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.
Continue reading “Biannual Roundup: A stilled keyboard and passport-less boulevardiers”

If ghosts RSVP-ed, would they skip the party?

As Fiesta San Antonio returns to life this year, things have changed around the Alamo. Long the heart of the party, Alamo Plaza falls under new more exacting standards of proper etiquette.

According to Scott Huddleston of the San Antonio Express-News:

Fiesta’s two big street parades are set to resume in April, but people will need to quiet down when passing through Alamo Plaza, as it is now part of the historic site’s ‘reverent zone.’ Air horns, amplified music from floats and ‘shouting and other celebratory behavior’ will be prohibited for parade participants and discouraged for the public….

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Mobs employing limbs of live oaks to mete out ‘justice’ were not uncommon

Above, “The Reason” by Albert A. Smith, 1920

Spent a lot of time with my nose buried in the pages of newspapers of a century ago while researching An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: And Yes, She Shot Him Dead and found myself often shocked by the stories I encountered.

Racism was not only entrenched, but there appeared little shame in embracing it openly in print. Ways were found to prevent Black men from affecting elections: poll taxes to discourage participation and refusal to allow Blacks to vote in the Democrats’ primaries. If no Blacks could vote in primaries, Black candidates would not be listed on the ballot. Mainstream white Democrat candidates boasted about this practice on the campaign trail. But that is all so minor compared to the accepted bias in the system of justice.

The truthful novel opens with the very public hanging of Leon Johnson for killing Dr. Augustus Maverick (1885-1913), an example clearly illustrating to Hedda Burgemeister what could happen to someone found guilty of shooting a powerful man in San Antonio, as she had done to brewery owner Otto Koehler (1855-1914). Executions attracted large crowds downtown.

Continue reading “Mobs employing limbs of live oaks to mete out ‘justice’ were not uncommon”