Please leave my friend Phil out of the ongoing Battle over the Alamo

There we were, sitting beside each other. Phil and I. I’m talking about Phil Collins. But I just call him Phil now. Because I sat beside him for about one minute. As you can tell this is leading to one of celebrities’ worst curses: people who don’t know them writing about them.

2013 post on this blog following that year’s San Antonio Conservation Society Publication Awards

Okay. I admit it. Phil and I scarcely could be called friends. But someone needs to rise to his defense.

In Forget the Alamo, authors Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford lay bare major flaws of men many Texans have elevated to heroic heights for their roles at the Alamo. They also illuminate less-than-noble reasons Texians were revolting against Mexico, including the preservation of slavery. This has so angered some of Texas’ leaders that their rhetoric against the book has helped it skyrocket up the bestseller list.

Continue reading “Please leave my friend Phil out of the ongoing Battle over the Alamo”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Forty-Eight

1913 royal wedding

Royal Wedding of Victoria Louise and Ernest Augustus, postcard from One Last Dance

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Forty-Seven

Andrew Stevens, July 1913

“Just hold your horses a minute, Otto,” pleads Sheriff Tobin.

“Hold my horses? Hold my horses?” Mr. K’s head appears poised to explode. “Your men seized 3,600 quarts of beer yesterday.”

“It’s not like we confiscated it from the brewery, Otto,” explains the sheriff. “That was beer you already sold.”

“Probably on account,” grouses Mr. K.

“Otto, you have to understand the pressure I’m under to enforce that damn new law the governor signed.”

John comes to Sheriff Tobin’s defense. “The first week of the 9:30 closing law barely made a dent in our sales, Otto. We’re capping 200,000 bottles of Pearl a day.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Forty-Eight”

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”