Whoopee, biannual roundup: Favorite postcards from this blog

Above: Remnants of the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture are found at its former home on South Lamar Boulevard.

Yes, I know. This blog is suffering a bit of an identity crisis. First, 2020 abruptly cut short my boulevardier ways, and then in early 2021 we pulled up stakes and moved up the road to Austin.

This blogger entertained herself throughout much of the pandemic by posting her entire novel – An Ostrich-Plumed Hat, and, Yes She Shot Him Dead – online, slowly unfolding it chapter by chapter. A few of my readers actually followed Hedda Burgemeister all the way through her 19teens trial for murder; although, I had been hoping for a little more feedback and filming rights have yet to be sold. Others have embraced posts about our new neighborhood as we started boulevardier-ing north and south off Lamar Bouldevard.

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Oakwood Cemetery: Gleaning snippets of history from headstones

At the urging of President Mirabeau B. Lamar*, the Congress of the Republic of Texas selected a site on the Colorado River to serve as the country’s capital. In October of 1839, the government was loaded into oxcarts and moved to a site bounded by Shoal Creek and Waller Creek and newly named in honor of Stephen F. Austin.

William H. Sandusky’s 1840 map of the new capital, Austin, indicates a square plot of land dedicated for use as a cemetery. Texas General Land Office collection.

By January 1840, the population swelled to 839, and the need for a cemetery was obvious. The original core of what would later become known as Oakwood Cemetery is marked on the right of the map above.

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An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Four

Picnickers with Pearl Beer in Koehler Park, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. R. San Miguel, UTSA Libraries Special Collections

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-Three

Emma Bentzen Koehler, December 1915

“Otto’s revenge, this is. I never thought of myself as the vengeful type, but, I must confess, this is the best Christmas present I have ever given or received.”

“Ah, Emma,” says Judge Newton, “I believe it was best expressed in Beowulf: ‘It is always better to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning.’”

“Maybe, Gallie, that is indeed why this feels so good.”

“Aunt Emma,” says Corwin Priest, “eleven acres along the river is a Christmas gift for all of San Antonio. Otto Koehler Park. Uncle Otto must be kicking his heels together up above us. Is it true that part of that land might be haunted?”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Four”