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 Twelve

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eleven

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, November 1911

Feigning jealousy, Sammie Belle rises from her chair. “Papa, I am heading to the kitchen to help Mama, Fannie and Maydelle with dinner. Calling on me obviously is not why Clarence is here. He and John Bowman, along with all the hundreds of Texans who mail you letters each week, are determined to talk you into the race for Senate.” From behind Tom’s chair, his daughter affectionately hugs his neck and slips out of the parlor.

Clarence Dilley smiles. “Fortunately, your daughter is accustomed to talk of politics so does not begin to yawn the second John Bowman and I get started. After serving as your secretary, John can’t bear for you to not to be in there fighting for what is right. Why, the liquor interests bought the July election outright, paying poll taxes for anyone they could snare with free-mug-of-beer bait. You will run for the Senate, will you not, sir?”

Silence.

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

Post-Thanksgiving thought: Why 1963 was a very good year

This represents another re-post from two years ago. Since I re-recognized the genius of Dorcas Reilly (Hey, is that actually even a green bean casserole sitting in this oven?), it only seems fair to re-mention my favorite Thanksgiving-related invention:

1963: Innovations in the kitchen, while even more helpful, begin to grow more complex. The P-7 self-cleaning oven is introduced. In developing the oven, which uses a pyrolytic system to remove food soil, GE engineers are granted some 100 patents.

While it took about another two decades for a self-cleaning oven to enter any of the houses in which we have lived, what a great invention GE brought to life.

Last night I pressed a button, and this morning I woke up to find all traces of Thanksgiving had vanished from my oven.