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 Twenty

joskes dulce mexicano

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Nineteen

Andrew Stevens, March 1912

Mr. K’s hands dance above his desk. “That Leroy Denman is no more than a marionette. George Brackenridge jerks his strings, and he plops right down into the automobile seat next to ventriloquist Tom Campbell’s dummy, Judge Ramsey.”

The Colonel agrees. “If Governor Hogg hadn’t appointed Leroy Denman to the Supreme Court, not a soul would know his name. Yet he struts around town as though he were Le Roi instead of plain old Leee-roy.”

John smiles. “His briefs from the bench were so brief, there’s scarcely a scintilla of evidence he has any sense at all.”

Mr. K grunts. “Ludicrous! Arming those old gray soldiers in Gonzales with push-brooms. Amazing the brooms did not get tangled up with the old Confederates’ canes, sending the whole decrepit lot cascading to the ground like dominos.”

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