An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty-Nine

cuero turkey trot 1912

Above, 1912 Cuero Turkey Trot, Francisco A. Chapa Family papers, UTSA Libraries Special Collections, The Top Shelf

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Thirty-Eight

Andrew Stevens, November 1912

“‘Personal antagonism,’” sputters John. “Bryan Callaghan must be rolling over in his grave. His reasons for renaming the park Waterworks were not petty.”

“Alderman Mauermann stuck to his ground, though,” adds the Colonel. “George Brackenridge’s gift to the city had more strings attached to it than a spider’s web. What good is a park with no way to access it?”

Mr. K’s grumpiness that this topic resurfaced at City Hall is obvious. “As big a proponent of parks as Alderman Lambert is, he sees the gift for what it was—a scheme to line George Brackenridge’s pockets. The city was hamstrung. Forced to buy property on River Avenue from him for an entrance to the parkland.”

John waves a hand dismissively. “A technicality. That’s a mere technicality according to Alderman Boynton. Says it’s poor grace to censure a benevolent donor simply because the city failed to notice the hitch at the time the gift of land was accepted.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty-Nine”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighteen

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Seventeen

Andrew Stevens, February 1912

The Colonel holds up his folded newspaper. “It appears the so-called green fairy will cease to cast her intoxicating spell over Americans. That hellfire-and-brimstone Secretary of Agriculture is determined to ban the importation of absinthe. Men will no longer be able to seduce young women unaware that absinthe makes the heart grow fonder. The potent French frappé will no longer summon strange, swirling monsters to the bottom of a glass.”

Mr. K emits a snort. “While I have never taken a whiff of that stuff, banning it is wrong. Pros are like rats. A tiny chink in our wall, and in they will swarm, nibbling away at our rights. President Taft should have prevented his secretary from launching this clandestine attack. We send Adolphus Busch princely sums to hire people in Washington so things like this do not slip through the cracks.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighteen”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirteen

the immortal alamo

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Twelve

Andrew Stevens, November 1911

“Honey from Solms Apiary. The finest in the country, Andy. This nectar comes not from some common native American bee.” 

The Colonel has been waxing eloquent over a jar of honey for the past five minutes. Andy knits his eyebrows together and keeps his lips sealed tightly. Struggling, mightily struggling, to stifle the yawn rising from deep in his throat.

“The Carnacian bees that made this honey were imported to New Braunfels from high in the Alps. The Solms Apiary has sixty-two colonies of these bees, and the queens are prolific layers.”

Running later than normal, Mr. K steps briskly into his office. “Queens? Queen Emma held me prisoner in the kitchen this morning. Blocked my escape route with her chair and locked the wheels until she had no more words to unleash on me. I knew it was risky taking her to the Busches’ gilded celebration. Seems I neglected to mark our recent anniversary with tributes befitting royalty, and she wants to ensure I never make such a blunder again. How the Sultan can bear a whole harem of wives is beyond me. 

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirteen”