Biannual Roundup: A stilled keyboard and passport-less boulevardiers

Above: Who knows what happened to the Candy King’s secret recipe for pecan pralines that filled this box a century ago?

Although no comments indicate followers suffer from withdrawal as my blog has remained silent the past two months, surely you have missed posts a little?

During the past 12 months, Alamobsessive posts continue to attract interest, as do ghosts and updates from our wanderings. Particularly pleased that readers seem to enjoy some of the side stories – “Candy King” and “Rabbit Holes” – gleaned from the pages of An Ostrich-Plumed Hat, and Yes, She Shot Him Dead.

The 1911 filming of “The Immortal Alamo” at Hot Wells Resort was among the high points of San Antonio’s efforts to become an industry star.

The following list represents the biannual results of what “postcards” you have gravitated to most frequently during the past year, with the numbers in parentheses indicating rankings from six months ago when applicable.

  1. A place to seek miracles, 2020 (4)
  2. Please leave my friend Phil out of the ongoing Battle over the Alamo, 2021 (2)
  3. A sweet San Antonio mystery: Where did the Candy King’s recipe go? 2022
  4. Brackenridge Park: A ghost gives chase to his daughter’s murderers, 2021 (8)
  5. The Madarasz murder mystery: Might Helen haunt Brackenridge Park, 2012 (6)
  6. Dia de los Muertos commemorations rooted in city’s past, 2020
  7. Postcard from Guanajuato, Mexico: While we spent a year home cooking, chefs did not lose their touch, 2021 (12)
  8. Diving down rabbit holes: Fledgling 19-teens’ silent film industry proved distracting, 2022
  9. Postcard from Bordeaux, France: Last images before pulling out, 2021
  10. Postcard from Bordeaux, France: Museum-Hopping, 2021
  11. Postcard from Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy: History with a horse hanging overhead, 2019
  12. If ghosts RSVP-ed, would they skip the party? 2022
Parting shots from fall trip to Bordeaux, France

Our trip to Spain in May rudely was interrupted by an acute vision loss that forced us to fly home and left me turning a blind eye, literally, to everything. My left eye is learning to pick up the slack but must first conquer the bullying interference of the right eye that continues to project a phantom imaginary kaleidoscopic image to my brain. The main requirement during this process for now is patience. Don’t fret. I’ll be annoying you with constant posts once again before long.

Temporarily grounded in Austin, the time seemed right to renew our passports before they expired. But, what a horrible feeling, having to entrust the post office with delivery of our passports to the swamped offices of Homeland Security. Rather frightening for a pair who yearns to be back hopping on a plane and off boulevardiering somewhere.

Is there no word for fear of having no passport in hand? This flaneur certainly is experiencing it. Please send our new ones to us safely and quickly. Wanderlust is hard to keep at bay.

In the meantime, the Author highly recommends (surely an unbiased endorsement) you plunge into the past and read An Ostrich-Plumed Hat, and Yes, She Shot Him Dead. How did Otto Koehler, one of the richest men in San Antonio, wind up dead on the floor of Hedda Burgemeister’s southside bungalow in 1914? Self-defense or murder? You need to serve as a judge weighing her innocence or guilt.

And the jury is still out on the feelings of some of the Texian spirits who might haunt the Alamo. The contentious debate continues to rage. Would they rather jolt awake at dawn to thundering gunfire every year on March 6 as reenactors remind them in painful detail of their demise, or would they prefer to go back to sleep after exuberantly celebrating the later victory at San Jacinto?

In the 19-teens, a “Carry-Us-All” like the one above operated continuously on Alamo Plaza during Fiesta week. For more than a century, San Antonians have been bringing Fiesta San Antonio directly to the door of the ghosts of the Alamo, but would they rather snooze through it?

8 thoughts on “Biannual Roundup: A stilled keyboard and passport-less boulevardiers”

  1. Gayle,

    Horrors! I was shocked to read about your vision problem. I hope that it can be corrected and that your passports return and you are able to travel again. Be well!

    Susan ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan – Never was a fan of audio books, but certainly am grateful for them now. Wrote numerous grants for materials for the visually impaired to the Semmes Foundation for the Library Foundation in San Antonio, and, although I can’t access them now that I’m in Austin, makes me hyper-aware of how much the Semmes’ generosity means to many.


  2. A great pleasure. Your email prompted me to read your posts about Turin, whence we have just returned. Very interesting and your photos are excellent. Cheers Ric Lucas

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  3. No word discovered for the fear of having no valid passport in hand, but none is needed. Despite my lack of faith, the U.S. government has come through, delivering a pair to our mailbox in less than six weeks. This eager boulevardier feels major relief. All that’s needed now is more time for improvement of one-eyed walking capabilities and for doctors to tinker with the dosages of multiple medicines, and we’ll be back on the road again. I’d apologize for underestimating the post office were I not still waiting for arrival of the box full of homemade preserves, chutneys and pickles my sister Susan lovingly packaged and shipped to me three weeks ago for my birthday – still designated simply as “arriving late.” Warning, USPS. She will never forgive you if they disappear deep within your bowels.


  4. Gayle, I’m so sorry to learn of your vision loss. That must have been both frightening and frustrating. I went through sudden hearing loss and know how disorienting it can be to lose one of the senses you’ve relied on for many years. I hope that you’re improving and adjusting to the change.

    Then on top of it having to go through trials and tribulations of renewing your passports. Yikes! I’ll keep my fingers crossed. ~Terri

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.