The collection housed in Bordeaux’s Musee d’Aquitaine covers a broad swath of the history of the region’s past 500,000 years.Continue reading “Postcard from Bordeaux, France: Not shying away from the past”
There we were, sitting beside each other. Phil and I. I’m talking about Phil Collins. But I just call him Phil now. Because I sat beside him for about one minute. As you can tell this is leading to one of celebrities’ worst curses: people who don’t know them writing about them.2013 post on this blog following that year’s San Antonio Conservation Society Publication Awards
Okay. I admit it. Phil and I scarcely could be called friends. But someone needs to rise to his defense.
In Forget the Alamo, authors Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford lay bare major flaws of men many Texans have elevated to heroic heights for their roles at the Alamo. They also illuminate less-than-noble reasons Texians were revolting against Mexico, including the preservation of slavery. This has so angered some of Texas’ leaders that their rhetoric against the book has helped it skyrocket up the bestseller list.Continue reading “Please leave my friend Phil out of the ongoing Battle over the Alamo”
Photos accompanying September 8, 2019, book review by Ed Conroy, San Antonio Express-News
Spencer has done a masterful job of sifting through a mass of cemetery and other records, finding the threads of family stories, which she has woven together with great care. They reflect the triumphs and travails of the early settlers and their descendants in what was without doubt, at first, a very tough territory….
What makes this book of exceptional interest for anyone with a deep love for and interest in Texas history is the way Spencer relates the family sagas of the early settlers within the larger dynamics of settlement and colonization in early Mexican Texas and after the Texas Revolution.
We learn in detail of the great challenges faced by empresarios Stephen F. Austin, Henri Castro, Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels and John O. Meusebach. We learn as well of the settlers who were Mormons and their challenges in the face of intense prejudice in much of what was then the United States.
Most of all, we learn of the interrelatedness of all the families who made up the Coker Settlement, who overcame their cultural and national differences to become, in their own way, Texans and, in time, San Antonians. Spencer deserves considerable credit for the extraordinary amount of detail she provides about the lives of so many settlers, whom she lists at the end of each chapter.
Theirs is a very poignant history, for in time the Great Depression and new sanitation regulations did much to decimate the local dairy industry. Land that was once dotted with dairy farms and their hardworking owners was sold and cleared for tract home developments, schools, the new San Antonio International Airport and malls — and the early settlers were forgotten.
Thanks to Spencer, though, their stories are now well recovered and hopefully will live on for generations to come.
Ed Conroy, San Antonio Express-News, September 8, 2019
Thanks to Ed Conroy for making time to review Haunting the Graveyard: Unearthing the Story of the Coker Settlement.
Please try to join us for the celebration of the publication from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at The Twig Book Shop at Pearl.