Palace dancers ride the river in New Braunfels
by Daniel J. Calderón
Dancers, patrons and friends from the Palace Men’s Club in San Antonio spent Sunday afternoon enjoying the Guadalupe River in the New Braunfels area.
Several of the dancers were unable to join in on the trip. The majority of the tubing excursion were staff and patrons with less than ten dancers on the river that day. Some members of the local community were against the men’s club having a presence on the river, but tubers said the dancers and their friends were absolutely no trouble.
It’s no big deal,” said San Antonio native Bernard Juettemeyer, who was at the entrance point where The Palace’s group entered the river. “They’re no different than all the other beautiful ladies here. They all have bathing suits on.”
“It’s a hot day so they had a good idea,” said Jessica Sylvia, who was with Juettemeyer at the Guadalupe River enjoying a friend’s birthday. “I don’t have any problem with them here at all.”
Juettemeyer and Sylvia said the media had probably overplayed the possible controversy with the dancers coming to the river. Many tubers were unaware the dancers were even there until they saw the cameras and started asking their own questions.
“I was kind of surprised,” said one Houston woman who had come for a day of fun on the river. “When they told me who they were, I thought they were playing jokes with me. But, it’s fine for us. We’re Christian people and this is a free river so they can do what they want to do.”
What they wanted to do was enjoy the day. One Palace patron said the media frenzy before the event drew him to the outing. He said the entire day was enjoyable.
“It was a good deal,” he said. “For $25, we had a meal, got rides to the river, got our tubes, rode the river and they drove us back. I think it was real nice. Having a group to go tubing with made it all more comfortable.”
At the request of club manager, Trey Maddox, the members of group received a briefing regarding river rules while the group’s bus was at a gas station just off Interstate 35 before they went to pick up their tubes.
“We just wanted to explain some of the rules of the river, said New Braunfels Police Patrol Captain John Villareal. “We don’t expect any sort of problems. They’re tubers just like any other group.”
As it turned out, they were just like any other group. Police reported no problems with the group. The Palace’s “Boobs on Tubes” group rented tubes from Texas Tubes, a local merchant.
“These guys are just here to float and have a good time,” said James Reno, owner of Texas Tubes. “I think it [the controversy] was caused by the city. I have groups from churches, night clubs, bars and from all over. These guys, they’re not here to do anything lewd. They were all very well behaved.”
At the end of the incident-free day, the 45 members of the group returned their tubes to Reno and the Texas Tubes crew, got back on their two buses and returned to San Antonio.
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