An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Seven

Above, Beethoven Maennerchor Hall on South Alamo Street

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Six

Andrew Stevens, June 1911

Mr. K, the Colonel and Representative Chester Terrell lean forward in their chairs as Andy’s brother John relates political developments from last evening. “Paul Steffler came through, delivering close to 1,700 union men to the smoker at Beethoven Hall. District Attorney Baker fired them up to join the parade and rally. Chairman Mauermann utilized the information Sheriff Tobin shared with us. He pointed out to reporters that, on Monday morning, July 3rd—a morning following a Sunday with no saloons open—eighteen persons were escorted into police court on charges of being drunk. Every saloon door was flung wide open for the Fourth of July celebrations, yet only two men faced that charge on July 5th.”

The Colonel shakes his head. “Sunday is a sad day for the poor working man who can’t find a saloon open. Of course, it beats North Texas. On Sundays there, a man can’t find a stand open for any kind of cold drink at all. You cannot even buy a cigar.”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Four

texas governor's mansion

Above, Texas Governor’s Mansion

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Three

Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, January 1911

Fannie Campbell gazes up at her husband as they stand on the steps of what has been their home for the last four years. “Thomas, I know you dread the next few hours, but concentrate on last night. The people you worked so hard to serve could not possibly have voiced more grateful tributes. You achieved so much, despite the constant interference from corrupt big businessmen. When we entered the hall, the roar of the crowd was deafening. I barely could hear the band playing ‘The Campbells Are Coming.’”

“I hoped to accomplish so much more before the liquor industry seized control of this mansion.”

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Three

San Antonio Brewing Association

Above: San Antonio Brewing Association, Original Home of Pearl Beer, Now Hotel Emma at Pearl

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Two

Andrew Stevens, January 1911

Andy draws open the heavy drapes and, despite the crisp winter day, cracks two of the windows. He hauls a heavy brass ashtray stand out of the depths of the closet and places it between the two chairs in front of Mr. Koehler’s massive walnut desk. Both his older brother, John, and Mr. Wahrmund are right-handed though, so he fetches another.

He does not want to have to answer to Mrs. Koehler if one of the men carelessly allows a burning ember to drop from his cigar onto the Oriental carpet. But, if the men are drinking, which they will be, they might smoke with their left hands. One more stand is in order. Mrs. Koehler terms them hideous, hence the closet hide-away, but the elegant Meissner ashtrays she brought back from Germany are far too shallow-bowled to serve any purpose aside from collecting dust.

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