This 1970s short film shows Hondo Crouch performing his poem, “Luckenbach Daylight.” Crouch purchased the small Texas town of Luckenbach in 1971, helping to turn the former ghost town into a destination for artists and musicians. The footage was produced by and/or broadcast on Dallas television station WFAA.
Hondo Crouch, the self-proclaimed "Clown Prince of Luckenbach," was born John Russell Crouch in Hondo, Texas, on December 4, 1916. He earned a degree in physical education from the University of Texas at Austin. Having been an All-American swimmer there, he later encouraged the school to build the Texas Swim Center in 1975. Crouch settled into ranch life near Fredricksburg and married Helen Ruth (Shatzie) Stieler. He continued to coach swimming, and he also wrote satirical articles for the Comfort News under the pen name Peter Cedarstacker. These "Cedar Creek Clippings" touched on a variety of topics, from politics to everyday issues in country living. In 1971, Crouch bought the small town of Luckenbach, Texas, where he earned his fame. As the mayor, he presided over three people, the dance hall, and a single parking meter. He also held a variety of oddball events, including an all-female chili cook-off and an unofficial world's fair. He also coined the town's motto: "Everybody's Somebody in Luckenbach." Hondo was beloved by many, and helped revitalize the near ghost town of Luckenbach. He died in Blanco on September 27, 1976, leaving behind his wife and four children.