Above, facade of Beethoven Hall after the fire, Elizabeth Koch Collection, UTSA Libraries Special Collections
Andrew Stevens, November 1913
“Ashes,” says the Colonel. “Burnt down to the ground so rapidly you would think Beethoven Hall was built of paper.”
“Was anyone injured?” asks Mr. K.
“Fortunately not,” answers the Colonel. “I understand the caretaker and his family lost everything save their lives.”
“Mister Schmidt,” Andy interrupts. “The caretaker, sir. The sky over the neighborhood was lit up like fireworks on the Fourth of July. I was a block away on my way home and ran down Alamo Street to see what was happening. Mister Schmidt was running hither and thither, shivering in his union suit silhouetted against the flames. The boarders next door at Missus Kate Steves’ were dragging their belongings down the front stairs. We grabbed garden hoses to try to soak her house in case the sparks leapt across the fence.”
“Old man Schmidt in his underwear must have cut a fine figure.” Mr. K chuckles. Anything else, Andy?”Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Fifty-Six”