An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty-Eight

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Thirty-Seven

Dr. Ferdinand Peter Herff, November 1912

Peter is no stranger to death. Still, he finds himself unprepared for the passing of his grandfather, the first Dr. Ferdinand Herff to practice medicine in San Antonio. 

His grandfather lies in state in the house on Houston Street, the home where the whole family has gathered every Friday night since before Peter emerged from his mother’s womb.  

Approaching the coffin brings a smile to the doctor’s face. His grandmother arranged for her husband to be buried in his cape. He first wore the cape years earlier out of necessity after breaking an arm. Following recovery, Papa Herff decided the cape made him appear dashing so continued to sport it about town. 

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty-One

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Thirty

Dr. Ferdinand Peter Herff, August 1912

Peter Herff listens to the two women’s lively chatter in the reception room adjacent to his office as he finishes his notes about his final patient of the day.

“I studiously read the newspapers to try to understand San Antonio,” says the newcomer, “but, frankly, the politics bewilder me. Why would city people elect a cowboy as their Mayor? And is it legal for him summarily to fire the Police Chief and the Street Commissioner as soon as he walks into City Hall?”

Mrs. Hatzenbuehler laughs. “Oh, this mayor is much calmer than the last one. Mayor Callaghan blew his top more times than my teapot has whistled. It’s amazing he didn’t drop dead sooner.”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Twenty-Nine

suffragettes parade new york city

Above, 1912 Suffragette Parade in New York City, National Archives

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Twenty-Eight

Hedda Burgemeister, July 1912

Hedda hops off the street car. Elated.

Emmy was right. She loves San Antonio. The temperature might be 98 degrees, even this late in the day, but the heat rising off the streets in New York City is more oppressive. And the people there always press in closer and closer, no matter how hot.

She longs to break into a joyous skip as she turns onto Hunstock Street. Her street.

Herr Cordt tips his hat to her as he hurries the opposite way. Her street. Her neighbor. Her neighbor who has lived here for 20 years, yet still speaks only German.

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