An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Four

Picnickers with Pearl Beer in Koehler Park, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. R. San Miguel, UTSA Libraries Special Collections

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-Three

Emma Bentzen Koehler, December 1915

“Otto’s revenge, this is. I never thought of myself as the vengeful type, but, I must confess, this is the best Christmas present I have ever given or received.”

“Ah, Emma,” says Judge Newton, “I believe it was best expressed in Beowulf: ‘It is always better to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning.’”

“Maybe, Gallie, that is indeed why this feels so good.”

“Aunt Emma,” says Corwin Priest, “eleven acres along the river is a Christmas gift for all of San Antonio. Otto Koehler Park. Uncle Otto must be kicking his heels together up above us. Is it true that part of that land might be haunted?”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Fifty-Seven

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Fifty-Six

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, December 1913

“Nothing appears more boring, Papa Tom,” whispers Clarence Dilley, “than stringing popcorn and cranberries.”

“No need to whisper. They’re chattering like magpies, and their laughter drowns out anything we say. Popcorn-stringing evidently is hilarious entertainment for the girls. But untangling these strings of lights is frustrating. And if one is loose, the whole string fails.”

“A boon for electric companies,” nods Clarence.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Fifty-Seven”

Where have all the chestnuts gone?

Above, chestnut in “our” backyard during 2019 stay in Naples, Italy

Not only was baby’s crib likely made of chestnut, but chances were, so was the old man’s coffin.

George Hepting, “Death of the American Chestnut” via Forest Pathology

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….” It’s one of the first seasonal songs that pops into my head this time of year. But why have we latched onto a song that is rooted around a tree many of us have never seen in the United States?

Continue reading “Where have all the chestnuts gone?”