An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixty-Seven

Above, huge chunks of metal flew through the air and landed blocks away from the site of the locomotive explosion at the Southern Pacific Railyard. Photograph courtesy of Farrell Tucker of San Antonio Police Archive.

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Sixty-Six

Hedda Burgemeister, August 1914

Hedda adds the fashion illustration she tore from the newspaper to the stack of library books on the dining room table.

Perhaps her mutton-sleeved blouses over plain skirts are too dowdy a look to attract Otto’s attention. After she returns the books, she will shop for a pattern for one of the bold new looks inspired by the Ballet Russe. A graceful high-waisted lampshade tunic over a draped skirt that narrows dramatically as it descends towards the ankles. One must have to take tiny steps to be able to move in that narrow a skirt, but the material saved there will make up for the splurge of extra yardage for the tunic.

Boom!

Too late in the morning to hear the Fort Sam Houston cannon faintly in the distance, but the noise came from that direction.

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

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixty-Six

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Sixty-Five

Dr. Ferdinand Peter Herff, August 1914

A healthy boy finally emerged at eight o’clock this morning. Peter finds himself exhausted after the long, sleepless night.

He slumps a little on the carriage seat, loosening his grip on the reins. This allows his horse Hippocrates the freedom to plod along at his own pace and pick his own route, not necessarily the most direct one, back to his office.

Boom! The earth quakes. Hippocrates rears up. Nostrils flaring, he bolts. Peter manages to rein him in, trying to make sense of the enormous explosion. Debris and ash rain down around them. A huge black cloud of smoke mushrooms upward and outward in the sky.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Sixty-Six”

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”