James B. Craft


I worked in the 7th and 8th grade at my grandfather's flower shop (Mosty's Nursery & Flower Shop) and into the 9th. During my sophomore year I took a job at the only Dairy Queen in town at the time - Larry's Dairy Queen - located at the Y of Main St. and Junction Highway. The old green sidewalk and concrete slab was still there up until about two years abo when AutoZone built their new store on that lot. After graduation I quit that job and went to work for the H.M. Gousha Company which had just recently moved to Comfort,Tx from San Jose, CA. That was July 21, 1969; the day after the first man walked on the moon. That began a long career with them of 27 years which lasted until Rand McNally bought the assets of Gousha and closed them on April 18, 1996.

A little known fact is that Harry M. Gousha worked for Rand McNally until April of 1926 when he quit and opened his own mapping company - seeing the opportunity for better maps depicting the newly approved U.S. Highway System. 70 years later to the month, Rand bought and closed that offspring. A sad moment for 80 employees of a 70-year old company, but in reality an opportunity for many to move on to new and better endeavors.

I married Gwen in 1970 shortly before we left for Dallas and the kidney transplant. Why she stayed with me I don't know, but 29 years and a couple kids later she's still here. Gwen remained at home and took care of the kids (Josh, Sara, and various "adopted" neighborhood kids) while I worked. Now they're grown and on their own (well almost - Sara lives at home but is pretty independent). Both have turned out to be dandies as far as I'm concerned. Not without trials along the way, but then who doesn't have problems at one time or another with their children. Through it all we had a great time and are probably closer than most families and the kids are certainly very independent.


My job with Gousha started as an apprentice and ended as the Manager of Digital Cartography and Print Production. I wore about five hats at the time and needless to say stayed pretty busy. In retrospect, too busy. I missed a lot of my family's growing up.

One of the last functions I performed was to produce and have printed the Official Olympic Venue Map which was distributed at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. We printed 5 million (yes, that's correct, 5,000,000) of those maps and shipped them from the printer in Denver, CO to Atlanta and other locations in the U.S. 38 semi-trailer loads in all. Presses/binders ran for 2-1/2 months straight.

Since the demise of Gousha, I purchased BEST SELECTION VIDEO (in the River Oaks Shopping Center) which my daughter Sara managed and operated until closing it in November of 1998 (three months before Blockbuster opened their store 4 doors down from ours). Also, I started JCGraphix and continue to produce digital maps for companies such as Rand McNally, GeoSystems (Now MapQuest), , Mapsco, Novoprint USA to name a few, produce various ads, brochures, tabloids and other publications for a variety of clients, and do MacIntosh system and software consulting for many residential individuals, Kerrville Telephone Company, Omniglobal Internet and several Newspapers and other businesses through the Hill Country.

So, that's about it.

What can I say? I've spent a lot of time in Kerrville and seen many people and things come and go. My longest stint away from Kerrville was in 1971. I spent from May through November of that year in the Parkland County Hospital getting a kidney transplant. We lived in some apartments just across the expressway from what was to be Texas Stadium, which was under contruction at the time. I could tell many stories about those days, but that would take more time than you have right now.

I was born on January 3, 1951 to Bill and Marie Craft (She was the daughter of Harvey Mosty) in the Peterson Memorial Hospital. My dad tells me they were expecting a girl for sure and did not have a boys name picked out, so they simply picked mine from the phone book! And, I was the New Year baby which afforded my mom, among other things, a years worth of laundry for diapers. It came in quite handy I am told since she had three in diapers at the time.

I attended the Kerrville School System graduating from Tivy in 1969. Medical problems seem to have followed me most of my life starting in 1960 when I spent some time in Santa Rosa Children's Hospital in San Antonio have a floating kidney repaired. Then in 1970, work on both kidneys, in 1971 a kidney transplant and in 1995 a single bypass while on business in Madison, WI. That was a real trip (pun intended!).