The Boot Whisperer

Aug 10, 2017

From Texas Standard:

Ulli Johnston says most customers at her store don’t know her name, they just call her the "Boot Whisperer."

At her Wild West Store in Wimberley, Texas, Johnston is known for being able to look at people’s feet and find them the perfect pair of cowboy boots.

Ryan E. Poppe

It’s been a year since Memorial Day weekend flood waters barreled down the Blanco River near Wimberley, sweeping away homes and killing 12 people.

One year later, Wimberley residents are now better prepared for a major flood, but like shell-shocked soldiers, they still struggle with what happened.

Wimberley homeowner Mack Stringfellow will never forget what he heard from his bedroom window, as the fast moving waters pushed aside the concrete and steel beams of the Fisher Store Bridge, sweeping it down stream. 

Wimberley Library


The Memorial Day flood in Wimberley was one of the most talked about disasters of 2015, and it remains a day that the community doesn't want to forget.  Members of the Wimberley City Library are putting the finishing touches on a book that is an oral history of those who lived through the flood and remained behind to pick up the pieces. 


As flooding rains continue to dump on areas of South and Central Texas, many residents that either reported into work or were evacuated in the early morning hours are now wondering how and when they’ll make it home.  

Officials in Wimberley began sending out emergency alerts to evacuate areas of the Blanco River and its attributing creeks this morning.  Louie Bond is editor for Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.  She lives in Wimberley but made the early morning commute to Austin before the flooding began.

Bond said she has neighbors in harm’s way.

Ryan E. Poppe

 Homeowner Bob Flocke lives just outside of Wimberley along the Blanco River.  During the May floods, Flocke decided to stay in his home after Hays County officials urged him and his family to evacuate to higher ground. He says he and his family are lucky to have survived what happened next.

  “The water was not in the house, but it was climbing up the house. It came up fast, it was climbing up and it had not gotten into the front yard yet, which is higher than the back,” Flocke explained.