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 Twenty-Eight

san antonio river in brackenridge park
an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Twenty-Seven

Andrew Stevens, July 1912

“A piece of good news emerged from Mayor Callaghan’s funeral,” announces Mr. K. “The Kalteyers finally can breathe easier. Doctor Herff says he expects their nine-year-old, little William, to recover from his concussion.”

“Speeding driver right there on Blum Street,” gripes the Colonel. “Hurled the boy off the wheel he was peddling and then sped out of Alamo Plaza, leaving Willie behind, a little heap in the street. Lucky the lad’s not dead. The only way to control these speed demons racing through downtown is to hire motorcycle policemen to chase them.” 

John has been running his hands through his hair over and over, and it now sticks out at all angles. Andy pats his own head to try to signal John to smooth it back down, but John is still too deep in mournful thoughts to pick up on it. “Otto, I know I shouldn’t compare the loss of Bryan Callaghan to your loss of your twin brother. After all, Bryan Callaghan was more stubborn than any mule….”

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

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”