testing and found several “honey flavored” peanut butters at HEB and other stores, but they couldn’t hold a candle to HOMEPLATE. You can bet I will be heading to Central Market for more HOMEPLATE honey flavored peanut butter. HEB please stock this in your other stores!


The Entire Collection to Review From Homeplate Peanut Butter

The Entire Collection to Review From HOMEPLATE Peanut Butter


One of the “Founding Partners” is Danny Peoples, played at Round Rock High School and then at The University of Texas before going Pro with the Cleveland Indians organization and played six years in their minor league system, rising to AAA for two years. Another “Founding Partner” is Brooks Kieschnick who played three years with The University of Texas and won the Dick Howser trophy in 1992 and 1993, as the best college baseball player in the nation. He then spent six years in the majors, primarily with the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers. I had the good fortune of meeting this young man through a business function. Great guy!



Three Flavors of Homeplate Peanut Butter

Three Flavors of Homeplate Peanut Butter


The other founding member I have come across is Josh Beckett, who played against my oldest son in high school and went on to help win World Series with the Florida Marlins in 2003 and then with the Boston Red Sox in 2006. He was playing right field for Spring High School in the tournament with my son’s Westwood High School team the first time I saw his arm. He caught a fly ball up against the wall and took one step and threw a line drive about 385 feet with one bounce against the fastest base runner on our team going from second to third base. The ball and the runner arrived at the same time. I was amazed.  When I watched him pitch the next day there were over 30 scouts with radar guns. His high heat was coming in around 97 miles per hour. It was unbelievable and I knew he would go professional quickly.



My overall opinion of this peanut butter with a great name, is it is a Grand Slam! I never thought I would ever like any type of peanut butter, much less eat a whole jar in just a few days. I am definitely hooked. If you are a peanut butter aficionado then by all means give HOMEPLATE a try. I guarantee you will fall head over hills.

Liberty Hall, Tyler Texas, Part Two

On December 3, 2015 I wrote my first blog post on Liberty Hall in Tyler Texas, an intimate music hall in East Texas, that is now a live music gem after the city refurbished The Liberty Theater. It has been renovated in an art-deco style for a considerable sum of money and is now a hub of downtown Tyler, which resonates with music and the arts. It is also the home of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, who performs its “Noon Notes” events and smaller chamber performances at the venue.


Liberty Hall Exterior

Liberty Hall Exterior


After visiting and writing about several Texas Towns, I have adopted several. One of my favorites is Tyler, the “Rose Capitol of the United States”! The “Vision” of this fine city is “To be the standard for performance excellence in local government”. The “Vision” of Liberty Hall is “To support the City of Tyler’s efforts to revitalize downtown by creating an arts and entertainment culture, thereby attracting residents and visitors to the downtown district. This post shares a few of my favorite Texas musicians and I wish I had the time in my schedule to see all three upcoming artists.


Liberty Hall Interior

Liberty Hall Interior


I apologize for the brief window of the first act, but I guess its better than overlooking the upcoming acts. First up, this Friday night March 4, 2016 is Austin Texas based musician and former leader of the “Ugly Americans” Bob Schneider, raised in El Paso Texas and Munich Germany. After a two year stint with “The Scabs” Bob went solo in 1999. His career has genuinely blossomed ever since. This is Bob’s fourth time to perform at Liberty Hall. If you reside in the Dallas Ft. Worth area or east Texas, the brief drive will definitely be worth it to hear this virtuoso play.


Austin's Own Bob Schneider

Austin’s Own Bob Schneider


Schneider has an eclectic and diverse musical style and writes unconventional off-the-wall songs, with diversified genres of funk, country, rock, and folk compositions, lyrics and melodies. After recording or participating on over thirty albums, his latest release, The King Kong Suite, was released in three 5-track EPs over the course of 2015: King Kong Volume 1 in February, King Kong Volume 2 in June, and King Kong Volume 3 in October. Bob continues to display a stunning and talented array of music. His sensitive lyrics about estrangement, drug addiction, and lost love has enabled Bob to gain a international fan base and he continues to blossom in the industry. Bob Schneider is not only a gifted singer-songwriter, he is also an accomplished visual artist–his sculptures, paintings, prints and, most recently, collages rivaling the creative genius of his musical compositions.  We are quite proud Bob calls Austin home!


Bob Schneider, "The King Kong Suite" volumes 1-3 in 2015

Bob Schneider, “The King Kong Suite” volumes 1-3 in 2015


My next performer Junior Brown, is one I share a personal connection with and I have followed the man for over forty years. I guess that makes us both a little bit “on in our years”. It was in the 70’s at The Silver Dollar in Austin and I had heard his music on FM KBLJ and loved it. I was also starting to try and learn how to two step, even though I was more of a classic rock n roll guy. His music blew me away and I have been a fan ever since! Junior had stint with Asleep at the Wheel as a steel guitar player and other major recording artists like Hank Thompson, George Jones, The Beach Boys and Stone Temple Pilots, before branching out on his own. He and wife, Tanya Rae the rhythm guitar player, have settled in Austin. He honed his craft at the fabulous Continental Club on South Congress in Austin.


Jr. Brown and his Guit-Steel

Jr. Brown and his Guit-Steel


Junior has played both an electric and pedal steel guitar throughout his career and combined with his unique voice and unique song writing ability has led him to a Country Music Association Award (CMA) and three Grammy nominations. In 1985 Junior invented a double necked guitar that is now called a “Guit-Steel” guitar. A fascinating invention for the music industry. Basically a compound of an electric guitar and a lap steel guitar. Junior plays mostly honky tonk and western swing with a little blues and TexMex usually at the finish, as well as surf rock. Junior with his one of a kind music is playing at Liberty Hall on April 9, 2016. The following two quotes represent the broad spectrum that Junior holds and demonstrates in his music.


“You don’t find stylists today like you did in the Ernest Tubb era. That’s what sets Junior aside from a lot of other artists. He’s got his own style. And his rapport with his fans, he draws a vast audience, from young college kids up to the older, traditional country music fans.”
–David McCormick, owner, Ernest Tubb Record Shop, Nashville


“Junior told me once that he was very impressed by Jimi Hendrix, by the way he was very wild, and yet he was very controlled. He knew where everything was going in a solo, and he (Junior), I think tries for the same effect, and I think he hits it virtually every time.”
–Mitch Mitchell, drummer, The Jimi Hendrix Experience


Jr. Brown "An American Original"

Jr. Brown “An American Original”


My final performer is John Fullbright who will perform at the Liberty Hall on May 13, 2016. In his brief career, his debut album “From the Ground Up” was released just two years ago and this young man from Oklahoma has gathered substantial acclaim. NPR hailed him as one of the 10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012, saying “it’s not every day a new artist…earns comparisons to great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman, but Fullbright’s music makes sense in such lofty company.”


John Fullbright "From the Ground Up"

John Fullbright “From the Ground Up”


The Wall Street Journal crowned him as giving one of the year ’s 10 best live performances. If there was any doubt that his debut announced the arrival of a songwriting force to be reckoned with, it was put to rest when ‘From The Ground Up’ was nominated for Best Americana Album at the GRAMMY Awards, which placed Fullbright alongside some of the genre’s most iconic figures, including Bonnie Raitt.


John Fullbright "ASCAP Foundation’ s Harold Adamson Lyric Award"

John Fullbright “ASCAP Foundation’ s Harold Adamson Lyric Award”


“What’s so bad about happy?” John Fullbright sings on the opening track of his new album, ‘Songs.’ It’s a play on the writer’s curse, the notion that new material can only come through heartbreak or depression, that great art is only born from suffering.


“A normal person, if they find themselves in a position of turmoil or grief, they’ll say, ‘I need to get out of this as fast as I can,’” says Fullbright. “A writer will say, ‘How long can I stay in this until I get something good?’ And that’s a BS way to look at life,” he laughs.



If you can attend any of these great performances, I would highly recommend you take advantage of the great acoustics and fantastic atmosphere associated with the Liberty Hall in Tyler Texas. Better yet, if you are resident of Dallas Ft. Worth, then by all means go see all three artists. I am positive you will have a wonderful experience and Tyler is an incredible weekend get away!

Photo of The Day #43

Mudding in Cuenca

Mudding in Cuenca



When my three sons were growing up in Austin Texas, they practiced what was called “Mudding” with their vehicles. The young men from their high school would go out on weeknights and weekends and locate a muddy area, that they could drive through and eventually cover their trucks or vehicles with mud.



Of course the down side is it all has to be washed off  at a local car wash! This is still a common practice in Texas and one sees mud covered transportation all the time. I was struck by this vehicle in Cuenca, when it rolled by me on the street I was walking and reminded me of my sons!  #Flashback

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Amateur Traveler Episode 471 - Travel to Austin, Texas