Above: 1914 Labor Day photograph of workers in front of Maverick Building on Alamo Plaza provided by Connie Fuller to Paula Allen for The History Column appearing in the November 7, 2013, issue of the San Antonio Express-News
Labor Day was the only national holiday between July 4 and Christmas.”
Carol Boyd Leon, “The Life of American Workers in 1915,” Monthly Labor Review, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
With a dearth of holidays, it should come as no surprise that more than 50 unions turned out for San Antonio’s Labor Day Parade in 1911. A crowd of 5,000 gathered at the fairgrounds. “Colonel” Otto Wahrmund, vice president of the San Antonio Brewing Association which produced Pearl Beer, remarks in An Ostrich-Plumed Hat, and Yes, She Shot Him Dead, that there they encountered the excitement of the beer drivers’ union striving to have their candidate crowned queen; sporting events such as the fat men racing for 75 yards or the old men (50 years and up, how insulting!) crawling 50 yards to win a purse of $2; and fiery political speeches.
Continue reading “19-teens Labor: Major holiday marches, brewing concerns and Colonel dogs”
Above: “Boy Playwright Shows Talent,” San Antonio Express, July 6, 1913, UNT Libraries, The Portal to Texas History
Seeking the feel of an era when trying to write historic fiction requires time-consuming research, but distracting detours are so seductive and somewhat justified as snippets gleaned slip into the pages you type.
Take Oliver Perry Wilson Bailey (1897-1978), tagged with an ambitious-sounding name. The 1910 Census, when he was but a lad of 12, recorded him as a professional rabbit-raiser living on South Alamo Street, now part of Hemisfair, in San Antonio. By 1913, he was an accomplished screen writer. Yes, the son of a reporter of the San Antonio Express already had sold screenplays to three different companies.
Continue reading “Diving down rabbit holes: Fledgling 19-teens’ silent film industry proved distracting”
*With apologies to William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) for lifting his sentence from “Retrospects and Prospects” and turning his porcupine into an ostrich to suit the Author’s own selfish purposes.
Few people pause to read acknowledgments at the end of a book, so the Author is plucking them out of An Ostrich-Plumed Hat, and Yes, She Shot Him Dead and plopping them right here, front and center. The Author wants you to understand her lengthy journey and who helped her along the way.
Continue reading “If peculiarities were plumes, San Antonio would be a rare ostrich*”