A place to seek miracles

Above, Chapel of the Miracles, photo by Michael Cappelli, 1984

This is, in the words of the Abbe Dubuis, ‘a place of frequent emotions.’

Julia Nott Waugh, The Silver Cradle, 1955
Close-up of El Senor de Los Milagros from Michael Cappelli’s 1984 photo

El Senor de los Milagros, or The Lord of the Miracles, is suspended majestically above an altar in a small privately-owned chapel on the near west side of town. La Capilla de los Milagros stands somewhat in isolation on what was Ruiz Street, now Haven for Hope Way, severed from downtown by IH-10.

The age and origin of this crucifix are part of its mystery. In 1907, Charles Barnes wrote in the San Antonio Express that it was brought to San Antonio by Spanish friars as early as 1716 and placed in San Fernando Cathedral. In a 1928 edition of the Dallas Morning News, Vivian Richardson claimed its origins were local, that “it was revealed to a Mexican that he should make a crucifix for San Fernando Mission.”

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An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Twenty-Four


Above, RMS Titanic

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Twenty-Three

Andrew Stevens, April 1912

“Please accept my apologies, gentlemen.” Andy gasps, out of breath. 

He regards punctuality as the most important element in maintaining a professional demeanor. When his brother brought him into the business, John warned him that there would be no riding on his coattails. He emphasized Mr. K and the Colonel would not tolerate tardiness, and Andy takes care not to test the theory.

“There was a hold-up. Just like in the days of the Old West. Right there at the corner of South Alamo and Garden Streets. I was waiting to cross to catch the streetcar when a horseman bore down directly in front of a motor car and leveled his pistol at the driver, commanding him to stop. It happened so quickly. Everyone in the car was in a state of hysteria, except, of course, for Colonel Pryor.”

“Colonel Pryor?” The Colonel raises his eyebrows in disbelief. “What kind of ignorant fool would try to hold up Ike Pryor?”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Twenty-Three

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Twenty-Two

Emma Dumpke, April 1912

April 5, 1912

Dear Hedda,

St. John’s Lutheran Church

Fear not for my safety from rebels to the south. Texas is huge. San Antonio is far from the border with Mexico.

The Good Friday service yesterday stretched from noon to three o’clock. The sermon Father Haas delivered endured for so long I felt I personally was experiencing each minute of the final three agonizing hours of Christ’s life. Rising from the pew and escaping to the sunshine felt like the Resurrection. To celebrate the end of Lent, I immediately headed to the Creamery Dairy Company in search of a whole gallon of bisque ice cream – heaven – all of which is now gone.

Despite only allowing myself Grape-Nuts for supper, I awoke this morning in need of a skirt in a larger size. The newspaper carried an advertisement promoting a sale at Dalkowitz Brothers, so I hopped aboard the trolley. I should have finished reading the newspaper first.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Twenty-Three”